Monday, October 13, 2014

Thankful on Blue Monday

It is officially Thanksgiving Day here in Canada and I am thankful.  Since I doubt there's a post on this blog that hasn't expressed my gratitudes in one way or another, I'll try to be brief, noting first that I'm very happy we have a holiday that encourages us to take stock.  For our loved ones, our health, nature's gifts, our friends (some through blogging), the diversity of people in the neighbourhood and around the world who change our lives in small (or huge) ways..  oh goodness, I could go on and on.  I am truly grateful.

Since it is Monday, and since I do love the colour blue, Smiling Sally's Blue Monday meme is a must visit (thanks, Sally!).  I hope she isn't tired of seeing this globe.  I've posted it a couple of times.  It is in a high-rise at the entrance to the bike route that goes by Canada Place.  The other night, I finally saw it after dark and..      
 for the first time, was able to get clear shots of it.  Three perspectives here,
as it turns continually.
 Though we've been along that route many, many times, it was the first time I realized it is called Burrard Landing.  The blue lights at night were striking.
The rest of the post takes you through some of the events of our day yesterday.  I'll point out a few of the less obvious blues along the way. A little visit from Tupper was fun, though I didn't manage a sky shot, so no blue here.  
We were closely watched by a few very large crows.  Some of you will remember Cory.  She seems to have disappeared and I have a feeling the large ones that have been following us lately are her offspring.  To be honest, I'm in a bit of a dilemma as we can't feed them all and so now limit ourselves to spoiling only Tupper.  Hopefully, this "tough love" will be better for the crows in the long run, but they are not impressed at the moment.  One, in particular, has been swooping close enough to brush my head with his/her wings.  I've had to wave my arms aggressively, something I don't like to do.  I'd much rather make friends with the crows. 
 A second seagull watched us as well.  I'm wondering if this could be the one we named Jimmy.  We don't feed him either.  Tupper is never comfortable when he is around.  Yes, we do know feeding wildlife is not a great idea, especially when we can't have a feeder where the birds can work things out in their own way (apartment living doesn't allow feeders).  We'll limit ourselves to feeding Tupper and deal with the guilt as best we can for the others.
Buster Simpson's sculpture Brush with Illumination has been a resting spot for cormorants as long as I've lived in this area (4 years plus).  On March 15th, 2013, I watched a young cormorant attempting to land.  I named him Oran; the memory of that day is still fresh in my mind.  It seems that learning to land on that sculpture is something like a rite of passage for cormorants.  Not so sure about seagulls :)
 There is almost always one cormorant at the very top.  (blue solar panel)
 Here is as much of the sculpture as I could fit in with my 300 mm lens. 
 The base of the sculpture has three balls that float with the tide.  Yesterday, a seagull perched on one of those balls.
 I saw a young cormorant (the more white in their plumage, the younger they are) coming in from quite a distance away.
 It looked pretty good to me as it approached, but something told me this was going to be a story similar to Oran's.  S/he tried to land with the other cormorants, but..
  slipped off (missed that photo)..
 and dropped with quite a thud.. 
 in the water by the base of the sculpture.  Cormorants need to come out of the water to dry..
 their wings (and perhaps to rest?).  I like to think the seagull..
 took pity on the cormorant and flew off to give him/her..
 a chance to land on the base.  It seems to me that the cormorants figure if they can just make it that far, it would be a sort of step towards the more desirable landing on the rails above.
S/he tried a total of three times,
 expending enormous energy in the process, 
 but each time, slipped off, landing in a confused heap in the water.
Finally, s/he flew off, tail and feet dipping into the water more heavily than an adult's would.
I hope s/he eventually was able to find a spot to dry his/her wings.
 Though I was a little bit sad for him/her, mostly, I was just appreciative for this glimpse..
 into the learning process of landing, and into the perseverance that is required to gain any new skill.  An awareness of the skills required for birds to fly successfully is something I didn't have before the photography bug hit me.  Just another of my gratitudes.
 It was raining yesterday but we rode our bikes across the Cambie Bridge,
 and the blue banners..
  definitely made me think of Sally.
 There was also a blue boat moored below.
 I was thrilled that Bill now has no problem with biking in the rain..
though we did have to leave Black Jack at home.  (She had a good run earlier.)
We love a place called Caffé Citadella and made our way there for lattés and treats.
I eat vegan (lattés made with almond milk) because of the mistreatment of animals and not for health, so that is something I never try to promote in the diets of others.  It is a very personal decision.  However, my second diet decision has to do with eliminating sugar.  Though I eat lots of fruit, I have avoided most other sugars for at least the past 5 years and I think I can honestly say that has been the single best health decision I've ever made.  I only wish I had done it sooner.  Caffé Citadella has a large selection of treats made by the company, EightFoldEats, and that company has been a gift to discover.  
They give you complete nutritional information on their web site and have a large number of vegan, sugar-free options.  They also do not use what I call "fake" sugars.  Almost too good to be true, but a look on their web site will, I think, convince you that we don't have to be deprived of wonderful dessert choices when we give up sugar.  
I love the ambience at Caffé Citadella, and yesterday, 
 took a few photos.  We finished a crossword (yay!)..
 and even took a moment to check out their upstairs seating area.
 The heritage home makes a beautiful space to sit, 
 and I thought the reflections (tiny bits of blue too) in that wonderful glass vase delightful
 There is even a little balcony with room for two..
 though we didn't use it yesterday.  Very friendly staff, too!  This is a place I recommend highly if you live anywhere close to Vancouver.  Slightly out of focus, but here is handsome Bill, just before we headed back to our bikes.
 Whoops!  We forgot the key to the bike lock!  At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, I was actually happy about that.  We had to take the skytrain home to get the key.  It was only about a ten-minute trip and I got to take photos of Vancouver's underground tunnels.  (Those trains are blue.)
 There is one teeny-tiny blue light under the red one.
 There I am, taking a photo of Bill's reflection as we sit in the front seat of our car, looking right into the tunnel.
 Just two stops and we were there.  A quick walk home, grabbed the key, promised Black Jack we would be back soon, rode the sky train back to Citadella, had a great rainy ride home on our bikes, and enjoyed a good evening after that.  Happy Thanksgiving Day to those celebrating today.  Many thanks to ALL of you for stopping by.  For more blues, perhaps you will find time for a visit to Smiling Sally's meme.


  1. happy thanksgiving to you! poor goofy cormorant. hoping you can work out the angst among feeding birds and not!

  2. Hi Carol,

    Happy Thanksgiving Day to you, Bill, and Black Jack. I am thankful to "know" you. Thanks for sharing your wonderful blues.

    I love the way you name the wildlife!

    Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

  3. Lovely photos of the globe and great shots of the birds!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I love that wonderful green vase! Oh if you could just send some of that rain down here. We have shrubs and trees dying and still no rain in sight. Love the saga of the cormorant. Poor thing -- but watch those crows. They are highly intelligent, inventive and persistent. I've had some experience with one or two who thought they would like my glasses.

  5. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving..I enjoyed the photos of the Cormorant and the gulls.. The globe is cool. Great post, enjoy your week!

  6. Great shots of the cormorant, and I love that globe! So glad that you've found some special treats to brighten your day. Happy to see Bill looking so well and happy. All in all, plenty of reasons to be thankful.

  7. YOur decision to go vegan and attack the sugar issue is so wise. My Dr. talks about sugars now since my event and so I try to avoid the sweets. I'm doing pretty well with it but some days I give in. Slap my wrist if it makes you feel better...just teasing!

    Gees Bill looks so good....truly amazing with last year behind him.

    All the best and loving the blue.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you + BJ!!

    Ron and Sophie!