Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Catch-up Critters

I am posting to Our World Tuesday today (thank you, ArijaGattinaLady FiSylviaSandy and Jenniferand also to Saturday's Critters (thank you, Eileen). 

I have one music video, just in case you would like to serenade the parade of critters coming your way. Yesterday morning, Bill and I listened to Beethoven's triple concerto on CBC radio.  Here is the last 5 minutes of the work (it begins abruptly, mid-movement) though if you prefer a video of the whole piece, you can listen to it here.  To have Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboem on stage together is a unique gift. In the CBC recording, Yo Yo Ma was joined by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Mark Zeltzer. As I listened, I remarked on the wonderful fun I sensed they were having with that ending.  I feel the same enjoyment in this video. Have a listen and a look.  The sound is crystal clear and their fingers absolutely fly just before the one-minute mark and again, just before the three-minute mark.  And, best of all are the little smiles on their faces as they play!
Some very happy news on Sunday is still making me smile this morning.  We saw a new jazz-fan-in-the making arriving at the Jazz Vespers performance at St. Andrew's and learned that her name is Brooklyn. (I'm not sure if this was her second appearance, as we missed last week)  
I can tell you that there were smiles on the faces and in the hearts of the "regulars" and maybe a gentle tear as well, for no one has forgotten Delrey.  I posted about her passing near the end of this post.
We talked with her human yesterday and finally learned that his name is Ross.  He explained that all of his dogs have been named after cities that have meaning for him.  Delrey's passing was a shock that is still fresh, but for Ross, living without a dog is not an option.  I feel Delrey would approve of this little lady ..  
continuing the fine tradition of enhancing the jazz experience for all of us.
She is a pup through and through, and I thought she eyed those shoes rather..
longingly before deciding there were smells on the floor..
that required immediate investigation.
She is already very focused on Ross,
and I think the feeling may be mutual :)
Such an important job keeping track of the comings and goings of your humans..
and exhausting when you are still very busy growing up.
Ross and Brooklyn were called to the front of the church to be properly introduced to the audience members.
Rev. Dan Chambers greeted Brooklyn warmly,
explaining a little of Delrey's story to newcomers, adding that many had looked forward to hearing her barks during particularly enthusiastic applause.  
He always adds words along the lines of "no matter how much there is or isn't in your bank account, or whom you love, or what you believe or don't believe, you are welcome.  I always feel the ring of sincerity in his voice.
As he talked, Ross and Brooklyn kept a close eye on their loved ones..
and there was a sense of goodwill and peace..
that filled the room.  Welcome, Brooklyn! 
The rest of this post is another attempt at catching up (so that I can soon do some shorter posts!).
Stanley Park  
No squirrels harmed!

Stanley Park's Lost Lagoon
Not sure what kind of shell this is.
Bill's calming technique.  Do you see the raccoon?
Here are some close-ups.
I found myself fascinated with the feet.
Both the back and front feet have some of the features of human hands.
Stanley Park heronry
Too bad ABC Wednesday isn't celebrating the letter "Y" this week.

Olympic Village Park
Bushtit, I think. 
Golden-crowned sparrow.
Starling going for a walk.
Pug peeking from behind a pole.
Coal Harbour pond
Redwing Blackbird.
Mallard seeking the source of some dropped sunflower seeds.
More Redwing shots.

Corgi "getting" the more interesting action, perhaps.
I've been trying to catch the birds in motion as they land or take off, but it's a challenge.
The mallard left and returned a couple of times.
Olympic Village Park
Sometimes, on sunny days, it is almost impossible to get Black Jack on her feet.
Beautiful house finch.

Vanier Park - Heritage Harbour
Black Jack became very excited, even before we reached the docks.
No, it wasn't the plastic snake on the deck of..
the "Northern Spray"..
and no, she wasn't impressed by the "Northern Spray"s history.  But look carefully in that small window, and you will soon understand the intensity of her interest.
She knew the cat was there long before we did (taken with the 500 mm lens).

There was no light on the cat, but Black Jack saw it just fine.
Early morning walk - George Wainborn Park
This is a favourite place for humans and dogs to play together.  I didn't do well with the photography, but wanted to express a concern that I've had for a while. The first dog that I had the privilege of raising after I moved away from home was a Border Collie mix.  She loved to jump.  People used to stop and stare, because she could achieve ridiculous height.  I was proud that she was so athletic and loved that she was having fun, so like the person with the dog.. 
in the photo below, I threw her ball over and over, always aiming for her to jump to retrieve it.  She loved the game, people smiled and remarked on her ability..
and it never occurred to me to consider that I should be looking ahead to the health of her joints in later years.  With the wisdom gained after my own running caused arthritis in my knees (I did a couple of marathons and for several years, ran 7+ miles almost daily around the lake where I lived), I learned to take much better care of my next dog's joints.  He still had a good life and lots of fun, but I did not encourage repetitive jumping.  Dogs are not built to repeat the same movement over and over.  A jump like this dog is doing might be fine once or twice or even three.. 
times, but s/he must have jumped nonstop for well over half an hour.  Take your dog for a hike, people, or at least vary the exercise.  My first dog ended up living to the ripe old age of 18, and she was still strong and healthy except for her back legs which could barely carry her for the last few years of her life.  I know I must have done a couple of things right for her to reach that age, but wouldn't it have been great if her legs had aged at the same pace as the rest of her.  So, whether you are running your dog beside your bike or even jogging with him/her for way too long on asphalt (another thing that drives me crazy, and I haven't even gotten into the fact many choose to do this on hot, sunny days) or whether you are just playing a game in the park, remember that dogs won't say, "No, I'm feeling kind of tired today.." until they're way past the point of harm.  Their humans need to do a little thinking for them.  Even with proper care, there may still be some joint problems, but at least, those issues won't be exacerbated by human error.  (Leaving my soapbox now.  Thanks for listening.)
Beaver Lake
Olympic Village Park
Turtles and mallards hanging out on a beautiful day.
Seagulls bathing.

