Tuesday, April 29, 2014

P for Play

Bill and I are happy to have time and energy for PLAY after 10 months of illness for him and stress for both of us.  Our interactions with the wildlife, pets and people we meet on our walks bring so many pleasures.  Here are a few of them.  I am linking up with ABC Wednesday and Wild Bird Wednesday.  Both are excellent memes and I thank the dedicated people who keep them running so successfully.

This is Tupper, so named because her tail feathers point upward.  If you are a regular reader, you know her pretty well by now.  
 She followed us from the David Lam steps..
 to the shore,
 back up to this roof over the lookout..
 and over..
 our heads..
 to the False Creek railing where she..
 ate (very healthy) treats from Bill's hand.
 Then, she flew off..
but I think she said "thanks" before she left.  We know we shouldn't feed the wildlife and we don't make a habit of it, but we have fallen in love with Tupper.  If you do feed wildlife (I don't recommend it), it would be best to give them healthy, sugar-free food.  Please, no bread.  It fills their stomach so that they lose their appetite for more nutritious fare and if fed regularly and in great quantities, eventually causes them to lose the ability to survive on their own.  
 We always look for this American Coot. S/he has been alone for a week or so now. 
 We hope the mate is hiding nearby.
 Yesterday, s/he seemed mightily pleased..
 after a bath that seemed to combine hygiene, play and fun in perfect proportions.
 This is Izzie, short for Elizabeth.
 We are just getting to know her.  She seems, to me, to have a peaceful spirit.
 Okay, this mallard was not feeling playful, but..
 watching him brought pleasure for sure.
 There was a female at stake here and the male at the right chased "our" fellow off..
in a plain-spoken manner that left no room for doubt.  The action took place behind a wire fence so I was lucky to get these photos.
 This dog personified play.
 I felt lucky to catch..
 a bit of the action as we stopped..
 to admire his physical prowess..
 and persistance.
 What focus!
What energy.
 On the way to..
 success!
 Yes!  
 This man had his bike, a crossword, a bench and a perfect day to enjoy all three.
 This should have gone into the Blue Monday meme, but perhaps you will enjoy it anyway.  Bill enjoyed the "guy" stuff just before we walked through..
 this tunnel.   This is not one of our preferred spots..
 but it did get us to..
 this sculpture.  I neglected to get the name of it, but Bill's playful pose made it a must-show.
 I know you have seen many photos of Black Jack in Bill's arms, but she makes me laugh..
and that feels playful..
 and she is just so protected..
and peaceful..
 and yet, so perky.
And, play followed by the pleasure of lattés and treats at Bean Around the World..
 served by Nike, makes it a good day indeed.
 Today is Nike's last day of work before she sets off for a trip across Canada.  She is an adventurer who understands the value of play.  We will miss her.  Have fun, Nike!  Thank you for your beautiful smile, kind spirit and passion for play.
 Thank you for stopping by, dear readers.  I hope you will find lots of play in your life today.  Perhaps, Wild Bird Wednesday and/or ABC Wednesday would be a good place to start.

Photos from Monday.

Many photos today.  I guess I let myself get a bit carried away on Sunday.  We went for a long walk and I was thinking of a blog meme Look Up Look Down, even though that one doesn't come along until Thursday.  As I looked through my photos, I realized just about every one had blue sky and the few that didn't had tiny bits of blue in places.  That made me think of Blue Monday.  And then, in my search, I cam across a meme called Hello Monday.  There was a message so important in Lisa Leonard's meme that I felt it had to be shared.  Read as much of her blog as you can.  This story, posted at another link, changed my day yesterday.  And finally, there's Our World Tuesday.  It opens up on Monday for people from around the planet to share their worlds.  So today, four link-ups and many photos.  Hopefully, one or two of them will resonate with you.

First photo of the day in David Lam Park as we start out our walk.  Blue content is questionable (windows, perhaps?) but the colours were so gentle and the yellow blooms had opened up overnight.  Too lovely to skip.   
We looked up at a public art piece called Street Light at the bottom of Davie Street.  That link gives fascinating information that neither Bill nor I knew.  The shadows given off are designed to fall in very specific ways, depending on the date of viewing.  I hope to come back to this in another post.
 
