Sunday, September 7, 2014

Vancouver on Saturday for Sunday's City Post

When I was growing up in Quebec, we were told that Vancouver is a rainy, depressing place.  The 15 years I've been here haven't proved that to be true, and as for this summer, I'd have to describe the weather as spectacular.  Yesterday was no exception.  Another gift.

Tupper lay on the lamp standard, basking in the sun, for a long time yesterday.  She was there as I practiced piano, still there a couple of hours later when we had lunch and when we left for Harrison Galleries, it seemed she hadn't moved.  I think about city wildlife.  The lights never really go out and birds often call and cry out through the night. Perhaps, she was catching up on her rest.
We worked hard on a crossword and on our new challenge, a Sudoku puzzle, as we sat with our treats and drinks (my new favourite seems to me Matcha tea), surrounded by art at Harrison Galleries.  Brains stretched just about to the limit, we were ready for a good bike ride when we left the gallery.  We headed downtown, along the Coal Harbour bike route, into Stanley Park where we locked the bikes and walked around Beaver Lake, then back on the bikes and around the seawall and finally homeward along False Creek.  Here's an article with video and info about biking in Vancouver.  

These flowers were at the first pond where we sometimes stop along Coal Harbour.  We let Black Jack have a run there, and I took a photo of this..  
structure that acts as a roof over the entranceway to an apartment building.  I had never noticed its intricate lines before.
 This is the second pond, situated just before entering Stanley Park.  We almost always stop there, and yesterday, I thought the reflections lovely.
 It's a touristy area and this bridge is often filled with people who are unfamiliar with bike paths.  Many don't understand English, so we travel slowly, always ready to stop or wind our way around them.  It was no different yesterday, but there was one moment when the bridge was free and, though I've photographed it before, I thought the workmanship in the fence worthy of a little extra appreciation.
 My bird photography skills have really failed lately.  This was the only capture I managed by that pond.  Such a tiny little bird; I'm not absolutely sure but think it is probably a bushtit.
 I huffed and puffed up the hill to Stanley Park's Malkin Bowl (question to self: "How come Bill seems to find it easier than I do?")  and from there, we rode to Beaver Lake.  This squirrel climbed the tree, but then looked back to see if I had any treats.  I didn't..
 and thought s/he appeared rather annoyed in response, even as s/he munched on something picked up earlier.  The squirrels and birds are quite spoiled at Beaver Lake as many people come well supplied with goodies.
Beaver Lake's vegetation creates wall-to-wall hide-a-ways for critters of every type.  I could hear many sounds, but my camera only managed..
 to capture this Wood Duck pair, 
 as they suddenly became part of a noisy competition to grab seeds thrown by a passer-by.
 This male called out a "..and you stay away, you hear?" ..
 warning to the loser of the battle.
 The loser tried to maintain dignity by waving his wings..
and showing his mighty chest, but no one was fooled.  He had to satisfy himself with stray seeds well away from the main group after that.
 Beaver Lake is really a pond and, I've always thought, misnamed.  
This squirrel saw us and saw Black Jack, but stayed in the path until the last second before sauntering into the bushes.
 The light was at its most beautiful as the sun prepared to set.  Black Jack is out of sight here, but still attached to Bill, even as she explores the underbrush.  She loves this walk, but has to stay on leash throughout.  Just too many critter temptations.
 Walking back to the bikes, the sun hit the top of the trees..
 and the dead ones were beautiful too.
 Our downhill ride to the seawall was fun.  We stopped just under the Lions Gate Bridge.  (My small lens is still not back from repair so you will have to imagine the bigger pictures.)  
The cormorant above was flying to join his/her relatives living on the cement structure supporting the bridge.  There has been a colony in that location as long as I can remember.
 We stayed here for a little while, knowing the sunset would be brilliant.  
I took a photo of the moon peeking from behind the bridge while waiting for the sunset.
 As I looked past the bridge and over the cranes (beautiful painting of them at that link) that appear no matter what part of Vancouver you travel, I couldn't believe my eyes.  Surely, that had to be Mount Baker!
I rushed back to ask Bill about that.  He was waiting around the corner with Black Jack, trying to shade his eyes from the now brilliant sun. 
Both of us wondered how she seemed to be able to stare straight ahead into the sun with no difficulty.  That coat may seem unnecessary, but the breeze off the ocean cools quickly once the sun sets.  When we're riding, she usually lies down, the coat attached only around her neck, the rest creating a little tent over the basket so that she can cocoon.  It really is a cute sight as her chin rests on a towel placed strategically on the edge of the basket.  
I stayed with Black Jack while Bill went to check.  No question about it.  That was Mount Baker and we were seeing it for the very first time in our many rides around the seawall.
Still waiting for the sunset, I took a photo of a tiny section of the bridge, 
and of people who also seemed to be anticipating a photo-opportunity. 
 We were standing just in front of the lighthouse wall, and I suddenly noticed our shadows. 
I loved Bill's shadow-puppetry performance, and laughed out loud,   
though I'm still trying to identify the monster "coming to get you and me" any minute now. 
 My sunset capture turned out to be a non-event.  One second, the sun was so bright it completely blinded me.  I tried to adjust the settings as Bill..
chanted "going, going.. 
gone.." and he sure wasn't kidding.  It is unbelievable how quickly the sun can disappear!  That said, I still love these photos for the memory of that shared golden moment. 
That was our day.  We didn't stop after that, enjoying the brisk ride home, a late supper, an attempt to finish the Sudoku, and the realization that we were both too exhausted to stretch our brains any more.  I'm sharing the post today with Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City.  Perhaps, you will head over there now to read about events in other cities around the world.  Thanks so much for taking time to stop by here on your way.  Happy Sunday to you!  

7 comments:

  1. i've tried sudoku a couple of times and failed miserably. i'm much better at crosswords. :) lovely plants and blooms and shadows, too. :)

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  2. Your photos are fabulous. It sounds like a wonderful day.
    I like sudoku and matcha tea, too.

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  3. Stanley Park is lovely. So many pretty things to see.

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  4. I remember seeing Mount Baker last time we were in Vancouver, many moons ago. It is spectacular. Still visiting regularly, but not always commenting. How do you find the time to do all that blogging -- and walking and picture taking? I'm glad you do though, because we the readers are the beneficiaries.

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  5. Lovely images!
    I really, really like that reflection shot - it's....like a painting!
    Have a good week ahead!

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  6. WOW I love the fence in the fifth picture!!

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