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Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The Spirit Catcher

Spirit Catcher At Barrie's Waterfront.

Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Address: 15 Lakeshore Drive
Date: Feb 2015
Website: maclarenart.com

  As you enter Barrie's waterfront you can't help but notice a large winged sculpture standing between you and Lake Simcoe.  This is Spirit Catcher.  It was originally created for EXPO 86 in Vancouver but has stood beside the lake in Barrie since 1987.

Barrie Ontario's Marina In Winter.

  The rest of the marina area gets packed up for the winter season but Spirit Catcher stands tall year round.  Spirit Catcher is made from over 20 tonnes of steel and stands over 20 metres high.  The sculpture is made of cor-ten steel which is designed to not flake when it rusts.

Spirit Catcher Barrie Ontario By Ron Baird.

  The Spirit Catcher was created by Ron Baird and was the first piece to become part of the permanent collection at the Maclaren Art Centre.  For over 30 years people have marvelled at the sharp wings and horns of Spirit Catcher.

Someone Flys A Kite At Barrie's Marina In The Winter.

  When we were on the waterfront admiring the sculpture, we noticed someone flying a colourful kite over the beach.  A splash of colour that stood out against the grey sky.  Even though Spirit Catcher looks like a black silhouette it also stands out and commands your attention.

Map of Our World
Spirit Catcher

Post # 278

Monday, 10 February 2020

Valentine's Day List

Neon Heart

  1. Roses at the Ice Hotel
  2. LoveBot
  3. Teuscher Valentine Truffles
  4. Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove
  5. I Heart ...
  6. Heart's Content
  7. Distillery Heart
  8. Blue Whale Heart
  9. Lovebirds
  10. LOVE on the High Line
This is a list of things from our travels that remind us of Valentine's Day.  Love is in the air and maybe you will get an idea of what to get or do for your special someone this February 14th.

1 ) Roses at the Ice Hotel
Rose Room At The Ice Hotel

Roses are a nice touch on Valentine's Day, but why not a wall of roses carved out of ice and lit up above your own private bed.  Sure it's below zero celcius in the room but the Hotel de Glace is a beautiful place.

2)  LoveBot
Lovebot Graffiti

Around Toronto we have encountered LoveBot.  We have spotted him in several graffiti filled alleys.  He is just a little expressionless robot but he is filled with love.

3)  Teuscher Valentine Truffles
Valentine Truffle Holders From Teuscher

When it comes to cute truffle boxes, Teuscher is the best.  This Valentine's couple is a great gift for anyone who likes cute and chocolate.

4)  Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove
Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove

A Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove looks as if it has been stabbed in the chest. Don't worry it is alright. What looks like a wound is just part of its plumage used to attract a mate.

5)  I Heart...
I Heart New York Sign At The Airport

As campaigns go, the I Love New York campaign has been very successful. The word love has been replaced by a heart.

The I Love Regina Sign in Regina Saskatchewan

 We also encountered the I Love Regina sign when we were in the capital city of Saskatchewan. You would probably have a hard time finding someone called New York, but if you know someone called Regina then this is where you should take them on Feb 14th.

6)  Heart's Content
Heart's Content Newfoundland

To do something to your heart's content is to do it until you are completely satisfied.  It is also a small town in Newfoundland.  Perhaps your heart will be content in Heart's Content.

7)  Distillery Heart
The Heart At Toronto's Distillery District

As you enter Toronto's historic Distillery District you will see a heart that has sunk into the brick walkway.  A very popular spot to take photos with the one you love.  In fact, try as we might, we still couldn't take a photo without at least one person being inside the heart.

8)  Blue Whale Heart
The Heart At Toronto's Distillery District

The blue whale has the biggest heart of any living creature on earth.  We have a great love for blue whales.  Imagine one of these hearts filled with love.

9)  Lovebirds
Lutino Peach Faced Lovebirds At Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls

Some more love comes in the form of lovebirds.  These three birds are Lutino Peach Faced Lovebirds at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls.  Lutino means they are albino so they have different colouring.  Being albino has absolutely no affect on their capacity to love.

10)  LOVE on the High Line
LOVE Art On The High LIne.

