Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Walks, theatre, and opera in my world, this week.

My world, this week, has been a full one.  At Vanier Park, the eagle parents took a small break from hunting for some together time on Wednesday.  
The same day, this White Crowned Sparrow ate a ladybug, while a bee buzzed around its tail.
Poor ladybug, but happy sparrow.
Walking back to Granville Island, these finches were playing in a tree.  I wondered if they are recently fledged youngsters.
Stretch, the Blue  Heron, was waiting for the fishing boats to come in.  He looked very serious.
That evening, our good friends, Kitty and Jock, took us to see a Bard on the Beach performance of "The Taming of the Shrew".  A delicious meal (thank you, Kitty!), good conversation and an enjoyable walk to Vanier Park started the evening off beautifully.  It was the perfect way to warm us up for entertainment that provided laughter as well as some serious food for thought.  The slapstick humour was played with perfect timing and the choreography was brilliant.  I loved the music (Beethoven) and we were lucky to see it on a night when the temperature was balmy.  I left feeling we had had a very fine evening's entertainment indeed.  Thank you so much, Kitty and Jock!
Picture taken from a Vancouver Sun review.
I snapped this shot very quickly before the play began.  You can see that the back of the stage opens to Vanier Park.  It is magical at night to hear the sounds of the ocean and the wind in the trees as you watch the play.  
I took this photo a couple of days later to show the actors' entrance.
On Thursday, the bushtits were busy in David Lam Park.
A couple of weeks ago, the photography club I recently joined brought in someone to give tips on impressionistic photography.  I don't have the software to try out his ideas of layering shots.  But, this one of the Bushtit was unintentionally sort-of impressionistic, don't you think?
This one, of a branch that fell on the rocks under the Granville Island dock, also seemed to fit into an impressionistic category.
That same Thursday, we walked by the pond where I had formerly seen a mother and her six ducklings.  Unfortunately, she had only one left.  She was guarding it very closely.
While I was watching the Mallards, this Song Sparrow landed, looking beautiful against a pastel background.
The duckling stood up, stretched its little "flippers" and hopped into the pond.
Dad watched lazily from nearby.
Mom seemed determined to save her last baby.  
She followed, wherever it went.  Good luck, little one. 
We stopped by Vanier Park, and saw just one of the eagle chicks.  S/he wasn't willing to pose for the camera, but this shot gives an idea of the breadth of the wings.
Back at Granville Island, just before we took the ferry home, I watched Stretch stealing bait..
from the fisherman's pail.
On Friday, we took a different ferry across False Creek.  This one went directly to Vanier Park, and this time I checked out the wooden boats.
This is the write-up on the boat shown above.
I had never before noticed this Wooden Boat Shop.  In fact, I hadn't realized before that all of the boats at that dock are wooden, each one with a write-up telling a little of its history.  
I had only my small lens on when we passed by the pond.  The swallows took great offence at Black Jack's presence.  I caught this one as it swooped by.
On Friday, we saw an excellent production of The Magic Flute by the Vancouver Academy of Music.  Henry Chen, as Papageno, was outstanding; his voice and charisma continue to replay over and over in my mind.  He doesn't seem to show up in a google search, but this is someone to watch out for in the future.  He seemed far too young to have such a mature voice and such a keen sense of what it takes to hold an audience in the palm of his hand.  For once, I didn't take even one picture, and since I haven't been able to find any photos on-line from the performance, I have taken the one below from the music academy site.  
On Saturday, Black Jack and I walked by Coopers Park, on the way downtown.  These two little Chihuahuas were so tiny, I think it would have taken three of them to match Black Jack's 13 pounds.  They weren't the slightest bit intimidated by her, and she kept a respectful distance away, as they demanded.
We stopped by Sun Yat-sen Gardens on the way home.
There are two areas, a park that is free to the public, 
and a garden, as explained by this sign, that has an entrance fee.  One day, I plan to go back and check out the garden.
Part of it can be seen here, with the downtown high-rises behind.
There were orange Koi in the pond and also..
some black ones.
Black Jack was mesmerized and convinced me to stay longer than planned.  It was a pleasant interlude in the midst of a busy, downtown ambience.
