Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hodge-Podge of Images and Thoughts

Beginning yesterday and traveling back in time: 
Monday, November 28th
A Kingfisher was busy looking for its next meal in McKay Creek in North Vancouver.  
There were lots of ducks around as well.  I think this was a Common Goldeneye (female) 
A kayaker came by.  He saw my interest in the kingfisher, and pulled up to the shore for a few moments.  I asked him if he did much kayaking and he said that he is caregiver for his wife, and gets out just once in a while for a couple of hours.  
 The kingfisher spotted something tasty and took off.
 On my way back into the school, I thought for the umpteenth time about these berries and their name that continues to escape me. 
Later in the evening, riding through the reserve on my way to the Lions Gate Bridge, I stopped to admire blue decorations on one of the houses, set against a background of bridge lights.  The big lens was still on my camera, and my fingers were a little too cold to change it.  This was the capture.  I hope to stop one more time and try again with the smaller lens.
 Sunday, November 27th.
The moon, from my balcony.  It was just a sliver, but multiplied with my slightly unsteady hand.
 Here's the steadier version.
Earlier in the day, another shot from the balcony.  There are lots of leafless trees in Vancouver now, but a few are stubbornly holding on to their colour, in spite of some really windy days.
It was Grey Cup day, and when the rain stopped, Black Jack and I walked around the seawall past Science World, up Main Street to Broadway, and then back down over the Cambie Street Bridge.  
I saw this eagle soaring over the stadium but couldn't get a shot.  I've seen it several times there, but never managed to catch it.  I wonder if it is one of the Vanier Nest eagles.  Later, just as we were crossing a busy street to approach the Cambie Bridge, it flew directly overhead.  I so wanted to stop right in the middle of the street, but that wasn't an option.  By the time we reached the other side, it was leaving the area, but I managed to get a parting shot.  A Chinese man and his wife stopped to talk to me.  They were thrilled to see the eagle.
It was my first time ever walking over the Cambie Bridge.  It isn't far from my apartment, but..
 seeing familiar surroundings from a new perspective was fun.
 BC Lions fans were walking to the game, 
and in between view shots,
 I caught some of the orange enthusiasm.  
Science World,
 Time Top,
the stadium roof looking like a giant pillow with the top of an apartment building sitting at its center,
a side shot of fanned and vertical lines,
and a few more familiar landmarks (no time for links today) all took on a new look, as seen from the Cambie Bridge.
Saturday, November 26th
Bill and I drove to North Vancouver for a Capilano University production of Arabian Nights.  On the way, I leaned forward in the truck to catch yet another perspective of the stadium. 
 We had front row seats (thank you, Bill!) and this was the set as we arrived.
They asked that no pictures be taken with flash, so I went to manual and caught this scene in psychedelic mode.  It was a wild and crazy scene with lots of background noise, as Sinbad the Sailor described his fantastic journey.  I chose it so that the click of my camera wouldn't be noticed.  However, the light from the display screen was a disturbing problem, so that was the only shot I took.  Drew Facey, the set designer, and Conor Moore, the lighting designer, did some incredible work for this play.  The cliche about it being a "feast for the eyes" really rings true.    
As we drove home through Gastown, I took more truck shots, and Bill actually pulled up so that I could get a couple from the street.  There was a light rain, and a magical glitter..
 supervised by the Woodward sign.
 One last topsy-turvey truck shot.
Friday, November 25th
Margie, a colleague, kindly drove me to school.  She had taken me home the evening before, as a crazy wind storm made it too dangerous to ride my bike.  I arrived at school a bit earlier than usual that morning, and took this cloud-liner shot from my classroom window.  Margie had told me the view as she drove over the Cambie Bridge to pick me up was stunning.  It was that statement that had inspired my bridge walk on Sunday.  Thanks, Margie! 
That same day, Glenys, Bill's niece, received official recognition for an amazing accomplishment.  She defended her doctoral thesis just a couple of days before she gave birth to her second son, Max.  Her first son, Oscar, had his third birthday on Sunday, the 27th.  As if that weren't enough, Glenys is also a violist, performing with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra.  If she isn't Supermom, she surely must be the very next best thing to that description.  Congratulations, Glenys.  You are an incredible woman. This fine photo was taken by Paul, her equally incredible husband. 
That evening, we saw a breathtaking performance by Dance In Vancouver.  The beauty and stimulation of this unforgettable evening continue to bring pleasure several days afterwards.   
Photo by David Cooper
We saw "The Plastic Orchid Factory" by Su-Feh Lee and James Gnam and "New Work - Excerpt" by Wen Wei Dance.  I was blown away by both performances.    
Photo by Emily Cooper
Wednesday, November 23rd
On the way home from school, I took this photo of the setting sun over the shipyards in North Vancouver.
The pigeons were flying to and fro, 
en masse.
 The elevator, from a distance, has a certain beauty, 
 and the clouds in the background formed a white mountain.
Tuesday, November 22nd
We took four classes to Steveston..
 for a tour of the Gulf of Georgia cannery.  Do any of you remember this label?
I was struck by many things during the tour, but the image below is one that won't leave me.  Fishing continues to be a dangerous and hard life, but at the time when only these small boats were used, I truly cannot imagine how anyone survived, let alone made a living.
They lived on these boats for a week at a time.  The only shelter they had was the tarp you see at the back of the boat. Their heads and upper body were under the tarp, but their legs were in the open.  The boat was often knee-deep in fish, and they slept on top of those fish.  
The work in the cannery was also brutal.  Here, you see native women doing 10-12 hour days, with their babies on their backs, and their toddlers standing behind them.  
Later, we had a partial performance of "Salmon Row" done by a few members of the Mortal Coil Theatre Company.  Bill and I had seen this play in the summer, and that performance was the inspiration for the school trip.  After the play, we toured the Chinese Bunkhouse.  Again, a story of incredible fortitude and courage.  Chinese men left their country and families, hoping to make enough money to return to a better life.  You can see photos of this man's children on the table.  Many of them suffered indescribable hardship and loneliness in Canada.  Very few were able to afford to return home, nor were they able to bring their wives and children here.  So many stories to be told, and I hope to come back to a few of them at some future point in this blog.
Here, you can see my reflection in the background, as I take a picture of a model of Mr. Murakami's boat through the window of the boathouse.  I have explored his story, 
and that of his wife, Asayo, in some depth.  If you have a chance to watch a movie called, Obachan's Garden, you can learn more of their history in Steveston.  This is another subject I hope to return to in the future.  
 The white managers' houses were very different from those of the Chinese and Japanese workers. These toys were on display in the house we toured.
These letters were in the white men's bunkhouse.  Edward didn't finish this one to Cecily, 
but here is her response.  Perhaps my photograph will be too small to read, but it gave me a vivid picture of Edward and Cecily.  They have stayed in my mind too.  There is much at Steveston to see and learn and think about.  This short account barely touches the surface.
I posted the two pictures below on Facebook, but thought I should place them here as well.  They were taken on the 18th of November, this one from the overpass behind my school, 
and this one by English Bay, as I made my way homeward.  
That's my hodgepodge of photos for today.  Thanks, as always, for taking time to have a look.  


