Monday, November 21, 2011

Michael, Rabbits for Phyllis, Catch-up

Today, Bill and I walked with Black Jack at Jericho.  A man told me he had seen a rare swan, and we tried to find it.  Michael (below) was near the spot where the man had pointed, and I asked him if he had seen the swan, but he hadn't.   As it turned out, we never did find the swan, but it was a pleasure to meet Michael.  He was kind and friendly and I learned that he is in Vancouver from Germany for a year.  I took his picture with my big lens.
I backed up a little bit more for this second picture, but still didn't manage to include his feet.  (Sorry, Michael!)  His skateboard, backpack and lunch are on the log to the right.  He told me he was living downtown and skating to UBC.  I hope you enjoyed your trek, Michael.  You are clearly very fit.  Have a great year in Vancouver!
This weekend, I posted a couple of albums on Facebook.  Phyllis (Bill's amazing sister) saw the albums and requested some photos of rabbits.  Since we saw quite a few on our walk, I've included a few here.  
Apparently, this has been a really good year for rabbits at Jericho.  I love their "cotton" tails.
This one wasn't running away from us.  They're very tame.  People leave food, and it was on its way to look for more carrots.  It was a little too quick for my camera, but even in fuzzy focus, I love the way its hind legs have pushed off for the spring forward.
The rabbit-loving people even cut the carrots into bite-sized pieces.
The light wasn't the best today, but still, the snow-covered mountains were impressive. 
I think I was happy to see these logs at Jericho.  Some of you may remember a similar picture in my last post.  That one was taken at English Bay, and it now seems possible the orange letters may be a logging code of some sort.  At least, that is what I am hoping.

Edited on Nov 22 to add new information that Bill (bless his heart!) obtained.  He wrote the Vancouver Parks Board, asking if the inscription on the logs was a racial slur, or if there might be a more "benign explanation." This was their response: 

Hello Bill,

   Thank you for your concern. The writing on the logs is a series of
   letters that represent an ID for the supplier of the logs. It is a
   coincidental alignment of letters, and not a cause for worry.

   Again, thank you for caring for Vancouver's parks!


   Vancouver Parks Board

Thank you, Bill!  Yay!

I think this was a Fox Sparrow.
This driftwood had no orange marks, perhaps confirming the logging code theory.
I thought this tiny blossom by the beach was lovely.
The man had said the swan was around this second bend.  The landscape has changed since the removal of the old wharf.  As much as I was a bit sad to see the wharf go, Bill and I agreed the new look was attractive.
I took, as usual, a few flying shots.  
This eagle had flown past when Michael and I were talking.  It finally landed and did a quick pose..
before taking off again.
It came very close to this seagull, but I guess was on a mission,
because it kept right on going.
Jericho seems to be a good place to see Golden-crowned sparrows.
I think they like some of the veggies left for the rabbits.  
Black Jack wasn't very well behaved today.  Bill had to carry her part of the way because she was intensely focused on pulling him to the rabbits.
Then, she didn't want to walk at all.  I couldn't figure out what was in her mind, but it occurs to me now that she probably didn't want to leave the rabbit territory.
We've had a dusting of snow lately, but there are still some trees holding on for dear life to their leaves.  Bill liked the delicate textures of this one, and so did I.
It was just cold enough for a thin layer of ice in some areas of the pond.  These Mallards are moving from the water up onto the ice.
There was something comical about the way they moved.  Here they are going away from us. To me, it seems as if their "hands" are folded behind their backs.

This morning, by False Creek
A family of 11 mallards made their way across False Creek.  This year, I saw very few families of mallards, and more Canada Geese than I can ever remember.  I'm wondering now if the mallards had their families later than usual.
I read that juveniles look like the females, except that the bill is a kind of olive colour.  I'm guessing here that the male is herding the juvenile back to the flock, as it had strayed quite a distance to the right.

A sunny but cold walk on Saturday.
The leaves on my street looked almost like stars with the sun on them. 
 The sky was a brilliant blue.
 There were still blooms to be found, in spite of the cold.
Black Jack and I walked up the steps to the stadium.  She often chooses our walking route, and sometimes surprises me by going places one would think a normal dog might want to avoid.  Not that I'm saying she's abnormal:)
As I looked up the steps, I thought the shadows by the railings were interesting.  I couldn't figure out where those shadows originated from.
 Black Jack often leads me to discover new sights, and on Saturday, she took me to this statue of Percy Williams.  Although he was considered the fastest man of his generation, he came to a very sad ending, suffering constant, painful arthritis in his latter years, and eventually taking his own life.  I think many athletes pay a larger price than most of us realize for pushing their bodies so relentlessly.  It is one of my theories that ambitious athletes and coaches walk a thin line between achieving fame and taking care of the only bodies we will get, so that the joints can last for a normal lifespan.  I do love this statue, Percy, and hope you would have liked it as well.
More "starry" leaves caught my eye, before I finally put Black Jack's coat on, and my camera away.  With the sun now hidden behind the high-rises, we both shivered.  The walk homeward was brisk, to say the least.  I'm pretty sure I speak for both of us in saying that the sun as we neared False Creek was very, very welcome.

A dentist appointment last Tuesday
Early last Tuesday morning, I visited my periodontist, Dr. Josh Kleinman.  His office is on Broadway, and this was the view as I sat in his chair.  I could almost, but not quite, see my apartment building across the water.
I now have a newly adjusted bite, something I am most grateful for.  It is incredible to me what a difference it makes when there are no, as Dr. Kleinman says, high spots.  He has done his very best to look after my teeth, and to put up with my various tooth-related phobias, ever since I moved to Vancouver 12 years or so ago, and though I'm never happy to visit, I do absolutely appreciate him.  But, back to the view.  Way at the back, near the right of the photo, are The Lions.  It amazes me that they show up everywhere.  I can see them from my school in North Vancouver as well.  In the foreground, you can see the "melting" building (my term for it) that I enjoy so much.  It is, I think, the last project that Arthur Erickson completed before he died.  
 Looking to the right, the stadium roof dominates the landscape.  I've grown fond of it as well.

