Showing posts from July, 2018

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

Stylish Butterfly By Elizabeth Pavlik

Stylish Butterfly by Elizabeth Pavlik

Droplets Of Light Trickled Like Rain On The Flowers

Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC

Doggone Cute On The Fence

Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC

Costs To NOT Relocating White Rock-Crescent Beach Train Track

Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Crescent Beach, BC

I'd like to say bye-bye for good to the trains running busily back and forth along the coastal track through White Rock and Crescent Beach. Both are seaside communities and people magnets. At one time a wistful vision of adventure whistling around the bend and vital connector to isolated towns, this wrongly placed railway has evolved into a dangerous, sometimes deadly, machine. 

The passenger train from Seattle to Vancouver slips more swiftly and quietly down the track than one imagines and the lumbering long string of freight trains carrying tanks and boxcars of dangerous goods blocks access to Crescent Beach regularly, including emergency vehicles, for long stretches of time. 

It would be expensive to move the track to a less populated area. Links to articles listed (below) show, however, that doing nothing has unintended greater costs. 

Articles reporting on people struck by the trains:

The Crescent Beach community cut off from all vehicle access (that includes emergency) for 45 minutes:

A few of my posts over the years (below) about the increasingly busier railway track:

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Watermelon Striped Beetle With Ancient Connections

Not as big as a dog's paw the over one-inch long beetle was still large enough to easily spot at the public washroom wall by the Crescent Beach swimming pool.

Still as a stone and dwarfed by the Dalmatian hovering over it on a mural, the dead bug's apparent heritage could be significant. If it evolved from the Scarab family of beetles, its likeness can be seen in Egyptian art, jewelry and religious symbols.

The insect reminded me of images I'd seen in museums displaying ancient Egyptian artifacts. I leafed through a book sitting on my shelf for years called Tutankhamen (Editions Ferni, Geneva 1978) and found a possible ancestor on a pendant below.

The scarab symbolized rebirth and good fortune.

For me the insect was a rebirth of a blog and a way to display my pictures differently with a new template. Dead or alive the beetle feels like a good omen that will breath new life into my passion for photography ..... once I get all the bugs out!

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

Raining Umbrellas In Yaletown

Art Installation, Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Photo: Maria Pavlik

Life Is A Beautiful Ride

Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC

Casting Off Cares Is A Breeze By The Sea

Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC