Thursday, July 31, 2014

Looking Up and Down and over Fences too.

It's a combined post today for two fun memes, Good Fences (thank you, TexWisGirl) and Look Up, Look Down (thank you, Debbie).

This is one I saved out of many shots posted last Sunday about a Circle of Skillz event that raised money for Cancer research.  Sadly, these fences have to go up in the West End of Vancouver at this time of year because of huge numbers of people attending summer events.  Otherwise, the flowers would be trampled. 
The next seven shots were also saved ones.  They show three fences in Stanley Park, this one near the tree that we "climbed" (just so the climbers at the end of this post know they have some competition :) last week.  With only the big lens working, I had to take this in three stages, one to include the tree,  
one to include the beautiful stone work under the railing, 
and one to show the archway with flowers. 
This fence is only steps away from the first one shown.  I love the workmanship..
though I guess it is mainly just there for appearances and to act as a bit of a divider.
This fence is in the totem pole area.  I couldn't get near it, as it has been sort of fenced off :)
to force tourists to keep their distance.  I tried to show the interesting details in the carvings along the side of it, but most were covered by greenery. 
"Look up, Look down" becomes the dominant theme for the rest of the post, so if fences are your main motivation for checking out this post, perhaps you will want to stop reading at this point.  On the other hand, it will be hard to resist these wonderful feet, don't you think?  Bill looked admiringly down at Jennifer's feet yesterday.  She and her husband own Harrison's Galleries where we drink latt├ęs and do crosswords almost every day and feel as at home as we do at home.  She agreed to have the photo taken though she wasn't so sure about Bill's assessment of her feet.  The photo is dark, but she liked it that way.  She has three boys, one just graduated from high school, and I might add that she is the youngest, funnest gallery owner you could ever want to meet.  I think her feet express that beautifully!
Jennifer always finds time to talk with us, and yesterday, she told me this "English Bay Seawall" watercolour.. 
and this oil-on-board painting of Chuck Berry are both by Chris Dahl.  Every time I go to the gallery, I come away with a new thought or idea or inspiration. 
We left the gallery and rode our bikes to Jericho Beach after that.  Hm.. I guess that could be sort of fence :)
I looked up at this Canada Goose,
and across the pond at this King Fisher.  They spend a lot of time looking down,
but this one suddenly took off through the grass and didn't return.
In my search to hopefully locate the King Fisher again, I suddenly looked down to see the strangest sight.  
Bill, standing just a few feet to my right, was also looking down.  His view of Mrs. Mallard was equally interesting.  
It occurs to me that Black Jack spends an enormous amount of time looking either up or down.  The perspective of a little dog is something I think about.  One thing for sure, she loves the advantage Bill's height gives her.
There were a kazillion small birds, but all either too far away or hidden by foliage.  This "looking down" photo is the only one I've kept to give you an idea of our view.
I love the twists and curves in the branches here,
and the background to this pigeon, here.
Though we stayed quite a while, and though bird watching is often spectacular at Jericho, it was another sight that really caught our attention yesterday.
Competitive tree climbers were practicing for a competitive event that is coming up soon.
Neither Bill nor I had ever seen anything quite like this. 
My big lens doesn't give you the perspective of just how incredibly high they climbed..
but it does give you something of a feel for the skills necessary to get to the top of..
gigantic trees.
You can learn about upcoming events..
and even arrange to take tree-climbing lessons yourself..
by going to the Climbing Arborist web site.
One thing for sure, we looked..
a lo-o-ong way up..
and these climbers looked..
a lo-o-ong way down.
They were really friendly,
and Bill and I left feeling we had learned something new.. 
and met some great.. 
people too.  Now, if only I had taken notes so that I could tell you their names.  
Sadly, I didn't do that, but a visit to their web site will be well worth your while.
Here's the link one more time, and while you are checking out links, don't forget TexWis and her Good Fences meme and Debbie's Look up, Look Down memes.  Happy Thursday, everyone.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We Care

