Saturday, July 4, 2009

Part 2: Home again

Most of the pictures in this entry were taken shortly after I arrived home from Ottawa, but this first one was taken before I left.  Bill, Black Jack and I were walking in the neighborhood when these scooters caught Bill's eye, and then my imagination.  A couple perhaps?  Pink for her and aqua for him?  The bikes don't look new.  Something endearing about the way they sit, side by side, angled so perfectly in their one-car parking spot.
I think this must be Ned, of Jericho Park.  I was happy to see him, sitting in some trees near the pond.
It's a rare day that Black Jack and I don't visit Jericho at least once.  I take pictures of the same places over and over, but they always feel new to me.  At the front of this picture is a beaver dam that I have just noticed at the foot of the bridge.  About 8 years ago, my dog, Scott, and I watched a family of beavers for a couple of months, at a spot just a short distance away from this one by the bridge.  There were a lot of complaints about the trees being felled, and someone told me the beavers had been relocated.  But if they were, a new one has taken up residence.
This stump is still there to tell the tale of those beavers that Scott and I watched years ago.  I remember the tree, with a few bite marks, and then, each day, added ones, until the park staff had to cut it down because it was in danger of falling. 
Now, I notice that most of the trees are protected by wire netting.  Still the beavers seem to find enough material to build their dams.  I saw one beaver a few nights ago, but it disappeared before I could get a photo.  I keep hoping I'll see it again.  One lady told me she saw it swimming under the bridge with a branch in its mouth.  That would be something to see.
Just as we were coming to the end of our walk, we met a lady with a large black dog.  Black Jack and the dog checked each other out, and the lady began to speak to me, as though we had known each other for ever.  "Did you see that beautiful cloud? she asked. "If I tried to paint that, it would look fake." Then she led me to the spot where I could best view it, and I took a picture.  
On Monday, I stopped at Stanley Park on the way home from work, for a quick look to see if there were any changes at the heronry.  There was lots of clucking and squawking in the trees, but the foliage made photos and indentification difficult. 
I did see a racoon very high up in one tree.  They go looking for trouble (or at least it seems that way to me), although it's a bit surprising at this time in the season, as many of the babies are almost as big as their parents.
It was interesting to watch its downward route, first sliding, tummy facing  in...
...then dropping into the crook of the branches where it could stabilize...
... and turn around for the rest of the journey.
I left the heronry and biked along Beach Avenue, stopping for a moment to look at the seagulls playing in the wind..
... and take a photo of the flowers.  Interesting that those flower beds have been empty for quite some time.  Weeks ago, I took pictures of the gorgeous tulips, but they only lasted for a few days.  Shortly after that photo, I came along to see empty beds.  I love the flowers, but wonder at the expense and energy when they last such a short time.  Maybe something went wrong this year, or maybe that's the way it is supposed to be.    
Here is my shadow, taking a picture of the pond.  Bill's shadow is at my right, and if you look really, really closely, maybe you can tell that Black Jack is in his arms.  He cannot bear to pull on her neck, so when she goes after things like food in the grass...
... or rabbits...
... he usually picks her up.
I love the way she sits so comfortably and confidently in his arms.
I also loved the way these ducks were splashing, as they paddled furiously to get bottoms up.
I've taken pictures of the pink flowers in the pond before, but they continue to fascinate me.  They seem a bit like what we used to call lily pads when I was a kid.
Here's a close-up of one of them.
Bill stepped down to the pond's edge, hoping to figure out what was fascinating Black Jack so much, but the source of her interest remained a mystery.
When we came back to the courtyard of my apartment building, we saw a cat in the tree, and its human close by.  We were a little worried, until she explained that she had placed the cat there, and it was having a great time.
We learned that the cat's name is Toni, changed from "Tony" when she was neutered and discovered to be a female.  We also could see that she is well supervised, and were told that she is never left out after dark.
Toni was having the time of her life...
...and so was I, taking pictures of her.
I have photographed her before.  Black Jack often notices her when we walk by.  But this was the first time to see her in a tree.
She was gaining confidence by the second, and headed higher and higher.  Fortunately, the tree isn't a huge one.
We also learned that she comes when called, as some dogs do.  I wish Black Jack were as responsive.
What a happy cat.
I wondered when she eyed this thinner branch, but all was well, and she was at her usual perch on the ground the next morning.
I took the final two pictures of this post on another Jericho walk.  I know, if I were to look back over this blog, many of the pictures would appear almost, if not, identical.  Once, I read a blog by a fellow who promised himself he would take one crow picture every day for a year.  I've since tried to find that blog, but it seems to resist the google search.  Still, I remember it, and am comforted that even if they seem identical, each time I am moved to admire a bird, it is new for me.

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