Monday, May 28, 2012

Of Bridges, Beaches, Birds and a Library in My World

With many days of sunshine, Vancouver has been buzzing with activity this past week.  Black Jack and I have mostly gone for slow strolls along False Creek, between David Lam Park and Stanley Park.  I often give her the choice of direction, and this week, she chose to "go west" for every walk.  Here is a map of False Creek showing the three bridges that cross it and David Lam Park, where all of our walks have begun.  We walk under the Granville and the Burrard Bridges to get to English Bay and from there, we sometimes walk along the beach to Stanley Park.
I noticed some reflections in False Creek a few days ago, and snapped the photo below.  Meandering  twists and turns formed images in palest-blue-white, pink-grey, charcoal and black shades.  I saw maps with rivers and lakes, a dog, a whale, a pig, some birds and some laughing open mouths.  I wonder what you see. 
Some small white fish, or maybe eels, were jumping high out of the water a few days ago.  It was almost impossible to catch a photo.  By the time the camera focused, they were gone.  Trying to anticipate where they might pop up was amusing.  Below is a very poor photo of the only one I was able to capture.  
These flowers were swaying in the breeze by English Bay.  
I thought this might be a Prairie Dog but the man walking it by English Bay was so busy talking to curious onlookers, I didn't wait to talk with him.  After a bit of googling, I have learned that Prairie Dogs weigh between 1 and 3 pounds.  This animal was definitely bigger that that, more likely between 12 and 15 pounds.  Maybe a groundhog or a woodchuck?  He tried several times to bite the fellow holding him.  
When he put the animal down, it strained to get away and its behaviour indicated that it is not very happy in captivity.  I can't help but wonder why people decide to own exotic pets.  Googling burrowing animals, I learned that there are many drawbacks to domesticating them.  Buying one without thinking it through means that many go into rescue. Perhaps, that was the case here.
This lone baby goose appeared to be the only one left of a family of five that I saw last week in Stanley Park.  Here, it was hurrying to follow its parents into the water.
The parents appear to be doing their best to take care of it.  Although I know many people do do not like Canada Geese, I have great respect for their parenting skills.
The geese often make me smile.  This one appeared to be sunbathing along with the people in David Lam Park on Saturday.
Or, perhaps it was meditating.
One day, standing on the beach of English Bay, I looked homeward and, through the bushes, took this photo of the Burrard Bridge with the criss-cross steel structure of the Granville Bridge behind it.  They are close together, but both are very busy bridges.
Here is a look at one of the beautiful pillars of the Burrard Bridge, 
This was taken looking back after we had passed under it, with the light almost gone.
The Granville Bridge is less attractive (in my view) but walking under it so often (and once over it), I think it has its own beauty.  On the right, you can see the yellow of Bridges Restaurant, and just a hint of Granville Island, where many people love to shop and explore.
Here is one of the pillars holding the section of the bridge directly over Granville Island.  I love that there always seems to be healthy greenery around it.
I often admire the girders as we pass under it, on the way back to David Lam Park.
Here, it is reflected in False Creek just after sunset.
We often walk by these boats, and I always love the reflections. 
There are many points to stop and look at boats as we walk along False Creek.
One day, we took the False Creek Ferry to Granville Island.  It is a ride that takes less than ten minutes and sometimes, I go just because Black Jack leads me to the dock.  We almost never shop, but rather explore the waterside.  However, this week, on a whim I stopped in a shop and bought this very inexpensive pendant ($8).  I may never wear it, but it makes me smile.
With so many visitors to the area, the sights are sometimes quite amusing.
This busker was giving a show on the beach and the crowds loved him.
He noticed my camera and gave me the peace (or Victory?) sign, making a humorous comment about paparazzi that made everyone laugh.  I have noticed that all of the successful buskers show great intelligence and quickness in their repartee with the people around them.    
One afternoon, we sat in David Lam Park.  There is a section that grows almost like a wild garden, and I love it for the changes that occur every few days.  Lately, the roses.. 
have popped out between the tiny blue flowers.
The unopened buds hold such promise.
I stood back for this look at the "wild" garden that borders a very busy street.  I am so thankful for Vancouver's attention to green space.  It makes all the difference.
Many birds enjoy this part of the park.  Yesterday, I enjoyed watching this White-crowned Sparrow.
It moved to a spot under some bushes, but my camera managed to catch a close-up of its pretty face.  As you can see it was enjoying a small snack.
Here it is looking in the opposite direction.  It went about its business, not even bothering to look at me or my camera.
Black Jack loves to lie in the grass on sunny days.  Here, she is getting ready to roll over on her back.
First, her head goes down, 

