A Truth


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Sunset in Steveston

I sit before this screen thinking about the things I’d like to talk about.  The rush of ideas come fast and furious.  I could surely wax poetic on any number of things; I could rant on any number of issues as well.  There are injustices a plenty that I could champion.

The screen remains empty.

I make my breakfast and pour another cup of coffee.  I gaze out the window at a frozen world.  It’s beautiful.

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The view from my home on Dec 26, 2016

I’m wrapping up a challenging year that was preceded by a few tough years.  I was asked a question at dinner with friends last night ‘What did you take from those experiences, what did you learn?’

Now this was in reference to my bout with cancer and the treatment provided.  It could well apply to the vehicle accident that followed as well.

I responded that we need to ask questions and be kind to ourselves.  And indeed we do. The question remains though.  ‘What did I learn from this?’

And the screen, while I’ve jotted down these thoughts, no answer is readily coming.

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Vancouver from the Ferry in September 2016

I entered 2016 in the metaphorical darkness of depression.  I had felt the all too familiar slide begin.  In truth, I’d been fighting this for quite some time.  2015 had begun with promise.

I was working out with a trainer and running with my group again wanting to take back my health after the cancer thing .  The vehicle accident kibosh-ed my progress.  The pipes in my building flat lined and the building had to be re-piped. For 3 months no hot water. I was attending physiotherapy and the bills began to mount.

My job was stressful yet I kept at it.  Despite the pain, despite the overwhelming cost to fix our building I was beginning to slip.  I’ve never experienced a back injury before and physically my condition was not improving.  I would try to do things, but just walking was an agonizing thing at times.

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A moon to remember

I was living with pain daily.  I wasn’t sleeping.  And I was still recovering from the effects of chemo and radiation.

‘What did I learn from all of this?’

Still an empty screen to this question.

Fear crept in.  Was I going to lose everything I’d worked so hard for?  In many ways I felt completely impotent regarding the direction my life was going.

Did I talk about any of this with anybody?  No.

In my mind, to give it voice would give these feelings validity.  I was in denial.  My financial safety net was gone to the renovations in my building.

I then lost my job.

The quicksand I call depression was pulling me, enveloping me…my strength was gone.

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Sunset December 2016 in Steveston

All of the avenues I’d been exploring…meditation, energy healing, etc. were no longer viable options for me. My head and heart weren’t there.  I was in that all too familiar dark place.

In 2016 I sold my place and recovered some of my costs, though I still have debt, it is now manageable.

I found a condo that is now more of a home than my previous place.  I found another job which I really like.

And a few months back I emerged from the mantle of depression.

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What have I learned from all this?

Perhaps this is an ongoing lesson.  Perhaps the answer has many layers to it.

One thing though, despite the darkness I appreciated and admired every morning that I’ve been graced with.

I still stop and stand in awe of a luminous moon rise and always let those who I’ve been so blessed to have in my life know it.

And I will never give up on myself.  I will never give in to the pain of the past.

There is a balance between the dark and the light that must be found and met.

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I will focus on wellness in 2017.  I will ask for the help that I do in fact need and look to heal and strength my person.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016…A Year of Transitiions


This has been an interesting year.  One filled with several challenges.  As I begin to finally settle into my new digs I am reflecting on some of the things that I’ve experienced and felt.  And I’m thinking about the things I am in the process of adjusting and / or changing.

One thing that is out…the microwave.

A microwave is a form of non-ionizing radiation. As a matter of contrast, ionizing radiation changes the electromagnetic nature of atoms, or ionizes them. … Your food is being zapped by high-frequency waves of heat, and some people argue that this radiation can be harmful to your health.     Feb 24, 2015 

I used to cook all the time without one.  Perhaps it’s time to revisit those habits.  Still, I have a panini maker that makes awesome sandwiches if I want something fast!  I’ve got my Ninja that makes awesome smoothies and shakes!  The appliances are old but in very good condition.  I’ve cleaned them to the point that they appear new.  They are about 30 years old.

