Only in Canada

I brought the camera with me this week. Last week, I decided to try another route to the western half of the province. There is no direct route from Miramichi to here. The route I tried is the northern route. As it turns out, this highway’s reputation is much worse than it is in real life. It is better driving than the way I had been going, takes about 20 minutes less time and I use noticeably less gas. Nonetheless, there is a sign at the eastern end of the highway after the last of the houses which one would only be likely to find in Canada (you can click on all the images below to see the full size image):

Click to see full image

The translation for the sign is, “make sure you’ve got a tank full of gas and supplies. This road is not our top priority.” About 50 km from the sign (into the wilderness) is this stream/river. The first image is upstream. The second is downstream.

Click to see full image

Click to see full image

After another 50 km or so, I also saw this river/stream. Both of these rivers are in a protected wilderness area. Upstream and then down.

Click to see full image

Click to see full image

At about 125 km after the sign, I arrive in Plaster Rock. Plaster Rock is home to Tobique Log Homes, who built Plaster Rock’s handcrafted log tourism center:

Click to see full image

William & Mary update

If you hadn’t picked up the pattern yet, every 2 weeks I end up away from the internet for a couple days. Starting in 2 weeks, and for the duration of May, I’ll be away from the internet between Tuesday night and Friday. Tonight, when I fired up bloglines, I had about 200 unread posts. So, I had alot of reading to do.

Last Sunday, I posted a pic of the William & Mary in the shade garden. Today, I was out doing some landscaping/gardening (which I’ll fill you in on in another post), and walked by the the shade garden. Instead of a couple of blossoms, the William and Mary is in full bloom. You can see that the blossoms have changed colour. They open pink and over a few days turn to the blue you see in this pic:

Click to see full image

More pics

This week I took some more pictures. I’ve picked 3 to use to tell you a little more about the last few weeks. They say a pictures worth a thousand words. I guess when it comes down to it, I don’t have the time to put into the 1000 words.

I took this picture outside and a bit away from the house. But, it gives you an idea of what I see when I look out the back through the french doors in the morning. Andrea’s aunt’s house is in the upper Saint John River valley.

Saint John River

During the week, each morning I drive south and eventually top a hill mostly surrounded by open fields. Once I start down the other side of the hill, this next pic is what I see. The village you can see in the pic is called Somerville. It’s across the river from Hartland. If you look at the center of the picture carefully, you can see the world’s longest covered bridge (1282 ft).

Morning view

Although the bridge is still in the background, it’s easier to see in this picture. All of the white area is ice that piled up in a rain and thaw spell about 7 weeks ago. The covered bridge is a 1 lane bridge without any form of traffic control to coordinate which direction the traffic is traveling in at the moment. From what I’ve seen, everyone is very polite in using it.

Ice above the Longest Covered Bridge

More traveling pics

Last week, I left the camera with Andrea. This week I thought I’d see if I could get a few pics of some of the other landscape that I’ve been driving through/by every Sunday. It was an overcast day, so both of these are quite grey. I took more pictures than this, but the others are quite blury because, well, I was moving when I took them.

Last week, I wrote about Over the rainbow. This whole in the cloud cover with the sun streaming through kept me company for almost half an hour. It reminded me of that song. The pic doesn’t do the scene justice.

overcast sunset

The above pic was taken only about 2 minutes before this one. These were taken on an straight stretch of road that lasts about 8 miles. The pic below is just within the community of Williamsburg. I was hoping to capture the sense of how much space everyone has around them in a country community in Canada. And over the rise that dwindles in the foreground of the picture, is another scene much like this one.

the highway through Williamsburg

Ice Storm

Update: Andrea uploaded a few more images taken this afternoon. Just use the Desktop images link.

It’s been raining pretty much all day. It’s not unusual for us to have a few ice storms in the course of winter. Today was/is one of those days. I managed to snag a couple of decent photos. The first one is a 1024×768 image which I placed in our Desktop Background album:

Desktop Background

And this one wasn’t quite as large, once trimmed, but could be incorporated into a nice desktop:

Icicles

Homeschool-along – Chinese New Year

While I was growing up, a magazine (Time, I think) ran an article on the 12 year chinese zodiac. At the time, I was disappointed to discover that I belonged to the year of the snake. Since then, I’ve gotten over it. At the homeschool-along, entries are interesting items about China or chinese culture. Today, I spent a bit of time at wikipedia, reading up on chinese zodiac. One of the things I learned was that the chinese zodiac in the magazine article was a simplified westernized version.

One of the things I vaguely remembered from my reading long ago was that the chinese zodiac included a short general description of the character and compatability suggestions. A google search landed me on a chinese zodiac page. This had the applicable years for each animal in the zodiac, the general descriptions and the compatabilies listed.

Since I’m a bit of a geek for patterns, combinations, etc., I decided to make a compatibility chart. I grabbed a piece of paper and made a matrix (table) that I could check off. I noticed a pattern in the checks. Does the following show off the patterns?

Update: Per Carrie’s comment – 1900 was the year of the rat. You can count off the years by going clockwise around my diagram. Each animal shows up every 12 years. So, the last year of the rat was 1996 and the next will be 2008. This year is the year of the pig.

Compatability Pattern

Here I’ve added the remaining compatiblity lines:

Compatability Pattern

Now, don’t run off and get a divorce if there isn’t a line between your animal and your spouse’s animal. It only says most compatible. If it’s any comfort, there isn’t a line between Andrea and I.