Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New YEAR for ABC - Letter "Y"

"Y" for Year
The letter "Y" for "Year" seems too easy a choice for my first ABC Wednesday post of 2013 but I will yield to temptation and take it.  The day before yesterday, on New Year's Eve, Bill, Black Jack and I brought in 2013 with a meal, a movie (Hachi: A Dog's Tale), some conversation, and a walk.  Before the meal, Bill took time to write a few messages to some fellow bloggers and one to my sister who had just e-mailed from Ottawa, describing a scene of contentment as she and her husband babysat their peacefully sleeping first grandchild.  
Check out the little grin on Bill's face :)  And, can you find Black Jack?  

The movie?  Well, it is a true tale of an Akita who waits at the train station every day for ten years after the man who rescued him dies.   It has very little action, but its  message of loyalty is a poignant one, and yes, it will probably bring a tear to your eye.  It was almost 11:00 when it finished and we headed outdoors for a walk along the seawall.  Traffic was almost at a standstill on the Granville Bridge.    

Patches of yellow light shone through a cold mist..
and Yuletide decorations brought their own brand of warmth.. 

to the crisp (for Vancouver) air. 

We headed to that blue tree over yonder..

where Bill figured out that the only way to catch a photo of the two of us was to step into the planted area behind the lights.  I set up my camera on the cement fence post..  and..  yahoo..  was able to join Bill without harming any of the flowers that were waiting for slightly warmer weather to blossom.  Happy New Year from us to You!
We walked as far as Sunset Beach where all was quiet, but that changed when we continued up the hill to Davie Street.  To be honest, the revellers we saw didn't appear to be as happy as one might expect, but I took this photo of a streetlight shining through a palm tree, and thought it almost looked like fireworks.  The best kind..  silent ones that don't frighten wildlife and pets.  At the stroke of midnight, we kissed in front of a small store..  I've forgotten which one..  but I know the beginning of 2013 will go down in my happy memories.

 The "Yoohoo" Yarn
This yarn unfolded with a little help from these ducks, spotted when we were on Salt Spring Island.  Two male Barrow's Goldeneyes  (black and white) and two females (orange bills) were quite a distance out in the water, so it was only my long lens that brought the narrative to light once I uploaded the photos.  Here's how I saw it: 

Gal on the left (GL): I think he likes me.
Male on the left (ML): Hey, good lookin...
Male on the right (MR): Yoohoo, lady, don't look at him!  Wanna cool guy?  I'm your man!
Gal on the right ( GR): I wonder why they don't notice me.

GL: Ooh, I like it.  They're fighting over me.  
ML: What's his problem?
MR: Yoohoo..  yoohoo..  over here.  I'm your man!

GL: Hm..  hard choice here.  Do I go for short/silent or tall/yakkety-yoohoo?
ML: Look, buddy, you may think you're cool but she's taken.
MR: Oh yeah?  I'm taller and cuter..  Yoooo-hoooo!

GL: I dunno.  Mr. Yoohoo is beginning to make a fool of himself.
ML: Oh, puleeze!
MR: Yaaak.. yakyakyak..  Yaaak.. yakyakyak...  Yoooo.. hooooo!

Both males suddenly turn to the female on the right.  ML is now in the back.
ML: Well, well, well..  who have we here?  Hello, good lookin'
MR:  Yooo-hooo!  Look at meeee..

GL: (sighing) Men.
ML: I think I'm in love.
GR: Now, that's more like it.
MR: Yoohoo..  follow me!

GL: Will you two make up your mind?
ML: (following GR) I tell you..  I'm in love!
MR: (dizzy from the quick change of direction) Yooohooo..  I'm coming to get yooooo...
GR: Men.

The two females opt for ML, preferring his quiet confidence.
MR: (bringing up the rear) Yooohooo!  Remember meee?

The gal on the right speeds up and out of the picture, perhaps to encourage a chase.
ML: Hm..  where is she going?  (sigh) Women!
MR: See me stretch..  Yoohooooo...

Mr Yoohoo has put his head so far back, it touches the water.  GL seems unimpressed..  ML still has his sights on GR, who is out of the picture.

All four join up momentarily, before..

finally settling into pairs.  ML, the quiet guy, gets his original choice, and Mr. Yoohoo follows after Ms. Hard-to-get. That's how I saw it.  There are 8 million yarns in the big ocean.

Two new-to-me "Y" artists
Yun Shouping lived from 1633 until 1690.  As stated at the Wikipedia link, he "was a major artist of the early Chinese Qing dynasty." 
"Yun imitated the 11th century artist Xu Xi's mogu (or 'boneless') method, an approach that tried to express art without rigidly defined outlines and forms."  The Wiki article is short but interesting and you can also go to this site to see more examples of his work.  His choice of flowers, birds, and insects as subjects and his unique (at the time) appreciation for reds and purples are just a few of the characteristics of his art that I find appealing.
I also discovered and loved the work of Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957), younger brother to poet, William Butler Yeats.  The wiki article linked above states that he was a man whose "favourite subjects included the Irish landscape, horses, circus and travelling players."  It adds that he "took no pupils and allowed no one to watch him work..."   
"A Race in Hy Brazil"

Although his parents lived in England, for some reason that I haven't yet discovered, he was raised by his maternal grandparents in Ireland.  He went back to his parents' home in England later, met and married a girl there, and finally settled in Ireland. 
"A Giant Reading"

The wiki article is well worth a read, but I will quote two more facts about him, in case you are challenged for time:  "He was sympathetic to the Irish Republican cause, but not politically active" and he "holds the distinction of being Ireland's first medalist at the Olympic Games.. in the arts and culture segment.. in the wake of creation of the Irish Free State."  The "arts" segment existed from 1912 to 1948, and it seems to me that, although perhaps there were good reasons (concerns with amateur/professional distinction) to discontinue it, it is rather a shame that olympic medals for arts are no longer given.  You can see many more of his works here, but I will leave you with one of my favourites:
"My Beautiful, My Beautiful"

"Y" Shapes
"Y" shapes in trees are so easy to find, it seems almost silly to include these photos, but on the other hand, each one represents a moment of unique attention to branches that I might otherwise have missed.
All of the shots were taken on Salt Spring Island.  This one is a sideways "Y"..

and this one is sort of abstract and includes a few "X" images for good measure.

