A trip to Slocan and Vancouver

September 2022 and the pandemic has gone into slumber mode for awhile. OK so now what. Well a notion hits me that I want to meet Quinn. We were robbed of the chance to see the Bethany/Joel clan in July when Covid stepped in and took control. You have heard of chaos theory where a butterfly flaps its wings in one country and causes a hurricane in another. Well such was the effect of suggesting to Doug and Nola that they join me for a road trip to Slocan and Vancouver to visit family. Email’s, texts, discussions, arrangements, cancellations, rescheduling, hmmm…anymore words necessary? You get the picture and were part of the planning. I kind of felt like we were all channelling Cathy, the ultimate planner and organizer of family events. Here is a visual story of the time we had together.

On to Slocan.

Shelter Bay/Galena Bay Ferry

View from Sarah and Therin’s balcony. The fog above the river was a constant source of early morning delight.

View of their place from across the valley.

Who wouldn’t be happy in this place!! Nola looking at the garden.

The wood pile waiting for a chain saw.

A special spot with doily covered tree stumps and an outdoor hot tub.

This next section could be a rapid flip through for some. I am intrigued by native pollinators and the importance of maintaining our biodiversity so get a bit obsessed with pictures of these amazing creatures. Sarah’s yard was buzzing with activity with the warm temperatures and abundant flowers.

Hundreds of these Western Conifer Seed Bugs were constantly trying to access the inside of the house. Everywhere you looked around the house you could see them looking for a warm spot to spent the winter. They give off an odour when picked up.

I saw this black and yellow Hover fly that did not fly away as I approached. On closer examination I noticed that it was being eaten by a Goldenrod Crab Spider.

BugGuide.net is a marvellous tool for getting an ID on these insects. This is a female Drone fly (Eristalis tenax if you care!). Notice how the eyes do not meet in the middle. The male has larger eyes that meet in the middle of the head.

Another couple of views of the female.

Here is the male with the larger eyes.

This is a parasitic fly of the Peleteria genus. I love the hair extensions.

A few pictures of another parasitic fly of the Tachina genus.

This is a Looper moth busy with its proboscis in a flower.

This wasp is in the Family Sphecidae – Thread-waisted Wasps. That seems obvious when you look at the impossible tiny section holding the whole insect together. This one is in the Genus Isodontia – Grass-carrying Wasps.

Bees really seem to love sunflowers. Sarah’s garden was just buzzing with so many insects gathering pollen. This Western Honey Bee is really coated with pollen.

An Asian Lady Beetle. These were introduced into North America as a control against aphids and have expanded well beyond the original range.

Sarah and Therin have a lovely pond right beside the house and it is home to many insects. Dragonflies have to be one of the most intriguing insects to study. Apparently they are the most successful hunter of all creation. They are about 98% efficient when they head out to catch prey. This Paddle-tailed Darner was hovering over the fish pond.

Another introduced species this European Paper Wasp is so brilliantly coloured. Here is what iNaturalist said. “Introduced in a Portion of Central Kootenay Regional District BC S of 51 degrees N lat.: arrived in the region via anthropogenic means.”

Two images of a grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus).

I imagine this the size of a bear in the woods and how terrifying that would be.

At Sandon.

Sandon is an old silver mine site near Slocan. It still has some people there but not the large place it was 100 years ago. It was a great place to explore the mining history of the area. The oldest continuously operating hydo generating station in North America is still running. We all wished Uncle Alex was with us to explain everything.

On to Vancouver.

Most of our family is familiar with the history of the Sylvia Hotel as it relates to the Drabble side. Cathy’s great grandmother was married to Walter Roberts who was an owner of the hotel. We arranged to stay there for 4 nights and have a brunch and supper with family. Here is my visual story.

These two chairs once belonged to Gag (Cathy’s GG). They still occupy a prominent spot in the hotel lobby.

One morning I went for a walk around the area and found this house with so many amazing flowers. I immediately thought of Doug and his love of flowers so we came back here and had a delightful conversation with the 50 + year owner of the home.

A daily walk along the sea wall is a constant visual feast.

A visit with Sally.

Cathy’s cousin Sally is a most gracious host and invited Nola, Doug and myself for a tour of her floating home, lunch, and a walk in the Reifel bird Sanctuary. What a delightful way to spend a holiday. Thanks Sally.

Canada geese and ducks would eat out of your hand.

My first time to see a Golden-crowned Sparrow.

This is a Cackling Goose not a Canada Goose. Note the shorter neck and smaller bill. Again this was a first for me.

As Shelly said on an instagram post…This male Wood Duck looks dressed for Mardi Gras.

Unlike the human race it is common for the female of many bird species to not dress as fancy as the male.

On to the brunch.

My heart filled with joy as the details came together to allow so many people to come to the Sylvia Hotel for brunch on the Saturday of our trip.

The star of the show.

I love cuddling with babies.

We were also delighted to see Timmy and Abbi at the Sylvia. They joined us for a walk and supper. It was wonderful to catch up and spend time together.

Hmmm. Let me see… Sitting in a great-great-grandmother’s chair.

A couple more pictures at Bethany/Joel and Kaeli/Patrick homes. I really fell down on getting more pictures of your places.

Thanks so much to all who made this weekend possible. I will remember how special it was for as long as I am able to hold memories!!