Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fences and Rosy Mum Memories in Strathcona

As we set out each afternoon on our bicycles or on foot, one of us (more often, Bill) will say, "Do we have a plan?"  Usually, I am the one to reply, "No, not really."  Some days, our plans are made in the elevator as we ride to the bike room in the basement of our building, or even later, as we stand by our bikes in the lane outside the building, with Black Jack in her basket.  Some of our favourite Vancouver locations on good weather days are English Bay, Lost Lagoon, Beaver Lake, Coal Harbour Pond, Granville Island, Olympic Village and Vanier Park.  Sometimes, we go a little further afield and make it to Jericho Beach and as the weather continues to warm up, we'll probably soon add the trek that goes all around the seawall.  If it rains, we often do downtown walks.  Yesterday, Bill came up with a new idea.  He suggested riding to Chinatown, parking the bikes, and then exploring some of the streets on foot.  Sounded great to me!  In fact, we went just a bit further, exploring Strathcona, which borders Chinatown.  

There were quite a number of fences.  My favourite shot was this one.  I'll share it, and the rest of our delightful walk, with TexWisGirl's Good Fences, with many thanks to her for hosting.  I promise if you visit that meme once, you will never see fences quite the same way again.
Our first stop was along False Creek, where we admired Mr. and Mrs. Canada Goose and their five adorable goslings.
 These parents have been in the area for several years.  They are fine..
 with passers-by stopping to take photos as long as they stay a few feet away.
 The rest of the photos were taken as we walked along Strathcona's streets.
The business behind that fence had no sign, but appears to be making sidecars.. 
for motorcycles.  I think it would be well worth a visit, some day.  I'm betting there's an interesting story waiting to be told.
The gardens were colourful..
and somehow, unique in their reflection of a varied demographic that is beautifully described at this link.  
I almost caught this sparrow on top of a fence.  When Bill looked at the photos last night, he noticed the harmony in the wing and fence textures.
This "Art Exchange" box on Atlantic Street was a new concept to me.
Take an item from the box if you like it, and leave something in its place.
Kids and adults alike could have a lot of fun with this.  What excitement to wake up each morning and find a new toy..
or book (the book exchange box was just behind the art one).
We didn't have a book with us to trade, so Bill just took this one out to show you, and then replaced it.
Some of the flowers were familiar ones,
and some were new to us. These were a unique shade of pink.
The moment we rode our bikes down Union Street, Black Jack began to shake, as she does whenever there is a critter present.  I never doubt her nose.  
This cat looked at us for about three seconds and then went back to sleep.
There were mauves, purples and pinks all about us, and my mother's love of those shades was strong in my memory, especially with Mother's Day just past.
Here she is on my Vancouver balcony in Kitsilano.  She was close to age 90 at the time, but dared anyone to marvel at the fact she not only still had her driver's license but also made sure to take her car out regularly (in Montreal and to small towns at least an hour's drive from Montreal) just to prove she could still do it.  She was a young thinker,
and few things thrilled her more than taking a trip with one of her two daughters. Here, she and I had traveled to Victoria, BC, (around 2001, perhaps about five years before she died at age 92) and though she feared dogs in her youth, had adjusted to the fact that animals were central to my happiness.  She not only loved my dog, Scott, but she helped me to rescue him from a devastating situation in Montreal's SPCA.  (You can read about that story here.)  If we stayed in a hotel, it had to be one that accepted pets, and she was fine with that. She and Scott were buddies. Period! (note the mauve jacket)
and pinks,
even among the rocks we saw yesterday,
put my mother's memory front and centre many, many times.
There was even a hunk of cement painted pink!  We are still trying to make sense of that one.
It seemed that with every step I took, something new would catch my eye.
I'm not sure which of the many cultural groups in the area would have chosen to display this skull on their fence.  Perhaps, its purpose was to ward off evil spirits.
Bunnies in the door art?
Bill thought this tree was a May Tree and he expressed some nostalgia for..
memories of these trees in his youth.
Strathcona fences were fun to photograph.
It seemed no two were alike, and it was possible,
often, to catch three or more in one shot.
This one was bamboo behind metal railings, and the single.. 
pink flower in front of it..
added a touch of gentleness to its feel of being from another time and place.
We took Black Jack into MacClean Park where Bill caught these photos..
of her desperate attempt to track a squirrel.
Once the squirrel was out of harm's way,
we were able to play a little game of "run to Carol/Bill" for a few minutes.
I continue to appreciate that the supplement, Dasuquin, is working such wonders.
We're still being very careful with her but she sure is moving more freely.
Bird shot opportunities were few and far between but I did manage to get this one.
I took a few more flower shots..
before we finally..
made our way to Harrison's.
Oh..  and just a couple of the houses and fences..
that I couldn't resist.
As I said, it really did feel as though no two were alike.
We both liked the top of what we guessed at one time, to be a much loved home, though it is now in a sad state of disrepair.
And the final image before getting back on our bikes was one more May tree.  Perfect, I thought, to wrap up a walk that Bill had designed.  Thanks for taking time to read about our good day.  If you have the time, do stop by the Good Fences meme.  You won't be sorry!


  1. You have a good collection of pictures! All of them looks very beautiful!

  2. A very full post of interesting shot with beautiful flowers, great fences and a variety of critters.

  3. Hello, CAROL! What a beautiful post. So many pretty flowers. Nice memories of your Mom & Scott, she was beautiful. And I love the dogs, especially your sweet Black Jack. I just love seeing her running, like she is coming to me. The tree and blossoms are gorgeous. Wonderful collection of photos. Have a happy weekend!

  4. Aww … what a darling picture of your mom. How lucky to have her longevity and youthful spirit as part of your genetic makeup. I clicked on the link you provided and enjoyed reading all seven delightfully unique factoids. Each one held a surprise.

  5. oh, you found some great fences this week! varied, striking, unique. i rather like the skull but wouldn't want it on my own fence. the red gate is beautiful! loved all the blooms. your mom was a sweetie - like you. :) my favorite shot (besides all the neat fences and details) was the calla lilies. wow...

  6. Always enjoy your posts but I am taking a special interest at the moment as I will be visiting Vancouver next month for the first time.

  7. I lost you after your last post on Bikes Beasts and Black Jack. I intended to go back and comment but by then you had disappeared. I love the photos of the houses, the pink flower in front of the bamboo fence. So glad to see Black Jack is still her old energetic self.

  8. What a great day out that must have been. And what a variety of fences you found, amongst lots of other interesting things to look at. Love the Black Jack images!