Saturday, August 8, 2015

Celebrating Schuey, other Vancouver Critters and Beautiful Days

I'll begin Saturday's Critters post today (thank you so much, Eileen, for hosting) with photos of a dog I didn't have the pleasure of meeting, but somehow felt that I had.  It was a couple of years ago that our friend, Jock, an avid lover of all things sports-car-related, sent a picture of Schuey.  Jock had spent the day at the racetrack in Mission, and he knew after only a short time observing Schuey that this was a dog doing what he loved with people who appreciated him as much as he did them.  Perhaps, you have guessed already that Schuey was named after Michael Schumacher, the legendary F1 racer with seven championships under his belt, but now coping with a devastating brain injury after a skiing accident.
On July 30th, I was saddened to receive this message from Jock: "You never met Schuey, but I told him about you and he counted you among his many friends. He was widely loved and we will all miss him."  As this article explains, Schuey's life ended too soon, after being diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (the same ailment that took my last dog, Scott).  The article goes on to say that the flags in Pit 24 were lowered to half-mast and that Schuey's nine years of faithful attendance would not be forgotten.
RIP, Schuey.  I am truly saddened to see you go and convey my heartfelt sympathy to your beloved human, Keith Robinson.  As sad as it is to learn of your passing, I am heartened that you led such a rich and fulfilled life.  Your spirit will live on!  It has already reached further than I'm sure Keith ever anticipated.
Other critters today are ones seen as we go about our daily walks and bike rides.  This crow was sitting in a tree, calling to his/her parent.
 I knew s/he was young because of the red mouth-lining.  Probably, most critter-loving people here know about the brightly coloured mouths of young birds, but I learned about that relatively recently.  This quote from a publication at Hilton Pond Center will give you more information: "As a chick opens its mouth to vocalize or beg, the parent bird sees a flash of orange, red, or yellow--a "target zone" that shows where to stuff the next juicy grub or worm."
This crow was very insistent, as are most of the young ones I hear in the neighbourhood lately.  The pattern was to open the mouth, call piteously, and then stare demandingly, impatient for the food to arrive immediately, if not sooner.
 I'm sneaking in this flower shot that I forgot to include in yesterday's "Orange you Glad it's Friday" post.  We are fortunate in Vancouver to have a constant..
supply of beautiful blooms popping up wherever we go.  The one below was at..
 Olympic Village Park, and the bee arrived just as I began to admire it.
We saw this wonderful critter last weekend.  It was a hot day, and we sat on a shady bench to cool down and to watch.. 
 Vancouver's Swing Society dancers.  Even the shadows got into the spirit :)
One of the great pleasures of our outings is talking to strangers, sometimes from foreign lands, and sometimes, from the neighbourhood.  That day, Bill had a very interesting conversation with a young tourist who was planning to explore places in Canada that I've never seen.  I was a little envious, to be honest, but also grateful for the way that young man brought his energy, his respect for a land he was just beginning to discover and his love of the outdoors to my consciousness.  As we were talking, I realized the dog we had noticed when we first arrived in the park was enjoying the day as much as we were.  I approached her humans and asked if I could take a few photos. I hope I am correct in remembering "her" to be a female, but if mistaken, I beg forgiveness for that error, as well as for forgetting the dog's name.  As often happens, I waited too long to begin this post, but introducing her to you is absolutely essential, even if a bit late.  As I stood talking to the young couple, the dog suddenly indicated she was thirsty.
 There could be no doubting her message.
 I loved the focus in the young man's face as he made sure his sweet dog's..
 needs were fully met.
 Yup!  That was contentment, pure and simple.  Many thanks to these three for so generously allowing me to share a few moments with them.
A couple of days ago, we saw a flock of young White-crowned sparrows feasting on something in the grass that must have been delicious.
 This was the last one to leave.  I was happy to catch quite a clear shot.
 Another one was in some bushes near the water's edge.  I could just barely..
get my lens to focus in one small gap and thought the views quite magnificent.
I showed you this piano just yesterday, but hadn't shown you Black Jack listening carefully while I tried to play a tune around her.  (Actually, I think she was staring at something on the ground that just might be edible.)
 The rest of the photos here are from yesterday's outing to English Bay.  We stopped to catch a shot of Mr. Oppenheimer with a finch resting on his head.
I don't think he minded :)
The gardens were a delight, as cyclists made their way along the bike path.
 Everything about the day felt perfect.  Sunshine, a small breeze,
 lots of colour,
and the best company with whom to enjoy those things.
 Our bikes waited together, happy in each others' company.
 Sparkles on the water, viewed between the trees, drew quite a few..
 critters (whoops, people).  Bill and I liked the look of this bicycle on water.
 With my zoom lens, I caught this "critter" quite a distance out in the water.
 I'm not an expert but thought this must be just about perfect form..
 for the crawl.
 No, this wasn't a bear :)
 About the size of a rather portly Spaniel,
 this critter was yet another being out there..
 enjoying that perfect day.
 Bill and Black Jack nimbly traversed the rocks,
 though Black Jack eventually had to be rescued from herself so she wouldn't..
 consume the entire ocean's supply of seaweed.
 A Yoga performance..
 evoked lots of laughter..
 and Bill's observation of a particularly blue patch of sky added to the fun.
 We were both impressed with several large flat rocks (perfect for Yoga),
 and I loved the blue-and-purple-tinged shells hiding a myriad of tiny critters.
 A gaggle of geese surprised me as they approached from behind..
 and headed downtown.
 As we prepared to head back to our bikes, I took one last shot of the layers of mountains, sky, rocks and water.  It had been yet another good day and we were grateful to have the health and energy to experience it fully!  Thank you, Eileen, for letting us share our critters and adventures with you and your readers.  I hope all of you are having a great weekend.


  1. Hello Carol, sad news about Schuey, he was a beautiful Golden! I love the shots of the dog drinking the water! Another great post. Action packed with critters, birds, scenery and your wonderful Bill and Black Jack. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  2. Lots of interesting photos of people and animals having a wonderful time.

  3. Poor old Schuey, I feel for him. The rest of them are fantastic pictures.

  4. Great scenes of things around the city, Carol!
    I first thought that Bill was holding a boxy camera; in the photo, where he is holding Black Jack :)
    Your bikes look great together. It is a great way to get around!
    The Yoga pose is cool. It did remind me of an old Karate movie though.
    Many martial arts are meant to get one grounded, in some sense, and not necessarily be used for self-defense only.
    I love that bicycle boat thingy - so cool!
    Have a Beautiful Weekend.
    Peace :)

  5. Sorry for the passing of Schuey. Great seeing snippets of Vancouver through your lens.