Sunday, 22 March 2015

Hollyburn Lodge

Hollyburn Lodge was already an abandoned mill building in the early 1920's, when it was rediscovered by a group of snow-seekers from Vancouver.  They set it up as a ski lodge in the Hollyburn Ridge area, but soon discovered that the ridge can be below the snowline in some winters.  Undeterred, in 1926 they simply moved the whole building up the hill into the (usually) better snow at what is now the Cypress cross-country ski area.  It was meant as a temporary lodge, until something better could be built.  Eighty-nine year later, it's still there.  The roof is bent from years of deep snow, and the floor has significant topography.  It's so sloped in some places that dancers on the weekly music nights often end up piled into the downhill corner, from where it is a substantial hike back up to the tables.

However, this is the last year for the old lodge.  It is finally about to realize its "temporary" status, with plans to take the old building down and replace it this summer.  I understand the replacement is going to be as similar to the old one as possible, even to the point of replicating the eclectic mixture of windows.  I wonder if they will be able to copy the terrain of the floor?  Maybe not right away, but we'll give it another 90 years and see what it's like then...

Unfortunately, this winter there has been almost no snow at the ski lodge, and it's bare ground all around right now.   But I was able to engage my personal snow-making machine and cover all that brown grass with a nice layer of snow for this farewell picture of the old lodge.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Happy St. Patrick's

With my Irish ancestry, I was able to cook a traditional full-course Irish meal for dinner: baked potatoes and Guinness.  And then our very generous neighbour came over with chana bharta, which is less traditionally Irish.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Spring flowers

Vancouver being a bit different from other parts of Canada, our spring flowers precede our April showers.  And our April showers come in early March.  But the cherry, plum and crabapple blossoms are always welcome, whenever they appear.  This year I also noticed the flowers on the Japanese larch trees, like miniature tropical bromeliads.  And skunk cabbages, done in acrylic to bring out their glow against the dark mud.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

North Vancouver City library and the yellow peril

Public buildings convey messages about the identity and aspirations of the people.  To me, the loud message from the new North Vancouver City Library is "We are too timid to spend public money courageously!"  Or, more simply, "We are boring!"  The most charitable message I could find after drawing the building for an hour today was "The normal rules of two-point perspective apply here!"  It was telling that on a beautiful spring afternoon, a few people scurried by, one stopped to tie his shoe, and no one spent any time in the barren concrete plaza.

And speaking of allergens, the forsythia is out in force, at least one bush in every yard, including our own.  It is Public Enemy Number One for my over-achieving immune system.  But it is amazing how concentrating on something to draw it makes you come to appreci...ACHOO!  ACHOO!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Bloedel conservatory

The Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is a great place to go on a cold, rainy winter's day.  But since we don't have those in Vancouver any more, it was also a good place to go on a warm spring day.  I resolved the conflict between drawing the tropical flora inside and the subtropical flora outside by drawing twice as fast as normal and doing both.  And fit in a bonus flower drawing as well.