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Showing posts with label Natural Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Natural Beauty. Show all posts

Saturday 20 April 2024

Total Solar Eclipse 2024

Eclipse Glasses.

Location: Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada
Address: 89 Ridge Rd S  
Date: April 2024
Website: visitniagaracanada.com

  April 8, 2024 saw a total solar eclipse occur in parts of southern Ontario. A total solar eclipse is caused by the moon passing directly in front of the sun and blocking the sun from view. This was the first total solar eclipse to be visible in Ontario since February 26, 1979.  In order to view a solar eclipse safely you need special glasses. We had our glasses ready and then we chose our destination of Crystal Beach in the Fort Erie area. Crystal Beach was one of the places that was getting close to totality of the eclipse. As you move away from the line of totality you will experience less darkness and be able to see less of the show. Millions of people would be on the move in order to witness this phenomenon. This is how our adventure played out.

Morning Sky On Day Of Solar Eclipse.

  The early morning sky was coloured with bands of orange, red and purple. There was more cloud cover than we had hoped. Unfortunatey, any sort of lunar event seems to draw in the clouds and storms. We set off on our journey, optimistic that things would clear up as the day progressed.

Third Street Louth Ontario.

 We started out early in the day to avoid traffic. As we headed along the Queen Elizabeth Way near St. Catherines we decided to exit the highway and explore the side roads. We turned south onto Third Street. Our GPS said to turn on Third Street Louth.  We thought the GPS had a typo or speech impediment, but it turns out that Louth is the area. With so many First, Second and Third Streets in the surrounding farmlands they had added the area name to the end. Louth was named after a county in Ireland. We continued our journey Louth.

Tin Man Effingham
    This tin man was standing on Effingham Street. Sometimes people wear tinfoil hats to protect from harmful electromagnetic waves or alien mind reading. We are not sure what effect a solar eclipse would have on this tin man. We do know that we would not stand beside him in a thunderstorm.

Comfort Maple Niagara Conservation Area.

  We stopped into a Niagara Conservation area to visit the Comfort Maple. This tree is over 500 years old and is being preserved. It is called the Comfort Maple not because of how it makes people feel, but because the farm land used to belong to the Comfort family.

Comfort Maple Niagara Conservation Area.

    The tree is so old that there are ropes used to help support its branches. Hang in there Comfort Maple and enjoy the eclipse. We headed on towards Crystal Beach.

Beachcombers Crystal Beach
 There is a large group of seniors living in Crystal Beach as many people retire here or own cottages.  This happy gang is from the Beachcombers Seniors Centre.

Sweet E's Crystal Beach
  We had arrived well ahead of the crowds and had plenty of time before the moon and the sun put on their performance. We parked our car at Crystal Ridge Park and took a walk towards the northern part of town. We stopped into Sweet E's Bakery and had coffee and scones. We also chatted with some locals about the upcoming eclipse.

Friendship Trail.

  After our coffee break we took a walk along the Friendship Trail. The Friendship Trail is a biking/walking pathway built where the train tracks used to be. The trail starts well before Crystal Beach and goes all the way to Old Fort Erie. We timed our walk in order to be back for the opening of Brimstone.

Brimstone Crystal Beach.

Brimstone is a brewery and special events space. It is also a restaurant/bar that seems to be built into and around a former church. We came here in order to have something to eat before the eclipse started.  The waitress informed us that she had selected an eclispe themed playlist in honour of the days big event. We didn't hear any Bonnie Tyler while we were there, but did hear several moon themed songs such as Echo & The Bunnymen's The Killing Moon.

Brimstone Brews On Site In Crystal Beach.

