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Friday was a spring day to crow about

May 9, 2015

Friday was all sunshine, vivid warm colours and crows, or course.

Friday (May 8), you should know, was the kind of late spring day that encourages Vancouverites to cast off all thoughts of rain and cold; fold them up and pack them away with all the other winter things.

The day started perfectly clear but a bit on the cool and breezy side. It steadily warmed up though and by the late afternoon the temperature on the ground did real justice to the hot-look sun overhead.

In the early evening (6:30 p.m. to be precise) I simply had to stop where I was — in a block of alley off the south side of West Broadway Avenue — and luxuriate.

I asked myself: could the sky have been any bluer, the sun any brighter, the temperature any more perfectly skin-warm?

As I slowly turned and gazed around me, my eyes picked out one particular stand of wooden utility poles.

The wooden supports of our glass and steel lifestyle

In one way or another, these dead straight, limbless trees line and straddle all of Vancouver’s back alleys. They stick out from the concrete, glass and steel of their surroundings by their woodiness and apparent crude workmanship.

They could be taken for primitive relics except that they are clearly in current use, adorned and strung with all the latest doo-dads and wires associated with our electrical grid.

The stand of wooden poles I noticed in particular was a type of scaffold where a pair of poles brackets both sides of the alley and are joined horizontally, high up their length, by thick wooden beams, cross-braced this way and that. In this case (as usual) the beams supported large garbage can-sized transformers and there were all sorts of electrical contacts and ceramic insulators and the like.

The whole sloppy-looking wooden construction was stuck in the asphalt of the alley like some kind of frontier gateway and through it, in either direction, east or west. in the alley, you could see more such “gateways” planted at regular intervals — every one of them off-kilter and crooked, and strung between them, or running from them to adjacent buildings, were thick black wires, flowing with that other lifeblood of civilization (and I don’t mean water).

The horizontal beams of each, as far as the eye could see, were under-slung with jury-rigged light fixtures scavenged from steel street light poles.

The wooden utility scaffold I was fixed on only differed from the others in that my light was turned on and burning brightly.

The solenoid doohickey, or whatever on-off switch was meant to turn the light on only after dark, was evidently on the fritz.

As a consequence, the glass bowl of the light looked as though it was filled to bursting with bright yellow custard — a particularly striking (and appetizing) effect against the deep blue sky.

And what of today?

As they say, today follows yesterday and weather-wise, Saturday in Vancouver is certainly following in the footsteps of Friday.

It’s blues skies and custard for everyone again! Click the image yo enlarge it.

From → Fairview

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