Monday, July 30, 2012

Côte d'Azur -- Nice

 Nice, France

The last stop on our trip to France was Nice.  I really liked Nice and would go back if I have a chance to do so.  Partly, I think, it is the combination of water and sunshine.  The water is such a beautiful a color unlike anything I have ever seen, even in Hawaii, which was my favorite until Nice.  The hotel was only a couple of blocks from the Promenade making it easy to walk to and sit on a bench soaking up the sun and enjoying the surf.  It was too cool for many people to be on the beach, therefore, relatively quiet and very pleasant.  There was even a fisherman out in the bay.

The streets are narrow and most of the buildings in the city are painted shades of yellow or orange with red tiled roofs.  The traditional colors for Nice are orange and green so many of the buildings also had green shutters on the windows.  It is not far from Italy and the flower market has a wonderful mix of French and Italian.

Street scene, Nice
[photo:  courtesy of the Gimlets]

I stayed in Nice the day the rest of the group went to the perched village of Eze since the tour guide had said that it was a steep climb with lots of stairs and once again she wanted to park me in a café while the others walked up to the top of the mountain.  That was not what I wanted to do.  I decided to take a nap, walk to the beach and then to the flower market, do a little shopping and get ice cream.  It was a good choice for me. 

 One of several restaurants in the flower market

Flower Market

The flower market does indeed have flowers and lots of them but is also sort of an open-air general market with all kinds of fruits, vegetables, seafood, restaurants and crafts.  It was a good place to just wander around looking at things and I found some lovely watercolor paintings that made the day a success.  Now I just wish I could read the artist’s name and somehow get in touch with him, as I would happily buy other things from him. 

There are many things to see and do in Nice.  Even though we had some free time it wasn’t enough to really take in the museums and other attractions.  I would like to have visited both the Musée Matisse and the Musée Chagall.

One of the things I did not get a picture of was the decorated palm trees in front of one of the large hotels along the Promenade.  The city seemed at times to have an almost carnival air to it.  The palms had colored tinsel like Christmas trees that glittered at night.   Some of the streets had overhead white, blue and purple LED lights strung across not noticeable during the day very pretty at night.

Would I go back to France?  Absolutely.  I loved everything from the places to the people to the food and more.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 49

 Soldiers Home, Santa Monica, California, 1908

One of the last official things President Abraham Lincoln did in 1865 was sign legislation for the care and provision of volunteer (temporary) soldiers versus career military.  Up until this time volunteers had not been eligible for such care.  There were several of these “Old Soldiers Homes” in the United States this one shown on the postcard above in Santa Monica, California was established in 1887 with a 300 acre donation of land that later grew until it reached approximately 700 acres, 20 of those set aside for use as a veterans’ cemetery.  Originally these homes were for veterans of the Civil War but later it included “all honorably discharged officers, soldiers and sailors who served in regular or volunteer forces of the US in any war and were disabled or who had no adequate means of support and were incapable of earning a living.“ The rules were adjusted in 1908 to also accommodate those who had served in undeclared Indian wars.  In the 1920s rehabilitation as well as hospitalization was available. 

It was almost like a small town and included barracks, a chapel, a theater, a streetcar and a hospital.  Pine trees, palms, and eucalyptus groves were planted to transform the site from its natural barren state.  This particular Soldiers Home was called the Sawtelle Veterans Home and was also a tourist attraction.  In 1904 it became a hot air balloon stop.  There were escorted streetcar tours too.  By 1905 real estate developers had opened residential lots and larger tracts in the Westgate Subdivision, which joined the “beautiful Soldier’s Home.”  As a result the new community of Sawtelle grew up around the area and veterans and their families who were drawing relief settled there.

The hospital, first called Barry Hospital, was later replaced by Wadsworth Hospital, which opened in 1927.  Most of the 1890s era buildings were demolished in the 1960s and the Veterans Affairs (VA Wadsworth Medical Center) was opened in 1977.  It is the largest of the VA’s health care campuses and is part of the VA Desert Pacific Network. 

 Reverse side, Soldiers Home postcard

The card took a penny stamp to mail, was published by Newman Postcard Co. of Los Angeles, California but made in Germany, and is numbered F 5.  The handwritten message is cute too—“Long Beach-Cal July 16th, 08   Mr. & Mrs. Lee  Dear Friends.  I have a fine time.  Long Beach, Venice and Santa Monica are the finest Beach I ever saw 30 miles from Los Angeles.  The finest Bath House, Dance Halls, Hotels I ever see.  People from all over the U.S. come here and spent their time of leisure.  It looks like Sunday every day.  It is the place for the Rich.  Soldiers Home are 3000 veterans—300 acres.  Your O.F. Rier Hotel Leondie”

For additional pictures and more information see:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Didrik Andreas Thomsen -- maternal ancestors

 Didrik Andreas Thomsen

Didrik Andreas Thomsen was born 23 June 1849 the son of Thomas Thomassen Kalstø and Anne Didriksdatter.  (I)Anne Didriksdatter was born and christened at Nes near Flekkefjord, Vest Agder, Norway on 30 November 1817.  She and Thomas Thomassen were married in Kopervik, Rogaland, Norway on 14 September 1843.  This post is about Anne's ancestors and the farms where they lived.  Anne is generation (I), her father & mother (II), grandfather & grandmother (III) and so forth.  There was an earlier post about Thomas Thomassen and his ancestors.

[photo:  Cover of Bygdebok for Nes Herred, 2 bind, 2 halvbind -- Vest Agder, Norway]

It is always difficult to put this type of thing together without a chart * showing a logical path to follow visually but I will try by separating the direct male line beginning with Anne’s father first and then branch out from the females.  Didrik’s mother Anne Didriksdatter had her roots in Nes Herred near Flekkefjord east and south of Kopervik then later her family moved to Kopervik. 

Anne’s parents were (II) Didrik Ånensen Dybvig, born about 1787 in Flekkefjord and Gjertrud Marie Neilsdatter Austad, born about 1777, the daughter of Neils Tobias Pedersen Austad and Anne Malene Jackobsdatter Nuland, in Nes, Flekkefjord.  Didrik and Gjertrud were married in Flekkefjord on 3 November 1806.  Their children were:

1.    Anders Didrichsen **, born 11 August 1807 in Flekkefjord
2.    Anne Malene Didrichsdatter, 12 March 1809 in Flekkefjord
3.    Neils Heinrich Didrichsen, 26 July 1812
4.    Didrich Didrichsen, 30 May 1816
5.    *  (I) Anne Didrichsdatter, 30 November 1817

[photo:  Bygdebok for Nes Herred, 2 bind, 2 halvbind, page 367]

The farm name Dybvig is also spelled Djupvik and is found on the census records from 1647 forward.  The bygdebok (community history) for Nes shows members of this family living at Djupvik as early as 1640.  The name is descriptive and in English it means a small deep bay.  Each large farm in Nes is divided into smaller farms so even though Djupvik is found as farm number 105 in the larger grouping the smaller units also have the sub-numbers 1 through 37.  Our ancestors lived on the farm with the sub-number 3.  Usually the oldest son would inherit the farm, therefore, it is possible that many generations of one family might remain living on any given farm. 

Didrik Ånensen’s father was

(III) Aanen Larsen d.y. [the younger] Dybvig, born 8 February 1733 in Sirdal, Vest Agder, Norway, married 7 March 1756 in Nes, Flekkefjord, Vest Agder, to Anne Staalesdatter Austad, born 1739, the daughter of Staale Larsson Meland and Karen Syvertsdatter Seland, in Sunde, Nes.  Their children were:

1.    Giertrud Aanensdatter, 1757
2.    Lars Aanensen, 1758
3.    Staale Aanensen, 1760
4.    Karen Aanensdatter, 1763
5.    Anders Aanensen, abt 1767
6.    Gjertrud Aanensdatter, 1768
7.    Hans Aanensen, 1772
8.    Ingeborg Aanensdatter, 1774
9.    Ingeborg Aanensdatter, 1776
10.    Anne Cathrin Aanensdatter, 3 May 1783
11.    *  (II) Didrik Aanensen, abt 1787

(III) Aanen Larsen d.y. died 10 November 1800.