This is Mai David Huy Huynh.  He died this past Saturday after a tragic fall from Pospect Point onto the Stanley Park Seawall.  He had only a few courses left to complete his degree at UBC.  He was not only deeply loved but deeply admired.  Bill and I didn't know him, but yesterday, we read about the accident in the newspaper and it hit us hard.  We had biked around the seawall on Sunday, having no idea that, only the day before, someone had lost their life there.  My post today is for ABC Wednesday and celebrates the letter "C" but every photo, every word, every thought seems to link back to this fine young man.  In thinking of a "C" word, a simple one comes to mind.  We care.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to David's family and to the others in his life who knew and loved him.   
The care word links up to other words like community and compassion and culture and concern.  David was described in a post at the UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society site as "..above all kind-hearted."  This article about him highlights the strength and optimism that was an inherent part of his character.  In thinking about that, I came across this Charter for Compassion site.  There's a youtube of Israeli and Palestinian youth making music together.  These young people have seen way too many cothurnal situations (of like or pertaining to tragedy) but they refuse to let their lives be crushed into sadness.  I think, David would enjoy the life and hope in this video.   
After reading about David, Bill and I set out along the Cole Harbour bike path, thinking to stop for the second day in a row at Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.  We took a few moments along the way to give Black Jack a run.  She spends quite a bit of time riding with us in her basket, but I try to make sure she also has lots of opportunity to stretch her legs.  I love this comical photo of her with ears pinned back and intense focus in her eyes.
This carving is near the area where Black Jack had her run. 
I do not have a link for you, but some information about it can be read from this plaque.  It was a community centre project that involved people from many cultures working (and playing) together.  
At Beaver Lake, I hoped to see some of the birds we had observed the day before.  In fact, as sometimes happens, those birds seemed to be missing in action.  We did see this duck that I thought might be a Northern Shoveler female.
Here is another view of her.  (All id help appreciated.)
The reflections..
and lily-pads..
were fun to photograph.
A colleague happened by and our conversation about cyclist/runner confrontations inspired more thought about compassion and how to foster it wherever and however we can. In the mean time, I watched this heron, perhaps the same one we had seen only the day before.
We hadn't planned this, but somehow, our ride took us down to the seawall after that.  In fact, we ended up at pretty much the exact spot where David had died.  As we thought about him, I also heard tiny bird sounds, pitched too high for Bill to hear, but fortunately, his eyes and my ears combine beautifully and he was the one to spot this bird nesting in a cliff.
Perhaps it is a very common sparrow.  I'm not sure, but as always, would be happy for id suggestions from readers.  What really amazed me is that in the face of that sheer rock, a living being had chosen to make its nest.  Here's a "C" word for you, learned from the Unusual Words that Begin with C site.  Caliology is the study of birds' nests.
And, here are a few more views..
including a greatly cropped one showing something edible (an insect) the bird had found, 
I learned in this article that some of the rock consists of sedimentary sandstone.  I have no expertise at all about rock so can't tell you what you are seeing in the photos.  
I can give you a new "C" word, though.  Calcivorous refers to beings that live in, or feed on, limestone.
Here are two more shots, one showing the right side, 
and the other, the left side, of this very busy little bird.
The photos here are in order, so perhaps you will understand the emotion I felt, as I gazed up to the cliff beside us, the one that I guessed David had fallen from.
I looked as well at my beloved Black Jack, whose basket seemed to lean out over the water,
and at my beloved Bill, who guarded her safety carefully.
Only then did I see a young girl with these flowers.  No explanation was needed.  They were a tribute to David.  She was calm and composed but there was deep emotion in her eyes, and though my heart lurched in a kind of shock, I wasn't surprised when she told me she was David's sister.  Bill hugged her, his eyes filled with tears.  She and her family were trying to locate the exact spot where David had fallen.  I will never forget this moment and I will never forget David.  May he rest in peace;  I want to believe that his caring spirit will carry on in those he loved and in those who came to know his story only after his death.  
We continued on for the ride home, stopping only once more for a rest on a shady park bench.  Two young men were playing frisbee.  
I asked them if I could practice action shots.  
They kindly agreed. 
When I gave this gentleman my blog address, he said, "I don't know where I fit in.  I guess I must be the "beast" and not the bicycle or the bird.
Life carrying on,
just as David would want it.
Taking a moment to observe.. 
the caducity (impermanent nature)..
of life gives us good reason to..
those who pass by (she was on her way to the drum circle) and even into..
our own lives.
To answer your question about where you fit in,
you are one of those who carries on..
the spirit of vitality,
perhaps passed to you by someone you didn't have the chance to know..  through me.  
Thank you to each one of you who has taken time to care.