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I like to have a cold one and read a book.  I’ve read many books this year.  Taking the time to do the things I love to do.

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These were two of the books I read this summer.  Gareth Wood is a friend.  I met him at my first writers’ group.  He is an excellent writer!  The other book that I read was ‘The Rainbow Comes and Goes’ by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt.

I’m actually reading a classic at the moment.  ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

As stated I moved and I’ve been here a couple of months now.

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Moving day August 5, 2016.  A little windy that day but we got it done!  These were the first photos I took from my balcony!

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And then I explored my new neighborhood.  I found fabulous trails in the ravine that borders our building!!!

It is beautiful!

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And I was being my old silly self.  Sharing time with my daughter in her neck of the woods as well.  We would head up to Ucluelet over on Vancouver Island during the Labour Day weekend.

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We enjoyed the beauty of the rain forest.  Some of the trees here are more than 800 years old!

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We met Pinky, a female Humpback whale that’s been coming to Barkley Sound for the past 5 years to feed.

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Sea lions waved at us as we passed by on a Zodiac during our Whale Watching expedition.

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There were at least a hundred relaxing on the rocks.  Cormorants  and seagulls  occupied the other end of this little island.

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We decided to head up to Long Beach.  It is absolutely spectacular up there.

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The weather was fabulous.  And at night, I saw something I’ve not seen in ages.

Stars!  I saw billions of stars!

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There is an aboriginal settlement that is 5,000 years old close by.

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On our final day we woke to heavy fog.

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My daughter prepares as we consider our final destination.

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This lighthouse has stood here for more than 100 years.  The rocks in this area are unforgiving.  If you plan on sailing in this area…best to know what you’re doing.

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Then it was back home.  This a photo of Vancouver from the ferry.

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The Tragically Hip performed their last concert from Kingston, Ontario.  It was broadcast live across Canada.  Gord Downie, the lead singer, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.  I’m praying that a miracle happens.

He and his band have produced some of the most prolific music…ever!

We watched the concert here in New Westminster during the food truck festival.

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Then it was back to work.   We are making a lot of changes and upgrading systems.

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And I’m once again enjoying the awesome sunrises that occur during the autumns months on my drive in to work each day.

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And the sunsets have been pretty spectacular as well.

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The view outside my home is changing as well.  The trees are all ablaze.

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Pumpkins are almost ready for picking.

That’s what I’ve been up to more or less.  I received the all clear regarding my health.  The heart is good and my body is cancer free and beginning the long journey back from the effects of treatment.

I still have back issues from the vehicle accident, however, I need to keep moving.  The alternative…well, we won’t go there.

This is our Thanksgiving weekend and I have so much to be thankful for.

I know I am blessed and need to say it more often.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Namaste.

 

Another Year…


Another year is coming to a close.  It has been one that has challenged on every turn.  I’ve also had to really look deep inside myself to understand why I behave in the manner that I do at times.  I’ve got adjust these behaviours in a big way as they do not serve me, nor anyone for matter.

They are the leftover echoes from a lifetime ago.

First and foremost is my health. I’ve take a few hits over the past few years.  Time to dust myself off and get on with living.

Getting back into shape is going to be painful.  But you know, it’s worth it!  Yesterday my daughter and I headed up to Grouse Mountain here in Vancouver, BC.

We are not skiers, however, there are lots of activities.  We hiked about for several hours.  Stood in many a long lineup, and dined before coming back down at day’s end.

I’ve been making it a point to be active every day this week.  Yesterday  left me in pain but you know what?  It was worth it.  I can’t stay on the sidelines any longer. I’ve got to fight through and take back my health.

And man, are we ever blessed here in Vancouver.  This is Vancouver’s backyard.  I hope you can come and play with us some time.  Enjoy!

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Early morning December 30, 2015 – Vancouver is in the backdrop.

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Boats in the harbour.

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On the other side, valley’s and mountains for as far as the eye can see!

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The Lions in winter…these are feature of Vancouver that are highly recognizable.

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Just wow!

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Skating!

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Prancer taking some downtime!

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A Blue Jay looking for a nibble!

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The majesty of the mountains that surround us

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One of the ski hills

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And as we prepare our decent the clouds appear like waves below

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Thanks for a beautiful day!

To everyone who has followed my blog, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!  May 2016 be filled with wonder and blessings of every kind.

Peace!

The Man Who Talks to God


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The view from my sofa

I’ve had a lovely holiday season thus far.  I’ve visited with family and friends.  I’ve attended a few gatherings that remind me how fortunate I am.

This has been a tough year.  Yet for all the challenges I’ve had they’ve provided insight into some of the areas I need to focus on.  One of them is most definitely my health and well being.  I’ve got to take back the level of health I was enjoying just a couple of years ago.

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The gal pals from school.

I woke early yesterday.  I didn’t have any coffee which is unusual for me.  I’d meant to pick it up the day before.  These days, however, if I curl up the sofa with my Canucks  blanket tucked about my person then chances of stepping out into the cold again are slim to none.

I bargained with myself that I’d do it first thing in the morning.

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Walking down through the 4th Street overpass yesterday morning shortly after 7:00 AM.

At 7:00 AM I slipped from bed and dressed to go for a walk.  Two hours later I arrived back home.  I’d walked the length of the Quay from the 4th Street Overpass down to the end of New West Waterfront Esplanade.  I’d stopped at Angelina’s for breakfast then I traipsed over the Quayside Drive overpass and stopped at Safeway to pick up my coffee.  Then toddled back home.

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Walking along the Westminster Pier Park walkway watch the sun come up 

I was in pain, though it was moderate.  I know for the next little while any activity I do will leave me in pain, but you know, I just gotta do it.  The alternative is worse.

I then went and had my hair trimmed up and decided to head to downtown Vancouver to use some of the gift cards I received for Christmas.

This is the first shopping trip I’ve made to downtown Vancouver this year which is really odd for me.  My daughter and I decided to meet up and have dinner later in the afternoon as well.

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Out by where I’m now working in Steveston 

I arrived downtown around 1:30 PM.  It has been so beautiful out and the mountains were just glorious!  I decided to have a gander at the new kid on the block being Nordstroms.  It actually looks very much like the one in Seattle.  It is bright, open and accommodating.  It is also outside of my price range.

Still they’ve made every attempt to make customers feel very comfortable regardless of their income.  On the second level is a bar where I watched three men taking photos of their Ceasars! I suppose there is a novelty to this idea of having a drink while you’re out shopping right in the store.

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Canada Place a couple of weeks ago at the Charity Breakfast

I smiled then wondered how much they’d given their wives to spend.  They may well need another drink.

Nordstoms is competing with Holt Renfrew and The Bay in the downtown core.  I’m sure they’ll do well.

I checked out Old Navy then it was on to MAC.  I stopped in at various stores along the way.  I’m on the hunt for some good work shoes for the docks out in Steveston.  Uggs had a nice pair that was just a little too expensive at this time coming in at $255.

I’ll head over to the outlet stores in Queensborough to see if I can find a deal.

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The mountains covered in snow yesterday at 4:30 PM

I made my way down Robson to Burrard then headed toward Mahoney & Sons on the water where I would be meeting my daughter.  I definitely got my 10,000 steps in and I was feeling it.  I was now in need of a bathroom.  I went into the Royal Centre Mall and could not find a public washroom at all.  The Hyatt Regency Lobby claimed to have facilities but I could not find them.  I was running early so I stopped at the Elephant and Castle deciding to use their facilities, have a pint and rest for a bit.

Pulling out my notebook I began to jot down a few thoughts.  A man sitting a few seats over asked me what I was writing about.  He also told me I had bronchitis when I coughed. I smiled and told that no, I didn’t have this affliction.

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Steveston a couple of weeks ago in the morning

He continued to ask me questions periodically to which I would reply.  A text message made it clear I’d be here a little longer so decided to give up the writing quest and chat with the fellow beside me.  I’ve always enjoyed conversing with people.  I’m seldom intimidated and if the conversation gets uncomfortable, then I politely excuse myself.

He asked me what I thought God was.  Quite the ice breakers.

I told him that to me God was an entity of pure energy that resided within all of us and a.k.a. love.  He spoke of the big bang theory, the collision of light and dark matter.  He spoke of time and our human failings.  It was an interesting conversation.  He told me God speaks through him and that life is about love and compassion.  He went on to tell me that he was clairvoyant as well.

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At the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre yesterday

Smiling he told me I’m an old soul.  I’ve been told this in the past as well.  He wanted to pay for my drink and buy me another.  I politely declined.  It really wasn’t necessary.  He told me I’d write about him.  I grinned and said yes, I most likely would.  He claimed to have money and lot of it and he was having issues with his family.

We did not exchange names.  There was something very familiar about him though and there was a sadness that resonated through him.  He told me I still have some anger issues.  This is true, though I’m aware and working on these aspects of self.

We spoke about dimensions and the need to get out of the 3rd dimension and into the 4th and beyond.  Now, you may be thinking that he was a little out there.  The odd thing is I’ve been researching all of these things for many years now.

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The world contained at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre

Some of the posts I’ve written on this blog deal with these topics as well.

It was time to leave.  I think he would have talked well into the night had I remained.  I wished him well then went to freshen up a bit.  As I left the establishment I noted he was no longer there.

Later when I got home certain parts of this conversation came back to me.  He asked me if I could ask God anything what would it be.  After a few minutes of consideraton I decided that I’d ask if I was done with the health issues I’ve experienced.

The answer was interesting.  If I didn’t want them back then I was in the clear and would live a long life.  And oddly this made sense.

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Winter foliage on the Quay in New West yesterday morning

Now it’s about health and wellness.  I’ve got a long road ahead of me.

The other thing that intrigued me was a comment that he made about the anger issues that are still ongoing.  This is negative energy of which I’m aware.  I described it as peeling back layers of an onion.  You think you’ve dealt with everything only to find yet another issue that needs to be addressed.

“Before you go to sleep tonight, count to eight, then think about the relationship between you father and his dad.  There may be some answers there. ” he instructed.

This struck simply because I never spoke about my family at all and this is indeed a relationship I know very little about.

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Santa’s a little hung up on the Quay in New West yesterday

The conversation had been very much about the great beyond and our place in it.  Dark matter will swallow light if you let it and in many ways he is right in that we are in this struggle currently on our planet.

If we give in to fear and anger it will consume us.  Not a good place to be.

And as I walked down to meet my daughter for dinner I thought of how good it was to converse with a stranger about the state of everything.

And there have been several times in my life when those conversations have indeed steered me in a direction I’d not thought of previously.  Sometimes they open the mind just a little more.

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What a lovely way to commemorate those you loved. Located at the Quay in New West

And sometimes it’s just great chatting with someone you don’t know and will likely never cross paths with again.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Wish…


 

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I rose early.

I’ve not done this too much over the last month since I’ve been unemployed, however, I wanted to attend the Pan Pacific’s 28th Annual Christmas Wish Breakfast.

So with a book of poetry (local) and a movie gift card in hand, I stepped out into the dark of morning at 6:20 AM.

A fat full moon hung in luminous beauty on a velvety black sky as rows of white and red headlights blinked in unison in the pre-dawn along the highway.

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I wanted to wish the gang at Rock 101 all the best as well.  I really appreciate listening to them each morning.  They elevate me.  They are so warm and open.

And wow!  It has been a while since I’ve watched the sunrise from downtown Vancouver!  I watched as the Lions now sprinkled with snow turned a beautiful shade of pink just prior to the sun flooding the sky.

