Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Monday!

Many of the blues are very pale this morning, but I am sharing them because I missed Sally's Blue Monday meme last week, and because her idea of bringing a smile to Monday mornings is important to me.  Thank you, Sally!

I took this photo of Bill and Black Jack a few days ago during a stopover on Thursday, when we went for a rather moist, but still fun, bike ride.  I love the image of Bill holding Black Jack so protectively, their faces imprinted on a vast, pale sky.
This was the view from our apartment window on Friday morning.  The rain was steady enough that we didn't ride for the next two days.
On Friday evening, I watched a CBC documentary about Sidney Zoltag.  He survived the Holocaust.  There was a tear in his eye as he told the story, but his need to express thanks was much stronger than his sadness.  He has visited Zigmeund Krinsky in Poland several times.  Complete strangers, Zigmeund and his family risked their own lives to hide Sidney and his parents for 14 months.
Sidney never, ever forgets that his life is precious.  He visits Poland and spreads his story whenever possible.  That is his way of giving thanks.
For one 7-month period, this was as much of the sky as Sidney saw.  I am grateful to see sky and ocean every day.
As you can tell, the video left an impression on my, and so I share it.  It's just 15 minutes long.  It is a beautiful thing that Sidney has not wasted a moment of the life he was given.
On Saturday, we walked again in the rain.  Bill planned a happy route that took us to the Downtown East Side and through a lovely little park.  I carried my camera, but mostly couldn't risk getting it wet.  However, I stood under a doorway and caught this view of a glass covering over a building that brings colour (even some blues) and life to a street that was otherwise pretty dismal on Saturday.
The trees added to quite a complex maze of patterns.
In an even more rundown area, we spotted this mural. 
Yes, there were some blues in it :)
Back to Homer Street and on our way to Harrison Galleries, we passed the library.  This is the very top of it.  It is fascinating to me that trees have been planted on the rooftop.
This sign has been in front of the library for at least a couple of years.  It isn't actually a sign, but rather, public art.  You can read more about Ron Terada's piece here.  I've never fully grasped its meaning, but think about it every time we pass by.  That has to be good :)
Yesterday, the sun came out.  That was huge cause for celebration.  People in Vancouver love to take advantage of the sun whenever it appears.  This fellow was going along the bike path with a very loud boombox playing,
"Bridge Over Troubled Waters."   Loud music imposed when I'm outdoors is not always appreciated, but Elvis was singing, and there was a happiness to the song and the day.
As the man continued along the path, I noticed smiles on the people approaching.  (Some blues too.)
The tide was low yesterday..
but there was still enough water in False Creek to catch the blue skies.
A crow sat, surveying his/her world, and watching me..
survey mine.
Bill remarked that this was the first time we could see the entire circle of these tires.
BC Place and downtown buildings mingled with..
puddle reflections..
and creek reflections..
and Spring was definitely..
in the air.
The male birds were all dressed up..
and ready to choose..
their ladies.
This lady was trying to catch a little shut-eye while her fella watched over her.
Someone was throwing bread over the railing at these mallards,
and there were some squabbles,
but none so serious that..
they couldn't be solved by swimming away. 
While I watched the ducks, Bill took Black Jack to check out the community garden.  One might think this a dismal scene,
but a closer look showed thriving kale..
and perhaps even some pale blues wrapped inside those lovely..
water droplets.
It won't be long before those gardens are full of new bounty.
Three robins against a pale blue sky conclude this post.  I hope you find much to celebrate, and perhaps even a few blues, pale or otherwise, wherever you are, today.  Many thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oranges and Critters

Lots of ducks, a hummingbird, a couple of blurry shots of a Golden-crowned Kinglet (I think), one happy dog in the park and our dear Black Jack to share with Eileen's critter meme, Anni's I'd Rather Be Birdin', Misty Dawn's Camera Critters and Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday this week.Many thanks, Eileen, Anni, Misty and Stewart!  There is orange in almost every photo, some of it more subtle and some of it quite distinct, so I'm going to contribute as well to Orange You Glad It's Friday, with many thanks to Maria, though of course, it's Sunday, and to be honest, I'm happy it's every day, any day :)

This pond near Vancouver's Cambie Bridge was bathed in orangey tones last week. 

As many times as we have enjoyed that pond, we had never walked around to the other side of it. It was a complete surprise to discover this little waterfall and I think the dog with the orange ball was as happy as we were to find such a wonderful play area.

