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Skyscrapers and Skeletons

August 28, 2015

I thought I’d share a bit more of my pictures from my walk on Monday, because I’m proud of how a number of them turned out. And because I can’t think of anything really intelligent today either, though I’m no longer panicking about my novel. (Writing’s fun, kids, I promise!)

Let’s start with an establishing shot: a view of Yaletown, one of the pricier areas of the city, from the walking path that runs around False Creek, a short inlet. I can not and never will afford to live in Yaletown and if the local stereotypes are anything to go by, I don’t want to. However, the apartment buildings are really pretty from a distance and there’s something about the palette and lines that speaks to me in this one.


Now, to set the scene a little more, here is a tree:


Not the world’s healthiest tree at the moment, because we’ve barely had rain in months, and so it’s turning red at least a few weeks before it really should be. This tree is also at the edge of Leg-In-Boot Square, which I only learned about last month, which seems like such a shame, since the story behind its name is absolutely the kind of thing I go in for. I summed it up briefly in my Tumblr posts, but if you missed that: in 1887, the Vancouver police found a man’s leg, in a boot, washed up on the shore of False Creek. Instead of seeking out the owner of the leg, as would happen today, they stuck it on a pike outside the station in the hopes that the owner would come to them. He didn’t. After a couple of days, the leg began to smell and was gotten rid of. The name, however, stuck.

I’m somehow reminded of the feet that keep turning up in the Pacific Northwest, though my guess is the 1887 leg was either foul play or connected to the Great Vancouver Fire.

Then I found a wild rose bush, growing in the middle of the escarpment. I think it’s the only wild rose I’ve ever seen in this city.


Further alone, also in the middle of the escarpment, I found a smiley face, staring at the sky. This is Vancouver, after all. You get these moments of sublime oddness.IMG_7082

And speaking of sublime oddness, there are a few of these around the city these days. I passed two of them on my walk, but I suspect there are others. There ought to be, anyway.


In my experience, they’re played by either trained pianists, people in pianist training, or small children who like to make noise. It’s especially wonderful to be walking and hear music, but not know the piano’s there. I also love that someone has taken the time to decorate the square around the piano, and used so much colour while doing so.


A minute or two after this, there’s a small animal preserve that’s accessible by hopping between big chunks of granite and conglomerate hauled down from the mountains. (I’m assuming.) They’d be about water-level at high tide, I think. At low tide, when I crossed, they’re high enough that falling off would cause serious pain. It’s all gravel below, you see, and it’s a good foot or so down.

Anyway, the island’s been planted with local species and seeded with local sea life below water level. You can almost believe you’re in the wild, except that the trees aren’t tall enough to block out Yaletown and the walking trail is very well-groomed. Also, when I was moving through, there were two guys on a beach smoking pot, because again, this is Vancouver.

That’s where I found the … birdhouses? Bat boxes? Not sure, but it gave me hope for the future regardless.


Further on again, I found this beautiful sculpture. I’m still new to understanding all the First Nations symbolism, so I’m sure this has a meaning I’m not grasping, but it’s lovely in its own right.


I’ve spent the last few years in this city hearing about the Sparrows and never having context for size or location or anything. But then I turned a corner and there they were!

IMG_7117Note the tentacle-shaped streetlights lining the square. This is where I stopped to have lunch, which I mostly spent watching pigeons be pigeons and dogs be dogs.

The goal of the trip was Science World the Telus World of Science Science World, because they had a dinosaur exhibit and I have not grown out of that phase. (Have not actually grown out of many of my childhood phases.) In case the dinosaurs weren’t enough, these were Gondwanan dinos where I’m mostly familiar with Laurasian ones. The only thing I really knew was that some of the Gondwanans got seriously big.

This guy was not very big at all, really. Maybe as big as a peacock if I’m being generous?


I’ve forgotten nearly all the scientific names now, but the plaque for this critter said he could probably fly, although the location of the fossil raises the question of whether flight evolved once or twice? I thought that was pretty cool.

This guy is also cool. He had one knobby horn on his head, which can’t have done a whole lot besides gotten him girlfriends. (Or her, boyfriends.)


I’ve always loved the dinosaurs with sails, mostly because the illustrators make them so colourful!


This isn’t a dinosaur at all, actually. It’s Simosuchus, a crocodilian that never swam and probably had the same niche as a fox. I think he’s kind of cute.

IMG_7135  Here’s a fish-eater with very nasty claws and teeth that stick straight outwards: IMG_7141

And then there was this guy. For scale, a toddler could stand up in that mouth, and if I laid flat on the ground, I’d probably be the same length. Wouldn’t want to meet this guy in the wild!


A mid-sized raptor:

IMG_7151 Giganotosaurus! Not quite as big as T. rex, but still plenty big! IMG_7154

Close-up of that head! Those teeth! The green that came out of nowhere!


Those were the highlight of the dinosaur exhibit. There were a lot of children, as you might imagine, and a lot of parents alternating between, “Sweetie, come back here!” and “Ooh, that’s big!” I actually went through again an hour or so later to get the pictures with Alice.

Since I hadn’t been to Science World in over a decade, I figured I’d look through the other exhibits too. They’ve changed quite a bit since I was there, unsurprisingly. There’s more open floor space than I remember, for one thing, and while many of the bits I remember, like the beaver dam, the physics demos, and the illusions and puzzles are still there, there are more demos and I think they turned the optical illusion room into a café. Ah well. I like what they’ve done with the place, and the kids seem to have too.

I took this photo because it has relevance to The Novel.


I took this photo because I like poison dart frogs and my shots never seem to turn out well. Glad this one did!IMG_7166

There were also stick insects:


And last but not leave, they had a pterosaur! They’re not my favourite fossil anything, but I do like how goofy they manage to look, with the bony eyeball and walking on their wrists.IMG_7175

So there you are! A more complete version of my day out! Regular programming should hopefully resume on Monday…

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