I’ll just say it: the COVID-19 pandemic is treating me pretty well. It’s a scary, uncertain and challenging time, definitely, but also a time for new opportunities. I’ve been working from home for the last few weeks, and I’m grateful to still have a job, but comes with its own challenges—the need for focus, separating personal and work spaces, that sort of thing, plus no more daily commutes along the seawall and no more gym. No more volleyball, either. The Queen Vicki tournament was the first casualty, but then the rest of the indoor season got canceled, and who can even say if we’ll have a summer season?
And I won’t get to travel to Paris with my parents next month. We’ve been looking forward to it for most of a year, had a whole itinerary planned, and now it’s up in the air. Talking about October and crossing our fingers. Talking about Berlin, too, since it seems Germany may get its act together faster than France. But again: everything up in the air.
Still, I’m lucky. The silver lining about these many changes in my routine is that it’s giving me the chance to reconsider some stuff. How I can make friendships work virtually—harder in some ways, easier in others. How my workout regimen didn’t seem to be working much and I can explore different approaches. My relationship with my own living space. I’m a creature of habit, I know this, and I think it’s time to ask if some of those habits need breaking.
One habit I’m sticking with, though, is my photography. I’ve been pretty much limiting myself to around downtown, except for one trek to Burnaby Lake; it doesn’t actually feel limiting, though, especially with the new telephoto zoom lens I bought in early March before all this went down. It was originally intended for Paris, and that will happen someday, but in the meantime I’m getting really close and personal with wildlife, cityscapes and whatnot. The wildlife, especially, I get to see in ways I never have before. I feel incredibly fortunate to live in a place like Vancouver. Let’s look at some highlights of the last two months!
There’s this cormorant and this song sparrow. Taken on the same morning commute, and I was still experimenting with the zoom.
(That reminds me, I need swing by Brush With Illumination one of these days, and see how these guys are doing.)
And then: the moon! I am seriously agog at how well this turned out. The colour is perfect, the details are exquisite, just this one photo makes the zoom lens absolutely worth it.
This Vancouver duck eating breakfast. And these Burnaby ducks just swimming around.
This morning canyon and this evening skyline.
This white-crowned sparrow. I didn’t know white-crowned sparrows were a thing until I looked it up. That makes three sparrow species in this neck of the woods that I have personally photographed, and I wonder how many more I can find? Wikipedia tells me there are almost 200 species of Old World and American sparrows worldwide.
This heron watching the sunset, and this crow which I thought for a minute was a raven because it looked so majestic.
This shot of Lost Lagoon and this other sunset.
So things are weird and uncertain and I don’t know when things will go back to “normal” but in the meantime I’m learning about sparrow diversity and marveling at how I just have to travel 10 or so kilometers to find whole new species of ducks with oddly-coloured heads, and maybe this is me trying to make lemonade out of a buttload of lemons or practising mindful gratitude but… right now this doesn’t suck so much for me.
I know this too shall pass, and I hope we don’t get back to normal, because “normal” wasn’t working for a lot of people. Hopefully something better will come in this pandemic’s wake.