An Encounter at Olympic Village

“How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.” Dorothy L. Sayers.

Olympic Village, located in Southeast False Creek, is one of the greenest communities in the world, making Vancouver a leader in sustainable development. Olympic Village, as its name implies, was originally designed to house the athletes and officials of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It has now come to be an vibrant mixed-use community that uses sustainability systems such as solar heating and green roofs, a nod to Vancouver “Greenest City” targets.

Olympic Village is a community with approximately 1,100 residential homes. There are parks (including a dog park), restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacy and a plaza that features Myfanwy MacLeod’s outdoor sculptures, “Birds” depicting house sparrows. The 18 foot (5.5 metres) presence of these two sparrows reminded me that humans are not the only creatures that create communities.

Join Don and me on our walk in Olympic Village and meet our Mallard friends who were busy finding a place to call home. Watching them check out one location and then another confirmed that there was an active decision-making event occurring. Choosing a place to call home is something that unites all creatures that share this world.

For more information, click on these links:

Ducks

Mallards

63 Thoughts

    1. I had fun looking up all the facts about ducks. I did not know that there are approximately 120 different species of ducks. Those web feet are amazing. I understand ducks do not get “cold feet” because their feet have no nerves or blood vessels which allows them to swim in icey water and walk across snow without difficulty. Thank you for joining me at Olympic Village, Liz!

      Liked by 7 people

      1. I very much enjoyed your trip across the Olimpic Village and these two ducks, which make me feel good! Thank you also, dear Rebecca, for your accessory explanations concerning duck feet! Big hug:)

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I am delighted that you joined us at Olympic Village. Ducks are fascinating. I understand that they have three eyelids and can see in colour. Thank you for you heartwarming comments, Marina! Very much appreciated.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. This is fascinating, Rebecca:, thank you very much.
        I have been thinking of you, anyway, these days and very much hope that you do not suffer to much, because of your heat! We, on the contrary have rain and hailstorms, which ruin everything!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. So glad you joined at Olympic Village, Martina! I enjoy our conversations. The heat has abated, but there has been significant damage especially to the sea creatures. I just read this NPR article that reminds us all that climate change is a reality. I have committed to walking or taking public transit, recyling etc. While these actions seem insignificant – it does make a difference. I believe that we are all becoming aware of that we need to solve problem together. https://www.npr.org/2021/07/09/1014564664/billion-sea-creatures-mussels-dead-canada-british-columbia-vancouver

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I was amazed they let Don and I tag along on their search for a home. They seemed to like the company. It reminded me of our shopping habits, going back and forth on a decision. The geese, crows and seagulls are much louder in their communication. These two had very little to say to each other. They seemed to use intuition, another reminder that we really don’t the details of their communication strategies.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the video. We had so much fun following them as they scurried back and forth. Thank you Rudi for stopping by and for your comments. I am glad that we connected!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It is always such a privilege so share this kind of ‘up close’ moment with other creatures, isn’t it. Thank you for taking the time to capture and share your encounter with this lovely pair. 🦆💕

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Liz – there are so many stories that are held in nature. Humanity is not the only species that builds communities. I loved how the drake followed his partner back and forth with seeming patience. Reminded me of shopping with Don! LOL

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Robbie, for your encouragement. What I am following closely is the Vancouver Food Strategy which is a plan to create a just and sustainable food system for the city. There are urban gardens springing up all over Vancouver, which are promoting the idea of growing your own food. There are plans to have local food markets within walking or cycling distance. The big issue is always food affordability. There is an urban garden in the vicinity of this bridge where the video was taken. Vancouver has limited space so we are growing upward rather than outward because we don’t want to decrease our agricultural land. Thank you again for meeting up with the Mallards with us! Sending hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That is a very innovative idea, Rebecca. The British did this during WWII and everyone “Dug for Victory”. Lots of people still have allotments where they grow fruit and vegetables. I think it is a great idea. I just don’t have time for a vegetable garden, they are a lot of work.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree – they are a LOT of work. I was talking with the experienced urban gardeners. They said, that new gardeners are excited about the prospect of growing their own food, until they realize how much work it is. Planting the seed is one thing, but the weeding and watering is quite another. But they soon learn and the gardens grow abundantly. There is always a waiting list to get on a urban garden site.

