Monday, August 15, 2011

Fantastic Journey Around Vancouver

A CAREFUL LOOK SHOWS two people are reflected in the Freezing Water #7 stainless steel sculpture by Chinese artist Jun Ren, temporarily in Vancouver, BC. The spectacular work also mirrors the blue sky, puffs of clouds and dry grass. Frozen yet visually fluid, the shape reminds me of a whale leaping out of the water or gigantic gull wings rippled by sea breezes.

The exhibit at Vanier Park attracted both Carol, from bikesbirdsnbeasts, and me like a magnet. With a snap of my camera, the two of us were permanently reflected (top photo) and recorded in the art.

The weather was balmy and the company superb last week when I met Carol for the first time in person with her companion Bill and adorable pooch Black Jack. Visiting the regular haunts of this tireless threesome was a fantastic way to explore parts of a city I had seen before but from different perspectives.

As we wandered the False Creek area from David Lam Park to Granville Island and along the seawall there were many interesting sights. Following in Carol's footsteps was eye-opening and it was easy to get hooked on her zest for life and appreciation of nature and local culture.

Carol's blog is one of the most extensive pictorials and writings on local wildlife and current happenings in Vancouver. Her personal point of view comes from the heart and gives rare insight into the community. Always curious, we had hoped to learn about the totem (pictured above) but were unable to find information at its location by the Granville Street Bridge.

During our walk, we spotted Jozsef Toth who builds inukshuks at the water's edge. The face on the head of the stonework was enhanced by rock artist Michelle Vulama.

To the delight of tourists, Jozsef regularly dismantles and reconstructs the monuments that can also be viewed in this video. In ancient times such structures often meant: "We were here" or "You're on the right path."

I certainly felt we were on a promising path as we peeked under pier pillars looking for wildlife and discovering new reflections.

This bold splash of color spilled onto the water and painted it yellow. Franck and Delphine Rabillier from France live on the vessel where they also perform acrobatic tricks on the masts of their sailboat. A scroll mid-way down Carol's post reveals their crowd pleasing antics.

I loved how the sky was framed by the arches beneath the Granville Street Bridge. It reminded me of ancient walls in Europe where sky views drift by enormous arching glass-free windows.

We were drawn to a mural with a rainbow by unknown native artists under the Granville Street Bridge. An almost invisible homeless man was tucked away in the shadows. It is disconcerting that a wealthy city has some people living on the streets and using shopping carts for their meager possessions.

This mural under the bridge was a burst of color. The circular dome that looks like a flying saucer is of a revolving restaurant downtown. The building also houses a Simon Fraser University campus.

There are several small vessels that transport people around the False Creek area. This charming little row boat definitely was not one of them.

We turned a corner to discover a gorgeous sea of lilypads that reminded me of Japan and my blogging friend stardust who discusses the differences between a water lily and lotus flower.

The weeping willow and surrounding foliage brushed beautiful watercolor patterns onto the manmade pond. (Click photo for better detail.)

Lilies floated lazily on the unruffled water amid lush leaves.

The Burrard Bridge on the horizon was a pretty architectural sight with its pillar softly duplicated in the water.

There were also stores along our way where we enjoyed a few moments of window shopping near this umbrella.

We did not test the imported decorative chairs that lounged outdoors. They brought to mind the chairs I discovered recently at a garden center.

It was too nice a day to sit and many people were out riding on this warm afternoon. Bicycling is a favorite mode of travel for Carol who spontaneously captures images for her pictorial diary along neighborhood routes.

As people whizzed by, we paused to admire a portion of the Stream Of Dreams art on the fence intended to encourage water conservation.

Whether in a bicycle basket, on the ground or over the water, Black Jack is always in good hands. She clearly enjoyed the outing as much as we humans did. With each questioning gaze she seemed to ask, "Where to next, folks?"

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Postscript: It came to my attention this morning that nature photographer Klaus, founder of That’s My World and owner of Skywatch, passed away. The unexpected news has left his many fans shocked and saddened. I wish comfort to his loved ones and hope that his huge and spectacular body of work continues to delight the cyberspace universe in a commemorative way.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Looks like a great day and lots to see there. I the sculpture, it reminds me of a whales tail. The murals are cool looking and i love the cute Black jack.
    BTW< I read about Klaus on the blog "Dina's city wildlife adventures". I believe she wrote that she had met him on with a group of photographers in Florida. You can check out her blog. I think I saw some tweets about him too. Very sad. His photos were awesome.

