November 22, 2009

The Tropics of Bloedel Conservatory

First things first, the Hummingbird Vine print got another layer today. Stupidly, while I was cutting the block for this printing, I cut away some areas that I needed to leave in, for shadows underneath the vine. I caught myself doing it before I cleared them all, so it's only a small area I'll need to fix. And I have an idea how to do it, sort of, but theory and reality don't always marry up the way I imagine they will so I'll have to see if the idea actually works.

Here's it is with it's latest colour:


But, before I printed today, on another gray soggy day perfect for escaping to exotic places, the three of us took a trip to a place we all love, the Bloedel Conservatory. It's been in the news lately because the Vancouver Parks Board is considering closing it down. Faced with a 2.something million dollar budget shortfall they're looking at the Conservatory as one of the potential casualties of the cut backs they need to make. It makes me want to cry.

It's an incredible place, one of the city's hidden treasures, and one of those places I'd like to spend a half a day at, sketching, but never do. I keep telling myself that it'll happen one day, when I don't have to work every day anymore, but I might have to face the possibility of that day never coming. Today, as second best, I managed to take some pictures though.

Standing outside,


certainly doesn't prepare you for the amazing world inside the dome:


The walkways wind through among dozens of exotic birds and what must be hundreds of tropical plants co-mingling in fantastic and colourful ways.

There are, of course, the recognizable plants you'd expect to find in a tropical jungle:

There are also plants we've had at home at one time or another:


And then there are plants that are just bizarre:



And the birds (only some - they generally weren't into posing):


I took so many pictures I almost felt foolish and yet, it's hard to capture the true sense of a place like this. You just have to be there, but, you might have to hurry.

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