Little Norway Park Benches

I met up with a friend in Little Norway Park for a walk and chat. Little Norway Park was built on the same site where a training camp for Norway’s Air Force was located during World War II.

The park was officially opened by His Majesty King Olav V of Norway on November 20, 1987. It features a ball diamond, a wading pool, a children’s playground and many walking paths through gardens.

While we were at the park, I was delighted to discover five benches painted by Lead artist Jim Bravo, Athena Patterson and Jannai Goddard in July 2014. I’ve been organizing my digital images of public art into themes. These bench photos go under my On the Bench theme.

On the Bench

Yellow bench with Sun designs
White bench with Moon phases
Midnight blue bench with Constellations (and a squirrel in the upper right corner)
Black bench with white letters
Red bench with Greek alphabet and symbols

Little Norway Park has many black and grey squirrels that run away when they see humans. This grey squirrel, however, approached me and perched on a tree branch for me to take a few photos.

A cute squirrel

My friend and I had a good catch-up and many laughs. I enjoyed sunshine, friendship, colourful art and squirrels. I headed home with a smile and photos.

Questions

  1. Are black and grey squirrels common in your corner of the world?
  2. If you were ‘on the bench‘ (as in a judge), which bench would you give the highest rating?

Weekend Coffee Share

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Garden of the Greek Gods

A sunny morning prompted me to cycle to Exhibition Place with a garden in mind. Entry to this garden is free to the public which means it can get busy on a nice day. Did I choose the right time to visit?

The Garden of the Greek Gods is a collection of 20 amazing limestone sculptures by renowned Canadian sculptor Elford Bradley “E.B.” Cox (1914-2003). They were originally sculpted in the 1960s and were previously displayed in less accessible locations. They are once again on display in a beautiful garden setting.

Even though visitors can enter the garden from any side, an official plaque about the garden located near Hercules, the tallest sculpture in the collection, seems like a logical place to start. Each sculpture has a plaque explaining the Greek mythology.

Exploring the Garden

In the first row on the south side of the garden, I meet:

  1. Hercules: The mighty hero of ancient Greece. The gods tested him with 12 labours. He is seen here after slaying the Nemean lion.
  2. Medusa: One of the three gorgons, with hair of snakes, whose glance changed all who looked at her into stone.
  3. Narcissus: A handsome young man who pined away for love of his own reflection, finally turning into the flower of the same name.

Next row along the garden path:

  1. The Sphinx: A strange creature with claws of a bird and the body and tail of a lion. This woman would devour passing travellers if they could not answer her riddle correctly.
  2. Centaur: One of a jolly race of creatures, half man, half horse who lived in the forest of ancient Greece, and were very hard to catch.
  3. The Minotaur: Half bull, half man, he guarded the maze for the King of Crete until vanquished by the Greek Prince Theseus.
  4. Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, also known as Venus. Born of the sea, she reached shore riding a scallop shell.
  5. Orpheus: He charmed the creatures of the forest with his wonderful playing of the lyre and his heavenly singing.
  6. The Three Graces: These beauties were judged by Paris, and the most beautiful of them received the golden apple.

Around the corner, six intriguing sculptures beckon:

  1. The Hydra: A monstrous dragon with nine heads originally – However if one head was cut off, two heads grew in its place.
  2. Cyclops: One of a race of giant one-eyed men who herded sheep for a living. They were finally done in by Hercules after a fierce struggle.
  3. The Typhon: Supposed to be a fearsome creature, half man, half snake. This last surviving speciman doesn’t seem so very fierce.
  4. The Triton: He ruled the seas and by blowing on his conch shell could either stir up the waves or calm a storm.
  5. Cerberus: This savage three-headed dog guarded the gates of Hades, to keep good people out and bad people in.
  6. Pan: The elusive god of the forest, half man, half goat, full of fun and games. He invented the reed pipes and filled the woods with their sounds.

Five smaller sculptures in the last row and a block with the sculptor’s name and date marks the end of the garden:

  1. Mermaid: A sea nymph having the body of a woman and tail of a fish. Here she holds a merbaby and a young dolphin.
  2. Boy on a Dolphin: Many stories come down from antiquity of children having dolphins for playmates, and of lost sailors being helped to shore by dolphins.
  3. Sea Horse: These creatures appeared on the surface of the Mediterranean as whitecaps. In large groups they could stir up quite a storm if the wind was right.
  4. The Phoenix: After living in the desert for 500 years this bird was consumed by fire. It rose anew from its own ashes and is the symbol of eternal life.
  5. The Harpies: These bird-women were the embodiment of conscience and tore at the hearts of evil-doers.

I was fortunate to have the garden all to myself. I headed home feeling great about my choice for the day. I got sunshine, fresh air, an enjoyable bike ride, and a delightful walk to see beautiful sculptures.

What colour are the sculptures?

