Vancouver

Vancouver

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A rose by any other name....

After all of the poppy excitement yesterday, Sandy is keeping his eyes wide open (very wide open) for other flowers that might be lurking in hidden corners of the world. Today... he came across these beautiful pink flowers! Beautiful!
They are wild roses and smell absolutely delectable! Sandy can't quite get enough of them... and isn't totally paying attention as he scampers from flower to flower... until he comes nose to nose with... the Thorns!
Oooh... those look very prickly! Better not get too close to the stems. No climbing, that's for sure! Sandy will have to content himself with reaching the flowers via different means... which aren't always as efficient.
Sandy might have to content himself with this view of the flower! They are all different shades of pink - some are very dark (they are still young) and some are palest pink (they are much older). Sandy loves all of the colours! Being a winter bear, he was so used to just seeing white and brown and grey... so this new season called Summer is definitely making an impact! Oh my goodness... Summer came and went without Sandy even noticing! So far, it's his most favourite season... mind you first winter was his favourite (and only) season... then spring was his favourite season... now summer is his favourite season! We'll see what autumn brings!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bees and Poppies!

Oh my goodness... Sandy was practically beside himself today! For weeks now, he's been fixated on some pictures that Jerry and Ben posted on their blog... pictures of huge, bright red flowers called poppies. They are sooooo beautiful. And Sandy has been a tad jealous and sad that he doesn't live in a place with poppies like that... sniff. But today... today... Sandy was walking down the sidewalk and happened to look down a back alley where he saw this...
Oh my goodness... poppies! Bright red poppies. They attracted Sandy like a bee is attracted to honey (or like a bear is attracted to honey)!
They are so beautiful... Sandy can't quite get enough of them after seeing so many white and yellow flowers!
But the poppies don't just attract little bears... they do also attract bees!!
Can you see the bee in the flower?? Sandy better be careful or he might end up sitting on a bee! And where there are bees... there must be honey (yum)!
Here's a better picture of the bee... Sandy tried to follow the bees to their hive, but they kept flying over fences which he couldn't scale. Poor Sandy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mail!!

Oh my goodness... well, if you think you've seen Alexander Mackenzie Bear excited before... you ain't seen nothing. He's been hanging around the mailbox, waiting for a postcard from his pals Jerry and Ben. Well... coming home after a trip to the Badlands, Sandy was holding vigil again at the mailbox.
He does have patience... you have to give him that! Mama takes her time getting the mail and most days, there are just bills and other things for Mama-type people. And Sandy will look in the mailbox and walk away dejected.
But today... today was different! Today there was a postcard in the mailbox!!
Oooohhh... a postcard from Ohio!! With the most beautiful red cardinals on it! Wow... who could it be from?? Who could it be for?? Well... yes, it is for Sandy!
Is that a happy bear face or what? Those are the most beautiful red birds... Sandy doesn't see a lot of red, so he's absolutely entranced with it! And yes... it is from his pals Jerry and Ben!
They were on a trip with their Papa to Ohio... they even drew a little picture of themselves! Sandy is fit to burst! And, being the little bear that he is, he wants to know where Ohio is! Mama thinks it's somewhere in the mid-West... but Sandy wants to see for himself. So off to Google Maps he goes...
There's Ohio (the green spot in the lower right) and there's Sandy (the green spot in the upper left). That's a very long ways away (over 3000 km or... ummm... about 2000 miles)! And Ohio is actually much farther east that Mama thought...
Mama would have put it on the map more where Nebraska is! Ah well, Canadians have it easy with only 10 provinces and two (now three) territories). Sandy doesn't think he's going to try memorizing all of the states and their locations on the map... At least now he knows where Ohio is... and that they have beautiful red birds there! Hooray!!! Sandy might have to look at the post card again...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How do the Hoo-doos do?

Sandy has survived Drumheller, the dinosaurs and the museum security guards with his fur intact. Whew! He has one last stop in the Badlands and that is the Hoo-doos. That's a very funny sounding name for sure. And the reality of the Hoo-doos is funnier still! They look like giant mushrooms made out of rock!
Sandy studies some of the interpretive signs and after asking his Mama a load of questions he learns this... Hoo-doos are formed when softer rock erodes underneath a harder layer of rock. Simple really...
But looking at a picture from the early 1900s (that's more than 100 years ago - a beary long time!)... Sandy sees that the Hoo-doos are getting smaller all the time and some are losing their "mushroom caps".
Sandy learns that the softer rock is a clay-rock and when it gets wet and then dries out, it crumbles very easily (beary easily)! Look at how crumbly that stuff is!
And while the harder rocks do give some protection, it's not enough... The harder rock is a sandstone rock and quite hard, but even it is starting to weather away!
Sandy is glad he saw the Hoo-doos while they are still looking pretty good. Who knows what they will look like in another 100 years! Mind you... will Sandy still be around in 100 years? Could be... little bears can live a very long time, as long as they don't get too rambunctious in their adventures!
Today is a very hot day, and the area above the Hoo-doos is open for exploring... and of course Sandy wanted to go there... but it's very hot!! Scorching hot with the sun reflecting off of the rocks...
Time to look for some shade and then scamper back to the truck! And then head home....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Museum Security Guard

