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Sunday 30 April 2017

Jumbo The Elephant

Jumbo The Elephant.

Location: St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Address: 65 Talbot Street
Date: April 2017
Website: www.railwaycitytourism.com

  Back in the 1860s there was a large African elephant that lived in the zoo in London, England.  He was very popular and children were allowed to ride on his back.  In the 1880s P.T. Barnum bought the elephant and took him to America to be part of his traveling circus.   P.T. Barnum is one of the founders of the famous Barnum & Bailey Circus. The elephant's name was Jumbo and the word jumbo has since come to mean anything extra large.

Jumbo Towers Over St. Thomas.
Unfortunately, in 1885 when the circus came to St. Thomas, Ontario there was an accident.  Jumbo was on the tracks when an unexpected train arrived and he was run over.

Jumbo Plaque.

For the 100th anniversary of this event, the city of St. Thomas erected the Jumbo Monument.  It is a life sized replica of Jumbo.  You can pay a visit and see what it would have been like to stand next to this 13,000 pound, 11 foot tall creature.  Now this much loved elephant will never be forgotten.

Jumbo's Caboose.

Map of Our World
Jumbo The Elephant Monument

Post # 173

Thursday 20 April 2017

Stata Center

Stata Center

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Address: 32 Vassar Street
Date: Sept 2010
Website: web.mit.edu

  MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is a private school specializing in science and technology.  Ray Stata was a graduate in 1957 and contributed to the construction of what is now the Ray and Maria Stata Center.

Curvy Stata

  The building is also known as building 32 and was designed by architect Frank Gehry.  Gehry is well known for creating unusual buildings around the world.

Cartoon Stata

  The Stata Center opened in 2004 and looks like it belongs in some sort of cartoon world.

Skewed Walls
 Odd Angles

There is no shortage of skewed walls and odd angles.

Distorted Reflections

The shiny roof on some portions of the building further distorts whatever it is reflecting.

Building 32
MIT Sunshine

  Windows appear to be different sizes and look as if they were glued onto the building after it was finished.

Second Level Stata

  A second level balcony offered even more unusual views.  We wondered what it would look like if we were peering out one of the funny windows.  Then again we don't quite have the qualifications to be accepted to MIT.

Johnny 5 is Alive!

  We took a peek into one window and came face to face with a dead ringer for Johnny 5 from the Short Circuit movies.  It appears that some research is being done behind these curvy walls.  Who knows what future graduates may come up with?  At least the Stata Center will give them something to think about.

Map of Our World
Ray and Maria Stata Center

Post # 172

Saturday 15 April 2017

Bunny Rabbit Hare

Black Bunny.
  1. Lop-Eared Rabbit
  2. Bugs Bunny
  3. Flemish Giant Rabbit
  4. Arctic Hare
  5. Lionhead Rabbit
  6. Rabbit Balloon
  7. Tortoise & Hare
  8. Cute Bunnies
  9. Chocolate Bunnies
  10. Eastern Cottontail
  This Easter weekend we thought it would be a good time to take a look at our top 10 bunny encounters.  Here they are in no particular order.

1 ) Lop-Eared Rabbit
Lop-Eared Bunny.

A friend of ours used to care for a very cute lop-eared bunny.  A lop-eared bunny is a bunny whose long ears hang (we guess you could say lop) down.  You will notice all of the other bunnies in this blog post have ears that stand straight up or sit back on top of their heads. 

2)  Bugs Bunny
What's Up Doc?

One of the all-time favourite bunnies is Bugs Bunny from the Looney Tunes cartoons.  He is among a short list of animated characters to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The outline drawing of Bugs Bunny (above) was in the Warner Brothers Studio's Museum.

Bugs Bunny's Star.

3)  Flemish Giant Rabbit
G'Day Big Bunny.

From Bugs Bunny we go to Big Bunny.  A Flemish giant rabbit can weigh up to 10 kg and grow to about 30 inches long.  It is one of the largest domesticated rabbits.  The bunny above was at the Toronto Zoo for a short time and shared an enclosure with the wombats and wallabies.  Perhaps it had outgrown its previous living space.

4)  Arctic Hare
Arctic Hare.

While we were in Churchill, Manitoba we spotted this hare just across the road from our lodge.  While it may not be the smartest thing to do in polar bear territory at night, we headed outside to try and get a closer look.  Luckily, he stood still long enough for us to get the picture above.  It took us some time to determine if this was an arctic hare or a snowshoe hare as both inhabit Churchill. We read about one having bigger feet or ears than the other.  Some reports said that one has bigger eyes or fluffier fur.  We made our determination by the black on the ears.  As far as we can tell arctic hares (like this one) have black just on the top tip of their ears while snowshoe hares have a black edge that may cover the tip, but runs further along the ear as well.

