Thursday, July 10, 2014

Looking up and down and at fences too.

Linking today to two memes: Theresa's Good Fences and Travel with Intent's Look Up, Look Down.  Thanks to each of them for hosting.

I have never climbed a tree.  At least, not that I can remember.  I have a picture in my mind of my sister swinging from a tree, but I accepted my "non-athletic" status in the belief she had earned that title honestly with a litany of scraped knees to prove it.  

Bill and I live across the street from a school playground, and just by the fence (barely seen at the left) is a small tree that often contains two or three children.  They sit in the branches, talking and laughing and I think it must feel like a secret club to them.  On Tuesday, a young father watched his little girl climbing.  He was there just in case, but she was doing very well on her own.  "I want to do that,"I said, and he smiled.  Yesterday morning, I asked Bill if we might try to climb that tree.  He thought it possible, and we walked across the street after lunch to take a look at it.  A backpack was hanging on one branch and a girl, perhaps about nine years old, was sitting in the branches.  Conscious that it is a playground and that two adults staring at a girl in a tree might look suspicious, I explained to her that I've never climbed a tree and hoped to do that one day.  She smiled, and though we didn't ask her to leave, she quietly slipped down from her branch a few minutes later.  Bill decided to climb first.  I would watch and learn.  Before I knew it, 
he was into the branches.  They are low to the ground, but still..
I was impressed, and not at all sure I could follow suit.  Bill encouraged me to give it a try and took the camera to record the moment.
A young boy came by and retrieved his backpack.  I think the girl had told him to do that.  We tied Black Jack to the fence at the left (just out of range of the camera) and the girl sat with her while Bill took photos.  I know the branches were low, but my heart was pounding, and.. 
to be honest, I didn't make it look pretty :)
But I did it!
It felt so good!
Can you tell that I was really, 
really happy?  In this photo, you could almost imagine the tree had been a very tall one :)
It wasn't pretty watching me get down either.  Who puts their armpits around branches?  Bill became a bit worried and stood behind me, but once I got my hands around the branches instead of my arm pits, I was okay.  The young girl, who had had a lovely cuddle and conversation with Black Jack, approached and we both thought Black Jack, who has tried many times to climb trees, might like a boost up.  Without the incentive of squirrels, she was not interested, much preferring to cuddle with her new friend. 
The young girl told us in a quiet voice that she dreams to one day have her own dog.  I would love to have told her parents how much we enjoyed meeting her and perhaps encouraged them to consider bringing a dog into their family.  She bid us good-bye and Bill took one more photo to mark what had been a "tickled pink" experience. 
We went for two bike rides after that, one to Harrison Galleries before supper and another one in the evening to Olympic Village.  There, we tried to play our usual game with Black Jack, but instead of running directly from Bill to me, she took a little detour.
Black Jack: "Something in this spot is calling to me."
Bill: "Uh oh."
She returned to Bill when he called, but on her second run, swerved to her left.  You can just see a water bottle at the right edge of the photo.  There were two fellows enjoying a picnic and Black Jack thought she might join them.  Bill called her back, and again she obeyed.
We decided to give her one more chance at a run, moving to the side of the field, where apparently, the conditions were just right.  Behind that fence, a new sculpture is going up.  It is a tall one, so fits well with the "look up" theme.  
I managed to squeeze my camera between two of the fence sections and got this photo.  The sign on the fence said only that the art will be installed over the summer months, but there were no other details.  At the 2014-2016 Exhibition/Vancouver Biennale site, l learned that: "The 2014 – 2016 Vancouver Biennale will feature diverse works by both breakthrough and established artists, in keeping with the theme Open Borders / Crossroads Vancouver. The 2014 – 2016 participants include globally-recognized figures ranging from Ai Weiwei, Vik Muniz, Andy Goldsworthy to Os Gêmeos.."  Keeping the art up for two years is a good idea, although two pieces that I particularly enjoyed in the past are gone now and I still miss them.  All the more reason, I guess, to take time to enjoy the art projects in our city while they are there.
A little later, I took another photo with a different angle and had a better appreciation for the "open borders" theme.  And!  Google is my friend.  I've just this moment discovered the artist's name and have learned that there is a reception for him tomorrow evening.  If you would like to know more about Jonathan Borofsky, check out this link.
I looked down to get this photo, 
and wa-a-ay down to get this one.  These blooms were tucked in behind lots of plants in the community garden.
Bill thought they might be cucumbers.  Well, imagine that.  It was a bit late in life to learn that cucumbers come with an orange blossom but I take comfort from the "never too late" idea that is becoming a theme here, I guess :)  
Here's the full view of the community garden, with yet another fence and lovely light coming through the tree.
As we crossed the little footbridge to go back to our bikes, I took this reflection shot, and..
then another one.  Sometimes, I think about the people in their apartments, symbolic fences around their worlds, but life beckoning when they peer out their windows.
Just before supper, Bill said quietly, "I have a new curl."  Sure enough, he did :)
While we were in the park, I thought I should record it for posterity.  
I love his new curl and I love that handsome face.  Guess you could say I love him :)
"How's this for a "look up" shot?"
I took one more photo before I left the garden.  I looked down and just happened to notice something that reminded me of the veiled hats women sometimes wore when I was a child.  It was a spider web over a rose-hip bush that had collected many tiny insects,
but in my mind, I saw this. (Photo found at this site.)
We rode just a short distance before yet another group at the orange piano brought us to a stop.  They were doing a very nice rendition of "Let It Be" and..
their individual expressions of style..
 their willingness to share their talents with anyone who cared to listen,
and their generosity in letting me take photographs endeared them to me. 
I've lost the card they gave me, and forgotten their group's name (although I remember the second word was "guests") but did leave them with a blog address, so perhaps they will leave a comment to provide a bit more information about how they came together.   
I have to add that this was the second group we have heard at that piano that used no amplification!  I would love to see a trend in this direction.   And, just in case you have..
forgotten the fence theme, this was the view just behind the musicians.  Lots of fences there, but for more, do stop by Theresa's Good Fences meme.  If you love to look above and below the centre line that most people see first, try the Look Up, Look Down meme.  It's a "goodie" as well.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thursday to each one of you!


