Vancouver is a beautiful city… the grey wet winters sometimes cloud our vision but the promise of early spring makes up for it every year. One of my favourite sights – inherited from my grandmother – is the moment the cherry blossom trees burst forth with wild, reckless abandon. They are a symbol of life and optimism that can’t be ignored… as if their personal motto is “why do it when you can overdo it?”
There are a few places in the lower mainland to hang out with the blossom trees… This year we went to see them at Queen Elizabeth Park. On such a sunny, temperate late winter day we weren’t the only ones with that idea – the park was filled with locals, tourists and countless cameras. My photo taking was mild by comparison; there were photographers everywhere! Still, we found a few quiet places to enjoy the flowers and sunshine.
The view down to the quarry garden is gorgeous – even at this time of year when not much is blooming. I was instantly reminded of many many visits to the park and gardens as a child with Oma and Opa – this was one of their favourite places to visit. We would come on sunny Saturday afternoons to marvel at the flowers and the colourful wedding parties visiting the park for photographs…
The north facing view over Burrard inlet and toward the mountains is also lovely. Notice there is no snow on those mountains. No snow! What a year.
At the top of the hill is the Bloedel Conservatory.
This space like dome is the home of some incredibly beautiful birds and flowers – with half an hour left on our parking ticket we gladly spent the 15$ for our family of four to tour the garden inside…
The birds roam free through the garden and are quite tame – they are comfortable with the visitors and we were able to observe them eating and grooming at very close range!
Who are these crazy birds?
Something about birds makes them seem so human. They have a way of looking right at you as if they’re thinking “Yes, I’m beautiful. Of course, I’m intelligent. I’m a bird. Don’t worry, silly human, you can be intelligent and beautiful too – you just have to work a little harder.” I’m afraid I have my work cut out for me – I feel this spring may be a transformative moment.
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” (C.S.Lewis)
Outside the fountains of my childhood still burst forth in celebration of the coming spring too:
Are you starting to feel it too?