Friday, May 28, 2010

Whistler Retreat

One of my favourite vacation places is Whistler, British Columbia. Although it took center stage this year in the Winter Olympics, we discovered this wonderful place in 1989.

Since then, we have made this scenic trek through the Sea-to-Sky highway at least once a year.

Though it is rated as a top Ski Resort in the world, it is also an excellent summer get-away.
Through the years, we’ve stayed in numerous Hotels, condos, time-share units, and even camped out once.

The miles of paved trails make for an excellent walking vacation.

I’ve found walking through forest trails a great exercise for the body, renews my soul and invigorates the spirit.

This year I decided that I would take a few days off every quarter to rest and charge my batteries. This decision came after coming close to burn-out as a result of having not even taken one Sunday off the entire year.

Everyone needs to find their very own slice of heaven to retreat to when they are stressed and tired out.

"It is not much for its beauty that makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit." Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, May 20, 2010

V for Visitors

Spring time brings with it many sorts of visitors.
The hummingbirds have returned with their seemingly ADHD like behaviour; flitting around the garden looking for their choice pickings. I recently put up a hummingbird feeder, but they still prefer the fresh nectar from the myriad of flowering plants in my backyard oasis.
I decided to stock up my pond again with 40 goldfish. This time round, I was determined to ensure their survival, so I bought a roll of PVC netting and had it staked down to cover the pond. Sure enough, that evening, the neighbourhood racoons came looking for a buffet meal only to be denied entrance to their ‘dining room.’
I still have not been able to keep out the Grey and Black squirrels that raid my fruit trees. Some of these critters must have Commando training, the way they hurl themselves at my bird feeder and scatter the seeds onto the ground. Alas, the poor birds will have to do without their free daily meal!

In the next few months, I will have visits from long lost friends. It’s strange how you lose contact with them and then they all seem to want to visit you at the same time!
Some visitors you enjoy and don’t want them to ever leave; while others, you are apprehensive and can’t wait for them to leave.

In many ways, we are also just visitors in this world.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Invasive Species

Recently, we’ve been getting reports and warnings concerning non-native plants and animals.
In my recent trip to Florida, I took a tour of the Everglades and was shocked to discover that most of the vegetation there are non-native and highly invasive.
Our air-boat ride through the Everglades gave us an up-close education concerning the extent of the "invasion."
Since their transplantation less than a hundred years ago, they’ve taken over much of the area. They clog up waterways and slowly turn marshland into pastures in some areas.
The shocking part of it was the recent discovery of a Burmese Python with an alligator in its stomach. Evidently, both creatures died in this epic battle for survival.
Along with this python are anacondas, monitor lizards and many iguana species that have been released by irresponsible pet owners and have taken up home in the Everglades. These non-native species not only adapt to their new environment, but have taken over as the apex predators and are slowly wiping out the local fauna and wildlife.
The Bible has a similar warning to the believer; “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16,17)

Like invasive species, the flesh quickly takes over and dominates our life. The end results is devastation.