Monday, December 30, 2013

Where the Birds Are Not

Recently went for a walk around the Maplewood Flats Bird Sanctuary in North Vancouver, but all our fine-feathered friends must have been out taking advantage of Boxing Week Sales.


While there were a few basic birdhouses built to entice various species, there were other sorts of housing on view as well...



Wouldn't you love to have a waterside house on stilts to call your own?
In this area, a few decades ago, squatters took advantage of the uninhabited mudflats until the "authorities" moved in and burned them all out in the late 1960s.



Here at Maplewood, Vancouver artist  Ken Lum has since recreated a miniature version of some of the shacks that graced the mudflats. (Mud flats, as it were.)





I think this split-level would do me nicely.
Of course, if it was life-size the purchase price would be in the millions.


When you put it in black and white like that, it sort of turns one's concept of "affordable housing" on its head! 
(photo turned to B&W then flipped; the whole thing is a reflection in the pond).


Gives one much to reflect on...


and deeply ponder.

21 comments:

  1. Deeply ponder.. snort. As always, you are a master at playing with words and playing with photography. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year.

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    1. Careful with that snorting, Hilary--wouldn't want you to get champagne bubbles up your nose as you ring (rung) in the New Year!

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  2. Beautiful winter shots - and the cabin installation had me fooled - didn't realise it was a miniature...seems a shame such an artistic comunity was erased....Happy New Year from Nice....

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    1. There were some health concerns about the condition of the housing on the flats at the time. Now there are multi-million dollar houses built along the shore where the shacks were originally. Bonne année à toi à Nice, Catherine!

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  3. As a former inhabitant of a squatter settlement (Tent Town, near Holberg), I appreciate your post.Unlike ML, I didn't manage to write a novel there.

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    1. Well ML had to go to Mexico to finish it so perhaps that`s where you lost out on the chance to write the great Canadian novel. Not that Under The Volcano would classify as such, in my books.

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  4. Lynne, you gave me a good laugh at the end there. And I had to really study those houses to convince myself they are miniatures. They look like the real thing! Cool cool cool. Buon anno a tutti voi!

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    1. I admit, I zoomed in on the houses to give the impression of them being full size. But they are so detailed they really do look habitable. Very cool art installation. I never saw the original houses, though I lived in the area, so this was a double treat for me. Glad you enjoyed it, too. Buon anno a tutti voi!

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  5. I love these. We are very familiar with Squatter Cabins, or Jackrabbit Shanties as they are called in the Mojave desert. (There are literally thousands of them out here). I think it really stinks they burned the squatters out of existence. If these are an accurate reproduction, those squatters were amazingly innovative, enterprising, and talented. Anyway, the way you shot them totally fooled me until I read your commentary!

    This is a great way to start out the new year! Have a happy, healthy, fun New Year Lynne with an e!

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    1. That must be remarkable, all those "jackrabbit shanties" out in the desert. An old way of life. Independent. Gritty. Or so I imagine (especially "gritty" with all that sand!). I was in my teens when the squatters got burned out, and my friend and I were all upset by the eradication of the homes of these arty free spirits. No place for squatters out here in the city with the most over-priced housing in the world!

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    1. All that was missing was a doctor in the settlement, but they didn't have the resources to build a medicine cabinet.
      :D

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  7. Love those houses on stilts!

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    1. Just have to be careful of the first step when exiting!

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  8. wonderful post, and very informative too, though very sad in the end, poor squatters :-(

    it made me remember this small tree-house of a difference nature:

    http://www.dezeen.com/2009/03/12/takasugi-an-by-terunobu-fujimori/

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    1. Isn't that a delightful tea house! I'm afraid I wouldn't want to climb up the ladder for tea, though. Reminds me of my friends back east (in New Brunswick) who have constructed a cabin around a tree, essentially to visit and make tea, but also with camping capacity. One has to cross a bridge like a horizontally laid ladder over a stream to get there, which I have not yet done.

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    2. wow!

      if you ever visit, do think of me and take some pics, i would love to see that...

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    3. Will likely visit this spring or early summer, now that they've installed an outhouse! Pictures will doubtlessly ensue (not necessarily of outhouse).
      ;)

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  9. Love how the flipped black and white picture turned out! I was wondering about the wavy window frames when I first looked at it. ;-)

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    1. So glad you like it! I have to admit, Merisi, that the picture totally confuses me when I look at it, even though I know what I did to get that effect.

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  10. Crazy... I was thinking they looked a bit small to live in... and then I read on...

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