Friday, April 24, 2009

The Longest Walk

On Tuesday, Black Jack and I were outside for most of the day.  We began by walking down Blanca Street, where I stopped in front of someone's house to photograph these flowers.
When we arrived at Spanish Banks beach, there was heavy mist on the other side of the water.  The sun came and went, and I shed and added layers, depending on its position and our level of exertion.  Black Jack was keen and comfortable, regardless of the temperature changes. 
We stopped at the fishing dock, and I saw something I have never seen before.  It still makes me smile.  A seagull came along, appeared to be heading for a post, but thought better of it and landed on..  its mate? friend? sibling? parent?  Whatever the relationship, the landing was taken completely in stride.  Just a ho hum occurrence I guess.
It settled itself firmly, stayed for a few moments, and then flew off.  No reaction at all that I could detect from the one being used as a landing strip.
Lots of crows around as well.  I liked the curve of this one's right wing.
Black Jack doesn't like to stay long at the fishing dock.  At her insistence, we continued on to the rabbit bushes.  
Like my last dog, Scott, she has a curly tail which almost succeeds in straightening out when she's concentrating on a possible prey chase.  That makes me smile too. 
Ducks were nesting by the ponds at Jericho.
We continued by Brock House, where I took this one lovely flower.  
We looked quite a distance down, and over the fence in the little park, to see this dog playing by the beach.  
Past the Hastings Mill museum on Alma Street, there are stairs leading down to the beach.  Our plan was to take the ferry at Vanier Park.  The tide was out, so it seemed a safe plan to make our way along the beach front.
Black Jack didn't complain, but the tiny sharp shell fragments and pebbles, to my mind, must have been quite rough on her little feet, so I carried her over the trickier portions of this part of our walk.  She is such an easy dog.  Happy to walk.  Happy to be carried.  Just happy to be outside (as long as it's not raining!)
I enjoyed watching this blue heron fish.  I wondered if it flew from the heronry, or if there is another heronry besides the one at Stanley Park. 
It flew out a bit further.
We sat on a rock and watched it fish for quite a while before it finally flew away.
At Vanier Park, we caught the ferry, and then walked along the waterfront to Stanley Park.  These flowers were on Beach Avenue, on our right, as we walked west.
We stopped at the dog bakery on Denman Street, before continuing on to Stanley Park.  So far, Black Jack was loving the walk, but it gained another ten or so points when these squirrels decided to give a free show, just as we entered the park.

Black Jack waited fairly patiently while I spent some time checking Serena and Sam at the heronry.  No pictures, but if you are a blue heron fan, and don't mind some very poor quality photos, you can read all about them in the previous post.  

It was now late afternoon, as we retraced our steps along the path above the beach, to the Aquatic Centre.  This time, we planned to take the ferry to Granville Island.  

There were knots in the wood that appeared burned.  For some reason, they worried Black Jack. 
She is such a gutsy little dog, taking everything in her stride, but those knots really bugged her.

These flowers are along the street by the path above the beach.  I didn't take this photo on Tuesday, but wanted to show it, as I pass by the flowers every work day, as I head home.  Only in Vancouver, could there be palm trees, traffic, beach, flowers, sailboats, seals, blue herons, cyclists, and who knows what else, all within easy view.

Granville Island was busy as usual.  We met John, eating a snack, while his six afghans enjoyed a rest.  I took very poor pictures, but John tells me if you google his name, Flickr will turn up lots of photos taken by people as intrigued as I was with his afghan family.  Here, Papa is in the middle, with Mama, just in front of him.  There are four daughters in all, two on each side.  John told me he has an elderly, rescue Afghan at home as well.  Wow!  Seven afghan hounds!  I once knew a lady in Montreal, who had a beautiful Afghan named Thalia.  We used to meet in the dog park each morning, and she gave me some idea of the grooming challenges of these dogs.  I have a picture that I may post one day.  I thought of it when I read Jean's post about Pearl, Pearl is a Borzoi and Thalia was an afghan, but both were white, and I would guess, from Jean's description, that they share many of my favorite sighthound qualities.  But getting back to John, all I could think, beside what a good life his dogs have, was how much time he must spend every day grooming.    
Papa was watching his wife and daughters quite carefully.
He wasn't sure about Black Jack.  To an afghan, a dog as small as Black Jack must seem rather close to rabbit size.

We finally left, and four of the six dogs stood up to see us off.  
(A close-up of two of them.)
Through Granville Island, up over three flights of stairs to a walkway bridge, a little more uphill, and we were at The Wicked Cafe where I enjoyed a latte.  Bill met us there, and I'm a bit ashamed to say I enjoyed a second latte with him.  That was our walk.  I expected Black Jack to be exhausted, but she was ready to play when we arrived home.  She may be little, but her stamina is quite amazing.  I do believe she could happily live outdoors just about all day long, every day (as long as it doesn't rain!)   As for me, I loved our day, but was happy too, to kick back and rest for the evening.

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