Thursday, 20 February 2020
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Address: 15 Lakeshore Drive
Date: Feb 2015
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.
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.
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.
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
Post # 278
Monday, 10 February 2020
- Roses at the Ice Hotel
- Teuscher Valentine Truffles
- Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove
- I Heart ...
- Heart's Content
- Distillery Heart
- Blue Whale Heart
- LOVE on the High Line
1 ) Roses 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.
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.
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.
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.
As campaigns go, the I Love New York campaign has been very successful. The word love has been replaced by a heart.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Thursday, 30 January 2020
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Road
Date: Jan 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Post # 276