Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vancouver's Seawall on Saturday

The day was rich yesterday.  Every day is rich right now.  I'm still in awe that I have "my" Bill with me after such devastating fear when he was ill.  Yesterday, we biked around the Stanley Park Seawall with Black Jack.  Bill initiated every stop.  You can blame him on all the photographs :)  I've separated our outing into eight events, so that you can pick one or the other if it's all a little too much: 
1. Heron 1                                     5. Heron 2 
     2. Sitting on a Park Bench         6. The Otters
3. Reflections                              7. Amber
    4. The Birthday                             8. Last Stop
Heron 1
After a run with Black Jack in the grass, we thought we'd sit for a few minutes and watch the planes coming and going over the harbour.  Just as we were about to sit, this heron flew by.
 The power..
 and magnificence.. 
 of the wings..
 was breathtaking.  The reflections of the wing tips above seem like baby birds reaching up. 
 The heron continue past the ramps to the sea planes and you can just see it to the right of the lady in the yellow slacks.  I lost sight of it after that.
 Sitting on a Park Bench
We watched the planes and boats..
 with West Vancouver in the background..
 and then Bill's eyes focused in on a tanker with a humungous load (to the left of the cranes).
I zoomed in to examine it more closely and read CMA COM ATTILA. Maersk was printed on each container.  This article suggests the ship may have hit the dock a couple of days ago.
 Having looked straight across the water and then to the right, I decided to do one shot looking left to Stanley Park and the seawall we were about to travel.
Back on our bikes, we hadn't gone far when these reflections caught Bill's eye.
The day that had started out a bit cold and gloomy was blossoming into quite a beauty in the late afternoon.   Now, we were looking back to the sails of Canada Place that we had passed earlier in our ride.  There was such a variety of reflective light, depending on.. 
 which direction I looked.  The lush forest behind the seawall..
 and the colourful mix of people..
 contributed to quite a flow of shapes and colours in the water.  The red at the left..
 has moved to the right by this second shot of the same people.
I guess Labour Day Weekend, especially with the forecast calling for rain today, brought out quite a number hoping to take advantage of the "calm before the storm" if they could. 
 And as interesting as the people reflections were to me, so too..
 were the sails and the clouds that I came back to again and again. 
 We finally tore ourselves away after a final look at just a few more reflections..

 The Birthday
We had noticed a few people wearing funny hats that seemed to be travelling as a group.  At one point, they were travelling away from us and then, we saw a few more coming toward us.   Again, it was Bill whose curiosity got the better of him.  He stopped to talk to them and learned that this fellow was celebrating a birthday.  I can't remember if he told me his name.  That memory has faded, but the twinkle in his eye and..
 his friendly manner made an impression that has lasted.  
 I finally asked if I could get a group shot of him with his friends.  They didn't hesitate for a second.   How I love when that happens :)  There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie happening and the only thing worrying them was that I might miss a member or two.  You can see the fellow on the right looking to his left.  He wants to be sure his friends are..
 all included.  Ah..  two more arrivals and we're good to go.  Just one hat to settle down..
 and as you can see, little encouragement needed when I ask them to "get silly"
 for the camera.  A huge "Happy Birthday" to you, young man.  You are starting your year off right with wonderful friends, lightheartedness and all the beauty you could ever want around you and in the BC scenery.  You even managed to fit some exercise into your day.  I'd call it a good party!  May this year and the ones to follow keep on trucking along in the same way. 
 Heron 2
I'll skip the commentary for a few photos in this next event.  I think they speak for themselves, though I will draw your attention to that little tiny heron standing on the corner of the dock.

 As happy as the heron and the reflections made me, coming back to a smiling Bill and ever focused Black Jack made me even happier.
 The Otters
It seemed we were barely back on our bikes when Bill noticed a crowd of people looking over the water's edge and thought there might be something of interest to see. 
 Well, I guess!
 I think there were three, perhaps a parent and two youngsters.

