Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter’s Not Done Just Yet

Just as the daffodils were preparing to bloom we had another burst of winter this weekend.  Around 10cms of snow settled at home on Saturday night and another 5cms or so fell during Sunday.  This was probably the largest delivery of snow we’ve had this season and it’s unusual for late February although we’ve still had a relatively mild winter and a lower than average snowfall in total.

I had appointments on Sunday morning so we needed to get up quite early to clear the drive.  A quick snap before we set to work shovelling…


The back of the house and the pretty snow covered trees surrounding the house.


Mojo of course enjoyed every minute of charging through the soft white powder both in the garden and his walk with David.  A brief clip of video in the garden.

At the peak of the snowfall the ploughs had difficulty keeping up.

IMG_3823 The neighbourhood was beautifully peaceful and quiet early on the Sunday morning.  Views North up the street.

IMG_3825 The snow was a nice little treat at the end of the winter and so good of it to fall at the weekend !

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ambleside Dog Beach

On Friday I needed to stay close to home for a deal I was working on with some clients, but I potentially had a couple of hours spare and the weather was beautiful.  We headed over to the Dog Beach at Ambleside.

Access to the beach is along part of the newly developed Spirit Trail.  When completed the Spirit Trail will provide a predominately low-bank pedestrian and cycling route from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. 

IMG_3779 The Spirit Trail running between Park Royal Mall and the Capilano River.

IMG_3780 Views North up the Capilano River.


Once in the officially designated off-leash dog park there are large grassy areas for the hounds to race around in.  We have to make the most of these facilities while they are here as the Squamish Nation who own this land sadly recently announced plans to develop condo buildings here, potentially ending decades of enjoyment of this small waterfront park.  As the municipality of West Vancouver have no jurisdiction over how the Squamish Nation land be developed it is highly likely this jewel of a dog park won’t be here for future generations.


The seawall trail is always busy, often more dogs than people.  It’s a very social place to stroll for both the dogs and their owners.


Views towards the South West


And back towards the Lions Gate Bridge against the morning sun.


Mojo takes in the view


From the far end of the beach we get views West along the shoreline with the residential towers of Dundarave and then Lighthouse Park on the far left hand side (the lighthouse itself just visible on the tip of the park).


The view North West from here across the beach towards the British Properties and Cypress Mountain in the background.


The recent snowfall make the North Shore mountains particularly impressive.


Finally a view of Grouse Mountain from the Ambleside Dog Beach.


A great spot to have a quick, easy walk and superb socialisation for the dogs.

I was busy working much of the weekend when the weather was even better – not a cloud in the sky for either day, We are forecast some wintery weather for the next couple of days, but a clearing towards the end of the week.  Hopefully we can get out on some more scenic walks then.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jug Island Beach

Yesterday my diary was free of appointments so we took the opportunity to venture off the North Shore for a walk somewhere a little different.  We settled on a walk to Jug Island Beach in Belcarra Regional Park.

The village of Belcarra and adjoining park flank the East side of Indian Arm.  It is a slightly tedious 45 minute drive through North Burnaby and Port Moody to get there – and we end up a stones throw from North Vancouver where we set off but across the water.

Belcarra Regional Park has a couple of parking areas, one is at White Pine Beach on Sasamat Lake and the other is the Picnic Grounds which is where we are headed to begin the walk.

The road into the park is a pretty, winding country road.

IMG_3754 We reach the Picnic Grounds area of the park.


The Picnic Ground is a very pleasant park area by itself, big flat grassy areas, loads of picnic tables, a couple of small beaches and nice views across to Deep Cove on the other side of the inlet and little Boulder Island sat in the middle.


A pair of Canada Geese enjoying a few rays of sunshine.


The jetty and boat dock.


Our destination today is at the end of a peninsula that sticks out into Indian Arm.  There is a bay formed to the East side of the peninsula called Bedwell Bay so we take a short detour to the natural beach at the South end.

Views up Bedwell Bay.


Mojo gets lots of swimming in the calm clean waters.


With great gusto Mojo races into the water after sticks and pieces of driftwood, you wouldn’t catch me swimming here in July, let alone February !

We retrace our steps to the Jug Island Beach trail and head along the quiet trail which starts as loose gravel but soon becomes the natural forest floor. 

IMG_3704 In the forest we pass a dead tree trunk with extensive damage presumably from a woodpecker.

IMG_3706 Another trunk nearby is much more recently attacked, with the chippings still on the floor below.

