… and Macro

13 June 2021 – So there I was, last post, making a big fuss about micro-focus. This time out, my eye snaps right back to macro.

And micro.


Maybe because I’m on less familiar ground. I’m on the edge of Morton Park — me, plus the 14 bronze gentlemen who make up the collective sculpture A-Maze-ing Laughter. The work of Chinese artist Yue Minjun, it was the hit of the 2009-2011 Vancouver Biennale, and is now a permanent installation owned by the City.

Like his 13 companions, he’s just laughing his ears off. I’m equally happy as we leave micro for macro — past the sculpture, on down to the water just where False Creek swells out into English Bay and the Sea Wall carries on up into Stanley Park.

Micro to macro. Beach plants up close; then down across the sand and rocks of low tide; on out over the water to freighters in the Port Authority “parking lot,” waiting their turn to acquire/deposit cargo; and finally, oh always, mountains and sky.

Mine is not the only eye on the scene.

More micro to macro: first plant life on driftwood stumps, and then beyond & beyond & beyond.

I’m in close for this one: all the colours & textures that dance in a single slab of rock.

Speaking of dance!

Ignore Second Beach Swimming Pool in the background; ignore the snappy bike helmet; narrow your gaze to that crow dancing with the saddlebag behind the seat.

The cyclist must have stashed some pretty delectable gorp back there — and, I guarantee, there’s now a lot less of it than there used to be. The crow has spent the last five minutes methodically dipping his beak. (Oh! Just hit me! Exactly like those dipping-beak bird toys you see advertised.)

On we go, on up to Ferguson Point, just short of Third Beach. More micro-to-macro. A trio of marine biologists, doing something detailed & specific at water’s edge — and out beyond them, a laden freighter.

I’ve been watching it ever since we joined the Sea Wall. It’s the only one out there stacked high with containers and, thanks to the photographic genius of Edward Burtynsky, shipping containers rivet my eye.

We leave the Sea Wall, climb up inland a bit, our target something delicious at the Teahouse.

We arrive. It’s closed. Oops. (I channel Phyllis, my partner in the Tuesday Walking Society back in Toronto: she’d greet a failed-destination moment with the shrugged reminder, “We’re out for a walk.”)

So! Shrug to the Teahouse.

Back down to sea level, back onto the Sea Wall, back toward Morton Park.

A final micro-image reward.

A very small detail, in a very tall tree.

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  1. Always an interesting read

  2. A lovely walk, especially the view of the crow. They are such amazing creatures.

    • patient & determined, using his claws with great agility to open, hold open and manipulate that bike bag

      • NWT has ravens, and I have really come to admire them. So smart and cooperative, and I am sure that they use a form of language.

      • I remember a woman in one of the hamlets telling me they had to keep cats indoors at night, and even puppies, because the ravens would go for them. Was she teasing me?

      • Unfortunately, she wasn’t. Cats and small dogs are real targets, especially in the winter. In the summer, the ravens are out on the land, but winter brings them into town and small animals would be easy pickings. I don’t know anyone who would leave a small dog (up here, all the cats O know are indoor animals) outside unattended in winter.

      • no, I didn’t think she was joking…

  3. I’ve seen photos of Minjun’s sculpture and was very taken with it – one of these days I’ll see it in person. I like the scope of the second photo, the way the dune grass waves in the foreground and the ships wait, far in the background. (People on our neighbor to the south, Whidbey Island are angry that ships have to anchor and wait for days in one of their normally quiet harbors to unload down in Seattle – the ports are a mess these days!). The shot with driftwood in the foreground and the ships is great as well – I think that clouds sky was perfect, too. And the rock, cool!
    The crow business is hysterical! And what it reminded you of, love it!
    That’s a nice link and nod to Burtynsky. There’s a pile of containers by a highway here I’ve wanted to photograph for years but there’s no good place to stop….
    I do hope you found a place for tea or coffee, even though you’re clearly not going to depend on that. 😉 Happy walking, Penny!


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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