And it keeps on raining. The drought must be much relieved. This cheerful group of blooms says so, anyway. I do like how the centers of these yellow blossoms reflect the deep yellow-green of the foliage, and how the shapes of petals and leaves also repeat. Not exactly fractal, but complementary, to be sure.
Which isn’t to say I won’t revisit some more photos from Canada, but it seems time to wander about with my phone camera again a bit closer to home. And February is clearly spring here!
We’ve had lots of rain in the past several weeks and there were more heavy rains while we were gone. So there is lots that’s blooming, and I would guess that the desert will put on a glorious show very soon — if it hasn’t started already. I haven’t yet been out to the desert east of here, or at least not to the real thing, so that’s on the agenda for the proverbial “some time!”
Orchids in Seattle in February. Delightful. I lost my scarf there and two days later, a volunteer phoned me (I had phoned them earlier) and said she had it; we were leaving the next morning so she got on her bicycle and delivered the scarf to our hotel — in the rain! Now, that was going above and beyond — I had said I’d pay for her to mail it. Needless to say, we made a donation. The park and conservatory were both lovely. It certainly left us with a good feeling about Seattle folks!
And today is my oldest-boy-cousin, summer brother’s birthday. His family spent the summers of our growing up in my home town, at my grandmother’s house. May he rest in peace. I miss him.
And that was the name of the shop. In Pike Place Market. This photo shows perhaps 10%? It was huge and jammed and crammed with yarn. I could have spent all day there, just looking and touching. Lots of samples and patterns, too, and friendly employees.
I really did walk in and exclaim, “So Much Yarn!”
So, here we are back in the US, in Seattle, where it’s cold and rainy but it’s not Canada. No butter tarts — but Piroshkys! Oh my, such indulgence . We didn’t eat these crabs, or any like them, but we did have piroshkies: salmon; beef and cheese (the winner for me); and chocolate hazelnut (strangely disappointing.)
We saw family, art, conservatory-type gardens, and we did indeed walk and eat, eat and walk. And I went to the biggest yarn shop I’ve ever seen. Photo to come!
View from the ferry. The sky, the hills, the water, all blue. I was too. Blue to leave British Columbia. Which we decided to rename “Cascadia.” The longer we’re gone, the more I miss it.
This was their display of roving! Roving is cleaned and dyed (in this case) fiber ready for spinning. Pretty, eh? I was hanging around and helped braid some hanks while chatting. This shop had lots of glorious yarn and of course I had to buy some. It was a very friendly, cozy place — the owner even made me a cup of tea!
Two wonderful weeks in Vancouver. A ferry ride to Victoria. Made new friends. Were given a tour. Boats and water make good photos, don’t they?!
The world can be such a beautiful place. Wake me up.
Humble, subtle, whimsical, delicate, fresh, direct.
Yes, I liked them. In a lovely gallery on Granville Island.
We were wandering around Granville Island, a terrific place to wander, and there were some unusual businesses among the farmers’ markets, crafts shops, clothing, souvenirs, and galleries.
There was this. And it reminded me of the landscape. The particular landscape of Vancouver in winter, with gray skies, snow-topped mountains, water, and — well, yes — mud. So there.
In Vancouver. It wasn’t raining but not exactly sunny, either. This was in the southern part of Stanley Park. Where the ducks are. Where lots of happy people are walking and chatting. Bundled up and outdoors. Because it’s glorious outdoors even in the winter, even on a grayish day, and hey, it’s Canada and the people are pleasant and friendly and helpful and the water is everywhere you look, and sometimes the mountains are there in the background holding up the water and the sky, and it’s all good.
It was cold in Vancouver. This is the lagoon in Stanley Park. The ducks really were slip-sliding away. Didn’t see one fall. I think they were deciding where to go for hot chocolate afterwards. We had hot chocolate afterwards, too, unless we had tea.
We were staying in the West Side, which is supposedly a gay neighborhood (whatever that means!) and were delighted by the rainbow painted crosswalk near our hotel. And the bakeries. I think I mentioned the bakeries. I’ll probably keep mentioning the bakeries…
Anyway, we were in a terrific location, besides the bakeries. Nice walk to Stanley Park and its dear, darling ducks; to downtown; and to the water taxis to Granville Island. Great restaurants. A block from a major bus line.
