Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Good Day in My City

A chick-a-dee against different backgrounds, all in the space of about two minutes, marked the beginning of my trusty camera's photo-journal yesterday, but that was just the continuation of a very good day shared with my beloved Bill.  It will be 13 months tomorrow since his first surgery and about four and a half months since his 2nd surgery.  Sometimes, we are granted more quality time with those we love when the possibility of that gift seemed faint. I treasure every good day.  Sharing this one with Sundays In My City.  Thank you, unknown Mami!

Bill held my camera bag and helped me change the lens so that I could capture this chick-a-dee.  I'm guessing s/he is a young one, perhaps a member of the family that lives..   
 just outside our apartment building.
 S/he flitted from one branch to the other..
and the different backgrounds in such a small space amazed me.
 We crossed the street to walk in David Lam Park.  This little lady was determined to meet Black Jack.  Her name is Bella.  Black Jack has had a stomach bug (better now) so we kept them apart.  Poor Bella had to be dragged away. 
"Why won't you play with me?"
We walked to the edge of False Creek and saw lush greenery on the other side. We have often walked there; it was fun to see what my big lens picked up from the "home" side.
This male finch (house finch?)..
fluffed its feathers..
 and sang lustily. Bill remarked that he had never heard quite so beautiful a bird song.
 The wild roses seemed beautiful as well, even as they faded and lost their petals.
I know I take a lot of cormorant photos, but the light..
 was bringing out the turquoise and green in..
this one's back, neck, head and eyes.  I watched it until it spotted something and.. 
 did that little jump upwards that always precipitates a dive.
 We left False Creek and walked through city streets to Harrison Galleries where we love to enjoy art while sipping latt├ęs and munching on cookies.  Even in the downtown area, there..
is lots of greenery and the wind was playing a beautiful game with these grasses.
 A little photography goal has not been achieved yet here.  I'd like to get clear forget-me-nots, catch the lacy bits, and also show the veins in the beautiful leaves behind the flowers.  I'll keep trying :)  Allan (photographer and husband to Evensong, met through her blog), if you're reading this, I enjoyed your response to my last photography goal and to the anti-social shirt!  I'll respond to your message soon :)
Oh, if you could only imagine the fun I had with Bill as he tried to help me capture this first dragonfly of the year.  Like the chick-a-dee, it flew to different backgrounds, but this time..
they were such busy ones, the challenge was almost insurmountable.  I'm pretty happy with this.  Thank you, Bill!
 I loved this storefront when we walked by in the afternoon.  Later in the evening, we walked by it again on our way to a spectacular concert.  This time, I stopped to record its impact on my thoughts.  I can't remember Bill's exact words, but his remark was to the effect that Oscar Wilde had the ability to express great wisdom so very succinctly.  
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.  Oscar Wilde
 We walked up Seymour Street along the side of The Orpheum,
 past these neat stairway/balconies.. 
to a side-entrance that took us to the Orpheum Annex.
 Pacific Baroque Orchestra, with guest soloist, Carla Moore, was performing five Bach concertos.  Bill's niece, her husband, and her husband's sister are all members of this amazing early-music ensemble.  This occasion marked the first time that Bill has felt well enough to be comfortable around a gathering of family members.  Before the concert, I spent a little time admiring the harpsichord..  
 but mostly, I was just feeling elated to see Bill (on the left with his sister in the middle and her husband on the right) up to his old..  
 brotherly-love pranks.  I was also thrilled to see..
 the smiles on all three faces. Bill's sister has had two of her loved ones (brother on the right and husband on the left) face serious medical issues this past year.  As you can see,
 things are looking a lot better now!
And then, there was the beauty of that harpsichord and of the music to come.
 Here, Natalie Mackie tunes her violone after Nathan Whittaker has just tuned his cello.
Bill and I sat dead centre in the front row, and I snapped some photos during bows.  There were 12 performers, including the esteemed director, Alexander Weimann.  I was never able to get everyone into the shot from my seat, but here was one of my better efforts.  
 Along with the guest soloist, five members of the ensemble performed solos.  There are so many things that amaze me about this ensemble but I am going to have to end this post very soon so I will just mention a few things. Alexander's wife stands to the left of him.  She has just played a solo with her sister who stands on the right. 
Alexander Weimann may be the top early-music director in the world (he's to the right of Bill), but he had time to talk to this young boy about harpsichords. 
 Bill may not be a musician but he loves and is curious about all things musical.
The gentleman at the back of this photo is a full-time nurse in ICU at the hospital where Bill had his surgeries.  Bill's niece, on the right, is mother to two active little boys (one shown in my last post). 
Her husband is shown sharing laughter with his sister, also a mother of three children, one a toddler.  I have barely touched the subject of family-musical connections.  Someone needs to do a story on this orchestra and its members!  Oh..  and the music?  Well, I was blown away.  I wanted to jump from my seat to dance.  Seriously.  The energy, technique, sweetness of phrasing, extraordinary sensitivity brought almost as much elation..   
 as did Bill's progress.  On the way home, i took this photo of a lamp and plant in someone's apartment.  I guess I shouldn't do that but it called to me.
 We also stopped at one of my favourite grocery stores (fair trade and organic are priorities) on the way home.  Just a day in my favourite city.  For other people's stories about their cities and the people in them, I think you might enjoy the meme, Sundays in My City.  Thank you for stopping by.  A very happy Sunday to each one of you!


  1. such talent among your ranks. :) love the cormorant pics.

  2. Terrific collections of photos-- You've been busy.
    You stole my heart with the Forget Me Nots-- Always love those and take a moment longer to enjoy them when I see them. And the pooch! The bow is a hoot.
    Happy SIMC

  3. Carol, another stroll around your fair city and focusing on the wildlife. I really enjoyed this, thanks.
    Those chick-a-dee photos are beautiful! As are the grass ones. Oh yes, the one you 'stole' (lol) from the apartment window...very nice!!
    Happy Bill is adjusting to social situations with family....a very good sign indeed.
    Have a wonderful Sunday evening.

  4. What a great day! Lots of fantastic photos!

  5. So many fabulous pics! I especially love the birds!

  6. This whole post made me happy. There were so many wonderful photos but the family shots, with the very similar impish grins, warmed my heart. it was such a pleasure to see Bill, sister and brother-in-law all looking so well, happy and together again. Thank-you also for sharing the concert with all of us. I was almost convinced that I had enjoyed it with you.

  7. I too was elated by the concert and all the wonderful family connections . As I thought about the last year, I had a little weep! (Quietly!) It was so wonderful to see you and Bill last night! Thank you for the pictures of us, the musicians and that amazing harpsichord! Phyllis

  8. This was an extraordinary much going on, and so many wonderful photos I can't begin to compliment it all...great series...wonderful narration! Thanks for taking us along for your day.