Monday, March 2, 2015

Some Good Times in Vancouver

Posting some enjoyable times in Vancouver to Sundays in My City, with many thanks to Claudya (Unknown Mami).

This tree was overflowing with blossoms when I went for my piano lesson..
at UBC last week.
The petals opened up avenues of thought, as did Bogden, my teacher.  I am so very fortunate to have time and energy to explore music under his tutelage and insight. 
Before the lesson, I wandered about the campus grounds.  It is difficult to make them out..
but in the background is a long line of parked bikes, a happy indicator of perfect weather.  
I have enjoyed Rodney Graham's art a few times, but had not looked at this piece, though it is very close to UBC's music building.
I skimmed the info you see here but really didn't take it in,
and confess that I judged UBC to have misspent what must have been quite a sum for this work, titled Millennial Time Machine.  However, I took some photos, loved the reflections, and only after studying those at home, noticed the camera in the top left corner.
Then, I went back and read the information much more carefully.
There was way more to think about than I had realized and I was reminded of a lesson that applies to daily life but is so easy to forget - do not judge without full knowledge.  Even then, a flexible, generous and open mind is far more likely to be enriched than a judgmental one. 
I rode my bicycle to the lesson.  It's an uphill ride, but that makes the return via Cypress Street all the more fun. I was reminded of my bicycle commutes before retirement..
and how I looked forward to the ride down Cypress Street's bike lane on spring mornings, because the cherry blossoms always seemed to open there first.
We met Molly during an afternoon walk along False Creek's walkway.  She was practicing Capoeira, and told us..
it is a Brazilian martial art usually done to music, and combining defence with dance moves.
She was generously allowed me to take photos..
and really put her heart into showing us..
a sport that she clearly loves.  Thanks, Molly!
This video will give you a great idea of the music, the instruments and the moves that make this such a beautiful sport.

We have had some lovely days in Vancouver and it's great fun to people-watch around the parks and beaches.  These young people managed to put the tiny space..
 under the Cambie Bridge to very good use.  How the fellow in the white shirt balanced..
 on that tiny A-frame (even for a second) is a total mystery to me :)
I continue to be fascinated by water reflections..
because they are never, ever exactly the same.  
This juggler was also enjoying a spot under the Cambie Bridge.  I loved the fluidity of his..
motion - it seemed like we had gone from one dance performance to the next without paying a penny for the entertainment. I learned that his name is Matt Majid and he has been practicing Elite Bartending for eight years.  Here's his twitter account.
He loves this spot by the playground under the bridge because of the recycled rubber surface.  Very important when your juggling items are the ones used to mix drinks.  The noise factor, the rain-protection granted from the bridge, and the entertainment provided for children make this an ideal place to hone his skills.  
We met him a second day and this time, he shook Bill's hand and took the time to talk with us about a few of the things that give him great pleasure.  I'm going to make this a to-be-continued topic, as his story of a little boy and his mother really touched my heart.   
More about Matt to follow soon.  Many thanks for stopping by.  The sun is shining here in Vancouver, as I hope it is in your hearts, regardless of the weather.  Have a happy Monday! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mostly Bird Critters

Posting the week's critters to Saturday's Critters (thank you, Eileen!) and I'd-Rather-B-Birdin. (thank you, Anni!)  If you enjoy critters and birds of every imaginable variety, these are two excellent memes to visit.

Cormorants on the Brush with Illumination sculpture in False Creek..
gave thanks for the sunny weather a few days ago.
We've been watching this hummingbird lately..
and call him Henry.
I'm hoping he hangs around for a while longer.
Perhaps, he will even raise a family in the area.
As we watched Henry, this eagle flew high overhead.
Henry didn't appear to be worried for his safety.
The Cormorants..
flew back and forth between the Cambie and Burrard Bridges..
This bee was our first..
of the season.
I've been trying to catch Henry in flight.  So far, not very successfully..  :)
A Lost Lagoon visit was fun a few days ago.  A Blue Heron worked on balance skills, 
and Wood Ducks lined up on a log.
It took a while to finally catch the heron with eyes open.
This mallard aggressively chased off competitors for his lady love.
There were just a few American Coots.  
We saw four Mute Swans.
This one was moving at an incredibly fast pace, 
rushing to the dock and then spinning around .. 
perhaps in an effort to impress the ladies and intimidate competitors.
Love the curve of the neck..
and patterns in the water.
Chick-a-dees approached, 
but we had forgotten to bring along treats for them.
Black Jack has no interest in birds, but..
this critter definitely caught her attention.
I spent some time watching this bird.  I'm wondering if..
s/he was a juvenile Towhee, or perhaps, more likely..
a Fox Sparrow.
Whatever the id, s/he sure was cute.
I love this tipsy photo of Bill and Black Jack on a rock.
Black Jack sat nicely for about two seconds :)
We had the definite feeling that birds were watching us..
at least as closely as we watched them.
This Australian Blue Heeler puppy was in the dog run at Olympic Village Park. 
He was having a wonderful time letting off steam though he ran full force into the fence at one point.  His human, to my distress, laughed.  She told us he is a "Teacup" and will grow only a tiny bit larger.  My understanding of "Teacups" is that there is no such official breed, and that it is simply a backyard breeder ploy to sell more dogs.  
This article, titled Cuteness Kills: the Case Against Teacup Dogs, seems to back up my view.  I won't ever be buying a "Teacup" but hope this little guy will have a good life.
We saw this very busy robin just a few minutes later.
And yesterday, on another walk, we watched these two crows attempt to open a pizza box.
The one on the right seemed to have the best approach, 
but the one on the left..
had other ideas.
Fortunately, this box was empty (healthier for the crows).  The first bird walked away, perhaps deciding it would be best to let his/her (young) partner learn by his/her mistakes :) 
Sorry about multiple posts today.  Just trying to catch up.  Many, many thanks for visiting!