Monday, May 21, 2012

Buttercups and Good Times

With the steady rain of yesterday continuing to pitter-patter into today, memories of buttercups and good times collected for Our World Tuesday bring back the sun that shone over most of the past week.  
We were walking through Stanley Park when I had the idea of sitting Bill and Black Jack in the midst of the buttercups.  Bill, bless his heart, did not refuse.  Truthfully, there wasn't a comfortable place to sit, but he compromised by kneeling.  His only condition..
.. was that I get up close and personal with those buttercups too.  
During the "golden hour" before the sun sets, these flowers spotted at Granville Island also seemed to catch rays of light. 
This waterfall is in a little park close to Granville Island.  I always wonder how the water magically flows through that concrete structure and comes out in a perfect V shape.  Strips of light in falling water mix the worlds of rain and sun in a perfect blend.
We biked twice around the Stanley Park Seawall this week, with Black Jack comfortably snuggled up in her basket.  In case you are concerned, Bill took his helmet off for this photo, but rode safely the rest of the time.  Again, he insisted..
that I take my turn in front of the camera.  
We took some snack and "run-around" breaks, as well.
On the second day, with a calmer wind, we let Black Jack explore the water.  It makes me so-o-o happy to see her run free!
Goslings have been popping up everywhere this week.  There were some on Granville Island, others in Stanley Park, and there was even one by the Cambie Bridge.  I will come back to some of their stories in tomorrow's ABC post, but this one at Stanley Park, with tendrils of fluff catching the light, jumped right into this post, even though it is surrounded by daisies rather than buttercups.
On Saturday, we had a great time at VanDusen Botanical Garden, where we joined our friend, Jock, to check out the British cars.
The building at the entrance to the gardens has recently been re-designed to conform to a Living Building Philosophy.  It wasn't so easy to photograph, but it definitely..
grew on me.  Blue skies and trees were reflected in the windows, under gently curved lines.  
Streams of Wisteria added their own sun-touch to an already brilliant day.
Bill's sense of humour.. 
added an extra sunny touch to my day, as we walked to the car-section of the garden. 
I cannot call myself a "car-person" but there is something both familiar and beautiful about the camaraderie and passion and hours of energy that go along with restoring an old car.  I can feel my father each time I attend a show.  Here, I could swear his spirit has slipped right into that photo alongside my friend Jock, his friend Al (sitting in the middle) and Bill.  (More about Al's MG in tomorrow's post.)  I know for sure that this is our second year attending the All British Field Meet, and it already feels like an established tradition.  
 I loved the rich shade of blue of this 1965 Morgan Drophead Coupe.
In fact, colour was often the first draw to pull me in for a closer look at many of the cars.
When we attended last year's show, I chose a favourite car.  I think it was the combination of colour and sleek lines that made it stand out for me, but as it turned out, Jock was impressed with my instinct for quality.  He pointed out several of the Lotus 11's superior qualities, and so I looked forward to seeing my favourite car again this year.  This time, the hood was up, and I didn't feel it would be right to put it down for the photo.  As I looked at the hood, I realized I could see our reflections.  It may be hard for you to see in this photo, but Bill is giving me bunny ears, just to keep the "beast" theme alive :)
I post this second shot with a certain reluctance, since the distorted reflections seem to accentuate my most inelegant pose.  However, Jock had joined us, and slipped right into Bill's "clown-around" wavelength as though it had been rehearsed.  Good times for sure!
We took a break from cars right about then to explore the gardens.  I do not know the significance of this dragon(?) but thought it looked magnificent against a yellow background.
As we admired the colourful blossoms, I could hear the chirp that tells me..
hummingbirds were in the area.  It's a tiny little "tsit", and easy to miss.  Here's a recording of that sound.  Now that I've become aware of it, I hear it quite often, but it took Bill's help..
to locate the bird and catch a photo before it flitted on to the next sip of nectar.
The rich burgundy of these tulips, 
and the sweet delicacy..
of Bleeding Hearts give you just a taste of the beauty to take in at the gardens.  VanDusen Botanical Garden is definitely worth a visit, if you ever find yourself in Vancouver.
Back at the car displays, but still with my large lens on after the hummingbird shots, I focused on smaller snippets of the sights around me.  The grate and headlights of this car were impressive sun-catchers,  
and I loved the spokes and rims of this wheel.  The tree reflections in the fender were an added bonus. 
I wondered how many races this car had completed.  Matching helmut and interior were a perfect contrast to the blue of the steering wheel.
And, if you're going to have a car show at a botanical garden, surely, at least one shot should combine blossoms with cars.
It was clear that Jock's enjoyment of a well-cared-for vehicle goes much deeper than the initial surface view.  It's the stories and the connections and yes, the heart, of these cars that make them fascinating in his eyes, and he did a great job of passing on some of those personal highlights.
Bronzed lily pad disks floated over rippling Wisteria reflections as we left the gardens, a symbol, perhaps, of the gold to be found in shared good times.
As I mentioned, yesterday brought rain after days of sun, but Bill's first cousin, Maryel, finds her own special brand of sun in her passion for dance.  Several times a week, she can be found at the Dancey Ballroom on Hamilton Street and we had a lot of fun watching her yesterday.  My challenge is going to be to do a better job of capturing the action in her happiness, but one thing for sure,
her smile puts the word "happy" to shame.  She and and her proud cousin, Bill, make a perfect conclusion to this "Buttercups and Good Times" post.  Don't forget to check out more "Our World Tuesday" events in the lives of people across the world.
Have a happy week everyone!


