Saturday, 27 December 2014


For as long as we can remember, the first weekend in December has meant parades of the Ladner Carol Ships on the river in front of our house and the Duck Inn. Years ago, when Allen still had his commercial gillnetter, the Stormy Monday, we would light up the boat and join the procession. Many of our friends had young children then, so each little person had a turn steering the boat. 
Picture a stately parade of 15 to 20 Carol Ships,
 with one little fish boat weaving back and forth as small hands grappled with the wheel!

Now we are content to watch from home, with a few friends over to join in the merriment. 
Here are some of this year’s ships.
The larger ships have church choirs on deck, singing merrily as they make their way to the Government Dock in the Ladner Harbour ~ where more choirs and lots of warmly dressed families welcome them.

Those of you who have been here know that we use the Duck Inn as an excuse for keeping our Christmas lights up all year. And then we add a few extra lights to mark the season. 
Allen, the ardent hockey fan, has to have this
 Vancouver Canuck lit up to help the team’s chances.

Every year we decorate a Grand Fir for the house 
because we love that Christmas Tree scent.
But our favourite tree photo is this one taken by Cora last year. When we took the tree down in January, it still had lots of life in it, so we put it in an oak barrel and let the rain and snow keep it fresh. It finally went out with the yard trimmings in April!
We strew the house with more lights to keep the winter darkness at bay.

And, of course, the Duck Inn  gets a holiday sparkle, too.
Each cottage has a fibre-optic tree ~ very hard to capture as the lights move constantly.
Here's the Water Garden

And Willow Cottage

And finally, Willow the Cat, gets the Christmas spirit!
 ~ or not ~


Saturday, 29 November 2014


The Hanging Baskets, which provided so much Summer Colour…..
 have gone limp, so Kelly takes them down.

This Rose, which gave us hundreds of flowers
for Summer Bouquets
has been cut back to its Winter Shape.

The straw which held up the Witch at Halloween
now covers the dahlias to keep them dry when it rains.

The windsocks and hammocks
have gone to the Garden Bodega to join the lawnmower for the winter.

The Garden Bones are now visible.
And Allen casts a long shadow as he snaps a shot
 of the greenery along the driveway.

Saturday, 8 November 2014


Fall creeps up on the river gradually; each day the light on the water is different.
Cora captures it beautifully!
Leaves around the Duck Inn start to change colour.
Mushrooms have sprung up everywhere....these are in our parking area.
Cora added the quarter to give an idea of how much the rain has plumped them up!
 And here's a selection growing in nearby fields.
                                 Cora has put the Halloween decorations away; 
we hope that we can remember where they are in time for next year!
                                                Flocks of birds block the sun!
The Canada Geese that have been dining on 
farmer’s crops all summer have headed south...
Just in time to be replaced by the Snow Geese from Wrangel Island in Russia, 
who overwinter at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary and many nearby fields.
Where the resident Sandhill Cranes entertain birders with their antics.
Mornings are misty as the rowing teams practise and entertain the swans.
And Willow’s coat has grown in, making her a Happy Cat who has her tail back!