5)  Lionhead Rabbit

A lionhead rabbit is bred to have a mane around its face like a lion.  They end up looking like little balls of fur with ears. We wondered how they can even see where they are hopping.  When taking pictures, the bunny below did flash us a look from beneath all that fur just to let us know he was in there. The lionhead above is from Prickly Ball Farm and the lionhead below is from Far Enough Farm.

Lionhead Rabbit.

6)  Rabbit Balloon
Silver Bunny.

Artist Jeff Koons had a piece of his art appear in Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2009.  It was simply named Rabbit Balloon.  It featured a giant shiny silver bunny that was floating inside the Eaton Centre.  This bunny also once floated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2007.

7)  Tortoise & Hare
Boston's Tortoise & The Hare Statue.

In Boston's Copley Square is a sculpture of a tortoise and a hare.  It was installed as a tribute to runner's of the famous Boston Marathon. It is based on the popular fable of The Tortoise & the Hare. The fable tells the story of a rabbit who was so confident in his ability to outrun the tortoise that during a race he ran ahead and took a nap.  While he napped the tortoise passed by heading for the finish line.  The hare finally awoke and tried to catch up, but it was too late.

The Hare.

8)  Cute Bunnies
Grey White Bunny.

We think that all rabbits are cute.  There is something special about a tiny bunny that you can pick up and hold in your hands while it sits quietly twitching its little nose.  These cuties are from the Toronto Zoo kid's section and from Jungle Cat World.

Grey Bunny.
Cute Dans Le Fruit.

9)  Chocolate Bunnies
Teuscher Truffle Bunny.

Chocolate shaped like eggs is good.  Chocolate shaped like bunnies is good.  This bunny above is a box from Teuscher Chocolates and hides a chocolate truffle in its belly.  We like chocolate.

10) Eastern Cottontail
Backyard Bunny.

The one rabbit that we have encountered the most is the eastern cottontail.  Actually we have eaten more chocolate bunnies and watched more Bugs Bunny cartoons than we have had encounters with eastern cottontails.  Let's try that again.  The eastern cottontail is the wild rabbit that we have encountered the most.  Sometimes when you least expect it you look out into the yard and there is one munching away on something.  Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail!

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Australasia Pavilion) , Toronto Zoo (Kids Zoo) , Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park , Prickly Ball Farm , Lazy Bear Lodge , Far Enough Farm
Teuscher Toronto
Tortoise & Hare , Eaton Centre
Hollywood Walk of Fame

Post # 171

Monday 10 April 2017

Kew Gardens Mystery Door

The Mystery Door.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  2075 Queen St E
Date: March 2017

  Kew Gardens in Toronto is named after the famous botanical gardens in London, England.  It is much smaller and is a portion of Beaches Park which runs from Queen Street East down to the beach in front of Lake Ontario.   Before we entered the park we enjoyed a nice brunch at the Green Eggplant.  The highlight was their Sky High French Toast which is made with challah bread.

Protecting her Owlets.

  After brunch we crossed the street to the Beaches Library.  Out front stood a statue of a mother owl with her owlets gathered around her feet.  We took the pathway next to the library and headed into the park.  We walked deeper into the park and then as we passed the baseball diamond we noticed a little tiny door at the base of a tree.

Henley's House?

  Facing the third base side of the diamond was a little tiny home like you might see in a fairytale.  We wondered who would live there?

Henley's Neighbour?

  A squirrel was watching us from the tree next door.  We asked him if this was his house.  He just sat there.  We asked him if he knew who lived there?  He sat very still.  We asked him if he minded if we took a look behind the door.  He ran off behind the tree.  It seems he did not want any part of a B&E on this tiny home.

Nobody's Home.

  We knocked at the door and there was no response.  We decided to gently swing the door open.  We half expected an angry squirrel or chipmunk to lunge at us so we were pleasantly surprised to find that no one was home.  Inside the door were various rocks and twigs that had been placed there perhaps as gifts from other curious visitors like ourselves.  We closed the door behind us and left everything undisturbed.
  Upon further investigation we discovered a Toronto Star article that stated that this door was placed there by the author of a series of children's books.  In the books it was the home of Henley the Hedgehog.  Henley is a real pet hedgehog and does not actually live inside the tree.  Who does actually live there now?  When you visit the park maybe you can solve this mystery.

Map of Our World
Beaches Library , Henley The Hedgehog's House
Green Eggplant

Post # 170