Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Of blackbirds and Black Jack and crosswords (NWT #1) and fun

Black Jack was the subject of my first photo yesterday and she starred in the last one for the day as well. I am sharing her and the rest of our day with Our World Tuesday.  Thank you to the team of volunteers who make this a very popular blog meme.
We set out in the late afternoon with our bikes but stopped when we saw Tupper (seagull) waiting in her usual spot at the top of a light standard.  We were hoping she would approach so we could feed her.  Though she doesn't limp any more, and though we are both well aware of the many good reasons not to feed wildlife, we are both attached to her.  For some reason, she wouldn't approach yesterday.  We're not too worried as this has happened before.  I think it probably has to do with other dogs or people in the field that worry her.  Since I couldn't take pictures of Tupper, I photographed the apartment building on the corner of our street just because I liked the way the shadows added to the decorative features.
We continued to Harrison Galleries where we completed our first New York Times crossword puzzle.  Ever.  The ones we've been celebrating for the past few weeks have been the easier ones in the newspaper.  We found it a bit difficult, but our biggest challenge was the small print. Might be time for eye check-ups.  We didn't let our heads swell too much.  Some investigation revealed that the NYT puzzles become progressively difficult through the week with Monday being the easiest and Sunday being, according to this review, "devilishly difficult."  I always photograph Bill when we complete a puzzle.  Yesterday, I thought he and our crossword had the same celebratory mood as this girl in Mark Heine's painting.
Summer Life
We left Harrison Galleries and biked along the seawall to Olympic Village.  Here's another mystery flower (thank you, Jim, for the other identifications!) that both the bee and I admired.
The Redwing Blackbirds were still very active and I tried again (less successfully than last time) for close-up open-winged shots.  It turned out to be more of a day of "sitting" shots.
Why is that lady staring at me? 
This is just off the bike path and a great place to explore.  It was built for the Olympic and Paralympic games of 2010 and there has been some success with its goal of habitat restoration.  There are several foot bridges.. 
that were fun to investigate.
I don't know if I've ever seen the underside of a bridge reflected so clearly. 
Holding the camera with its big lens pointed at a bird, hoping for a take-off, can be hard on the arms and I finally put on my small lens.  The moment I did, this Redwing landed right in front of me.
I followed it to a spot by the water, and got close enough, even with my 50 mm lens, to get the only open-winged shot of the day (greatly cropped), but only could imagine what might have happened had I not changed the lens.  Still, the fun, as I've learned, was in the trying.
I think, but am not entirely sure, that he was calling to Mrs. Redwing and not taunting me :) 
The small lens was great for following Bill.  That spot of orange to the left of the tree is his shirt.  He's about to turn around, at my request, to explore the tunnel to the right.
There he comes with Black Jack, and there I am, grown a bit taller with the help of the sun.
Black Jack stayed with me while Bill explored.
What I do to keep my woman happy....
Will this do?
That's great but could you back up a bit more?
How about this?
Perfect!  Thanks, Bill!
Not only does he pose for me but he carries the camera bag too.
Bill's the best!
I crossed the foot bridge to get this view from the side, 
and then I noticed Bill's reflection.  I knew that orange shirt was a wise choice :) 
Loved the graceful arc of "ballerina" grass reflected back to form an oval. 
Redwings love these bull rushes.  Can you make out the female at the centre of this photo?
I changed back to the big lens one more time to catch this mallard and some neat ripples.
I've finally got it that this flower is Lupin, thanks to some wonderful bloggers who have helped me out with identifications.  Now, to identify this bee.
Could it be an Orange Rumped Bumble Bee?
As we looked over the North Shore Mountains, Bill commented that there is still a tiny bit of snow at the top.  These container cranes of Port Metro, Vancouver, like the mountains, seem to turn up no matter from which vantage point one looks.  (still a bIg lens shot here so only the top part of the cranes)
Bill's said, "Is it me or is that building off kilter?"  I had to agree with him though my photo doesn't really show the way it seemed to tip to the left.  I wonder what it feels like from inside.
And, as promised, Black Jack returns for some silly..
but totally..
vibes to send to her fans.  Happy Tuesday everyone.  There's lots more fun from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Good post!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

  2. happy, goofy black jack. congrats on the nyt puzzle! i liked the pipe/sub photos. :)

  3. You are amazing puzzle solvers. I love all the shots of Bill in the orange tube! His orange shirt was an inspired purchase! Phyllis

  4. I am one of Black Jack's fans, Awesome series of images, the reflections are wonderful. Have a happy week!

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