Wednesday, 19 April 2017

capilano park herb walk

i went on a plant walk the other week.  it ended up being a rather blustery wet and snowy day.  it really was not all that bad though!  it was relatively warm, and even though i came home rather wet and kinda tired, i had a good time!

we learnt about trees!  several types of trees.  i actually maybe didnt get the best pictures of all the trees, but that's alright.
first was poplar!  i was happy about this because she discussed the 2 different types of poplar trees that around there.  i had noticed earlier this season the two types but didn't know the exact difference or how to tell them apart and now i do!  there is the aspen poplar or trembling aspen, which is the more.. delicate? of the two and also has some little pussy willowy type things on it in the spring that i had noticed.  it had these long fuzzy things that were soaked at this time.

she said that poplar is in the willow family, which has salicylic acid?  which has pain relieving properties.  also, she said that that the branches of the aspen poplar was used by...i forget who? to set bones.  to me it seems like it might partly be because it had very straight branches, but i dont know?
and the balsam poplar, which is rather huge and has big sticky kinda ugly looking buds!

i didnt really take a picture of the tree i guess?  except for this..

then she showed us some hazelnut!  i didnt know what hazelnut looked like, and there were a whole bunch around, so i am looking forward to checking it out later on in the year when it has leaves and whatnot.  they were bushes and they had cute little cone type things and really neat little pink flowers!

then she talked about dogwood for a bit..  with it's pretty pretty red branches!  for the life of me i can't remember what she said about it though..   ugh.

earlier in the year i picked a small branch of it and put it in a cup of water along with my pussy willow branch that sprouted leaves and it started sprouting leaves right away!  so i've got a branch of it with pretty little green leaves at home!

next was pine..  and she also talked about the sap that they drip out..   i think she said that pine had antiseptic type properties.  but i'm sick and my brain is a little wonky.

next she talked about willow.  she spoke of the willow bushes down by the river bank, there are lots of tall stick like bushes with small thin leaves that grow along the river bank, which are a type of willow.  we didnt go down there and look on account of it being super duper wet and slippery, so i didnt get a picture, the best i got is this...
in which you can't even really see what i'm talking about.
around where we stopped and talked about the willows i took a picture of a bud for my tree tracking project though..
it belonged to this tree..
and i may be totally wrong, but if my memory serves me correct i think that it very well may be a willow!  i didnt walk down that way too too often last year, but i think there was a big willow tree over there and it kinda looks like a willow from the way the trunk and the branches are shaped too?

lastly she talked about birch!  the paper birch.. and ya know, i didnt take a picture of that birch tree at all!  the poor birch she showed us had been banded..  i dont know why someone would do that?  you can kill a tree doing that..  but it seemed to be doing alright, so that's good!  it's a shame to kill a tree, especially for something as stupid as getting a little piece of birch bark.
after i just walked around a bit and took more pictures..
there was lots of interesting and pretty things to see!
like some interesting tree trunks..

and water droplets everywhere!!!

i stopped to take a picture of a hole in this tree.. cause, i'm not sure why..  but just because..

and this chickadee came up to see me!  i was taking the picture with my phone (i took most of the pictures with my phone cause it was raining/snowing, and i'd rather that get wet than my camera) and this chickadee kept coming right up close, i got out my camera but i got only one clear shot of it's rear end.  it's back end with his tail up, so nice.  then it flew away and i waited but it didnt come back.  but i got some nice phone pictures!

on the ground i saw these bubbles..

and some pretty scenery..

the walking bridge was all snowy..  so much snow.. it's supposed to be spring and green.. and bleh..

the nice snowy river valley..

and then home to dry off and warm up and it was good friday, so everyone came over and we dyed easter eggs!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

dolly daydreams

so, i went to this new dollar store today..  it was an actual "dollar store" but it had a lot of things that were more than a dollar... a lot more than than a dollar.  dollarama now goes up to $4 which kinda sucks, but this dollar store had stuff up to probably $20 for sure...  it had lots of stuff though.
the first row i went down was a big row of toys!  lots and lots of toys!  and i found these:
dolly daydream!  clean fun!
with all sorts of cleaning supplies..  this one's got a mop and bucket..
this one's got a washing machine and an iron and who knows what else..
cause what little girl doesn't just dream the day away of just cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning..  and.. oh the good clean fun!~

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

tree - bur oak

oak trees are lovely.  at my folks place we have one in the front yard that we planted when i was young, it's pretty tall now, but i suppose it's still pretty small.  every summer these bluejays come to eat all the acorns from it, they are relentless!  they chase away the squirrels, the magpies, anything!!! those are their acorns!!!