Follow me.  The water's fine!
Mirror, mirror in the pond.  What a handsome dude you've found!
But I've got places to see and tricks to play!
See this ball?  It could be yours.
Come and get it!
Ha-Ha!  Fooled Ya!
Okay, here we go again.  Isn't this fun?  Just follow me!
After some fun watching the dog, we headed back to our usual side of the pond.  On the way, I caught some orangey reflections via some decaying leaves from last Autumn.
We saw this Anna's hummingbird a few days later.  It has been frequenting a pond near Coal Harbour and really should have gone into yesterday's letter "B" post.  Do you see why?
On the other side of the bike path, Black Jack inspected a log..
and I caught a few more orangey reflections..
in Coal Harbour.
Back again to the pond side of the path, we watched this mallard.  He was inspecting..
the decaying leaves of an elephant plant,
wondering perhaps if they would make a good nest.
I could barely take my eyes off his..
huge, and very bright, orange feet.
This is a sort of a random shot, thrown in just because I like the way the oranges blend with the blues, greens and purples of a mosaic floor under the water of a fountain by Vancouver's art gallery.
The Pineapple Express brought two days of relentless rain to Vancouver and it wasn't the best for cycling :) so Bill and I walked in the afternoons.  On Friday, we made it as far as Canada Place, where we sat inside with Black Jack for a few minutes, looking out the window at the lights of the Lions Gate Bridge twinkling through the mist.  The floating Chevron Station services the sea planes but doesn't do a lot for the view :)
We sat in the hallway outside a café and felt rather privileged that no one seemed to object to Black Jack's presence.  We checked out the oranges..
in the art on the walls.
I couldn't fit all of this one into the frame.  It brightened the hallway but I have to admit, a feeling that I occasionally experience of "I could have done that" occurred to me.
Above Bill and Black Jack, an opening into the café revealed a distinctly orange theme.
Past that dividing wall, is the café, with window looking over the drizzly harbour.
Not to be out-oranged, Black Jack was proud to be seen with her beautiful Bill, whose smile was at least as warm as his perfectly-themed shirt.
Rested up and dried out (somewhat), we were just heading out the door (with the café at Harrison Galleries as our destination, when a security fellow came by.  "That's a service dog, isn't it?" he said, nodding his head vigorously up and down to cue me to respond in the affirmative.  I smiled and nodded.  Now, that's the sort of security I appreciate :)  As we walked out, I noted both critters..
and oranges in the view.
I've taken that globe many times, but here it is..
from a different perspective, and with oranges featured.
We continued past a fancy hotel where two different doormen offered Black Jack treats.  She, of course, said, "No thanks!"  (just kidding!!)  Then we stopped to look at the Port of..
Vancouver Cranes that we seem to view from every single one of our haunts.  This art representation of them remains my favorite.  (I've shown it here at least twice but it's always worth a look.) A sea plane..
flew by.  You can still see it in this photo, almost obscured.  I liked the lights of the North Shore and thought of the crews on the ships, as I always do when we look over the harbor.
I loaded my photos a bit haphazardly for this post, so we are now moving back a few days in time.  This is back by the pond near the Cambie Bridge.  It wasn't particularly sunny, but..
my camera seemed to do an extra fine job of capturing the water and duck details.
This was another occasion when orange feet and orange bills..
were lovely accents against beautiful feather markings.
That day, Bill and Black Jack were very active, zipping through this "rustic" tunnel, and..
giving me a new perspective as I took this (overexposed) shot through one of its openings.
Bill caught sight of this Golden-crowned Kinglet (I think), and I came tantalizingly close to catching a decent shot of it.  Just a little too slow on the draw!  I'm hoping there will still be some around so I can try again soon.
There's the full picture of that tunnel.  Does that count as orange?
And what about this tree?  You can see it as Bill and Black Jack walked through the..
tunnel, but I came back to zoom in on some of its features.  I thought it looked like a person standing with crossed legs, and also thought I should be able to identify it, but couldn't.  One thing for certain, there is some distinct orange shading in its peeling bark.
This American Wigeon came up from the water and stood so close to us for what seemed like ages.  Perhaps, he hoped we had treats, but I'm afraid we disappointed him.
Once more, Bill spotted what I think was a Kinglet, but once more, I was too slow to catch a clear shot.  Next time :)  Many thanks to the hosts of the memes I've joined.  And, many thanks to you for stopping by.  Have a wonderful Sunday!