Trees. And Gingersnap.

19 December 2017 – We’re walking along the north shore of False Creek, out around English Bay or so, heading for Stanley Park. Where there will be mega-gazillions of trees. (With 405 Ha of park space, there’s room for quite a few gazillion trees…)

But we are more immediately focused on the trees right here, standing out as they do against the beach and the waters beyond.

Palm trees! My eastern instincts are still totally amazed at the sight of palm trees, outside and unprotected — and perfectly happy, thank you.

That’s the Chusan (“Windmill”) palm, I later learn, one of a group planted around English Bay some 30 years ago.

And … Eucalyptus!

Just another of the (to me) exotic species that the Vancouver Parks people care for. (Along with the Tasmanian fern. And banana plants. And of course those palm trees.)

Finally we see something I can relate to, in a Canadian winter — bare branches.

But no, even here I am awe-struck. So many nests, and so large.

“The Stanley Park Great Blue Heron colony,” say my friends, tugging me to read the signage.

This is one of North America’s largest urban Great Blue Heron colonies, I later learn, and it has a suitably large following. Even its own web cam.

So I am still head-full of birds & trees after we reach Lost Lagoon and join our planned event: a Solstice-themed walk/talk through Stanley Park with a very informed, very cheerful, good-fun botanist.

But, nifty as she is,  we get distracted.

By elves. Hundreds of elves. With names like Gingersnap, and Twinkle-Legs.

While we stand around discussing the Solstice, they are pounding their hearts out in the annual Big Elf Run, to support the Canuck Place children’s hospice. It’s an all-inclusive event — running elves, walking elves, kiddy elves, even doggie-elves.

(Later we cross paths with a volunteer, of course with his elf-cap, picking up race bollards. We ask his race-name. He says he is Slave-Labour Elf. We tell him he is Unsung Hero Elf.)

Next day …

Next day, I meet yet another typical Vancouver tree.  One, I must add, I have met before and will meet again.

The Great Vancouver Rain Tree! Very pretty, with those sparkling, suspended rain drops.

And, over on Main Street, a sign to fit the day.

But the day after that …

Oops.

Snow-slush.

Enough to make those palm trees & eucalyptus start booking trips back to where they came from.

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6 Comments

  1. A lovely journey through trees. (Do you know the Roger Deakin book?) but beware the eucalyptus! I enjoy the distractions, and your snow-slush looks very attractive.

    Reply
    • Didn’t know Roger Deakin, but you caused me to look him up and discover Waterlog & its impact. How ignorant we all are, of some many things Thank goodness for people who share their knowledge. I shall beware the eucalyptus (but why?). You sound rather like the dire warning in Le Petit Prince: “Gare au baobab!”

      Reply
  2. I’d love to have one of those palm trees. Sadly I don’t think I’ll be able to find one in Norway.

    Reply
    • I rather doubt it! Fortunately, Norway offers its own magic, and, I assume, in many varieties, depending on where you are.

      Reply
  3. Sweet journeys! After over 5 years I’ve gotten accustomed to the palms (Seattle). Such a different climate here in the PNW! Happy holidays to you!

    Reply

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