Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Colourful offering to bring in the New Year

First I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

The weather has been dreary, the days short and dark so needing some colour meant going indoors.  I chose the Blodel Conservatory which is both an indoor garden and aviary. In 1969, Prentice Bloedel, founder of Canadian timber giant MacMillan Bloedel Ltd., gave the park over $1 million toward the development of the plaza, including the covered walkways, fountains and domed Bloedel Floral Conservatory.
"... over 100 birds of various species call the Bloedel Conservatory home and free-fly within its spacious dome.  It was constructed through a very generous donation from Prentice Bloedel in 1969."
Made of an intricate framework of tubular steel elements supporting 1490 Plexiglas bubbles, the Conservatory is a triodetic dome, 140 ft in diameter and 70 ft high.

Inside, visitors enjoy tropical forest plants, flowers, cacti, and exotic birds including parrots. There are three simulated climates within the dome: tropical rain forest, sub-tropical forest and desert. At this time of year the dome not only has its usual array of tropical plants and flowers but also hundreds of poinsettias and some flowering spring bulbs.

After removing my coat, I spent an hour or more wandering slowly around and taking pictures.

One of the many types of orchids

The birds fly around or walk around on the pathways and the dome is filled with their chatter. Some oblivious to visitors others observing them closely. I saw one of the parrots (Casey I think) perched on a visitor's shoulder, both parrot and visitor seemed happy with the arrangement.
This is Monty the Princess Parrot

Casey the yellow crowned Amazon Parrot

A Chinese Golden Pheasant (above and close up below)

There were many small birds, some very colourful, some quite drab by comparison. I don't know the names of the small birds.

Nelson is a dwarf Macaw

Bamboo shoot

Art, a blue and gold Macaw

Another look at Casey

Lollipop Plant

Plantain Banana

Maria and Carmen, green winged Macaws

At the end of my visit I felt some colour and life had returned to my creative side, which had become drained by the hectic season and gloomy weather. I may have to return again before the winter is over, for another "fix" of colour, and with the modest admission charge (less than a movie) I think this very likely.

Colour My World:

I have been very busy reorganizing my studio and cleaning so have little creative to offer other than today's pictures.

Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week.....
"I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." Winston Churchill


  1. Colour you found....I did a double take of the green winged macaws. A cracking image.
    Ever considered splitting your posts? They are great but I find them a little overwhelming. I have the concentration span of a gnat so pay no heed.
    Happy New Year.

  2. Such beautiful, colorful birds!

  3. Wonderful post filled with colorful birds and flowers. Very exotic. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  4. looks like a great place to refresh the soul!

    the first small bird is a lady gouldian finch. the last small bird (brown and white) is a society finch. raised both of those many years ago. so sweet!

  5. Looks like a great place!! What a variety!!

  6. lots of gret birds today. Liked to see the golden phesant. Lovely.

  7. Thank you for the trip through the Bloedel Conservatory!
    I haven't been there for a long time, and yes it is beautiful...your pic's of the birds are great!


  8. What a haven for picture takers, Gillian. I think this is the first I’ve seen of a Chinese Golden Peasant that seems to have a little zebra pattern going on. There are many indoor places that feel outdoors and this is certainly one of them. Thanks for sharing the colors of your visit to the conservatory on this very blustery gray day. :)

  9. I have no words.....
    Gorgeous....magnificent...all here is a piece os Paradise! And the music...made in heaven...
    Thank you.
    And thank you for your lovely words in my Blog!

  10. Happy New year to you too! Those are all new birds for me...gorgeous birds too! There's nothing like a conservatory when you need some green! The golden pheasant is unique!

  11. And color you found!! Lovely photos of the birds and flowers. We need to "hunt some colorful beauty down" in the middle of winter--to drab and blah without some now and then. Have a great week. Mickie :)

  12. That pheasant is unbelievable. Wow, I looked at his many times and even showed my daughter.

  13. Happy New Year, Gillian! What stunning selections of colorful images! Indeed a perfect offering to the New Year. I’ll visit a conservatory with indoor gardens and aviary in my hometown – you made me want to do so.

    The New Year is the most important festive events in Japan. The last week of year-end was so hectic and then I enjoyed three days of celebration with my family and extended family. Now life has gotten to the normal. Wish you all the best for 2012.


  14. What beautiful photos.. Sounds like a beautiful place!!

    Hugs, Linda

  15. You certainly found colour.. and character. Those bird faces are just beautiful. Happy New Year to you and yours. :)

  16. A colourful collection of birds and plants.

  17. all these images make me happy ! it's what I need just now ! love the music too !
    wish you a lovely weekend dear Gillian

  18. These photographs are all so colorful and interesting. I love the shots of the exotic birds and flowers. The mask is fantastic. I enjoyed this so much. I thought I'd already left a comment on this last week but it must not have gone through so I'm trying again.

  19. Your photographs are exceptional Gillian - i enjoyed seeing them all. Is the Dome located in Queen Elizabeth Park? i agree that creativity seems somehow pushed aside with all the meals and company over the Christmas season. Glad to hear that you're back on track! Happy New Year!

  20. It must have been wonderful to spend time enjoying such a thriving and beautiful place. Your bird photos are great.

    The first little bird is a Gouldian Finch, an Australian finch. You may wish to link your post to World Bird Wednesday over at

  21. A great series of photos. So nice to see such beautiful birds and plants so close.

  22. I'm definately a colour-person too. Would have loved to do this visit like you did. Smorgasbord of photography happening. I can help you with naming the two finches.

    The one above Nelson, is a Star finch, and the one above that is a Gouldian finch.

  23. Blodel Conservatory must be the paradise for birds and flowers on earth. They are so exotic and attractive to me!! You make me happy with your wonderful photos. Especially I love Bamboo shot.
    Best wishes,

  24. Absolutely beautiful colors in the birds, plants, and flowers! That Golden Pheasant is fantastic! Great job, Gillian!

  25. Happy New Year to you and yours! Your post is wonderful. the flowers and birds are all beautiful. Is the Blodel Conservatory in Washington State? I believe My SIl tooks us to a Place caled Blodel near her home in Bainbridge island. Thanks for sharing, have a great day.

    1. No the Blodel Conservatory is in Vancouver, B.C.

  26. What a wonderful collection of bird shots!
    We have a pet princess parrot at home.

  27. beautiful photos! i heart the colorful birds.