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Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Immersive Van Gogh

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  1 Yonge Street
Date:  August 2020
Website:  vangoghexhibit.ca

  Vincent van Gogh is one of the world's most famous painters.  His work is world renowned.  Now his paintings are part of an interesting exhibit where his work is dissected, animated and projected onto walls.  The artwork is accompanied by music which brings it all together.  We visited Immersive Van Gogh when it arrived in Toronto.  There is both a drive through and a walk through experience.  We took part in both experiences.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

   For the drive through experience we waited on the street outside.  When it was our turn we were directed up to a receiving ramp.  We drove into a white walled room and followed the staff diections to park our car.  It wasn't long until the lights dimmed and the show began.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

The music began and the works of Van Gogh started to come to life.  A bright yellow sun moved across the sky.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

The sky changed colour in front of us as the day passed by. 

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

  Van Gogh painted many windmills that he saw in Monmartre, Paris.  During our immersive experience we could see the blades of the windmills turning in the wind.  This is very different from a regular art gallery where you interpret one frozen moment captured in the art.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

  During the drive through experience our car was surrounded by the art.  There was Van Gogh on the passenger side.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

    There was Van Gogh to be viewed through the front windshield.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

    There was Van Gogh out the driver side window too.  We could see it between the parked cars.

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

    The exhibit features some of Van Gogh's most famous paintings.  Vincent Van Gogh only painted for a period of about 10 years before committing suicide at the age of 37.  In that time he painted over 850 oil paintings.  Some of the best known are The Bedroom (above) and The Sunflowers (top of blog).

Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

    Van Gogh's most famous painting of all is The Starry Night.

 The Starry Night Vincent Van Gogh At MOMA New York

    We were lucky to see the priceless original hanging in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

 Immersive Van Gogh Toronto Drive Through

    Eventually the music and animation stopped and credits rolled up the walls.  The lights turned on and we were guided out into the streets.  We really enjoyed seeing the works of Van Gogh come to life around us.  We would be back again soon as our tickets also included a walk through experience. 


Map of Our World
Immersive Van Gogh
Museum of Modern Art

Post # 290

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue

Hereos For Wildlife: Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue

Location: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Address:  2440 Durham Regional Hwy 2
Date:  November 2019
Website:  sopercreekwildlife.com

  The Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex held a wildlife education event called Heroes for Wildlife. We attended and got to meet a few native Ontario creatures up close presented by different groups. We also were introduced to Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue and ended our day by making a donation which included a tour of their facilities at a later date.

Soper Creek Skunk.

  The skunk above is just one of the animals that we had a chance to meet at the event.  Soper Creek is lucky to also have a great team of volunteers. 

Soper Creek Cross Fox.

  We also got to see a type of red fox known as a cross fox.  It has different colouring on its face and fur including a darker cross on its back.  All red foxes have white on the very tips of their tails.  We eventually had to say goodbye to everyone and  looked forward to our future tour.

Cardinal In Car Mirror.

  Finally, the day of our tour arrived.  We were a little bit early so we waited in the parking lot.  A cardinal kept flying back and forth and was checking himself out in the car mirrors.  He would take a good look and then fly towards the mirror and land on top of it.  He would take off again and then return and repeat the process.  We are not sure if he knew it was just himself in the mirror's reflection, or thought it was a rival male.  Perhaps it was time to check himself in to the Soper Creek rehab.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Porcupine

   Our tour started and the first animal we visited was Minnie the porcupine.  She was on a special diet of no produce.  While we visited she slept sprawled out over a rock.  Minnie shared her enclosure with a sparrow recovering from an injury, several pigeons and a starling whose wing never quite formed properly.  There was also a group of sneaky chipmunks who would rush into the enclosure and tip over the bowls of bird feed as they tried to sneak off with a mouthful.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Opossum.

  The next animal ambassador we met was Stella the opossum.  Opossums have been slowly moving further north and they are becoming more common in Ontario.  Just a couple of the reasons that opossums are unusual are that they are the only marsupial in North America as well as having the most teeth (50) of any land animal in North America.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue New Guinea Singing Dogs.

  Most marsupials are found in Australia.   The next animals we encountered were from down under as well.  They are New Guinea Singing Dogs and are closely related to the dingo.  Their names were Mario and Luigi.  As we fed them a small snack they entertained us with a chorus or two.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Crow.

  A couple of crows were in another enclosure.  One of them of was called Russell.  We think the Toronto Zoo also has a crow named Russell.  It is a very common crow name especially since the successful Gladiator movie.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Skunk

  We had seen a skunk at the Heroes For Wildlife event. No two skunks have the same stripe pattern so it is easy to tell them apart.  Based on the stripes on this skunk we knew that we had met Persephone both times.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Red Fox.

  The next enclosures housed all kinds of foxes.  Actually only two kinds, but with different fur variations.  The photo above is of a red fox with traditional orange fur.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Red Fox Cross.

  There were the cross red foxes which we had seen at the Heroes For Wildlife event.  One of the cross foxes only had three legs.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Silver Fox.

  There were several silver foxes which are the melanistic form of the red fox. Again remember that all red foxes have white on the tip of their tail.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue​ Arctic Fox Winter.
Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue​ Arctic Fox Summer.

  Soper Creek has red foxes and also arctic foxes.  The Arctic fox normally has a white coat of fur to hide in the winter snow and a darker coat for the summer.  These foxes were rescued from the fur trade so the white one had been bred to remain white all year round.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Badger

  In one pen was a badger who wasn't quite so happy to see people. We took a quick look and the badger stomped around and got rather agressive.  It could have been some bugs or something else disturbing it, but it did throw us a serious look or two so we got the message and moved on.

