"Come fly with me!" Darby2's Profile

My GigaPan wins Silver Award!!!


Rodeo photos

As an acreage country dweller I have a love of gardening and growing things...not the least of which is PUMPKINS! This year is also a fine year for sunflowers!

Have a look at the new 2007 world records

The world's record PUMPKIN PIE is on this site...it's 42 inches wide by more than 39 feet long!

In my first attempt this year I grew a cucumber that weighed 6 pounds 2 oz.

The picture opposite is a huge 42.75 pound beet grown by John Evans in Palmer Alaska. He holds many State and world records

Have a look at his other pages...you won't believe your eyes!
AHHHHH! Food, glorious food...
Did you ever wonder where the world's best restaurants were?

Here's a list of the top ten and one of them is in Canada!


Restaurant magazine's picks were:

0. Frog and Peach

1. El Bulli -- Rosas, Spain

2. Gordon Ramsay -- Chelsea, London

3. The French Laundry -- Napa Valley, Calif.

4. Rockpool -- Sydney, Australia

5. Spoon -- Mauritius

6. Auberge De l'ill -- Alsace, France

7. 1884 -- Mendoza , Argentina

8. The Ivy -- London

9. Eigensinn Farm -- Collingwood, Ont.

10. Tetsuya -- Sydney, Australia
For more information on Michael Statlander's wonderful dinners at this country farm near Collingwood, Ontario, just click on the link.

BTW, it takes months or years to get a reservation!!!

Changing colors of autumn

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but by the moments that take our breath away

My travel philosophy is to get out there and discover the little hidden places far from the big bustling cities. You won't find a lot of pictures of buildings or people on my pages, I'll leave that to the rest of you. So, before the remaining area of the earth is paved over, here's a few glimpses of what nature has given us to be faithful stewards of.



Brand new Pages!!!

Kelowna and the meeting with Gillian!!!!!

Updates and new Travelogues on my Chilko Lake Pages

Lytton and Hells Gate and the story of Rosie the cow who survived going through it.

Lillooet and Bridge River Country

100 Mile House...Flyfishing and log houses

Pavilion...Jewel of the Cariboo

Fort McMurray and the Athabasca Oilsands

Whether you realize it or not, the world is running out of oil...quicker than you think

How will YOU cope in a world without oil???

Lamont, Alberta...for my Ukrainian friends
Creston and the Kootenays
Pitt Lake and the lost gold mine!
Queen Charlotte Islands


Edmonton (Getting to the OIL-Patch...wipe off your muddy boots!)
Fort McMurray(The world's biggest machines moving the oilsands)
Prince George (side trip to Bennett Dam and Chilcotin and Chilko Lake)
Red Deer (side trip to see the Oldest living tree in Canada)
Wetaskiwin (The Reynolds Alberta Museum)
Smoky Lake (the big Pumpkin page...and I DO MEAN BIG!)
Vegreville (Ukrainians will love this page)
Stony Plain (the town near where I live)
Grande Prairie (Peace River area)
Yellowknife (The Ingraham Trail)
Vancouver (Seymour Narrows killer whale! Vancouver Island)
Whitehorse, Yukon (lots of stuff!)
Hawaii ( The Big Island- Astronomy capital of the world)
Prince Albert (Northern Saskatchewan...looks as if I'm the only one on VT to have been there)

Drop me a line anytime! <<<----Email me here!!!



For some inspiration and something to uplift your spirit :
The Interview with God

Flights of fancy!

Ahhhh...summertime beckons...the call of the road comes once again,
The Gang Ranch
and Bella Coola

My aerial photos of my first flight!

My first visit to Toronto


"When I consider thy
heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"

I do not know what I appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself now and then by finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.--Sir Issac Newton
" ...skies like molten metals and dissolving crystals, with, sometimes, the torrid, incandescent sun-disks; beneath the incessant and formidable stream of every kind of light; in an atmosphere which is heavy, flaming, scorching, as if thrown off from fantastic furnaces which are vaporizing gold and diamonds and strange gems...

