Sunday, August 10, 2014

Waiting for a Beaver at Beaver Lake

Tupper found me on Black Jack's first walk of the day yesterday.  I gave her a couple of handfuls of salmon treats and bid her a good day.  Later, I managed this shot of her through our apartment window.  The trees in front of the balcony have grown up so much over the summer that I had to stand on the piano bench to get the photo.   I often wonder if she can see into the apartment from across the street.  I like to think she's peeking at me here.  Just another day in Vancouver to share with Sundays in My City (though it is Saturday that I describe).  Thank you to Unknown Mami for that fun meme.
 She is looking well, with limp completely gone.  Here, she stretches a wing and her left leg. 
I had only tried one of the 10 pianos in the Keys to the Streets program, but yesterday, decided to try out the one at the corner of Hornby and West Hastings.  I've been working on the Brahms Rhapsody Op.79 No.1.  It's not ready for performance yet, but there is no pressure to be perfect and I had fun giving it a shot on a "real" piano since the one I practice on is digital.  You can listen to Arthur Rubinstein playing it at this link. It's a wonderful recording and one that keeps me honest when I begin to think I'm not doing so badly :)  Can you see Black Jack under the piano stool?
After Bill took the photo, he volunteered to do a performance as well.  Black Jack was most attentive.  I did my best to get the photo through the laughter.
 Behind the piano, the clematis were blooming.  A young girl approached.  She pointed out..
 that she is sure the plants in the area are loving the music.  She said "hello" to Black Jack..
 and smiled for the camera.  We sat down to listen to her improvisations..
 and I took a little time to admire the architecture of the building across from us..
  on West Hastings street.  I wasn't able to find much information about the building..
but love the care and attention that went into its details.
 The sound of the young girl's mellow playing drifted after us as we continued down..
 to the waterfront and from there to Beaver Lake.
 It is a peaceful place to walk..
with greenery and birdsong enough to make one forget downtown Vancouver is just a few minutes bike ride away.
 Bill noticed this mushroom, and I thought it beautiful, though I was distracted by the sound..
 of bull frogs and obsessed with seeing at least one before we left.  A woman came by.  I'm sorry I didn't ask her name or take her photo, but she painstakingly searched until she found this one.  He was almost hidden and very tiny, but somehow, my camera was able to get a shot to mark the occasion.  I'm very grateful to that kind lady.
We also met Mikul, a photographer and friend to..
 MiMi.  We had a great time with them..  laughing and talking and learning.
They spotted this Western Grebe that I almost certainly would have missed.
 It did two super fast scoots across the water that I was dying to capture..
 but I missed both of them.  Fortunately, I can still see them in my mind's eye :)
 Black Jack was very, very focused on the sounds and smells.  We've been to Beaver Lake quite a few times over several years, but have never, ever seen beavers.  Mikul and MiMi told us they come out around sundown, so we waited, enjoying the company and the beautiful evening.
 There was a sudden sighting and an enormous splash;  the aftermath of the splash was all I managed to capture.
 Then, all was still (as far as we could see) around the beavers' home.

MiMi and Mikul decided it was time to go, and as they walked off, I suddenly had the thought to ask if I could take some photographs of them.  Rather brazen, given that Mikul has been a professional photographer for many years.  He clowned around and made us laugh..
 and laugh..
 and laugh..
some more.  Black Jack checked to see if any of this laughter was going to result in treats.  Her tummy was talking, as was mine.  We were way past supper time.
 MiMi posed reluctantly but with good humour and with quite a bit of help from her friend :)
 Then, it was "good-bye" and hope to see you again soon.  Bill and I..
waited for a few more minutes before deciding we would leave as well.  We were walking away when Bill suddenly looked back and said, "Run!  It's the beaver!"
Another sighting that I would have missed!  The photos are in very poor light but.. 
 I like the reflected eye in this one..
 and I'm ever so happy to have the evidence to prove..
 there are indeed beavers at Beaver Lake.
 We stopped twice on our bike ride home, once to record the sunset..
 over English Bay,
 and then to catch..
 something of the super moon that will be at its peak this evening.
 I played around with camera settings, even trying to follow Mikul's advice to do the focusing..
 Like my other shots, I'm happy to have them..
 because they record yet another wonderful day in our very good life.  For more city stories, don't forget to check out Unknown Mami's meme.  Many thanks to MiMi and Mikul and the other wonderful people we met yesterday.  They enriched our pleasure greatly.  Thank you, dear readers, for stopping by.  Have a very happy Sunday!  


  1. A wonderful post and you got to see your beaver, how lovely! Ours has moved on to another beaver lodge. I miss him.

  2. love the sunset shot with the bird in flight! and congrats on the beaver! beautiful details in that building.

  3. Wow what a fantastic day and you got some amazing shots. I love the one of the mushroom because I find the background mesmerizing.

  4. Yes, a lovely and fine photos! Very funny the piano!

  5. Thanks for the reminder about the super moon! I do not think Bill ever touched our piano so it is nice to know he can "play"! :) I love the public pianos which we also have in Victoria.How wonderful to see a beaver. I have only seen one travelling across a lake in North Western. Ontario. I was paddling in the bow of our canoe and was so enchanted because we also saw loons on that trip! Phyllis

  6. Your photo of the sunset over English Bay with the seagull is absolutely gorgeous. You do have some fun time and meet such fun people. I';d love to hear you play the piano. I love piano music. I have never seen a beaver, although I have seen some beaver dams in Northern Ontario. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful time.

  7. Great post. Thank you for sharing your day.