This goose swam up to us,
looked us right in the eye,
and did this :)
I caught this shot with my long lens.  A lady and her dog on the other side of the pond were so content, I just couldn't resist.
We were curious about the need for this turtle to climb a mountain.
Stanley Park - Lost Lagoon
This squirrel ran right by us,
sending Black Jack into a tizzy.  
Then, it climbed the tree in front of Black Jack's nose and dared her..
to follow.
Bill had to resort to his calming technique.. again.
Then it came back down again, crossing once more right in front of her nose.
Loved the way this turtle's leg was hanging out, completely relaxed.
This young Border Collie (7 months old, I think) was having a wonderful walk.
We talked with the gentleman with her.  Turns out he was looking after her for his son.  He said they lived on acres and acres of land and were just in town for the day.  The dog had narrowly escaped both a bear and on another occasion, a pair of coyotes.  He's still not sure why the coyotes chose to let her go, because he told us they had her trapped and he was too far from her to save her.  Country life has its own hazards for sure.  I hope she lives a long and happy life.
We've seen a lot of turtles lately.  Not sure if this one was okay.
Harrison Galleries Café
Crossword time.
Deep in thought.
David Lam Park
Poor photos here, but I loved watching this Schnauzer play with his/her humans.
Best of all, the ears had been left in their natural state.  Yay!!
The game involved a variety of movements..
and looked like great fun too!
Vanier Park - Heritage Harbour
It was perhaps two weeks later when we again rode our bikes to Heritage Harbour.  I had forgotten about the cat, but Black Jack hadn't.  The second we took her out of her bicycle basket, she led me a merry chase over the lawn, down the hill, onto the dock and right up to that same boat.  This time, there was a different cat, and this time, the cat was outside the cabin area.  
As you can see, the cat was terrified of Black Jack :)
More calming technique required.
A photo to give you a better idea of the boat's overall (really neat) appearance.
Black Jack's attempts to get to know the cat better..
were not successful but..
she sure gave it her best shot.
The cat remained in a state of great terror!
Bill's calming technique really works quite well.  We were both curious that the cat appeared to have changed since our last visit.  Then we saw..
this sign.  Now, we have to figure out which cat is William and which, Abby.
Before we left Vanier Park, we spent a little time watching the action by the dog beach.  It's an interesting area.  Here's the wooden boat house on the same maze of docks where we watched the cats, 
 and here's the ramp that Black Jack runs down (but less eagerly up, since that means leaving the cats in peace), and that takes us back to..
what we call the spit.  Bill and Black Jack always do at least one run around that spit.  On one side of it is the marina, and on the other side,
 the dog beach.
 There's even a section of the beach with logs for lovers and kids to enjoy.
 Crows find food in the rocks at the..
water's edge..
and people send their dogs swimming for balls.
This dog actually retrieved two balls at once, though the reason I show..
the photo is more for this follow-up action when the dog reached shore.  I've never seen anything quite like it.  The dog lay down and seemed to love what looked like quite a vigorous beating over every inch of his body with that the chuck-it stick.  We were at the top of the spit and my lens was a smaller one, so the shot isn't great, but you have to imagine the dog shifting positions, all the more to make sure that stick reached every area, from his arm pits to his rump to his back, to his chest. 
At home
Black Jack knows we go on an outing every afternoon.  She also knows that as Bill and I decide on how to dress for the weather and pack up the things we will need, there is sometimes a bit of a wait while we get ourselves organized.  On bright days, the sun hits the bed at just about the time we leave.  She loves the outings, but that sun spot draws her like a magnet.  She runs and jumps onto the bed, knowing that when we're ready to go, Bill will..  
gently peel her off the bed (after a few tummy rubs).  She thinks this is a fine way to make the absolute best use of the time available to her :)  When I saw TexWisGirl's post about her Thelma Jean, I sure could relate.
Olympic Village Park
This was taken the same day as the above photo.  The minute we reached the park and took Black Jack out of her basket, she collapsed on a sunspot in the grass.  Bill thought I should show you my new pink shoes again, just in case you missed them (surely, impossible) in the last post :)
Her joints are feeling so much better after about six weeks of walking only, and with the help of the supplement, Dasuquin.  We are now beginning to do short runs with her.  Not every day, and only for a few minutes, but it sure does make..
us happy to see her feeling better again.  
I have so many pictures of beautiful flowers, but will just share this wild rose (with bee) inside..
and this gorgeous Clematis (I think)..
with this even more gorgeous fellow checking out its aroma.
Oh..  and these yellow blooms.  Do flies feed on nectar as well?  Or is this a different variety of bee?
I'm going to conclude with a couple of kissing seagulls.  They sang a call-and-response duet before we headed home.  Many thanks, for stopping by!  Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!


  1. Hello, Carol! I am so happy to see you posting again and sweet Black Jack's cute face. I am so glad she is feeling better. What an awesome critter post. I fell in love with the adorable puppy named Brooklyn. Lovely flowers..Thanks so much for the nice comments and visit.. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

  2. wonderful photos some of them are extremely cute

  3. brooklyn is adorable. all the pups are - and cats, too. the shot of the mallard through bill's feet just cracked me up!

  4. Brooklyn is one lucky pup landing in such a welcoming environment. The critters throughout this post had an interesting slant to their stories … but I particularly liked the upside down sparrow, peeking pug and mallard at Bill’s feet. As for the raccoons … when I looked out my window this morning I saw a family of them looking quite at home in my backyard.