This one really requires a stretch of the imagination.  A sideways image of a very long stem with the fork sort of stunted and twisted on the left.  Do you see it?  To be honest, what I really saw first was a crocodile stretched out on his back, looking to the left with his short legs crossed in an "I'm having a lazy day" attitude.  I liked it so much, I concocted the "Y" idea just to include it here :)

I love the finery of this one..

and the braided waviness of this one (stem on the right, fork on the left). 

It is quite a stretch to see a "Y" here but I saw a beautiful foot (toes on the left, big toe near the top) and couldn't  bear to leave it out.  The fork is the foot and the stem is very short :)

Some "Y" (and other) music.
A young girl yodels.  I am always impressed with the abilities of youth, and am fascinated that Taylor taught herself to yodel by watching a video and reading instructions.  (You will probably have to click on "Watch on You Tube" to see it.)

I had never heard of Michel Yost.  He lived a very short life (1754-86), and wrote mainly for the clarinet.  You can listen to this happy tune played by two talented (but unnamed) musicians with impressive technique and a ton of energy.

Lastly, Nathan Milstein playing "Massenet Meditation" has absolutely nothing to do with the letter "Y" but it was on CBC Radio 2 yesterday morning, and it filled me with such a sense of peace, I thought it might do the same for you.  That is it for this ABC Wednesday post.  I really had planned to make it a short one but I seem to be an unstoppable yackety-yacketer once I begin.  I apologize for that, but hope you will still take some time to check out less long-winded bloggers and their "Y" thoughts and images from around the world.  Thank You, as always, for stopping by.  And, one more time..  the very best to each one of you in 2013!


  1. The letter 'Y' certainly provided plenty of scope for your vivid imagination. Maybe you need to send your duck script to Disney, it had me in stitches.

  2. laughing at the courting and 'yoohooing' tale. :)

    thanks to bill's sweet message the other night! and my night was even less exciting than yours. it was me w/ 4 dogs, a fire in the wood stove and a tv. :)

  3. "There are 8 million yarns in the big ocean" made me laugh out loud. Of course I am the right demographic to understand the joke. Thanks for the link to the 1948 film. I had not realized it was the inspiration for the 1958 tv series.

  4. Great post. Love the lights and you have inspired me to learn more about Jack Butler Yeats.

  5. You always do YEOWOMAN'S work on these posts! Happy New Year.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. My goodness what a great and intersting post of pictures and tales...I love the one of the three of you in the lights.

    Thanks for a very interesting read.

  7. The shot of the three of you is fabulous! And to kiss out on the street - what a forever moment! We had a quiet night inside since I've been sick over the holidays and still can't stop coughing! But it was nice - just the two of us. Happy New Year to you both! + BlackJack

    abcw team

  8. I enjoyed the fowl talk. I can see Jack... he's peeping :) I guess we have the same brand of piano (if that's a piano?) Thanks for the intro to Jack Butler Yeats. I immediately 'blinked' at the name; didn't know the poet (one of my faves) had a younger artist brother. He sounds interesting, isn't he?

    Have a great new year week!

  9. Carol,
    Don't get much chance to comment the last few months, but have enjoyed your new meme themes. "Y" did give you lots of fodder to work with.
    Loved the YooHoo story.
    And I saw the crocodile (and the foot) better than the letter itself!
    Glad you are enjoying your retirement!

  10. Wishing you a very happy new year! Loved looking at all the lovely photographs on your blog... keep 'em coming!

  11. Such a nice photo of the three of you in the string of lights … looks like you were part of the Vancouver Christmas d├ęcor. Also think you might have hit on something about those chatty birds. There is lots of drama going on everywhere that slips right by us. I agree with the first comment … a Disney script in the making. :)

  12. Very beautiful photos and drawings! Thanks for your comment. Happy New Year together with your loved ones! I am now waiting for my flight to Amsterdam at Singapore Airport. So still in the tropics.

  13. Fantastic post. You did such a good job with the night shots which I think is hard to do. Love the birds and your narrative. The whole post is a very good one. Happy New Year!

  14. Love your photos. Especially your pup in his little coat! I wish I could find one big enough for my dog :)
    Happy New Year!

  15. You are SO good at this Letter game...I on the other lucky to find one thing☺ I realy enjoyed your new years eve post. You live in such a beautiful part of the country. Yes...I saw Blackjack the cutie♥
    Laurie @ Pride in Photos

  16. I had no idea that Yeats, one of my many favourite poets, had a talented brother. The duck script was enchanting! Hugs for you both! I loved your picture surrounded by light! Phyllis

  17. I'm very familiar with Massenet's Meditation, but didn't know the name and don't know where I have heard it before. I must have heard it many times because I knew it so well. I listened to the clarinetists. Fun!

  18. Wonderful blog post! You get the best night shots out of your camera, mine are always blurry. You found many "y"s to photo this week. cheers.

  19. Carol-first of all thank you for your sweet comment on my Youngins. Bill found a perfect spot for your photo--I think It's Christmas Card worthy!! I really enjoyed your tale of love and romance in the ocean. Your "y" shots all wonderful. Have a great weekend.

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