 Aren't you going to share?
 Um..  no!
 Well, I'll be off then.
 They swam quite a way down the shoreline.  My big lens caught this from a distance.
 I wasn't too clear on what they were doing.  Resting?  
They only stayed a few minutes.
 Then there were two..
 but not for long.
 The last I saw of them, 
 they were disappearing around this bend in the wall.
 And again, I counted my lucky stars to come back to Bill and Black Jack, waiting so patiently with the bikes.
 As I was taking a moment to admire the clouds..
 and the Chinese Dragon, 
I noticed a young lady talking to Bill.  She had stopped to meet Black Jack but stayed to talk with us as well.  We learned that she is on her honeymoon and that Israel is her home.  
She kindly posed for me, and told us that her name is Inbar. 
 That translates to "Amber" in English.
 Black Jack took to her immediately.
 I love it that she is so secure and trusting, though it does mean a certain vigilance..
 is required to keep her from falling right out of her basket.  I continue to marvel that a rescued dog can be so laid back :)
 As we talked with Inbar, I watched the fishermen and wondered..
 whether they or the otters had found this rich fishing spot first.
Amber shared a lot with us in just a few words.  I asked her if she would be settling in Israel and I could see the sadness in her expression and feel it in her voice as she said that wouldn't be easy because of the Gaza conflict, but yes, there was nowhere else on earth that she could imagine living.  That was home.  Both her grandparents and her new husband's grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and of course, their parents were there.  
I couldn't help but wonder if a young Gaza bride might have had similar words to share, had we been permitted to meet and talk with her.  In another time, the two young girls might even have been friends.  There are so many media reports, much of it biased on one side or the other, and social media posts are often suspect. The only feeing I am left with is one of sadness that we have not yet achieved a world where conflict can be settled peaceably.  I will remember Inbar every time I hear of unrest and I will always wonder if she and her family members are safe.  We liked her a lot and we felt privileged to have had an opportunity to talk with her.  She didn't notice me taking the above photo or this next one..  
but caught my eye here.  Thank you, Inbar, for your honesty and for your thoughts.  We will think of you often, always hoping that you will have a happy life.
 Inbar bid us "good-bye" and as we prepared to get back on our bikes, this light fell..
 over the seawall.  A lady looking at the Chinese Dragon seemed to have dropped into the scene as though to remind us of the many cultures in this one small corner of the earth.  I am thankful that we mostly find a way to get along together in Canada, but even here, I think taking time to talk with each other could be one of the best avenues to more understanding.
 Last Stop
I am truly out of time here so these last photos will mostly lack commentary.  Again, it was Bill who slowed down and looked at me questioningly.  "Do we stop?"  I had waved him on the last couple of times he did that in the interest of arriving home before dark, but this time, passing on by wasn't an option.  A little spot of colour had appeared to the left of that ship..
 but the most extraordinary sight were these Inuksuks.  
 I had never seen.. 
 anything like them.

 Bill thought surely a little glue must have been used :)
 And there he was.
 Waving to me with a wonderful smile.
 I took a photo of the sky..
 and one of these policemen cyclists, thankful for the grin that told me it was okay to do that.
 Remember that spot of light behind the ship.  Well, as Bill said, it was..
 now on fire.  What a day!  What a life!  I'll share this with Sundays in My City, with many thanks to Unknown Mami for hosting.  Thank you, Bill and thank you to the wonderful people, herons and otters that enriched our day.  Happy Sunday!


  1. i always love your reflection shots. the tanker with the boxes is amazing, though! love black jack. loved the otters. adorable birthday bunch. your encounter with amber reminds us of how much we take for granted here in n. america. bless you.

  2. Love all the reflections in the water


  3. I always love your reflections in the water and meeting the people you meet on your trips!! I hope Inbar will be able to see your pictures of her and your wish for some sort of compromise between Israel and Palestine. Hugs, Phyllis

  4. You always cram enough little adventures for a month or so into every single day!

  5. You had quite the day. Love the reflection shots.

  6. Oh Carol, you have just made my day with gorgeous photos. I have been so stumbling through my summer and now that I see your pics and Bill's ability to zone in on reflections it gives me such hope.
    The inukshuks are incredible. I follow a fellow who makes these every where he goes "Gravity Glue", so much fun.
    The heron and reflections are amazing.
    We got through a wet night last night after amazing weather since Hurricane Cristobal came through last week. Surfers everywhere.
    I thank you again for the enlightenment and to see Vancouver again (as I always say) is just pure JOY!

    Hi to Bill and HUGS to Black Jack!

    Ron and Sophie Doodle

  7. So many interesting twists and turns in this post it is hard to know where to focus. The container barge bulging with unknown cargo is mindboggling. How does it stay afloat and why must it be so excessively loaded.

  8. Nature is awesome, lots of great shots, thanks for sharing!
    Cinella @ The Mami Blog