Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The letter B

Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday is braving the letter B today.  The brain has been on my mind a lot lately.  There are lots of other B's in my life and I'm going to highlight a few of them as I take you through our day yesterday, but if you have time to listen to this 18-minute TED talk by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, I think it will stay with you. You will find the picture below on that page, and the video of the speech at the bottom of the page.
If you have spent even a few minutes at this blog, you will probably have figured out that my love for them is brobdingnagian.
I took this photo a couple of days ago.  It was on a balcony (maybe the 3rd or 4th floor up) and it bulldozed its way into my brain so boldly that we stopped later to take the photo.  
My big lens managed only two small sections of this totem that greeted us just before entering Vanier Park.  Its colours, but even more, its welcoming spirit, is beautiful to me.

The colour blue always brigues (intrigues) me.

There were flowers marking the memorial benches where people sit to enjoy the ocean.  I always think of my father and how he loved to sit for a minute, perhaps meeting someone and exchanging a story or two, or perhaps, just resting his tired legs.  The sign below the flowers really struck me yesterday.  It gives a benchmark of the things that mattered to Motaz Derhalli.  What a beautiful spirit comes through those words.
Yesterday, we rode our bikes past Granville Island and into Vanier Park.  From there, we made our way to the Burrard Bridge for the ride home.  Here, you can see the Granville Bridge in front and the Burrard Bridge behind it.  You will notice some "B" words scattered throughout the post that I found at the "Unusual words that begin with B" site. Barodynamics is the science of support and mechanics of bridges. 
Boats are part of our daily comings and goings.  They are always present on False Creek. Sometimes, we ride the small ferries to get to the other side, and sometimes, we just like to look at the sailboats.  I am brigued by ships as well, though I do worry about the increasing number of them along English Bay.

We saw this blue heron hunting in a pond between the Granville and the Cambie bridges.
This seagull was taking a bath.  Just a note here that, though I didn't get a photo, we saw Tupper, our favourite seagull, yesterday, for the first time in five days.  That gave both of us brobdingnagian (immense) happiness.  If you are wondering how to pronounce that word, you can find out here.
Bath time, again, this time for a cormorant.
A baby duck in a small pond searched for its mother.

The cormorants flew steadily between English Bay and Vanier Park.  I didn't get the light right, but was brigued by their flight patterns.

Bill spotted these beautiful lilies..
 and behind those, were wonderfully lush gardens.
Berries are blooms, but deserve a special mention because Bill and I eat some every day.  Not the ones you see below, though.  I do not know what they are, but their brilliance was hard to miss.
A zest for life is everything.  Most of the photos below speak for themselves.

 Black Jack was running with a small treat stuck in her mouth :)

I love this baby crow's brio but also thought of the descriptions bumptious (offensively self-assertive).. 
and babeldom (a confused sound of voices) as I imagined the harried mother's determination..
to stuff something..  anything.. into that gaping mouth.
 A ladybug showed great brio, I thought, in clinging determinedly..
 to Bill's finger.
 It took a lot of convincing to transfer it to the leaf.  From there, it flew away.
This is only a small part of a very strange home on a boat that someone had built as their home base.  We were brigued by it for sure. 
 Our bikes contribute greatly to our life enjoyment.  
 Watching life around us creates a constant barrage of brio.  We are fortunate and we know it.  For more B's across the world, there is no better place to start that Mrs. Nesbitt's meme.  I thank her for starting it, and also appreciate the wonderful volunteers who keep it going.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  May there be lots of brio in your life today and always. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summertime in Vancouver

We biked around the seawall yesterday, enjoying a variety of Vancouver's summertime features.  Our first stop was by a little pond set back from the hubbub of passing cyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair athletes and walkers.  We had enjoyed the waxwings and red winged blackbirds a couple of days earlier but there was no sign of them this time.  It felt like an entirely different place.

A dragonfly, slim and delicate, rested on a leaf.
 Some geese landed noisily.
 A heron hid in the reeds, 
and then flew.. 
 to the other side of the pond.
 The geese cleared a path for..
 the landing.
 A sunbather was eating lunch behind us and this bird (id help welcomed) landed, hoping for a crumb.    
This house sparrow (Thanks, ChrisJ) rejected crumbs in favour of a more natural diet.
 Is that the dragonfly?  Chain of life, I guess, but still sorta sad. 
Back on our bikes, we enjoyed the perfect day.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Just a little breeze.  People moved at a variety of speeds and there was a place for all.  We chose a shady bench to sit for a while, a sudden lull in the activity feeling as though the world had come to a stop.  We talked, declared our love for each other and were gloriously content until a cormorant, learning to fly, crash landed on the bike path.  Stunned, it managed to pick itself up, limp to the edge of the seawall and fly from there to the water.  I still think about it this morning.  Nature is as unforgiving as it is beautiful, something that I accept with difficulty.  Back on our bikes, I was grateful to Bill for helping me shake the sadness.  He chose the next stop at Sunset Beach.    A group of young musicians were playing, "You Are My Sunshine."  I learned that they are the Carlo Rossi Gang
 There was a lot of fun..
 and festivity in their music. 
I looked around and wondered for the umpteenth time how we manage to have tropical trees in a temperate climate, but the Palm trees do seem to flourish.
 I took a few more pictures of the musicians,
 thinking that their old-time joie de vivre..
 must make even the seagulls happy.
The sun poured over Bill and Black Jack,
 and over the flowers marking the border between the street and the beach.
 On the other side of the street, there were more flowers,
 and behind those, the shops on Denman Street.
 At first, I didn't see Joe Liang.  He was in the small garden between the two main streets.
 Whenever I have the opportunity to photograph..
 action such as this, I yearn for another chance to get it right.
  Joe is incredibly fit, and was willing to repeat spectacular moves over and over..
 but my big lens had to catch what it could from the other side of the street.
No, Joe isn't holding on to the tree in this one, 
 and yes, these are complete revolutions.   
 I hope I come across you again, Joe. 
 My wish would be for the same magnificent light..
 over a larger and less cluttered space.
   But, if that doesn't happen, I will remember your..
 energy, friendly manner, and remarkable talent.
Our ride home took us down a lovely hill by the ocean (remember that one, Sherrill?) and we rode it with adrenalin flowing but stomachs rumbling. It was 9:30 when we finally had supper! 
Bill said to blame it on the sunset :)  I'll share our day with Our World Tuesday.   Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers who keep it running, and to you for taking time to stop by for a read.  Happy Tuesday, everyone.