  1. the art installation is cool. love the reflection shots, too. and YAY for you climbing your very first tree! i had my favorites as a kid on a farm in wisconsin. :) my sis had her favorite, too, and if she disappeared, she was often up in that tree - sometimes for hours.

    thanks for linking!

  2. Hi there! It's me, the girl with the pink hair. We are called Plus Guests and we want to thank you so much for including us on your blog. I've really enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work. We just started a Facebook page a few days ago and would love to link your blog there. Thanks again! Love, Plus Guests.

  3. hahahhah...just love the little dog racing directly towards you!

  4. I love the tree climbing adventure. As children, Bill and I lived across the road from an old orchard so we climbed trees often as part of our games. I remember sitting on branches surrounded by apple blossoms and reading a book. It is one of my favourite childhood memories!!! Bill will have other stories about the orchard adventures. Phyllis

  5. Glad you finally got to climb a tree! I used to love climbing trees as a child. My tree fort was my favourite place for several years. Maybe it's time to climb again!

  6. The 'cucumbers' are what we called vegetable marrow when I was a girl in England. They're something like squash or zucchini. They can grow quite large in length and circumference. I haven't thought of them for years but as soon as I saw the flower I remembered it. My grandmother used to grow them. It's amazing how much you can remember from childhood days.

  7. What fun! You have some great shots to remember the adventure by.

  8. what a fantastic day you had and i love the reflections of those buildings in the water.

  9. The hair color is different but the profiles of Bill with his new curl remind me a little of Superman’s iconic curl. Love the tree climbing moments! It is funny how we stop doing that when we grow out of childhood and it can feel a bit risky when we get older!

  10. I have not climbed a tree since I was a kid.. Looks like you both had fun with the tree climbing.. Love the reflection shot and the new sculptures are cool. Black jack is a cute as ever. Great post.

  11. Had an adventure filled day you had.