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  2. A wonderful walk along with the ducks! Thank you, Rebecca, for giving us this chance. It always makes me happy to see that the places, which were once built for major events, like the Olympics, etc. get another useful task for a good reason. It just makes me sad to see that in some countries (especially the poor ones), in which these events took place, these buildings remain useless and abandoned.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am so glad that you joined us!!. This history of the Olympic Village was quite dramatic. There were fears that it would become a ghost town, but over the years it became a go-to place to visit. Check out this article that featured the 10th anniversary of Olympic Village: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/olympic-village-10-year-anniversary-1.5465157. The Sparrows are a great attraction. Thank you for stopping by and for your comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I was so taken with the video, Rebecca, I neglected to mention the environment. Aren’t the Olympic Villages grand, too!
        Here in Australia the Olympic Park venue was created from the ground up, so to speak. Part of the area once housed an abattoir and marsh lands! Like your beautiful Vancouver Olympic Village, creative minds brought greener more sustainable conditions to the fore.
        Today the area houses residential buildings, businesses, venues for entertainment purposes and modern sporting facilities.
        Yes, I do believe we have the Olympic Games to thank for many of the beneficial changes we see in our world.
        Just as an aside: Keith and I have danced in one of the fabulous venues when competing! How grand that was.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh that would have been grand to dance in that venue, Carolyn. What a wonderful memory! I agree – city planning has come a long way over the decades which, I believe, a great response to our need to reduce our overall consumption. The residential units are much smaller than they were 30 years ago, but are more efficient in terms of space, electricity and distance from public amenities. I don’t remember hearing about GHG emissions and global warming when I was growing up. I looked up the term “global warming” and found that it was first mentioned on NPR in 1989. We have certainly learned a great deal in the last 30 years!!!

        Liked by 3 people

    1. My father enjoyed the writing of Dorothy L Sayers. I just found out lately that not only did she write Lord Peter Wimsey, but she translated Dante Divine Comedy. From Crime to the Inferno. Thank you for joining us and the Mallards at Olympic Village.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I loved how the female was focused on finding the perfect spot. She kept on going back and forth and back and forth. Reminded me of how humans make decisions, we weigh the pros and cons until we make our choice. It seems we are not so different than our duck friends.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. What you didn’t hear in the video was my conversation with the ducks about their family and their home-hunting. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn duck language. Every time I meet up with nature, I remember the quote by Wendell Berry, that starts and ends with “I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Beautiful quote to read near my day’s close. A benediction really. I’ve begun reading Annie Dillard, and wow just wow! I enjoy seeing ducks around here, simply because they are so outnumbered by the Canadian geese! I hope your ducky couple found the perfect place to nest and raise their brood of ducklings. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a lovely post! Watching those darling ducks patter about with the music you chose in the background was so special. It really evokes a sense of calm and serenity. Thank you for sharing!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. They pattered back and forth quite a lot, didn’t they? I was surprised that they allowed us to join in their search. What I found most fascinating was that there was an understanding that occurred between the two. They seemed to anticipate each other’s moves and found a easy-going companionship. Thank you for your visit!!

      Liked by 4 people

    1. We have cooled down a great deal from the last week. The interior of BC is experiencing forest forest so we are still crossing our fingers for rain. I am fascinated by the interactions of ducks, geese, crows and seagulls. We have a resident heron that lives close by that appears from time to time. The crows squawk the loudest and seem to enjoy the bickering and yet they all gather together in the early evening to fly to their roost in Burnaby.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That sounds wonderful! I like when the gannets come every year. They sound joyful when they circle and dive-bomb for fish. We get our own show from our kitchen window. We’re a little worried about the arctic terns, though. They haven’t been as plentiful these past couple of years.
        I’m glad it has cooled down for you and hope the fires can be controlled.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. The video is beyond enjoyable! I was making speech bubbles in my head for the ducks.
    Hahaha! She is being very fussy about where to nest. He’s like “can hardly wait to get things settled”! & “Oboy, just wait ’til we get home”!
    I adore ducks. You might recall that my Art Gown “Mystic Lake” is inspired by ducks.

    Vancouver has always been a leader in things “green”.
    I was at the first “Save The Whales” rally at Kits Beach. Still have my yellow & green “Save The Whales” button!
    Toronto needs to invest in more “Green” space.