IMG_3707 After another kilometre or so of weaving up & down through the forest we reach a small clearing with a pond, a great spot to refuel.

IMG_3708 Further on we climb up through another small hill on the peninsula and the trail is dominated by giant pieces of moss-covered rock.

IMG_3710 At the top of the second small hill we get some views across Bedwell Bay to part of the village of Belcarra.


Homes here enjoy private jetties.


Eventually we reach the steep decent of the trail down towards the beach.

IMG_3716 A short distance into the bay is Jug Island, the beaches namesake.


Jug Island Beach is a small, isolated pebble beach no doubt a great place to sit and watch eagles, seals and other wildlife.


Views across to the communities of Woodlands and Sunshine on the North Shore.



From the beach there are great views up Indian Arm.


The outlet for the BC Hydro plant, the inlet for it is on McCombe Lake at the North end of Buntzen Lake behind the mountain ridge.


Views back across the inlet to the North Shore with Deep Cove on the left hand side and Mt Seymour rising up in the background.


Finally a video panorama of the views from the beach.

A really nice walk and a change of scenery from the North Shore. 

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Mojo’s 2nd Birthday

Yesterday Mojo turned 2 years.  It’s really amazing where the last two years has gone !

We took a walk around the Stanley Park seawall.  We parked at Third Beach and cut through the park to give Mojo some (not strictly legal) off-leash time racing around in the woods before tethering him again for the stomp along the seawall. 

A bright day with some welcome sunshine.

IMG_3675 Mojo highlighting how absolutely enormous some of the old-growth trunks are in the park.

IMG_3677 Our through the park trail brings us out at Lost Lagoon where we head North towards the seawall.


Looking across to the Westend.


Mojo hopes I’ve laid on a tasty lunch feast in the park for him


Alas it’s not the case and we continue along the walk.



Then last night Mojo is as delighted as ever with his totally unexciting present !

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

House-Hunting on your Phone

It’s been another busy couple of weeks warranting few photos of our activities. 

David was extremely busy last week preparing for his Lean Leadership Module Marathon and this week has been playing catch up on everything that was ignored the week before.

I have been in creative mode developing a new website for my business and beginning the annual slog of client prospecting as we head towards the busy Spring market. 

One of the cool new features of my site is the ability for Buyers to be able to search listings using their iPhone, iPad or other Android Smartphone.

iPhone images x 2Sorry folks in the UK you won’t be able to play with this device but our BC readers will find listings throughout the Lower Mainland from Pemberton to Hope including the southern Sunshine Coast and of course the whole of Metro Vancouver. 

One of the nicest features of the ‘app’ is that it uses the GPS in the phone to create a map and show you listings in your immediate (or pre-defined if you type in a specific location) area.  You can then click on the listings to see price, full MLS info, all the photos, arrange showings, ‘save’ for future reference as well as email them to yourself, friends & family.  As you walk or move around the neighbourhood the map will move with you, updating with listings as you move.   It’s an essential new gadget for buyers trawling through weekend open-houses, and nosey neighbours who want to know all about the house with the ‘for sale’ sign they just passed !

iphone 190 pix 2 A brief summary of some of my mobile search features include:

* Automatically locate yourself via GPS and see all available listings for sale up to 1km radius around you.

* Have the app ‘follow’ you by updating your position and nearby listings as you walk or drive.

* Drag the map and see the nearby listings searched as you do that.

* Manually override your current location by entering the address of your choice.

* Sign up for my Registered Buyers Centre to receive access to full MLS listings (including room dimensions, full property specification etc).

* Log into Registered Buyers Centre.

* See full details of each listing including all photos.

* Email listings to family & friends.

* Inquire about the listings or set up showings.

* ‘Star’ the listings for later review in the Registered Buyers Centre.

* Call and/or send an SMS message directly to Adrian from the contact forms.

You can download the app url for free anytime by either clicking one of the two images in this blog post or visiting my website at and following signs for ‘MOBILE Search’.  Or, you can just CLICK HERE.

If anybody you know is house-hunting in the Lower Mainland be sure to let them know about this tool.

Sorry for this gratuitous advertising post but I wanted to let you all know why I have been so elusive over the last couple of weeks and that I had been working hard in the background !    The new website is still very much a ‘works in progress’ and over the coming months I will be expanding it significantly with articles and features on each individual neighbourhood in the city & North Shore and links to associated information that is valuable to buyers & sellers.

It is very exciting when development in technology opens new doors and a whole array of new opportunities in whatever field you work in.

Hopefully back to some more exciting and photogenic blog posts soon……….