4 Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi wrote the  “Le Quattro Stagioni” ,  each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year.  Beautiful music !   Today my  post  reflects on  our 4 seasons in Canada. Is there a perfect season ? Or is it just perfect that we  have 4 seasons  (at least here in Canada) ?

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Spring. La primavera. It was not my favorite season when I lived in Quebec ( for about 30 years). Ski season was over. We couldn’t cycle yet. The grass wasn’t green. The snow was melting too slowly (and was dirty) and it was still cold.  As a Vancouverite, spring has become almost my favorite season.  In February – it is still winter- but in my garden I am delighted to see snowdrops followed by crocuses. We start to see flowers (the bulbs) very early and the trees are blooming in March and April.  At last, there is not as many rainy days.  Except this year ( so much rain !).

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And lilac  is a good sign of spring.

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Tulip time is  fantastic when we can visit those  large fields. It has become an interesting outing for us who live in the Lower Mainland. Just south of the border it is also possible to enjoy such beauty. I took this photo in April 2014 in Agassiz, British Columbia. Isn’t it beautiful ?

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Summer.  L’estateSummer Solstice is on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm in Vancouver. This day is 8 hours, 4 minutes longer than  December Solstice day. The longest day of the year. Oh ! Joy! Dinners outside will  be in order and spending time in the garden to keep it nice.  I am not really a person who spend time at the beach  but walking by the water is wonderful with the smell and the wind.  When I am not traveling  I rather hike or cycle and it is why I really enjoy summer. The birds are happily singing early in the morning inviting me to get out of bed .

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Summer is also time to pick up berries. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  I like to have those local berries in my freezer for the winter months.

Sometimes, I enjoy splendid sunsets. This one was taken from English Bay.

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Too soon, for me, summer is fading away.  Days are not as long and not as warm although we rarely suffer from high heat during the summer months in Vancouver. The word fall is not my favorite word of the dictionary.

Fall is l’autonno in Italian.  Fall is a bit sad for me. Falling leaves, cool days  and more rainy days. But on a positive note we see magnificent trees and beautiful leaves.  And when we get  sunny days , we want  to be outside cleaning up the garden once more. Walking in the forest is  good to stay connected with nature that is preparing for a rest.

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Winter. L’inverno. We are getting more rainy days . The days are very dark. We might get snow in the city but mostly we get  it on our local mountains. I used to go up to do cross-country skiing. When snow falls in the city, why not making a snowman ? No need to have little kids around. I have my inner child.  I had fun creating  “Alfred” in December 2016.

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Now, you know that I like  the 4 seasons. You also know  which one is my favorite if you read until here. Maybe you can tell me which one is your favorite ?

Thanks for reading and your comments. Happy 4 seasons !

 

 

 

Mission San Buenaventura

Hello readers… another post on our visit to the Spanish Missions in California.

Finally, it was the day  were going to visit  Mission San Buenaventura, Mission by the Sea. Named  for Saint Bonaventure, a 13th century Franciscan cardinal and renowned philosopher. The  very last mission  we were going to see – of the 21st of all the Spanish Missions in California. Here is the front of the church seen from the other side of the street. The church has 5 bells, the oldest dating to 1781.

The first church was destroyed by a fire , the second was abandoned during construction. The present church was not completed before 1809 and was almost completely destroyed  by earthquakes and tidal waves in 1812. another earthquake damaged the church in 1925 and was repaired in 1950.

This Mission is located in Ventura.  On Easter Sunday March 31, 1782, Father Serra  raised a cross and celebrated Mass to found his 9th and final mission.  He died  two years later before the founding of Mission  Santa Barbara.

 

At each of the missions, we see a statue of Fr. Junipero Serra.

We visited the garden with a beautiful fountain.

In  the church, lots of restoration was underway .

It might be odd that we wanted to see all the missions  as we are not people going to church and we are not Americans.  As I often said they are nice places to see with lots of history . It gave us a good reason to stop in all the cities  where there is a mission.

The very first mission we visited was in March 2013. It was  Mission  San Juan Capistrano.  On that day, I had  purchased a  postcard showing the location of the 21 missions in California. Soon after  we made  plans to see more of them.   The last one we visited  was on February  20, 2017.  I am quite certain that many people living in California have not visited them all. If you read this and found it interesting, let me know. And I hope you still continue to read my blog on different places I visit.

Thank you .

 

 

 

Mission Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara  was the tenth mission founded (December 4,1786).  Three adobe churches  were built but the third one was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. The present church was built in 1815 and completed in 1820. Another earthquake damaged the church. Restoration work was completed in 1927. Santa Barbara is the only mission in the California chain remaining under control of the Franciscans without interruption from the day of its founding until the present time.

This Mission is also called “Queen of the Missions” and was named for Saint Barbara,   a legendary martyred  church  figure of the 3rd century. The Neoclassical facade is inspired  by 1st century B.C. architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio.

The fountain  built in 1808 along with the adjacent stone  “lavandaria” which was used by Native Americans.

The day we visited it was another  wet day  but most of the tour was inside. We watched a 18  minutes video and then went quickly in the cemetery garden.

We enjoyed the artwork  displayed in the church. Some of the interior detailing were patterned after an ancient Roman temple. It was difficult to take good photos in the church as there was not much light.