Would you say they are gray? I’m sharing this walk with Jo’s Monday Walk and Terri’s Sunday Stills January white/ gray colour challenge.

Weekend Coffee Share

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Bay of Fundy: 6 Fun Attractions

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 46 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #96. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

I’m continuing the story of my adventures on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I wrote my adventures in three posts. The first post on five Natural Wonders is here and the second post on five Historic Sites is here.

This post is the third and last installment. I enjoyed visiting lighthouses, covered bridges and public art on the Bay of Fundy. Here’s six fun attractions to explore for free.

1. Masstown Market

Masstown Market is located 10 minutes west of Truro, Nova Scotia. Aside from the market, the lighthouse and interpretive centre has four floors to explore, with a lovely view from the top.

2. Five Islands Lighthouse Park

The Five Islands Lighthouse Park is named after five small islands (east to west): Moose, Diamond, Long, Egg and Pinnacle. The Five Islands are collectively one of many geosites between Lower Truro and Cape Chignecto Provincial Park that form the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark.

The wooden, “pepperpot”-style lighthouse was built at Sand Point in the winter of 1913-1914. It had to be moved back from the shoreline at Sand Point several times due to coastal erosion. It was moved in November 2008 from Sand Point to its new location at the municipal Five Islands Lighthouse Park overlooking the islands.

3. Giant Lobster

The Giant Lobster in Shediac, New Brunswick is a concrete and reinforced steel statue sculpted by Canadian artist Winston Bronnum in 1990. The statue is 11 metres long and 5 metres tall, weighing 90 tonnes.

4. Sawmill Creek Bridge

Sawmill Creek bridge, built in 1905, is the last covered bridge on Highway 114 and one of the 58 covered bridges in New Brunswick. This covered bridge is 33 m (105 ft.) in length.

5. Maud Lewis Replica House

Maud Lewis (1903-1970) is known for her bold and colourful paintings that featured outdoor scenes and animals, inspired by the landscapes of southwest Nova Scotia and painted on everything from Christmas cards to pulp boards.

She has been the subject of Maudie, the 2016 film starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Maud was born in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia but she lived most of her life with her husband Everett Lewis in Digby County, Nova Scotia.

On the site of where her house stood is now a replica house built by Murray Ross. It is the same size as her original house. The original house has been moved and is on permanent display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

6. Murals

Here’s a gallery of murals with brief captions for your weekend. Click on the top left image to start and use the arrow to move through the gallery.

The last mural, The Tide Flows, was created by Michael Burt and Daniel Burt in 2018 to mark Wolfville’s 125th anniversary as a town. A line of poetry from John Frederic Herbin’s book Marshlands added a focus: “The tide flows seaward as the day expands.”

*****

I enjoyed my adventures in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Now that I’ve been home for a while, I’m already thinking about my next adventure.

What free fun attraction(s) have you recently visited?

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Bay of Fundy: 5 Historic Sites

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 45 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #95. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Remembrance Day

November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. So I want to take a moment to honour all Canadian veterans who have served and continue to serve in upholding the peace and freedoms we enjoy today.

Poppy sculpture at The Royal Canadian Legion, Queen’s Own Rifles Branch

PPAC meets WCS

Today I’m combining Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) with Weekend Coffee Share (WCS). I’ve been a PPAC participant so when Marsha at Always Write blog had to step back from hosting and she asked if anyone would be interested in taking over PPAC, I volunteered to host.

I continue to leave the topic open. There is no prompt or theme. Existing WCS participants are free to participate without any PPAC entries and PPAC participants are free to participate with one or more images of public art (outdoor and free) without writing their post as a coffee share.

To new WCS participants:

  1. The weekly WCS linkup starts at 8 a.m. on Friday and ends at midnight Sunday night Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Join the linkup using the InLinkz button at the end of my WCS post. If you prefer to leave a comment with your link, be aware that a link in my Comments section requires moderation and is less visible to participants who use InLinkz.
  3. Please link one post, leave a comment on my blog and link back or pingback to my Weekend Coffee Share post. Links from bloggers who join without leaving me a comment will be removed.
  4. Read one or more participating blogs and leave a comment. Hashtag #Weekendcoffeeshare.
  5. I read all participating blogs and reply to comments left on my blog. I prioritize my visits and leave comments for bloggers who take the time to leave me a comment. Thank you.

Bay of Fundy: 5 Historic Sites

I’m continuing the story of my adventures on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I wrote my adventures in three posts. The first post on five Natural Wonders is here. This post is the second in the series.

The region surrounds the Bay of Fundy is rich with stories from the native Mi’kmaq people, Loyalist heritage and Acadian history. Here’s five Historic Sites on the Bay of Fundy to explore. Click on the top left image in the gallery to see captions and move through the gallery.

