Say hello to our Instagrammer of the week, @nota7bene! She writes, “I grew up on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast and live in downtown Vancouver, with an eagle’s-eye view of Sunset Beach. B.C.’s ragged shorelines and secluded lakes have always been a magnet for me, so water was a natural theme. It’s a source of recreation and transportation, inspiration for art, nourishment for nature (and us) and is often the subject of controversy.”
“By sea and land we prosper,” is scribed on the 1932 Art Deco–style Burrard Bridge, which connects downtown Vancouver to Kitsilano. It’s is an ideal place to gape outward at picture-postcard views: rugged mountains fronted by glass skyscrapers and, directly below, ferries buzzing across False Creek, speckled sandy beaches and even a few palm trees. This shot, instead, is a look inward at the architectural splendor of the span lit by the setting sun.
The reward at the end of a five-km alpine hike: the turquoise waters of Upper Joffre Lake, crowned by the imposing Matier Glacier. This raw beauty was the highlight of a weekend spent camping at nearby Nairn Falls, just north of Whistler, and taking part in Pemberton’s annual Slow Food Cycle, biking from farm to farm and eating our fill of organic foods like roasted potatoes and raspberry popsicles.
Dungeness crabs live in our west coast waters, and it’s not uncommon to find remnants of their striking orange shells and claws on the beach. The gulls got this one, which I reconstructed into a still life of sorts on a sun-bleached log. Commercial fishing vessels use traps to harvest the succulent seafood sustainably; would-be crabbers can buy a licence and try their hand too, as long as they adhere to the rules.
It’s easy to hop a bus to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, one of Metro Vancouver’s three watersheds, but finding Lost Lake takes tenacity. After an undulating bike ride along a gravel trail, a short uphill slog on foot and a bit of bushwhacking through old-growth forest, the hidden lake reveals itself, along with the ephemeral beauty of this look-at-me lily that’s pushed its way through the fallen logs.
This is a closeup of the MV Cos Orchid, which flies the flag of Singapore. I snapped this shot in English Bay after a whale-watching trip where we learned to identify orcas through the markings on their dorsal fins. It’s one of 3,000 cargo ships that head to Port Metro Vancouver annually, and an in-your-face reminder of the fine balance between nature and industry in our waterways.
I love the boldness of public art, especially “The Drop,” is an 18-metre installation at the foot of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, created by Inges Idee. The Berlin-based artists say that blue raindrop connects the city and nature and relates to the theme of water, “even if comes from the sky.” It was designed to align with the angular architecture of the Centre, almost like a figurehead on a ship.
Some people find Vancouver oppressively grey, but not photographers. The moody backdrop heightens the ever-present shades of green. Delicate water droplets are captured in the deeply furrowed cup-like leaves of the aptly named “drinking gourd” Hosta, shot in Stanley Park.
Janet Gyenes is a writer, editor and photography enthusiast who enjoys crafting stories — sometimes without words. As Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
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