  2. Wonderful tour from your beautiful and interesting world. I love the stainless steel sculpture. I also like the totems. Great information and shots.

  3. I can see you had a great day! The sculpture is wonderful in its smoothness, colour and reflections. And what a treat to see sculptor Jozsef Toth at work on his latest inukshuk.

  4. Wow! What a terrific tour you've taken us on! So much colorful beauty and your captures are superb! Awesome sculpture! Thank you for your kind words regarding Klaus, he will indeed be missed!


  5. beautiful day to go out and about.

  6. Well, Penelope, your post was the perfect way to "double the pleasure" of a wonderful day. I enjoyed all of the pictures and accompanying narratives, but that first photograph is spectacular! Having admired several of your reflection photos in the past, it felt a great honour to be a part of one of them:) I also loved the archways and the skies they framed. You brought them to life for me, even though I had passed under them over and over again. The links to Jozsef Toth and to Michelle Vulama were also most appreciated and very interesting. Bill, Black Jack and I had fun meeting you and blending our worlds with yours for a day. Many thanks and let's do it again before too much time passes!

    I just learned about Klaus

  7. what a wonderful look at your world. the sculpture is absolutely eye-catching. i love the murals and the water lilies too. thanks for the free tour.

  8. Wow! You have a great variety today. The sculpture is amazing and I too got the imagination of a whale looking at it. The lily pool is so soothing to eyes. Great series of shots.

  9. Wonderful photos of Vancouver. Nice tour you all did. You gave me some ideas for my photoshoot when I get to Vancouver for our holidays. Hope to meet up with you if possible.

  10. This place takes my breath away. The art is utterly amazing. I am in awe.

  11. Hello again, Penelope,

    I left my comment unfinished by mistake. Although I hadn't known of Klaus before, I looked at his blog, was mesmerized by his exquisite photography, and wanted to express my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues.

  12. What an amazing tour. The sculpture is winderful and I love the fishes on the fence and the beautiful chairs. So much delight for the eyes. Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear about Klau He will be missed

  13. Beautiful, beautiful photos of Vancouver. How wonderful for you to have such find companions for a walk around the city.
    I was also saddened when I read about Klaus's death in Dina's blog. I had exchanged comments with him a couple of times and he was very kind and considerate. His photographic talent will continue to be inspiring, and awe-inspiring as well, I'm sure. His bird photos were always my favorites.
    I'll be in touch next week when we return from our Russian tour.
    Luv, K

  14. Wow - that steel sculpture is amazing. Love the way you've captured the reflections in that first shot.

  15. What a fantastic journey you have taken us along! The weather looks too beautiful to stay indoors in contrast to our miserable one, the highest temperature 36 degrees C with high humidity like subtropical. I’d like to stay indoors.

    I’ve never seen the sculpture like this with fantastic reflection. It looks like a whale or a dinosaur (the third pic). The fact that you and Carol were part of the reflection is nicely described in your narrative. I like your capture of the slices of the city, I like the photo of under pier pillars, yellow boat and its backdrop, arches under the bridge, sea of lily pads (oh, thank you for remembering me and that post), The Bridge, and fishes on the fence.... and my favorite is the one of weeping willows - perfectly lovely! Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your balmy summer, Penelope.

  16. I enjoyed your post on day spent with Carol, Bill and Black Jack. Great pictures,

  17. Stunning array of photos. Loving that silvery reflective modern art. So much colour for the rest of your day out - wonderful!

  18. Oh! I must make time to see that sculpture when I'm down at the coast. What a beautiful thing...I could look at it for hours! Lovely photo.

    Thanks so much for taking me along on a really 'fantastic' journey...what a great day it must have been. You are such an awesome photographer, you make me want to go out and wander through my world for a day to see what I can find. You've given me inspiration! xx

  19. Oh, I loved this post! I clearly haven't been down that way for a while as your stunning pictures were a surprise and a delight to me. That sculpture just begs to be photographed, doesn't it? So pleased you had a wonderful day with new friends, furry and otherwise, and thanks for sharing the outing with us...:)

  20. I like that you have shown us a different version of life in Vancouver. After living there for a while I realize how beautifully diverse, and unique this city is.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  21. What a great collection of photos! We must get over there one of these days to visit that part of the world - thank you for sharing them with us all. I hope you are enjoying your summer and thanks again for visiting my website! See you soon! Michelle


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