There were many things to look at in the museum. There was lots to read and great info.

And of course, there was a gift shop. Notice the beautiful handmaid decoration on the wall.

Another photo taken outside the mission.

It was another good visit and then we drove some more to get to Ventura where we would visit the very last mission on our list.

Thanks again for your visit.

 

La Purísima Concepción

The day after we visited Santa Inés, we were lucky that the storm was almost over. We went to Lompoc to see  Mission La Purísima Concepción.  The  11th of the 21 Mission  was named for Mary, the mother of Jesus.  It was founded on December 8, 1787 by Father Fermin de Lasuén This  Mission was destroyed   by an earthquake in 1812 and rebuilt in a different site in 1813.  It was  rebuilt again between 1934-1942.  Today,  La Purísima Concepción  is  a State Historic Park  where volunteers demonstrate what mission life used to be. It has over 20 buildings   and is the most fully restored mission in California. Rooms are furnished as they would have been in the 1820’s.

It was- in my opinion- one of the best Mission we visited ( as we only had 2 more to see after that one). We were lucky to see some docents in  period costumes. We enjoyed it very much. The buildings, the garden,  the animals, the information, the nice lady in the gift shop and the exhibits in the Visitor center.

La Purísima Concepción  is a “living history” museum and  the site is used for reenactments. To share my visit the text will be short, I will rather let the pictures tell the story of what we saw.

I think you would also  enjoy  visiting this Mission. I hope you can go one day. Thank you for your visit and comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Santa Inés

To share my visits of the Missions,  the text will be short, I will rather let the pictures tell the story of what we saw.

The architecture of the 21 Spanish Mission built along El Camino Real (1769-1823) reflects both the simple tastes of their Franciscan founders and the limited resources of material and skilled labor available. The missions were constructed of stone and adobe, finished inside and out with whitewashed mud plaster and topped with pitched roofs of hewn timber covered with red tile.

Located in beautiful rolling hills in the city of Solvang,  Santa Inés has been called the “Hidden Gem of the Missions.” It was founded  on September 17,1804. The 19th of the 21 Missions in California. It is named for Saint Agnes of Rome, a 13 year old roman girl martyred in A.D. 304. It is an active church, the responsibility of Capuchin Franciscans since 1924.

We arrived in Solvang with  heavy rain. I took the first photo through the window of the car. But it did not stop us to visit. My photos will tell more.

We really did not want to spend much time in the garden but we were happy with our visit.

After this visit,   there were only 3 more Missions for us to see  in California.

Thank you so much for reading and if you want to comment, you are welcome ! Have a great WE.

 

 

 

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

The very next day ( after visiting two  Missions) we visited another mission. more.      We were in San Luis Obispo  ( aka  SLO ). The Mission occupies a full city block in downtown  SLO. It is one of the few early missions never to be relocated. This mission is often called “The Prince of Missions ” and was named for a 13th century French saint, the Bishop of Toulouse.

This mission was the 5th  and was founded in September 1772 by Father Serra.          The present building was built between 1794  and 1794 and was restored in 1933.

It was built in an area known as La Cañada de Los Osos, the canyon of the Bears because of the concentration of grizzly bears in the area.  In the museum we find Indian artifacts, glassware, documents and pictures from days gone by. We enjoyed very much to see the garden with beautiful magnolia and some fruit trees.

The church was very nice with beautiful drawings on walls.

We have now only 4 more Missions to visit. Thanks for reading. and many thanks also for leaving a short comment.

 

Mission San Miguel

After visiting the Mission San Antonio de Padua, we drove to see the Mission San Miguel  Arcángel.  This was the 16th of the 21  California  Mission founded  on July 25, 1797.  It was named for The Archangel Michael.  The mission was very prosperous during the mission period with a large community of Native  Americans living nearby. The Mission  was fully restored after the earthquake of 2003. It was closed for a while but now   it  looks much as it was throughout most of its history.

To share my visits of the Missions,  the text will be short, I will rather let the pictures tell the story of what we saw.

Visiting a Spanish Mission is enjoyable.  Sometimes the gardens are beautiful or the museum is really interesting. They are all different. This one had a very good  museum with lots of information. The garden had 30 varieties of cactus, some roses and olive trees.

Inside the church we can see The EYE OF GOD shown in clouds representing heaven with divine rays. This is the largest and most beautiful GOD’S EYE in any of the California missions today. The center statue is St.Michael the  patron of the San Miguel church.

The interior of the church is one of the best preserved of all the mission.  Interesting drawings. Its wall and ceiling decorations  have never been repainted. On the photo above, to the left,  we see a large shell representing baptism- the only shell of this size in any of the California Missions.  The columns, copies of columns in the Forum of Rome, were done by  the artist Don Esteban Munras from Monterey. The outside lines are thinner than those in the middle giving a round look to them.

This Mission is called “The Mission on the Highway” as it is right there  by the road  (101)   and was  even there before there was a road !

As I said it was the 16th mission founded in California and for us it was  also the 16th mission we visited since the very first one (San Juan Capistrano) in March 2013.

Thanks for your visit . We have a few  more Missions to see on that trip…