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Christmas 2004Go to Slide Show

Family and a bit of getting outside


It seems a bit of a trend - every year around this time two things happen - my Mom has a big family Christmas part and EA has it's Christmas party - this year was no exception - coincident weekend.  Of course Mom wins - how could I say no to her cooking?

Group Shot

We really are lucky to be able to bring so many people together for a Christmas get together.  It's great to see everyone again.

Allisons CrewDuncan And KidsGrandma And KidsGrandparents

Kam And JessicaDiana And JeffRelated - Really
Grandparents And GrandkidsThe Harveys

Mount Douglas City Park

Pulling Wagons
Mount Douglas City Park make up a significant part of the view out of my parents window.  While most people used every available moment to explore the interiors of Malls (tis' the season), My Dad and I took the youngest out to the park to play.   Mount Doug has a few different parks - at the bottom is a beach access, grassy fields and a kids playground - all hits.  I especially like the beach - it's not particularly sandy, but it does have a stream (not a drainage outlet) merging with the ocean.


Is It Too DeepKayla In WaterKayla On A SwingKayla Throwing ARock
 
The second part of Mount Doug is the road up to the viewing platform at the top of the mountain.   Mount Doug covers at least two different types of ecologies - west coast rain forest (dominated by Cedar trees) at the coast line and rare Oak and Arbutus meadows at the top of the mountain.  The day was just about expired when we got to the top so I was quite happy to see a few Oak trees poking through the mist.

Oak Near SunsetSun Behind Oaks
 
Mount Doug

The top of the mountain has a 360 view of the southern most part of the island (including many of the Gulf Islands) and is surrounded by fairly gentle rock bluffs that can be fun to scramble on (I'm sure the moss isn't amused).    Surviving a beach and a playground, the kids were well behaved.

Climbing Off The Mountain Top
 
They even managed to nap on the brief car ride back to Mom's house.  Thanks Mom!
 
Medicine Bowls
 
Falls With Log
A second common tradition is to visit my Grandparents for Boxing day and a few days following.  (It helps keep the crazy boxing day spending under control).    There are many great outdoor activities in the Comox area, it's good to get out for an afternoon stroll.  My Dad and I took a walk to see the Medicine Bowls - a small and fast canyon in the Brown River.  In the summer, there are a number of excellent swimming holes.  It reminded me of the Sooke pot holes or parts of the Capilano River in Vancouver.

Swirling Falls


Swimming Pool
 
Denman and Hornby Islands

Pilings With Bird Boxes
This year, for a bit of additional fun, I decided to take a day trip (really a half day - I had to back by 4pm) trip to Denman and Hornby Islands.  The two islands, about 15 minutes south of Courtney, between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, have a long history of farming and independence.  I caught the 8:20 am ferry

Waiting For Ferry

Eagles On Eagle Island
The first island you arrive on is Denman (you have to cross the island to get to the Hornby Island ferry terminal).  As much fun as a morning ferry ride is, I held off on my second ride to explore Boyle Point Provincial Park on the far eastern tip of Denman.   It has two great view points - the first is Eagle Island

Eagle Island From TrailEagle Island Whole

Shore To Lighthouse
Just past the Eagle Island outlook, is a view of Chrome Island which is dominated by the manned lighthouse.  It's funny to be on a remote Island that you can walk from end to end in a minute, but have power from the mainland.

Island Lighthouse

I didn't have a particularly long day so I caught the next ferry over to Hornby.  Hornby is smaller and less populated but it is gifted with a number of natural wonders.  Most of them seem to be concentrated in the eastern end at Helliwell Provincial Park.   After a short walk through an established forest you come out to the bluffs overlooking the Georgia Straight.  The exposed bluffs are like nothing else I've seen in the Gulf Islands.

Cliffs Looking Back Towards Van IslandHelliwell CliffsGrassy Bluffs

  Arbutus Tree

I have a love hate relationship with trees - while I love trees, I really am without the means to take a good picture of them.  (Trust me, I've tried).  Hornby has the only Arbutus Forest I've even seen.  Arbutus trees generally have a hard time here (they flourish much further south and only exist here because of the confluence of weather found in the Gulf Islands area), and generally are only found near the shore fighting with other trees for a good hold.  At the tip of Hornby, they were the only species - like they truly belong here.   Walking back from the beach you pass through a section of unlogged old growth forest with a number of massive Douglas fir trees.  Again a real treat.

View Towards Flora Island

Unfortunately, my time was running out so I had to make the two ferry trip back to Vancouver Island.  Hornby and Denman are well worth the time to visit.



View Towards Flora Island
Location: Go To...
Tags: coast, gulf island
Grandma And Kids
Grassy Bluffs
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Tags: coast, gulf island
Falls With Log
Tags: waterfall
Eagle Island From Trail
Tags: coast, gulf island
Cliffs Looking Back Towards Van Island
Tags: coast
Arbutus Tree
Species: Arbutus menziesii (Arbutus)
Tags: tree
Oak Near Sunset
Species: Quercus garryana (Garry Oak)
Tags: Mount Douglas, silhouette, sunset, tree
Pulling Wagons
Person: Kayla
Pilings With Bird Boxes
Location: Go To...
Tags: nest box, piling, silhouette, sunrise
Climbing Off The Mountain Top
Tags: Mount Douglas, mountain, summit
The Harveys
Person: Diana, Janet, Jeff, John, Lloyd
Eagles On Eagle Island
Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle)
Location: Go To...
Tags: coast, gulf island, tree
Island Lighthouse
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Tags: gulf island, lighthouse
Swirling Falls
Tags: long exposure, swirling
Sun Behind Oaks
Species: Quercus garryana (Garry Oak)
Tags: Mount Douglas, silhouette, sunset, tree
Grandparents
Person: Edna, Philip
Allisons Crew
Person: Jessica, Nathan
Kam And Jessica
Person: Jessica
Helliwell Cliffs
Tags: coast, gulf island
Duncan And Kids
Person: Chrissy, DavidJ, Sonia
Related - Really
Person: DavidJ
Grandparents And Grandkids
Person: Chrissy, DavidJ, Diana, Edna, Jessica, John, Justin, Kayla, Nathan, Philip, Sonia
Shore To Lighthouse
Tags: coast, gulf island
Swimming Pool
Tags: waterfall
Waiting For Ferry
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Tags: ferry
Is It Too Deep
Person: Justin
Diana And Jeff
Person: Diana, Jeff
Eagle Island Whole
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Tags: coast, gulf island
Group Shot
Kayla On A Swing
Person: Kayla
Kayla Throwing ARock
Person: Kayla
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Kayla In Water
Person: Kayla
Mount Doug
Person: Justin
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Tags: coast(8), gulf island(8), tree(4), Mount Douglas(3), silhouette(3), waterfall(2)
People: Kayla(5), Justin(3), DavidJ(3), Diana(3), Jessica(3), John(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Pictures of People > Christmas 2004

Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:00:03 Edit
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