The line-up at the Pan Pacific was long and that’s cool.  All of us in attendance were there to give back to those less fortunate.  May everyone have a blessed time over the holidays.

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I will be making my pilgrimage to BC Childrens’ Hospital again this year.  Notification will go up today.

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And it was such a pleasure to meet Willy and Kim.  They’ve been a part of my mornings for a very long time along with Alyece who I met earlier this year.

It’s been a tough one.

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Now I’m turning my focus toward all the good in my life.  all the little things that make my life a little happier, a little more bearable in times such as these, a little more joyful.

And yes, the gang at Rock 101 does contribute to this factor along with my friends, and bearing witness to beautiful sunrise.  It also helps to know that life will always have its ups and downs.  Your character can well be measured by how you manage the pitfalls in your life.

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For me, I keep this heart of mine full to bursting with all the love that it has been afforded.  Indeed, I’m truly blessed.

I’ve a daughter who in many ways saved this soul of mine.  I turned from a path of certain self-destruction to one of redemption and accountability.

And my god, the power of forgiveness!

To let go of the grievances that have plagued me, to rise above the hurt and pain, and release the the fear.

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Priceless.

To grow and expand and realize int really isn’t about me at all.

It is about my connection to everyone and everything that I share this planet with.

Its about respect, about love, peace and the human experience.

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I am humbled.  This moves me in ways you cannot imagine.

I have fought through the challenges of presenting my person and move toward wanting to make a positive impact and truly make a difference in some form.

I’ll keep trying.  Rick Hansen asked this of all us back in 2012 that were invited to run with him.  I take this request to heart.

I just finished a delightful salad at The Reach and I’m feeling incredibly emotional.  It’s a good thing though.   A release of sorts.

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Sometimes reminding myself that I’m part of this collective we call humanity is overwhelming.

I want to embrace and discard all the pain and suffering in this world as unreasonable as that sounds.  I want to ensure that everything will be okay.

The fact that I’m here, alive and pushing toward life, demanding that its essence fill me…

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Knowing that I am loved.

Is this not the greatest gift?

So I’ll keep on, keepin’ on.

Expansion will come the more I immerse myself with this world that surrounds me.  In manner that is positive with no expectations.

I can only offer…does not mean what I give will be accepted.

And never is there any remorse or ill will that what I offer has been rejected.

Know it will always be there.  What has been offered will never be removed.

That is the truth of where our humanity lays.

The Eagles Among Us


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Time to start doing the things I love again.

Admittedly I’ve been traversing through the realms of depression once again.  It’s been a tough year.

And while I may feel a little stuck, one thing I do know, is that I’ll get past this.  I will learn from the events of this year and grow as a result.

I’ve got to get back out there and try things not attempted before.  Oh, don’t worry. By this I’m not talking about leaping from planes or any such nonsense.  Those are activities that have no interest for this gal.

I’ve been considering a public speaking series to be offered in at secondary schools here in Vancouver and surrounding suburbs.  I will be drafting up the idea and then check in with my Toastmaster compatriots for some guidance on this.  I really do want to use the skills I’m developing in this area.

Later today we are having an Open House at Toastmasters.  After just 5 1/2 months I’ve completed the first manual and am working on the second that focuses on leadership.

On the weekend my photography group headed up to the 20th Annual Eagle Festival in Harrison Mills.  This is out in the beautiful Fraser Valley. It is an 1 1/2 hour drive from my home.  Saturday was spectacular weather wise.  I offered to carpool and two members came along with me.  We left at 9:00 AM.  It’s getting cold as winter is coming.

The effect was a magical mist that hung over the river kissing the trees that lined the shore along the way.  The deep autumn blue sky offered a fabulous contrast.

We arrived at our destination and spent the next four hours exploring the area and watching the eagles feast on the spawning salmon.

The area had been hit by a storm with high winds earlier in the week and the evidence was everywhere.

The treat was being able to watch hundreds of eagles!  At times there would be twenty or more circling high in the sky above.

Here are a few images from this event.  Enjoy!

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