Thursday, May 28, 2009

Better late than cherry???

Hey There!

Remember me? I'm ashamed to look at the date of my last post - it was in April and here we are almost at the end of May! This past month and a half has been a month of ups and downs. Thankfully we seem to be on an upward motion at the moment :)

In April, we managed to escape for a weekend in Kelowna with our good friends Joni and Kent from Saskatoon. It was a nice, albeit cloudy and somewhat cool weekend. For some shots of that weekend click here.

What else has happened? Well, I won't bore you with down bits - but I did pass my 30 year mark. Yes, I am now officially out of my 20s. I can't say that I was really affected though. I got many b-day wishes including a treasure hunt sent all the way from Sweden that had me wandering around my neighbourhood with a ladle. Guess where I ended the Swedish bakery around the corner from my house where a princesstårta and other treats were waiting for me! (I was just thankful I didn't actually have to dig in the park with my ladle!)

Yes, I know I looked a little dorky (having thrown on some jeans after our baseball game) but I didn't mind, I did score a cake out of the deal.

Ben and I also celebrated our third wedding anniversary, an occasion that was marked by slightly undercooked burgers at a local pub. (Don't worry we sent the burgers back and got fresh ones.)

We have been playing softball - well Ben has been playing, I've been attempting to play. My sister and I are also playing on a soccer team together, and we were both a little sore after playing our first game. And when I say a little sore, I meant we could barely walk for the next 3-4 days. Thankfully we are both doing a bit better now, having played 4 games so far. Ben and I have also been gardening in our community plot. I will take some photos of it soon, and show you how it progresses. So far the only drama has been that someone stole some of our flowering plants. Boo, hiss! But we planted some more and they are still there.

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for - the story behind Vancouver's cherry blossoms.

So I had to do a little digging (thanks to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website) and it turns out that it was way back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s that the Vancouver Park Board staff initiated a number of significant ornamental tree plantings. In the 1930s, the mayors of both Kobe and Yokohama, Japan presented the park board with 500 Japanese cherry trees and gradually the city began to move away from the large, long-lived trees (i.e. Elms, Maples and more) to smaller, ornamental trees like flowering plum, cherry and crabapple. They did this because they "gave better value in colour and decorative effect, but also saved damage to the sewers and pavement". In 1990, a street tree inventory counted that nearly 36% of the cities 89,000 trees were represented by flowering plum and cherry trees. Now there are more than 130,000 street trees so the flowering population is surely higher.

If anyone ever has a chance, Vancouver is a beautiful place to be in mid-April to May, and I tried to take some photos but they just don't do the trees or the tree-lined streets justice.

I had to throw in a rainy day photo as this is how we normally see the trees.

These last three photos are actually of a magnolia tree (I think) but I have been seeing more and more of these around and I think they are beautiful!

That's it for now, time to get dinner started, I hope to be more mindful of my blogging in the coming weeks. We are off on a camping adventure soon so hopefully I'll have something to write about!

Hugs to everyone,