Friday, January 1, 2010


I stepped out on my balcony shortly after midnight, today, so officially, it was January 2nd. The moon was no longer full, but still very impressive. It seems a good omen to have the new year begin with a full moon, don't you think?

Just curious. Will you say "two thousand and ten" or "twenty ten" when you talk of this year?

The rain in Vancouver was miserable and almost constant today, so Bill and I visited Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was only the second visit for me, and the first was quite a few years ago. I know that it is slated for closure on March 1st. While I haven't researched the reasons for the closure, and though I mostly would like all wildlife to live free, my initial reaction, on walking around, was that the birds are comfortable and happy in their environment. Regardless of whether or not we think it right to display birds for entertainment/education, surely the ones currently living at Bloedel should be permitted to live out their days there. The Friends of Bloedel is a group hoping to save the conservatory, but the employees told me today the closure really is a done deal. It there are readers familiar with Bloedel who are willing to share opinions, I would be most interested to hear them.

Here are a few of the birds I met today. I hope to go back before the closure, id the birds, and learn more about what will happen to them.

And a few plants/trees. This one is a fig tree. I don't know the names of the others.

And here are a few pictures from New Year's Eve. Black Jack was very excited to have three visiting dogs, but finally retreated to the bedroom for a little rest.
This is Cocoa. She wasn't shy about claiming the couch.
Lucy was happy to accept treats and occasional pets.
This is Puk. She was completely relaxed and ready for whatever.
From left to right, Cocoa, Kitty, Jock with Puk in front, Black Jack sitting with me, and Lucy in Bill's arms. I love it that we were all on the floor, while Cocoa had the couch. It just seemed right, somehow. The timer was used on my camera for the first time - thank you, Jock! The food was superb - thank you, Kitty! The company was great fun - thank you, all!
Now, on with 2010 - let's make it a good one!


  1. What a beautiful bunch of people and pets! Happy New Year to you all.

    Also, thank you for your earlier wishes, which meant so much.

    I love your crisp clean photographs that capture so meticulously nature’s fleeting moments.

    I was struck by your moon picture and took the liberty of posting a link to it from my blog’s earlier Lunar Tricks story as a Postscript. Reading the story now, I wonder if I overreacted to events of the day.

    Anyway, if it is all right with you, readers can now link from that story to your blog to see your lovely moon photo and appreciate its fragile beauty.

    PS: I will probably say “twenty ten” because it seems to roll off the tongue a little more swiftly and smoothly. :))

  2. I'm back right now from a short break in France.
    I wish You all the Best for the New Year!
    (Beautiful birds serie,indeed)

  3. I shall likely say twenty-ten, just because we have heard it soooo often for the past few years in connection with the Olympics. But, of course, it begs the question: will next year be twenty-eleven, or will we go back to using the previous format and call it two thousand (and) eleven.
    Lovely photos, Carol. The plight of the birds at the Bloedel Conservatory and the animals at the Stanley Park petting zoo worries me. When asked the government was asked this question, the response was that they would "find them homes, mostly in shelters and rescues". Ummmm.....that would be the shelters and rescues that no longer receive the gaming commission grants??? The tropical bird refuge near me, World Parrot Refuge ( lost $100,000, and bird rescues are few and far between.

    Of course, responsible ownership/management is an issue. Animal/birdcare requires a lifetime commitment, and if the government can't commit and didn't develop a viable back-up plan for the lifetime care of the critters, then it had no business obtaining them in the first place.

    Just my two cents worth.

  4. It is pronounced twenty-ten and you better behave or the Fun Police will be on your case. The rules are posted at

    I think that once the the 2010 Winter Olympics have been paid for (maybe by 2020!) the previous grants from the Gaming Commision will be re-instated. In the meantime I am hoping that someone rich like Jimmy Pattison will rescue the Bloedel Conservatory.

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    Penelope, I checked out your "Lunar Tricks" post and am honoured to be linked in it.

    Welcome back, Andrea! I look forward to your posts.

    Jean, you're right that 2011 will be the question.
    And, the idea of lifetime commitment is one that requires more education, I think. I'm guessing most government people have not thought it through that far ahead.

    Fred the Dog: Not the dreaded fun police. Oh no! Twenty Ten it is! And.. Someone rich! Now why didn't I think of that? The trick now, I guess, is to find a rich, bird-loving person. Hm..... that may take a bit of a search.

  6. i have written and erased about three paragraphes of comments, im having a hard time getting out how i really feel about animals being kept as pets, especially birds. a huge part of me agrees with you, birds are better of in the wild. they are so smart, need so much attention, and are HIGHLY misunderstood. the number of birds being kept in cages and stuck in a corner, or shuffled from family to family is horrible. my macaw has lived in three dif families!! he was left to a family in his "owners" will. those people eventually got to scared of him and kept him in the grage for five years. this kind of thing happens all the time and i think that birds have the worst of it.

    i like the way twenty ten sounds but i am usually to slow to think of a cooler way to say things ill probably end up sayng it the lonnnngg way:)

  7. Thanks for the comment, dirtyduck. I know that feeling of struggling to post a comment inspired by strong emotions. Sometimes, I give up altogether. You are right that many people just don't get that adopting any sort of pet (and perhaps that goes double for one "rescued" from the wild) requires doing the homework and thinking it through very carefully before ever bringing it into the home. I met a parrot that had pulled out most of its feathers, and wasn't expected to ever grow them back, after years of being shuffled from one family to the next.

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