The High Line is a park created in New York City from old elevated train lines.  On one of our visits we found LOVE.  We hope that everyone finds love this Valentine's Day.


Map of Our World
Post # 277

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Australia Day

Australia Day At The Toronto Zoo.

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

  Australian wildlife is being affected by wildfires.  The Toronto Zoo pledged to donate all the income from their Australia Day tours to help support the animal rescue efforts.  We took advantage and felt this was a great time to take an Australasia Pavilion behind the scenes tour.

A Matschie's Tree Kangaroo At The Toronto Zoo.

  Our tour started with the Matschie's Tree Kangaroo.  These kangaroos spend the majority of their time up in the trees and are more agile moving through the branches than down on the ground.  The kangaroo pictured above is a female called Puzzle.

Victoria Crowned Pigeons At The Toronto Zoo.

    The next section of the pavilion features free flying birds.  One of our favourites is the Victoria Crowned Pigeons.  They have white tips on the feathers that stick up from the top of their head like a crown.  If you are lucky you might hear the drumming whooping sound they make when they wish to attract attention.

A Macleay's Spectre At The Toronto Zoo.

  Next we went through a Staff Only door for a behind the scenes visit.  The tour guide opened a wooden door and we found ourselves at the back of the Macleay's Spectre exhibit.  We half expected insects to come flying out to make their escape.  Nothing happened as the usual defense mechanism for this stick insect is to cling to a branch and gently sway in order to make us think it is a leaf.

Kangaroos Behind The Scenes At The Toronto Zoo.

  We travelled down a small hall and were taken into the kangaroo winter home.  There were a few holding areas where the kangaroos were all lying around just relaxing.  Once we arrived and lettuce was offered things picked up.


   The Toronto Zoo has a mob of Western Grey Kangaroos.  A mob is what you call a group of kangaroos.

A Western Grey Kangaroo At The Toronto Zoo.
 A Western Grey Kangaroo At The Toronto Zoo.

    The kangaroos have big teeth for munching.  The kangaroo above on the left was a new mother about three months ago.  The baby joey will not leave the pouch for almost six more months.

Senior Kangaroos At The Toronto Zoo.

  One enclosure contained what the keepers called the old timers.  This is where the senior kangaroos were kept.  They often get annoyed by the constant hopping about of their more youthful family members.

A Wallaby At The Toronto Zoo.

  There was a Bennett's Wallaby in with the older kangaroos.  Wallabies are much smaller than kangaroos so despite being thirteen years old this wallaby appeared very young.  Thirteen is an upper age for a wallaby but hanging around kangaroos keeps it looking youthful.

A Swamp Wallaby At The Toronto Zoo.

  Another wallaby was in an enclosure by itself.  It was called a Swamp Wallaby.  The keepers ensured us that it was not alone and behind a piece of wood a bettong was sleeping waiting for dark.  A bettong is still a marsupial but more of a kangaroo rat than a kangaroo.

The Top Of The Great Barrier Reef Tank At The Toronto Zoo.
 The Top Of The Great Barrier Reef Tank At The Toronto Zoo.

  After leaving the kangaroo area we travelled through the pavilion to the Great Barrier Reef tank.  This tank is filled with various Australian fishes.  We went through another Staff Only door and up some steps to the top of the tank.


   We enjoyed feeding the fish in this tank.  Two of our favourites were the Clown Triggerfish and the Scribbled Angelfish who make a snapping sound when they bite down on the seaweed we dropped into the water.


    If you wish to identify the other fish in these videos above you can check out our Toronto Zoo page and scroll down to the Australasia Pavilion (Great Barrier Reef) section.  We enjoyed our tour and hope the money donated helps Australian wildlife. You can always go "down under" anytime if you visit the Toronto Zoo.

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo

Post # 276

Monday, 20 January 2020

Dream Machines

Rowland Emett's Dream Machines

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 770 Don Mills Road.
Date: Jan 2020
Website: www.ontariosciencecentre.ca

  Every winter around Christmas time, the Ontario Science Centre puts their collection of Rowland Emett's machines on display.  It is the largest single collection of these mechanical inventions and never ceases to amuse and amaze.  Rowland Emett started as a cartoonist for Punch magazine before building these herky-jerky contraptions which always seem to include lampshades and teapots and be driven by thin men with mustaches.  Let's take a look at a few of these dream machines.

