Friday, 15 August 2014


Many of you have met Cora, the wonderful woman 
who innsits for us when we travel and keeps 
everything in order when we're home.
We often joke that without Cora there would be no Duck Inn!

Here she is, being Aunty Cora to her niece and nephew.

Cora takes great pictures of the river… I used to think 
that she just had a better camera, but the truth is, 
she also has a better eye!
She always tries to capture reflections in her favourite views from the Duck Inn and loves photographing the same spot 

in different seasons.

This misty morning view has a watercolour feel to it.

I never have my camera out when this paddle wheeler goes by,
 but Cora got a perfect shot of it.

She has more patience than I do when it comes to 
waiting for just the right pose from our resident birds.
It’s hard to believe that this mallard is real!

Eagles come and go from the islands in front of the Duck Inn. 
Their nests are especially visible in the winter.

There's always at least one heron nearby....usually on top of a piling,
but occasionally one lands on the Duck Inn railing!

 Every summer, hummingbirds come to our garden; some years, we are fortunate to have a pair build a nest and lay eggs. Here’s a mama and her two babies from Cora’s collection.

One of the many resident swans swims by just in time for Cora to capture it.

When Cora is not at the Duck Inn, she loves to travel.
She takes advantage of her dual citizenship to spend time
 in Europe, often combining work and pleasure.
Closer to home, she does a lot of camping.

  On a trip to Yellowstone, she woke up one morning to find this elk trying to 
get into her tent! She managed to get several pictures before it moved on.

There will be more of Cora's photographs in future posts.    
         Look for her around the Duck Inn if you visit.


Sunday, 3 August 2014


We’re having an unusual summer here on the river. 
In fact, we’re in the middle of what passes for a
 heat wave in the Vancouver Area. 
Any time the temperature rises over 
24 Celsius (75 Fahrenheit), panic sets in!
Here is this week in Ladner in both systems.

The weather is causing some strange growth in our garden.
Our Sweet Peas usually keep producing until the end of September
 and add their bewitching fragrance to Duck Inn Bouquets.
These ones, on the shady side of the house, still have lots of life left and 
are climbing into the hanging baskets and other plants. 

But alas, the main bed in the cutting garden has already bolted and gone to seed. 
Kelly is not very happy to be pulling the plants out this early.

And the lilies are blooming all at once instead of rewarding 
us with 3 or 4 fragrant blooms at a time.

 This Stargazer is climbing all over the Greedy Cat.

August Bouquets will have more lilies than usual!

The Supertunias have spilled out of their baskets 
all over the ivy on the Willow Cottage staircase.
Allen chomps on one while trying to keep up with their demand for water.

While some flowers are dying early, other plants are experiencing uncharacteristic growth.
Our Magnolia Tree normally bursts into glorious  bloom in the spring 
and then sits back and does nothing until the following year. 
Not this summer! Here it is, putting out a second batch of purple tulip shaped flowers.

 These Lanterns, which we count on for our Thanksgiving 
and Halloween displays, are already turning orange!

And on the river, this year’s cygnets, which were tiny puffballs in June,
  are almost as big as Mom now.
 Here they are in a feeding frenzy as our guests toss food to them.