Last week, I blogged about my hanami hunt right before stay home was announced. This week, the photos were taken during the stay home order.
These photos were taken either on my trip out to buy groceries, or on the short walks I took around the neighbourhood to get some fresh air. By then, we were well into spring and many more trees had blossomed.
Most flowers were in pink and red, though through my walks, I discovered more variety.
As Vancouver moved to stay home, my venture outdoor was limited to grocery shopping and short walks around the neighbourhood. Luckily for me, the trees were also in the mood to blossom.
The blossoms were not majestic like those found in Japan. They were sporadic and some trees bloomed in isolation. I think trees in Vancouver were also planted far apart, so it was also difficult to get blooming views of a street lined with blossoming trees.
Luckily for me, there were little surprises found outside the doorsteps of neighbours, who planted varying flowers in their gardens facing the streets! The above was a bed of lovely Garden Grape Hyacinth (thanks to Google Lens!) that added a dash of wonderful colour on the street.
One evening, I decided to take an even longer walk to Renfrew Street.
There were flowers unique in their own right and light.
There were also flowers which complemented the houses they stood in front of.
Unfortunately, the lighting was bad by that time, so the photos barely came out decent.
Instead, I took a lot of sunset views with plenty of silhouette, which was also one of my favourite genres of photography.
Such is the lifestyle of a city in slow down mode.
Looking Back at Life Before Stay Home
Unlike Vancouver bus drivers, the local government and society did not step on the brake hard and fast.
Schools moved to online learning in various paces, partly due to the lack of direction from the top. My university was (reportedly) one of the last to move to online learning. Students even started to skip school before any official news was out. On my last few school-going days, the bus was barely half-full. Yes, on usual days, we would be sticking our faces into another’s back.
I also remembered that the sun broke out after months of daily rain. One day after seeing the sun, I told my colleague at work that I wanted to go find blossoms. She told me to do it asap, since in early spring, sunshine is not guaranteed everyday. Of course, she also thought we would go into “lock down” soon.
Indeed, a few days after our conversation, our school finally announced its plan to move into online learning. a few days later, Vancouver stopped people from visiting parks and beaches. Restaurants also stopped dine-in options. We are now encouraged to go to public places only to shop for essential stuff, and to rely on take outs and deliveries, if required.
It was during that brief window of a few days that I managed to steal some time to go on an excursion to look for blossoms. After #stayhome, I only managed to take photos of blossoms near my home, on a few of my evening walks to get some fresh air (it’s OK for us to be out on sidewalks, as long as we don’t cluster together like people did in parks).
I am not a hopeless romantic, but neither am I a pessimist. I believe that while we should be cautious, we have to be objective and rational. This virus can cripple the health system and deprive many who needs help. Therefore, we should all do our part to make sure we “flatten the curve” to ease the burden of the healthcare system.
At the same time, we should not start to live a life of doom and gloom. I still take walks around the neighbourhood to take in fresh air and treat my eyes to the sight of nature awakening in spring. Just as long as I make sure I keep a safe distance from others who are also out for walks, I don’t see why we should not enjoy life’s little moments.
Till then, sing while you can.
I have blogged about other (perhaps more lighthearted) aspects of life in Vancouver, Canada which you can browse through. Please Like and Share this post if it touched your heart. Follow this blog for more reflections and sharing about life as a Singaporean in Canada.
I’ve also made a video (found below) from my hanami hunt, which provides more sights of the blossoms.
The photos were taken with Google Pixel. They were edited by either Google Snapseed or Google Photos, to give a richer sense of the sights I encountered. Feel free to contact me if you would like to use these pictures for your own use!