Walking along False Creek, Jerry Pethic's Time Top, there for as long as I've been in Vancouver, seemed especially inviting at low tide.  I've seen this art dressed up in crocheted stockings but never with a..
pink ET propped near its feet.  Female ET?  Pregnant?  Joy?  I don't know.  A story there for sure.  She has blue,blue eyes.
 We climbed down and then looked up.
 Bill got down really low to see if that center piece was hollow.  He looked up to see a silver plate covering it.  One question answered.
 Then we played some games.
I climbed onto the sculpture hoping to be able to stand up on that round part, but I'm not quite nimble enough, so I sat down on it instead.  Bill instructed me to ride my "horse" with hands in the air.  We laughed and laughed. 
 Starting with my loved ones and looking up from there.
 My shadow.  See my finger about to click the shutter?
 Bill and Black Jack joined me and..
 we made shadows together.
 Back on the walkway, we looked under the Cambie Bridge to see dragon boaters passing .
Neither of us like to lose our money, so casinos are not for us.  However,
 this one is on our walking route, we appreciate the washrooms and there are some great..
opportunities for looking up.
We left False Creek and walked along this path to the downtown area.
 Our walk took us through Andy Livingstone Park
over a small bridge by a Dogwood tree,
and by a fountain-waterway..
where Black Jack..
could have some play time..
running between Bill and me.
We arrived at our planned destination, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, looking..
through the wall openings to the gardens,and thinking the section that is free and open to dogs was..
just around the corner.
Locked!  How could that be?  A small sign on the gate said the park only opens on May 1st.
I had never realized the free portion of the gardens only opened during the summer season.  We did enjoy looking at this Rolls Royce parked by the gate.
From the front, the sky, clouds, Bill and a passerby appeared in the gleaming left fender.   
And there I was in the right fender.
Bill and Black Jack joined me..   
for a group shot.  (At least, I think Black Jack is in there somewhere.)
We arrived at a touristy part of the city and looked up to admire Gassy Jack before..
stopping for excellent lattés and treats at Coffee Bar on Water Street.  We sat outside on park benches, looking across the street to this view.  
Bill and I nearly always do crosswords when we are at cafés, but rarely finish.  Usually, we leave our half-finished efforts for others to finish, but this is a two-dayer and we were rather proud to complete it. 
Energy restored, we left Coffee Bar and followed Water Street.  First, we checked out those windows across the street.  I still can't tell you what they sell, and a google search hasn't helped.  There were some clothes but there was also some art that brought Salvador Dali to mind.  We noticed my reflection in the window..   
and Bill placed his reflection in the apple.  We thought that was pretty neat :)
As we walked homeward, the sights along Water Street sometimes brought smiles..
and sometimes inspired awe.  Vancouver's mountains are never absent for long.  At each street corner, we looked to the right, and there they were, just beyond the tracks.
The Steam Clock, another famous landmark..
began to chime just as we arrived.
I was taking photos when a man said, "Stand on this X and you will get the best picture.  In the end, he not only instructed me where to stand, he took my camera, told Bill to make "kissing" motions..
and snapped this photo.  BIll felt a bit "goofy" here and the whole thing made me laugh.  The man then requested (so matter-of-factly we didn't dare refuse) a donation.  He suggested $20 but in fact, we gave him $2.  He said the money would be donated to people in need of help. I've been thinking about him since.  Perhaps, he has found that asking for help on that corner meets with little success.  It is hard to describe his approach.  It wasn't exactly aggressive but as I said, turning him down did not feel like an option.  Perhaps, he has hit on a foolproof method for gaining funds for people who need it.  Or, perhaps, he has hit on a perfect money-maker for himself.  Either way, I had to conclude his methods were brilliant. 
I liked this red door, and the clouds and sky reflected in the window above it.
The Woodward's Building is another of those famous Vancouver landmarks.
Hard to avoid the trolley lines above, so I decided to feature them here.
We looked down to some shops below street level for this shot..
and then up again, for a final shot of Woodwards behind The Flack Block.  Here are a few quotes from that link:
"The Flack Block is a four-storey masonry commercial building, designed in the Romanesque Revival style, with highly articulated stone clad principal facades and characteristic round-arched windows framed by paired columns." 
"The Flack Block was one of the largest buildings constructed in Vancouver during the Klondike era, and provided stimulation for further commercial development in the area." 
"Additionally, the Flack Block is significant as an important surviving example of the work of William Blackmore (1842-1904), one of Vancouver's most accomplished early architects."  
Trees, with cloud and sky reflections in the building, caught my eye here.
A peaceful oasis on a corner..
and the CBC building..
with its many antennas, concluded our walk.
Bill and Black Jack went home while I did a bit of shopping.  As I returned to the apartment, Tupper met me.  The perfect conclusion to a good walk.  I didn't manage to post this on Monday but here it is on Tuesday, perhaps not the brand new week Lisa Leonard describes so eloquently, but it is a brand new day and I plan to get the most out of it.  Hope you do too.  I have another whole day of photos from yesterday, including one of a dog catching a ball that I have promised to post, so I should be back very soon.  Thanks so much for stopping by!