D-bird: American Dipper
I took these pictures of the American Dipper in 2009. It was a thrilling, first ever sighting.
They are delightful birds with the unique ability to swim under water, as shown in this video. I dream of one day seeing another one.
I took these photos along False Creek a few days ago. Crows are among my favourite birds. I will assume for now that this one is the more common American Crow.
There are also slightly smaller but otherwise very similar Northwestern Crows, but I would have to see the two side by side to have any hope of telling the difference between them.
I enjoyed watching the drive and persistence of this one as it worked diligently to find food.
I thought this little Bushtit (I hear you, EvenSong :) had nothing to do with C or D but I was dazzled by its droll expression,
and the words "chubby" and "cute" and "charming" popped into my head.
Then, it flew off the branch at the very moment I clicked, and.. look.. do you see the D-shape? It is a slim D and has a couple of tiny dents in the arc, but I still think it works.
Concerts in Churches
Bill and I attended three concerts in three churches in as many days. We heard Sarah Hagen play "Rachmaninov's 32 Variations" as well as three contemporary pieces by Canadian composers. The Rachmaninov would have been an astounding feat on its own. It is a huge work, but to perform the contemporary works (with two of the composers in the audience!) really speaks not only to Ms. Hagen's impressive talent and bravery, but also to her diligence and self-discipline. The performance was at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver. During intermission, I took some time to admire this wall-mounted sculpture called Silent Song. There is much to appreciate about this sculpture, so I'll put a small quote here from the link. The idea that parts from two previous organs have a place of honour in the church is, to me, a beautiful one in both a nostalgic and a conservational way.
“Silent Song is intended to evoke remembered or imagined sounds and can be considered a metaphor for many diverse individual voices conjoined together in musical patterns.The artists have used the retired organ parts of the Casavant & Frere organ installed in Christ Church cathedral in 1949 which had incorporated pipes from the previous organ.The Casavant organ served the congregation for 54 years and now 1,700 of its pipes live on in the new Kenneth Jones tracker action pipe organ installed in Christ Church cathedral in 2004.”
Bill and I have been in the cathedral a few times and are always awed by its grandeur. On my mother's last visit to Vancouver (she was then in her 90's), we attended a Sunday service there. She stood in the doorway after the service, determined to meet the busy minister. And she did! I think of her each time I walk through those doors.
After the concert, Bill and I roamed downtown Vancouver, both feeling full of happy energy. We stopped in front of Vancouver Art Gallery, a memory I still cherish.
The next day, we decided to attend Jazz Vespers at St. Andrew's Wesley United Church. I had known about these concerts for years, but for some reason, had never attended one. We didn't check the program but it turned out to be a very special event. The life of Jerry Wennes was being celebrated.
And, what a life it so clearly was! Songs, stories,
This was a most appreciative audience. I never met Jerry Wennes, but left with a deep impression of his full life. Looking at his obituary (linked above), the C-words alone leave one dumbfounded. Co-founder and conductor of community bands, music consultant at UofA, coordinator of Jazz Vespers, served in the Dutch army with the Red Cross troops, played clarinet for the queen in London and for DeGaulle in France, changed to the trombone after a spinal cord injury when he was 69, president of a soccer club, obtained his commercial pilot license, operated a plumbing company.. this was a man who truly lived because he continued learning, I'm convinced, until the day he died!
The third concert was at St. Mark's Anglican Church in Kitsilano. I have to admit to frustration that whenever I really, really want to do justice to artists by taking a perfect photograph, I seem to mess up the settings. I regret that, but this ensemble gave a memorable and delightful performance. Laura Vanek (on the left) and Marina Hasselberg have formed NOVO Ensemble, and for this concert of contemporary music, performed with guest clarinetist, Shawn Earle. All of the selections were by Canadian composers. We are fortunate to have so many fine musicians in Vancouver. This particular group has talent, dedication, youth, energy, and many, many hours of practice behind them and I am grateful that they so generously share their music with us. I wrote a more detailed response at this facebook link but in the mean time, the NOVO link above will let you know of future concerts.
"C" AND "D" ARTISTS
Okay, I'm going to be really bold here and pretend that I am an artist. That's a little bit more true since starting the blog and all progress is duly appreciated :) And, with a name like Carol Carson, at least I definitely qualify on the "C" count. So, below, my artist's eye version of the Venet sculpture shown above in C-shapes. Again, my solemn promise that I will not flip any more photos today, or in fact, for some time to come. Call it a phase :) Actually, I didn't flip the photo afterwards for this one, but rather, the camera as I took the picture. Just so you know :)
My final artistic contribution is this heron, seen a couple of days ago along the seawall. Standing so straight and tall, with feet placed just right, and courtship plumes draped enticingly, I could not resist stopping to admire him.
Corbet was born in Ontario, lived for a while in Vancouver, and now lives in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. He was catapulted to fame in his early 30's after making a bust of the Queen Mother that was so successful, he was invited to deliver it to her personally. The video below is a bit shorter, and explains his transition from painter to sculptor and even mentions his forensic work. I will definitely be watching out for this very interesting artist in the future!
Oh my goodness. I've made it to my last artist. Below is Richard Deacon's work. I'm hoping he will forgive me for having flipped it upside down earlier. It is called "Water under the Bridge" and the more I look at it, the more I appreciate it.
The following two videos are a great way to understand him. They are short, but you see him working and collaborating with fellow artists.
Again, this is someone I hope to continue to follow.
That's it, that's all, folks. Well, almost (cringe). I forgot to mention that it's my birthday. I'd skip it, but I'm afraid my sister will object. For the next two months, she can say she is two years younger than I am. In April, when she has her birthday, we will be a year apart again. I'll try to get myself together to post a picture of her then :) In the mean time, here's one of a lovely gift of a sky that Black Jack and I noticed on our walk this morning,
and here's one of Black Jack just because. Thanks for stopping by, have a happy day, and if you have any reading energy left, I hope you will stop by the delightful ABC Wednesday blog meme. (TexWis, I swear, Black Jack's eyes are reproaching me for yet another too-long post.)