(IV)  Lars Aanensen Dybvig born 1697 in Nes, married 1 January 1728 to Giertru Ellingsdatter Loga, born abt 1700, daughter of Elling Salvesen Loga and Martha Halvardsdatter Stordrange, in Nes.  Lars died 7 June 1743.  Their children were:

1.    Magnhild Larsdatter, born 1728
2.    Birgette Larsdatter, 1730
3.    * (III) Aanen Larsen d.y., 8 February 1733
4.    Martha Larsdatter, 1735
5.    Torbor Larsdatter, 1737
6.    Anders Larsen, 1742

(V) Ånen Larsen d.e. [the elder] Dybvig , born in Nes 1672, married Martha Toresdatter Djupvik the daughter of (VI) Tore Torkildsen Djupvik and Torborg Steinarsdatter Reppen Sande.  Their children were:

1.    * (IV) Lars Aanensen Dybvig, 1697
2.    Torborg Ånensdatter Dybvig
3.    Birgitte Kathrine Ånensdatter Dybvig
4.    Karen Ånensdatter Dybvig

(VI) Tore Torkildsen Djupvik was born at Nes in 1640.  His wife Torborg Steinarsdatter Reppen Sande died in 1694 at Nes.  They were married about 1665 at Nes.  Their children:

1.    Anders Toresen Djupvik, born 1666
2.    Ole Toresen Djupvik
3.    Torkild Toresen Djupvik
4.    Nils Toresen Djupvik
5.    * (V) Martha Toresdatter Djupvik
6.    Brynhild Toresdatter Djupvik
7.    Turid Toresdatter Djupvik
8.    Valborg Toresdatter Djupvik
9.    Karen Toresdatter Djupvik
10.    Kirsten Toresdatter Djupvik

Going back to (I) Anne Didriksdatter (above) and looking at her mother (II) Gjertrud Marie Neilsdatter Austad who was born about 1777 the daughter of  (III) Neils Tobias Pedersen Austad born 1745 and Anne Malene Jakobsdatter Nuland born 1744 both of Nes.  Anne Malene Jakobsdatter Nuland died in 1782 and Neils Tobias married again to Elen Olsdatter Reppen who was born in 1755 the daughter of Ole Olson Reppen and Astrid Tollaksdatter.  The children from the first marriage:

1.    Torborg, born about 1769, died 1847
2.    Jakob born 1772 “se nedenfor” inheritor
3.    Peder born about 1775
4.    * (II) Gjertrud Marie born 1777
5.    Lars born 1780
6.    Antonette, born 1782

Children from the second marriage:

1.    Anne Malene born 1785
2.    Inger Elisabeth born 1787
3.    Anna Berthe born 1791

The farm name Austad was written as Oudstad in 1594 earlier it was written as Aud- or Audastadir and still earlier as Aluistadum or Alvir, which could mean just about anything from fairyland to deserted or empty place.  Austad is first mentioned as a farm in 1328.  After the plague years of 1348-49 much of the previously farmed land was left vacant and deserted but it is such a pretty place I could easily see it being referred to as a fairyland or a place where elves dwelt.  It could even mean that it was the farm on the east side or the East Farm.  Perhaps one of our Norwegian “cousins” will help us figure it out.  Austad is listed as large farm division 102.

As of 1988 when the bygdebok was published there were 116 smaller farm divisions from what had been the original holding.  Nils [Neils] Tobias Pederson and his father, Peder Larsson, before him lived on the sub-division #16.  His grandfather, Lars Pederson, had owned #9 and then #16 so at least three generations had lived at #16.  Both Djupvik and Austad were once large pieces of property and look to have been very prosperous.  Austad had horses, pigs, goats, cows, sheep as well as crops. 

There are several pictures of the smaller units in the bygdebok but none of farm #16.  This one, below, shows farm #17 in the foreground and #19 to the left and provides an idea of what these smaller farms looked like.

[photo:  Bygdebok for Nes Herred, 2 bind, 2 halvbind, page 119]

To be continued . . .


•    *  I do use a genealogy program that has GEDCOM and puts everything into chart format and family group sheets but so far I have not been able to import it into the blog.
**  There was no standardized spelling so the names and places often are spelled various ways such as Didrik = Didrich, son = sen = sson, vig = vik, etc.

Sources:  Bygdebok for Nes Herred av Kaare S. Berg in 3 volumes
Norwegian digital archives, scanned church registers and census records:

Please let me know if there are obvious errors.  Thanks.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 48

Stairway up Colline du Château, early 1900s

The title on the card, written on the bottom, is “l’escalier Lesage” (Lesage Staircase?) and printed on the left side margin is T.S. édit, Nice – 24 probably indicating the publisher and the card number.  I’ve not seen this before on postcards but it also looks like the city name and a space for the date is printed at the upper right with a narrow blank portion below the date available for a message.  The reverse side of the card would have been used for the address and stamp only--no message, as it says “Carte Postale  Ce ésté est exclusivement réservé à  l’adresse.“  That restriction on the card dates it as closer to 1900 than 1920.  Today the place is still called Colline du Château (Castle Hill) even though there is no longer a castle at the top.

