Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We Care

This is Mai David Huy Huynh.  He died this past Saturday after a tragic fall from Pospect Point onto the Stanley Park Seawall.  He had only a few courses left to complete his degree at UBC.  He was not only deeply loved but deeply admired.  Bill and I didn't know him, but yesterday, we read about the accident in the newspaper and it hit us hard.  We had biked around the seawall on Sunday, having no idea that, only the day before, someone had lost their life there.  My post today is for ABC Wednesday and celebrates the letter "C" but every photo, every word, every thought seems to link back to this fine young man.  In thinking of a "C" word, a simple one comes to mind.  We care.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to David's family and to the others in his life who knew and loved him.   
The care word links up to other words like community and compassion and culture and concern.  David was described in a post at the UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society site as "..above all kind-hearted."  This article about him highlights the strength and optimism that was an inherent part of his character.  In thinking about that, I came across this Charter for Compassion site.  There's a youtube of Israeli and Palestinian youth making music together.  These young people have seen way too many cothurnal situations (of like or pertaining to tragedy) but they refuse to let their lives be crushed into sadness.  I think, David would enjoy the life and hope in this video.   
After reading about David, Bill and I set out along the Cole Harbour bike path, thinking to stop for the second day in a row at Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.  We took a few moments along the way to give Black Jack a run.  She spends quite a bit of time riding with us in her basket, but I try to make sure she also has lots of opportunity to stretch her legs.  I love this comical photo of her with ears pinned back and intense focus in her eyes.
This carving is near the area where Black Jack had her run. 
I do not have a link for you, but some information about it can be read from this plaque.  It was a community centre project that involved people from many cultures working (and playing) together.  
At Beaver Lake, I hoped to see some of the birds we had observed the day before.  In fact, as sometimes happens, those birds seemed to be missing in action.  We did see this duck that I thought might be a Northern Shoveler female.
Here is another view of her.  (All id help appreciated.)
The reflections..
and lily-pads..
were fun to photograph.
A colleague happened by and our conversation about cyclist/runner confrontations inspired more thought about compassion and how to foster it wherever and however we can. In the mean time, I watched this heron, perhaps the same one we had seen only the day before.
We hadn't planned this, but somehow, our ride took us down to the seawall after that.  In fact, we ended up at pretty much the exact spot where David had died.  As we thought about him, I also heard tiny bird sounds, pitched too high for Bill to hear, but fortunately, his eyes and my ears combine beautifully and he was the one to spot this bird nesting in a cliff.
Perhaps it is a very common sparrow.  I'm not sure, but as always, would be happy for id suggestions from readers.  What really amazed me is that in the face of that sheer rock, a living being had chosen to make its nest.  Here's a "C" word for you, learned from the Unusual Words that Begin with C site.  Caliology is the study of birds' nests.
And, here are a few more views..
including a greatly cropped one showing something edible (an insect) the bird had found, 
I learned in this article that some of the rock consists of sedimentary sandstone.  I have no expertise at all about rock so can't tell you what you are seeing in the photos.  
I can give you a new "C" word, though.  Calcivorous refers to beings that live in, or feed on, limestone.
Here are two more shots, one showing the right side, 
and the other, the left side, of this very busy little bird.
The photos here are in order, so perhaps you will understand the emotion I felt, as I gazed up to the cliff beside us, the one that I guessed David had fallen from.
I looked as well at my beloved Black Jack, whose basket seemed to lean out over the water,
and at my beloved Bill, who guarded her safety carefully.
Only then did I see a young girl with these flowers.  No explanation was needed.  They were a tribute to David.  She was calm and composed but there was deep emotion in her eyes, and though my heart lurched in a kind of shock, I wasn't surprised when she told me she was David's sister.  Bill hugged her, his eyes filled with tears.  She and her family were trying to locate the exact spot where David had fallen.  I will never forget this moment and I will never forget David.  May he rest in peace;  I want to believe that his caring spirit will carry on in those he loved and in those who came to know his story only after his death.  
We continued on for the ride home, stopping only once more for a rest on a shady park bench.  Two young men were playing frisbee.  
I asked them if I could practice action shots.  
They kindly agreed. 
When I gave this gentleman my blog address, he said, "I don't know where I fit in.  I guess I must be the "beast" and not the bicycle or the bird.
Life carrying on,
just as David would want it.
Taking a moment to observe.. 
the caducity (impermanent nature)..
of life gives us good reason to..
those who pass by (she was on her way to the drum circle) and even into..
our own lives.
To answer your question about where you fit in,
you are one of those who carries on..
the spirit of vitality,
perhaps passed to you by someone you didn't have the chance to know..  through me.  
Thank you to each one of you who has taken time to care.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beaver Lake

We biked in the late afternoon yesterday to Stanley Park's Beaver Lake.  It was a peaceful ride with just enough breeze to keep us cool and comfortable.  Once there, Bill locked the bikes and we walked around the lake, better described as a swamp, albeit a lovely one.  

Herons stood motionless for long periods, 
but were rewarded every once in a while by..
modest catches, so tiny, I wondered if they could be tasted at all.
Beaver Lake is beautiful but in danger of filling in completely with sediment.  This story and video in the Vancouver Sun talks of a plan to.. 
restore it to "lake" status. 
Sometimes, mankind's interference with nature..
creates other problems down the road, but hopefully, 
dredging the lake of sediment will work well for..
wildlife in the area.  Anyone able to identify this duck?  (apologies for the poor photo) 
Birds were singing all around me, but photography was a huge challenge.  The best I could manage was this fern.  Then I heard..
"Oh look.  There's a snake!"  I had a momentary flash of hope,
but then realized Bill's impish humour had caught me yet again :) 
"Rather stiff snake."
My sole bird catch of the day..
was this little creeper.
It was the first I had seen this summer.  Yay! 
It was nearing 8:00 p.m. by the time we left, but a warm light..
and blue skies..
made our ride past Malkin Bowl..
 a beautiful one.
I took just a few photos of the flowers and plants around us..
while Bill and Black Jack communed.
Riding homeward, some tiny inuksuit (I've just learned that is the plural of inukshuk) along.. 
English Bay caught Bill's eye..
so we made our final stop of the ride just a little before the Burrard Bridge.  (The Granville Bridge is the lower one behind.  The two bridges often appear to melt into one.)

There's Bill, doing his best imitation of an inukshuk!

That was our world yesterday.

To peek into the lives of other people around the world, you may want to check out 

Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers who keep that excellent meme going.  And, thank you to you for stopping by here.  Your visits are truly appreciated!