1. St. Andrews

St. Andrews, or Saint Andrews by-the-Sea, is nestled along Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick. Founded by Loyalists in 1783, many buildings in St. Andrews still reflect that history. St. Andrews’ Historic District, one of the best-preserved examples of colonial heritage in North America, is a National Historic Site of Canada.

St. Andrews is also Canada’s oldest seaside resort town and a great place for whale watching, deer watching, outdoor recreation, dining and shopping. I’ll share more on St. Andrews in another post.

2. Saint John

Saint John located on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick is Canada’s first incorporated city, established by royal charter on May 18, 1785, during the reign of King George III. The city offers beautiful historic architecture, funky cafés, creative galleries and shops, and more. Saint John in New Brunswick is not to be confused with St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Saint John City Market, established 1876, is Canada’s oldest farmers’ market. It is a good place to browse and pick up a snack, lunch, dinner, or local arts and crafts.

3. Digby

Named after Admiral Robert Digby, the town of Digby in Nova Scotia is famous for the local scallops and the fleet that harvests them. Along the Digby waterfront in Loyalist park are Digby Pier lighthouse and six cannons, five from Victorian era in the 1840s and one from the era of King George III sometime prior to 1820.

The cannons were part of fortifications constructed at Digby, primarily to protect the town from privateers. Each cannon has a plaque affixed to its carriage relating a small part of the story of the fortifications and the cannons.

4. Fort Anne

Set on the banks of the Annapolis River in Nova Scotia, Fort Anne was first fortified by the Scots as early as 1629. The site was later controlled by the French before falling for good to British troops in 1710. It would remain a regular scene of battles until the fall of Quebec in 1759. Fort Anne became Canada’s first administered National Historic Site in 1917.

It is a wonderful learning experience to stroll inside the fort and around the Perimeter Trail to explore a renovated 1797 Officers’ Quarters (now a museum) and a maze of defensive ditches, banks and bastions overlooking the Annapolis River.

5. The Landscape of Grand-Pré

The Landscape of Grand-Pré is both a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on Nova Scotia’s southern Minas Basin, an inlet of the Bay Fundy, the Landscape of Grand Pré (Grand Pré means Great Marsh) is subjected to the most extreme tides in the world. The tidal range averages 11.6 metres and the tides move in and out of the Minas Basin every 12 hours.

Starting in the late 17th century – an era which predates the introduction of engineered drainage systems – the Acadian settlers applied an inventive and ingenious system of earthen dykes, ditches and aboiteaux, or wooden sluices, to hold back the formidable tides. They also began a tradition of collective management that was community-based. Today, the agricultural landscape is still protected and drained by the same system, still exhibits distinctive field patterns, and is still managed through the same community approach.

Parks Canada website

The landscape is beautiful and the dykes in Wolfville are amazing to examine in real life. Information boards posted at the historic sites give helpful explanatory notes.

I hope you join me next weekend to discover fun attractions on the Bay of Fundy.

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Bay of Fundy: 5 Natural Wonders

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 44 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #94. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

When I was planning for my trip to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in September, I wanted to see several natural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the Bay of Fundy. I had visited main attractions in Halifax and surrounding areas such as Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove, and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia before. So for this trip I focused on new-to-me places.

I’m happy to say that I saw everything that I wanted to see and more. I wrote my adventures on the Bay of Fundy in three posts. This post is the first of three:

  1. Natural wonders
  2. Historic places
  3. Fun attractions

The Bay of Fundy is renowned for its extremely high tidal range (the highest in the world), geological discoveries (dinosaur fossils) and marine life (whales). Here’s five amazing Natural Wonders to explore.

1. Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is Canada’s 15th UNESCO World Heritage Site. Joggins is world famous because of its fossil record of life on land in the Coal Age. More than 300 million years ago, Joggins was home to giant insects, towering trees and the first known reptiles.

I enjoyed 1) A visit to the Joggins Fossil Centre to see an extensive fossil specimen collection, exhibits, and displays and learn about the “Coal Age,” when lush forests covered the Joggins region 2) A guided tour with knowledgeable interpretive staff to explore the coastal cliffs (up to 15 kilometres of magnificently exposed layers of rock) and look for fossils on the beach at low tide.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs and beach at low tide
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Rock layers at Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Plant fossils at Joggins Fossil Centre

2. The World’s Highest Tide and Hopewell Rocks

The Hopewell Rocks also called the Flowerpot Rocks are rock formations caused by tidal erosion at the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park in New Brunswick. This is where the power of the Bay of Fundy tides is most impressive. Not only does the tide rise 14 meters (46 feet) vertically, it also recedes almost two football fields horizontally.

I enjoyed 1) A visit to the Hopewell Rocks Interpretive Centre for an overview on geology, tides and wildlife 2) A walk with an interpretive guide to see the powerful tides and the 40-70 feet tall flowerpot rocks.