 It was with a little surprise that I realized a photo on our recent trip actually shows nearly the same scene as the card.  The seawall and modern buildings make it difficult to see the staircase but the white tower is quite discernable.  In addition to the switchback steps there is also an elevator that lets passengers off at the top just barely visible at the upper left of the picture above, small white tower with red tile roof.  From the top there is a fantastic view of the Mediterranean Sea, the beach and the city.

"Nice la Belle"

    Promenade, 1918

This card, also of Nice, shows the Promenade along the water together with what is today a busy street filled with automobiles but in the card there are horses and buggies instead.  This is a used card and the message on the reverse side gives the date of December 22, 1918.  It was sent by an American soldier who must have been on leave for a week and mailed without stamp via Soldiers Mail to his girlfriend in the United States.  The publisher was Levy Fils & Co of Paris.  The card is numbered 44 and titled:  La Promenade du Midi – LL at the lower left.  The lower right has what looks like “Selecta.”  It is printed on much lighter weight cardstock than most postcards.  

Biking along the Promenade
[photo:  courtesy of the Gimlets]

There are benches all along the Promenade and beach access every couple of blocks.  When we were there in April we saw people riding bikes, walking, rollerblading and jogging along the Promenade at all times of the day and night.  I cannot begin to imagine how crowded it must get during the summer tourist season.  In April it was lovely, sunny but a little cool, the breeze coming in from the sea, with just a few people on the beach and even fewer hardy enough to get into the water.

During the late 1700s wealthy English people came to Nice to escape the wet cold winters of England for the warmer, sunnier clime along the Mediterranean.  During one particularly harsh winter there were numbers of poor people who fled south to get away from the cold.  Many of them ended up as beggars.  A group of the Englishmen suggested to the city that these individuals could be put to work building a promenade along the sea.  The city was pleased with the idea and extended the original plan to span a greater distance along the shoreline.  It was called Promenade des Anglais in honor of the Englishmen who proposed the idea in the first place. 

For more see:
Also:  Eyewitness Travel, Provence & The Cote D’Azur, pp 80-85

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 47

Djurgårdsslätten and Alhambra, ca early 1900s

Djurgårdsslätten is a street in Stockholm that ended in a large open space like a meadow or garden somewhat similar to an amusement park perhaps.  The meadow is mentioned on maps as early as 1690 with the various types of trees in the area identified.  At that time the meadow was undeveloped but it now has hotels and restaurants.  Described as a place that lent itself to “Cupid’s unabashed games,” it was a popular area frequented by a colorful group of individuals and where well-known people went in disguise (masks and costumes) to meet one another.  One such individual was said to have been the king of Sweden Gustav III (born 1746, king from 1771 until his death in 1792). 

Axel Eliasson published the card in Stockholm, Sweden in the early 1900s and the original does show the number #3673 at the lower left even though it may be a little difficult to see on the scan.  It does not look as if any of the people pictured here are in costume or masks but I liked seeing the hat and clothing styles, the bicycles and the two sailors shown on the right side of the card.  The building in the center is the Alhambra a restaurant that was probably fairly new when the card was printed.  Another source described the meadow or plain as a “lively” or a racy area and said there was a circus located there too.  That conjured up visions of penny arcades and rides more than sideshows and daring acts under a big top—more like Tivoli than Ringling Bros.  

This card is unused so no messages on the reverse side, however, it is interesting to note all the different languages at the top indicating that these cards were popular all over the globe and not restricted to one or two countries.

There is a little more information and additional pictures on the Swedish Wikipedia site:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Provence -- Les Baux

Looking toward Les Baux from a viewpoint

Our adventure in France continued when we next visited a perched village called Les Baux.  The village is small and built right into the mountainside.  It has the remains of a castle at the top and examples of siege engines on display.  The winds were extreme the day we visited almost strong enough to blow an adult over hence I could easily imagine a child getting blown off the edge.  There is a protective wire fence today.  In olden times tossing offenders off the cliff was one way the local noblemen got rid of them. 

The view of the countryside below from atop Les Baux

There are Catapults, Trebuchet, Bricole and Couillard all able to hurl stones, boulders and flaming objects at the castle walls and a battering ram to break down the main gate.  Demonstrations showing how these were used and placards in both French and English explaining their use are part of the display.  One of the times these types of siege engines would have been used at Les Baux was following an unsuccessful Protestant revolt that led Cardinal Richelieu to order the castle and its walls demolished in 1632. 

