Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday in Vancouver

I am posting to Claudya's Sundays in My City meme today.  Many thanks to her for hosting!

We walked (it was a bit too cold for biking) to Harrison Galleries in the afternoon yesterday for treats and crossword time.  On the way, we stopped to see if the Barred Owl I posted about that morning was still hanging out in the neighbourhood. I've named him/her Oli (Oliver or Olive) since there is very little way to identify gender.  Bill was the one to spot him/her in a tree just around the corner from the one where s/he had last roosted. 
 Oli's eyes opened sleepily..
to glance at Black Jack but closed again seconds later.  I am still hoping his/her right eye will be okay without interference but am very grateful to have a contact number for someone from OWL rescue centre.  The volunteers and staff there are, as my mother used to say, worth their weight in gold.   
On the way home a couple of hours later, we stopped for a few minutes at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.  The silent auction is happening now and will continue for another ten days.  Four works caught my eye.  I'm not a golfer but this hand coloured screen print by  Bill McCarroll brought back a memory of illustrations in childhood books and I liked the comic element. 
"Forest Echo" by Jennifer Stead is a charcoal drawing with delicate beauty,  
It took me a while to begin to put the story behind Philip Jarmain's "The Reader" together.  At first, it was just a really interesting photograph with a zillion details to take it.  Bill pointed out the guy with the gas mask looking in the window, and gradually, I came to see that this archival pigment ink print had a disturbing narrative.  Still, I found it hard to draw my eyes away from it.  Philip Jarmain describes himself as a craftsman rather than an artist.  His web site is a fascinating look into his philosophy and work.
 "Twister" by Marianne Lovink is made of plastic, paper, polymer resin, pigment and steel and will give you some idea of the diversity of art available in this one small gallery.  
Continuing along a street that would allow us to check one more time on Oli, we passed a restaurant with snow on the tables.  For some reason, the outdoor patio was deserted and  Bill made a comment about life in Yaletown's Yuppieville :)  Hopefully, the snow has come and gone for this year.  Only a tiny dusting remains this morning in the park across from us.
Again, it was Bill who spotted Oli first.  It was way too dark for much of a photo but s/he appeared to be sleeping comfortably in the same tree we had seen him/her earlier.
I hate to go a day without photographing Bill and Black Jack so they were enlisted to pose for me after supper during our reading time.  I believe Black Jack enjoys this time as much as we do.  The small lens has to go back to the camera store this week,   
 but I think it caught the flavour :)  
We are presently reading  "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt.  It has been both celebrated and panned by critics, as described in this article but I do have to say it is holding my interest for now.  I'm not so sure we will make it all the way through its 784 pages but we will take it one day at a time.  It was a revelation to learn that I had posted in March of 2013 about the artist, Carel Fabritius.  When we chose the novel, I hadn't realized we would be reading about the same painting shown in my post, but it definitely adds an element of fascination for me.  That's it for today.  Many thanks for stopping by.  Have a peaceful and happy Sunday!  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Critters and Special People!

The last couple of days have been critter-filled.  My apologies for an overlong post that I'm sharing with Eileen's Saturday's Critters and Hootin' Anni's I'd Rather Be Birdin'.  If it's owls that interest you, just the top portion of this post detailing an adventure just a few hours ago is probably a sufficient read.  I'll title the rest of the post, "Our Friday Adventures" just in case you are up for more reading material :)  There are critters there, but also a small account of a wonderful Pacific Baroque Orchestra concert we attended last evening. And finally, if you love birds and didn't see yesterday's post, there are some interesting shots of Redwing Blackbirds (some on Bill's hand), and a Blue Heron.  Many thanks to Eileen and Anni for hosting fine memes and encouraging us to share our love of pets and wildlife. 

