Claira and then Helen and then Nara get sick.
Hiking to Yew Lake
Generally in the winter we try to keep the
kids in activities both days on the weekend. Over the summer
we do the opposite - no classes. Our last class on Sundays
(Claira's Gymnastics at Mount Pleasant) just ran out so we had the
whole morning (don't miss that nap!) to ourselves. I thought
hiking would be fun - I chose Yew Lake at Cypress Mountain.
There are things you forget about hiking
when you grow up - somehow kinds just know what to do. Rule
1 - you must have a stick. Rule 2 - that stick gets put in
every wet patch, spider web or unidentified hole in the ground,
even if it means you only cover 100 meters and hour. Rule 3
- if you get tired, ask for a pickup.
We were leisurely until we got to Yew Lake (about 1.8km).
Then we realized we might have a late lunch and then miss the nap
so we stepped up the pace.
We had lunch at on of the picnic sites on
the way down the mountain. The site has a huge grass field
cover in dandelions so the kids had a great time blowing them
out. The could have blown Dandelions for the whole day and
still had thousands left to play with.
VanDusen in Spring
Claira wasn't feeling well so I took Nara
out for a walk at VanDusen. Right at the entrance is a small
creek draining into lake and we found a mother Mallard with two
ducklings. Being an urban bird, the Mom was vigilant when
her babies started walking toward us - the babies seemed pretty
Being spring, everything in the garden is
going strong. We found eleven Red Ear sliders (aqarium
escape turtles) sunning themselves in the main pond. Two
were sunning themselves very close to the path so I could get
close to take a photo.
After all the wildlife, Nara wasn't very patient with me taking
photos of flowers. Oh well - maybe another time.
Riding Bikes in the River District
Nara really likes to ride her bike.
This is a good thing. Biking around our house is a little
crazy - the sea wall is thick with pedestrians and has a steep
drop off right at the edge of the trail. In my quest to find
a safer place to bike, I got the bike rack on the car and we drove
to the river district on South East Vancouver.
The trail is wide, flat and doesn't have a steep drop off into the
river. We stopped off at the playground for a little
playing around, but basically biked 5 km from the car to the end
of the trail and back.
Their are a few minus. There are a lot of transitions -
biking over a rail line at one point, on the road at
another. Second - there is a lot of open sky - you better
bring your sun cream because it's exposed. We had a good
Richmond Nature Park
Claira was finished her afternoon nap and
Helen wasn't feeling well so I took the kids to the Richmond
Nature Park so Mom could get a little sleep. We don't often
go later in the afternoon, but it worked out well - the heat of
the day was off and there was lots of wildlife to see. We
found a very brave tadpole near the shore of the pond and the kids
got a good look at it.
Both kids like watching the dragonflies
and there is always a good selection of dragon flies around the
pond. The kids can sit on the railings and watch the
dragonflies chase each other, perch and just fly about.
We went for a walk on the boardwalk
and Nara found an inchworm. They are fun to watch but too
small to bite so the kids had fun. I haven't had much luck
finding the species but we know the chickadee's like to feed these
to their babies - we watched it on the nest cam in the nature
Pine Street Community Garden
Something like 3 years ago (before we had
Claira) I put my name down for a community garden plot.
Amazingly, I got an e-mail and found out there was a plot
available. A lot had happened in those three years - What
was once a corner auto body shop was torn down and the city create
a park in it's place. CN rail had decided to assert it's
rights to the right of way and razed half of the garden - the
guerilla gardener half. The community garden had e-mailed
the 100 people on the list ahead of us and only a handful had
expressed interest. And so we got a plot.
I hate mowing the lawn (part of the reason
I live in a condo) so getting a garden isn't an obvious next
step. I think it's good for the kids to be involved in
longer term things, but I'm also nice to just walk a few blocks in
the evening and spend a few minutes puttering
outside. Funny enough though - it's isn't just a
few minutes. Our garden hasn't had near by water for quite a
while so we need to water using water cans. A lot of
can's. Turns out having a garden (5 feet by 10 feet raised
bed) is a replacement for gym time.
The beds were made an filled by the city. I heard a rumor
that they are filled with mushroom manure. When the weather
is just right, we do actually get mushrooms sprouting up. We
have had a mixed bag of reactions - the tomatoes love the soil but
the onions are having a really hard time. Maybe next year
we'll add some soil conditioning before we plant again.
Is it good for the kids? Pine Street Community gardens is
rare in that it has a playground right next to the gardens.
The kids definitely are interested in what's going on and want to
help, but you can't expect all 7 water can's to be
interesting. I figure any time outside (garden or
playground) is good for a kid.
Downtown Vancouver Buildings
My coworker Bob found a really nice set of
images online - the photographer had photographed buildings
isolated from others to make them look like a chess set. The
images were black and white shot near the base of the
building. We thought it would be fun to wander Vancouver and
try our own project that was similar.
I learned a lot which is a nice way of saying it wasn't very
successful. The images don't hang together well because of
the changing light. I messed up the aspect ratio - I should
have tried to shoot everything at a 1:3 ratio rather than the
portrait 2:3 ratio so that a collection of images would lay out
better. I was glad I bracketed all the shots because the
exposure was quite wide - center was rarely my favorite
choice. I'm not generally a fan of HDR, but the contrast it
so high in many of the images that there would be quite a bit of
blow out. Trying to make up a set:
I went with a near black and white treatment because that is the
only way I can get the sky's to line up without being
ridiculous. Do they make a set? Barely. If I
spent a few more nights and scouted a few more locations?
Maybe. Could Vancouver provide both a black and a white
set? I'm not convinced.
Abstract Peony Photography
My mother-in-law's garden has a large collection of peony's from
before Helen got married. Every year she brings over
beautiful bouquets from the spring flowers. I happened to be
at VanDusen a few weeks before and saw some photos that made me
think of a very macro kind of style.
I have an old 20mm lens and a reversing ring on my camera.
It gives me better than 1-to-1 magnification
Tags: building(8), Vancouver(8), HDR(7), Richmond Nature Park(6), VanDusen(6), dandelion(5)
People: Nara(7), Claira(6)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2020 to 2005 > May 2015
Last Modified Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 at 22:13:11 Edit
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