And you can hardly go anywhere that doesn’t have a great view of mountains or oceans or bakeries.
Of the day. It had snowed in Vancouver. Someone made a snowman. And here’s what was left. It has a rather pathetic, yet heroic, aspect. Clearly not enough snow to make a clean, large base. Almost looks like stone. It made me feel at once sad and happy. Happy thinking of making snowmen, sad in thinking of how transient…so much is transient. And here I sit typing into the ether!
And then we’ll leave the museum. We went to a lot of museums and galleries. And shops and parks.
For this one, it’s all about the geometry, and I especially like the drama of the white on black. Disciplined doodling with great expertise. Feast for the eyes.
And I chose this one because of the others you can see in the background. They were from all over the world — about 100 of them. It was a special exhibit featuring gorgeous work from around the world. Again, could have spent most of the day in this one exhibit. Glory.
On the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Huge campus, 61,000 students, one of whom saw us peering at our map when we got off the bus. She then spent an hour giving us a tour and directing us to our destination. Friendly, helpful, polite Canadians abound. We were happy to sit on a bench and share an extra butter tart with her!
Anyone who is interested in fiber and native arts — this is a must-see museum. Their collection is out and numbered and visually stupendous. The baskets went on and on, each more intricate and glorious than the previous one. Then there were textiles (coming up soon) and masks and tools and costumes and…well…it was worth a month of daily visits, but there’s only so much one can absorb! There were sections for native arts from around the world. We didn’t even get to walk through most of them. It’s a very large museum and everything is gorgeously displayed.
The cafe had some windows with displays of political questions about the ownership of all these precious objects. I was happy to see it there — we certainly need to raise awareness, and there must be conversations about indigenous rights that were ignored in the past…and unfortunately continue to be flaunted. I wish only that this discussion were a bit more “front and center,” but at least it was acknowledged. That appeared to be so wherever we went in Canada, but it certainly will take a lot of work to “resolve” it. Sigh.
From around the world. On Granville Island in Vancouver. The store is called Maiwa Handprints. What a visual and tactile pleasure! I left with three pillowcases. I wanted about thirty things ranging from placemats to clothing. Really, though. I spent a few hours there, including half an hour talking with two women who were trying to decide what linens to buy. The best thing about that is — I ran into them a week later outside a condo in their neighborhood! This is, mind you, a city of over 600,000. What are the chances?
Well, that meant we had lunch together the next day and then went to the movies togetheranother day. I visited one of them in her condo.
Vancouver is an amazing city. It was fun to take the water taxi to Granville — three times? It was great to try out the FOUR bakeries within a block of our hotel. And we had to try them several times to see what our favorites were. Would it be butter tarts? (Probably) Or perhaps blackberry crumble? Or apricot and almond torte? Better have them all a few times to decide…
More on Vancouver to come…rain included.
Another Walker Evans photo. I love the dark top-hats these buildings are wearing. They seem like people standing in a line, a column, grinning for their snapshot to be taken. The shadows are lovely, too, don’t you think?
We went to several museums on our trip. I’ll try to restrain myself and just show the work that really moved me or captured my fancy!
Seen at the Vancouver Art Gallery on our recent trip.
Yes, I’m back, my blog is back, and I’m not sure why. It feels like a bit of a burden rather than a pleasure, but that’s because it’s a new year that feels like a very very old year in so many ways. The burdens of history, of apparent cycles, of the irrepressible impulses to greed and power and its accompanying evil?
Yet artistic endeavor and accomplishment should outweigh all that, along with the good that we seek to see and express in all we do, all we see in each other, with each other.
This show brought me to wonder, brought me to tears, brought me to amazement. We spent nearly two hours and could have been in its grip even longer. One man’s vision, one man’s sight, one man’s awe, one man’s skill, one man’s pain. And he stored it with light in his small (or not-so-small) box and put it to paper so we could all share it.
I love the graphically stark anonymity of these generic garments caught in the breeze, and the lovely linear and formal qualities of the composition. When content and form enhance each other so perfectly, it’s a small but significant miracle.