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Showing posts with label Animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animals. Show all posts

Saturday 20 January 2024

Raccoons Of Toronto

Raccoon Sponge Cloths.
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada is often referred to as the "Raccoon Capital of the World". We thought we would list some of the raccoons that we have encountered around the city.  We like the little guys, despite the fact that they tear up your garbage or scare you half to death with their screams as you walk around the side of the house at night. Here are some actual raccoons and artistic raccoon tributes that we have seen in Toronto.

    Love Park
    Love Park Toronto Raccoon

    Love Park has many animal sculptures including the raccoon above.  Read More.

    Emily May Rose
    Feel Good Lane Raccoons.

    Artist Emily May Rose has painted her raccoons getting up to mischief on various walls around the city.  The critters above were found in Feel Good Lane.

    Davenport Road Emily May Rose Raccoons. Yonge Dundas Raccoons.

      These groups were spotted on the wall of 1988 Davenport Road and across from Yonge Dundas Square.  We like how when the raccoons spray paint, it is usually to paint raccoons.

    Guinness Raccoons Sheraton Centre

      These raccoons are brought to you by Guinness and located on Richmond Street West behind the Sheraton Centre.

    Driving Raccoon At the Foot Of University Ave. Toronto

     This driving raccoon is part of a bigger mural at the foot of University Ave.  Honk Honk!

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
    Raccoon Butterflyfish Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.

    At Toronto's aquarium you will find these butterflyfish called raccoon butterflyfish in tribute to everyone's least favourite nocturnal invaders. Read More.

    Santa Claus Parade
    Raccoons In The Santa Claus Parade Toronto.

    It is not an unusual sight to see raccoons walking down a Toronto street. We witnessed this group of raccoons during the annual Santa Claus Parade. Each one had a giant cookie on its arm. Read More.

    Bay Christmas Windows
    Hudson Bay Windows Christmas Queen Street.

    The Hudson Bay store on Queen Street West always has different Christmas windows. One year there were raccoons included amongst the creatures of the Enchanted Forest. Read More

    Toronto Zoo Residents

    Raccoons In A Stump Toronto Zoo

    The Toronto Zoo has a bunch of raccoons. Some live in the woods surrounding the zoo and some are permanent residents. The stump above has at least three raccoons piled up inside. The signage at the zoo informed us that the black mask around their eyes helps raccoons see better at night by reducing glare. It works in much the same way as a baseball outfielder putting black under their eyes to help them spot and catch fly balls.

    Raccoon At Toronto Zoo.

    A Micmac story says that the raccoon was caught stealing and as punishment had the black circles placed around his eyes to remind everyone of what he had done. This raccoon above is doing some hard time in the zoo's enclosure. If by hard time you mean sleeping all day and only waking up to be hand delivered your meals.

    Toronto Zoo Touch Table Raccoon & Skunk.

    If you want to know what a raccoon feels like, the zoo sometimes has touch tables where you can feel animal fur. Raccoons have tiny whiskers on their toes which increases their ability to feel food in the dark.

    Toronto Zoo Visitors

    Raccoon Babies Toronto Zoo.

    Other raccoons at the zoo are free to come and go as they wish. On many occassions we have had to warn people "Don't use that garbage bin, a raccoon just crawled in there". The zoo is located in the Rouge Valley so there are no shortage of wildlife visitors. These little guys were probably waiting for their mother to return with a treat from the trash.

    Raccoon Scratching Toronto Zoo

    This raccoon seemed not to mind the crowds walking around the zoo and was content to sit on a patch of grass and scratch itself.

    Young Raccoons In WIth The Kudu.

    This group of little guys chose to take a shortcut through one of the African enclosures. This can be a dangerous move. This enclosure happened to contain the harmless antelope called a Kudu and a disinterested vulture named Lloyd.

    Ground Hornbills At Toronto Zoo.

    The enclosure is also home to the dreaded hornbill gang. This group of ground hornbills is intimidating as it marches around the enclosure. Raccoons are pretty fearless fighters so they may not be afraid, but no one wants to get a good pecking from these large birds.

    Hay-lloween Town

    Hay-lloween Town Raccoon

      One year the Toronto Zoo had different characters made out of bales of hay. The beloved raccoon was also included.

    STACKT Market

    STACKT Market Raccoon.

    STACKT Market is made up of shipping containers. Inside are many different vendors.  The market is also known for its artwork. At the north end of the market on Bathurst Street you can find this painting of a raccoon.

    Clover Hill Park
    Clover Hill Park Raccoon.

    This raccoon shares Clover Hill Park with some snails, rabbits and a donkey wearing casts on its legs. Read More.

     Utility Boxes

    Toronto Utility Box Raccoon With Camera.Toronto Utility Box Raccoon With Teeth.
    Toronto Utility Box Raccoon.Toronto Utility Box Raccoon With Trumpet.

