Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gnome Homes in Nanaimo

In June I learned about a man in Nanaimo, BC (just down island from me) that creates Gnome doors.  His website Believe & Magic Happens tells the story of how gnomes migrated from Europe to Canada to Vancouver Island.  It’s a great story and he includes descriptions of gnomes and how they live.
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We found some of his homes at two parks in Nanaimo.   The first park is Morrell Nature Sanctuary.  The homes are easy to find on an easy loop trail.  There is a map by the parking lot.

Here are a few of Charlie’s beautiful decorated homes.
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The second park is Neck Point Park.  An inviting park right on the water.  The doors weren’t as easy to find because there is no identification at the park that they are even there. 
I found a blog that helped us find our way.  Follow their directions and
you’ll find them. 
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Most of them are very obvious on the wide path.  We passed another family searching and it was delightful to watch two little girls run tree to tree hoping to find another.
                            Happy home hunting.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A New Fairy Colony

      One goal for my summer holidays is to explore other communities
                      where I have heard there are fairy doors.
This past week my husband and I traveled to Salt Spring Island, one of the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia.  I read about the fairy doors on SaltSpring Families blog and wanted to find them.
There are two routes to the top of Mount Erskine and we followed the one the author wrote about thinking that it wouldn’t be too difficult because her children hiked with her.  But I wouldn’t recommend the trail for children under 5 as it is very steep.
After climbing for 30 minutes, and almost giving up hope that we would find any, we found this one.  Tucked inside the bottom of a big, beautiful tree.  The bright orange door made it easy to spot.
Finding the door encouraged me to keep climbing higher and after nine more minutes we found another.  It was bigger and maybe perfect for a gnome.  The door has it own keys with lots of presents left behind by visitors.
   The third and last door we found, on the way up, is my favourite. 
  It is mounted in a big rock and is very visible from the trail below.
Decorated with an artistic painted tree and a miniature door handle set it apart from the other two.  Someone has left behind a miniature dream catcher hanging on the door handle.
We made it to the top and met another couple who had traveled up on the other route.  When asked about fairy doors they said they didn’t see any on their path but I suppose if you’re not looking you may overlook them.
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We decided to go down the other route just for a change and happened to find one more door.  It is on the backside of the tree and not noticeable if you’re climbing up.
This fairy’s gold wings glittered in the sunlight and drew us in for a closer look.
                            A note left behind from believers.

I recommend a visit to Salt Spring Island, it’s beautiful, welcoming and wonderful to explore. 
            It has become an annual camping destination for us.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Garden Mountain Update

Vivian and Millie invited us to explore the Garden Mountain that we planted in June.
WOW!  The garden is amazing.  Here are a few things that we spotted.
Vivian created a scavenger hunt to help everyone find all the things that we planted.
              Plus we harvested a few potato plants.
     They are fingerling potatoes and there were lots of them.
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      We found one that we thought looked like a dog.
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One of the grown ups that was helping pull up the potatoes was having a difficult time so we shared and acted out the story of the Enormous Potato.  It was a new story for her and she enjoyed it.
Before leaving we picked two pumpkins to do experiments on.  The first I scratched the words “Brooklyn StrongStart” on it and picked all the other pumpkins off that plant hoping that this one will be really big. 
The second pumpkin we put an elastic around it.  Will anything happen?  We will check back in late September.

We discovered that planting seeds in a big mountain of soil works really, really well.
            Just before we left Vivian found this little frog.