Our tour guide, Angelique, had a sad romantic tale to tell us about Les Baux.  A very long time ago, during the Middles Ages, a rich, young and handsome nobleman wooed a beautiful young maiden.  She was very desirable and had many suitors but this particular man won her hand and the approval of her father (a most important factor in those days).   After they married he took her to his lovely castle atop a windy steep mountain where they were supposed to live happily ever after.  However, they had not been married very long before he was called on a crusade and being a true gallant noble knight off he went leaving her behind.  After a period of time a young poet arrived at the village and when he saw the lady of the castle he fell in love with her beauty and began composing poems about her.  It is unknown how long this went on but eventually the nobleman returned home and found out what had been happening in his absence.  He was furious and either banished the poet or flung him off the cliff.  His lady wife was so distraught that she ran from the scene and accidentally fell off the cliff to her death.  The nobleman was grief stricken and lost his mind.  Apparently everything went from bad to worse from that time forward.   

Today the population of the village is quite small, dependent on tourist trade, so it was hard to imagine the time during the Middle Ages when it was the seat of a powerful feudal lordship controlling 79 towns and villages.  People have been living at Les Baux for almost 8000 years and lords of Baux claimed their ancestry from Balthazar one of the three oriental kings mentioned in the Bible.  Included on the coat of arms is the star of Bethlehem.  The last princess of Les Baux, Alice of Baux, died in the 15th century.  At the height of its power and influence the court at Les Baux was renown for its culture and chivalry.  The mineral bauxite was discovered here in 1822 and takes its name from the village.  

 Perched village suggests steepness and some climbing to get to the top.  Angelique thought I should park myself in a café at the bottom of the mountain and wait while the rest of the group climbed up to the remains of the citadel but as Bopa used to say you can tell a Norwegian (American) something but you can’t tell her much.  What fun would that be to sit in a café and not get to see anything?  I politely nodded and then just kept climbing up (a bit slower than the others) eventually making it to the top not too far behind the rest of the group. 

There are a couple of interesting pieces of public art on the top.  One is this monument to the poet Charloun Rieu who lived from 1846 to 1924.  Another is what looks like a large Roman helmet.


Les Baux was charming and filled with small shops, cafés, cobblestoned streets that were barely wide enough for the small delivery vans—all other cars and vans had to park at the bottom and people walked up the narrow streets.

We felt like Bopa was with us what with the cliffs (he loved to look out from high places) and these fossils that we found all over the ground at the top. 

We found an old church and a cemetery up there too.  What could be more interesting to a family historian?  A raised tomb was open and empty so one of the more curious teenage boys peeked in.  “There’s room for six people in here!”  He announced surprised.  Many of the graves not only had plants or flowers on them but also photographs and other memorabilia.

By this point I had my windbreaker hood tied on tight (above left) and was convinced that I needed a scarf (Mrs. G with a scarf, right) so in Les Baux I found one in a little shop.  With a bit of faltering French (my part) and a little English (the shopkeeper’s part) the purchase was accomplished and I had a lovely new scarf!  Flush with success and bravery from that episode I next approached a gentleman in another shop and bought a tiny Santon.  This area is known for Santons little figurines that are often used in nativity scenes.  I found a little lady kneeling and holding a bunch of lavender.  She is only about 1½ inches tall.  Neither purchase was expensive and small enough to stuff inside my purse. 

For additional information see:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A little taste of France at home --

Croissants, cookies, éclairs and more

I still have a few more posts to put up about the trip to France but I wanted to mention that our tour guide, Angelique, said the thing we would miss the most when we got home was the French food.  She was certainly right about that.  I fell in love with the food and not just the pastries heavenly as they are but also some of the main dishes we had for our dinners, like the poultry confit looking like a sausage but a chicken, goose, duck (?) leg boned and stuffed with pine nuts, herbs, and bread tasting like turkey served along side a soufflé of vegetables, or the things we stumbled upon for lunch, like the huge extra fluffy quiche or the open faced ham and cheese (I’m talking about brie or some other exotic cheese not just cheddar) sandwiches on thin toast served hot or cold, to say nothing of the hot chocolate, croissants, crepes and desserts.  Hmm, just thinking about it makes my mouth water, I think I may have to take another trip . . . Everything was wonderful. 

