A few steps further on, I zoomed in on those cloud tracks. Under them, two "platters" were raised to the sky, as if in thanks. I've never been quite sure of the purpose of those structures. The shelter provided is appreciated, but barely enough to protect my camera on days when I feel the urge to take a photo in the rain. There are some steps under them where people sit for a few minutes to eat their lunch and watch the cormorants. They almost seem like sculptures, but there is no inscription. Several days in a row, a man carrying a huge backpack has curled up there to sleep, the hood of his parka covering his face. Bill mentioned the other day that he has seen this man walking about town. He appears to have good quality, warm clothes but we both wonder about his story.
On Thursday, I took Black Jack out for a quick walk before meeting friends at The Naam for a birthday dinner. There had been lovely light during that morning's sunrise (shown in my last post) but after that, mostly cloud. Then, as we walked, a patch of blue opened up and an icily spectacular sheen slid over the view.
Suddenly, the seagulls began to cry. The seagull blues, I call it. Desperate, haunting blues, that I used to hear as expressive music, but at that time, with no comprehension of meaning. Now, I hear the wail and look for the predator that I know is nearby. I had to look a long way on Thursday to finally see two little specks at the top of the tallest high-rise in the area. I'm guessing those specks were the eagle pair from the Vanier Park nest. They've been around since 2005 and have successfully raised quite a number of chicks. At least ten, I'd say. They don't go far in the winter time. Hunting is quite good around Vancouver, but there is a different feel around this time of year when they replay their mating dance and get ready for another tough season of chick-rearing. They will take turns keeping the eggs warm, one hunting while the other sits, and then changing places. Once the eggs hatch, it will be a feat of patience, commitment and supreme hunting skill to keep the chick(s) fed. Vancouver is the first place I have lived where the cycles of wildlife within the city feel like the chorus of a familiar song that brings up a spectrum of memories. There is the whisper of gladness that a familiar couple is "at it again" but it is tinged with the queasy knowledge that their lives will be dependant on those of many critters also being raised with the best of intentions. Seagulls, like crows and geese, are plentiful, and therefore often unappreciated. In fact, all three species show exceptional dedication to the daunting task of raising their offspring. When the seagulls or crows lose one to an eagle, they cry piteously, attack with all their might, and seem willing to risk their lives in hopes of making a rescue.
I doubt there are eggs in the nest yet, since Mom and Pop are together, something that will rarely happen once parental duties (that eagles share pretty much 50/50) go into full swing.
This last shot was taken from directly under the building. One eagle watches for the attacking seagull while the other, I'm guessing, eats. Because of that small patch of blue sky, people had emerged from their small apartments, eager to soak up some light. A few stopped to ask me what I was looking at. It's that old "if-you-look-up-others-will-too" thing :)
who headed west in a determined search for more grub.
We stopped before the Granville Bridge where I tried to catch the light and textures under the dock. I smiled the next day when I saw a similar shot in a post by Penelope Puddles. She lives in the White Rock area and I am downtown-ish Vancouver, but every once in a while, it seems our worlds are even closer than the distance on the map says.
As we walked home, I stopped by Gabriola Mansion on Davie Street. Some of you might remember I posted about it recently. It has become a friend ever since I learned its history.
Davie Street runs the gamut of every element of society in just a few city blocks.
This house is only a few steps away from the mansion, and I think of it as a friend too.
Still on Davie Street, and now almost home, I discovered a mural that I must have walked by hundreds of times.
It is in a lane and doesn't reach most of its public easily, but like the mansion and the neighbouring house, I think it will become a friend to check on from time to time. From the picture, it is hard to tell if the car and the man leaning against the pole are part of the mural. I can tell you that the car is not painted but the man is.
I took these pictures of Black Jack a couple of days ago. We play a lot of indoor ball and other silly little games that keep either or both of us stimulated on any given day.
And lastly (but definitely not least), a photograph taken at The Naam with Bill and our good friends, Jock and Kitty. I set the camera up for this one, but it was tricky to run into place..
and finally, a very nice gentleman offered to take a picture of the four of us. Good food, good friends, some play time with Black Jack, an e-mail chat with my sister, time with Bill, some laughter to make the world go round.. and now the chance to share it with some much appreciated bloggers.. it doesn't get much better. Thank you to all!
I'm going to post this to a new blog meme called Scenic Weekends. If you would like to check out some scenes in the lives of people across the world, take a minute to check it out by clicking here.