Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Year in Review Photos

Our Arizona winter life gives us what feels like a 4-month holiday. We have a lot of opportunity to get out in the desert and enjoy the beauty of nature in a part of the world that is so different from what we grew up knowing... and I totally love the natural beauty here!

Here are some of the highlights of our past year.

We live close to the Saguaro National Park East, so we got a Seniors pass that gives us unlimited enjoyment to all the National Parks... and we do use it often... always taking our cameras.

We enjoyed going with our Dell Webb photo club to the Museum of Art to see an exhibit by Ansel Adams.  The above photo is a group selfie of our group that day. What an inspirational day! You can see me with the white cowboy hat.

This is just one of the photos I borrowed from the exhibit that day. To see more of Ansel Adams work and our day at the Museum click on this link.

Another favourite hiking place is the Sabino Canyon... and here is a group enjoying hiking around on the rocks in the canyon by the stream.  Wonderful rocks, eh?

When our daughter Sherilee and husband Alan came for a visit in February we took them to Sabino. Here Shirley is visiting  with Sherilee as they walked together.

We cheated a little and took a tram ride to the top of Sabino Canyon, and then walked back most of the way, before deciding to catch the tram for the last little bit back.

Another day we took Sherilee and Alan to the Desert Museum... where you can see lots of animals, hummingbirds... and endless varieties of desert plants.  What a cool place to visit. We have an annual pass to this place.

There were some ocotillo's in bloom...

This is an ocotillo in leaf.

Shirley calls this cactus, the 'Twisted Sister'. Don't you love the pattern?

This fish hook cactus has an interesting red colouring.

I always love to have a picnic in the desert... a picnic anywhere, in fact.  I even get excited to have a picnic on the ferry back home in Canada. Any excuse to have a picnic is wonderful to me.  And what a great picnic spot here in Saguaro National Park West.

Our friends Lorne and Gail joined us one day on a visit to the St. David's Monastery in Florence, Arizona. Shirley dislikes this photo... but to do a tour of the Monastery they require the women to be dressed very modestly.  If you are not modest enough, they give you a skirt and a scarf to make sure you are completely covered.

We had no problem spending over two hours walking around this facility. It has been built new since the 1990's and the architecture is quite interesting. To see more photos check out our blog.

When Shirley's sister Roberta came to visit we did a tour of Tubac, which is an artistic experience... and just a little south of Tubac is Tumacaori National Park... an old Catholic Monastery.

Tumacaori is a photographers paradise... with endless opportunities. This was a food storage room for the old monastery.

The gardens were beautiful... and even if you are not a National Parks Senior, the admission here is very modest. Check it out more.

Another pretty interesting place to visit is the San Javier Mission, just off Hwy. 19 south of Tucson. you can see it from the freeway.

We have  been here a few times, but have never seen so many people on this hillside as on this last visit.

Again, the grounds are very beautiful...

And we caught a few of the cactus in bloom.

Last winter I did several paintings... and this one was a lot of fun to do.  I cut old broken Pickle balls in half on the table saw... and glued them to the canvas. This acrylic painting is 36" square.

Shirley's mother, Opal Kandt, turned 95 this past April 5... and still is an active scrabble player!

The four daughters put on a special birthday party on April 5. I think it was more fun for all of us to get together, and her 95th birthday was a great opportunity.

This is picture of others taking pictures at the birthday party.

Katie has a great sense of humour... Her father, Greg, Shirley's nephew is in the background.

We spent a few days at the Manteo Beach Hotel in Kelowna... and I used this cool photo as my screen saver most of last summer. Don't you love the colours?

This is what a "Hole in One" at Scandia Miniature Golf, in Kelowna looks like.

I built a bookcase/ staircase in our new studio.  The project took me most of two months, took 14 sheets of maple plywood, and has no visible nails or screws, thanks to the Kreg Tool. Shirley did a blog post on our studio renovation, including these stairs.

Our grand daughters, Lucy and Maizy, were the first to do an art project in our new studio.

We always enjoy when our family comes home... Shelby and family come on the long weekend in May... and we went down to the lighthouse park.

The eroded rocks on the beach gave an excellent backdrop for Lucy to pose for this photo.

Shirley, Maizy, Lucy, Kim and Shelby, waiting for me get done taking photos so we go for some lunch.

This  book has been most helpful to me. I was diagnosed with diabetes this past April.  Now if I could only put into practice the things in this book, I too could say "Goodbye to Diabetes."

I think this is a type of fleabane flower... reaching for the sky for all it is worth!

