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Saturday 30 June 2018

Exploring The Athabasca Glacier

Athabasca Glacier Across The Icefields Parkway.

Location: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Address:  Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre, Icefields Parkway
Date: June 2005
Website:  www.banffjaspercollection.com

   The Columbia Icefield was once part of a giant sheet of ice that helped form the Rocky Mountains.  The icefield still covers hundreds of square kilometres today.  One of its toes is the Athabasca Glacier.  This glacier can reach depths of up to 1000 feet.  We visited the Athabasca Glacier when we were in Alberta back in 2005.

Ice Explorers.

   To travel out onto the glacier we went in an Ice Explorer.  These are large all-terrain, giant wheeled vehicles.  The wheels are taller than some people.

Old Ice Explorer.

    There was an old snowmobile that looked more like a tank.  This would have been the Ice Explorer used many years ago.

Road Across The Glacier.

    First our Ice Explorer crept down a steep incline and then we travelled along a road that had been worn into the glacial ice.

Lots of Free Parking On The Glacier.

    Then we parked right on top of the glacier.  Now we could enjoy more of the mountain view around us.  Despite being June, there was a cold crispness to the air.

Walking On Ice. 

  We stepped down onto the ice between the mountains and did some exploring of our own.

Snow Covered Mountain.

People Covered Glacier.

   We looked up at some of the mountain peaks..  These very mountains were formed by long gone glacial ice much like what we were currently standing on.

The Glacier Continues.

  We went higher up and could see the glacier continue on beyond the mountain.  The Athabasca Glacier is just one small part of the Columbia Icefield that extends beyond that point.

The Blue Pylon Is Looking Out For You.

  The glacier can be a dangerous place.  Blue pylons warned us not to venture out into unsafe territory.

Back In Time.

  Each year the Athabasca Glacier is slowly receeding.  This marker in the photo above shows roughly where the glacial ice would have reached back at the end of the 1960s.  Today the ice has receeded even further.  The ice water that melts out of the glacier could be snow that fell almost 150 years ago.  The glacier gave us a glimpse of what this part of Canada looked like tens of thousands of years ago.  We enjoyed our walk on the ice and we also cannot stop admiring the mountains that it left behind.

Map of Our World
Athabasca Glacier
Colombia Icefield Discovery Centre

Post # 219

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Merhorse VS Giant Clam

An Epic Battle Under The Sea.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  90 Cordova Avenue
Date: June 2018
Website:  www.ranee.ca

  We were taking a walk on Islington Avenue headed towards the many painted murals that can be found along Dundas Street West.  Not very far north of Islington subway station there was a fountain outside of an apartment building that caught our eye.

Pacifier Fountain

  To us it looked like a group of baby pacifiers pointed to the sky.  Very interesting, we thought.  As we turned around we caught a glimpse of something on the other side of Islington.  It looked like a woman riding a large white horse.  Very interesting indeed!

Away Whipped Cream!!  We Have Another Street Corner To Conquer In My Name.

   As we drew closer we realized this was not a regular horse but a seahorse.  It looked like a regular horse rearing up on its hind legs, except it didn't have hind legs.  Instead it had a tail like a fish. We have chosen to call this a "merhorse".   In Greek mythology, Poseidon was pulled across the water on his chariot by a team of hippocampi (seahorses).  Poseidon is known as the god of the sea.  He is also known for creating the horse.  So if he wants to spend his day out on the water with half fish, half horses pulling him around, who could stop him? 

Something Fishy About This Sculpture.

   The sculpture sits outside of some rental apartments on Cordova Avenue.  From the opposite side it appears that the merhorse has no hind legs or tail.  We couldn't find any real history about this sculpture so we are inventing our own.  To us it looked as if the horse probably did have legs and then something happened to the sculpture.  Maybe it was damaged?  We do not know.  Maybe it came from part of another larger sculpture?  In order to help support the sculpture it was decided to put some blue rocks.  Now with the legs missing a tail was added.  If you look at the picture of the tail above it does look to be made from different material and is much whiter than the rest of the horse. Sorry, the merhorse.

He Was In A Jam.  Then a Giant Clam.

   Now who is the natural nemesis of this mighty water stallion?  Why of course it is the giant clam.  A real giant clam lives off of algae and opens its mouth when there is sunlight so the algae inside it can photosynthesize.  When there is no sun, it closes its mouth again.  It does not spend its day chomping on various sea creatures.  This still doesn't mean you should go sticking your hand inside a giant clam any time soon.

