Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Category: Canada

Dan and Alfie in Lillooet BC

Dan and Alfie

Dan and Alfie

We had travelled on Highway 99 from Vancouver and stopped in the small town of Lillooet on the Fraser River for the night (about halfway between Whistler and Kamloops, and a world apart from flash Whistler). On the way to Dina’s Place for dinner, I spotted a mural and proceeded to take a picture. “Do you know who this is”, a voice rang out from a bench in front. And so it came that we got to know about “Ma Murray“, a local identity who co-founded (with her husband) the “Bridge River Lillooet News” in 1934. A feisty woman by all accounts, brought to life by the story-telling talents of Dan. He would probably have held all of us spell-bound for the rest of the evening, had we not been hungry (it was about 8:30 in the evening, love those long evenings!).

Next day we visited his “House of Jade Mineral Museum” just a couple of steps from this bench. We heard lots more about the past of the place, which is “Mile O” of the original Cariboo Wagon Road to the lure of gold (around 1860). And about Jade – New Zealand greenstone was well known to him, you have to know your competition! His little shop is full of gemstones and crystals – from nearby and from afar – and a story for each.

(I did not say anything about Alfie: when Dan holds the floor, it’s hard to get a word in …)

Mural of Ma Murray in Lillooet

Mural of Ma Murray in Lillooet

The Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid, 1980)

The Raven and the First Men (Detail)

The Raven and the First Men (Detail)

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

You cannot visit Vancouver without a stop at the Museum of Anthropology of the University of British Columbia. Pride of place is given to a monumental wooden sculpture by Bill Reid in its own Bill Reid Rotunda. I had just framed my detail shot, when a person moved into the picture, and luckily, I pressed the button anyway. A fuller picture is below. Here is Bill Reid’s explanatory text:

“The great flood, which had covered the earth for so long, had at last receded and the sand of Rose Spit, Haida Gwaii, lay dry. Raven walked along the sand, eyes and ears alert for any unusual sight or sound to break the monotony. A flash of white caught his eye and there, right at his feet, half buried in the sand, was a gigantic clamshell. He looked more closely and saw that the shell was full of little creatures cowering in terror in his enormous shadow. He leaned his great head close and, with his smooth trickster’s tongue, coaxed and cajoled and coerced them to come out and play in his wonderful new shiny world. These little dwellers were the original Haidas, the first humans.”

The Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid, 1980)

The Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid, 1980)

Pyramid Mountain

Pyramid Mountain and Patricia Lake

Pyramid Mountain and Patricia Lake

The lakes of the Canadian Rockies are stunningly beautiful. This is Patricia Lake in Jasper National Park, with Pyramid Mountain (2766m) behind and in reflection. (Follow the wikipedia link if you want to learn about unsinkable aircraft carriers and pykrete.)

For more weekend reflections, go to James’ Weekend Reflections site.

Prairie Sky

Prairie Sky

Prairie Sky

On our Canada trip we traveled a long distance across the prairie of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The huge skies over the vast expanse of land are so impressive, all the more when they are decorated with cottonpuff clouds. Taken from the car east of Calgary on the Trans Canada Highway.

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Danuta

Danuta Rogula: Cheek to Cheek with her Bear

Danuta Rogula: Cheek to Cheek with her Bear

Danuta Rogula is an artist at Britannia Beach, with her Old Customs House Art Gallery right at the shores of beautiful Howe Sound on the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler. Her specialty, advertised by a big banner between the trees, is encaustics, a painting technique where the pigment is held in place by bees’ wax.

Danuta talked enthusiastically about a visit to NZ a couple of years ago, when she participated in a group show in New Plymouth. Such a warm welcome at the start of our journey out of Vancouver.

Bears were the most exotic encounter for us on the Canada trip, as we come from a country where humans might be the most dangerous wildlife. At the bottom is a picture of a black bear shot from the car along the Icefields Parkway, a little north of Bow Lake. It is impressive to see the wild animals going about their business in perfect freedom (and yes, that means you have to be sensible and on guard).

(After a few weeks away on a trip to Canada, I am showing some of what we saw along the way over the next few days.)

Danuta Rogula: Surrounded by Art

Danuta Rogula: Surrounded by Art

Bear Grazing next to the Icefields Parkway

Bear Grazing next to the Icefields Parkway

Painted Boxes — In Saskatoon

Pelicans on the Soth Saskatchewan River (Wally Dion)

Pelicans on the Soth Saskatchewan River (Wally Dion)

I enjoy the colour and life that street art brings, especially painted traffic control boxes, and this blog shows a lot of such art from Auckland.

On our Canada trip, we had a brief overnight stay in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I took an early morning stroll through the Downtown area, where numerous painted boxes caught my eye. Here is a selection.

Subject matter and styles vary, as usual. History, nature, landmarks, free imagination — you find it all on painted boxes. After a bit of searching the web, it appears that in Saskatoon the major force behind this work is the Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc (SCYAP), an organisation which “provides arts and cultural programming that addresses the social, educational and economic needs of youth at risk.”

The New Eldorado (Crystal Kishayinew)

The New Eldorado (Crystal Kishayinew)

Musician at University Bridge (Sharie Headon)

Musician at University Bridge (Sharie Headon)

River Reflections

River Reflections

Leo

Leo Downey, Buffalo Rancher, Musician - Golden BC

Leo Downey, Buffalo Rancher, Musician - Golden BC

Leo Downey is a buffalo rancher just north of Golden BC (Canada). Originally from California, he fell in love with the beautiful scenery, a sample of which can be seen below. He farms buffalo for meat and breeding. We found him by following signs “Buffalo Tours” as we had passed the town of Golden in Kicking Horse Country, on our way back to Vancouver (700 km to go).

A laid-back fellow, he will tell you all about the animals, about life in a beautiful setting with harsh winters and dangerous wildlife, and make you feel at home in this awesome environment. We had a most pleasant break of our journey. The encounter lingered on as we played his CD in the car – he is a musician as well.

Meet him online at www.leodowney.com and www.rockymountainbuffaloranch.com.

After a few weeks away on a trip to Canada, I will be showing some of what we saw along the way over the next few days.

Buffalos and Scenery

Buffalos and Scenery

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