  1. Funny how I was thinking about buttercups today and wondering why the pretty ones growing on my lawn are expected to be mowed away. I also like the backdrop for the car making it seem as if it is filled with bunches of rhododendrons. And oh the charmed life of Black Jack being so cared for and sitting in her cozy little basket. Thanks as always, Carol, for sharing your world. I agree, the cousin with the nice smile and lovely dance moves makes a great finale for this series. :)

  2. So many pictures and so many to comment on -- but Black Jack steals the show -- though those 'black' tulips are a close second.

  3. Okay Carol, I really think Black Jack should have a bike helmet too - a pretty pink one perhaps. They are available - here's an example:
    And I would like that blue Morgan in my stocking next Christmas.....

  4. Gorgeous buttercups, rhododendrons, and so many other things. Looks like you both, or rather all three, had a marvellous time.

  5. Great series of photos. Love it and thanks for sharing.

    Kim, MI

    Inviting you to join Water World Wednesday

  6. You really do pack some stuff into your posts - a nice read.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

    PS: nice to see some fine British cars!

  7. Really great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. What a nice photo roundtrip with you ! We have lots of buttercups this year and weeds too, lol !

  9. Your comment brought me here, and I found you are Carol! I don’t feel this is the first time as I’ve seen you, Bill, and Black Jack at Penelope’s. You showed us with so many photos that life is beautiful and you enjoyed the day to the fullest.


  10. There are many beautiful flower photos. I like buttercups very much. We can see various kind of buttercups in our country.
    Have a nice day.

  11. Love all your pictures, especially the ones with Black Jack all wrapped up in her blanket in the basket. The car show looks wonderful and the botanical garden setting on a sunny day can be beaten.

  12. I love the park and car photos. If I lived there I'd spend so much time in that park!

  13. you have captured the ambiance in all the pics beautifully!!

  14. It's my first time to see burgundy tulips! Black Jack is just cute.

  15. I am happy to see pictures of you, Bill and Maryel!!! P

  16. I'm always looking for mini-vacation spots in the Vancouver area. I went to Granville Island in April and had a wonderful overnighter. I also like Steveston. I'll watch your blog for more ideas. - Margy

  17. what a wonderful journey... i love that dog taking the show!

  18. I started with the turntable and will be back to savor the others over the course of the week. SUPER post!

    Have a great week.

  19. Such delightful images you've got here. Wish can be as good as you are in photography!

  20. Unbelievable post. Loved all but the Canada Geese which, unfortunately, LOVE living in Greensboro, especially in the Wal-Mart parking lot!

    Happy ABC Wed. See you at the "T"


  21. you share so many thing. i like the outdoor band. i like all the shots of the so much.