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Tyee Photo Essay

Get Over 'Juneuary,' People!

Say it one more time and I put you on a slow bus back to Ontario. Instead, placate yourself with these photos.

By Geoff D'Auria, 30 Jun 2012,

  • Whale-surfing watching

    Whale surfing takes skill and patience. Head down to Vancouver's Kits beach to watch whale surfers, young and old, catching a ride. Photo by David Charge.

  • Fisher in BC

    The silver wash of a cool afternoon calms a fisherman. Photo by Kvdl.

  • Rainbow bikes

    Howie K celebrates BC's biking culture and the rainbow of summer.

  • Mountain lake in BC

    Layers of mountains slide into an emerald lake, coloured by glacier runoff. Photo by Judy B.

  • Richmond Night Market treasures

    Richmond's Night Market has many treasures; some are found by simply looking up. Photo byChandra4042.

  • When farm meets sky

    A vibrant portrait of farm-meets-sky is punctuated by tiny homes. Photo by kayla iso.

  • Tilt-shift seaside

    A tilt-shift shot makes these summer homes look like the perfect toy retreat. Photo by Mark Faviell.

  • Hipsters photograph you

    Be careful, hipsters are a wily bunch and are as quick to snap an ironic photo of you as you are of them! Photo by Beaulawrence.

  • Picturesque BC landscape

    This picturesque landscape is reminiscent of a Ted Harrison painting doused in summer yellows. Photo by Jawdoc.

  • Volleyball silhouettes

    Silhouettes play ball against the golden sunset. Photo by Judy B.

  • Summer dock shadows

    Summer shadows cast across a well-worn dock. Photo by Kvdl.

  • Sprout on the beach

    The morning sun encourages a tentative sprout at the Kits dog beach. Photo by

  • Stanley park roses

    Stanley Park roses are full and fit to be shared. Photo by Erik Flexyourhead.

  • Granville Island head-spin

    After a head-spinning day in the sun, things start to look a little strange. Photo by David Charge.

  • Lone Kits pool lifeguard

    A lone swimmer can't keep the lifeguard's attention in the cool weather. Photo by Tom Wiebe.


[Editor's note: Click through the top of this photo essay to see some dazzling Tyee reader-sourced photos of summer, a season which should appear shortly. Photo selection by Stacey Sellars.]

Yes, it's cold.

Yes, it's June.

Yes, it's the coldest June on record.

Now, can we all please get over it?

If you've been here a while, you know that a cold and wet June is not new. It's that bracing slap in the face we get after May shines her weak light on our pale and wan, Vitamin-D-sapped faces. It's the cold shower that wakes us up to the July, August glory -- the kind of glory Lotusland myths are conjured from by those who suffer through never-ending winters in the rest of Canada.

Yes, it's true. We suffer, too. We suffer through days that are called so in name only -- four-hour light that meekly filters through layers of clouds in the darkenss of winter. Yes, we ache for it, too.

But guess what happens when you move into a rainforest? It rains. Sorry if this doesn't jibe with your imagined days of summer. But this is what we signed up for. We can't have it both ways.

So, when my editor said we had a collection of summer photos from the bounty that is our Flickr pool of reader-submitted images (thanks, you people -- always amazing stuff) but that we needed some stories to go with it, I couldn't suffer through another moaning diatribe about "Juneuary" or some chamber-of-commerce piece of fluff about the greatest summer on earth or some such.

So here's a story:

In elementary school, we used to celebrate the end of the year with Dairyland orange drinks and Sports Day. To this day, if you cut my arm in half, you'll see orange circles like tree rings that mark those bygone days.

But you'll also notice some of the orange rings missing. Why? Becuase one of the biggest Sports Day traditions hereabouts is to cancel Sports Day. Because the weather is bad.. It's a rite of disappointment, like watching the Canucks fall out of the playoffs. Or missing the last ferry.

Here's another story for you:

Way back when the X-Files was filmed here, the star, David Duchovny said something about how it rains too much in Vancouver.

Vancouverites ran around with their hands in the air for the next couple of weeks.

"Rains a lot?!"

"Did you hear what David Duchovny said?"

"He said it rains a lot!"

"I know! How could he!"

"Rains a lot. That's just not on."

Radio talk shows were a-twitter (in the days before Twitter). A TV weatherman dressed up in a large tree costume to confront Duchovny on set.


Well, folks, I'm here to bear witness:

It rains a lot. Sometimes it rains in June. No, often it rains in June.

Let's all just get over it. Accept it. Lower the expectations, increase the chances of happiness. You love something because of its flaws, not in spite of them.

Love the west coast? Love the rain.

Besides, you won't remember this in two weeks. The July sun and maybe a day at the Vancouver Folkfest will replace your shivering memories like the flashing light from a "Men in Black" amnesia pen. Or maybe these photos will help too.

(Note: Apologies to my First Nations' friends for acting like I've been around long enough to understand this place and speak with any kind of authority simply because I benefitted from the lucky accident of my parents washing up on these shores a year or so before I was born.)  [Tyee]

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