A walk with Bill and Black Jack at Beaver Lake last Sunday.
Preparations were beginning for the Christmas Train ride that runs from December 2nd until January 2nd.  You can find information about that at this link.
 The trees were magnificent.
 That's Bill's foot beside the leaf, just to give you a size comparison.
Vancouver has been a tad on the cool side lately, but we did eventually warm up when the sun rose higher in the sky.
 A lovely Wood Duck..
seemed to be having a heart-to-heart..
 with her brightly-coloured mate.
We also saw some very handsome Hooded Mergansers.
 There was evidence that the lake was well-named.
 We discovered the stables quite by chance, and I was delighted to see how happy the horses were in their immaculate and very spacious (as in huge!) stalls.  I believe some of the horses belonged to The Mounted Squad and the others, perhaps, were used for the horse-drawn tours. My big lens was all wrong for the job, but here are a couple of..
 the pictures I took.
 This monument to Shakespeare was also discovered completely by accident.  Neither Bill nor I had any idea it was there.  It was apparently erected in 1916. You can read its story here.

 I loved the quotes we discovered on..
a few nearby trees.
The windstorm from the day before (described in my last post) had left beautiful..
 blankets around the trees.
 I thought the yellow patterns against green were attractive too.
The blossoms were a bit past their prime, but I loved their names and thought there was a certain charm to their graceful fading.  This one was called Rhapsody in Blue..
and this one, "Navy Lady."
We also found a tiny little waterfall with two poppies..
 obviously placed with care.  
A few feet away, we discovered this headstone.   I don't know anything about Mr. Wright except for the words we saw on the headstone, but love the spot chosen to remember him.

A mid-October walk at Jericho with Bill and Black Jack
Bill saw this mushroom by the pond.  I thought it looked sort of like a delicious pizza.
This hawk was flying high in the sky.  It was smallish, and I did not attempt to identify it.
 This King Fisher was very busy,
 and very entertaining..
to watch.
 A Canada Goose,
a seagull,
 and a Blue Heron also caught my camera's eye.
 Black Jack loves, loves, loves Jericho.
 We took a chance letting her run,
 but kept a very close eye on her.
 Don't worry, Phyllis.  She wasn't as close to this rabbit as it appears in the post.
 Bill was curious about some berries.
 They glowed in the sunlight,
 and he joked around by..
 pretending to eat some during the photo shoot.
 My last photo was of a bee sipping nectar.  At least, I think it was a bee and I guess it was nectar.  What I am sure of, is that it brings this post to an end. It is now the wee hours of the morning, and I should be asleep.  Good night all.  Have a very good week ahead.


  1. Oh your pictures of birds and animals are remarkable - I would be so pleased if I had taken these.

    I never thought of logging codes - I hope thats what they are, too.

    There is something so sad and brave about late flowers. I am always glad to see Spring on its way.

  2. Even the birds and bunnies seemed a little more bundled with fur and feathers from the chill that has come our way, Carol. The Canadian goose seemed to be flying awfully low amid the trees and the beaver has certainly left its mark. I especially liked the bright orange mushroom shaped like a dish and the delightful mini waterfall. It is also a nice surprise to see horses in the mix. The Shakespeare plaque was an awesome find … I wish it had been in better repair, though. But I think you saved the best for last … the bee at the flower made me think of spring despite the cold. :)

  3. Beautiful ... as always ... photos! Especially enjoyable when we're under a foot of snow and 10 below up here! I remember rabbits in a Burnaby park that I used to walk a decade or so ago. There was a big black one that figured my ankles were fair game! Always wondered how they managed to survive with coyotes in the area. Cheers!

  4. Thank you for the rabbit pictures! I loved all the birds, leaves and flowers as well. It is always wonderful to see Bill and Blackjack as well! May we have a picture of you as well, please? Phyllis

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments.

    LDF, some of the rabbits are caught by coyotes, owls, hawks, and eagles, but their numbers still appear to be increasing.

    Bill, a huge "thank you" for finding out that the letters on the logs represent a logging company's id. I have edited the post to show the letter from the Parks Board.

    Also, Bill's theory about the shadows on the steps to the stadium makes sense to me. Here are his words: "After a bit of staring it made sense. The stair railing shadow starts out as a straight line but when it hits the stairs it conforms to their zigzag pattern. If it was noon at the equator the shadows would be straight lines. That is my theory and I am sticking with it :)" Thanks for that too, Bill!

  6. It always amazes me how much beauty and colour there is all around us as winter approaches. You capture it so wonderfully.

  7. A lovely post, Jean, that I missed when you first posted it! Your appreciation for all of the feathered subjects of your photos always amazes me, being not nearly so inclined to seek out and identify such winged species. I'll take those kind big horses any day, though! The bunnies are cute, too.

    One hint if I may: I know you, like me, sometimes start a post, then take several days (or in my case most recently, weeks) before it's ready to post. Blogger will "date" it from when you first started it, unless you change the posting date--I think that's why I miss some of your posts--they show up on my blog (where I link from) waaay down the list, as if they were "old" posts. You can change the posting date to when you actually post (or even schedule for a future date) in the "post options" section at the bottom of the old Blogger "compose" window, or at the right hand side of the new format (whichever you're using). Just a technical suggestion, which you may take for whatever it's worth to you...

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