Outside the Box | St. John’s

It’s been a good week with a few simple joys:

  • Sunny Sunday and Monday
  • Cycling and walking outdoors
  • Watching beautiful winter birds in the harbour
  • A walk and coffee catch up with a friend
  • Chatting with family and a longtime friend
  • Discovering new public art
  • Finishing a good book and starting another good book
  • Organizing my digital images (see below)

I organized my digital images of public art into themes and will post them in small batches. I named one of my themes Outside the Box for all sorts of painted boxes. Here’s the first batch.

Outside the Box

I photographed the following five utility boxes when I went for a walk in St. John’s, Newfoundland. There are seven images since the “Jellybean Houses” utility box has different paintings on three sides.

Picture 1: This is the front view of the utility box with painted houses and doors on actual doors.

Jellybean Houses – front

Picture 2: Side view of the same utility box. I like the painted flowers at the bottom. There is an actual green door behind the box, to the left of the picture.

Jellybean Houses – side

Picture 3: The back of the same utility box. Again, I like the painted shrubs and flowers at the bottom.

Jellybean Houses – back

Picture 4: An octopus in nice water bubbles.

Octopus

Picture 5: Quidi Vidi is a picturesque neighbourhood in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Quidi Vidi

Picture 6: These two boxes together show St. John’s Harbour. The wall behind them is a mural of sea life.

St. John’s Harbour

Picture 7: A violinist in bright colours; a sample of the rich music culture in St. John’s.

Violinist

As I reviewed my pictures, I am reminded that travel provides many gifts: Anticipation before the trip, participation during the trip and recollection after the trip. Going through my pictures brought back fond memories of my walk in St. John’s.

Where Are the Doors?

The paint hides the door handles and locks on these utility boxes. They are there if you look closely. Visit Dan’s Thursday Doors for more door photos.

Weekend Coffee Share

I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #103 InLinkz below.

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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

I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #102 InLinkz below.

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Happy New Year 2023

I would like to wish everyone a healthy, joyful, and fulfilling new year. I hope you had a lovely holiday season. Mine was enjoyable and relaxing. Nature has given us here a gentle start to 2023 with light rain and mild temperatures, high 4C or 39F, on New Year’s Day.

To ring in 2023, I watched the 15-minute fireworks display launching at midnight across Toronto’s waterfront. I celebrated New Year’s Day with a healthy breakfast, a gentle yoga session, a good lunch, a bike ride, a delicious family dinner, chocolate, and an intriguing book. It was a wonderful day!

Forecast and Outlook

My activity forecast for 2023 follows nature’s four seasons: Quiet reflection and preparation in winter (January-March), emergence and new beginnings in spring (April-June), abundance and growth in summer (July-September), and gentle wrap-up in autumn (October-December).

I have an optimistic outlook for 2023. While we don’t know what this new year will bring us, I know there are at least three things that I can and love to do:

  1. Maintain my health and fitness in various ways.
  2. Show support to family, friends and community.
  3. Explore and enjoy life via my hobbies and travel adventures.

On the Blog

During my break, I did some blog housekeeping behind the scene and on my Home page:

  1. Changed my blog header image from a beach to an island.
  2. Updated the pages on the menu at the top of my blog.
  3. Updated the widgets on my blog sidebar.

I hope to continue documenting my explorations and discoveries with pictures on my blog. I have a few outings in the queue to write up. For this week, I am sharing a recently painted mural that I discovered on one of my walks. I like its nature theme and cheerful colours.

The Bathurst Quay Mural featuring artwork by Shawn Howe depicting birch trees growing against a purple, pink and orange sky with a stream surrounded by rocks in the foreground and a large moon or sun in the sky.

Bathurst Quay Mural, 2022, by Shawn Howe
North side
West side

Weekend Coffee Share

I continue hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Welcome to WCS linkup #101! This weekly linkup allows bloggers to come together to share what’s been happening, simple joys from their week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world.

Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own WCS or PPAC post each week and then sharing your link in the InLinkz dashboard or comments below, anytime between 8:00 am Friday morning and midnight Sunday night (Canada Eastern Time). I look forward to hearing from you.

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Enjoying the Holiday Season

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 49 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #99 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Are you looking forward to the upcoming holidays? By next weekend, I would have hosted fifty consecutive Weekend Coffee Share linkups in 2022. So, I look forward to taking a blogging break and enjoying the holiday season.

