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They are called Indian Runner Ducks, and they hatched a few weeks ago in Ms. Takhar’s kindergarten class at Lochside Elementary. They have been adored since the first beak cracked open the egg. The class gave each of them a special name… Star, Rosy, Rocky and Chirpy. Now they reside on my friend’s beautiful organic farm, and it is truly a lovely place to call home. They have so much room to run, and they are excellent runners, which is a good thing because they don’t really grow wings. Even as adults, they don’t fly. They prefer to forage in the grass and even catch flies! love how they stand tall, almost penguin-like, and how they always stick together. Soon, they will lose their fuzz and grow a fresh coat of pretty white feathers. Hopefully, they will grow into those big beautiful beaks, too. I know that these lucky four will be living the good life.

 

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  • Gyneth Turner - Oh my gosh, those ducks are the cutest lil things!  They look like Easter!  Did they hatch in Helena Takhar’s class?  Great names. .ReplyCancel

    • rhayne73@yahoo.ca - Aren’t they sweet? Indeed they did! They lived in the kindergarten classroom for a week before they found their new home at Michelle’s farm!ReplyCancel

 

She was so little, we couldn’t take her for a walk at the beach yet. But that’s ok… she was showing me just how adorable she is, just by sitting on the couch! No need to find the perfect setting when you’ve got eyes the size of dinner plates and the softest puppy fur imaginable. Little Lacy stole my heart.. over and over again. Everything she did was scrumptious. We played indoors for a little while and then ventured outside with her sweet little ladybug leash that she loved to chew. Everything in the world was new to her. We couldn’t keep her contained! She went here, there and everywhere, with a little bounce in her step. She jumped into the hedge and almost completely submerged… she crawled under my car…. she smashed the pansies in the front yard…and when she finally tuckered out, she flopped down on her favourite mat and fell into a deep snooze. She’s so very new and very small, but looking at the size of those paws, she’s in for a bit of a growth spurt!

 

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If you ever need someone to catch you a grasshopper (or in this case, a beach hopper of some sort), Ava is your girl. At first I thought she was pretending to catch little critters in the sand… but I quickly realized that she was actually collecting real ones in her hands! She was lost in a world of her own while she combed the beach for ladybugs and other random but delightful things. Then she was visited by a familiar four-legged friend who just came in from a swim in the sea. They had a couple rounds of tug-o-war before they parted ways. And when it was time to go home, her rubber boots couldn’t help but collide with the puddle in the path. She’s quite an expert at puddle jumping… but she had enough as soon as she realized how wet she was getting. Back to the van for some yummy goldfish crackers and a rest from a busy day on the beach.

 

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Do you ever wish sometimes you could go back to a time in your life, perhaps in childhood, when the world was completely new, and every experience was a novelty? Meet Bella and Puddles. They are still so very new to this world, so this was their first day ever on the beach! They were quite tentative at first, not sure about all that soft deep sand and wide open space. Bella, dressed all in black, was the braver of the two, and she was the first to venture out, but as you will see in the above photos, she looked just a little bit terrified at first. But she got over it quickly, and in no time, was all over the map, exploring every nook and cranny. Sweet, tiny Puddles took a little longer to warm up to this new adventure, but perhaps as he watched Bella, he soon realized that this world exploration thing could be a whole lot of fun! He trembled and took baby steps, and then he found his feet. All four of them. He even climbed big logs and things. Here’s to stepping outside of comfort zones!

 

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It appears as though my easter egg hunt has already begun! They are not of the sugary or chocolate variety.. but can these count? I did hunt for them…. although, I won’t tell you where I found them. No birds were harmed in the making of this photograph. *wink* Although, a little boy was curious and observant as his mother let me borrow his beloved swing for a few minutes. And what a delicious swing.. it hangs from a tree in the corner of their yard, nestled right up against the sidewalk. It has been there so long, the lichen can’t tell the swing from the tree anymore!  It’s just sublime. The child in me wanted to run barefoot across their lawn and swing so high as to see over the treetops! There must be something in the spring air that infuses one with a sense of earthly delight and sweet nostalgia. And just wait until the lilacs come out…

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There’s this one little magnolia tree in Oak Bay that I visit every spring. It is remarkable because the tree itself is quite small… But the flowers that bloom, once they open completely, are almost the size of volleyballs! How can those wee, delicate branches hold up so much beauty?  This year, I was a little early… because last year I was a little late. Magnolias are a fleeting phenomenon, it seems. They bud and bloom into perfect exquisiteness and then they are gone in a matter of days. So it’s hard to time it just right, especially when I don’t live in the area. But I just can’t get over this tree. It’s one of those things I wait for all year and savour it all the more because it’s a once a year event… like tasting fresh berries in June, or spotting that first house to turn on the Christmas lights. Oh, and the baby lambs that leap and twist in the daffodil fields. And the insulating quiet of winter’s first snowfall. It’s a different kind of quiet, isn’t it?  … I could go on and on. There’s something reassuring about the cyclical nature of things, and the looking forward to those things that manifest in their own time. All is well in the world when this little tree expresses its love for spring. And once the petals fall, I know I will be back in twelve months to take it all in once again.