Whoa Whipped Cream!  Easy Venti Fellah.

  The woman riding the merhorse is not your average woman either.  She is a mermaid.  Closer inspection reveals that she is not your average little mermaid.  She has two legs with flippers instead of just a tail.  Some research shows that this makes her a siren or two-tailed mermaid.  This would definitely make it easier to ride a horse instead of always going side saddle.  A two legged mermaid is also not as unusual as you might think.  Now where have we seen one before....

My Coffee Is.  Part Of Your World.

  Only everywhere!  The Starbucks logo features a two legged mermaid.  You can see her green legs up on each side of her head.  Earlier versions of the logo even used to show her full body.  Melusine is one character from folklore who is half woman, half fish and who had her husband swear an oath that he would never watch her bathe.  This way he does not realize she is part fish.
  This sculpture is a very interesting piece of art that brings up a lot of questions both about its creation and what it is depicting.  Yes, there is a Starbucks at Bloor & Islington so grab a coffee and then spend some time trying to figure it all out.

This location is near Islington subway. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World:
Merhorse VS Giant Clam

Post # 218

Sunday 10 June 2018

Holy Matrimony Murdoch

Cathedral Of Methodism Dedicated in 1872.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  56 Queen Street East
Date: May 2018
Website:  www.metunited.org

  When William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden finally got married, we were there. Well not really, since they are from the fictional television show Murdoch Mysteries that takes place in the early 1900s. What we did do was visit the place where the wedding episode (season 8 episode 4) was filmed. That's about as good as we can get.

Cutting It Rather Close Aren't You?

 Murdoch and Julia were married at the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto.  We visited the church during Doors Open Toronto 2018.  It is located at the corner of Queen Street East and Church Street.

High Victorian Gothic Style.

  According to a plaque outside the church it is designed in a High Victorian Gothic style.  The cornerstone was laid in 1870 and the church was dedicated in 1872. The plaque also lists other important dates for the church including a fire in 1928 which required the church to be rebuilt. Most of the walls, tower, stained glass and narthex are original. A narthex is a long narrow enclosed porch usually along the west entrance of a church, but you already knew that.

Stained Glass Windows.

   According to one fan's calculations, Murdoch and Dr Ogden married in May of 1902.  That was well before the fire.  Let's take a look at some of the scenes from the episode.

One Two Three.  Perfect.

  There is a reception tent set up just beside this thin pathway on the east side of the church (photo above).  Mrs. Brackenreid is trying to get everything to run smoothly.

You Mustn't See The Bride Before The Wedding.

  When Dr. Ogden arrives in her horse drawn carriage, she comes around this little curved brick path.   Murdoch is quickly ushered in through the front doors of the church so he does not get an early glimpse of his bride on their wedding day.

Here Comes The Bride.

  When Julia does finally enter the church she proceeds down the aisle. Inspector Brackenreid is the one who gives her away.

George Do You Have The Ring?  Yes Of Course.

  She heads down the aisle towards Murdoch who is waiting up at the altar.

Murdoch Wedding Guests.

  The church is filled with their guests. 

I Don't Bloody Care.  You're Not Leaving Until You're Officially Married.

The Brackenreids are up front on the right.

Can We Film That Again Please?  For some reason there is someone in shorts and a ballcap at the back of the church.

  Despite wanting to leave to try and solve a case, William and Julia do finally get married and head through these glass doors.  The couple above obviously is not from the early 1900s.  William and Julia were also dressed at their best.

It's Not White It's Cream. Anyone Can See That.

  During Doors Open we also got a glimpse of the actual gown that Julia wore at her wedding.

Shaftesbury Offices.

  Shaftesbury is the company that produces Murdoch Mysteries.  At their offices they had Julia's gown on display along with other costumes and props from the show.

The Corner of Toby & Logan ?

  Shaftesbury's offices are located on Logan Avenue.  We found it amusing that another show they produced, The Listener, has a main character called Toby Logan.  "Hmm, I like the name Toby, but he needs a good last name."  "I'm going to go outside for a smoke."  "I've got it!  Logan!  It just came to me."

Congratulations Julia and William.

   During the Murdoch Experience 2014 we even signed a guest book for the happy couple and were given some special Murdoch Mysteries cookies.  This was before the episode aired. Now we have also been inside the church.  Congratulations again to Julia and William on your marriage.  We wish you many more seasons together. Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us.

Map of Our World
Metropolitan United Church

Post # 217