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Thursday, 20 January 2022

Dufferin Islands

Dufferin Islands Bridge Niagara Falls

 Location:
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Address: Dufferin Islands
Date: Jan 2022
Website: www.niagaraparks.com

   Dufferin Islands is a secluded area tucked away from the roar of Niagara Falls.  It is a series of waterways and islands located south of The Falls as you travel along the Niagara Parkway.  It is a great spot to escape from the flashing lights and crowds of the more touristy areas of Niagara.

Moose Christmas Lights Niagara Falls

   In the winter time,  the Niagara Parkway is filled with magical light displays.  The lights continue into Dufferin Islands and along the road that wraps through the islands.  Dufferin Islands is also the point where you can leave a donation to show your appreciation for all the work that goes into creating this show each year.

Waterfowl Dufferin Islands Niagara Falls.

  If you are looking to do some bird watching then Dufferin Islands is the place for you.  No matter what the season, the water is teeming with various geese and ducks.

Dufferin Islands

  The area is the perfect habitat to sustain a variety of wildlife.  You can take an enjoyable stroll through the island pathways connected by various bridges.

Niagara River Rapids From Dufferin Islands

  If you follow the water eventually you will find yourself headed towards the Niagara River where the upper rapids rush towards the falls.

Scow Stuck In Niagara River Rapids.

    If you look out into the Niagara River, almost directly from Dufferin Islands, you can see what looks like a rusty boat stuck in the rapids.  This is a scow which is used in dredging operations.  Back in 1918 two men were trapped on this scow when it came loose from the tugboat that was pulling it further up river.  A day later they were finally rescued using a canvas sling suspended from pulleys.  The men escaped without harm, but the scow has remained here for over 100 years.

Niagara River Rapids.

  You can see how powerful the water of the Niagara River is even before it reaches the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.

Niagara Falls Table Rock and Skylon Tower.

    From this angle you can also look past the edge of the Horseshoe Falls and see where the mist rises as the water plummets over the edge.  In the photo above is Table Rock on the far left.  Table Rock is  right at the top edge of the falls and is the best spot to watch the water as it starts its descent.  The Skylon tower can also be seen on the right hand side.

Inukshuks At Dufferin Islands

    Once you have had enough of the rush of the falls you can walk back to Dufferin Islands and try to spot some of the light displays that remain set up year round. 

Canada Geese, Seagulls, Ducks And More Dufferin Islands

    While the islands are normally full of the usual waterfowl, once in a while there are other birds in amongst the Canada geese, mallards and seagulls.  It may just be a challenge to spot them.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Niagara Falls

  Visitors come from far and wide to see Niagara Falls and this duck is no exception.  We had heard of a rare visitor to the islands.  It still took us a while to finally find him despite the fact he had been right in front of us the whole time.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Walking Niagara Falls

    This rare visitor is a black-bellied whistling duck.  They normally live in South and Central America only coming as far north as southern Texas in order to breed.  This duck had travelled even further north to find itself up in southern Ontario, Canada.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Curled Up Niagara Falls

    This duck had been reported as visiting the islands in the summer.  When we visited in January the duck was still there despite the weather being about -20 C.  We imagine it was dreaming of warmer climates as it tucked its head beneath its wings.  We also know many human visitors rethink their clothing choices as they visit Niagara Falls during a Canadian winter.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck And Seagull.

  At least as the duck climbed up onto the bank it was not alone.  A seagull walked over to join it.  A bit later a female mallard also came over to be near this special visitor. It reminded us of Niagara Falls and the Dufferin Islands.  A place where people from all over can come together and marvel at the beauty and power of nature.

Buffalo Lights Niagara Falls

Map of Our World
Dufferin Islands
1918 Dumping Scow Barge


Post # 307

Monday, 20 December 2021

The Fifth Season

Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Windows New York City

Location:
New York, New York, USA
Address:  611 Fifth Avenue
Date: November 2021
Website:  www.saksfifthavenue.com

  We found ourselves in New York City for American Thanksgiving.  This is the offical start of the countdown to Christmas.  We took a little stroll along Fifth Avenue to experience something called The Fifth Season.  Along the way we enjoyed the sights and sounds as only New York can offer.

Bryant Park Holiday Shops In New York City

  We started our outing closer to Sixth Avenue as we visited the Bryant Park Holiday Shops.  We enjoyed a cake in a jar and found a few little gifts for our family.  Afterwards, we headed towards Fifth Avenue.

Lions Outside New York Public Library Wearing Wreaths.

