Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tupper, a Crow, and a Good Ride

Our World Tuesday is the meme of choice today. Started several years ago by the late Klaus Peter, it has stood the test of time.  Carried forward after his passing by many volunteers over the years, it is currently hosted by ArijaGattinaLady FiSylviaSandy and Jennifer.  I am grateful to them for the hours they spend encouraging us to share our worlds. 

Here are a few of the ways my world was beautiful yesterday.  

Tupper visited for the second day in a row.
We rushed out when we saw her on the lamp post.  There are many absences in between visits, so we try to catch her when we can.  She flew off the post as soon as she saw me on the sidewalk below.  I almost got the shot :) 
We have a new friend in this crow.  We haven't named him/her yet.  If you have a gender neutral suggestion, that would be great.  S/he seemed to have a bit of a conflict with Tupper several months ago, but I think they've declared a truce.  S/he stayed mostly on the fence..
and Tupper stayed on the sidewalk and they didn't steal treats from each other.
 Tupper was happy to see Bill but wouldn't eat from his hand yesterday.  Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for that honour.
 I am not proud of this photo of me, but it is the only one I have that shows the crow, Black Jack and Tupper all agreeing to share.  Thanks, Bill.  You tried :)
 This was the first time the crow ate from my hand.  S/he did it so matter-of-factly, it seemed as though she had been doing it forever.      
 Bill and I have figured out that we can bike to just about anywhere we want to go in Vancouver.  Yesterday, we rode for the first time to Queen Elizabeth Park.  I still shake my head in disbelief. A few short months ago, Bill lay in his hospital room, so sick and so discouraged, riding our bicycles together seemed like a distant possibility. On the way up a very steep hill, a short rest seemed a good idea, and some flowers in a sidewalk garden..
 gave us the perfect excuse to stop..
and smell the blooms.
Our first view of the park as we reached the top of the hill was impressive.
Geese have been crossing Vancouver roads safely for many years, and this summer is no exception.  I have photos of tiny goslings following their parents at the beginning of the summer.  Being excellent parents, the adults continue to guide their young throughout adolescence and beyond, and drivers for the most part respect that. 
 Adults moult every year and cannot fly for a period of five to six weeks while their new feathers grow.  They regain their ability to fly at about the same time that their young fledge.
 It makes me smile to see the determination as youngsters climb out of the pond. 
We could hear birds throughout the park, but the geese, this lone heron and one crow were our only sightings in a fairly extensive visit yesterday.
 We made up for the lack of bird and critter sightings with some wonderful flowers and plants.
 A few years ago, we had driven to the top of the park, but missed a lot of the beauty.  This time, we locked our bikes at the bottom and walked up.  Our goal was to reach that bridge above the waterfall.
I've saved most of the blue blooms for Smiling Sally's "Blue Monday" meme, but here is a small taste.  I'm sorry that I can't seem to remember flower names.  Perhaps, there are just a few too many other things floating around in my brain.  Lately, it feels full to overflowing.  The border flowers here are covered in a black netting.  I'm not sure of the purpose for that. 
 This plant seemed to grow directly out of the rock.
You can read the history of the park here.  It was quarried for its rock in the early 1900's.  Bill pointed out the blasting holes, still very evident these many years later.
and waterfalls..
 all added to scenes that, after a while, seemed exhausting in their beauty.
 We stopped to read about Raoul Wallenberg.  There have been disputes about the date of his death so only his birth date is given here.  His story inspires me.  So often, we feel alone and powerless to make the changes we know have to be made.  With the 100th anniversary year of WW1 beginning yesterday, I think a lot about what we have (not) managed to learn in that time.  A post by Optimistic Existentialist also caused my thoughts to spin yesterday. Most people believe there will never be an end to conflict.  That may be true.  Okay, I am even ready to admit that is almost certainly true.  But surely, we can learn to find peaceful solutions to conflict.  I am not ready to give up on that.  
 We continued our walk and I tried to limit photos to unusual sightings,
 but it seemed everywhere we looked, "extraordinary" ruled. 
 Bill was wearing one of his favourite old shirts.  Its days are numbered, but it is fading gracefully I think.  I noted yesterday that it blended perfectly with these lovely pink flowers.
 We sat watching the sun as it fired up the tips of plants.
 Black Jack, on Bill's knee, stared with silent frenzy inspired by critter smells.
 We still had a way to go, 
 so we tore ourselves away from golden beauties, 
and mysterious beings.  There seem to be two eyes at the bottom of this photo leading to a sort of tail (or tongue?).  I tried flipping it to see if its image would be more recognizable, but in the end, chose to show it to you as we saw it.   
 Here is the proof that we made it to the top :)  It was a much easier walk than you might..
 There seemed to be a haze over most of my photos but the view was still impressive.  
 The lovely stone wall at the bottom of the photo was the only barrier to a fairly steep drop-off.
Looking down and across the water, I was excited to see the stadium roof and revolving restaurant that are not far from our apartment.  We had a patting-ourselves-on-the-back moment as we celebrated that we are strong enough to ride across the city. 
 Walking downhill, this is the smaller of the two quarry gardens. 
 Here's a lovely bridge to conclude the Elizabeth Park photos (for today).
 Bill had noted these on the way to park, and decided..
they rated a stop..
on the way home.
 He entertained Black Jack while I took the photo.  She tried to give him an "I-love-you" kiss, even as he tried (unsuccessfully) to put his glasses on her.  
 They shared a common view in this shot (that I love).
 And, it was Bill again, who decided this old bike..
 and a wonderful old tractor (!!) could not be left out of the day's photos.
 This arbor trestle in front of the doorway to the house with a unique..
added to my sense that we had unveiled a Vancouver treasure.  Oh, I wonder about the stories he has to tell.  I wonder how he feels about drop-in visits.
 Our last stop was at the top of the Cambie Bridge.  Black Jack wondered if we really HAD..
 to take more photos, but then she took advantage of her vantage point to stare through the bridge railings..
 at the scene over False Creek.
 Bill was still in fine form. :)
 He noted the almost perfect half-moon..
over a familiar bike route below..
 but also observed that something really should be done about the city refuse on the right side of the trail.  That said, we are grateful for so many aspects of Vancouver's beauty.  Thank you for stopping by to allow us to share our day.  Perhaps, you will find some time to visit Our Word Tuesday for scenes and times in the lives of other people around the world!


  1. a most beautiful park with gorgeous plantings! not sure about a good crow name. black jack is already taken! :)

  2. What a journey! Love your shots of Vancouver from the top, Carol. I would not be surprised that the haze is a bit of smog that lingers over most cities nowadays. Bill really IS doing well considering what he has been through recently. I think it is a combination of his determination and sharing his days with an optimist. :)

  3. Did you clock the distance you rode on this adventure? We love this park in any season because it is close to G and P! The haze in your pictures is, alas, smog. We could see it as we approached the city from the ferry today. Yea for bike rides with each other and all the pictures you share with each other! Phyllis

  4. Fabulous shots of dog and those geese crossing the road!