Sandy is a little concerned about whether or not he will be able to get into the Royal Tyrrell Museum. He remembers his experiences in London, where security guards refused him entry based on the fact that he is a "dangerous" animal! Shocking! Canada is a bit more relaxed about security measures though... and today's security guard didn't seem at all threatening.
He must be standing on parade here... very tall and official looking. He doesn't even need a uniform to give him any authority. Sandy wasn't too sure how this was going to work out though... but... Mama gave Sandy a few bread crumbs (bribes always work well!)...
The guard looked at Sandy as if he couldn't quite believe the crumble of bread had come from him... but Sandy looked nonchalant (as only a little bear can)... and...
Presto! bribe accepted and eaten! Whew... that was easy! Sandy wonders if all security guards are that easily bribed in other places...
Of course the security guard did have to do a cursory inspection of Sandy, but that was purely a formality! And Sandy was good to go! Then it was off into the museum and... gulp... Sandy almost scampered back out immediately. There were roaring noises and some very realistic looking dinosaurs with very LARGE teeth...
There are a lot of sharp-teethed dinosaurs out there! Sandy learns that there are ones called Albertosaurus and Elasmosaurus and Tyrannosaurus and... well... Sandy is very glad he didn't live way back then! He was glad to see some of the more calm and peaceful seascapes and sea creatures like ammonites!
Whew... what a day! Sandy has learned a lot about what life was like millions and millions (and more millions) of years ago and is glad that he lives in a time when little bears are not dinosaur fodder!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The dangers of Christmas in June

Well... today is June 25 and Sandy has had exactly 6 months of adventures! He's still a very young bear, with not a lot of experience under his belt. So on this day, he can be forgiven for getting a bit confused. He was walking along when he saw white and fluffy stuff... "snow!" he cried with delight and raced forward to frolic in it (he is a winter bear after all).
Except it wasn't quite snow... it was cottonwood fluffs! A lot of them... and they were soft and fluffy, but definitely not snow. Sandy was momentarily disappointed but then had fun chasing little tumbleweeds of fluff around. But that distracted him from the bigger picture of the world around him and... well...
Sandy felt a big snuffling of air and gulped a bit... uh-oh... another dinosaur! And this one was a bit more interested in Sandy than the smooched dinosaur from yesterday.
"Help!" cried Sandy. Hmmm... at least this dinosaur doesn't have teeth. Mama doesn't seem too worried though so Sandy doesn't know whether to shriek in terror or giggle madly because the dinosaur is tickling him!
And then... the dinosaur opened its mouth and deposited Sandy neatly on... a baby dinosaur!!
Ride 'em cowboy bear! Sandy is quite excited at this. He's pretty sure that not everyone gets to ride a dinosaur every day... particularly given the signs nearby!
But that is clearly a sign that applies to humanoid's not to little bears! What an adventure... Sandy is excited to have made some dinosaur friends... and he learns that they are distantly related to his pal Eldritch the Dragon (cool!).
Sandy also learns that these dinosaurs are more "accurate" than the ones he saw yesterday. These ones are outside the world famous Royal Tyrrell Museum (of Palaeontology)... which Sandy is going to explore with gusto tomorrow! Are there dinosaurs where you live??

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little bear meets a large (very large) dinosaur

All this trekking through the badlands has finally brought Sandy to his ultimate destination... Drumheller... home to the World's Largest Dinosaur! It's not a "real" dinosaur... but it sure is big!
From every angle... it just looks big... It has a very big head... and big teeth. Although it's front arms are a tad small compared to the rest of it!
Mind you... it has very big toes... errr... claws!
Can you see Sandy perched on the dinosaur toe? Yes... very big toe... which makes Sandy wonder, "who gives a dinosaur a pedicure?" Mind you... Sandy discovered that if he backed up far enough...
Not quite far enough... back a bit more... and a bit more... then Mama could take a picture which made the dinosaur look not quite so big!
Or rather... it made Sandy look bigger than he actually is... except he still looks small compared to the dinosaur. But then... there were some other dinosaurs that weren't quite so intimidating. This one, for instance, doesn't look half so scarey (or so big)!
For one thing... it doesn't have any teeth, just a big beak! Which means it was a plant-eater and wouldn't have been interested in munching on little bears!
Plus... it looks like it even lets people kiss it (see the lip marks on the beak?)...
Sandy isn't going to smooch the dinosaur though... might get germs!