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Bobcat.

  The last enclosure we went into was the bobcats. These two bobcats liked to spray and let us know this was their territory. Despite their relatively small size, bobcats can jump up to 10 feet high and take down a deer all by themselves. Just to prove this point one of them effortlessly jumped up onto one of our shoulders. A quick shoulder shrug brought it back down again. Thank you for the leaping demonstration and for skipping the taking down larger prey demonstration.  Thank you also to Soper Creek for helping so many wild animals in need and for giving us the chance to connect with some of these wonderful creatures.


Map of Our World
Heroes For Wildlife

Post # 289

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Scenic Safari

Scenic Safari At The Toronto Zoo

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  2000 Meadowvale Road
Date:  May 2020
Website:  www.torontozoo.com

  Since the Toronto Zoo was closed due to COVID-19 we have missed our visits.  The zoo finally reopened. Due to social distancing you can not walk around the zoo but must drive your car through instead.  We were one of the first to sign up for this unique opportunity.  We followed a long line of cars as we slowly made our way towards the front gate and then drove right inside.

Indian Rhino Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari.

  The zoo normally has a zoomobile that circles the grounds.  We mostly followed the same path that it takes with a few added diversions due to there being no pedestrians to worry about.  The first animal we drove towards was the Indian Rhino.  They were outside ready to greet us as we slowly rolled past.  An Indian Rhino can weigh over 1600 kg which is the same as our car.

Long Bridge At Toronto Zoo Over Rouge Valley.

  The next step was a highlight.  We got to drive on the long bridge that crosses over the Rouge Valley.  We kept the car straight and steady as we rumbled across.

White Rhino Scenic Safari Toronto Zoo

The next animal we encountered was the Southern White Rhino.  We had now entered Africa.  We were glad that the rhino was behind a fence as we forgot to check if our insurance would cover us for collisions with a giant mammal while driving on zoo property.

Zebra At Toronto Zoo.

  Usually if you come across something black and white on the road it means to slow down and watch for pedestrians.  One type of pedestrian crossing is called a zebra crossing.  On our Scenic Safari we didn't have to worry about people on the road, but there were a few black and white Grevy's Zebras nearby.

Kopje At Toronto Zoo.

  A kopje is a small, rocky hill that sticks up from the African grasslands.  The Toronto Zoo has one that you can walk through.  Since this is the Scenic Safari that means this time we drove through.

Lion's Den Toronto Zoo.

  It was a bit of a tight fit, but we made it through the lion's den.  We didn't see any lions.   That doesn't mean the lions didn't see us.

Common Eland At Toronto Zoo.
Ankole-Watusi At Toronto Zoo.

  After we emerged from the kopje we passed a group of large antelope called Elands.  We also passed Ankole-Watusi Cattle which have some of the biggest horns of any animal.

Scenic Safari At The Toronto Zoo.

  We still couldn't get over the weird feeling of being in a traffic jam where we usually walked amongst crowds of people.

Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari Traffic Sign.

  There were traffic signs and arrows directing us where to go as we crept around the zoo grounds.  5 km per hour was the maximum speed and no passing allowed.

Scenic Safari Toronto Zoo Flamingos.

  We curved around through the Americas section of the zoo.  We passed a flock of flamingos enjoying the sun.

Fake Coyote At Toronto Zoo.

  We drove around in behind the Australasia Pavilion.  A fake coyote was stationed near where the kangaroo indoor home is located.  This possibly helps keep away other curious creatures.

Red Panda House Toronto Zoo.

  Our safari wound its way into Eurasia where we saw this red panda relaxing in the shade.

Thank You Frontline Workers.  Thank You Toronto Zoo.

  It wasn't much longer until we reached the end of our tour and exited near the zoo's administrative offices.  The whole tour took about one hour and gave us a new view of the zoo.  The only view these days.  Thank you Toronto Zoo and thank you to all the frontline workers.  Here's hoping we will be able to walk through the zoo next time.


Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo

Post # 287

Friday, 15 May 2020

Orchid Oasis

Orchid Wall At Toronto Zoo Greenhouse.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  2000 Meadowvale Road
Date:  Feb 2020
Website:  www.torontozoo.com

  Once a year the Toronto Zoo hosts Orchid Oasis in their greenhouse.  It usually happens during the coldest part of the winter and is a nice change of warmth and colour.

Orange & Yellow Orchid Toronto Zoo Greenhouse.

  Once our camera adjusted and defogged from the warmth of the greenhouse we took a closer look at what was in bloom.

Orchids At The Toronro Zoo Greenhouse.
Orchids At The Toronro Zoo Greenhouse.
 Orchids At The Toronro Zoo Greenhouse.

  There was an endless variety of patterns and colours.

Lady Slipper Orchids At Toronto Zoo.

  One of our favourite flowers is known as the lady slipper orchid.  They usually have petals that stick way out of each side and a pouch (or lady slipper) in front.

An Orchid Mantis At Toronto Zoo.

  While orchids are beautiful they can also be deadly.  Look closely as the orchid mantis hunts its prey by disguising itelf as an orchid.  When unsuspecting insects come too close they get snatched in its outstretched arms and quickly devoured. 

A Green Frog In Toronto Zoo Greenhouse.

Another greenhouse resident was this green frog who had found a better way to spend the winter.  Instead of hibernating in the pond nearby it had snuck into the greenhouse to spend the winter.

Toronto Zoo Orchids.

  In the cold of February it is always enjoyable to go into a greenhouse or pavilion to warm up while visiting the zoo.  It's even better to do it while the orchids are in bloom.

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo Greenhouse

Post # 286