some oak trees in a park downtown, in the fall they turn a brownish colour

oak are fairly simple to identify cause they have super duper uniquely shaped leaves.  most of the oak trees in the city here are bur oak, a type of white oak with rounded leaves (as opposed to red oak, which have pointy leaves, or at least that's how i understand it..)

i couldnt find any acorns on the trees, it's fairly late in the season and animals must have got to them..  but there were a whole bunch of the little tops left on the ground

oak is a really good dye plant.  the leaves produce nice shades of browns and even blacks with iron mordant.  another weird thing with oaks that has dye potential is oak galls..  i have seen pictures of big huge ones, but maybe those are on other types of trees?  but here i have only seen little ones..  i took a picture but it's blurry (i thought it was in focus or i woulda taken another, oops!)

oak galls are a weird sorta thing where wasps (or other insects?) have laid eggs and the tree produces something (the gall i guess) around it as a reaction of sorts.. afterwards the insect breaks out, see the little hole!
oak (or other) galls are used as a mordant in dyeing, but i have some ethical questions about it and have not been able to find a lot of information.  what i wonder is is when they are collected, do they just collect them off the tree at random with the insect inside?  or are they collected at a time in the year when it is certain that there are no insects inside?  personally, i wouldnt want to be willfully killing anything for the things i make, so i just dont know?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

petite nuit

so last year there was nuit blanche, and they were gonna skip a year and have it again next year, but this year they had a little thing, a petite nuit!~

what this whole thing is is a late night contemporary art thing!  so that's kinda neat.  this one was indeed little, it only had 5 things.. instillations or whatever and i will tell you about them.
so..  the one i liked the best of course was this little lantern store type thing!  it was this little store that had all these items that were actually little lantern things and you got to go in and pick one!
it looked like this:

you had to line up and they let about 10 people in at a time and you had "exactly 1 min!" is what they told me when i first went in, to look around and pick something.

i took pictures as i looked...

my dad likes these..  cherry blossom things..

and a kitty puzzle!~

1min actually goes by pretty quickly, but i ended up picking a pack of thrills!
i also took some pictures of the stuff from outside..

ok..  so the other stuff..  the other stuff wasnt quite so neat..
there was this screen set up that was playing these films...

i am not sure if they were all by the same person or not?  cause this was the sign.. but i saw at least 3 different ones playing while i was there.  the first one was this guy playing a cello i think?  he was in this um..  like a viewing station where they watch for forest fires i think?  and it was him playing the music and these views from this tower.  the second one was this one here in the picture, it was this lady ironing.  she took clothes from the pile on the right and ironed them and then went behind the screen in the back and put them on and then put the clothes she took off on the pile in the left.  and the last one, well, i only watched a few seconds of it really and it was in a living room or something?  there was a rug, so that's why i say that, and there was a cockatoo walking on the floor and there was a dog that came into the frame and i think there was a cat in there and maybe some other animals?  who knows!!!

the third thing was a series of these boards i guess.. set up that had pictures of them of far away locations, travel destinations.. and they were set up so that you were supposed to be able to stand in front of them and take a picture and it would look like you were in that location..


it's a swell enough idea, but doing it at a night festival is perhaps not the best idea, cause there was all sorts of weird shadows and glares and stuff. i tried to take a picture of some of them and ugh..

see... what's that weird glare?  and no.. i didnt use a flash or anything like that.
but this one worked better.

then the 4th thing was this parachute thing with these colour changing lights on it!
that was pretty neat & i thought i might be able to get some neat pictures with it, but ugh.  if i actually participated in it i'd have to be holding onto the thing and not my camera right..  and i didnt really feel like running around and being in such close confined contact with a bunch of strangers.  i'm sure it would have been really pretty though!

i did stand by that little fence for a moment and try to take pictures of the lights from underneath, but it didnt really work too well.  i also took pictures of it just laying on the ground..

& the last one, well this one had some more potential, but i dont know..  it wasnt working too good i think.  what it was was these images of space stuff! projected onto the side of a building, and then you were supposed to
make these hand shadow thingies on them.

the problem i guess was that the light was out of focus or something like that?  maybe it wasnt strong enough..  whatever it was, it seemed like when people tried to do the hand stuff the shadows didnt really show up very good.  Also, on the website, i looked before, and it showed the hand things over top of the pictures and any time i saw people doing stuff it was on this vague light that goes over top of the whole thing..  so i dont know..   but i like the space stuff!

so that's it.
but before i went home, i went and stood in line to go back into that little store thing to get a little something for my dear joe!  
i could have got ya some sardines!

but i found something funnier!
i didnt get a picture of it in that little store, so i had to take a picture when i was waiting for the bus..

hee hee.