Sunday, May 24, 2009

Checking out Stanley Park

Saturday was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. It was 23 degrees with a cloudless sky though you could see the mist off in the distance. This area is known for its temperate rainforests, so this shouldn't be surprising. I took a number of photos during my trip into Vancouver, the main destination being Stanley Park. The photo above was taken near the entrance to the park on West Georgia Street. Off in the distance (looking east) you can see the Coal Harbour development. A Canada goose (there were a few) is seen on the grassy boulevard on the northside of West Georgia Street.

The swallows are back at Lost Lagoon (above). Here are a few at a nesting box at the north end of the lagoon.
Near the rose garden in the park you may spot a bee house-hive for the blue mason bee native to this part of the British Columbia coast (see pic above). The bees even have their own garden with flowers suited to their needs. The alliums (below) also keep them busy collecting nectar for making honey.

A couple of "lions" guard the entrance to the Lion's Gate Bridge crossing the first narrows on Burrard Inlet between Vancouver and North and West Vancouver on the northside of the inlet. The photo above shows one of the lions. Below is a view of part of the seawall as seen from the bridge.

Downtown Vancouver can be seen from the bridge just beyond Stanley Park. The view includes one of the tallest structures at West Georgia and Thurlow Streets. Then there is a view of the bridge looking up (below).

Another view of the bridge is shown above, this one from the Stanley Park side and a close-up view below.

Prospect Point, to the immediate west of the bridge, has an awesome view, this one looking to the northwest across to West Vancouver (Hollyburn Mountain in the background). There are all sorts of wild flowers to be seen on the walk between Prospect Point and Ferguson Point on English Bay (see below).

The above photos shows a fern frond unfurling and there are all sorts of stumps to be found, all put to good use as "nurse stumps" (below).

I did manage to see another couple of bald eagles. If you look carefully at the centre of the above photo, you can see an eagle. When I spotted them and took this photo, that one and its partner obscured by the trees took off westward. This was the best I could do with my telephoto lens and reason enough for me to get a bigger one! The clearing have all sorts of wild flowers, such as the buttercups below. I did want to get a close-up shot of a bumblebee but it took off rather quickly unlike the garden variety that are used to having people about.

The fruit of the blackberries are starting to form (above) and below you can see a view of one of the clearings. A number of clearings were created after the big wild storm of late 2006 (I have photos of before and after with dramatic changes).

Above is a view of English Bay as seen from Ferguson Point. Then below is a photo of rock art which can be seen along the seawall between the 2nd and 3rd beach on the English Bay side of the park.

People were braving the water at the 3rd beach (above) and there's another view of the beach from the lookout above the beach itself (note the fan palm).
A view of English Bay's main beach near Denman and Davie Streets can be seen below. Despite the warm temperatures, people are well clothed for the most part, even in the heat of the summer. Back east in southern Ontario, beaches there would display a lot more skin. This something that immediately struck me when I came here to stay in 2006 but a couple of factors come to mind that might account for this: an awareness of the damaging affects of the sun and perhaps, in part, a British prudishness to cover up, something that has been tossed away back east though sunscreen is well used there. The benefits of exposure to the air and the sun's rays is the body's ability to produce vitamin D plus drying out the skin (we all know what moist skin is the breeding ground for!). Anyway, that's my journey through the park for Saturday. I hope you've enjoyed the photos! Hope your weekend was a pleasant one too! As for today, I spent the day resting up after all the walking I did yesterday. My right foot and knee have not healed up enough yet, so both (especially the foot) were a bit sore after the end of the day. Take care!!! - V.