Albert Aurier
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

This planet has, or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should have ever left the oceans.

And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.

Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost forever.

....from The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Springtime landscapes in B.C. and Alberta

On the Victoria Day Weekend I took my usual first fishing trip to the North Thompson- Clearwater- Wells Gray Park area. The weather again co-operated for the most part and provided a variety of "atmospherics" from fog, to rainshowers to sunshine. I'll be posting images in my Wells-Gray Park pages as well as Clearwater and a new Spahats Creek Provincial Park page...stunning lava canyons, waterfalls and deep, dark, cedar forests.

Spahats Creek is just 10 km north of Clearwater on the road into Wells Gray Park. Saw the usual bevvy of bears on the way.

This spring, 2007 I did an early venture into Wells Gray to capture a few shots of the ice cone that forms under Helmcken Falls.


More to come on my Rocky Mountain House pages

I'm off this Good Friday morning on another road trip to southern BC...Radium, Cranbrook, Castlegar, Kootenay Lake, Creston, Boswell, Thrums (where the HECK is THAT!)... and on into the Okanagan. Oh, yeah...I did go through Yahk!!!...and that's a story to itself ;o))

Yep, I'm back and the trip was nothing short of extraordinary...the weather, the sights, the smells...check out my pages for Oliver, Osoyoos, Keremeos for more pictures of the Okanagan, and those of the Kootenays on my pages for Creston, Kootenay Lake, Slocan Lake, New Denver, Kaslo, Castelgar.

As for the weather, the snowfall on Saturday night added some great highlights to the pictures, particularly around Keremeos and Osoyoos.

To view many of my images in high resolution detail just click here!

The Wonder of it All <<========Just click to find out...

Now...take a trip through the universe...from the far reaches of our Galaxy to the heart of an atom.CLICK HERE



When you walk through a storm,

Hold your head up high,

And don't be afraid of the dark.

At the end of a storm,

There's a golden sky,

And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,

Walk on through the rain,

Though your dreams be tossed and blown..

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,

And you'll never walk alone...

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,

And you'll never walk alone...

You'll never walk alone.



The story so far...The Meaning of Life

In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
Many races believe that it was created by some sort of god, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe the the entire Universe was in fact sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arklesiezure.
The Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of the time they call The Coming of The Great White Handkerchief, are small blue creatures with more than fifty arms each, who are therefore unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel.
However, the Great Green Arklesiezure Theory is not widely accepted outside Viltvodle VI and so, the Universe being the puzzling place it is, other explanations are constantly being sought.

For instance, a race of hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings once built themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought to calculate once and for all the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.
For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two ? and so another, even bigger computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was.
And this computer, which was called the Earth, was so large that it was frequently mistaken for a planet? especially by the strange ape-like beings who roamed its surface, totally unaware that they were simply part of a gigantic computer program.
And this is very odd, because without that fairly simple and obvious piece of knowledge, nothing that ever happened on the Earth could possibly make just the slightest bit of sense.
Sadly, however, just before the critical moment of readout, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished by the Vogons to make way - so they claimed - for a new hyperspace bypass, and so all hope of discovering a meaning for life was lost forever.

Comic Relief: The best of BoB & RaY

Words to live by

The Best things in Existence

On Death and Transfiguration...what will happen when we die? Some interesting reading here.

Will National Geographic Magazine be the end of the world????? All those BILLIONS of copies that never get thrown away will soon upset the balance of the earth!!!!

Pipe organs, photography and pumpkins

My favorite Music: anything well played or well sung.
I love the Romantic composers, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Greig, Liszt, Chopin, Mozart, Bach, Elgar, Beethoven, Brahms, Resphighi and Debussy. I also love music from the movies...the theme from Lawrence of Arabia comes to mind. I am very fond of the PIPE ORGAN as well.
For those of you that like the majesty and delicacy that only a mighty pipe organ can produce... I invite you to look and listen...

