such fun

This last week reverberated with the sad news of Robin Williams’ death – a man who appeared to thrive on making others laugh while he himself was obviously in a dark place. Such a tragedy – and yet he leaves behind so many memories and movies which will provide laughter to others for a long time to come.

My heart goes out to his family at this tough and heartbreaking time. Thanks for all you gave to the world at large, Robin Williams. You will be missed.

And if you are reading these lines, and you are suffering from mental illness, this is a strong word of encouragement to let you know that you are not alone, and that you are not crazy. Please know that there is no shame in seeking help. In fact it takes great courage to do so. I really hope you do. You are so worth it.

And on another, and vastly less significant note, the time has come to make an announcement. And the announcement is, that this is the last official post in this blog. While it is usually never fun to say farewell, it was an enjoyable time here at photojourneying.

This blog filled in a badly needed gap after a favourite website shut down, and it provided a home for some of the photos and stories that deserved a second chance. You obviously thought so too, and I thank you for your support. Much appreciated!

While there are still many images that have not yet been posted, the tough decision has been made to discontinue posting them here. Time limitations are the primary reason. So I wanted to put it out there and let you know.

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My primary blog, while essentially a photo blog, frequently tells stories, too, and if you would like to stop by, I will look forward to your visits to pix & kardz. Just click on any of the images above to take you there.

Some of the stories which might have otherwise have been posted here could very well find their way over there from time to time. And if not, for life goes on and sometimes some old stories are best forgotten, then there will be new ones appearing there.

In any case, thanks again. It has been such fun.

All images captured while on a recent road trip to the Oregon Coast.


more thanks

Continuing from an earlier post, here is the next set of images from a collection of over 80 images posted in October 2012 as a thank you for half a million views over at the former Webshots site.

many thanks

They cover various seasons and vistas – from scenic views to macro details, from close to home and from travels far away. A happily random assortment.

All of them seem to easily demonstrate that we live on a beautiful planet. Hope you enjoy. πŸ™‚


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β—† Originally published October 2012 β—†

Blog Note:

This is also a thanks for your support here at photojourneying. Your visits and comments are much appreciated.

β˜€ Summer is just around the corner, and life has taken a busy turn once again, so a there will be a hiatus here for June and July. Enjoy your summer. See you at the next post – in August.

all in the merry month of May

The celebration of May continues….

00 merry month of may

01 new beech leaves

new maple leaves

new maple leaves

Maple leaves growing

Maple leaves thriving

04 wild sweet peas

dogwood leaves

dogwood leaves

06 pink dogwood

new rose leaves, looking well worn in

new rose leaves, looking well worn in

09 blueberry blossoms

rhododendron blossoms in pink

rhododendron blossoms in pink

11 rhodo buds

12 salmonberry blossom

13 crab apple blossoms

fresh green foliage in the park

fresh green foliage in the park

all images captured May 2012

β—† previously published May 2012 at the now-defunct website:
as user id: christianchen

β—† all images are now Β© photojourneying 2014

once upon a day in May

The last post featured some images from a previous encounter between spring and my first digital camera which took place about six years ago.

The other day it was gloriously sunny, and my cell phone camera was kept busy from the early morning until the evening, since my camera was not with me.

It all began with some early morning moments as I headed out the door:



It continued midday while on a break at work:




Welcome home again!
And of course it kept right on going when I got home again with Timmy, our self-appointed welcoming committee of one, making sure that I was duly welcomed. Such a bundle of purrs! He never fails to make me smile.

Disclaimer :: capturing an image of Timmy in welcoming mode is quite a challenge, as he is exuberant and is seldom still enough for a sharp click. This was as good as it got.

All images captured — with a cellphone camera — on May 7, 2014

Other recent spring moments:

whether or not

pink waves & the flowers of May

One of spring’s highlights in Vancouver is the pink wave effect. That is not an official term, however it could very well be so. Many of the streets are lined by trees, and a substantial number of them are various types of Japanese cherry trees, about 40,000 of them at the last official count. When they bloom, they are reminiscent of pink clouds, and if you have an opportunity to drive along blossom-lined streets, you really must do so. It is sheer eye candy.

not 1  

They all bloom at different times, with one variety just finished blooming, and the next variety beginning. The first wave usually begins in late March, and the last one ends in late May. Times vary slightly, depending on how early or late the warming spring temperatures arrive.

While many of the blossoms are various shades of pink, there are also white ones. And there are not only Japanese cherries. There are also crabapples, hawthorns, redbuds, honey locusts, dogwoods and more.

