Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

I am thinking about the difference between patriotism and nationalism this morning, as Canada celebrates its 147th birthday and the USA prepares to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th.  George Orwell's  thoughts on the topic play through my mind, even as I celebrate the freedom and beauty granted to me in Canada, my small corner of the world, the place that I fervently love and gratefully call home.  Three quotes by wise men are good ones to keep in mind, as I go about describing the day Bill and I enjoyed yesterday:
1. Pablo Casals said, "The love of one's country is a splendid thing.  But why should love stop at the border?"  
2. Arthur C. Clarke said, "It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars."
3. Chris Hadfield said, "“You see Winnipeg, and then 20 minutes later a city in Africa and then a city in Asia. You start to realize it’s just a whole bunch of us… It sounds trite, but it’s true.”  

And, speaking of Chris Hadfield, I've just listened to the song he and his brother, Dave, wrote to celebrate this Canada Day.  I'd be most interested to know your opinion of it, if there is time in your day to give it a listen. Here's the link.

And now, for our day yesterday.  I am happy to share it with Our World Tuesday, a meme that wouldn't be possible without the hard work of 
ArijaGattinaLady FiSylviaSandy, and Jennifer.  Thank you to each one of them!

This red-and-white "Happy Birthday, Canada" photo was taken at Olympic Village where we rode our bikes yesterday.
For those of you following Tupper's story, you will be glad to know she survived the Jazz Festival just fine and appeared in her usual spot on the light standard in the morning.  Yay!
After our latt├ęs and cookies at Harrsion Galleries, we stopped to enjoy Tony Barton and his musicians doing a very nice (but yes, a few notches too loud) version of Ghost Riders in the Sky.  I have always liked that song, and so I listened to a few different versions last night.  This Burl Ives recording, done in 1949 is higher pitched than we usually hear, but I love his tone quality in the "yippi-i-ay" part and the photographs are great as well.  If it's Johnny Cash you prefer, here is his version, a classic for sure.  
I didn't know Tony Barton but learned that he is an actor, an opera singer (!) and a comedian.  Wow!  He and Tracy Neff do a show called Ring of Fire that tells the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter.  His web site was quite an eye opener for me.
We were about to leave when they began the song, Folsom Prison Blues.  "That's one of my favourites," said Bill.  We stood with our bikes behind the stage, where the sound was just right, and listened to an excellent rendition of that song.  Here's the Johnny Cash version, just for my sweet Bill.
This little boy was the son of the guitarist.  He did what I would have done if I dared, and that is dance along to some great toe-tapping music.
We had barely moved on past the casino when some adult geese.. 
took the kids out for a walk.  They are so vulnerable at this time before they learn to fly, but they strutted along, 
confident that people would not only move aside..
but wait patiently, should one or two of them.. 
desire a snack along the way.  I love the bits of blue under their wings, and thought that there could be no better time to celebrate the Canada Goose.
Bill spotted the geese first. It's quite a process to get off his bike quickly, grab my camera bag from his basket, run to me, give me the camera, steady my bike with Black Jack in it, and then wait patiently with her while I take photos.  He never complains and I never stop appreciating his sweet nature.
Some of the notes didn't sound, but this piano brought a lot of pleasure to passers-by.  I gave it a try as well, and enjoyed the moment, though we didn't do a photo.
We stopped here, where I enjoyed fitting high rises, skytrains, False Creek Ferries, Canada Geese, mountains, greenery, rocks and humans all into one distinctly Canadian photo. 
The stepping stones..
and seagulls..
and sandy shore were good, but it was this.. 
seagull at the very top of a spindly tree.. 
that brought a smile and a thought about the things critters and humans have in common.  We do love to get away from it all for a snooze when and where we can :)
A Bush Tit with an insect..
watched us quizzically and then, we walked back over the stepping stones..
to the bridge and to a variety of..
reflections that we've admired more than once.
A finch against blue skies,
and a swallow, barely captured as it left its home, were fun to see,
but it was the hummingbird that allowed me a shot with wings backward..
 and forward..  
and straight out to the side, that seemed extra-special.
A starling reminded me that beauty can be found in common species as well,
and I thought that to be true as the finch flew to the ground for a snack.
Handsome Bill insisted that I..
pose as well, and with his hat on, and Black Jack in my arms, 
I felt pretty darn happy to be just where I was. 
This poodle..
chasing a stick..
said something about being Canadian too.  Perhaps, it's just about the freedom to jump in the water on a sunny day when the urge strikes us.
On the way home, I wanted to put a little more red into this post, and asked Bill to stop by these flowers.  In fact, there was an undeniably pink tinge to them,
but they served the purpose and gave me a chance to look quite closely at a bee's wing.
Yup!  It all depended where I focused.  These were pink for sure :)
The sparkling light behind Black Jack brought out the red, though, and I'm fairly sure she's a Happy Canada Day Camper (as long as treats follow shortly) in this shot.
Almost home again, and guess who appeared?  
My, they had walked a long way.
I took a moment to focus on their still-baby faces..
that are quickly entering adolescence..
and to smile at this one eating a piece of popcorn (better than chips or bread, I think) thrown by a lady in a hijab.  There was something Canadian about that as well.  She smiled and we talked about how it was our lucky day to have come across the geese.
There waited Bill for what felt like the umpteenth time and I gave thanks that he was with me. 
What I've avoided telling you until now, because even now, it strikes fear in my heart to think about it, is that Bill lost his balance and fell backwards at the very beginning of our trip.  He was lifting his right leg over the bike and over my camera bag (!), when his toe somehow caught and as quick as a flash, he was on the ground.  He hit his head, but, thank all the powers that be, he was wearing his helmet.  His only injury was this scratch.  Perhaps, he wanted to get into the Canada Day spirit with some red of his own :)  Thank you, Bill, for being strong and for being you.  I'm not sure you will ever fully understand the extent of my relief that this turned into a happy story!!
After a very good Mexican meal at Salsa and Agave, we walked a little before returning home for our evening reading.  This mother duck,
was guiding her two little ones along the edge of the seawall.
Those little ones couldn't have been more than a week old, but they..
sure moved quickly!
One last shot of Bill and Black Jack, one last Happy Birthday Canada greeting, and a special thank you to all the people in my life who make life good (that includes you, my dear readers), and that will be it for today.  Have a beautiful Tuesday, wherever you are.


