- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -

Art--Animals--Dates--Filming Locations--Food--Links--Lists--Map--Music--Nature--Places--Performances--Souvenirs--Structures--Timeline--Wishes
Showing posts with label Natural Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Natural Beauty. Show all posts

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

Monday, 20 April 2020

Mavrovouni

Mavrovouni Greece

Location: Mavrovouni, Greece
Address: Mavrovouni 232 00
Date: Aug 2015

   Mavrovouni is a small Greek village located in the South Pelopponese.  The name Mavrovouni means Black Mountain.  The village sits on the top of the mountain above. 

Gytheio View From Mavrovouni Greece.

  A short distance from Mavrovouni is the larger fishing town of Gytheio.  You can see the homes of Gytheio and Cranae Island as you look across the water.

Home Near The Top Of Mavrovouni Greece.

  As you work your way to the top of the mountain you go past the homes with their terracotta rooftops and white painted walls.  We made this climb several times in the heat of the mid-day sun.

The Three Holy Hierarchs In Mavrovouni

  At the very top of the village stands the church The Three Holy Hierarchs.

A Lone Tree In Front Of Goulades Castle.

  On land next to the church sits Goulades Castle.  This castle was built in the late 1700s.

Mediterranean View

  The view from the hills spreads out revealing the beautiful scenery.
 
Sunset In Mavrovouni Greece.

    As the sun begins to set, you get an even more spectacular view as you look towards the Mediterranen Sea.

Olive Trees In Mavrovouni.

  The sun sets behind the rows of olive trees.  The sky, sea and land come together as one to reveal shades of blue, orange, pink and yellow.  A typical end to another day in a small village beside the sea.

Mavrovouni Sunset.

Map of Our World
Post # 284

Friday, 10 April 2020

Easter Island Dreaming

American Museum of Natural History Moai Easter Island Figure.

Location: New York City, New York, USA
Address: 200 Central Park West
Date: Sept 2007
Website: https://www.amnh.org

  Easter Island remains on our bucket list.  It is a small island located about 3220 km west of Chile and received its name from a Dutch explorer who found it on Easter Sunday 1722.  The island is famous for its large stone sculptures called moai.  Just because we have yet to make it to the island, does not mean that some of the island has not made its way to us.

American Museum of Natural History Moai Easter Island Figure.

  At the American Museum of Natural History in New York City there is a plaster cast of a moai statue on display.  The mold was made from one of the real moai during a museum expedition to Easter Island in 1935.  A copy of this cast statue comes to life and was featured in the movie Night At The Museum.  Brad Garrett voices the character that spends most of its time asking for some gum.  Sorry, gum gum.

Easter Island Statue At Sunset Park Las Vegas.

  Las Vegas always tries to copy everything so it makes sense that it has a replica of an Easter Island statue.  The Vegas strip has its own Eiffel Tower, Venice, New York City and even an active volcano among the copied structures.  The strip used to have two Easter Island statues outside the Aku Aku restaurant which was part of the Stardust casino.  The restaurant and casino are no longer around.

Easter Island Statue In Sunset Park Las Vegas

  One of the statues was moved off of the strip and placed in Sunset Park. It sits on an island in the pond at the center of the park.  Not quite Easter Island but it is still an island none the less.

Sea Life London Aquarium Shark Tank.

  London, England  has a few replica Easter Island statues as well as the real deal.  There are replica statues sunken in the shark tank at Sea Life London Aquarium.

Sea Life London Aquarium Shark Tank.

  Sand Tiger Sharks spend their days swimming around while these giant heads keep a close eye on them.  Unlike these replica statues the real Easter Island statues all reside on land although many have sunk deeper into the soil through the centuries.

Easter Island Statue At The British Museum.

  The closest we have ever come to Easter Island is at the British Museum where they have an actual statue that was transported from the island back in 1868.  This statue is called Hoa Hakananai'a.  Easter Island has requested that it be allowed to return home again.  If they let us know, we will gladly accompany it on the ride home and then we can cross another item off of our bucket list.

Map of Our World
Post # 283

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Cactus Garden

Ethel M Chocolates & Cactus Garden.

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Address: 2 Cactus Garden Dr.
Date: March 2020
Website: www.ethelm.com

    Franklin Mars started the Mars Candy Factory in 1911 with his wife Ethel.  Today Mars makes Snickers, Twix, Mars bars and more.  Ethel is the Ethel M from a popular chocolate factory near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethel M Chocolates Factory.

    While in Vegas you can take a short drive to see Ethel M chocolate being made in the factory.  It is made in small batches with no preservatives.

