Sunday, May 17, 2009

Beasts and Blooms in Vancouver

Yesterday, a woman shopping next to me said she was so disgusted with the election, she felt like leaving Vancouver.  Like dp, voting with my heart has never resulted in a win for my party, but I still found the woman's sentiment a bit shocking.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we live in one of the best places on earth. Okay, I haven't traveled all that much, but I feel that to the core. 

A short break from teaching in North Van the other day yielded blooms and greenery everywhere I looked.
I think this flowering bush is Forsythia.  I had one like it in front of the house I was renting when I lived in Fraser Lake, but the ones this year in Vancouver seem to be the most brilliant yellow I have ever seen.  
A closer view of the flowers.

Yesterday was a try-to-get-organized day.  There was satisfaction in yet again solving the mystery of my ancient stereo components, and in having somewhat orderly cupboards and drawers, but it's a fact that I would much rather be outdoors.  Still, without moving from my modest apartment, there is greenery, wildlife, and great entertainment.  This squirrel was about six feet in front of my balcony.
When I stepped out to take a better look (and to settle Black Jack down), we both noticed this resident on the balcony overhead.  It had found a way to get its paws through the netting, but fortunately was well enough contained that I only briefly wondered if it might jump.  It appeared to be fascinated by the squirrel, but took a few moments to look down at Black Jack.
As I zoomed in for a close-up, it did me the honor of looking right into the camera.  I don't read cats very well.  Maybe someone will tell me whether it was saying "hi", or whether it was more inclined to tell me what I could do with that clicking, black box.  Whatever it was saying, I found it to be mesmerizingly beautiful.   
And Black Jack?  Well, let's just say she wasn't bored. 
I know that everyone is not so fortunate as to work and live in the midst of a park-like setting, and I surely do know that the cost of housing in Vancouver makes even a modest dwelling barely affordable for the vast majority of us, but even in shopping districts, it doesn't take a lot of searching to find beauty.  This was a little stretch near Alma Street, on West Broadway.  My camera skills couldn't capture the delicate flowers, but clicking to enlarge these next two will bring them a bit closer to what my eye saw.

Even in what is called the Downtown East Side, I believe I could find evidence that we are fortunate to live here.  Perhaps I'll make that a project for a future post.  No question, there are environmental and housing concerns, and there is work to be done.  If I can ever afford to retire, I hope to do my small part towards making Vancouver an even better place to live.  I love it here.  I guess, that's the bottom line


  1. Glad to hear you are settling in, no matter what choices led to the move.

    I do believe you're right about the Forsythia.

    As for Miss Kitty, her look to me says "Oh. Hello. New around here? Nice to make your acquaintance. I do believe I'll stay up here, out of reach of your little goggie."

  2. What a pretty cat. My translation is quite similar: "Oh hi. Whatcha doing?"

    And for finding beauty everywhere... for that you need the right attitude as much as (or more than) the actual scenery, I think!

  3. I often wonder, Carol, what leads one person to see so much beauty everywhere, while another is oblivious to it. Since starting my blog, and using my camera to try to share some of the moments that fill my life with happiness and beauty, I seem to marvel at so much more than I ever did - though I have always been very aware of the beauty in the Canadian landscape. But now.....there isn't a day goes by when I don't stop several times to drink in a bird's song or a flower's scent or a sunset's colour. While I'm not a Vancouverite, many of your images are echoed in my are - we do indeed live in one of the best places on earth.

  4. Carol we do live in one of the best places in the world, and yet many of us still complains, lol. I am very fortunate that Canada let me in over 20 years ago. BTW your images are beatiful as always. Anna :)

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone. EvenSong, I've learned from my friend, Dianne that that plant is called Scottish Broom. the petals are a bit larger than Forsythia. I enjoyed your Kitty quote:) Carole and Jean, I believe you're right that attitude goes a long way to recognizing beauty when we see it. And, Jean, like you, I find that the blog has really helped me notice things that previously would have completely escaped my notice.