On our trip to Alberta for our 50th High School homecoming we stopped along the way to see things like this Natural Bridge near Field, BC.

We also stopped to take a two hour hike around Emerald Lake. The trail was built by my high school roommate, Roger Moren... actually he was part of the crew that did it.

It might not have taken us two hours if we hadn't stopped to take so many photos.

Shirley is not afraid to get down and dirty to get the best angle on the flower.

I did a blog post on this amazing hike.

Our high school homecoming had an incredible turnout. This is a picture of everyone taking our group picture! There were about 50 in our class of 1964 that showed up. Pretty awesome.

My sister Rose was from the class of 1959... I was the class of 1964... and sister Dolores was the class the class of 1949. It was pretty unusual to have three from one family together on the same homecoming weekend.

There were over 120 golfers at the Alumni homecoming tournament... our foursome: Lorne Booth, Sherwin Goerlitz, Peter Lewis and my roommate for four years, Roger Moren. No idea who was inside that A&W suit.

I came within a couple of inches of wining this Hole in One Mustang!  Ended up with the closest to the pin prize on this 165 yard hole!

On our way to Dinosaur Provincial Park we saw some interesting things.

This Unesco Heritage Site was truly awesome.

There were five self guided hikes that one could do... and after we did three, we were pretty beat. It felt good to get in the car, sit down and give our legs a rest.

There is a blog post of this day at Dinosaur Park. A great place to visit.  No admission fee... and the self guided hikes are really great.

I remember standing by this huge dinosaur at the Calgary Zoo over sixty years ago! Shirley said she even remembers this dinosaur from when she was a kid... and it is still there.

We finally got to see the Peace Bridge. We first walked over a bridge a year before in Venice that was designed by Santiago Calatrava... and when I learned he had designed this one... I just had to see it. What an amazing piece of engineering. Check it out.  I love beautiful bridges!

On the way home we stopped and hiked up Johnston Canyon. It was an amazing experience! Notice how the trail is cantilevered over the river. Amazing!

This was the first time we stopped to do the Hell's Gate tram ride on the Fraser River.

We thought we would save a little by hiking down... but we were very glad to buy a ticket to ride the tram back up!  It was a lot of fun!

My vote for the best hike of the year goes to the hike out to the end of Sidney Spit on this little island three miles off shore from the town of Sidney, which is a busy port for BC Ferries traffic to the mainland, as well as to a number of the South Gulf Islands.

This is a water-colour I did of Sidney Island... done on a 4" x 6" card.

The dune grass gives a nice contrast to the green broom behind. This beacon light marks the end of Sidney Spit.

Mt. Baker showed up proudly on this clear day.. and he seagull was right at home on the post.

At the end of the Spit, Gail, Shirley and Lori mimicked the three monkeys... hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil.

As the tide comes back up you can see how one could get caught on the spit and have to walk thru the water to get back on time to catch the ferry back to town. I have done two blog posts on this venue, totally different from each other. Check it out if you wish.

We spent a day doing tourist things with Lorne and Gail... and the Fisguard Lighthouse was a delightful stop to tour, full of exhibits and history.

Adjacent to the lighthouse is Fort Rudd, and this cannon camouflage is a very small part of the tour we took of all the armoury.

Shirley had her first success growing sunflowers this past summer.

The next two photos look very similar, but if you look closely at the ferry in this photo, it is going south towards Sidney...

Then just a few minutes later it turned 180 degrees around and headed back to Vancouver.  Do you think they forgot the coffee? We never get tired of this awesome view from our sun deck.

These last few photos were on our last hike with our Del Webb Hiking Club... both hikes were in the Saguaro National Park.

What a privilege it is to have such a wonderful park so close by with so many different hiking trails to enjoy.

This crested saguaro is near the trail head at the Javelina Picnic area in the park.  We have found about six of these rare beauties this past year... and they are all as different as six people are different.

My wish to each of you... may 2015 be a super good year!

A few of my plans for the New Year:
Get out and stay active every day...
Take lots of walks and hikes...
Be aware of what is all around us...
Take lots of pictures...
Paint more pictures...
Share them with others...
Learn more creative things on the computer...
Gone with anything that hurts my diabetes blood score...
Get my blood score down to 5.0
Eat even more healthy... (less is better)
Read more good stuff...
Sing along with Shirley... (she read we should sing every day)
and pray more.

May God bless you and keep you,
let His light shine upon you,
and give you peace.

1 comment:

  1. looking forward to hearing some of that singing!

    btw, looked up the "crested saguaro" situation -- apparently there are 25 of them in your park. Cool. Now there's a walking tour -- see all 25 in one day!