Today’s guest post comes from Dr. Piper Klemm, publisher of The Plaid Horse. Piper is traveling the northern land of Alberta, Canada for the Calgary Stampede. She stopped by Lake Louise, near the border with British Columbia, and home to some incredible views (more to come). This particular moment, with sunlight peaking through the clouds to illuminate a lakeside cabin and the canoes on the right of the image, was too perfect to resist posting.
The tranquil Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia is a very peaceful place to wander and ponder.
Continuing with my botanical theme lately, here’s another of the oft featured Nitobe memorial garden at UBC, in the middle of the summer.
Vancouver can be a bit of an alien place at times. Gazing across the water, I don’t know that any image better represents the combination of dense urbanity, maritime connection, and epic nature than this one does. With the last warm hues of sunlight reflecting from the water and the windows, the blues of the forest (and night) beyond begin to dominate.
In the quiet of Nitobe Memorial Garden, I was struck by the craftsmanship of this teahouse. Even the roof had such gorgeous structure, with the wood lit by ambient light reflected from the water and the foliage.
In the sylvan core of UBC’s (aptly named) Green College, a few random buildings hide with the trees. Some have pedestrian uses (literally—the building on the right is a stairwell), but others are more surreal: this little cottage is a shared-use kitchen. As the first rays of moonlight catch the scene, I can’t help but be reminded of some Tolkienesque elven fortress.
Outside Vancouver (the city) are the hillsides, dotted with homes and apartment buildings and, farther north, massive rocks. (That’s a pretty rare combination.) The difference between the soft, welcoming pink hues of the sunset and those massive hillsides (with some lovely evergreens in the foreground) is stranger, the more I think about it.
This picture also illustrates the biggest difference I’ve encountered since moving from the west coast to the east: the environments are less staggering and overwhelming, but the skies (and the buildings) are much more so. I’ve had to reorient the way I shoot to account for it.
While I’m on the trend of remembering summers past (and mourning the end of our own summer), I’m also going to reminisce about our trip to the University of British Columbia’s Nitobe Memorial Garden last summer. Look at that lushness. Foliage everywhere. And, as I like to joking call it, the “enormous bonsai tree” framing the soft scene.
Another shot from UBC’s Nitobe memorial garden, this time of water lilies floating serenely on the surface of one of the pools. The arrangement of the leaves above the surface of leaves really does give the impression that every leaf, every petal on each flower has been hand placed for a specific effect.
At the center of the Nitobe Memorial Garden lies a peaceful pool filled with Koi, and in the middle of that pool lies the “Island of Eternity,” a small island in the shape of a turtle, pictured here.
There’s something magnificent about the views around Vancouver of the hills and the water. There’s something even more amazing about those same views around sunset when the sky just absolutely fills with color. For these reasons, among others, Vancouver’s got to be one of my favorite places on this planet.
That and if you walk around long enough you start to recognize locales featured in MacGyver.
In the already quiet and calming Nitobe Memorial Garden, this particular corner is the quietest and most calming of them all. At the back of the garden, where few other visitors go, is this tiny fenced-off area. Though this yard is actually adjacent to the ceremonial tea house, I much prefer imagining that an elderly couple lives here, and will be out to tend the garden shortly.
A quiet afternoon in the University of British Columbia’s Nitobe Memorial Garden: every path and blade of grass groomed to perfection, the sun wriggles between the leaves to dapple this narrow bridge over a lily pond. Dragonflies dart among the reeds, and the camera captures a perfect moment in time.