Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in Stanley Park, April 18 to 26

The beautiful cherry blossom season of 2020 is winding down, to be followed by the later parade of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas.

The ‘Takasago’ north of Rose Garden Lane continues to blossom in the last week of the festival.

The ‘Takasago’ north of Rose Garden Lane continues to be outstanding, whereas I went passed two ‘Rancho’ trees growing south of the Stanley Park Pavilion, and realized I had missed their blooming entirely.

I have enjoyed photographing, smelling, and learning about four more Prunus cultivars over the last ten days: ‘Kanzan’, ‘Gyoiko’, read more

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in Stanley Park, April 10 to 17

Third Report, Nina Shoroplova, Cherry Scout for Stanley Park

So many cultivars of flowering cherries reached peak beauty this past week that it’s hard to know where to begin. Though I have never before concentrated on so few tree species at a time, I now understand the fascination with the transcendent and fragile beauty of cherry blossoms.

This third report about the blossoming cherry trees in Stanley Park for the week April 10 to 16 reveals that there are cherry trees along every walk, beside read more

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in Stanley Park, April 3 to 9

Second Report, Nina Shoroplova, Cherry Scout for Stanley Park

So we grew together,

Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,

But yet an union in partition;

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem.

Shakespeare, A Midsummer-Night’s Dream III, ii, 208–211

In Stanley Park this week, the first full week of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, double and single cherry blossoms abound—cherry trees of various species and cultivars are in prebloom, first bloom, and full bloom stages.

There are now three groves of ‘Akebono’ moving through full bloom.

The grove of ‘Akebono’ on Chilco at Alberni near Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park is glorious.

The grove of ‘Akebono’ on Chilco at Alberni, near the Welcome to Vancouver sign on Highway 99 is now at peak glory. What were once pale read more

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Begins

First Report, Nina Shoroplova, Cherry Scout for Stanley Park

Tuesday, April 2, 2020, is the first day of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. The pale pink of ‘Akebono’, the brighter pink of ‘Accolade’, and the white of ‘Snow Goose’ provide the colours of the day, as every cherry scout knows full well. Keeping their physical distance from others, cherry scouts armed with their cameras are venturing out on their daily walks into their neighbourhoods, along their boulevards, and through read more

Bambino

It’s hot. Humid. My face was bright red and beaded with sweat when I came back from my errand at the edge of town. I had to walk further than I had planned because the first bridge across the canal was closed at both entrances—I had to take the second bridge and walk back to the stationery store via the tourist stalls.

I’ve cooled off now. And the Frappe Nutella will cool me even more. I’m in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero State, Mexico.

Café Caracol has three small tables, each with two ladder read more

My Shadow Stands Its Ground

I remember how it was as though it was yesterday: My shadow is long as it stretches over the sand. It’s early morning. The chairs and chaise longues are not out on the sand yet.

Waves come in, washing away sand and leaves and bubbles left by the previous wave. My shadow stretches ahead over the sand, long and lean.

The dog approaches. He stands in the waves. Then he jumps this way and that.

Where’s his owner? I look around. No one is paying him any attention.

No collar.

He comes closer. He’s read more

Responding to the Coronavirus

It’s early March. Our friends emailed that they’d cancelled their flight to Toronto scheduled for April.

I stood behind someone in the pharmacy who had bought about twenty bottles of hand sanitizer.

Christian went out and bought us masks (expensive ones) and disinfecting wipes.

We didn’t use the masks; hardly anyone in the airport had them on. But the minute we reached our seats in the airplane, we pulled out the wipes and started wiping down the arm rests, the tray table (open and shut), the read more