Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A long Catch-Up Post

(It's a long one, folks.  Feel free to focus on just one day, or even one photo.)
After several days away, Tupper returned for a visit on Friday morning.  Oh to know where she goes and what she does during those absences.
 We rode our bikes to East 16th and Fraser on Friday evening.  Bill planned the route.  I love to follow him through the streets.  He is a relaxed but careful cyclist with a great sense of direction.  Paul and Michael were doing their Summer Sonata Series.  I think I have attended at least one concert each year since meeting Bill (Paul is his nephew-in-law).  Last year, Bill was too ill to go and though I went, I felt sad and lost without him by my side.  That made the bike ride and his presence at the concert all the sweeter this year.  Grace Memorial Church is a new venue for Paul and Michael.  We arrived early so there were only a few people present.  As we walked in, the sun through the stained glass windows brought an array of colours to the room.
This is Liona, Paul's mother.  Apart from the fact that she has raised a family of string players and continues to teach piano herself, there is something about the way her son, Paul, balances his career as a professional musician with family life (he has two beautiful boys), all the while emanating warmth and humour and love in every fibre of his being, that makes me want to know what she did so very right.  For now, I'll just let you enjoy her great smile.  
 Our bikes were invited inside the church.  Yet another reason to love this new venue.
Bill took this photo of me in front of the church's purple door.  I don't post it with pride but my sister has been asking that I appear more often on the blog and Bill is trying to accommodate that request.  I had to crop the top of my head out, as my hair, after taking off my helmet, was sticking straight up.  You did ask, Sherrill :)
 There seems to be a purple..
 theme around the..
church that I'm guessing has some..
 Paul's mother was bathed in the light coming through the windows and falling..
 onto the floor and..
every other part of the room.
Michael has been acclaimed as one of Canada's finest harpsichordists, fortepianists and continuo players.  Since moving to Vancouver in 2006, he is a regularly featured performer throughout the Lower Mainland.
The concert was a gem. They performed a unique and wondrous program of music by 17th Century composers, Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli (Paul made the entire audience practice saying that name), Isabella Leonarda, Biagio Marini, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Arcangelo Corelli, Bernardo Storace, and Tomas Albinoni.   I had barely heard of several of those composers, let alone had the opportunity to hear their music performed live.  Between selections, Michael shared fascinating tidbits about the composers gleaned through his research.  For example, one of the composers had murdered a castrati and then gone on the lam, first to France and later, to Spain.  Paul and Michael established a lighthearted tone that was pure delight.  They have the 2nd and final concert in the series on July 4th.  If you are free that evening, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening.  You can find out more details at their facebook site. After their final bows,
Paul and Michael kindly allowed..
me to have some fun..
photographing them.  They bantered..
and they made me laugh..
and though a couple of times, they tried to be serious, 
it was clear that their mirth..
could barely be contained. 
Paul was super-happy that we had been able to make it.  He snuck up and gave Bill a big kiss (I got one too).  As I said, Leona, you did something very right with that boy of yours :)
Bill stood on his toes for this shot...
but wasn't quite able to reach Michael's height :)  Our ride home was just as much fun as the one there.  We can hardly wait until the next concert on July 4th.
I woke up early and thought I might do a blog post, but something took me out of doors.
Black Jack wasn't sure she wanted to leave her bed just yet, 
but after waving "hi" to her fans, and having a good stretch, we set out for a short walk.
Flowers continue to sprout up in the parks around us.  These felt brand new that morning.
A line of geese stretched along the False Creek path.
When this sea-doo came by, the geese gathered together.  It was going slowly, unlike the ones I saw later that were racing each other.  
A seal popped its head up and then disappeared.  i think a lot about the life that exists under the water.  If I were boss :) I'd stop all of the motor boats in the creek, except for the False Creek Ferries..  and I'd like them even better if they were row boats :)
The cormorants..
 were very busy..
 trying to keep.. 
their little ones.. 
under the bridge..
fed.  There is a world of drama that takes place under the bridge and under the water.
One flower/bee shot and then we headed home for breakfast.
Later in the afternoon we biked to Stanley Park. The Rose Garden..
was lovely, as was everything around us.
These horses approached, 
and though I wished the tailgating car would have stayed a bit further back,
