Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Garbage in the Gallery

Our little town Art Gallery hosts a fresh exhibition around once a month. I always make a point of going to see what the curator has chosen to display. I don't always like what I see, but it's always interesting. There's usually a "meet the artist" night, but I seem to have missed them recently.

This wall of recycled plastic blister packs by Toronto area artist Katherine Harvey caught my eye immediately. Totally built with plastic packaging, all colour coded. She must have had her whole family and all her friends saving packaging for her. A great way to use a tiny amount of that excessive non-biodegradable waste that we create.... far too much of it going into landfill.

 A detail of part of the art installation. Layer upon layer of non-recyleable plastic. Basically known as garbage. I admit I'm as guilty as anyone for throwing this stuff into my waste bin. It's hard to buy anything that isn't shrouded in layers of plastic.

This artist is known for her large installations built from plastic water bottles, packaging fishing line, clamshell packs.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Let's Go Surfin' Now.....

Everybody's learnin' how....
Come on a safari with me.......

Yes... The Beach Boys! Remember them?  Yes, I know that two of the Wilson brothers have passed away, and some other members left the band a long time ago, but two of the original Beach Boys are still touring and yesterday they were at Casino Rama, in Orillia, Ontario with their current band.

I, with about 30 friends, piled into a yellow school bus and took a rattly bumpy ride for almost 2 hours to the small town of Orillia. On the way we enjoyed assorted hors d'oeuvres and yummy snacks provided by a few of our group. Eating made the bumpy journey go fast!

Casino Rama opened in 1996 and is located on the reserve land of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Of course, there's a huge gambling area with 2500 slot machines (not my cup of tea), and a hotel, restaurants and sports venue. And a 5000 seat theatre!

beach boys adThe Beach Boys filled every seat. And the show was terrific!

Mike Love (age 74) and Bruce Johnston (age 73) are the remaining originals, backed up by Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Randell Kirsch, Jeffrey Foskett and Scott Totten (all a lot younger).

They gave us all the classic Beach Boys songs: Barbara Ann; God Only Knows; Good Vibrations; California Girls; Kokomo; I Get Around; Help Me Rhonda; The Sloop John B; Little Deuce Coupe; Fun Fun Fun ('til her Daddy takes the T-Bird Away) ..... and loads more, backed up by footage of the original band members showing on the big screens behind them.  Remember all those songs? I bet you are humming at least one of them right now!

It was a high energy concert that went on for a full two hours without a break. For a couple of septuagenarians, they had great harmonies and a spirited performance, and everyone on stage looked like they were enjoying themselves. I was singing along and dancing in my seat. No worries about annoying my seat mates as they were singing and dancing too. Arrived home well after midnight with Surfin' songs running through my head. What a blast from the past..... loved every Surfin' minute!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Sunny Day

Some images from a sunny day..... let's hope we have many more days like this before the snow flies!

There was a frost a couple of nights ago. My geraniums are looking very sad and droopy. The leaves are turning to golds and reds, and it will only take one windy rainy night to strip the branches bare. Meanwhile, I"m enjoying the sunny days that remain.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Forest Stroll and a Giant Panda update

A few more photos taken last weekend while strolling through Eldred King Tract which is part of York Regional Forest, just a 15 minute drive from my home. Some areas of the forest are all deciduous, with the leaves turning lovely yellows and reds. Other areas have been planted with red pine. I often bring TessaDog here for a romp.... she runs, I walk.

No idea what this is.... seeds from a native plant, but what? Update: Blogger Hilary says this is the seed of Doll's Eyes or White Baneberry.... but beware, poisonous for humans.

This handsome little chippy stayed completely still, not even a whisker twitch, and thought I couldn't see him, and then darted up to the top of the tree when I ventured just a little too close.

Giant Panda update: I posted about Da Mao and Er Shun at the Toronto Zoo here. Good news! Er Shun gave birth to two teeny tiny Giant Panda cubs on Tuesday October 13th, The first cub arrived at 3:31a.m., and the second cub at 3:44a.m. 

This update from Toronto Zoo: Er Shun is demonstrating excellent maternal instincts and began cleaning and cradling the first cub soon after its birth. Immediately following the birth of the second cub, Toronto Zoo staff from the Wildlife Health Centre, Wildlife Care and two giant panda experts from Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, retrieved the cub to initiate the Toronto Zoo's Giant Panda Twin Hand-Rearing Protocol. The cub was then placed in an incubator in the maternity area of the giant panda house, and approximately two hours after its birth the second cub was twin-swapped so it could begin the bonding process with Er Shun. The first cub weighed 187.7 grams at birth and the second cub weighed 115 grams. While this is wonderful news, the tiny cubs are very vulnerable at this size, so the next several hours and days will be critical to their survival.   
The cubs will remain in the maternity area of the giant panda house for several months. As the maternity area of the giant panda house is not visible to the public, Toronto Zoo staff will endeavor to provide regular updates on their progress.
At this time Zoo staff do not know the sex of the cubs and have not confirmed which panda is the father. It may be several months before we are able to determine the sex and paternity of the cubs.

Toronto Zoo releases new photos of days-old baby panda cubs cuddling each other
Toronto Zoo photo of the cubs at just a few days old.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Hot Dog Delight.

Thirsty? Woof! Woof!
Seen on the sidewalk on a warm sunny day outside a store in posh Niagara-on-the-Lake..... for the discerning thirsty doggie who considers himself a cut above the rest. There's even a bouquet of flowers!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Colours of Fall and an Anniversary

Autumn.... my favourite time of year. This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. We have our thanksgiving celebrations while the weather is still sunny, not like our cousins south of the border who wait until almost the end of November when it can be cold and rainy, and even snowy some years.
This Thanksgiving weekend has been full of glorious sunshine and blue skies, something that I am definitely thankful for.
I love the colours of autumn, the golds and reds and yellows. The leaves are late turning this year, but there's still lots of colour around. These photos need no explanations.

And an Anniversary!
Congratulations are due to YoungerSon and The Bride. Eight years ago they were married in front of friends and family in a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The sun shone that day too. Now their family consists of three energetic little children (two boys and a girl), a bouncy golden doodle (TessaDog), living in a house that they have made some crazy construction changes to and made their own. And they are still smiling!

Congratulations! May you always be as happy as you are now.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Market Day

There's a market here every weekend. Years ago it was a well known livestock auction with area farmers bringing cattle and horses and sheep for sale in the auction ring. There were covered stockyards behind the main building that would house calves and lambs and pigs waiting for their date with the auctioneer. Locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables and flowers were sold from outdoor stalls.

But things have changed. The auction ring was demolished many years ago. No farm animals to be seen now, apart from a few unlucky chickens and ducks destined for the dinner table. The fruit and veg are probably not locally grown.... especially the bananas and oranges. There were always a few tables selling assorted "junque" but now it's the main focus. The Farmer's Market has become a Flea Market.

Want a new pair of green flip-flops? Or perhaps some outdated nail polish or makeup? Slightly used (but well broken in) workboots? It's all here.

Or perhaps a hat? Lots of colours and logos to choose from. Camo can be very stylish.

No idea what this chap was selling but he was very friendly, chatting to everyone who went by.

There has to be something on one of these tables that you've been looking for! Is that a Grecian Urn? 
What's a Grecian Urn, you ask..... well, about 5 drachmas an hour.  (Sorry, very old joke)

Sunday dinner.

This man makes fretwork art with a bandsaw (or is it a fretsaw?). He made me a perfect wooden "J" and it only cost me $1.00. Why did I want a "J"?  It was a missing letter on a child's alphabet puzzle.

To buy or not to buy, genuine Crocs or wannabe Crocs, that is the question.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers - updated

Embedded image permalinkFirst game of the 2015 baseball playoffs.... anyone need a doctor's note?

hehehe love this, so funny!

Uhoh Game 1 - Texas 5 Toronto 3, not a good start to the series.

Oh dear Game 2 - Texas 6, Toronto 4, went to the 14th inning, but not giving up yet, 3 more games to go.

That's better Game 3 - Texas 1 Toronto 5. Keep it up, Jays!

A great result Game 4 - Texas 4 Toronto 8. My fingers are crossed for the final deciding game.

49K watch Game 5 - Texas 3 Toronto 6. Now on to the next round.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Portals to the Underworld

The secret doors to the unknown.......

The dragon defends the castle and the city and is part of the coat of arms for the City of Ljubljana in Slovenia. It symbolizes strength, courage and might.

The coat of arms of the City of Prague, Czech Republic. Three golden towers inside the fortified walls and an armour clad arm at the open gate.

Not quite a coat of arms but just as eyecatching in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - outside the Ripley's Aquarium.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Let's go... Blue Jays!

The Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first American League East title in 22 years on Wednesday and the town is going wild. The Jays clobbered the Orioles 15-2 on Wednesday to take the title. I was at a Lawn Bowling Banquet, and everyone was surreptitiously watching the game on their phones instead of listening to the speeches.

You don't follow baseball? Well, this is a huge deal here in Toronto, and throughout Canada, as the Blue Jays are the only MLB team in this country. Never mind that only two of the team were born in Canada, other team members come from mainly the USA, with the rest from Mexico, Australia, Venezuela, Japan, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

I usually manage to get to at least one game per year.... 2014 vs Kansas City Royals, 2011 vs Tampa Bay Rays, 2010 vs St Louis Cardinals. This year's game was vs. Oakland As... my photos are still in the camera! Didn't blog it, sorry.

First game of the playoffs will be on October 8. Tickets are already sold out. Meanwhile let's sing along: