Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thankful on Sunday

We laughed a lot yesterday.  That is one of many things that I am thankful for this morning as I look through our photos.  Last year at this time, Bill was in hospital and for the first time that I can remember since beginning the blog, I didn't do a Thanksgiving post.  I should have.  I know there were things to appreciate but blogging had slipped to the bottom of the priority pile.  These days, every post I write is thankful in one way or another, but over the next two days, perhaps you will notice a greater concentration of that sentiment.  One "thank you" is to Unknown Mami, who hosts the meme Sundays in my City.  It's a great place, as she says, "to travel the world together."

There were house finches in the tree outside our balcony window yesterday,
 and one orange leaf clung to the branch where this one nibbled.
We have the perfect tree outside that window.  It is covered with leaves throughout the summer, giving us shade and occasional breezes to keep us cool and comfortable.  In the winter, it is bare, giving us a view of False Creek and David Lam Park.  Yesterday, the trees in the park were especially colourful.
 I've been playing quite a lot of piano over the past few months, something that Bill encourages.  Yesterday, we biked to Tom Lee Music Store and Bill waited with Black Jack while I picked up some new music.  The sign in the window of the store.. 
 made us laugh as we took some photos..
 of each other.
From there we went to our favourite café at Harrison Galleries.  These orchids have been there for several days, and I've been enjoying the way Steven Friedman's photography behind the orchids sets up a mood of tranquility. 
 We biked the familiar Coal Harbour Waterfront route after that. We stopped to sit on a park bench in the sun and Bill spotted this bird.  I think it is a Brown Creeper.  I was pretty excited as I've only seen a few of these and never before in such a "citified" location.  There was no time to change the camera settings so the shot is very grainy..
 but one thing it points out is how beautifully nature's system of camouflage works.
 As we sat in that one spot, many scenes were available to us.  I liked these cloud patterns and the Iron Workers' Memorial bridge in the background, as well as..
 this layer of clouds under the mountain tops that lined up over the boat houses, 
 and this clump of Fall colours across the water.
 We played with Black Jack for a while,
and she was fully of happy energy.
 Between runs, I caught a couple of tree shots.
 At one point, she landed in a sun spot, and her little tongue peeked out. 
 Then, something caught her attention.
 The leaves above her were catching the sun too.
I can't remember why Bill picked her up, but as so often happens, her dangling feet..
 made me smile.  I was too close to her with my 300 mm lens and had to lie back on..
 the park bench to get her in the frame.  By then, her attention had shifted.
 Bill and I decided to do a couple of "selfies" and I wish you could have heard our laughter as we did that, and then, my laughter as I looked at the photos this morning.  I'm not quite as pudgy as this photo suggests.  Black Jack's coat is stuffed inside my jacket to keep it warm for when she goes into the bicycle basket.  But that was the least of my problem :)
 Here, we are practicing our secret hand shake.  Definitely not one of my finer moments.  Oh well.  The laughter was worth it :)
 We biked after that to a nearby pond.  I loved these reflection shots of.. 
a couple with their dogs.
 There are some reeds by the pond, and the sounds of Redwing Blackbirds were the loudest I have ever, ever heard.  Almost deafening!  Yet, for the longest time, we could see NO birds.  Their nests must be buried deep inside those reeds.
A lady was sitting on a park bench to the side and I realized she had come with bird food.  The birds were extremely wary, only coming out for a split second to get the food and then disappearing back into the reeds. 
I really had to work to catch them in the fading light.  This one reminded me of someone opening the drapes to peek out the window.
 I'm thinking this must be a very late second brood.
 Love the little feet wrapped around the reeds.
We had a small bag of birdseed with us, but they seemed to prefer whatever the lady was feeding.  Though they had sat in Bill's hand several weeks ago, he had no takers yesterday.
 I took one "Autumn Colour" shot and then we retraced our route home.
 This small tree was the most colourful of all we saw yesterday, and I asked Bill to stop for a photo.  Black Jack gave him a kiss..
 and then Bill's twinkling eyes melted my heart.
 Bill thought it only fair that I pose too, and I had to admit he is a far greater sport about the camera than I would be in his place.  Most of my photos brought guffaws this morning.  I will share them with Bill, and just possibly with my sister, but this is the only one I dare to post in public and it makes me laugh too.  This is me trying to pretend I'm smelling the flowers, but as you probably know, autumn leaves don't have a whole lot of aroma to share.
 Black Jack decided to see for herself what all the fuss was about, but..
wasn't all that impressed.  Bill thought she was adorable though he hastened to add that no grown man should use that word :)
 I do think the leaves on that tree were among the most beautiful..
I have ever seen.  Thank you so much, Unknown Mami, for giving me a place to share them. And, thank you, Bill, for the laughter.  A final thank you to my readers.  You are so very much appreciated.  A very happy Sunday to each one of you!


  1. you three were being goofy. and i like it. :)

  2. Love the pictures! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Bill and Black Jack, separately and together are adorable! I love all the autumn shots and some of you!!! Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs, Phyllis

  4. All the pictures are beautiful. I'm especialy impressed with those of Black Jack.

  5. What a beautiful day! And that picture of her with the head slightly down and the tongue out...So. Freakin. Adorable!!!!

  6. The autumn leaves are stunning! The orchids are beautiful, and the clouds are quite impressive! I also enjoyed the photo of your secret handshake...thanks for letting us in on it--it's not so secret anymore ;). I think a sense of humor and the ability to find happiness in the little things of life is a gift from God!

  7. I forgot to say in my email HAPPY THANKSGIVING. The photo of Black Jack and the leaves is most definitely "adorable" - like Bill I don't use that word too often. It is 'way too over used. I too think about a year ago in your lives. Bill's recovery is truly an inspiration to me. So many Thanksgivings to give. My sister lives in Canada so I did remember what time of year it is in your part of the world. My poor sister has come down with the 'flu -- talked to her yesterday. But knowing her, she will be giving thanks for even the 'flu -- eventually.

  8. Wow, so many fantastic photos. I love the leaves, with the red casting shadows. Also. the reflecting pool was one of my favorites.

  9. Lovely pictures as always!! Love the red-winged blackbird pictures the most :)

  10. Your posts usually have an aura of gratitude but this year’s Thanksgiving weekend must be extra special with Bill coming such a long way in improved health. I think cycling, crossword puzzles, complicated handshakes, laughter and absorbing all the wonderful sights in Vancouver play a role in recovery. :))

  11. Adorable is the perfect description of Blackjack. Bill is pretty cute too! For me though, the piece de resistance is the picture of you contemplating a lunch of leaves. Priceless! I'm still laughing with you, my dear.