    One thing happening here is; they are taking car lane space away from drivers, and making bike lanes all over the city.
    This is environmentally a good move.
    However, drivers are incensed. The less car lanes traffic and bottlenecks increase idle time on the road.
    Cars are running heaters in the winter, ac in the summer, while the cars sit and burn fuel.
    This is environmentally NOT a good move.

    Remember our crack smoking mayor, Rob Ford?
    He got elected on the paraphrasing – I’m going to make Toronto a place for cars! A place where traffic MOVES!-

    Toronto has the worst yo-yo city planning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember Mystic Lake and the connection to Artist Belén Soto. I also remember that you listened to MK-O while you created the gown. I had to go back to the post and look at the gown again. How you were able to hand sew this creation is a mystery to me.(https://artgowns.com/2016/09/28/mystic-lake/)

      You must come back to Vancouver again. You will find that we have a plethora of bike lanes. Drivers were incensed on our side of Canada too. Then came the bike sharing racks which are now all over the city. It is working – more and more people are using bicycles to go from point A to point B. It is easier in Vancouver, but is difficult in provinces that have long winters and lots of snow. Did you hear the announcement: All new cars, light-duty trucks sold in Canada will be zero emissions by 2035. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/canada-electric-cars-2035-1.6085540) The cost of driving an electric vehicle is much less than a gas-powered car. I also read that the cost of EV will see a significant reduction, so I am cheered by this news. I agree wholeheartedly – “Cars are running heaters in the winter, ac in the summer, while the cars sit and burn fuel. This is environmentally NOT a good move.” Did I mention you should come back to Vancouver!!!? We miss you.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a very pleasant waddle around the Olympic Village. Ducks are always fascinating to watch. Yesterday our traffic came to a halt when a family of 12 Muscovy Ducks decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the road. 😅 Hugs to you, dear Rebecca. 🤗

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had to look up Muscovy duck – oh my they are very large ducks. No wonder they stopped traffic. I read that the name “Muscovy” is an old name for the region of Russia surround Moscow, but these ducks did not come from these area. I am fascinated by how names originate. Anyway, I digress. I am delighted that you enjoyed the video. All the scurrying back and forth kept us focused on the evolving story. Did you notice who was in charge?!!!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. What a cool place, Rebecca. It’s possible to live with others in a community respectful of the sustainability of the planet. Olympic Village proves that. It’s interesting how such places seem to nurture animals too, further enhancing the livability for all. 🙂 A lovely post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Isn’t it interesting that nature is coming to the cities – that in our human communities, there are other communities that thrive alongside us. Right beside this creek is a off-lease dog park, which is so much fun to visit. I see dogs pulling their humans along in a rush to meet up with there friends. I agree – it is possible to live with others and embrace a sustainable way to live! Thanks for stopping by – always enjoy our conversations.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. I have commented elsewhere. This is a really interesting post, loved it. I like the little movie of the two ducks, so fun and I see that the female seems to take the lead. There are a lot of very good comments, this is a very liked post! !
    thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I knew that you would enjoy this video, Frances. Remember when we had lunch at overlooking the Sparrows of Olympic Village. This park is just a couple blocks away from the centre of Olympic Village. It’s called Hinge Park which I think goes back to a time that this area was industrial. It now is a place where ducks and geese congregate.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks Rebecca, the Dorothy L Sayers quote made me laugh! I too saw something (on you-tube, where else these days) about the billions of creatures cooked in the Bay by the excessive temperatures.Funnily enough doesn’t God say in the bible the world will never be flooded again- next time round it will be fire! Now that’s what I call Prophecy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paul – you comment about the end of time had me on a mini-research project today. I remember that is was indeed fire and not flood (Gen 9;11: I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.) Still looking for the fire quote, but we are experiencing fires in the interior of BC so we are crossing our fingers for rain. I am delighted you enjoyed the video – lots of scurrying going on. Who was in charge, I wonder?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined us in Vancouver. Looking forward to following your travels. Isn’t it amazing that, with our technology, we can reach across the world and be anywhere from our kitchen tables.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jason – your comments are very much appreciated. There are so many communities that intersect a geographic area – each of them enriches the others. I am delighted you enjoyed the video.

      Liked by 2 people

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