Friday, February 26, 2010

Loving Vancouver

After a couple of weeks of olympic fever, one of the things that occurs to me is that it helps to be in the middle of such an experience to truly appreciate it. I didn't anticipate the life energy that would pulse through the city. There have been tragedies and triumphs and somehow, people have drawn closer.

On Sunday, Bill and I decided to take the little Aquabus from Vanier Park to the Aquatic Centre. It's barely a five-minute trip across the water, and took us to English Bay, where we walked with Black Jack as far as Stanley Park.

Sculptures and olympic reminders were everywhere.

We were impressed to see solar power being used for lights along the walking paths.

We sat for a while on the rocks by the beach, and watched this little brown bird - a song sparrow, I think.

There were hundreds of Inukshuks along the beach. I've never seen so many!

This seagull seemed to be enjoying the blue skies and relaxed atmosphere.

We watched all kinds of sailboats, tankers and yachts, and were especially drawn to this Viking Ship replica, Munin.

As usual, I took a lot of flying seagull shots. I like this one because I feel as though I have almost the same viewpoint as the seagull.

We walked as far as the heronry in Stanley Park. I have been enjoying the Blue Herons there for a few years now, and was wondering if they had returned to set up housekeeping for another season. As of Sunday, they hadn't arrived, but we were impressed to see that the Parks Board staff has put up these tin barriers on the trees. That will help, I hope, to keep the racoons out of the nests.

We walked along Pendrell Street, passing beautiful cherry blossoms,


and a heritage home with a beautiful garden and friendly inhabitant who allowed me to take a picture of his Camellias. At Denman Street, we made a left, and enjoyed a great brunch and latte at Delaney's Coffee House. Bill had a conversation with a couple who have been here for a few months, working on olympic projects. We sat outside, happy that a young lady was not only willing to share her table with us, but happy to welcome Black Jack as well. We left to go back to Stanley Park, warmed by the atmosphere as well as by the sun.

We walked around the lagoon, and enjoyed this Blue Heron,

as well as this one, just across the way. Note that little white seagull head peeking up from a nest at the right.

Bill quickly picked up Black Jack, when this racoon almost met her face to face.

At the little bridge, we watched ducks and seagulls. These Ring-necked ducks were diving so energetically, I could barely catch a photo of them.

I was almost eye to eye with this seagull.

Art on a background of blue sky.

Half moon in daylight.

Rich navy blue highlights.

It might be worth clicking on this picture, just to see the shades of orange in this pigeon's eye.

Strutting forward, showing off purples and greens.

I was happy with the fairly focused flying shot. (Phew.. alliterative f's)

A ring-necked duck taking a two-second break between dives.

We left Stanley Park, stopping for a moment on Alberni Street to take this lbb, and then continued on to Robson Street.

What a party! People cheered like crazy, as we watched a screen with speed skater, Kristy Groves, earning a silver medal.

We had fun watching the Zipline. The line-ups were too long to consider trying it out, but honestly, Bill and I agreed that it looked safe, and I think we both could imagine ourselves having a great time on it. This girl must be the epitome of olympic spirit. Check out that smile and those mittens.
I wonder how the photos turned out.

This gives you an idea of the workings at home base. Interesting to me that the guys sending the riders off were also wearing helmets. The rider in blue looks a little bit nervous as his friend records the moment.

There they go!

We turned up Granville Street, where the crowds were equally enthusiastic. Smiles and laughter were everywhere.

Superman was happy to pose, although he did provide a little box for tips.

The police were having a great time as well, posing for pictures, and even recruiting Bill to help them out with a video prank aimed at their boss. Bill was happy to oblige, and I would say he was at least deserving of an Oscar for his performance. Black Jack had fun too!

Signs of olympic spirit were everywhere.

While we waited for the aquabus to pick us up again, we enjoyed this somewhat different perspective of the Burrard Bridge. I have taken many pictures from that little balcony.

We boarded the aquabus to head over to Vanier Park. No picture, but we could see our familiar eagle nest, and even could make out one of the Bald Eagles sitting on a branch. Just a note: Last evening, as I biked homeward over the Burrard Bridge, an eagle flew directly across my path, not far above eye level. What a thrill to see it!

Munin was docked by the aquabus landing, and I took a picture of one of its dragon beasts.

The truck was parked near Vanier Park. I took this picture of the totem pole before we headed home.

What an absolutely perfect day it was in beautiful Vancouver.


  1. So many beautiful shots, the crocus flowers really stand out. What is "lbb", Little bitty bird?

    Those People on the Zipline seem to be having the most fun anyone can have while fully clothed.

    Are you aware there is a gigantic Zipline on Grouse mountain? Me neither.

  2. I agree--far too many REALLY NICE shots for me to pick out a favorite. Tho I sorta like the first "shrugging" heron. Your flying/action photos are really getting good!

  3. Okay Carol I am packing my bags and going to Vancouver right now, lol. Excellent post as always, you really make me so enthusiastic about visiting this city one day, especially during spring time. We are getting snowed in right now. Anna :) BTW I love your moon photo.

  4. Great shots, Carol. I especially like the "fairly focused flying shot" - I keep trying to capture one of those, but never get the timing right!
    It's funny how the Olympic fever becomes contagious. I was never enthusiastic about it (and still have reservations re its cost) but I confess I have spent more hours watching sports this past ten days than in all the rest of my adult life put together. And I love the sea of red and white and maple leaves visible at every event and every news shot. Go Canada!

  5. Somehow the Zipline possibilities escaped me until seeing your photos. That girl looks like she IS having the best time of her life! You’ve covered Vancouver wonders by land, sea and air. Funny Superman should also be there. When I was in Vancouver the first day of the Olympics, I remember saying it felt like being in a Superman movie. Vancouver felt like Metropolis, a big city with a tight community of people crowding the streets amazed that Superman (in this case the Olympics) landed at our feet.

  6. What a fun city.The people, art and beauty, the flowers and birds. You captured the daylight moon and branches against a pure blue sky. Wow we live in amazing city. Love it all.

  7. Inukshuks, thats what they are called!!!!
    and that picture of a seagull, actually sitting, they are usually always go go go. im not to happy with seagulls right now..(dive-bombing my duck) but...this one is very photogenic:)

  8. Carol, thanks for so many great pictures. When I met you in Jericho Park recently you said it would be OK if I painted one of your images. I have done a picture of one of your bird shots but don't know how to get the image to you.

  9. Thanks for the comments everyone. They are so appreciated, even though I'm very late responding.

    Fred the Dog, I checked out that link. Looks like fun! And, you were close. "lbb" means little brown bird, and is a term I learned from EvenSong.

    EvenSong, love the description "shrugging."

    Anna, I'll look forward to your visit! Hope the snow in your part of the world is nearing its conclusion.

    Jean, if I walked as many dogs as you do, I would never get flying shots. Your photography is amazing. And, ditto about watching sports. I've never watched so much except for the olympic year when I lived in Montreal. Something about the human interest stories, I think.

    Penelope, great coincidence about Superman. By the way, I've tried to go to your post about rabbits which shows up at the right of my blog, but for some reason it won't load. Not sure if it's a problem at my end or yours.

    Dianne, yes, I feel so lucky to live in Vancouver, and daylight moons always seem special to me.

    Dirty Duck, Great to hear from you. I haven't checked out your blog lately. Must do that. Hope your duck is okay! Not very nice of those seagulls!

    Oscar's Gill, I'm honoured that you like my pictures enough to paint from them. Perhaps, you could send a picture of one of your paintings to my hotmail address: I would love to post it so readers can see your work.