The Owl Adventure
A facebook friend posted that an owl was hanging out on a wall of the building she lives in.  Just a short block from my apartment, I made my way there as quickly as possible.  From her photo, I had a pretty good idea that it was the same Barred Owl that my friend Jock had photographed a few days earlier in his neighbourhood, just a short flight away, though on the other side of False Creek.  I can't be absolutely positive about that but feel there's a good chance I was right.  Here's the first photo I took.  
Though there were worries that its right eye was injured, I was encouraged that it seemed alert and moving its head easily.
Being nocturnal, it seemed reasonable that it just wanted a chance to snooze..
but the crows were pretty upset about its presence and harassing it quite persistently.
For the longest time, it didn't open its right eye
but I finally got one shot of it with the right eye half open.
It looked straight-on at me here.
The person who originally spotted the owl had done her best to find a box, call wildlife rescue people and fend off the crows.  Bless her heart!  However, she had to go to work, so I stayed to take up sentry duty.  Then, two more people arrived (I think summoned by the original sighter).  I photographed one of them.  He not only got out of car and ran up and down the landing in front of the owl, but he let me sit in his car to warm up.  (Vancouver had its first snow of the season last night, and the temperature had dropped at least ten degrees since yesterday, it seemed to me.)
The crows had set up a sort of sentry-duty as well, various ones leaving but others arriving to take their place.
We called OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre) but they are in Delta (an hour's drive from Vancouver).  I can't say enough good things about this rescue organization.  If you have a few minutes to check out their link, I think you will be amazed.  They even have flight barns where the train rehabbed birds to fly again.  They sent one of their volunteers to assess the situation.  While we waited for her, I took a photo of the scene across..
False Creek.  It was looking a lot more wintery than the day before.
Meanwhile, the kind concerned citizen paced up and down the landing with his little (rescued) dog, Cocoa.  
Our location is in downtown Vancouver.  Not the best place for an owl, we all thought.
The owl kept an eye on us, but didn't seem overly stressed, 
not even by Cocoa, who was more interested in the new snow than she was in the owl.
I am usually quite hardy, but boy, were we cold!  I was really, really grateful for that gentleman's car and for his friend who exhibited such a friendly and caring spirit.  There are some wonderful critter-lovers in the world and I appreciate every one of them!
When Angela, the rescue volunteer arrived, we were all so happy to see her, not one of us saw the owl suddenly fly away!!  I couldn't believe it!
She was totally calm about the whole thing, saying that this might be the best possible scenario for the owl.  My two new friends had to leave, but Angela and I walked around the..
corner to see if we could spot the owl.  We saw an eagle..
flying high in the sky, but at first, no owl.
Then Angela's quick eye spotted it after all, in a nearby tree.  Too high to catch, we decided..
that what the owl perhaps needed most was a good days sleep.  I showed her the photo of the right eye and she did think there might be some swelling, but at least for now, it seems best to let that heal, as it may very well do on its own.  That was our owl adventure.  Quite a treasure to start our Saturday morning!  Stay well, dear Owl.  I will be watching out for you!

Our Friday Adventures
I am hoping to post sooner or later, so very little commentary here.  All of the photos were taken during a stop along English Bay at the turnaround point of our bike ride.  Colours were catching my eye to the point where a very familiar area looked just about brand new.

The water scenes, however,
hadn't changed that much.
Bill was in fine form,
entertaining Black Jack while I took photos.
Black Jack's tail was..
telling a story of its own.
She was in fine form too.
She is obsessed with the critters under these grasses, 
and Bill had to settle her down..
a few times.
Loved the moon..
and the seagulls hovering on gusts of wind.
This one appears to be flying through the sculpture, but actually hovered and then landed on the log.  Lots of seagulls in the photos to come.

Palm trees are not native to Vancouver.  Bill and I both wonder how they feel about cold, windy days.

Black Jack had some wonderful run-free time.

One lone Cormorant.
Cutest critter of all!

The Burrard Bridge with the Granville Bridge behind it.

Reflections in a puddle.
A dog having a great time playing Frisbee. 

The concert was pure joy!  Here, Alexander Weimann tunes the harpsichord.
Ed Reifel was an invited guest and did two incredible solos on Baroque timpani.  Just spectacular.  Check him out at this link.  Here, he attends to the drums before the concert.
I couldn't figure out what he was doing, but it sure looked interesting.
Alexander brings early music to life like no other director I have ever encountered.  Here, he dressed up in his pyjamas to show how a part of Boccherini's "La Musica Notturna delle Strade deli Madrid" was meant to be sung by the night watchmen who roamed the town telling people to put out their fires and take safety precautions before sleeping.
The musicians were as surprised and delighted..
 as the audience members.
Alexander always is more interested in crediting the performers than in taking bows.
It must have been an exhausting night, with so much wonderful music played so incredibly well, but what came through most was the pleasure and warmth in every smile.
I took a few photos..
of early..
 percussion instruments,
as well as one way-over-exposed one of the inside of the harpsichord.
The timpani were especially rare to see, 
so I'll close with this shot of one of the tuning keys.  Many, many thanks for stopping by.  My thanks to all of the beautiful people (including Eileen and Anni) for making every event in this post so special to me.