Friday, February 19, 2010

Colours, flight, olympics and people.

As I looked through photos from the past week, recurring colour (red, purple, pink, orange), olympic and flight (seagull, crow) themes kept popping up.


After the final dentist appointment for a while (hopefully), I cycled to work along West Georgia. Normally, my route travels only a short section of West Georgia between Denman and the Stanley Park Causeway, but a detour at the corner of Burrard and Pacific has caused a change that I believe will last for the duration of the olympics. It is only a tiny bit longer, and provides a bonus photo opportunity. As I waited at a red light at the corner of Thurlow, a glow against the a high rise caught my eye. Looking way down the street, I could see the olympic flame. My telephoto lens picked it out quite nicely.
This was the view much less zoomed in. Lots of people have been making the trek to photograph the flame, but here was a quick, easy way to catch a glimpse of it.

When I arrived in North Van, I stopped for a quick look at the osprey nest. I'm hoping Rose's parents will return to raise another chick or two, but so far, just a cormorant occupied the very neglected looking abode.

Along the little river by my school, two herons have made an appearance every day. They don't appear to communicate much, but sit quietly, a short distance apart. Here is one of them.

There has been beautiful blue sky most of this week. Here, sunshine on a crow's wings.

I stopped by Lonsdale Quay before taking my bike on the seabus. The sun caught the wings of seagulls, as they flew between the buildings,
and over the water.

Looking across the water to downtown Vancouver, my telephoto again caught a glimpse of the olympic flame.

Kruzenshtern, the Russian tall ship, was docked at Lonsdale Quay, where it will be for the duration of the olympics. You can see a more complete view under Sunday's photos.


I stopped on the Lions Gate Bridge, as I travelled home, hoping to capture the sunset. Most of the photos were complete failures, but I liked this tree against the red-orange sky.

Ten minutes by the river, earlier in the day, again found blue skies, sun on crow wings,
seagulls in flight,
and one of those two herons. I can't tell them apart. It takes patience to watch them. It seems sometimes that they are statues.

There were house finches too. They stay near the top of the trees, so my view is often of their underparts. There's the red theme again.


What a beautiful day it was, although by the time I got my camera out, it was almost dark. This seagull, taken by Lost Lagoon at Stanley Park, during a quick stopover on the way home, made it into my "keeper" photos. The quality of the photograph is only so-so, but there is a "Whee" feeling that strikes me as it comes in for the landing. If reincarnation exists, I would like to come back as a bird. Not for too long. The thought of cold, wet nights in the nest isn't one I crave, but I think I would love the sensation of flying.

This heron was sitting by the lagoon. I have noticed it lately - at least I think it may be the same one - it seems to be the only one that joins the seagulls and ducks when people throw food.


An early morning dentist appointment, and another later ride to work. Here, you see the Stanley Park causeway. The sidewalks are shared by pedestrians and cyclists, the one on the right leading to North Vancouver, via the Lions Gate Bridge and the one on the left coming back to Vancouver. What you don't see, because I was too traumatized to get my camera out until after the action, was a lone Canada Goose crossing in front of a steady stream of fast-moving traffic. Thank you to the bus, and to the many drivers who managed to stop for it.

The tide was low, and there was a rusty orange look to the water in the little river by the school.

One more crow-in-flight attempt.

Sunday was Valentine's Day. I woke up to the beginnings of cherry blossoms on the tree outside my window.

One blossom had opened.

I thought this flower at the front of my apartment building was beautiful, turned away, but with light shining through it.

Bill and I drove over to East Vancouver to pick up his sister, Phyllis, at her daughter and son-in-law's house. I hadn't seen Phyllis for some time, and it is always fun to be with her. Here, a great picture of her with Bill and Black Jack.

Paul, her son-in-law, posed for me beside these ornamental kale plants. His laughter and good natured charm give not even a tiny hint of the moisture on the steps that he had unwittingly sat in. Father extraordinaire to Oscar, musician, beautiful husband to Glenys - and even willing to encourage my picture-taking obsession. Paul rates really high on my list of favourite people.

Paul told me that these kale plants have thrived over the winter. There's the colour theme, large as life.

The sun again brought out the colour shades and as I looked at the photo, I pondered the connection to Valentine's Day. Pink, red, purple - all, I guess, supposed to reflect "heart" colours. I googled those shades and came up with this site, listing more names for all the colours of the rainbow than I shall ever be able to remember.

We drove over to North Vancouver, hoping to show Phyllis the Bald Eagle nest. She did see the nest, but the eagles must have been out hunting for food. House finches were singing up a storm though, enjoying the sun and the budding trees.

The Red-tailed Hawk made an appearance. (Colour theme is inescapable.)

What you don't see in this picture are the crows, warning the hawk that they are well aware of its presence.

I'm not sure if you can see it, but there's a slight orangey-pink tinge behind these sunlit ferns.

We left the eagle nest, and headed to Lonsdale Quay. All along the way, blossoms kept calling my camera.

Phyllis and her husband, Barrie, are moving from their home in Winnipeg, to a beautiful new home in Victoria. There has been much to love about Winnipeg, but Phyllis appreciates flowers very, very much. She is really excited about the thought of blooms that will last pretty much throughout the entire year. That's her hand you see, and I can still see the expression of unabashed pleasure on her face.

Here is a more complete view of the tall ship, Kruzenshtern.
I would love to see it in action, with all of the sails up.

Lonsdale Quay was hopping on Sunday. Performers, ship watchers, seagulls, shoppers, and just people out to enjoy the beautiful day. This seagull was mainly interested in leftover lunches.

These two conferred about the best food prospects, while I noted that blue was competing with red for attention.

There was so much to see, I almost missed this sailor. His expression seemed to be a combination of contentment and something else I couldn't quite pinpoint.

One more seagull,
a bit of competing blue,
and the theme colour,
before we headed to JJBean for spectacular lattes, chai tea for Phyllis and absolutely delicious sandwiches.

As we sat at our table, I used my little camera to take this picture of Jonny behind the counter. It's a poor photo, but kind of a zany one, and maybe reflects the hidden personality of this absolutely great latte maker and fun person. I've posted about him before. If you go to JJBean in North Vancouver, check him out. He's the best!

There you have the past five days. Added to the flight, colour and olympic themes, I would have to add some wonderful people. Thank you to Bill, Phyllis, Paul and Jonny, and of course, to you, for taking time to check out my blog. Have a good weekend!


  1. Such a kaleidoscope of happenings to enjoy. I like the unique perspective of the flame with the city backdrop and perpetual construction equipment. From the sunlight illuminating a gull’s wing, to the crimson sunset and brilliant blossoms, to the romantic ship of old, the richness of our environment is clear to see in your diary of a day.

  2. Oops …I now see this is a five-day diary, which sounds a little more relaxing.:))

  3. Thanks, Penelope:) Always love to get your comments. Hm.. maybe a little too relaxing. Hard to focus on work sometimes, with this beautiful, beautiful weather!