All the Bling Bling of the Season

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I’ve been taking down my Christmas lights this week. While I like to make the house sparkle through Christmas, there’s something quite wonderful about this late winter clean up. Subtle changes are evident in the garden as I strip away the layers of lights. The slight change in the soil, the emergence of some of the early season growers breaking soil.  Whispered promises of what’s to come.

It’s been a multi day process.

I can only imagine how long it takes them to take down all those lights at VanDusen Gardens. With over 1 million lights to detangle. Phewph, they best be serving up the hot chocolate for those dedicated volunteers.

Watremark_Make a WishSo as the magic is packed up for the season, here’s one last look at the always delightful Festival of Lights.

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Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

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With the Paris attacks in the news over the last week. I’ve been struggling with mixed feelings. The loss of life during the Charlie Hebdo and market attacks was devastating. Radicals, extremists and fear mongers shattered our fragile sense of security as our airwaves became saturated with paranoia and mistrust.  The Charlie Hebdo attacks came as a body blow to freedom of expression.

Watremark_Watremark_Watremark_Watremark_DSC_8249But even free speech has its limits. As a member of the media, a writer and a freelance photographer I understand how difficult it is to walk this line. But just because we can say it, doesn’t mean we should. I feel that Charlie Hebdo crossed a line in their depictions of the Prophet Mohamed. It was unnecessary, inflammatory and frankly racist. Now during the painful and emotional clean up of a tragedy, they seek to show the terrorists the strength of their pen by publishing yet another depiction of Mohamed on their front cover.

With over 3 million copies flying off the shelves, … sigh. Where do we go from here?

I choose to take comfort in the words of the wise:

“I think both freedom of religion and freedom of expression are both fundamental human rights,” he said, adding that he was talking specifically about the Paris killings.

“Everyone has not only the freedom and the right but the obligation to say what he thinks for the common good … we have the right to have this freedom openly without offending,” he said.

To illustrate his point, he turned to an aide and said: “It is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if (he) says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal.”

-Pope Francis

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To the writers at Charlie Hebdo I plead, stop this terrible circle of hate. Do not use the faith of many as a sword against the terrorists. Do not allow them to use you in this way. The power of your pen can and should invoke change and understanding. Stop these mean spirited attacks on the Muslim community. For they are not your enemy.

I am not Charlie, but I am human. Let’s stop the hate.

Watremark_DSC_8240Will I purchase a copy of Charlie Hebdo this week?

No.

But I will continue to defend free speech, even when I don’t like it. Every.Single.Time.


I’ll leave you with  the wise words of Rick Mercer and my favorite cartoon penned after the attacks by artist Lucille Clerc.

lucilleclerc-charliePeace.

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You, Me & 2015

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Watremark_DSC_79872015 brings with it a banner of changes here at the Dandelion Wrangler. Updates to the site will be taking place throughout January, welcoming in the new year with a fresh look. Much has changed since my humble garden blogs inception and updates are needed to keep up with the ever changing reality of family life and work schedules.

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As deep as my love of the garden is, finding steady work in photography over the last few years has left me less time to focus on flowers. Instead my lens found brilliant joy capturing your smiling faces and momentous events. It brings me even greater pleasure to continue to help you plan for and share in those treasured moments as we move into a new year.

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No. This didn’t just turn into one of *those* photography blogs.

Fear not plant nerds, 2015 will continue to find me knee deep in the soil. Along with my volunteerism with the Vancouver Master Gardeners and other local projects,  I will continue to share my passion for plants as I work to share stories and projects from home, my Colony Farm plots and other gardens I have my hands into.

Watremark_DSC_7862 I live and breathe the soil. Dirty jeans are my favorite uniform and tomatoes are my just reward and I will not stop trying to spread that joy.

Salsa for everyone!!!

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What you can expect.

Stunning photography, fun filled adventures (Alaska this summer!) and new gardens waiting to be explored as I follow my lens down the rabbit hole.

Watremark_DSC_7936Happy 2015!

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A Winter’s Walk in Boundary Bay

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Snow Dusting the Pitt

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Christmas at Leigh Square

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Collecting Snowflakes Under Sunny Skies

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Port Coquitlam Remembers…

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The Breathless Sky

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Summer still simmers, out at Colony Farms

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