Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ghostly Birds

When I go for my walks there are times I don't have any real destination in mind and I grab photos of whatever I see. Like this fellow. I think this is the first time I have ever gotten such a good shot of a squirrel.

If you have seen the movie 'Birds' and it scared you then you may want to avoid these next photos.

I was walking along Granville Street and happened upon this gathering of pigeons.

The pigeons were all gathered around since there was someone feeding them and continued to do so until a few seagulls joined the group and were bullying the pigeons for the food. However, if you  look at these creatures they don't look like they've missed many meals!

Did you know that pigeons are monogamous and will only lay one or two eggs which will hatch in about 18 days? They will usually reproduce year around and the young leave the nest after about four to six weeks. Then more eggs are laid.  Descended from rock doves these city birds have no natural enemies. Between that and the amount they reproduce I guess that is why we have so many in cities!
Pigeons are not migratory and will eat just about anything. A pigeon can deposit over 11 kilograms of droppings a year and their droppings can cause vegetation to decay. Their nests can also cause fires on electrical signs.

The reason I was walking along Granville Street is because of what happened at the corner of Granville and Robson Streets. The three-storey Farmer Building at that corner had been torn down. It had stood in that spot since 1922 and unknown to many Vancouver residents, the building hid a ghost sign.

This is called a 'ghost sign because of their ghostly faded appearance and the fact that they advertise businesses that are sometimes long gone. (You will remember that I wrote on the sign found on a building on Victoria Drive for Shelley Bakery.)

The sign shown above was for a comedy by Harold Lloyd entitled Grandma's Boy. It was playing across the street at the Capitol Theatre ergo the disembodied hand pointing to where the theatre would have been.

Lloyd  was one of the giants of the silent screen. He was a comic genius who once rivalled Charlie Chaplin in popularity and made over 200 films between 1913 and 1947. Sadly he is largely forgotten today.

(I would like to thank an article in the Vancouver Sun by John Mackie for information on the newly revealed sign.)

Some time ago I wrote on the Victoria Block on Pender Street. It was in rough shape and you can check out the original blog entry to see how bad it was. But when I walked by on Sunday I was pleased to see that someone has taken the initiative to restore it.
It really makes me feel good to see an old building brought back to life. Instead of destroying our history and tearing it down then replacing it with a glass and metal atrocity, someone has shown some love for Vancouver and rebuilt a little piece of our heritage.

I hope you find the beauty around you.
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