Friday, April 28, 2017

Free Spirit Spheres

The future of eco-tourism?
The future of eco-tourism?
Looking like newly arrived time machines from the future, these 9-foot diameter spheres are the brainchild of designer and builder Tom Chudleigh.

One of Tom Chudleigh's unique treehouses...
One of Tom Chudleigh's unique treehouses...
Known as Free Spirit Spheres they will soon join three similar globes that are suspended by cables in the trees near Horne Lake on Vancouver Island. They are treehouse 'hotel' rooms that are rented by visitors from all around the world seeking a unique tourism experience.

Free Spirit Spheres have been featured in news articles around the world. Currently, there is a waiting list of people who are willing to pay top dollar for the unique experience of living and sleeping in the trees.

Tom was nice enough to give me a look inside one of his installed treehouses.  It was easy to see how the gentle springy motion of the globe could easily put you into a deep slumber. The only downside? No toilet or running water. Bathrooms are located at ground level. If you're the type who needs to pee in the middle of the night you're going to have to hike it in the dark.

Tom Chudleigh, designer and builder of Free Spirit Spheres...
Tom Chudleigh, designer and builder of Free Spirit Spheres...

Monday, April 24, 2017

When the night comes...

Sunset seen from Oceanside on Vancouver Island...
evening gloom gathers
the pooling shadows slip east
night song fills the air
The setting sun in the west cast paints the distant mountains of the British Columbia Lower Mainland in shades of magenta and pink as seen from Vancouver Island.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Philosophical Friday: Where troubles melt like lemon drops...

A rainbow touches down over Parksville's main beach.
A rainbow touches down over Parksville's main beach.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow is an ambiguous song when you read the lyrics. The final verse goes:
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow

Why, oh why can't I?
Is the last line meant to be optimistic, a call to dream big? Or is it one of wishful thinking, lamenting that some big dreams will always be out of reach?

I like the newer version by the late Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole which also has a bittersweet quality. It hints of an afterlife where we are set free of the earth to finally see the larger beauty of a 'wonderful world'.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: Eldon and Elaine

Eldon and Elaine together forever?
Eldon and Elaine... (still?) together (again/forever?)
I'll be in Ontario shortly visiting friends and family. This photo -- one of my personal favourites -- was taken five years ago during a previous trip and appeared in my old blog.

I came across this car while driving in the western Ontario countryside.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Parksville pause

Brant Geese re-fueling for the long flight to Alaska.
Brant Geese re-fueling for flight...
Every year, in the spring, hundreds of Brant Geese descend on the local beaches of Parksville. In the winter they spend the cold weather in sensible places like Mexico and Baja California.

In February through April they migrate to Alaska, taking breaks along the way to fatten up by chowing down on eel grass and herring roe.

Brant Geese in flight over a Parksville beach...
Brant Geese take to the air.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Click image to view video in new window...
My wife and I recently ziplined with our son and his partner at Adrena-line at nearby Sooke.

My wife and I are old hands at the sport. We first did it with Adrena-line a decade ago and have since done it in Mexico and Costa Rica.

I find it rather tame now that we have jumped from so many high things, so we enjoyed the experience mostly for the great views that the course offers of the surrounding hills and water.

Click image to view video in new window...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: Victoria skyline

Victoria skyline seen from Shoal Point...
Click to view panorama in a new window...
As I'm on holidays for a week, I'm going to fill up space with a photo that goes back seven years. This image first appeared in my previous blog, Alternate Tales from the West Coast Cafe.

Victoria's low skyline is disappearing under a wave of high rises, so much so that we are starting to look like Vancouver Lite.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Victoria by day

Downtown Victoria...
BC's capital city...
It has been awhile since I featured a photo of downtown Victoria from nearby Christmas Hill.

You can see a few of Victoria's more famous landmarks here:

1. The Johnson St. bridge (aka The Blue Bridge). You can also see the new bridge which is taking shape in front of it. The new bridge is years behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget. It's expected to open next year.

2. The BC legislature building is instantly recognizable by its green dome.

3. The Royal BC museum.

4. Victoria's iconic Empress Hotel.

Across the bottom of the photo, in the foreground, is Saanich's Uptown Centre which continues to expand its retail offerings. Soon it will be the new site of a couple of residential towers as well.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A touch of colour

Faith and Justina practicing their art...
A bit of colour in a black-and-white world...
Coming back from a recent walk I caught a glimpse of colourful fabric twirling in the late afternoon sun. Faith and Justina are the young budding entrepeneurs of Water Walker Flags.

They craft these specially designed flags in such a way that they have a stiff side which lets a user spin them in mesmerizing patterns that catch the eye.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hand in hand

Still young at heart this older couple stay connected by holding hands...
Still young at heart...
This older couple were charming as they walked down the street hand in hand. You typically don't see such public displays of affection anymore.

The man was the total gentleman of a previous generation... when they crossed the street to walk on the other side, he took up station on her other side, putting himself between her and the roadway.

There's no school like old school...

Monday, April 3, 2017


Koji the cool cat...
Cool cat Koji...
This is Koji, my neighbour's cat. At times he seems more like a dog than a cat. Where most cats are stand-offish, or at least a bit cautious when strangers appear, Koji will cheerfully charge forward with his head held high to greet the newcomer.

Unlike a cat, Koji is quite happy on a leash and doesn't seem inclined to chase nearby birds.