Shelagh's Lens

In For A Penny …

Yes, we did it again! On New Year’s Day, we made our way down to English Bay to celebrate the Vancouver way.Call we Vancouverites and the people from numerous countries who join us what you like: silly, brave, adventurous,  foolhardy … you’d probably be right! You can add fun loving to the list, as you’ll see with these participants who made a rather grand entrance at the beach.

Here’s a look a some of the more conservative among us. After a night of New Year’s Eve festivities, many were out enjoying a walk along the beach, or heading to Stanley Park.  Some, like this gardener, were simply basking in the sight of pansies showing their faces on January 1st in Canada. If you look closely at the shot below, you’ll see daffodils making their way through the soil of this sunny spot by the beach.

Others were staking out spots to watch all the zaniness begin.

The event isn’t one of careless silliness, however. There’s plenty of information for individuals to assess whether or not it’s appropriate for them to take part in the event, and there are lifeguards and row boats at the ready. Post-swim, we and hundreds of others make our way across the beach to the Cactus Club Cafe. There, we drop off food bank donations and gratefully receive wrap our hands around cups of what always seems to be the best tasting hot chocolate in town.

Despite the sunshine and gorgeous scenery, it was chilly. The swim starts at 2:30 in the afternoon, presumably to give people time to recuperate from New Year’s Eve celebrations. If I had my choice, though, I’d move the event up an hour or so – partly to get it done with, and partly because the sun looked just that much brighter at 1:00 p.m.

The beach and surrounding walkways don’t stay quiet for long. Soon, onlookers converge on English Bay by both land and water. This is too good an event to miss!

A Bit of Bubbly

A bit of bubbly is a great way close out the year, yes? While we did enjoy some glasses of champagne later on New Year’s Eve, these shots are from a walk down to False Creek on the afternoon of the last day of the year.

Those really are are giant bubbles floating byVancouver’s Science World, and not some photographic quirk.

You’ll see a silhouetted figure on the dock above, and in the video I took, below. The snow-capped mountains in the background are pure bonus!

Here, in Vancouver’s Olympic Village neighbourood, this man took dish detergent to a whole new art form …

… with many of the bubbles starting out as gorgeous, transparent spheres that reflected images and colours around them, particularly as they gently floated down to the water.

People of all ages paused along the boardwalk to enjoy the timeless fun, and to admire the shape shifting that occurred as the gentle breeze pulled the bubbles across the beautiful blue waters.

Are you hooked on these bubbles? If so, here’s a slo-mo look at one in action.

Vancouver in Winter

Vancouver in winter … the skies were blue and clear as this day dawned. Here, as afternoon approached its close, the sun cast a gentle sheen over the snowy North Shore mountaintops.

Forest in the Fog

Anyone who’s been to Vancouver’s Stanley Park, or even heard of it, will know that this spot is renowned for its majestic evergreens.

In the fog earlier this month, you’d be hard pressed to recognise the park at all. I drove across Lions Gate Bridge to reach Cypress Mountain but, as you can see here, even the bridge was barely visible.

These are some of the photos I took from atop Cypress Mountain and across the inlet.

The photo immediately above has become one of my favourites of the year, not only for the way these tall trees barely pierce the mists, but also for the timeless feel of the shot.

On Ice

… ducks on ice, that is.

It’s not been cold enough this winter for ponds to freeze over, but these images from Jericho Park last winter always bring a smile to my face. Hopefully they do the same for you – particularly since, in the image below, it would appear that one of this companionable pair is actually perched upon the other!

Harbour Lights

As Christmas drew close this year, the skies cleared and we enjoyed some sunny, clear days. This led to a minor dusting of snow, and so I made my way up to another mountain to capture views to the west.

From atop Burnaby Mountain, you can see Vancouver’s harbour at sunset. That’s the Lions Gate Bridge twinkling in front of the North Shore Mountains, and the forest of Stanley Park at its left.

Into the Mists

After capturing a number of photos from above the fog earlier this month, I made my way down to West Vancouver’s Ambleside Beach. There, you have Stanley Park directly across the waters.

On this particular morning, much of the forested park and its seawall remained shrouded in mists.

Above It All

… and here’s a look at downtown Vancouver, and its highrises poking through the fog earlier this month.

The early morning skies, touched with a hint of pink, were in stark contrast to the cityscape below. That’s the famed Lions Gate Bridge piercing the fog near the base of the photo, leading to just a hint of the forest of Stanley Park.

Foggy, Foggy Days

That’s what we had for a few consecutive days here in Vancouver.

I was actually glad that the fog carried through to an early December weekend, because it meant that I could make an early Saturday morning drive up to the mountains and catch some shots of the gorgeous scenery.

In this one, I love the way the fog seems to wrap around the inlets and hills.


It’s Time to Visit Stock Home

… that would be the Vancouver store known as Stock Home, located at 3060 West Broadway.

The store window of this Kitsilano shop, with its ridiculously sweet Bukowski bears from Sweden, drew me in a few weeks ago.

Principal Elisa Langenstam carries French soaps as well as scarves, glassware and cosy cushions. She also showcases local art and design.

We began discussing the art cards Elisa carries, and … you guessed it.


You Can Find My Cards in Kitsilano, at Stock Home Design

Stock Home now carries some of my Vancouver themed art cards. You can see more about my cards by clicking here – or, if you’re in Vancouver, make your way to Kits and visit Stock Home. I’ll be doing just that this weekend, to pick out a Secret Santa gift for the upcoming office party.

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