  1. Lol … I know what you mean about wanting to stand in the middle of the street, although it really wasn’t an option. With camera in hand and drawn to hard-to-resist sights in inconvenient places, I have found myself straddling roadsides trying not to cause an accident. I don’t recall seeing the “spaceship” on the beach before, by the way. Love the idea though … seems as if the Martians HAVE landed. Also loved the sleek city shot at night with all the light reflections … and glad you sometimes get a ride to school in difficult weather. Oh, the dusting of snow gave me a shiver! Thanks as always for sharing these wonderful Vancouver scenes. The city always appears so incredibly special when seen through your eyes, Carol. :)

  2. I can't decide which of the many magnificent photos is my favourite today, but I think it may be the shaky-hand moon one - through the eyes of this dog-lover, it looks like a giant light-filled agility tunnel in the sky!
    I have an aversion to big city downtowns, but your photos allow me to not only see but feel the energy and beauty of the very area where my daughter lives.

  3. Carol another beautiful post. I love the kingfisher series at the beginning, I rarely catch sight of these myself so a treat to me. The shaky moon is great and the night time lights. Thanks for showing details of the city that most of us miss. Hope it's a good and safe commute week> :)

  4. Thanks for your comments on my blog, and as usual you have put up a whole lot of interesting pics on yours. I'm amazed that the bird is a kingfisher, it's so different from an English one but I assume some settler with no talent for birdwatching must have originally given it that name! :)

    The shipyard pictures are just plain stunning. Just wonderful. i love that combination of industrial and natural.

    Is "Aladdin" a panto? Do they have them in Canada?

    And what a hard life working for the cannery... but how fascinating this museum looks.

    Thanks again for another nice post.

  5. Your blog is always so interesting! I always feel that I have learned something new and want to see all the places you have visited. Thanks for the picture of and comment about our wonderful daughter! It was a very special day for so many people!

  6. Hi!
    I am Mie Morioka.
    There are such cool pictures!
    Did you take those pictures?
    Birds are so beautiful.
    Thank you for telling me a nice blog.

    I send you a e-mail one week ago.
    Did you get?

    Mie Morioka