Saturday evening may have been the highlight in a week of outstanding cultural entertainment.  We saw a UBC Opera production of The Merry Widow in the renewed Old Auditorium.  We were met at the door by beautifully costumed young men and women selling tickets for a 50/50 fundraiser. 
For $20, a row of tickets could be purchased that would equal the length of one's arms.  Bill couldn't believe how many tickets that actually entailed.
Here, Nancy Hermiston, the dedicated and very talented director of the opera school, has two of her students pick the winning ticket.  Neither my tickets nor Bill's were selected, but we still felt like winners.  
What a stellar and thrilling performance!  The fine orchestra was made up of music students, 
as well as recently graduated professionals.
My photos do not do the auditorium or the performers justice, 
but I was happy to get a few of the dancers..
and singers..
during the final curtseys and bows.  The conductor and a couple of the stars were interviewed and can be seen in this video, posted on a UBC blog.  We are truly fortunate in Vancouver to have such a variety of affordable and high quality cultural entertainment. 
On Sunday, I watched a cyclist at Coopers Park..
before continuing on to a downtown skateboard park.  
I was enthralled..
and worried..
at the same time, as I watched..
these young athletes.
When they went for a jump, it seemed to me that they held nothing back.  Sometimes, I knew they were hurting, but they were determined never to show it.  One of them took a few minutes to "talk" with Black Jack, and that small interaction made me feel a personal connection.
Check out the focus..
as these two prepare..
and carry through.
I admired the courage of each athlete but wished they would wear some protective gear.
They acknowledged my presence, and with a small wave of acceptance, allowed me to take as many photos as I wanted.  I thank them, wish for their continued safety, and remain in awe of their talents.
Black Jack and I walked the long way home, past..
high-rises and overpasses,
boat builders,
and even a school for those wanting to learn boat-building.
There were fragrant roses,
and strange, floating white things..
that seemed alive, but I was never really sure of that.  Perhaps, just fluff?
Reflections in a pond..
and the sky-view behind the stadium roof were eye catchers.
There were several opportunities when we could have taken a ferry home, and although Black Jack tried to tell me that, we just kept walking.
She didn't really seem to mind, finding lots of entertainment in the rocks below the cement wall.
We passed a pottery studio, 
and this young woman shyly gave me permission to take her photo.
I loved watching her hands, so fully committed to her creative expression.
At Granville Island, we watched the seagulls bathing..
in what I think must be their favourite pond.
There seemed to be flowers..
of every colour,
and form.
The finches were still at the same tree we had passed a day earlier..
and the Burrard Bridge appeared a work of art in the distance.
We stopped at Vanier Park and caught sight of just one of the eagle chicks..
and also enjoyed the many cormorants speeding across the water.
This smiley face in the rocks perhaps best sums up a week full of pleasures.  For other descriptions of notable happenings around the world over the past week, do take a few moments to check out Our World Tuesday.  Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. I love the anticipatory mood of the darkened theatre with the window wide open to a forested park. Each photo took me from one exciting event and magical sighting to the next. I like the variety of performers in this post and was particularly impressed with the action shots of the skateboarders and the pretty smile on the face of a woman looking through the store glass. Thanks as always, Carol, for sharing your wonderful world. :)

  2. Wonderful post. I enjoyed the fantastic bird shots as well as the performance shots. The whole post was great!

  3. So many beautiful images I hardly know where to begin, your birds and flowers are exquisite. I also love hearing about theatre opportunities in the city. Thanks so much for sharing Carol.

  4. What a great post..starting from the wonderful captures of the birds to the beautiful flowers and the fun too. Have a great day!


  5. A wonderful post as always! Just too many fantastic photos to comment on.

  6. Wonderful shots of birds and action on skater boards.

  7. Amazing collection of the shots. I love the birds images! Have a great day.

  8. Another huge and splendid post!

    I think the "car in the picture" issue is interesting - although I'll edit out dust spots and such like from the image, cloning out the car feels like cheating. That must be a bit a throwback to the pre-digital when things like that were much harder to alter.

    Stewart M - Australia

  9. Wow...thanks for sharing all these beauties. Love them all!

    Thanks for dropping by :)