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.
This photograph comes from within the walls of Green College at the University of British Columbia. I really recommend clicking through to read all about its somewhat bizarre history. The dormitory is a place where academics of all ages come together to exchange ideas and cook extremely garlicky food. The combination of alpine architecture and enormous trees makes it feel like a cross between Hogwarts and Rivendell. I was feeling these mystical vibes in the middle of the night, as the Moon peaked through the trees and I took this picture.
During our recent trip to the University of British Columbia, Brendan spotted what looked a bit like a castle rising from behind the otherwise modern architecture of the university. What he saw was the Iona Building, the heart of the Vancouver School of Theology. It struck me as a little bit odd to see such an imposing and explicitly religious building on the campus of a public university, but hey–that’s Canada for you. The building’s provenance does little to diminish its architectural achievement.