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Hiding In Plain Sight

There's been a desert, dried out "are we living on Mars?" feel to the environment much of this summer. With little to no rain and the sun burning down, people have tried to enjoy the weather yet hide from it in some way. Tents give precious shade.

I briefly borrowed a sunshiny-yellow umbrella to take the heat off.

The couple (above) kept the hot sun off their heads by using umbrellas normally reserved for the rain. Did they see what I saw along the thirsty path? A tiny feather tangled in an almost invisible dry wisp of grass swayed in the breeze.

Circling like a clock with no hands, Father Time's face was etched on a fallen tree.

That we exist at all is miracle enough but sometimes the wonder of life is hidden because it's too "in your face" to fully appreciate. "The familiar, precisely because it is familiar, remains unknown." according to Hegel, whose quote I found at one of my favorite sites, THE BEAUTY WE LOVE.

The sun cast glittering gems onto the wet pebbles at my feet in Crescent Beach. Cosmic reflections flickered on the sandy shore where perhaps life first formed in the primordial sea. A traveling galactic speck, changing due to external and now human internal forces, Earth's been a reliable spaceship that hasn't veered off course yet.

Go to OUR WORLD to discover more fascinating places from around the globe.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride to view more south West Coast scenes in British Columbia.

Unseeing Watchful Eyes With A Message

"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly." - Lauren Bacall

GHOULISHLY SILLY characters look brilliantly choreographed dancing in the air. Kite movements can be comical and bring colour to the sky on a bleak day. From skeletons to cartoon characters like the Spongebob lookalike (below), it's not just seagulls that scanned the horizon recently over Crescent Beach, bobbing and weaving.

I can't remember when I've last flown a kite myself but I liked watching others do it.

I imagine maneuvering the kite amid the unpredictable twists and turns of the wind can be challenging at first but then ultimately relaxing. Historically, the first kites likely were communication tools to send military messages from afar. Nowadays the message is simple ... be more carefree because the strings of life are fleeting.

See more horizons from around the world at Skywatch Friday.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride for more West Coast scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

One-Hundred Summers & Counting

A NEW GENERATION and their parents, grandparents and friends joined in a milestone parade celebrating 100 years that the Crescent Beach Swimming Club has been instructing and encouraging youth. The oldest summer swim club in British Columbia, the organization expanded its programs over the years by offering multi-sports and other activities in a nature-friendly environment that feels like a step back in time.

The band was all smiles and ready to march.

The musical group led the crowd along the beachfront walkway towards nearby Camp Alexandra where more fun was scheduled. You can read about Alexandra's history that goes back even further than a century HERE.

Balloons bounced in the air to the tunes being played on a cloudless July morning.

The sunshine and sun-art also joined the parade.

The club's signature seahorse took part in the excitement as did the clown next to it. It was a happy way to start the morning and to commemorate a community-inspired organization dedicated to healthy living throughout the years.

A fireworks show was planned (below) for later at the waterfront.

Seahorses appeared in unexpected places to mark the century of achievements. Founders of the Club might have been surprised to know that what they started is still thriving. As Dennis Rodman once said: "This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is."

Crescent Beach Swimming Club Centennial, Surrey, BC, Photos by Maria Pavlik

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

See OUR WORLD to explore more sights from around the globe.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride to view more West Coast scenes.

Reaching Heavenward & To Rome

THE SKY was hazy and empty of clouds early morning when I looked way up at the steeple where someone was tacking new roof tiles onto a Crescent Beach church being refreshed and repaired. The fate of Holy Cross Church is in the hands of the Vatican no less. There's been talk for a while of selling the property to fund other church projects. As far as I know at this writing, the future of Sunday services at this local building, some 5500 miles away from Rome and the pope, still seems up in the air.

Holy Cross Church, Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC, Photo by Maria Pavlik

See more horizons from around the world at Skywatch Friday.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride for more West Coast scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

The Ups & Downs Of Hilly White Rock

"Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity." - Thor Heyerdahl

Despite the banner, not everyone is singing to the same tune in White Rock. The city council has made the construction of towering apartment buildings a priority it seems while many citizens are longing for the seaside village charm that is slipping away.

