Bill's birthday was at the top of the list of things I celebrated recently. There would be less love and laughter in the world without him.
It was on Saturday. I wish I could say I baked the cake, but full credit goes to Panne Rizo for the delicious gluten-free (in honour of our dear friend, Kitty) carrot cake. Although it turned out that Kitty had come down with a bad cold, and couldn't be there, we saved a piece for Jock to take home to her.
We celebrated at Dianne and Doran's in North Vancouver. That table you see was rescued from the very shore where we watch the ospreys. Part of a skiff, and solid teak (I hope I remembered that detail correctly), Doran turned it into fine patio furniture.
This picture does not do the garden justice. Both wild and lovingly tended, I left at the end of the evening, knowing many of its delights had yet to be discovered.
Jock took this picture of a sparrow in one of the many bird feeders.
He also took this picture of a birthday kiss.
Friendship and laughter, sun and flowers, food and wine, knot-tying lessons from Doran, - so much to celebrate. Dianne made sure to keep things real, though, just in case there was any chance of all that attention going to Bill's head.
Haley celebrated too,
as did Black Jack.
She was particularly entranced by a crock where Dianne keeps old bones. She worked and worked, and although all of my photographs were poor,
she was eventually rewarded for her efforts.
In other news, two osprey chicks have been born to Jewel and Jonny.
One of the eagle chicks in the Jericho nest has begun to exercise its wings in preparation for flight.
Mom and Dad watched from a neighbouring tree.
Our school adventure day was greatly enjoyed. It was my first time on a horse in 24 years!
Sea to Sky stables in Paradise Valley, near Squamish, worked out really well.
Our students were almost all riding for the first time, and all returned safely, after covering an amazing variety of terrain.
I took all of the trail pictures while riding, a bit of a trick, I discovered, but my horse was very cooperative.
I was really impressed with Ray (not shown), the instructor. He used analogies that worked well for our international students, and he added lasso lessons at the end of the day. This student was really pleased with his eventual success.
Meanwhile, back at the osprey lookout, Lawrence continues to work incredibly hard on the nest. Olivia, unfortunately, has only been seen briefly by those of us who watch and wait.
On Sunday, the tide was the lowest I have ever seen. As we stood watching the nest, this King Fisher flew by, and I managed a lucky shot.
After spending time at the lookout, we went for a latte at JJBean, and then walked through Park and Tilford gardens.
After that, we were off to Maplewood Flats. Could someone tell me why a rooster picture warns about crossing deer?
The tide was still really low, and we walked a long way out. This osprey put on an incredible show, just overhead.
Bill, Black Jack and I watched it for just a few moments too long, and paid the price of soaked shoes as we ran back to shore. I laughed the entire way, all the while, thoughts running through my head of how grateful I am for Bill's presence in my life. Thank you to our good friends who helped celebrate that presence, and to you, for taking time to read this post.