The Vivivision Machine
The Vivivision Machine By Rowland Emett.

This machine is made up of a gramophone and an old sewing machine.  Like most of Rowland's creations it has a lot of moving parts but it is hard to figure out the purpose.


It somehow projects an image into the horn of the gramophone which is supposed to be that of a man bull-fighting with a goat.  This machine made a brief appearance in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

 The Humbug Major Sweet Machine
The Humbug Major Sweet Machine by Rowland Emett.

  This next contraption had a bigger role in the Dick Van Dyke movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.   It makes candied apples and more as it whirs and turns.

The Humbug Major Sweet Machine by Rowland Emett.

The machine makes candy but as Truly Scrumptuous says, "The boiling point of your sugar is too high".  As a result the candy has holes in it but lets you blow into it to make a whistling sound. Toot Sweets.

Toot Sweets from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

  Dick Van Dyke's character Caractacus Potts takes his candy to try and sell it to the candy factory.  As everyone blows into the candy, the whistle attracts dogs which end up making a mess of everything.

Little Dragon Carpet Cleaner
Little Dragon Carpet Cleaner by Rowland Emett.

  Also in the movie is the little dragon carpet cleaner which instead of cleaning a carpet sucks up the whole thing.  The carpet cleaner on display at the Science Centre had a little brush that looked like a mustache.

The Hush-a-Bye Hot Air Rocking Chair
The Hush-a-Bye Hot Air Rocking Chair by Rowland Emett.

  This chair works with a hot air engine to keep it rocking.  It also conveniently has slippers sticking out in front so you can put your feet inside.  Keep your eyes open and you might notice it also in a certain film.

Clockwork Lullaby Machine
Clockwork Lullaby Machine by Rowland Emett.

    When Caractacus Potts sings Hushabye Mountain to his children he first starts up this contraption which is made up of a conch shell and a wine bottle among other things.

Featherstone Kite Openwork Basketweave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine
Featherstone Kite Openwork Basketweave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine by Rowland Emett

  This machine is our all time favourite and it also boasts the longest name.  It has been at the Ontario Science Centre for decades.  It is meant to be a flying machine but as it lurches back and forth we don't think it is ever going to get off the ground.  It looks like it has a better chance of making tea.

Featherstone Kite Openwork Basketweave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine by Rowland Emett

  This machine features one of the thin, mustached men that Rowland seems to like to add to his contraptions.  It also has a few furry friends like the dog looking forward at the front of the plane and a little kitten sitting in the rudder.

The Forget Me Not Computer
The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

Memory may hold the door, but elephants never forget.  The picture above shows FRED who is part of the Forget Me Not Computer that Rowland made for Honeywell.  FRED stands for Frightfully Rapid Evaluator and Dispense.

The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

  The next part of the Forget Me Not Computer looks like an elephant.  The computer frame is made from a lot of bamboo.

The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

Inside it has something called the Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo unit.

The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

Another smaller elephant is called Forget Me Not Junior and works the card punch system.  Unforgetable.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt
Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  Rowland Emett's popularity increased after he created a railway for the 1951 Festival of Britain.  This next machine is another train creation.  It is a tea train headed to Wisteria Halt.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  It is made up of several train cars.  The last car has a cow being milked in order to provide cream for tea.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  The next car has a first class passenger enjoying their tea.  The cow has chosen to munch on the ostrich feathers sticking out of her hat.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  The whole train is pulled by Nellie the steam engine in a beautiful blue.  Nellie also heats up and pours tea as well as preparing a bit of breakfast as she goes.

Exploratory Moon Probe Lunacycle MAUD
Exploratory Moon Probe Lunacycle MAUD by Rowland Emett

The last device on display was designed to be landed on the moon and then pedalled about for exploratory purposes. 

Exploratory Moon Probe Lunacycle MAUD by Rowland Emett.

  The mustachioed man must keep pedalling in order to bring oxygen into his helmet.  He looks out through a stained glass dome over his head.

Check out Rowland Emett's machines in action in the video below and find out why they are known as dream machines.


Map of Our World
Dream Machines

Post # 275