This is a catch-up post (Wednesday to Friday), with critters for Eileen, though her meme is out of commission due to some technical difficulties that have plagued her for the past week or so. Sending empathy and hugs, Eileen! We know how frustrating this sort of thing can be.
On Wednesday afternoon, we rode our bikes to Beaver Lake in Vancouver's beautiful Stanley Park. We have learned to stop on this little bridge for a couple of minutes. It is by the entrance to the park, on the Cole Harbour side of the causeway. Black Jack is very keen. She knows we are headed to one of her favourite places. Bill may look a bit unhappy, but that isn't the case at all. In fact, we were both just catching our breath after riding..
up this hill. It doesn't look challenging, but it leaves us both winded every time we brave it.
The good thing is that as we rest, we get to take in some very nice scenery and from there, it is just a short ride to Beaver Lake. Looking over the wall, we could see the Lord Stanley monument, finally unveiled in 1960 after a promise made in 1889. It gave me chills this morning to hear Lord Stanley in one of the earliest recordings made of a human voice. Lord Stanley loved the arts and the outdoors and yes, he is the same gentleman who, in 1892, gave Canada "a treasured national icon" - the Stanley Cup. He originally donated the trophy as an award for Canada's top-ranking amateur hockey club.
I love the words on the monument:
"To the use and enjoyment of people of all colours creeds and customs for all time."
Once we caught our breath, we were on our way. A Wood Duck,and a Towhee..
were our first critter sightings as we made our way around the pond. (Though "lake" is in its title, I see it much more as a pond.)
We had fun..
this large leaf..
and Bill made my heart sing..
more than a few times. I know these next two photos have nothing to do with critters but the moment needs to be recorded and where better than on this, our personal blog. Though I never stop appreciating my physical health, celebrating my hair or any other part of my "looks" has never been one of my habits. When Bill commented that the sun had caught my hair, asked for the camera, and then..spent what felt like ages trying to capture the exact shimmer that he was seeing, I was overwhelmed with love for him and appreciation for his ability to make me feel beautiful.
Black Jack was far more interested in a different sort of shimmer :)
I was enjoying the reflections,
and the lily pads..
when we came up to a tiny bridge and a small gathering of people. These two gentlemen..
were just so happy to have chick-a-dees landing on their outstretched hands.
A lady who clearly has spent many hours at Beaver Lake had a bag full of peanuts, and she was delighting in sharing her much-loved critters with nature-loving passers-by. The interactions were heartwarming to me. With horrific events in war-torn parts of the world, I can't help but feel hope when so much pleasure can be felt in the touch of a bird.
A few minutes later, I saw a Stellar Jay. BIG happy moment for me.As said, the lady delighted in people's pleasure,
and pretty much insisted that everyone share in the experience. Those birds were quick!
When she saw that I was particularly..
excited by the Jay,
she threw some peanuts..
on the ground, and the Jay's expression..
brought a lot of smiles.
Whether in the tree..
or on the fence,
I find these rascally birds beautiful.
As you can see,
I was fascinated..
with the chick-a-dees..
Bill inspired another smile here. A fully alert Black Jack..in one arm, he felt the touch of this chick-a-dee but wouldn't look at it, because, as he told me later, he didn't want to alarm it by staring. He froze, wanting the chick-a-dee to be as comfortable as possible. Amazingly, Black Jack's stare doesn't appear to have been a problem :)
This Douglas Squirrel..
was another well-fed critter much enjoyed by all of us.
Admittedly, we were a bit less welcoming of this lone racoon, though that does seem unfair.We finally bid our new friends "good-bye" and made our way around the rest of the pond. Darkness falling, and a thin layer of ice on puddles,
we were aware that our ride back to the Harrison Galleries café would be a cool one.
There they go, two of my favourite beings.
On Thursday, my small lens was finally returned to us after repairs. We rode from the camera store to a spot near the Cambie Bridge to test it out.
I will hold off for now on my assessment of that repair, but I did enjoy finally being able..
to give a more realistic perspective of that particular section along False Creek.
We have struggled a bit with the cold this week, though I haven't yet convinced Bill to buy fleece-lined bike pants :) The good thing about colder weather, though, is the sunshine.
When we arrived at Harrison Galleries, who should be there but our wonderful friend, Jock.
Black Jack greeted him with enthusiasm and then proceeded to do her "cute" look from the vantage point of Bill's knee.That expression quickly mutated to one most kindly described as insistent (okay, spoiled).
Is it time for my treat yet?
And, that takes us to yesterday. We stopped by a camera repair shop (no, not for the newly repaired lens) recommended by the people at our camera store. The battery cover had gone missing from my (almost) brand new camera and we were told replacing it is impossible unless we get lucky and find someone with spare parts. I thought of my father many times after arriving home one day to find that small but vital plastic piece missing. Things these days (as he noted many, many years ago) are simply not made to be repaired. I hope, one day, we will "get it" that this is a mistake with serious consequences for our world. But, back to the matter of the small plastic piece. We were in luck! While waiting for the repair person to find the piece, Bill noticed this cone on the window ledge and offered it to Black Jack for inspection. It had little red sort-of-dried berries hanging from it that we thought looked like goji berries. I haven't been able to confirm that identification, though.Camera repair shops are interesting places; this gold-painted Nikon sure caught my eye.
And, back to the same place we had enjoyed the day before, Black Jack, dressed for the weather, had her run. She normally dislikes wearing a coat, but I could tell she appreciated it yesterday.
Still testing the lens,
and still trying to figure out whether..
it is A-Ok, I continue to appreciate its perspective. I've been involved in a black and white challenge on facebook (today is the final day) and so have been playing around with various scenes. I'm not sure if this one will be my final entry. I think it isn't too bad, though I do confess that, for the most part, I continue to love colour. That's it for today, folks. As always, many thanks for stopping by. I hope you are well into an absolutely wonderful Saturday!