  1. Happy Canada Day!!! I love that finch picture. And I love Canada!! But I have to ask, can you guys take Justin Beiber back???

  2. love all the birds, the blooms, poses from you, bill and black jack. cute geese, too. sorry about the injury but glad it wasn't worse!

    happy canada day!

  3. Oh my.... what a wonderful post except for Bill's fall. Thank you for always wearing a helmet!! Special Oscar air hugs today!! Phyllis

  4. Once again, I loved this post! The strolling geese, the barn swallow leaving home, that hummingbird, and the very first photo of Bill gave me such pleasure. Then the photos of you appeared. I just loved them and you, of course. Thank-you, Bill. Best yet!
    The smile disappeared and my heart skipped a beat when I read about Bill's fall, and like Phyllis, I am grateful that you both have the good sense to wear helmets. (something about age and wisdom, begs saying here, but I shall resist, sort of) Happy ending to a wonderful Canada Day after all.

  5. Happy Canada Day, Carol! I really enjoyed all your wonderful photos! I hope Bill doesn't have too many bruises and aches from his fall. The song made me laugh, feel homesick, and proud all at once! Just a couple of weeks, and I'll be heading home to Nova Scotia for a short visit. We'll be going from bonfire to bonfire, eating lobsters and scallops, talking 'til our jaws ache, and playing fierce games of all sorts. I cannot wait, and your post only made it worse! LOL!

  6. Wow - what amazing shots of goslings, dog and that lovely humming bird!

  7. Great series of wonderful shots, except for the pic of cut in the leg.
    Happy Canada Day greetings to you!

  8. Aww … sorry to hear of your fall, Bill. I am glad it was not worse! Carol … your hummingbird photos are spectacular. A creature that moves so quickly is not easy to capture with such clarity.

  9. Happy Canada Day Carol. Great series of pictures of people, birds, dogs all out enjoying the day. Hope that cut heals quickly.

  10. Sorry, I am late visiting.. I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day celebration! I love all the gorgeous photos.. My favorite Black Jack and the flowers and scenery is beautiful. I am glad Bill was Ok after his fall. Great post, have a happy weekend!

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