it was delightful..
to see them.
We locked up the bikes and walked around Beaver Lake.  I was able to catch my first shot of a Towee for the season, and this..  
turtle also made..
quite an impression.  It seemed to have lost its way, and..
Bill returned it to the pond water, where it swam into the reeds so quickly, I couldn't get a photo of it.  We hope it was happier there.
The pond lilies were everywhere,
 most of them pink..
but the odd yellow one showing up as well.
Beaver Lake, named for its beavers, has become so overgrown that to call it a lake, or even a pond, seems a bit presumptuous.  
Though I've never seen even one beaver, their presence is so clearly felt that.. 
this Beaver Baffler has been installed so that salmon will continue to exist there as well.
There were blooms..
and ducks..
and ferns..
and more ferns..
and then a small bridge that..
Black Jack found absolutely fascinating.
Ah..  she knew that little brown squirrel was there.  It came into full view, feeling not even the slightest bit worried about her (or our) presence.
Black Jack needed a little time-out to handle that excitement.  Bill took care of her..
while I admired the blooms and the bees.
Bill guided me back to see the Shakespeare monument that we had admired a couple of years earlier.. 
and then we got back on our bikes for another beautiful ride home.
The message from Jock on Sunday morning that Lucy had died made me very sad, but also so very grateful for the long and wonderful life she lived because of Kitty and Jock's loving care.  You can read about her in the previous post.  (Photo below by Jock)
Our pets are with us for far too short a time.  When Black Jack lay in the sun on the balcony a little later in the day, I took an extra moment to appreciate her..
presence in our lives.
Later, we completed a crossword while enjoying lattés at Harrison Galleries..
and then we biked a short distance along False Creek.  The dragon boat races were..
just finishing and crowds of people were milling about.  
We made it as far as the corner where the geese hang out, watched..
this cutie enjoy a drink of water..
before going off..
to pick a fight with his/her sibling.
The sibling's eyes said, "Oh yeah???"
"Well, take that.." 
and soon they were having "words" while Mom wisely let them work things out on their own.
Later in the evening, we rushed away from the supper table.  We had spotted Tupper..
outside the balcony window, and though Black Jack wondered what all the fuss was about, 
we knew that such visits are to be enjoyed..
whenever possible.
Tupper was about to join me again..
when she was interrupted..
and flew off, chased by another seagull that we are still trying to identify as friend or foe.
We walked on, enjoying these lovely flowers..
and stopping in front of Sciué so that I could show Bill how Tupper..
had waited for me that morning on the roof just over the café.  I hadn't had my camera so you will have to believe me that she was a very cute sight, staring down to see when I would emerge, and then following me for her treats.
Bill made these wonderful cards for me.  He is the best blog-enabler you could ever want :)
He carries them in his pocket in case I photograph someone who may want to read the blog.
While I photographed geese a little later, Bill and Black Jack hung out..
and we both marvelled at how quickly the goslings were growing.
I wonder if Black Jack could relax any more in that basket. 
We watched a crow eat some celery in the community garden (placed there to keep him/her out of the other veggies?)
and admired.. 
a few more.. 
and watched a female Redwing..
and then a juvenile (I think) with what we thought at first was a bug..
but I think may have been a bit of fruit on a toothpick (though I hope not).
I'm sharing this with Our World Tuesday.  You can read lots of other posts by checking out that excellent meme.  Thank you to the many volunteers who keep it running so smoothly and thank you ever so much for stopping by here.  


  1. love to see tupper, black jack, and your bird finds. you have sweet friends, too. paul's mom is a beauty. :)

  2. Lots of happy on your post. The stained glass windows casting their colors everywhere was truly special. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  3. Nice to find a blog in Vancouver I can follow. Thanks for visiting.

  4. I love the pictures of the church, Leona, Michael, Paul and Bill AND the one of the wonderful photographer! I hope the concert was recorded! We are planning to be at the July 4th concert!

  5. What a lovely series of shots. I enjoyed the animals, but my favourites are the stunning stained glass window shots and colours streaming in!

  6. Once again an amazing set of pictures. I love Black Jack and the goslings :-)

  7. Carol, your joy at being with Bill at that wonderful concert was so evident in your photos. Love, beauty and playfulness were captured in so many of them.
    There is no doubt that BJ is a star, and now Tupper is becoming quite the celebrity as well. Thank-you Bill for capturing Carol's moments with him as she has captured yours. I also love it when you and Carol finish a crossword. Your antics (Mr. Conehead) always make me smile.