   Brimstone is usually not open on Mondays, but opened especially for us eclipse seekers. They brew several of their own beers on site. We had a Purple Lizard and a Sinister Minister which is one of their beer selections
Brimstone Hail Mary Ale
     They also have other ales such as the Hail Mary Ale. After enjoying our meal and beverages we headed back down to where we had parked to see if any crowds had gathered.
Crystal Ridge Park Crystal Beach Pre-Eclipse
    More people had arrived for the event but we had chosen a good spot. We are sure it was crowded down at the water's edge. Crystal Beach sits on the northeast side of Lake Erie.
Deer Crystal Ridge Park.
    A pair of deer had walked out into the park to graze. A few minutes later something spooked them and they both bounded away into the bushes.
Sun Peeks Through Clouds Crystal Ridge Park.
    The eclipse was slowly approaching. It would take the moon about an hour to slowly cover the sun.  Then there would be about 4 minutes of darkness until the moon would slowly reveal the sun once more.
Solar Eclipse Through Eclipse Glasses.
    We looked through our special glasses just to be safe as the eclipse started. Everything looked orange and we could see the sun through the clouds. We took this photo through the lens of the glasses. The eclipse had begun as the moon crept over the edge of the sun.
Solar Eclipse Halfway Crystal Beach
    More and more of the sun was covered. We realized that with so much cloud cover we didn't need the special glasses to protect our eyes or take photos.
Robin Crystal Ridge Park.
    The robins were singing in the trees. They didn't seem confused and sang throughout the eclipse, even in the total darkness. Spring is their season after all.
Darkness from Total solar eclipse.
    Then it happened. The sky went from day to night in about a minute. A cool breeze swept in and we were in the totality of the eclipse. Almost 4 minutes later we went from night to day again. The clouds robbed us of seeing the corona of the sun. We still enjoyed our day in Crystal Beach and viewing the spectacle of the eclipse with others. Next, we had the pleasure of many hours driving back home in traffic.

Map of Our World 

Crystal Ridge Park

Post # 334

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Love Park

Love Park Toronto Ontario.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  96 Queens Quay W
Date:  July 2023
Website:  www.waterfrontoronto.ca

  Love Park in Toronto opened in June 2023.  The park is focused around a large tree in a heart shaped pond.  It is tucked into the corner of business towers and condos at Queens Quay West and York Street.

LOVE Park As Former Gardiner Expressway Off Ramp Toronto.

    The park was built in an area that used to be an off ramp for the Gardiner Expressway.  For years the concrete pillars were all that remained of this ramp.
Love Park Pond Toronto Ontario

    The pond in the middle of the park is shaped like a heart except it has no pointy edges.  The heart in the park is best appreciated from above.  We hope one day to find ourselves high enough up in one of the buildings that surround the park in order to look down at the heart.

Love Park Toronto's Red Mosaic Seating.

     The red glass mosaic that curves around the edge of the pond is being called a "love seat" by the city.  It will give 165 meters of seating for people to enjoy the park.  The water in the pond is meant to be natural and uses no chlorine of other chemicals to filter the water.  When the pond first opened, people were concerned about the bright green water. 

Love Park Animal Sculptures.

     One feature of the park that may go unnoticed by some, is that there are nine bronze cast animal sculptures hidden around the grounds.  Don't worry, we won't spoil your fun and tell you exactly where each creature is hiding.  We have included photos of the animals below so you know what you are looking for.
Love Park Toronto Beaver Sculpture.
  A sculpture of a beaver sits on its own private island.
Love Park Toronto Fox Sculpture.

  A fox sculpture can be found next to one of the benches.

Love Park Toronto Rabbit Sculpture.

   A rabbit sculpture also likes to hang out near the benches.  It had better watch out for Mr. Fox.

Love Park Polar Bear Sculpture.

    A polar bear sculpture is supposedly based on Juno the polar bear from the Toronto Zoo.

Love Park Chipmunk Sculpture.

      A chipmunk sculpture is busy filling its cheeks with golden hearts.

Love Park Toronto Raccoon Sculpture.

    A raccoon sculpture wanders the park.

Toronto Love Park Raccoon Sculpture.

    Most Toronto residents should be familiar with the photo above.  A raccoon prowling around looking for trouble in the middle of the night. 

 Love Park Toronto Blue Jay Sculpture.

    A blue jay sculpture sits up in a trellis.  There are quite a few Blue Jay fans in Toronto.

Love Park Toronto Owl Sculpture.

    Another bird sculpture of an owl sits perched looking over the square.

Toronto Love Park Woodpecker Sculpture.

    The final sculpture is a woodpecker hunting for a meal in the concrete jungle.

Love Park Toronto Tree In The Sun.

      The sun shines through the buildings and falls on the big tree in the middle of the pond.  We suggest you also spend a little time enjoying what Love Park has to offer.  Love Toronto.  Love animals.  Love Park.

Map of Our World
Love Park

Post # 327

Saturday 20 May 2023

Lake George

Lake George New York State
Location: Lake George, New York, USA
Address:  2 Canada Street
Date:  September 2010
Website:  tikiresort.com

  Lake George is located in the northern part of New York state. It is located beside the Adirondack Mountains. The area is a popular tourist destination to enjoy the mountains and steamboat rides on the lake. After falling in love with Maui, Hawaii, we visited Lake George for the Polynesian dinner show. If you can't make it to Hawaii then you might want to head to Lake George in New York state and visit the Tiki Resort.

Polynesian Dinner Show At The Tiki Resort in Lake George.

   We enjoyed a dinner, a few drinks and the show. It featured Hawaiian dancers and drummers all the way from Schenectady.  One of us even got to participate. A few lucky dancers were chosen to shake their stuff based on the fruit shouted out by the band. "Coconut" to the right, "Pineapple" to the left and "Papaya" to the rear. By the time we were done we had danced up a fruit salad.

Lake George Mallard Duck

     We were only in Lake George for one night to catch the Tiki show. The next morning we decided to see what else was going on in town before heading to New York City. As we approached the waterfront this duck quacked out to us.
Minnie Ha Ha And The Mohican Steamboats At Lake George
  Across the water at the pier we could see the Mohican and Minnie Ha Ha steamboats getting ready to take tourists out for a relaxing trip around the lake. We hear that in the fall, the colours are lovely.

Uncle Sam Magic Forest Lake George

    As we headed out of Lake George, we were in for one last treat. We noticed a giant Uncle Sam in a parking lot. We pulled over and went to check him out. This Uncle Sam is 38 feet tall. He was designed for an Ohio restaurant called fittingly, Uncle Sam's. He then stood outside of the state fairgrounds in Danbury, Connecticut until coming to Lake George to stand in the parking lot of the Magic Forest amusement park.

Uncle Sam And Santa In The Magic Forest.

  Behind Uncle Sam we noticed someone else very special. It was Santa Claus! What more could you ask for in a town? A Tiki Resort and Santa are two of our favourite things.

Santa Claus Lake George

  Sadly, Uncle Sam has returned once again to Danbury and Santa has disappeared. The Tiki Resort is still doing shows so that is more than enough reason to spend a day in Lake George.  Coconut!!

Map of Our World
Tiki Resort , Minnie Ha Ha

Post # 323

Thursday 20 April 2023


Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland

Location: Iceland
Date: Sept 2015
Website: visiticeland.com

  The landscape of Iceland is unlike any other place in the world.  It is often referred to as the land of fire and ice. It has been formed by the power of nature. Volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls have shaped it into what it is today. We visited one waterfall that is unlike any other in the world.

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland.

  Gullfoss translates to mean the Golden Waterfall. We are uncertain how it came to be named, but it is part of what tourists call the Golden Circle.  The Golden Circle of Iceland includes the geysirs of Haukadalur, Thingvellir National Park and the Gullfoss waterfall.

Gullfoss Upper Waterfall

  The Olfusa river flows down to Gullfoss.  The water first flows over an 11 metre drop.

Gullfoss Waterfall Second Drop Iceland.

    The water then takes a turn and goes for another 21 metre drop into a canyon.

Tourists Head Into The Mist of Gullfoss.

  Brave and properly dressed tourists can head along a pathway into the mist of Gullfoss to get an even closer look.

Tourists Stand Near The Edge Of Gullfoss.

    Tourists can go right up to the edge of the falls and watch the water plummet into the earth. 

Canyon Walls Of Gullfoss.

  The walls of the canyon where the Gullfoss water flows stand even taller than the falls themselves..

Cliff Walls Of Gullfoss.
  Somewhere down under that cliff the river continues to flow.  So we have been told.

Gullfoss Waterfall In Iceland.

  Iceland in the winter is a dark cold place.  Days may often only have about 4 hours of daylight.  The band Echo & The Bunnymen chose to film the video for their song "The Cutter" at Gullfoss in the winter. The cover of their album Porcupine features the band in front of the falls.

Langjokul Glacier Iceland

   The Gullfoss waterfall left us amazed as to its beauty and shape and the mystery of where all that water goes.  Icleand never disappoints.  As we looked around from the road near Gullfoss we could see the Langjokul Glacier in the distance.  More adventure awaits.

Map of Our World 

Gullfoss Waterfall

Post # 322