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  • Gyneth - I love magnolia blossoms!  Thanks Jaime, I needed a little reminder about the beauty of springtime renewal, and savouring the gifts of the season!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Beautiful colors, so soft. I had a magnolia bush in the yard where I grew up. I wonder if my parents still have it…ReplyCancel

  • Dawne - Beautiful shots and words honey…can’t figure out if your a better photographer or writer both  your talents leave me breathless….xxoooReplyCancel

 

Mozie is such a fun dog. He is so full of energy, and sometimes that energy gets him into trouble. He has been found in other people’s homes playing with their dogs… he even dug himself a dog-sized hole in his backyard. He has gone through many toys and chewed up leashes. To Mozie, its all good times. To his family.. well… he definitely keeps them on their toes! But they love him so much.. and so do I. Each week I look forward to seeing him, because he makes me happy. For many months,  I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to photograph him on the beach. We finally got together this past weekend, but yeah.. that high energy made for some challenges! Who doesn’t love a good challenge? Especially when it involves this guy? That face… one look and he’s got your heart!

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  • Gyneth Turner - Woof!  Mozie!  I would love to play on the beach with you – what a lovely boy!ReplyCancel

When the heaviness of world events start to cloud my moods, sometimes all I need to feel lighter is a little dog therapy. And that is just what I received this weekend in the shape of a sweet golden retriever named Chilli. I’d like to think that she was given that name because she’s so “chill”… or maybe I’m just taking a hint from the universe to just chill out myself and take in love in any form. And Chilli knows all about love. The moment I walked in the door, without knowing me, she rolled over on her back and looked at me with her soft puppy dog eyes as if to say “belly rub, please?”… She knows how to love, and she doesn’t see any reason why she wouldn’t receive it either. Goldens are like the dolphins of the dog kingdom… they have built-in smiles and such a gentle nature. Thank you, Chilli… for bringing me back to my happy place.

 

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I feel a constant pull… there is a place on this planet that draws me in like a very strong magnet. It’s always there, though sometimes I feel it more prominently than other times. I wander up to Long Beach any time I am given the opportunity…. but this time I went alone. I have never done that before. And now that I have experienced that kind of exquisite solitude, the pull has only become stronger. I know now that solo trips to Tofino will become a yearly ritual. I stood in the incoming tide until my boots filled with the sudden rush of seawater. I listened to the deep breathing of the breaking waves. I felt the thundering vibration of a large swell colliding with the rocky shoreline and inhaled the salty misty air. I was moved to tears as I felt the power of this place. As I took in the rugged beauty all around me, I felt at times that there was nowhere I would rather be than in that exact spot in place and time… my feet sinking deeper into the wet sand, my eye drawn to the way the winter sun illuminated the layers of rolling surf in a gentle glow. Although, the west coast in winter is anything but gentle. It’s my favourite place. It’s where a part of my soul stays behind and waits for my return. I came home only four days ago, and I’m already thinking about my next trip.

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  • Kathryn - Incredibly special, I felt every ounce of this post.ReplyCancel

  • Dawne - Beautiful shots honey…I think the crow (first one is my fav…but not sure) i can hear the surf on the Wickaninnish open Ocean shot.. row of sand dollars very sweet and the lone sandpiper…..love it all. Good work for the show too.  xoxoReplyCancel

This is my beautiful cousin Halley and her magnificent best friend, Havoc. He’s actually not as much Great Dane as he is a small horse. But despite his name, he’s actually quite remarkable. Graceful even. Halley brought him up to spend Christmas with us at the old ski chalet, and even though the main floor was usually crowded with people and tables and other various pieces of furniture, I watched as he seemed to glide right through it all without knocking a single thing over. He’s a big dog who seems to know where he is in space… and he handles tight spaces with surprising ease! He even ventured under the Christmas tree a few times to find an alternate route through the chaos.. and not one ornament fell from that tree! Even more remarkable… he was at nose level with the appie and food table, and though I know he was tempted to steal a quick bite, he never touched a morsel! I don’t know, Halley… he doesn’t seem to raise havoc.. he raises a lot of eyebrows though, I bet. When he is around me, I can’t seem to take my eyes off of him. He’s just so huge! Huge and graceful. And patient with us as we Christmassed him up for photos.

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