And some clever quip...
Doors Open Vancouver
This is my first year at Doors Open
Vancouver. For our first destination we picked the waste
heat reclamation plant under the Cambie Street Bridge - the False
Creek Energy Centre. I've always been curious about the
pipes so we took the kids to do a tour. The space is
surprisingly large - three stories underground full of various
coloured pipes and pumps. We all got hard hats and they
showed us the various stages of waste heat reclamation and
providing hot water to the buildings in the Olympic Village.
It was noisy (big machines running) so the Claira wanted to be
Our next destination was the Orphium
Theatre. I didn't know that the city owned it, but
apparently they do and the doors opened at 1pm. I was
surprised at the line up when we arrived at ten to one - roughly a
city block of people patiently waiting to get inside.
Thankfully the line up went fast and we were released to tour as
we wished. The VSO had their instruments on stage so there
were no on stage/back stage tours.
The Vancouver Ballet was clever and had a
station with Ballerinas in costume to promote their next
performance. They were happy to submit to photos and they
very quickly got a line as well. I thought Nara would really
be into seeing places she couldn't normally, but really she justed
wanted to go home and colour. We went home and she coloured.
Flight Path Park
On Sundays Nara has Chinese class in the
morning - finishing just before lunch time. The weather was
really nice and the kids always want to ride their bikes so we
decided to go to Flight Path Park in Richmond. The Park has
paved "runways" for the kids to ride on, a squashed globe for the
kids to climb on and some nice picnic tables to have lunch.
The Runways are flat and straight almost
perfect for fun ride. Claira received her kick bike for
Christmas but she has never ridden it more than a few
meters. Today she rolled over the odometer - both going long
distance and truly sitting on it to scoot. Nara completed
Pedalheads camp this summer and she was keen to show off her new
skills - riding while standing, one hand steering (so the other
hand can give signals) and no feet riding because that's just
In classic family fashion, the kids just wanted to bike while the
parents wanted to eat lunch. After a bit of bike riding, we
got together and had lunch. Helen packed lunch for the kids
and got take away for the adults. Helen has been following
Bento box websites to get some ideas on how to dress up kids
lunches. Nara really likes the animal sandwiches.
Victoria for Thanksgiving
My mother kindly offered to have us over for
Thanksgiving. We piled into the car on Friday night and the
kids arrived in Victoria wide awake at the unnatural hour
10pm. Quick bath, to bed and we hoped they would sleep
in. Not so much for me - as it's fall and sunrise is quite
late, I decided to wanted to get up at sunrise and see Saanich
Spit - a place I had never been to.
I was quite impressed with the view from the spit at sunrise - the
beach had no one out walking a dog and beautiful views of the
still water over to James Island. I walked along the beach
for a while until I saw four Killdeer feeding at the waters
edge. After chasing each other for a while, I went back to
parking lot are and walked the other side - the protected pool
behind the spit. The mirror flat water reflected the fall
colours on the other side - a great backdrop for shore birds and a
great blue heron.
But my kids were waking up so I drove home. Nara wasn't
feeling well so it was just Claira, Grandma and I for a trip to
On Sunday and Wednesday mornings Swan Lake has a drop in birding
event. A volunteer guide generally walks around the lake for
about 2 hours and a small group of followers learn things.
Sometimes a lot of things. They keep a list of birds they
see which is posted on their website. Last week they saw two
birds I really wanted to see - a Sora and Virgina Rail. I
was there at the appointed time (with my ridiculously large lens)
and went for a walk.
Not ten feet from the parking lot, the guide points out a Barred
owl I had walked by a few times when I just arrived. We
walked down to the lake side and then out to the old farm fields
where we saw a second owl - a Great Horned owl. In between
we had seen enumerable small birds but the pace was a bit too fast
for me too keep up. Satisfied already, I headed home.
It's raining a little on the Monday before
you go back home. Your kids will be traveling for the better
part of four hours. What do you do? The obvious answer
is go for a walk in the rain! We drove to Goldstream park
for a walk to the nature house and back.
I was surprised to see the nature house was converted to an art
gallery! Every two years they have a showing of local
artists work and a silent auction with partial and sometimes full
proceeds going to benefit the nature house. I was really
impressed with the work - it was diverse but on theme. The
star of the show as a donated Sue Coleman original painting, right
at the door as you came in. They had a painter in residence
that Nara watched as he painted. We had a good time.
Nara's school does a haunted house every
Halloween. It's a big fundraiser and builds school spirit so
we were going and we went in costume.
The school is decorate to be a haunted house. The gym had lots
of games stations set up and a bouncy Castle. You buy an
activity card ($5 for 20 stamps) and each station uses up some
stamps. Two minutes in the bouncy castle was 50¢.
Richmond Nature Park
Nara has Chinese class on Sunday mornings in Richmond so we often go
over to Richmond Nature park for a little walk and playground time
before we do some shopping. I was happy with two pictures I
took today - a Hairy Woodpecked and an Anna's Hummingbird.
I've seen both species before (especially the hummingbird) but they
are still nice to see.
I took the girls down to Granville Island for some outside
time. When we made it down there we were surprised to find
that there was trick-or-treating at the kids market. I ran
into an old friend - turns out there is a whole day of activities if
you are interested - Yaletown downtown also does trick-or-treat
Last year were were in Japan for Halloween so Nara didn't get the
whole experience (the food floors in the basements of department
stores did have trick-or-treating for kids though). This was
Nara's first year actually going door to door. We live in a
condo so we went to a close by neighborhood of houses.
Halloween on Commercial Drive
I have had some great times taking photos at Commercial Drive on
Halloween - generally the Parade of Lost Souls. After we got
the kids to be I thought it would be fun to go out and see what
was going on.
There were a few things not in my favor.
First, it was raining. Second, Halloween and the parade
happened on the same night this year. Third, I was late - the
parade had already happened and the crowds were diminishing, not
growing. That said, there were still lots of
opportunities. People were shooting off fireworks everywhere
which is always fun to see.
There was a large crowd surrounding a drumming circle. There
was little light and it was a tight crowd so I had a tough time with
my 50mm, f1.4. Next year, I would being my 35mm lens
instead. One enterprising photographer set up a light with a
generator and was taking portraits of people in their
costumes. I'm sure they had a lot of good material to work
Tags: bird(4), Swan Lake(3), costume(3), biking(2), food porn(2), lunch(2)
People: Nara(11), Claira(11), Helen(4), John(1), Janet(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > October 2015
Last Modified Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 at 20:46:19 Edit
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