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Lichen & Moss on Sycamore Maple tree branch, VanDusen Garden…July, 2017

(Sycamore Maple: Acer pseudoplatanus cv Atropurpureum)

About Lichens:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen

http://www.lichen.com/biology.html

Mosses & Lichens:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=Mosses+with+Lichens&lr=&as_qdr=all&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjotrCtlrLVAhXollQKHZ0HDeQQsAQIQg&biw=1247&bih=641#imgrc=qDdAtuP6nymVUM:

All of the above information for such a simple photograph! It is interesting to me, though, the symbiotic relationship between the tree, the lichens, and the mosses. All of them co-operating and supporting each other! If only humans could learn that lesson.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

—Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One of the places we love to visit on our “Urban Trekking” outings in Vancouver is the wonderful VanDusen Botanical Garden, located on Oak St., at West 37th Avenue.

At one time, all of what is now Vancouver was a rain forest, part of the Indigenous Musqueam Nation’s land. Then “the settlers” came, in the mid to late 1800’s, and the logging began. What is now the VanDusen “property” was turned into a golf course, but in 1975 the Vancouver Park Board took it over and created this beautiful 55 acre (22 hectare) botanical garden.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VanDusen_Botanical_Garden

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vandusen-botanical-garden.aspx

Recently we “trekked” there, and focused on trees and greenery, rather than specifically on flowers. Here are a few photos from that day:

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Sedums in bloom at entrance to gardens.

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Grasses blowing in the wind….

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Sedums growing on a huge boulder, with no soil! Beautiful.

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Golden Japanese Cedar tree. (Cryptomeria japonica “Sekkan-sugi”)

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Lilies…the white ones seem to have the loveliest fragrance…

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Trident Maple tree. (Acer buergerianum)

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Giant Sequoia tree, (Sequoiadendron giganteum), with Western Sword Fern (fern native to this area)

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Dalmatian Cranesbill (Geranium dalmaticum)

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Masterwort (Astrantia)

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Succulents in concrete containers on the patio.

“What was Paradise but a Garden?”

—William Coles

 

 

sailboat

“Sailing Boat with Two Passengers”  (La Barque), 1900, Odilon Redon

Whoever said, “Old age is not for sissies” was certainly right! It struck me recently that living each day, especially during one’s senior years, is like sailing on an uncharted sea. This state of affairs makes life challenging, to say the least. And there’s nothing wrong with facing challenges!

I’ve decided to create a navigational story for myself, and am happy to share it with any of you (no matter what age you are) who are interested. This will be an ongoing project, appearing on my blog from time to time. The navigational entries will always be titled Beautiful Elders: Sailing on an Uncharted Sea.

“As we advance in life, it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”

—Vincent van Gogh

van gogh

“Vincent van Gogh–Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat”, 1887

Each blog post will contain encouraging, sometimes humorous, and always positive ideas for those of us who are sailing on occasionally stormy seas, occasionally calm ones, and mostly uncharted waters.

For the past few years I have noticed that older people like me are seldom to be seen in much of the media, or even on the streets of my city. Many retirees, (including five of my friends!) have moved away from the city and over to Vancouver Island or to the Sunshine Coast. Living in those places is more peaceful and less expensive than it is in Vancouver.

As for the media, it is full of young stories, young faces, and young bodies. Is this what we are meant to aspire to? Or must we, as elders, become invisible? Must we try to appear younger than our actual years? So it appears!  Of course, keeping fit and healthy, and having good muscle tone is great. But, grey hair is beautiful. Accepting our ageing bodies with grace is wise and positive. And hopefully, our graceful acceptance sends a reassuring message to younger generations.

NOTE TO SELF: KEEP MOVING!

AND: “DON’T LET YESTERDAY OR TOMORROW TAKE UP TOO MUCH OF TODAY”. In other words, try to LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. Easy to say, more difficult to practice!

“There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment.”

—Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor canoeing

In our present-day North American culture, whatever has happened to the concept of respecting the elders? In some cultures (bless them!), such as those of North and South American indigenous people, elders are revered even to this day. It used to be the norm to learn from the wisdom of older people, but in present day Western society, this idea seems to be rare.

However, there is hope! Here’s a quotation from a thirteen-year-old girl I know:

“In another time, being an elder would mean that you had survived. This society has become obsessed with a misconception of beauty that doesn’t include what is real.”

And remember:

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”

—Albert Einstein

Until next time, Pleasant Sailing!

 

 

 

“Blue Skies”

Re-blogged today, June 25th, 2017…because we have “Blue Skies” today!

Joie du Soleil

We have blue skies today, here in Vancouver! An early Autumn treat, in between rain showers. I’ll be potting up a container for the front porch, with white Violas and some colourful Spring bulbs and grasses.

Following along in the spirit of Joie du Soleil’s initial intention, which was to focus on the light, the positive, and the upbeat things in life, I’m posting a once popular old song which came to mind: “Blue Skies”, composed by Irving Berlin and sung here by Doris Day. I’m happy to report that Doris is still alive and well, and living in Carmel, California. She’s still an animal rights activist, and through all of her years as a Hollywood actress and singer, she presented a cheerful outlook, and an inspiring image. Some may say that Doris & I are being “Pollyannas”, but I’ve found that focussing on the positive is better than dwelling…

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More Crochet

Crocheted wool afghan

Grey wool afghan

Here’s an inspiring little story about a fellow crocheter:

In 2009, a ninety-eight year old woman survived the earthquake near L’Aquila, Italy. She was found alive and uninjured, buried under rubble and in her bed, about thirty hours after the quake struck. She told her rescuers that she had passed the time crocheting as she waited for help. Amazing, but true!

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Crocheting has been there for me, too, since I first discovered it many years ago. I’ve taken my crochet hook and yarn along with me to so many places, including the beach, and have used every spare moment to practice this age-old craft. I find it to be both relaxing and invigorating at the same time. It’s been such an engrossing challenge to see what I can create with a little hook and a ball of yarn. Afghans, clothing, housewares, toys, and home decor…on goes the list of things I’ve enjoyed making for friends, family, myself, and others. If this is an addiction, at least it’s a positive one!

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It’s the process of crocheting that I love. Rather than selling the items which I’ve crocheted, (something I’ve done for many years),  I now agree with the following statements:

“I do not worry about the marketplace.”

—Alex Cuba, musician/singer

“Better a craft than gold.”

—Jenkins Family motto, Ewenny Pottery, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

My aim, or hopeful intention while crocheting, is to create beauty and to share what I make with others. But, to be honest, I crochet because I love it!

 

It’s been a grey and colder than normal Winter and early Spring here in Vancouver. Cherry blossoms are a few weeks behind schedule, but the daffodils are bravely blooming. Here’s an old Carter Family song to remind us to stay positive! (and to look forward to some sunshine!)

 

 

 

Crochet

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Crochet: My Definition: a calming, soothing, magical craft, a meditation in itself. Creating useful and beautiful items for others to enjoy is a bonus. Crochet is a portable craft: just a ball of yarn, a hook, and a bag to carry it in. So simple!

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