It is easy to find Italian restaurants here but I have found that there are places in Seattle that also specialize in French cuisine so since arriving back home I have been looking around for somewhere close by that I could try out.  Nothing has tasted quite the same but I am finding a few substitutes.  Curly and Bee stopped off at Le Fournil a bakery and café on Eastlake and brought back both almond and chocolate filled croissants—yummy.  Then I discovered that Metropolitan Market, within walking distance, has a nice bakery as part of their Deli.  When asked if I could take a couple of pictures the girl behind the counter said to go ahead, so I did.

Cakes, macaroons and other delights

Vegetables and fruits

All the foods, produce, cheeses, seafood, deli items are so attractively displayed at this market.  They even have things outside that reminded me of the markets along the sidewalks in Paris. 

The result . . .

Almond Croissant on Provence linen & Porsgrunn china

A little taste of France at home.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Norway pictures -- Update

Drivstua Railway Station
[photo:  courtesy of a Frenchman]

On 1 June 2012 I posted some pictures taken in Norway by a Frenchman including one of the Lom Stave church in Oppland.  The photograph above was included in that post although I did not know where it was located or exactly what the buildings were.  Today I received an email from a cousin in Norway identifying the larger building in the picture as the Drivstua train station in the municipality of Oppdal.  

I had a “beware of the rug” moment and misread Oppland for Oppdal so was I confused a bit about which county or fylke was the correct one.  But a map and a couple of checks with the Norwegian postal directory and online sources show Drivstua to be in Sør Trøndelag.  That is still in the central part of Norway just a little further north than I originally thought. 

Closer view of the Drivstua train station

Architect Erik Glosimodt who had designed a series of high mountain train stations between the years 1917 and 1921 designed it.  It is a two-story building that probably had offices on one level and a passenger waiting area below as well as a place to load and unload the cargo.  Drivstua station was opened for use in 1921 and serviced both passengers and cargo as part of the Dovre railway line.  The line ran from Dombås, Oppland to Trondheim, Sør Trøndelag.  The station and the warehouse for goods had sod roofs with green grass growing in the bottom photo but the engine house had a slate roof.  By 1968 it was considered a remote station for passengers and a year later it no longer had a permanent staff.  In 1986 the station was closed.  The top picture I believe was taken in 1980 a few years before the station closed.  In 1997 it became a protected historical site and today serves as a remote crossover track.

Thanks to Rune for finding the name and a picture of the station house.  It was fun to learn more about it and the close up picture is most appreciated.

For another picture of the station and more information see:

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 46

English Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, ca early 1900s

Today’s card seems to show a sunny summer day at the beach.  This black & white photo postcard has the place name and the number 39 in the lower left but no publisher information.  English Bay is a beach west of the downtown area in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.  I wasn’t sure when this photograph was taken but the clothing certainly looks like it was around 1900.  Then I found the color card below that is dated 1917 and shows a dock in the center that does not appear in the upper card making it certain that the card above must be from before 1917.  The early 1900s scene reminds me of the Georges Seurat painting titled:  Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte. *

English Bay is a popular place featuring a summer fireworks competition and a winter polar bear swim.  The Vancouver Seawall runs all the way around English Bay from Stanley Park to False Bay.  It is a favorite destination for walkers, runners, bicyclers and roller-bladers. 

English Bay, Vancouver, Canada. Date circa 1917 Source Personal collection of Wayne Ray - Windfield Photographic Collection and Archives, POB 340 Stn. B London Ontario Canada N6A 4W1 Author Unknown


*    Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte (1884) by Georges Seurat 
This painting is very large (81¾ X 121¼ inches) and takes up one entire wall at The Art Institute of Chicago.  It is one of those paintings that you have to see in person to truly appreciate.  It is composed of thousands, possibly millions of tiny dots of color placed in precise order to increase the feeling of depth.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Essential Guide, pp 158-159

Monday, July 2, 2012

Robin's nest

 As anyone who lives here will tell you it is almost impossible to completely beat back all the foliage—it’s a jungle out there.  Our climate is temperate and wet most of the time so the plants grow with abandon more or less all year round.  Bopa was the pruner and since he passed away I haven’t done much pruning but Bee helps me a great deal and I leave a lot wild as I like the birds and other wild life that frequent my greenery.  The other day I made a wonderful discovery more or less by accident.  The bushes had grown down to the point that a heavy rain would bend the branches making getting to the car a wet, soggy chore so I got out the loppers and started hacking away. Can you see what I found?

A perfect little bird’s nest made from grass, twigs and mud.  No eggs inside and enough moss growing on the outside to suggest that might be a hold over from last year.  It even looked as if there was a woven lid of grass with which to cover the nest during a rainstorm.