On an overcast, yet not rainy day (all too infrequent here on the wet coast where Spring has still not arrived), we decided that a bike ride to the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park was in order. The last time that I’d been there was thirty years ago when my mother was still alive and it was certainly more than past time to check it out again. We took the scenic route, along the seawall past Science World and onto the Ontario Street bikeway all the way up to the Park at 37th Avenue, the last bit a strenuous uphill push to the top of the hill on which the Conservatory sits.
Opened in 1969, the triodetic dome was then the second largest domed conservatory in the world (don’t know whether it still is). Three simulated climates are maintained inside the dome: tropical rain forest, sub-tropical forest, and desert climate. Once through the door we enter the rain forest, the most interesting part of which, to me, are the two large red parrots – Maria and Carmen – perched on a tree near the fish pond.
Around the corner in a floral display bed is Art, a blue and gold Macaw native to Central America, resting on a perch under an umbrella. While these birds are very accustomed to being photographed, I thought that the unthinking use of flash to do so by many of the visitors was obnoxious.
Just past Art begins the subtropical climate zone in which are many species of beautiful orchids, one of my favorite flowers.
Near the orchids are several birds, Rosie, the African Grey Parrot, Casey, a Yellow Crowned Amazon Parrot and Monty, the Princess Parrot.
I loved Monty; he looked as though he was just about to fall asleep.
This golden guy, a Chinese Pheasant, was an intriquing character strutting around through the crowd ignoring all the people trying to photograph him.
I am so glad that this facility was not closed down last year (as a result of a huge public outcry, the conservatory was conserved and not the victim of budget cutbacks).
See more pictures below