Friday, July 25, 2014

Thursday's adventures for Friday Photo Journal

We love our shopping trips to Star Pets Only (posted about twice previously).  Black Jack and Masumi have known each other for almost four years.  As I snapped a photo of them with Bill yesterday, Black Jack suddenly delivered a kiss that was graciously accepted by Masumi.  I'm posting to Friday Photo Journal today (thanks for hosting, Serendipity).   
Our next stop was a regular one at Harrison Galleries for lattés, cookies, and a crossword. One of the artists featured in the gallery is H.M.Saffer.   
The photo above is included with Saffer's bio, one that astounds me for the diversity of his talents and experience.  His painting below is called Marilyn's View.
When we left Harrison's, the sky had lightened after a cloudy day, so we rode along the Hornby bike route to Canada Place and then to a small pond that has become a favourite.  We weren't planning to stop along the way, but I was a bit worried for this mom and her kids.
Several followed their progress and all of us were stressed when it appeared the family would leave the paved, but car-free path for a fairly busy street.  
 Happily, Mom made a right turn,
 thus avoiding the street.  She was limping a little bit, but proceeding confidently. 
A gentleman following her (just his foot and jacket shown below) told me he had seen her jump/fly from the roof of a nearby building.  All the babies had followed her.  Sadly, one of the ducklings had died, but the other five appeared to be okay.  They were keeping up a good pace behind their mom.  The gentleman, bless his heart, was carrying a box and prepared to help her if necessary.  He was wise, I thought, in deciding to intervene only if mom or her babies became at risk.  Bikes were coming along the route, some of them traveling way too quickly, especially given the many tourists and workers on their way home after work.  I called out a, "Slow down.  Baby ducks ahead," when I could. 
I was using my 500 mm lens (still haven't dealt with camera problem), useful in that I could get the photos from a distance, but not so great because the larger perspective is missing.  There were now several people following the ducks, some trying to slow down the bikes, others just curious and still others prepared to help if necessary.  All of us suddenly realized that mom was headed to this very small pond.  Maybe not the perfect destination as the pond was in the midst of paved territory, but still better than the street.  This is the edge of the pond.  Mom jumped in and the next photo would have been priceless, with adults helping the little ones navigate the step up and over the edge of the pond, but I can only show you the..
 ducks' relief.
I took this photo of Travis from the other side of the pond (I hope I've remembered his name correctly).  When I approached to thank him and ask permission to post the story, he generously agreed.  The lady beside him said, "I hope you also tell about the cyclist that practically ran the ducklings down."  Well, I'm mentioning that here, but it is the good-news story of caring human beings that stays with me.  Thank you, Travis, and thank you, as well, to the others who saw this drama through.  I can't help but think of another story, one almost too tragic to fathom, when a stop on the highway for ducklings led to two deaths and lives forever changed. A journalist's opinion about that story can be read here.
 My last sight of the ducks showed them heading for cover.
 We continued our ride and a few minutes later, arrived at the pond near the entrance to The Lions Gate Bridge.  I have watched this tree since 2006 when it fell in a severe windstorm.  Someone recognized its beauty and allowed it to remain for all to admire.  You can read a bit more about it here.
My sister, the athletic one in the family, posed on it (at my insistence) when she visited last.. 
September.  She traversed it like a pro, but I had never braved its branches.  Something told me yesterday might be my turn. 
With that at the back of my mind, we spent some time playing..
 with Black Jack,
 looking at reflections,
 admiring the scenery,
and trying to keep Black Jack from putting her nose into skunk territory.
 We saw some Bush Tits,
 during our walk around..
 the pond,
but it was the beautiful tree that called to me most insistently. 
 I was a bit afraid to climb it, so Black Jack agreed to..
 do the honours while I stood, feet firmly planted on the ground.
 Bill tried to make it look as though I had climbed the tree, but we all knew the truth.
"So, when do I get my treat?"
 Then, Bill climbed it and, I thought, did the "rugged" look very successfully..
but still, the tree urged me on.  Finally, I did it.  Yay! 
 I asked Bill to back up, wanting the tree's full enormity to be displayed, but have to admit, my climbing "feat" doesn't appear to be extraordinary at all :)
 Nevertheless, it made my day to feel the bark and the branches under me..
 and a part of me will always appreciate this shared experience with my sister, with Bill and with Black Jack.
Do you see the face looking out at us?  I wonder what she thinks of the thousands upon thousands who have posed within her branches.  And that only the life experience since 2006.  What stories I bet s/he could tell of life before that!  
We returned to our waiting bikes, enjoying a good ride home, some food, some reading..  just another day in the life :)  Thanks for stopping by.  For more photo journals, don't forget to check out Serendipity's meme.  


  1. i love that tree! i hope it stays for many, many years, yet. and hope the mama and ducklings will make it, too.

  2. A fascinating day with a mother duck , her ducklings and all her care givers (including you and Bill) and climbing on a venerable tree! Oscar is also a tree climber so he would love to visit that tree. Max is just learning.... and Grandma will stay on the ground because her tree climbing days are over!!! Happy Friday!!!

  3. Good old mother duck! My kids would love playing around on those trees!

    Sorry for the much delayed reply - I've been in the UK for a month and I decided to let the blogging take a back seat - normal service will resume very soon!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. LOVE the pictures of the mommy duck with her ducklings. So awesome!

  5. love everything about this post, your dog, the duck, the story, your husband... your love! Perfect day at a perfect place!