and then, she gives herself a wonderful back rub.
One day this week, I spent some time in the Central Library downtown.  
This shot was taken from the basement level.  The architecture has a very open style, so that one can see through to the top of the building.  I find the lines and images compelling.
It made me laugh, however, when, even in this downtown area,
nature seemed to follow me.  These seagulls were indulging in some "hanky-panky" on the roof of the building and moved across the open glass.  It was a long way up, but I couldn't..
resist changing to my big lens.  One of the seagulls walked along the glass, and although I missed the tip of its bill, I loved the upside down view of its wonderful orange feet.
The roof glass is naturally very dirty, and I was amazed that my camera managed any image at all.  Considering how many seagulls there are in the city, it is surprising to me that this was the first time I had ever witnessed a mating.  Perhaps, they always use rooftops.   
But, back to some nature shots to conclude this post.  We have visited the Stanley Park heronry quite often, and I knew from the "chick-chick" sounds that there were young in the nests.  However, it seemed impossible to get even the slightest evidence of their existence until Saturday.  Finally, a few have begun to appear over the edge.  Here, it is difficult to see, but  there is a chick peering through the twigs at the left of the parent. 
I was amazed to see this one in another nest, 
already grown quite large.
It was quite unsteady on its feet, 
and appeared to be just starting to get used to its wings.
I think it was attempting to "poop" in this shot, but it fell over on its face.
This male (I'm guessing) arrived, and here, appeared to be contemplating the best route to the nest. 
I have saved some of my photos for tomorrow's ABC post, and a few others for Friday Skywatch, so will conclude with a few..
tranquil images of flowers..
and the setting sun over English Bay.
To read about other people and their worlds, I hope you will check out the amazing Our World Tuesday web site.  Thanks for reading about my world.  I hope the week ahead will be a fulfilling and peaceful one for you.


  1. Thanks for taking me along on your walks ! Your images are fantastic ,I have enjoyed them very much ! :)

  2. Oh my goodness … that little pendant of a bicycle is adorable and made me smile, too. I am always struck by the architecture of the downtown library and have enjoyed its open feel and swirling patterns. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a seagull at the skylights. It is comforting to know their feet are equally orange from top to bottom. :) The setting sun is a serene way of concluding this wonderful series of Vancouver moments. Thanks as always, Carol, for sharing your world!

  3. Great walk!! Is it a ferret?? Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  4. What a great walk, you saw so much. I believe the critter is a ferret. Cute critter. I enjoyed your photos, especially the herons. Have a great day!

  5. I do feel tranquil after looking at your pictures!!! Phyllis

  6. What a great place to be able to take walks - nature, but with a large city nearby. Wonderful photos!

  7. This post had such a wonderful array of photos and sightings! i really felt i was walking alongside you as your took each photo. Could that animalbe a weasal? It has a cute face but does look like it could bite. I loved the shots of the seagull walking on the glass roof!

  8. What a great post. I love the reflection in the first one that looked like a painting to me. So many good shots of the flowers, people and wildlife. You got some great heron shots and the high stepping gosling was adorable. I don't understand why people domesticate exotics. It seems like such a bad idea.

  9. Vancouver is a city I've always wanted to visit. Lots of lovely places to walk, I see! Your close up shots of the sparrow are lovely, and the seagulls walking on the glass roof are great!

  10. No doubt an impressive and varied range of great pictures, from the artistic to the most fun.

  11. I've heard of a cat on a hot tin roof, now I've seen a seagull on a clear glass roof. Too cute. - Margy

  12. Our white crowned sparrows come for the winter and disappear in the summer. It's seems quite odd to have birds leaving us when the summer comes. Maybe they go to visit you.

  13. You've got some terrific photos on your walk. That water shot reminds me of an abstract painting. Beautiful.

  14. Wonderful images of amazing variety.

  15. I think that your mystery animal is an otter.

    The gulls on the glass are great.

    Stewart M - Australia

  16. What a great week! What a great walk! Your pictures are wonderful! I love the orange flowers and that last photo is beautiful! You make me want to visit. :)

  17. So many nice images :-) You see the beauty around you ! I`ll be back !

  18. That looked like an obese ferret. Loved the orange seagull feet! You make me miss Vancouver, as always! Cheers!

  19. It's a little piece of heaven there in Vancouver isn't it? You share such wonderful walks and such perfect moments. It's wonderful that you got a picture of that "flying" in FL we have these fish called mullets that jump out of the water really high,,,either chasing or being chased I guess...I've tried so hard to get a photo! Your water is beautiful even without the fish.

  20. Beautiful photos, exquisite light. I love the colors. Great series.

  21. What a great place to be able to take walks - nature, but with a large city nearby. Wonderful photos!