What's it like to play one of these huge instruments??? Watch Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer-Choplin play the magnificent 1863 Cavaillé-Coll organ inSaint Sulpice cathedral, in Paris. The original organ dates back to the 16th century. The video clip shows (along with the clatter of the keyboard) the dexterity of both hands and feet required to bring forth the music. This is the same organ that Charles-Marie Widor played for more than 63 years!

Pipe Organ Database, with facts, specifications, links and photos of more than 3000 of the world's greatest organs.

Here's a link to several hundred live streaming broadcasts from Minnesota Public Radio's programs called PIPEDREAMS

The first and finest I dedicate to the late Virgil Fox undoubtedly the greatest organist that America has ever produced. His interpretation and transcription of Bach's "Komm Susser Todd" (Come, Sweet Death) will forever live in my soul. It comes at about 50 minutes into the program and was performed by Fox at the age of 27 before a gathering of 13,000 organists at the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, the world's largest, in Philidelphia in 1939. Needless to say, he knocked their socks off. He employs every resource of the organ's 6 manuals, 30,000 pipes, 400 stops and 457 ranks. If ever there was a piece of music to make you feel like you were soaring towards the gates of heaven, this has to be it. I dedicate this piece of music to the memory of my late father

Listen to and watch Virgil as he describes what it's like to play the huge Wanamaker instrument.

Click here to listen using Real Player version 8 or higher in streaming audio.

Classical Music Archives

Several Canadian composers I like include pianist Andre Gagnon and composer Victor Davies. Both have impressive creations including movie scores.

"Put a small piano in a truck and drive out on country roads; take time to discover new scenery; stop in a pretty place where there is a good church; upload the piano and tell the residents; give a concert; offer flowers to the people who have been so kind as to attend; leave again."
~Sviatoslav Richter

Big cameras-big pictures

I've always been partial to using a large format camera for my landscape photography. Despite its weight and awkwardness, it still produces the most superb images. This shot of me was taken in the Crowsnest Pass area of Alberta.

The camera is an 8x10 Cambo and the normal lens I use is a 360mm Schneider Symmar-S and a 210 mm Zeiss. The camera also accepts films sizes of 4x5, 5x7 and 120 Rolls as well as Polaroid. A digital camera back is also available from Phase One: it creates a file up to 768 MB at full resolution! but costs over $40,000.

The black and white photo of me shows me inspecting a large litho negative as I stand beside the front case of the Brown Admiral overhead camera which I used to work on. The lens is an 890mm Apo-Nikkor and the camera weighed more than 3 tons and could produce negatives and positives up to 60 x 96 inches. These cameras are rarely used today, having been replaced by digital imaging.

Read the reviews and see the latest images on the new digital cameras here:


Update, Jan. 2010. You probably have been wondering why I haven't been on VT much in the last year. Suffice to say, I've been devoting my time to creating big panoramas with my GigaPan system...have a look...My GigaPan images These images are also viewable in Google Earth®

Recently announced at Photokina 2006, have a look at the world's largest and most expensive telephoto lens, the 1700mm f/4 Zeiss Apo-Sonnar T*...it boggles the mind

For some peace and solitude...

When you come to British Columbia, take a quiet stroll through the coastal rain forests.

To view a high resolution image of the Tamihi Forest picture, (and others in my PBASE Gallery) Click here!

Listen in particular for this beautiful bird song. You will hear it in the forested glades on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, it's the song of the Swainson's Thrush

For a complete list of the song birds of B.C: (dammit, they dropped those links :-( )

Birds of BC

Click here to save a patch of old growth forest in northern Sweden
Thanks to Rachey for this link.


Wilderness and wildness...

We need the tonic of wildness, to wade sometimess in marshes where
the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe;
to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more
solitary fowl builds her nest and the mink crawls with its belly close
to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore
and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and
unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed
and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough
of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustable vigor,
vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the
wilderness with its living and decaying trees, the thunder cloud,
and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life
pasturing freely where we never wander.— Walden, Henry David Thoreau

  • Intro Updated Jan 5, 2011
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Darbkitten, Dave
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