    These four utility box raccoons are from artist Jeff Blackburn. Clockwise they are a tourist raccoon with a camera at Church and Front, a toothy raccoon at the bottom of the Baldwin Steps, a trumpet holding raccoon outside of The Rex on Queen Street West.and a regular raccoon at Roncesvalles and High Park Blvd.

    Toronto Utility Box Raccoon Stack.

    Another box in Scarborough can be found at Markham Rd. and Ellesmere. These raccoons are working together to reach new heights.

    Daredevil Raccoon
    Raccoon Climbs Building At Yonge & Eglinton Toronto.
    Speaking of heights, this raccoon somehow managed to get itself on a ledge part-way up a building at Yonge & Eglinton. 

    Porter Airlines
    Porter Airlines Snack Box.
    Porter Airlines is a local Toronto airline that used to operate smaller planes exclusively from Toronto Island Airport. Their mascot is a raccoon and he can be found all over the place. We believe that "orte" means scraps or possibly a small meal or snack.

    Mr Porter Is Porter Airlines Mascot.

    His name is Mr. Porter and above he can be seen dressed as a Mountie advertising trips to Ottawa on the side of the free shuttle from Union Station to the airport.

    Downsview Park
    Downsview Park Raccoon Sleeps In Tree.

    Downsview Park is home to many wild creatures, even in the winter. Rabbits, coyotes, hawks, owls, squirrels and a variety of small birds call the park home. Despite the bitter cold, this raccoon is fine just tucked against the trunk of a tree waiting for nightfall. Read More.

    Raccoons Reimagined CNE 2019 Toronto
    In 2019 the Canadian National Exhibition had a series of painted raccoon statues. The raccoons were painted by different charity and commmunity groups. It was called Racoons Reimagined.

    Butter Carved Racooon CNE Toronto.

    There is always a butter carving competition each year. This of course means a butter raccoon.
    416 Baseball Cap Raccoons

    During a Home & Garden show on the CNE grounds there was a company selling baseball caps. This of course means a baseball cap wearing raccoon.

    Royal Ontario Museum
    ROM Raccoon Specimen.
     A racoon and a garbage bin spell trouble. Not to worry, this raccoon is a Royal Ontario Museum specimen and that is about as far as things are going to go. A live raccoon would easily tip that can over and spread the contents all over your front lawn with the help of a few of its friends. 

    Runnymede Underpass
    Runnymede Raccoon Mural.

    Just south of St. Clair Avenue West where Runnymede goes under the train tracks you will find a mural painted on both sides of the road. There are many animals n the mural including guess who?
    Pink Kitchen
    King West Pink Kitchen Raccoon.

    King Street West has added some roadside seating for pedestrians. As you approach Spadina Avenue there is a little pink kitchen that you can sit inside. There is also a little pink raccoon waiting for food to be prepared. Anything at all, it is not picky.
    Little Canada
    Little Canada Raccoon In A Crown.

    Little Canada has little scaled down models of places all across Canada. It has a Little Toronto which means it also has Little Toronto raccoons. This raccon is wearing a feather boa and a crown which means it must be the night before garbage day.
    Holland Bloorview
    Holland Bloorview Art Deco Raccoon.

    Holland Bloorview is a Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. In its garden it has sculptures and artwork of little creatures that the children might enjoy. We enjoy both animals and art so this little raccoon and his friends also brought us some joy.
    Raccoon Footprints In The Mud.

    Despite Toronto being full of raccoons, you may still have a hard time finding one. The next best thing is to find their footprints. Those tiny little toes leave a distinctive print. After it rains look for footprints in the mud.
    Raccoon Prints In The Snow.

    In the winter look for footprints in the snow.
    Raccoon Footprints In Cement.

    The best of all is after someone pours cement, look for little tiny footprints the following day. Just like these footprints, raccoons are a permanent part of life in Toronto.

    Saturday 20 August 2022

    Courtyard Hotel Rosebank

    Courtyard Hotel Rosebank Johannesburg South Africa

    Joahnnesburg, South Africa
    Address:  39 Tyrwhitt Avenue, Rosebank
    Date:  October 2018
    Website:  www.clhg.com

      We travelled to South Africa in hopes of seeing as many different animals as we possibly could.  The first place we visited when we arrived was the Rosebank section of Johannesburg. We stayed in a Courtyard Hotel across the street from a busy shopping centre.  Little did we know that behind the gates of our hotel we would be introduced to so much wildlife.

    Spider On The Wall Courtyard Hotel Rosebank South Africa
        Upon arrival, we checked out our room and found we were not alone.  On our wall we spotted a spider.  We generally like spiders as we hope that they will eat other flying pests.  We took a photo for later identification.  The best we can determine is it is a type of wolf spider and harmless.  It kept to itself patrolling the walls.
    Black Jumping Spider Johannesburg South Africa.
        Above the window we spotted another spider.  This one appeared to be a black jumping spider.  It didn't jump at us when we took a closeup picture.  Enjoy your stay little friend.
    Courtyard Hotel Doorknob Dolls Johannesburg.

        Our favourite thing that we found on the walls during our stay in Rosebank was these three ladies.  They were dolls designed to fit over the doorknob and let hotel staff know if we needed anything or just wanted to be left alone. 

    Leopard Tortoise Rosebank Johannesburg

      After settling into our room, we headed outside and walked towards the main entrance.  Coming along the pathway was a leopard tortoise.  He stopped and gave us a look and then lumbered along.  This tortoise was a permanent resident.  His shell was far too big to fit under any fences.  He seemed perfectly content, but if he wanted to escape his only chance would be to make a break for it when security opened the front gate for a guest.  Security opened the gate for us to leave.  We looked back as we crossed the street and headed to the mall.  We didn't see any tortoises following us.

    Beautiful Jacaranda Trees In Johannesburg South Africa
        As we returned to our hotel we were able to get a good look at the jacaranda trees that line so many of Johannesburg's streets.  We were lucky to be visiting during September to November when the purple flowers bloom.

    Looking Up At A Jacaranda Tree in Johannesburg.

        These beautiful trees are not native to Africa, but came from Brazil.  The first jacaranda were said to be brought here and planted in 1888.  There has since been a ban on planting more but every year the streets of Johannesburg still turn purple.

    Cape White Eye Sits In A Jacaranda Tree.

      As we returned to our hotel we noticed a cape white eye sitting up in one of the jacarandas.  These small greenish-yellow birds have a bright white circle around their eyes.  We wished that we could see the jacaranda from the bird's vantage point high up in the branches.

    Common Myna In Johannesburg South Africa

      Another bird we spotted up in the trees was this common myna.  It had chosen a less colourful tree to make its perch.  This bird is also known as the Indian myna and is now an invasive species found all over the world.

    Cape Robin Chat Rosebank Johannesburg

      Sitting on the edge of a bench in our garden was a cape robin chat.
    A Cape Sparrow In an Eavestrough.
         Up on an eavestrough was a cape sparrow.  South Africa has many bird species whose names start with cape. It was done to represent that they came from the old Cape of Good Hope and Cape Province that made up a large part of South Africa.
    Tortoise Courtyard Hotel Rosebank South Africa

        The next morning we walked along the edge of the garden to see who was visiting today.  We spotted the tortoise just sitting still in the leafy garden.  His busy day had yet to begin.

    Hadeda Ibis Rosebank South Africa.

        This morning there was also another visitor walking through the grass.  It was a hadeda ibis.  They are named for their loud call of "HA-DE-DA" which many South Africans use as their early morning wake up alarm.  We did hear them calling out at various times, but they never woke us up.

    Hadeda Ibis On The Roof Of Rosebank Courtyard Hotel.

        This hadeda did give out a cry as it flew away.  We had returned to our room, but we rushed out and spotted the ibis now perched up on the rooftop.

    Go-Away Bird Rosebank Johannesburg.

        We continued our walk along the edge of the garden.  We heard another unusual noise and looked into the trees.  There was a grey bird hidden in the branches making a sound that sounded like the last whirl of something that had been wound up.  "Whirrrrrrrrrr".  The bird sounded most displeased.  It is called a go-away bird and perhaps this is why.  We were happy to spot a cat lingering beneath the tree the bird was sitting in.  At least the bird's displeasure was not directed at us.

    Karoo Thrush Courtyard Hotel Rosebank Johannesburg

        As we walked along the garden wall we saw some dirt falling from up above.  A small bird was busy kicking dirt out of the eavestrough.  We didn't take this personally as we were quietly walking along so the bird probably didn't know that we were there.  It did fly down to give us a closer look.  The picture (above) isn't the best, but this is a karoo thrush.
    Snail In The Drain Courtyard Hotel Rosebank

         Near the pool area we spotted this rather large snail.  It was just hanging out in a drain.  Thankfully no wildlife was taking a swim in our pool.
    Speckled Mousebird Johannesburg

        At the end of the garden we saw another grey bird and expected to get a good talking to.  It turns out that this was not a go-away bird but a speckled mousebird.  It is smaller than a go-away bird and has a different hairstyle and a darker face around its eye and beak.
    The Garden Of The Courtyard Hotel Rosebank.

         The next day we were off to see some large animals such as lions, giraffes and elephants.  We also enjoyed our time visiting some of Africa's smaller wildlife within the walls of our hotel.

    Map of Our World
    Courtyard Hotel Rosebank

    Post # 314