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Early Spring

Tom asked me, while we were in Orlando, how did I feel about missing some of the early days of Spring in Vancouver? Let's just say I was glad that there were so many beautiful trees and plants blooming in Orlando to make up for the time we were not here!

Obviously I would not want to miss our son's wedding for anything in the world, but I will say that the morning following our evening arrival, I went out on a walk as soon as possible. It was ugly, but I was bound and determined to see how those hillside daffodils were doing, and it was not long before I got my answer.
At the outset, let me just say that I have seen bulbs before, but I have never watched the magic happen over time. What looked to be just an open grassy area for all of the time we've been here, suddenly is filled with bright yellow flowers. And not just daffodils either. I am seriously crazy about the Crocuses! Small, but they carry a big punch, what with scores of them, seemingly, coming from nowhere.
Because of all the rain, and in spite of having snowed, a good bit of Vancouver stays green year round. Not  all of the trees, of course, but lawns and bushes remain green and vibrant, especially so against the drab sky. I walked a long way in the rain because I don't want to miss a thing as this will be my only experience with a Northern Spring.
I traveled to Orlando with a mostly empty suitcase, returning with some new things, including a terrific coat Irene lent me. Actually I was meant to take it with me when we moved, however, I could not wrap my head around the need for such a coat, that is, until I experienced this rainy weather! Having lived in Portland for ten years, Irene knew a thing or two about what was in store for me. It is still difficult for me to imagine that I go out walking in the rain, something I would have never done in Orlando. Perhaps because of lightening, I don't know, but here it isn't too bad at all.

There are some cherry trees coming into flower along Beach Avenue, the route I take to get home. For the record, this is my bus when I choose to take it. The #23. Speaking of cherry trees, it turns out that there are over 40,000 Japanese Cherry trees in Vancouver, not to mention another 50,000 other trees that bloom. I am going to be busy!
How ugly was the weather? Pretty ugly, especially having just returned from sunny Florida!
So, here's a little photographer's trick. Sometimes you want a sunny flower photograph,
and sometimes, (more often than not), you don't.
What you do is shade the plant with your body. These adorable Crocus flowers are planted in a flower bed right next to the Granville bridge. Such an odd location for a flower bed, but that's a different story. At any rate, the colors are generally much more vibrant when not directly in the sun. Another flower photography trick is to go out when it is super cloudy; in effect, letting the clouds do the shading for you.

It was super sunny the following day, so of course I had to go back out and see what I could see. Also, having just been surrounded by family and friends, it is no fun for me to stay indoors all day by myself. With temperatures in the mid 50's,  everyone who could, was out walking.
Here is a cool plant I saw on my way into the park. Any plant people know what it is?
What is so thrilling to me is how the bulbs burst through the ground in unexpected places.
To think that I've been walking on flowers is just astonishing to me. There are some flowering plants we have in common with Vancouver, including Camellias and ferns, however, the upright flowers that are everywhere are new to me.
These, too, are new to me. Going from spikes to those little green cups, they put on quite the show.
As it turns out, Crocuses come in a variety of colors, including these vibrant one in a certain persons favorite color.
I've come across large beds of heather in a shocking pink color, as well as white and light pink. The photograph below is near the rose garden in Stanley Park which I imagine will be quite extraordinary once they come into bloom.
Snowdrops! How have I lived my whole life and never known about these little charmers?
Three full days of sunshine, including yesterday when the temperature rose to 60 degrees, has been such a blessing. This is one heck of a beautiful city when it is sunny, that's for sure!
An outstanding adventure was had by Mr. and Mrs. Peck this past Saturday which I will share in my next post. Got to get out when the getting out is good!!

yours truly,

Gail

p.s. I am seriously jealous as Bruce has gone a team building event to Squamish where they will ride the Sea to Sky gondola. There is meant to be rain again today which I'm praying does not come to fruition!
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