What began as two controversial residential highrises has progressed into many more projects, especially in upper White Rock. Since the small city, (flanked by the Semiamhoo Bay and three sides of South Surrey), relies on tourism and has no other industry, the intent is to bring in more people permanently as a tax resource. Services to sustain the skyward growth aren't matching the need, however.

The building (above) operating as Deals World for years has long been closed but will eventually make way for something bigger, taller and more expensive. The flowery art on its wall will likely turn to dust.

So far, Whaling Wall IV (above) has remained since about 1984, although it's been threatened with extinction from time to time like the Grey Whales the mural depicts by artist Robert Wyland.

The thriving live theater (below) remains strong. However, the sidewalk alongside Coast Capital Playhouse is being replaced, largely due to damage from tree roots pushing up bricks and cement creating a topsy-turvy pathway.

The old trees had to go along with the sidewalk. I'm not sure what will happen, if anything, to the painting by local artist Elizabeth Hollick at the building's side wall.

If the characters could talk I wonder what they'd say about all the changes ... the jumble of new and old, big and small.

The "musicians" painted on the Blue Frog Studios wall (below) aren't concerned.

The "blues" performers give new meaning to the concept of lounge singer.

Down the street is an above-ground tunnel (below) to protect walkers from debris.

Much of the construction uptown is across the street from the much larger City of Surrey. That's where tile art on the sidewalk depicts the way it once was at the bottom of the hills in White Rock. The work (below) shows the Marine Drive portion.

The former train station pictured (above and below) is a museum and gift shop now where non-steam trains go by, seemingly non-stop.

The busy track must be stepped across to access the popular beach and pier, creating an unsafe mix of human traffic and trains. There's talk of moving the railway to a less congested area. It would be costly and the decision would take cooperation from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe in the US that, through lack of Canadian foresight, was provided ownership of the track and land where the former train station sits.

Should relocation happen one day, White Rock will have a chance to reimagine the stressed waterfront area, potentially unlocking a more open and unobstructed eco-people-friendly swath of coastal nature trails for locals and visitors to safely explore.

White Rock, BC, Photos by Maria Pavlik

Read earlier posts about the railway HERE.

See OUR WORLD to explore more sights from around the globe.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride to view more West Coast scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Seahorse Explosion

SCANNING the sky for clouds I was surprised to find dozens of seahorses on a mesh fence by the swimming pool and tennis courts at Crescent Beach. The colorfully painted fish with a horse's snout and fish's tail were a marvelous site in the foreground during a recent walk. This seahorse explosion was probably a summer project for children.

On closer inspection each creation had a unique touch and eye-catching elements.

One seahorse (below) was having a birthday.

Instead of the usual drops from the sky it rained seahorses that day.

A seahorse on another fence nearby (below) made of straw was touched by sunlight. In reality, these adorable tiny creatures could be going extinct around the globe but there's no shortage of stylized versions in the seaside community of Crescent Beach.


See more horizons from around the world at Skywatch Friday.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle for more West Coast scenes and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride to find more seahorses.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Cobbling Together A Homey Structure At Ocean Park's Orchard

A home fit for humans and hobbits was the perfect inclusion to the relatively new Ocean Park Orchard in Surrey.

I had a look in the early stages of construction and wrote about it (and bees) HERE.

The ancient-inspired cob house walls were made from clay, hay and sand. The frame of the structure took on the twists and turns natural to the branches of local trees, primarily cedar. It was a work of art and a work in progress.

The walls weren't finished when I first stepped in but a few weeks later things looked different. A talented craftsman (below) was installing some finishing touches inside, including colored glass to bring in some light once all the walls and door were up.

First Nation's depiction of a whale added more vibrancy to the space.

The construct of ingenuity is so simple an ambitious man or woman could possibly fashion one of their own with basic tools. In this case, the cozy cob construction is slated to be a shed housing tools for the surrounding orchard and gardens.

With real estate prices sky high and talk of tiny homes of 400 square feet or less, perhaps a cob re-emergence in the future is not that far-fetched?

The oldest cob house, said to be 10,000-years-old, was discovered in Jerusalem.

Such longevity in this current tear-down disposable age is remarkable.

Seems like this little house in Ocean Park has potential to outlive the current locals.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride to view more West Coast scenes.

See OUR WORLD to explore more sights from around the globe.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms