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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