Ethel M Enrobing Machines.

  The tour starts with a taste of some chocolate.  So far so good.  You then wander past the machines where the chocolate is prepared.  Next it is more machines that fill multiple molds and create patterns on top of the chocolates and then put them into cases and boxes.

Chocolate Wall At Ethel M Factory.

  The end result is something like the giant chocolate wall at the end of the tour.  Thanks to all the different shapes and patterns you can identify which pieces to eat first when sampling from a box.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberreies At Ethem M's In Las Vegas.

  After our tour we enjoyed a chocolate cappucino and some chocolate dipped strawberries. Very nice.

Ethel M Cactus Garden.

  Next it was outside to take a tour of the cactus garden located just behind the factory.  A little desert after dessert.

Purple Pancake Cactus At Ethel M Las Vegas.

  If you still feel like food, there was purple pancake cactus on display.  We don't think they were very edible.

Ethel M Cactus Garden Joshua Tree.

  There was a couple of Joshua Trees.

Mountains From Ethel M Cactus Garden.

As well as a nice view of the mountains.

Costa's Hummingbird Ethel M Cactus Garden.
Costa's Hummingbird Ethel M Cactus Garden.

  There was also wildlife to be found in amongst the cactus.  Above is a male Costa's Hummingbird that is known for its purplish head if caught in the right light.  Its head feathers also sort of flare out on the sides.  It was sitting surprisingly still for a hummingbird.

A Verdin At Ethel M Cactus Garden.

  A small white, grey bird with a yellow head was all over the place.  We managed one good photo of it as it moved from branch to branch faster than we could get it into focus.  These birds are fairly common in Nevada and are known as Verdin.

Ethel M Cactus Garden.

Ethel M Chocolate Fountain.

  We enjoyed our visit to Ethel M.  A great chocolatier knows that chocolate and cactus work well together late in the afternoon.

Map of Our World
Ethel M Cactus Garden
Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Post # 280

Friday, 20 December 2019

Winter in Niagara-On-The-Lake

Snow covers Niagara-on-the-Lake

Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Address: 6 Picton Street
Date: December 2019
Website: www.vintage-hotels.com

  The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful place all year round.  One of the most magical times is during the winter season.  We have visited a few times during the ice wine festival as well as to see the Christmas lights.

Just Christmas Niagara-on-the-Lake Star Wars display

  One store located on Queen street celebrates Christmas all year round.  Just Christmas has everything you could need for holiday decorating.  Even a C3-P0 wearing a scarf to keep him warm.

Memorial Clock Tower & Court House Niagara-on-the-Lake

  Right next door to Just Christmas is the court house and in the middle of the street stands the memorial clock tower.  They both look nice all lit up during the night.

Letters For Santa Niagara-on-the-Lake

  Out front of the court house stands a mailbox marked Letters for Santa.  You can put your Christmas wishes inside.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Court House Guards

  Two toy soldiers stand guard outside of the court house keeping a watchful eye on everyone.  You had better not be naughty while mailing your letter to Santa.

The Prince Of Wales Hotel In Winter.

  On the next block stands the Prince of Wales hotel.  The Victorian hotel has seen many winters since it was built in 1864.  It looks lovely in a small blanket of snow.

A Toy Soldier Prince of Wales Hotel Niagara-on-the-Lake

  As you enter the Prince of Wales to warm up you are greeted by another toy soldier.  This one is most likely a member of the royal guard.

Athena Stained Glass Inside The Prince of Wales Hotel
Sculpture At Christmas Inside Prince of Wales Hotel.

  The lobby of the Prince of Wales is always inviting.  At Christmas time the sculptures and stained glass are joined by poinsettias, wreaths and decorations.

Snow Covered Simcoe Park Niagara-on-the-Lake

  Looking out the window across the street at snow covered Simcoe Park makes us feel like we have entered a warm, fuzzy Christmas movie.

Prince of Wales Trolley.

  Out front of the hotel a trolley arrived to keep guests warm while they travel around town.

Gazebo Niagara-On-The-Lake in Winter.

  Around town you can visit the gazebo that sits beside Lake Ontario.

Trees Covered In Snow Niagara-On-The-Lake

Enjoy the solitude of an empty road surrounded by snow covered trees.

Winery Covered in Snow Niagara-on-the-Lake

  And of course warm up a bit while you enjoy some ice wine at one of the many wineries found in the region.  Niagara-on-the-Lake truly is a winter wonderland.


Map of Our World
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Simcoe Park
Just Christmas

Post # 272