It was my first spring with a digital camera, and the Japanese cherry blossoms were in their prime well into May. Even the tulips were blooming this late, and yet the typical blossoms of May, the azaleas and lilies of the valley, were also beginning to put in their appearance.

Here is a short journey down memory lane.

japanese cherries 01

japanese cherries 02

japanese cherries 03

The crabapple blossoms also appear in various shades of pink. These dark ones appear to bloom last, after the Japanese cherry blossoms are long past their prime.

crabapples 01

crabapples 02

crabapples 03

It is not uncommon to see tulips blooming this late in spring.

tulips in May

May’s flowers are also putting in an appearance.

10 flowers of may

But of course, the Japanese cherry blossoms are unforgettable.

11 cherry blossoms
Related posts at pix & kardz:

❀ the next wave
❀ magnolia street


many thanks

For the milestone of half a million views over at Webshots – which arrived shortly before the website would be forever shut down, a special album of favourite images was prepared as an expression of appreciation for all the support received by friends and visitors. The images were posted in October 2012, and bore the moniker of ‘christianchen’, my user id there. There is a bit of a story to the name, however it will have to keep for another time.

In any case, most of the images contain the original copyright from the webshots site, as well as a newly acquired one here at photojourneying. Because of the large number of images in this set, the images will be posted in several installments throughout the year. Enjoy!

1. Thanks
00 thanks, cover 00
2. Storm Clouds Breaking
01 storm clouds breaking
This was captured in October 2007, the day of an incredible storm when I first noticed a mother seagull with a junior bird. That story begins here.

3. incoming tide at Cox Bay
02 cox bay ws 2
You may know that Vancouver Island’s Pacific west coast is my favourite place that I have seen so far, something I keep mentioning. πŸ™‚

Since the first visit here more years ago than I can believe, I have seen many mountains, forests, gardens, parks, and have travelled thousands of miles between Canada and Europe, and the USA as well. Everywhere I went, there have been some incredible places to see. And yet, there is something compelling about this place with its air rich with salty mist and the roar of an endlessly pounding surf.
4. Beach Art
03 beach art
captured while beachcombing with my camera at Cox Bay
5. Morning Light
04 morning sun, green border
6. Afternoon Sunshine, #1
05 afternoon sunshine
7. Afternoon Sunshine, #2
06 afternoon sunlight

8. Autumn Moments
07 autumn moments collage

9. Winter Fog
08 fog

10. Spring Blossoms

11. Summer in Bloom
10 P1350724 (800x450)

the journey from winter to spring :: March

January had been mild and understated, and February let it be known that it was still winter, after all.

And then came March. The temperatures had warmed up, so there was no longer any snow.

March 5, 2014

However there were some incredible rainstorms.

March 8, 2014



The rain did not last forever, and the next day greeted us in sunshine.

March 9, 2014

This called for a short road trip, and it could not have been a more beautiful day. By the time evening called, ambivalent clouds gathered in the sky. Would it remain sunny? Would there be rain once again?

However, the local mountains were still devoid of snow. Please note this is the source of our local drinking water.
March 11, 2014

Glorious sunshine made a comeback – and so did the mini irises in the park across the street from the office. Such cheerful blossoms they are, and to see them stand up so straight and tall short, they make me smile.

And then came a personal battle with a very nasty cold/flu virus thingy which I happily conquered, and I was up and about and back to work again by the first day of spring. It was a glorious day, with blue skies, and the local mountains had a fresh blanket of snow on them.

The first Japanese cherry trees were blooming. And driving past my favourite magnolia street, I saw that the first blossoms were out. However I was quite tired from my first day back at the office, and so against everything that I normally do, I was happy to make a mental note of them only, and continued driving homeward without stopping for a click.

Seriously, no click. Hard to believe, I know.

But it was obvious that spring had definitely arrived.

The next day proved to be another blue sky day, and so I stopped to capture what I had only made a mental note of the day before.

March 21, 2014 :: on the second day of spring



And that was the journey from winter to spring in my corner of the planet this year. Of course, that was just the beginning. Although this blog has been on a short hiatus, April has continued non-stop with a whole array of new arrivals. Here is a small taste of what has been growing the last couple of weeks.

Interestingly, and not without some controversy, there are massive changes taking place in the City of Vancouver at the moment. Local city council has given approval, and construction developments are taking place in many neighbourhoods for quite some time now, with plans to build high towers, some consisting of 30 stories and more. Towers have always been part of the downtown core, however the local neighbourhoods have been exempt from that until now.