I started my holiday fun with two walks: 1) Gingerbread Lane at Royal York hotel for their incredible displays and 2) Fleurs de Villes Noël in Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood for their gorgeous floral designs. Both events are free to the public.

I’m sharing my pictures for #ThursdayDoors photo challenge and PPAC. Click on any image in the gallery and use the arrow to move through the pictures.

1. Gingerbread Lane

The life-sized Gingerbread Lane consists of about 8500 gingerbread bricks and 12 different types of candy. The floor-to-ceiling bricks are glued together using royal icing and the lane is 90% edible!

Along the lane are windows that look like storefronts with twinkly lights and festive scenes of gifts, gingerbread, decorative cookies and candies. I love everything about this Gingerbread Lane. Such a creative and “sweet” theme!

2. Fleurs de Villes Noël

Fleurs de Villes Noēl is a festive floral trail of over 30 gorgeous floral installations, created by Toronto’s favourite florists. Some of the installations are floral mannequins and some celebrate world-class Canadian figure skaters.

I’ve attended a few Fleurs de Villes events in Toronto and Niagara Falls before. The florists continue to amaze me with their designs using fresh flowers and greenery.

3. New Badge

December 16th-18th is the last Weekend Coffee Share linkup for 2022. It’s also the 100th linkup that I have been hosting since January 2021. I hope to ‘see’ you there before the holidays. After the holidays, I’ll be back with a fresh post on Friday, January 6, 2023.

For 2023, I created a new Weekend Coffee Share badge and added it to my blog sidebar. Weekend Coffee Share and PPAC contributors are welcome to display the badge on their blogs. I look forward to your contributions.

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Amazing Walks and Art in November

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 48 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #98 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea and let’s chat.

This weekend is a good time for me to reflect on November and my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure. The first half of November was filled with wonderful bike rides, hikes and walks thanks to well above average and record-setting warm temperatures (daytime high 25C or 77F on November 5). The second half of November brought wet snow on November 15, cooler temperatures and the start of festive events.

Here’s my monthly recap for November.

1. Health

I hiked in High Park and along Grenadier Pond a few times. High Park has all sorts of trails to explore. Flat and easy trails as well as long hills, steep staircases, winding trails through woods with more challenging terrain. On each hike, I used all my senses to connect with nature and immersed in the beauty around me.

2. Family

My family and I picked a beautiful sunny 18C (64F) day to stroll along the water’s edge from Kew Beach to Woodbine Beach and Ashbridge’s Bay. A few days later, we had our first dusting of snow that signaled the transition from Autumn to Winter. I took a few ‘fresh snow’ pictures before it all melted.

3. Friends

A friend and I enjoyed wonderful walks at Evergreen Brick Works. Evergreen Brick Works was a clay and shale quarry for one hundred years. The 16.5-hectare (40-acre) area is now a thriving green space, with ponds and many varieties of nature trails to explore and wander. We love seeing turtles, fish, grey herons, ducks and beaver dams in the wetlands.

Evergreen Brick Works connects to Moore Park Ravine so we walked in the stunning ravine as well. Tall trees tower above and envelope us while leaves crunched beneath our feet. We feel fortunate to have such beautiful green space right in the heart of the city.

4. Photographing Public Art Challenge

Here’s a sampling of public art at Evergreen Brick Works.

My favourite is Legacy (the mud beneath our feet) sculpture by Dave Hind. It’s 10′ x 10′ made by reclaimed steel, aluminum and wood. A.P. Coleman’s legacy as the geologist who put the North Slope of the Brick Works quarry on the map is represented in a sculpture depicting a pair of his boots.

Legacy (the mud beneath our feet) sculpture by Dave Hind, 2010

5. Blogging

Photography – I posted square images with a brief caption on four Wednesdays in November. It’s my way to support Becky at The Life of B blog while participating in her Walking Squares and other photo challenges. These posts have the #photography tag in their titles.

Weekend Coffee Share – On November 11th, I started hosting both Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) and Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) under the weekly WCS linkup. I’ve included the links for November’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up.

December schedule – Please note the following:

  • December 9: Linkup #99
  • December 16: Linkup #100
  • December 23: No linkup
  • December 30: No linkup

I’ll repeat this announcement on December 9th and 16th since some bloggers don’t participate every week. I’ll be taking a break in the last two weeks of 2022. After the holidays, I’ll resume the Weekend Coffee Share linkup on January 6th, 2023.

I’m grateful for all the good things that happened in November. Happy December!

Linked to Ju-Lyn’s #TheChangingSeasons.

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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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