This photographic journal is by Maria Pavlik, co-creator of With My Umbrella, I Can: The Magical Journey of Penelope Puddle, in B.C., CANADA. (Header shot is by NASA.) “Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” - Yousuf Karsh
Real & Imaginary Creatures Of London
I was on cloud nine meeting a pelican for the first time in person.
I had seen them only in film and photos or sometimes I imagined seeing them in the clouds. Although spotted in parts of B.C., pelicans are not usually seen where I am along the coast or, for that matter, in Britain. Perhaps the fellow (below) comes from a line gifted by a Russian Ambassador to St. James's Park in the 60's. This particular one was discovered by itself at a local garden and, in 1996, the park took it under its wing.
It was quite a character (pictured above and below) with personality plus. No fence could contain what likely is one the most photographed birds in St. James Park.
Passersby, with groceries in hand, could not resist stopping to take several photos.
The bird seemed to preen and understand full-well its special status.
Swans lazily floated under the picturesque Hammersmith Bridge, one of 35 bridges in London over the river Thames. Soft blue cloud-filled sky hues bounced on the water.
Skies seemed lighter in texture and tone than at home. I wondered if the Tube so heavily used in London suppressed vehicle traffic pollution somewhat.
Below, a stoic palace guard sat atop his well behaved and meticulously groomed horse.
Nearby, a horse of a very different sort was displayed at the Buckingham Palace gates.
The unicorn (above) was likely chosen by Scotland (thus far remaining part of the United Kingdom) as its official national animal due to its mythical whimsical charms, super-strength and powers. The whimsical artifact (below) at the British Museum was a minuscule part of a vast Asia collection. The ornate container had birds for "legs".
The incredibly well preserved diorite statue (below) is thought to be from 4th century BC. It possibly represents Khepri which in ancient Egyptian mythology is the god of the morning sun transformed into a scarab beetle each dawn to be reborn at daybreak.
It was in the morning sun that I spied a large lion at Highgate Cemetery having a nap.
One hoped the person beneath this grand monument was also peacefully sleeping.
For the living in London there were overwhelming amounts of things to do and see. I could have spent more time in this vibrant rain-washed city. But the butterfly painting at the flat where I stayed saw me flutter away ... perhaps to return another day.
"On the Web we all become small-town visitors lost in the big city." - Alison Gopnik President Joe Biden's inauguration was bursting with inspirational speeches and events. Heaven knows many who now breathe a sigh of relief also needed a good laugh. That's when Bernie stepped in with his cool attitude and awesome mittens. I couldn't resist joining so many others who included him in various ways in different spaces. I think he looks super cute and cozy on a sofa designed for the cover art of my Couch & Company story. Hope you enjoy it and explore more of the artistic side of life at Paint Party Friday . Still the kid I used to be Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle and Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride to view more West Coast scenes. Because the state of our planet is the most pressing issue of our time, link up and learn about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report .
There it was ... a bright dollop of sunshine in a tangle of forest greens, browns and silvery grays. The yellow door snuggled against a tree said Fairy Hall and, in tiny faint lettering beneath, No Trolls . Oh, how I'd love to know what goes on inside Fairy Hall. I wanted to tap on the door but, a giant by comparison, I didn't want to cause a scare. I often take the Sandy Trail with its gravelly path, woodsy stumps, well-trod stairs, rabbits, birds and squirrels. I know every twist and rustling sound. But I hadn't noticed the small door before. This unexpected bit of whimsy magic tucked into the forest floor made me curious about what else was in the mysterious thicket I'd yet to explore. When I continued on my way, the trees leaned in ... as if they had something to say. Later, I found another fairy door (below), welcoming but only to a select few. See OUR WORLD to explore more sights from around the globe and SIGNS, SIGNS . Still the kid I used to be
Rain puddles vanished and a blast of scorching heat settled over B.C. recently, including in my region which reached 105 ° F at one point. Records were broken. (About 145 miles northeast in Lytton it was over 120 degrees; the entire village caught fire.) The air outside felt like a thick wall of hot steel. All fans were on duty indoors. The weather foretold of the wasteland that will arrive sooner rather than later if carbon emissions are not majorly reduced. Dozens of mostly elderly didn't survive the wake up call. At this writing, the heat is far less intense, thankfully. A sweet sense of normalcy has returned and the slight morning chill sits on my shoulders like a delicate shawl. In my neighbourhood, the birds are singing again and searching for treats. A different kind of wave also hit us all. I was relieved to get my second shot "to knockout Covid" on Canada Day . It was a perfect way to celebrate July 1st. Explore more at OUR WORLD . Still the kid I used