There was a another fire in Merritt yesterday on Granite Avenue not to far from us. It started in one house and the neighbor's house caught fire from it. I think the third house east also sustained damage but I haven't been by there today to check.
My husband went outside yesterday afternoon and said there was black smoke coming up from east of the mill so I suggested we walk there.
The fire truck was already there but it was a lost cause for the first house. Most of the flames were coming from the back ( and there is no lane between the lots ) and since everything is tinder dry the fire was just to powerful.
At one point you could see that it was a lost cause and they were trying to keep the house west from catching alight.
We walked around the block but couldn't see much more other than most of the nearby neighbors had hauled out their garden hoses and were wetting down their walls.
Just a week ago Merritt's Walk Of Stars building in town caught fire- still don't know what the cause of that was.

Fire is an awful thing.
The worst thing actually because it's completely destructive not to mention dangerous.
That one house is a write off based on what I saw.
I don't understand why houses are allowed to be built so close together. I think there's about 10 feet between my next door neighbors house east of us because the homes are laid out the same way. With the way the wind blows here if our house caught fire it's a sure bet that theirs would catch it too- unlike the neighbor west of us because his house is laid out differently. I think some of the town houses in Langley are even closer together. Scary.

Edit: I went by there today and it looks as if only 2 house were damaged; the first one is a blackened shell and the second one's entire roof is gone- the whole top floor ruined. The second house is ( was ) a duplex so 3 families lost their homes.


Naked In The River

I went skinny dipping a few days ago for the first time and most likely the last- at least hereabouts!

My sister came over to visit from the coast and we went for a drive all over the place. I wanted to show her some of my favorite spots like Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park ( and no, it wasn't there! ) among other places. It was rather cool these past few days compared to normal but warm enough so that when we came upon a quiet ( read SECLUDED! ) spot on a river I really wanted to go in for a dip and decided at that moment that not having a bathing suit or towel was not going to stop me and so in I went! My sister got into the spirit of it and joined me and we had a great time although I was worried the whole while that someone might come along and see us!

At least now I can say I actually swam naked once in a river and so can she. :)

I burned some discs of family photos for her and my brother as a gift and also finally gave her their birthday gifts: A print of Xiangjiang Safari Park for her which thrilled her- I had no idea she was so fond of that picture so it was a good choice, and a print of Java Male for my brother.

Next month is the Nicola Valley Fall Fair and I plan to have some photos in the show...there's also a photography exhibition at the gallery so ditto for that.

I've got a new website up as well that is aimed at advertising my services as a photographer and image processor as opposed to my main site which is oriented towards stock photography and those who are shopping for images.
The new site will have portraiture as it's main focus and will contain galleries of portraits from my pre-digital camera days; specifically the 3 years spent at XIangjiang Safari Park in China and the 8 years working for West Coast Amusements.

I've also got another site in the works; essentially an on-line yard-sale.

I've done 2 actual yard sales now and I don't like spending the entire day doing something like that and in the end the stuff that doesn't sell goes back in the house so I'm going to make use of E-Bay again and craigslist to get the ball rolling with links to the images of things I've got for sale.

It's amazing what we all accumulate in a life time: books, tapes, records, comics, magazines, clothes, shoes, vintage clothes ( mom's ), this that and the other things...we would be foolish to ignore the greater audience that is available via the internet.

Besides all that I hope to start a project through the Art Gallery with another person- putting together an illustrated cookbook of ethnic recipes with illustrations provided by local artists- we shall see how that goes.

In other matters- we've removed almost all the weeds and disgusting grasses in the front yard and are planning how we're going to make a vegetable garden for next year and are currently preparing to put ( engineered) hardwood flooring into the living room. When the carpet came out the old linoleum was still there- a pattern identical to the one that used to be in the bathroom of the house I grew up in!

I decided to also pull the carpet out of my office and the same lino is there as well- I'm going to leave it that way because it's cooler, easier to clean, virtually dust-less compared to the evil carpet, and the nostalgia of it still blows me away.

On the subject of carpeting: I have never liked it. Carpeting, besides being a trap for dirt that you can only get out with professional steam cleaning, is full of toxic things- Volatile Organic Compounds is the proper term. You can bet I'm looking forward to getting rid of all of it- the nice thing is when you have a lot of it and cut and roll it up in neat manageable pieces and leave it out front with a 'Free' sign, some fellow with a truck is going to come by and take it off your hands. That's what happened with our first batch and I'm glad it didn't go to the dump.

And to finish off this post I will post my current links:

Artemis Graphics And Design - Stock and Local Photography

Artemis Graphics And Design - Traditional and Digital Art

Heidi Koehler Photography and Photographic Services

Heidi Irene Koehler on Facebook


Website updated

I actually got my main web site updated in it's entirety. I had hit a bit of a snag with my image server that necessitated re-coding 140 web pages and re-uploading around 1500 images...I actually didn't realize that I had so many images up in the local galleries but that's factoring in the preview images which are individual files as well as the large view images.
For anyone looking for stock imagery here is a link to my web site: Artemis Graphics And Design which is an extremely easy-to-navigate site that contains close to 5000 unique images.

This is my category list for stock and how many pages worth of images. ( note: each individual page contains a maximum of 30 preview images which link to a watermarked image that is 600 to 800 pixels on the longest side )

Animals-Birds...7 galleries
Animals-Cats...6 galleries
Animals-Insects...5 galleries
Animals-Rural/Wild...6 galleries
Animals-Zoo...4 galleries
Buildings...9 galleries
Carnivals/Festivals...1 gallery
City Scenes...3 galleries
Classic Cars...7 galleries
Flowers...42 galleries
Food...3 galleries
Fruits...5 galleries
Home Life...3 galleries
Leaves/Plants...9 galleries
Miscellaneous...3 galleries
Mountains/Scenics...6 galleries
Objects...8 galleries
Panoramas...5 galleries
People/Portraits...3 galleries
Parks/Places...4 galleries
Rodeo...1 galleries
Sunsets...3 galleries
Textures...14 galleries
Transports...3 galleries
Trees...4 galleries

Here are the Local Galleries which are also technically stock- these images were taken at particular events in Merritt and I will be adding 2 more within the next few days; Gatti CIrcus and the Show And Shine car show at Rotary Park.

Parade in Merritt during the Nicola Valley Fall Fair...5 galleries with a total of 131 images
50th Annual Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo - 2008...8 galleries containing 235 images
A Trip to the Museum - 2008...1 gallery containing 20 images
Merritt's Murals - 2008...2 galleries containing 34 images
Ice Fishing Derby at Mammette Lake - 2009...3 galleries with a total of 76 images
Winter Fair in down-town Merritt - 2009...4 galleries with a total of 92 images
Core Course Training at Merritt Range - 2009...2 galleries with a total of 45 images
Black Powder Shootout at Merritt Range - 2009...2 galleries with a total of 35 images
Spring Art Show at Civic Center - 2009...1 gallery containing 14 images
Archery Class - last day at Merritt Range - 2009...1 gallery containing 4 images
Family Fishing Day at Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park - 2009...3 galleries containing 69 images

I guess I will finish off this post with an image- we went for a drive a few days ago and found one of those local dirt roads that led down to the river from the main road. It came out at a railway bridge that looked as if a car could cross it but I wasn't about to take that chance! On the other side of that bridge you could easily go down to the Nicola River and into an awesome swimming hole. :)