Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Y's" and Smiles for YOU

ABC Wednesday is Yielding up the letter "Y" today.  A big Yes to Mrs. Nesbitt for starting a meme that continues to thrive eight Years later.  Many thanks as well to the volunteers who visit our blogs, leave comments, and encourage us to spin our Yarns about the various letters of the alphabet.  I Yearned to post for all 26 letters this past session, and did better than ever before, so won't Yowl too loudly over the fact that I missed the letter "X" last week.

This happy video "You Make Me Smile" feels like a great thought to take us from 2014 to 2015.  Making someone smile never hurts, no matter how serious life gets. YOU, the bloggers, friends and loved ones in my life, have brought a lot of smiles over the past Year.  So, here's right back at YOU :)
Here are some photos from the past few days, with as many accompanying "Y" thoughts as I can squeeze in. Those words were harder than usual to find, this week, so when they don't show up, I'll do my best to make you smile as an alternative. These shoes left by the bin in the school Yard triggered a hope that the feet most in need of them came across them.
Racoon's feasting on..  
digestive cookies..
Yabbered for more as they lined up at the junk food bar.  The signs in the park asking people not to feed the wildlife seem to be a failure.  No smiles about that one..  
But, to make up for the lack of a smile about feeding wildlife, here's a lovely little video that you could share with any children around Your house.  Grieg's "Morning" from the Peer gYnt Suite is just delightful, and the animation pleased me as much as it would any child.
I think this was a Lesser Scaup..  
and if I stretch my imagination, see a "Y" along its back.
A little less imagination is needed to see the "Y" in this American Wigeon.
The mallards Yacked (closest I could get to Quack) as they clambered over each other..
 but the Wood Duck disassociated himself from the melee, while creating, I feel sure, some "Y" patterns in the water.
These Youngsters, two of my best smile instigators, waited while I took photos.  Black Jack was too excited to feel the (considerable) cold.  She was busy watching for those pesky racoons on the other side of the bushes.
My first Common Merganser sighting in a long time.  Yes!
Watch the one at the end race..
feverishly to catch number 3 in line,

pass number 2,
and put on a super-duper push..
to go to the front, all, most likely in hopes of impressing Mrs. Merganser (who was nowhere in sight).  Perhaps, there was at least a Yummy treat to reward his effort.
It's a good thing smiles and "Y" shapes are fairly easy to find because I'm wanting to fit in as many good moments in the past days as I can before signing off for 2014.  Bill and Black Jack's reflection.. 
in False Creek,
bird houses surrounded by city and nature sights, pointed out by Bill, ,
 a new drawing by Jennifer on the sign outside our favourite Harrison Galleries,
a little Kermit critter sitting on a fence top on Homer Street,
holiday lights with extra glow,
moon suspended in blue night-sky,
a rock with a doggie face framed with a "Y" shape,
some stars in a window (Yes, I can pick out some "Y's" in there as well),
 creating many smiles..
with his music over False Creek water (his head and guitar form the top of the Y), 
and leaving us with one more smile to brighten a walk..
 that took us to some more "Y" shapes as we walked a bit further on.
We both smiled again when we realized the little "Kermitty" fellow hadn't been removed though many walked by and could easily have knocked him off his perch.
As for the gentleman below, he and his dog brought great big smiles to my face.  He is the artist-photographer responsible for some of our favourite pieces at Harrison Galleries and he just happened to be visiting during our coffee-and-crossword time.  His "Spotted Aspens" was the very first work to catch Bill's eye when we began our afternoon visits to Harrison's. 
As if that wasn't enough, Steven Friedman's dog, Indiana Jones, was utterly charming too.  I loved Steven's Yarn describing how Indiana sleeps on top of him (not beside him but fully on top of him) when he camps out for extended photography expeditions.
I mean, just look at that smile!  Steven "travels to remote locations around the world with his wife Joni, hiking sometimes 20 kilometres to an inaccessible region and working with.. 
impossible patience. He has visited a location for eight days to capture just the right light, waiting long periods for the rain to stop, the wind to still, the fog to lift. For his current tree series, Steven visited the same stands of trees in autumn four consecutive years." (quote taken from his write-up at Harrison Galleries).    
And, just a few more recent photos I enjoyed taking.  This crow stared intently at me during Black Jack's first walk of the day.  Since I missed the letter "X" in this series, perhaps those branches at the left of the photo could stand in.  
And maybe, just one more "X" reference.  I came across a combination of xylophone and marimba that is called a Xylorimba.  This video shows two Young gentlemen doing an admirable job of playing a Bach Partita.  It's not absolutely perfect, but these Youth are talented and disciplined and I loved listening to them.  So there, a sort of "X" post after all :) 
We stopped to catch a view of the mountains as we biked down Heather Street after visiting the Pet Shop Boys on Monday.  Talk about bringing smiles.  David and Christopher spread a lot of happiness around their shop and beyond.  David has done all Black Jack's nail clipping for the past few years and I have never heard a whimper out of her yet.  She goes into his arms calmly and she returns to me, eager and happy to get her treat.  But the best is that the money they make on the nail clippings (they are very reasonable!) goes to a different rescue every month.  This December, they gave several hundred dollars (I've forgotten the exact total but it was impressive) to SAINTS, a rescue that accepts elderly animals of all descriptions (cows, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, donkeys to name just a few species), giving them a joyful place to end their days when their humans cannot (or do not want to) see them through their end stages of life.  The work is backbreaking and one of continual loss but Carol and her team find a lot of joy in it as well.

But to get back to the view of the North Shore Mountains as we biked down Heather Street.

The sun had come out, and brought out every Y-shaped tendril in this tree.

The last three photos, taken Yesterday as we walked downtown, are of trees.. 
as well.  I guess you could say they do a good job of bringing "Y's" and.. 
smiles so I've stayed somewhat true to today's theme.
There's Bill, wishing you all a safe and fulfilled New Year as he waves good-bYe :)
And Black Jack?  Just keep the treats and the love coming and the smiles will follow :)
As Carol, of SAINTS rescue, said on her blog, "I won’t wish us a very happy new year because who knows what 2015 will bring? I wish us, animal and human, the strength to get thru the hard days, the joyful heart to fully appreciate the good days, and the hope to find true value and purpose in living the next 365 days."  Such wise words!  Thank you, all, for taking time to visit.  If you've never checked out ABC Wednesday, a new series beginning with the letter "A" begins in two weeks.  I'd love to see you there.


  1. Hello Carol, wonderful post and photos. I love the duck shots..a great collection.. And the reflection of Bill and the tree is cool. I wish you, Bill and Black Jack all the best in 2015.

  2. love that big yellow lab! sweet chunk of a dog. :) cute little kermie. great ebeneezer signage! loved all the ducks! happy new year to the 3 of you!

  3. I love how your day's adventure was full of smiles. The best kind of day. Peace and joy to you!

  4. Wonderful shots Yet again Carol
    . I really enjoy visiting your site such fun to share your days with you.
    All good wishes for 2015 with a special plea for world peace.
    ABCW team.

  5. What wise and realistic words, indeed, to conclude your post and bring in the New Year, Carol. It is always so refreshing to see the city from your perspective. Seeing Bill with ankles exposed reminds me that yesterday I saw people jogging in shorts and playing tennis with sleeveless shirts on while my Bill and I were as bundled up as babies in the cold. :))

  6. Great shots of the ducks! Have a happy New Year!

  7. Your posts ALWAYS make me smile!