There are two highs and two lows each day, with about 6 hours and 13 minutes between each high and low tide. The bay water is brownish-red as organic sediment and red mud are stirred up from the sea bed by tides and currents.

Diamond Rock
Hopewell Rocks

During my visit, the tides covered Daniels Flats, named for one of this area’s early settlers, an immense mud flat that is 4 km (2.5 mi.) wide and stretches almost as far as Grindstone Island in the distance.

Daniels Flats

The tides also covered Lover’s Arch situated relatively high on the beach. The tide needs to rise 28 feet straight up before it touches the base of the archway. The Fundy tides can then continue to rise another 18 feet (5.5 meters) before starting to recede.

Lover’s Arch

3. Fundy Biosphere Reserve and Fundy National Park

Fundy National Park is in the heart of the UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Often draped in a blanket of summer fog, the lush lands of the Biosphere Reserve stretch farther than the eye can see. The park maintains 110 km of hiking trails, both inland and coastal, as well as guided nature walks and interpretive programs. I’d love to spend more time here.

Map of UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve
Red chairs at Fundy National Park

All biological communities, including people, lead lives under the inescapable influences unique to the Bay of Fundy. For example, fishing boats can only leave or dock at the wharf when the height of tide permits. The right time could be morning, noon, or night.

Boats by Alma wharf at low tide

4. Reversing Falls Rapids

Reversing Falls Rapids is a unique phenomenon created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. It was incredible to watch the tides of the Bay of Fundy actually force the water at the mouth of the Saint John River to reverse its flow.

The nearby Stonehammer Geopark, the only UNESCO-listed global geopark in North America, has information panels on the tides and the geology of the cliffs.

Reversing Falls Rapids
Stonehammer Geopark

5. Marine Life

A whale watching tour is a fantastic way to experience marine life in the Bay of Fundy. My tour with Quoddy Link Marine in St. Andrews was excellent. We passed by East Quoddy Lighthouse built in 1829, the oldest lighthouse in New Brunswick, and saw harbour seals, humpback whales, porpoises, sea birds, and more.

East Quoddy (or Head Harbour) Lighthouse

I look forward to combining Photographing Public Art Challenge with Weekend Coffee Share linkup and sharing historic sites on the Bay of Fundy next Friday.

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Loving Life in October 2022

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 43 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #93. Come on in for a coffee or tea and let’s chat.

It’s the last weekend in October and a good time for me to reflect on my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure. Here’s my monthly update for October.

Health

Fall colours have been stunning this October. I enjoy views of yellow, orange and red leaves and feeling the crisp, cool air when I go cycling and walking. There’s no shortage of interesting places waiting to be explored.

One of the parks that I was thrilled to revisit this month is Tommy Thompson Park. I wrote about it here. I cycled on the Waterfront Trail, passed the brand new Cherry Street South bridge to Cherry Beach and all the way to and through Tommy Thompson Park. It was pure bliss to be surrounded by the sights, sounds, and feels of nature on the trail and at the park on a gorgeous, sunny day.

Home

After an active summer with monthly out-of-town trips, October is the month for me to relax at home with family, reconnect with friends and complete home maintenance tasks.

I enjoyed small gatherings with family and close friends to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and Thanksgiving. It so happens that the special occasions spread out in October so there is a celebration every week. It was wonderful to catch up on what’s been happening with everyone.

In addition, there was a coffee date with my sister, a 8 km family walk on Toronto Islands, another 8 km urban walk with a friend, and a coffee date with another friend. We visited the Manulife Elevate Global Photography Exhibition in a beautiful garden and the World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 at Brookfield Place.

For the family walk on Toronto Islands, we walked from Hanlan’s Point to Ward’s Island, visiting the beaches and trails in between. It was a gorgeous morning with blue sky, soft white clouds, calm wind, and the water mirrored the scenery.

Leisure

I balanced outdoor physical and social activities with indoor quiet and creative activities. I baked, listened to podcasts and music, read books, sorted my pictures, wrote blog posts, and researched potential travel destinations.

Photographing Public Art – In August 2012, a group of twenty three emerging youth artists and volunteers created an amazing 80 foot long mural from beautiful tiles and grout, under the artistic guidance of artist Cristina Delago.

Here is the Shore Stories mosaic mural located by the Toronto’s Ferry Terminal exit. Enjoy the following images and if you have 6 minutes and 20 seconds, watch this YouTube video on how the mural was created.

Toronto Harbour and ferry mosaics
Shore Stories mosaic mural

Writing – I’ve included the links for October’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up:

Overall

I’m grateful to have special occasions to look forward to and enjoy with family and friends throughout a beautiful October. I hope to share the first post on my adventures on the Bay of Fundy next week.

Happy November!

Shared with #2022WOTYlinkparty, #PPAC, #TheChangingSeasons.

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