My Favorite Feathered Friends

Well I knew it couldn’t hold out forever. The sun finally broke out in these parts this past week-end, and as I’m writing this now on Tuesday morning, I see that it’s back outside my window for a return visit. Never one to pass up an opportunity, or to leave my camera at home feeling lonely, I grabbed my favorite Nikon and headed out for a walk, just to see what I could find.

So after strolling here and strolling there, I ended up at one of the local parks, and guess what? (Drum roll please….) The boys (and the girls) are back in town! Yes! There in the duck-pond, swimming and diving, then climbing up on the edges of the pond to shake those little tail-feathers. Oh yes..it was quite the show. And they were so happy. They didn’t even mind the party being crashed by a couple Canada Geese trying to fool everyone into thinking they were just oversized Mallards with strange complexions. Nah! It was a good party, everyone enjoyed themselves, and I snapped a couple pictures before I left just so you folks could feel like you were there. Because your absence from the festivities was noted, and we (the ducks and I) are really hoping you can make it next year. So mark it on your calendar. But for this year, I guess a couple pictures will have to do, and that little rock figurine (a small Inukshuk) by the water that you see in one of those pictures, was specially erected just for you guys so that if you do make it to next year’s party, you’ll know you’re at the right place. There is even a picture that explains the parking method we prefer here in Vancouver after we have a beer or two (which is why I only VERY seldom imbibe alcoholic beverages). In the meantime, stay healthy, happy, and safe.

My Favorite Feathered Friends

Seeking Answers

As I read the news each day, trying to make sense of the things happening in this world, I sometimes think I fall further and further behind, rather than making any progress in my attempt to understand these things. I guess part of the reason for that is the whirlwind speed with which the events I’m familiar with change as well as how quickly new events are added to the mix, and quite often the newer events directly impact the older, adding a whole different dimension to the problem, so that sometimes I’m left wondering if there is really any sense in trying to keep up with these things in the first place? Though I may hesitate somewhat at first, the answer to that particular question is always quite easy to arrive at, it’s always the same, and it’s always , “Yes”. For myself at least, I have to try and understand what it is that makes this world tick, what makes some people so happy, and some people so sad, and yet others, apparently so oblivious to the whole thing, and seemingly quite content in their lack of knowledge regarding their fellow man/woman, and the world they exist in.

The process of exploration for me, the means by which I delve into the mysteries before me, are quite varied, and sometimes I’ll favor one way, while at other times I’ll try something different. I’ve had mixed degrees of success using each of the methods, and I’ve encountered many times when none of them have worked to my complete satisfaction. As a Christian, one of the first avenues I’ll very often turn down will be prayer and Bible study. With a Christian and comparative religions library in my house of close to 1500 books, it’s a good source of material if the problem I’m dealing with is of a religious or ethical nature. Also very handy for dealing with problems of a Social nature, as well as other related fields.

I also have secular books to turn to if the need arises, and while my secular library is not as extensive as my Christian library, I am connected, of course, to the Internet, and very well versed in hunting down information related to whatever topic I am currently investigating. As well as using the Internet as a Library, I maintain a Blog, and more importantly, I loosely follow in excess of 200 other blogs covering a range of opinions and topics. Apart from the blogs that I follow, I use Google+, and subscribe to several newspapers. I don’t use Facebook, having cut all ties with Mr. Zuckerberg’s organization almost 2 years ago, and even refusing to comment on any site that uses a Facebook comment tool (since Facebook would use that as implied permission to re-open my account even though they know it’s the last thing I would want).

And then, finally, there is personal contact with other individuals, which anybody who knows me will realize is very few people because of some childhood issues I have that make it somewhat difficult to cultivate close friendships. Nevertheless, there are a few these days (perhaps a sign of successful counselling), and I would be remiss if I did not include them as one of the means through which I try to work these things out. And there is another one, a very large one really, and one that you should all be quite familiar with. It’s the one that I’m going to end this piece with, and the reason it works so well is that it relaxes me in a way that is unique to itself. When I engage in this practice, my mind settles down, and even my heart and my breathing seem to benefit. Naturally I’m talking about taking pictures, and also checking out those pictures from time to time. So with all that said, let me end this with just a little gallery, and my fondest wish that you’ll find an enjoyable picture or two in the mix. Actually, you’ll find the pictures right after a quote I found by the same gentleman whom you might remember for his quote that became known as the Alcoholic’s Anonymous Prayer. I thought this quote of his was very fitting to this post, so I thought I’d share it with you just before the pictures.

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. 

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love. 

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”

-Reinhold Niebuhr-

(“The Irony of American History”)


The Magnificent Female Mallard
The Magnificent Female Mallard
Angel Feathers 2
Angel Feathers 2
Mallard and Marbled Water
Mallard and Marbled Water
Angel Feathers
Angel Feathers
Mister and Missus Mallard
Mister and Missus Mallard
Autumn Softness
Autumn Softness
Mallard Close-up
Mallard Close-up
Feathers and Glass
Feathers and Glass
One of the Softest Plants I've Ever Seen
One of the Softest Plants I’ve Ever Seen
The Magnificent Mallard
The Magnificent Mallard

Quote

Overcast In Central Park

Well it’s been so hot here as of late, that when we got a day yesterday that was overcast, I grabbed my camera and headed out to Burnaby BC, which is just across Boundary Road on the east side of Vancouver. Just as we have Stanley Park here in Vancouver proper which is a Temperate Rain-Forest Preserve, Burnaby has Central Park, which itself is another huge (222 acres) Temperate Rain-Forest Preserve, and while both areas obviously have much in common, they have enough differences that I like to alternate between them when I’m out looking for some good locations to shoot.

Anyway, I’m not going to take up a lot of space yakking your ears off, but there is one thing I wanted to make sure that I explain, simply because it’s such an everyday sight to me when I’m in these parks (which is all the time) that I sometimes forget that not everybody might understand just what it is that they are looking at. And even though there won’t be a lot of examples in today’s pictures (I came across a couple other things I thought you might like to see first, and we can look at more examples of what I’m talking about in a later set of pictures) there are a couple so I want to offer this explanation up front. It goes like this.

When I show you pictures of trees here in our Rain-forest areas that might look to you like they have multiple legs, to the extent that they might actually be capable of running, or, when you see shots of younger trees that appear to be attempting to beef up by moving around through the forest eating unsuspecting tree stumps, there really is a good explanation for both of these phenomena. The forest floor at this time in the history of our Coastal Temperate Rain-Forests is so acidic that young saplings and seedlings cannot grow in it, or at least not very well. On the other hand, much of the undergrowth, such as the ferns, really like the acidity. So what the forest management teams do (as far as I understand these things) is plant the seedlings in the old stumps of trees that were logged in the past, or fell victim to lightning or fire. This keeps the young trees off the forest floor until they are old enough to handle the acidic composition, and the stumps serve as nutrients themselves, and also as channels allowing the young trees to tap in to their established root system. Of course, as time progresses, the stump disintegrates, leaving the sapling, which is now a mature tree with what appears to be legs where it has grown down around the sides of the former stump. Catch it at the right time in the process, and especially in the right light, and it can really look like the new tree is hunting down, capturing, and eating unsuspecting stumps. But don’t take my word for it, here’s the pictures.

Gallery

Christmas Break 2014

Well, that moment is upon us, and since I truly meant it when I told people that I would be taking a break from blogging at Christmas, it is time to remain true to my word, and escape from the keyboard for Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, which interestingly enough is also the 100th day that this particular Blog, Vancouver Visions, will have been been in existence. A quick look at my stats tells me that I have had in these 99 days, 4085 page views, and though it says I have 834 followers, the most important part of that stat is the 181 of those followers who are actually fellow WordPress Bloggers. If I may say so and still retain at least a modicum of humility, not all that bad for a Blog that’s had less than 75 posts, and is being written entirely by a guy who really had no idea if he was going to be able to manage surviving the first month without having a personal meltdown that he may or may not have ever recovered from. But anyway, I have survived this far, and I want to thank all you wonderful people out there who have had so much to do with that. I thank you for reading the sometimes silly stuff I write, or looking at the amateurish photos I garnish my pages with, and the art that at times strains the concept of artistic freedom, or the same for the poetry and my version of poetic license. If someone were to ask me to explain why people keep coming back to my site, I don’t think I could, but I’m glad that you do, so before I get on with the gallery that I’m going to leave here for anyone who drops by over the holidays, I just want to say thank-you to all of you one more time, and make sure you know that it really is very much appreciated. So with that all said, the gallery is made up of some photos I took of a local flock of mallards that occupy the pond at one of our neighborhood green-spaces, and the rose-hips, and the tiny little flowers were growing just on the edge of the same area. I hope you enjoy the pictures, the weather was great for the day before Christmas, and I hope that Santa is good to all of you tonight, and even more, I hope all of you are good to each other. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

Christmas Break 2014