  Bryant Park is located right behind the New York Public Library's main branch.  As we headed onto Fifth Avenue we noticed that even the lion statues that stand guard at the front entrance of the library were wearing wreaths.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2021

     As we headed north on Fifth Avenue we reached Rockefeller Center.  Angels playing horns lead the way to the giant Christmas Tree.  The tree this year was estimated to be about 80 feet tall and almost 45 feet wide at its widest point.  We guess that is how a lot of people feel after indulging in holiday treats, more than half as wide as they are tall.  We were too early for the tree lighting ceremony, but the tree itself was still impressive.

Saks Fifth Avenue From Rockefeller Center.

    Looking back towards Fifth Avenue the angels lead us to the Saks storefront all decorated for Christmas.  We had arrived just in time as the first show of lights was only a few minutes away.  We took a look at the Christmas window displays before finding a good spot to watch the show.

Saks Children's Christmas Windows 2021 New York City
Saks Christmas Windows 2021 New York City

  This year the windows were of children's winter drawings come to life.  In the corner of the window was the child's name, age and their original drawing.  The window was a three dimensional, moving recreation of the original artwork.  A great idea and sure to be a thrill for the chosen artists.

Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Lights Display New York City.

  Some music was heard from across the avenue and the Saks Holiday Light Show was about to start.  The front of the store looked like a magical castle.  A wave of Christmas lights, music and colour swept over us.

Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Lights New York City.

    Everyone on the street stopped to admire the show.  Truly a great way to get yourself feeling that Christmas spirit.

St. Patrick's Cathedral New York City.

  Just north of Saks Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center is St. Patrick's Cathedral.  We went inside to get away from the crowds and see the less flashy side of Christmas.

Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral New York City.

  The inside of the cathedral is as impressive as any light display that might be happening across the street.

Manger Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral.

  In the corner of the church was a large manger display.  We took a few moments to pause and then stepped back out into the lights and sights of New York City.

Frosty The Snowman In A Plane Fifth Avenue.

  As we travelled up Fifth Avenue we were treated to light displays set up on the sidewalk.  There was Frosty the snowman making a magic landing in his plane.

Fifth Season Taxi Cab In Lights.

  There was an iconic New York yellow cab all lit up for Christmas.

Christmas Cube In New York City.

There was a glowing cube that could have been a present or maybe an unsolved Rubik's Cube?

Cartier Fifth Avenue Christmas Lights.

  Other stores besides Saks were also ready for Christmas.  The Cartier store was dressed up in lights to look like a glowing present wrapped in red ribbon.

Penguin Window Display Fifth Avenue.

  One store had a penguin in its window.  A lot of penguins live in cold climates, but live south of the equator.  That is a long way from the North Pole.  There are several species of penguin at the Central Park Zoo, including King penguins, if you keep walking up Fifth Avenue.

Santa's Mailbox Fifth Avenue.

  There was a mailbox covered in lights.  You could leave your letters for Santa in this box.  The mailbox was just outside where the famous FAO Schwarz toy store used to be.  The store is now located further back down Fifth Avenue inside Rockefeller Center.

Polar Bear At The Pulitzer Fountain.

  A polar bear welcomed us as we arrived at the Pulitzer Fountain.  The fountain is located right in front of the Plaza Hotel.

Pulitzer Fountain Christmas Decorations

      The whole fountain had been taken over by skating penguins, polar bears and seals as part of The Fifth Season.  We think the fifth season is that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Fifth Avenue is always a sight to see, but during this time it is something extra special.


Post # 306

Saturday, 20 November 2021

The News Building

The Entrance To The News Building New York City

Location:
New York, New York, USA
Address:  220 E 42nd St
Date: November 2014
Website:  slgreen.com

  The News Building in New York City is known for both its interesting interior and exterior.  From its art deco entrance to its globe filled lobby, it is in a word... super.

The News Building Entrance New York City

  The front entrance includes a huge, three story tall granite carving.  At the top are the words "The News" and near the bottom, just above a crowd of people it says "He Made So Many Of Them".  This quote is from Abraham Lincoln referring to the common people who would be reading the daily newspaper.

The Giant World Globe Inside The News Building

     The lobby contains a giant world globe that is sunken into the floor.  This truly is the world news.

The News Building Lobby Appeared In The Superman Movies

   The News Building has also played an important part in movie history.  In the Superman movies it played the part of The Daily Planet.  In the original Superman, Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) walk past the giant globe and out the revolving doors onto 42nd Street.  The exterior of the building is also shown in the movie.  The building exterior plays an increasingly smaller part in the sequels Superman II and Superman III.

The News Building Lobby Floor New York City

    On the floor surrounding the globe are distances to world cities.  We recommend that no matter where you are in the world, you try and find your way to The News Building for a visit.


Map of Our World
The News Building

Post # 305