It appears, once again, that change is a constant.

spring april construction

And yet despite that, the small changes of the colours of spring are also continuing, undeterred by council decisions and construction developments. These are the ones that are heartening and make me smile.




fiddlehead ferns

spring april 2014 08 pana

Gotta love spring!

the journey from winter to spring :: February

04 feb 15 After a mild January, February continued with mild weather for at least a couple of weeks. It was hard to imagine some of the cold winter weather taking place in Europe and eastern North America.

Snowdrops began to appear in gardens everywhere, including our own back yard, and daffodil blades continued to pierce through the ground, encouraged and welcomed by the mild temperatures.

Valentine’s Day, which has frequently been a day marked by snow in this corner of the planet, came and went, and the mild temperatures continued.

Even the weeds seemed to be making a comeback. Who invited them?

And then came the last week of February. Unbelievably, there had been snow in the forecast. And snow it did. Just a bit at first.

February 22, 2014
05 feb 22
And then the snow continued.

February 23, 2014
06 feb 23
February 24, 2013

The weather forecast called for warmer temperatures by the afternoon, so I decided to drive rather than use public transit to get to work. But it continued to snow. The main roads remained clear however, so that was rather encouraging. The city workers had been busy, salting and sanding the roads.
07 feb 24 (750x699)

08 feb 24

09 feb 24

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15 feb 24 (750x525)

February 25, 2014

But by the next day, the snow had stopped and was already beginning to melt.

The weather changed from blue skies and sunshine to fog, and back again several times that day. My desk faces a wall – a fabric-covered room divider, actually. With lots of room for my calendar, notes, photos, and more.

However if I stand up, I can see the following view of the skytrain – which is actually becoming increasingly less visible year after year, as the trees in front of it continue to grow. When I first started working here, the trees were so short that I could actually see the north shore mountains beyond the track, but I digress.

On this day it was as if every time I happened to look outside, the weather had changed once more.
20140225_081609 (740x416)

Back and forth the weather fluctuated. By lunchtime, when I was walking outside, the skies were blue once again.
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After work, the views of melting snow continued to reappear. Of course I had to stop my car a few times to capture some images.
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One of my co-workers saw this snow man and snow dog melting slowly in the late afternoon sunshine, and kindly shared the following click with me. Published here with kind permission. Thanks much, Betti!
snow man and snow dog, by Betti (448x750)

February 27, 2014

Of course, the local florist shop had springtime flowers on sale throughout this bout of winter. Such cheerful colours to contrast the blanket of white that had settled throughout most of the city.
20140227_162210 (740x416)

20140227_162159 (740x415)

February 28, 2014

And then came the last day of the month. Winter was all but forgotten once again.
20140228_160415 (2) (740x416)


Please note: A short hiatus is in the works effective immediately. Regular posting resumes April 20, 2014. See you at the next post.

the journey from winter to spring :: January

As you may have heard, winter is a rare occurrence in my corner of the planet. And when it does put in a showing, it is usually a quick one, with spring anxious to put in its appearance.

This past winter, there were a few occasional winter moments. Some of those moments lasted as long as a few days. Here’s how it went down.

The first snow, which was before Christmas, was one of those few-days-of-winter moments. However January remained mostly snow-free.

January 5, 2014

01 jan 5
Yet there were a number of days of fog. The fog was patchy, and moved rather surreptitiously around the city. Near the end of the month it was possible to drive through the fog, only to end up in sunshine a few minutes later. The following two images from a Vancouver parking lot were captured less than half an hour apart and a mere couple of blocks away from the flowers outside a local floral shop.

January 26, 2014

02 jan 26

02b jan 26

03 jan 26

03c jan 26

03b jan 26

03d jan 26

Estuary moments

One of my favourite places to visit is the estuary found at the south arm of the Fraser River. Which might not be saying too much, since I do have quite a few favourite places for going on walks. Even so, I think the place speaks for itself….

changing sky

changing sky


once a building stood here; this has been restored to a sanctuary for water fowl

once a building stood here; this has been restored to a sanctuary for water fowl





flora and a bit of fauna on the edge of the river

flora and a bit of fauna on the edge of the river


a distant rainfall

a distant rainfall


absolutely ducky

absolutely ducky


riverside bench

riverside bench


gathering rain clouds

gathering rain clouds


Related post
September afternoon