The Thanksgiving holiday has ended and though there are "thank-you's" in my heart every single day, taking a few moments to record the most important ones makes sense once a year. Family, friends, pets, beauty around me in nature, art and humanity, freedoms and rights enjoyed in Canada, good health.. those are all huge. At least some of them come up in every blog post, but today, perhaps I'll think about them a little more, as I share with three excellent memes: Our World Tuesday (thank you to Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy, and Jennifer), Saturday's Critters (thank you Eileen) and Wild Bird Wednesday (thank you Stewart). The hosts of these memes are definitely one of my gratitudes. It's a long post, with dates showing when the photos were taken. The critters and birds will pop up between scenery and art shots. Please don't feel obliged to read it all. If one or two photos catch your eye, I'll be happy.September 27
Music! What would life be without it? I'll include two pieces for you to enjoy as you read on. Mozart's Andante from his Piano Concert No. 21 is an example of music that never fails to soothe me.
And I just love this next one as well. Bill had a memory a few days ago of listening to this song in his youth. He found the video and shared it with me. I am so thankful that he did. It was written by two prisoners (you can read about that here) but was made famous by Johnnie Ray. If you are of a certain generation (and even if you are not), I have a feeling this will bring a smile.
I love the bike lane (to the left of the sidewalk) and the trees on Hornby Street. With the seasonal changes, our walk to the Vancouver Art Gallery was a delight.
St. Lawrence shown in Buonaccorso's painting. One of the things I appreciate is that I continue to learn every day. I forget at least two thirds of it but I'm still grateful for whatever manages to stick :)
The Return Project. An item is bought in a store, disassembled, and formed into a new object that is then returned to the store.
The returned object – that is, the art object - enters and circulates in the inventory of the store and is once again available for sale, but at the store’s determined price." That last quote is taken from the artist's web site, a fascinating one that will explain the details of a much more complex process than I've told you about here, should you have the time to explore it further.
The kindness of a stranger helped me to get this shot of the Supermoon/Eclipse the following evening. I was struggling to find the correct setting on my camera. He kindly put my camera on his tripod, and then took time to experiment with settings (even though his own camera was a different make). In the end, though it wasn't perfect, we were both pretty happy with this result. His name turned out to be Kerry Plowman. I've just discovered his Flickr site and see that he is, among other things, a creative and talented photographer.
Someone had used purple paint and glitter to give this rock in Olympic Spirit Park a new look.
We rode our bikes to Stanley Park on another day of clear, blue skies. Then we walked part way around the seawall hoping for another glimpse of the grey whale (shown in the previous post).
We could see that the winds were brisk over the water, but the sun was warm..
and the beautiful foliage made us feel like the luckiest people on the planet.
The owners of this boat weren't having such a great day.
Many had gathered, hoping to see and celebrate the successful boat rescue.
The crew worked for a long time. We continued on our way, thinking that boat ownership is not for the faint of heart.
An hour later, returning to our bikes, we saw that no progress had been made. Perhaps, the tired crew struggled that day to feel thankful, but in the big scheme of things, no one was injured, they had lots of family/friend support, and they were close enough to shore to walk to safety. Hopefully, when the tide rose, it would be possible to free the boat.
Though we didn't see the grey whale that day, we did see some Oyster Catchers.
They are (apparently) fairly common around Vancouver, but I have only seen..
them a few times, and it had been at least two years since the last sighting.
A couple of posts back, I showed you some of the thousands of Inukshuks around the seawall. We had wondered who creates them and how long they remain..
before the tide or wind topples them. This day, we began to realize they are..
a sort of perpetual, informal public art display. People come by, try their hand at..
building one or two and continue on their way. Bill's is the front one on this log in the photo below. He thought someone should consider building "out" rather than "up" and I thought his idea had merit :)
Since that first whale sighting, we've spent a lot more time than usual inspecting the Stanley Park Seawall. Hoping for another sighting has taken us to other moments that were equally special. We see cormorants all the time, but the way they were tucked into Siwash Rock that day was new to us.
They seemed to find comfortable spots in impossible spaces.
Some slept while others appeared to keep watch..
over the family.
As many times as we had passed by Siwash Rock, the legend of "Skalsh the Unselfish" had somehow escaped my notice. I had always noticed, though, the tree on top (it's a Douglas Fir) and often wondered how it managed to survive. Well, today, I was happy to find its story at this site.
The gate you see here is closed when storms make the seawall dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. While I took shots of the cormorants, Bill..
took care of the bicycles.
Then, he and Black Jack sat and admired the beach.
They didn't sit for long :) Black Jack is very sure-footed..
and wherever she goes, Bill..
is usually close behind.
I love to watch them traverse rocks with such awesome balance and grace.
This cyclist stopped to play with the inukshuks, and I loved his silhouette in the brilliant sunlight.
October 6th - 3rd time lucky
Once more, we rode to Stanley Park and walked along the seawall, hoping to see the whale. This chair just seemed to pop out of nowhere. Neither of us had ever noticed it before. We are either less observant than I realized, or it is brand new. Bill and Black Jack tested it out. :)
Then they explored the logs along the beach.
There was a fairly brisk wind and we sat for a while on a park bench watching leaves float down from the trees behind us, and into the ocean.
It's tougher to capture a soaring leaf than a soaring bird, so I was happy..
to follow this leaf's journey..
into the water.
When we sit together on a beautiful day looking over a land or ocean vista, I always feel at peace.. and yes, thoughts of appreciation run through my mind. We talk, we laugh, we dream and sometimes, we discover. What I took to be small seagulls were spinning and whirling through the air.
They landed for a quick moment, and then were off again. It occurred to me that they didn't really look like seagulls and the word "shearwater" kept popping into..
my mind. I looked in my bird book but haven't made a positive identification, so as always in these situations, if anyone can name them, that will be one more "thank-you" for this post.
Bill has peeked behind this driftwood "sculpture" before, but he couldn't resist doing it again, and as always, his mischievous smile melted my heart.
We discussed the astounding sense of balance the person must have had to place that little white pebble at such a tilt on the inukshuk below. Then we headed back to our bikes. We were almost..
there when our hearts soared. A second opportunity to see a grey whale!
As the light in the sky tuned to tangerine, the whale made his/her way..
along the shore and we followed as quickly as we could. As with our first sighting,
I was often unsure which part of the whale we were seeing,
but the powerful surges through the water were breathtaking to see.
Taking in krill?
I think s/he is moving to the right, here, with one of the blow holes showing.
Rolling over as food is consumed?
This, and the photo above, were the only two to appear more white than grey.
These people were very close (too close, I worried) to the whale. One thing for sure, their hearts must have been pounding with excitement.
Lots of people gathered to watch. The whale came almost up to the Burrard..
Bridge, and I worried that s/he might end up in False Creek. That didn't happen. I'm pretty sure this is a "good-bye" of the flipper, followed by one last..
blow (from both blow holes), before heading to the other side of the bay.
I continue to watch for the whale (no one seems quite sure if there is just one, or whether there may be a couple of them around), but will always be grateful that we were afforded a second look.
That concludes the post for today. Thank you so much, everyone, for dropping by. Until next time!