For Wordless Wednesday and Sunday Stills Out of this World – Let your photo(s) tell the story.
Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? I’d love for you to share the link to your Wordless Wednesday post in the Comments. I will visit your post and leave you a comment (provided the post contains no words, just pictures).
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:
Hercules: The mighty hero of ancient Greece. The gods tested him with 12 labours. He is seen here after slaying the Nemean lion.
Medusa: One of the three gorgons, with hair of snakes, whose glance changed all who looked at her into stone.
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:
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.
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.
The Minotaur: Half bull, half man, he guarded the maze for the King of Crete until vanquished by the Greek Prince Theseus.
Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, also known as Venus. Born of the sea, she reached shore riding a scallop shell.
Orpheus: He charmed the creatures of the forest with his wonderful playing of the lyre and his heavenly singing.
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:
The Hydra: A monstrous dragon with nine heads originally – However if one head was cut off, two heads grew in its place.
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.
The Typhon: Supposed to be a fearsome creature, half man, half snake. This last surviving speciman doesn’t seem so very fierce.
The Triton: He ruled the seas and by blowing on his conch shell could either stir up the waves or calm a storm.
Cerberus: This savage three-headed dog guarded the gates of Hades, to keep good people out and bad people in.
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:
Mermaid: A sea nymph having the body of a woman and tail of a fish. Here she holds a merbaby and a young dolphin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 37 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #87. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.
The beautiful town of Brigus is situated on the Avalon Peninsula, about 70km (43 miles) from the capital city of St. John’s, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Brigus was founded in 1612. The name “Brigus” is derived from “Brickhouse”, an old English town.
While in Brigus, I completed a self-guided tour of Hawthorne Cottage, a National Historic Site of Canada, then took a leisurely hike around charming streets sloping up into green cliffs to explore the town. Brigus’ well-kept old-style architecture, rustic stone walls, lush green gardens, and winding narrow lanes are reflective of its English, Irish, and Welsh heritage.
Here are my pictures of historic structures and scenery in Brigus. Except for the first two pictures, I grouped the rest of my pictures into three galleries. Click on any image in the gallery to see its bigger version and caption.
Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site
Built in 1830, this charming cottage was the former home of Arctic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett, who took American explorer Robert Peary to the North Pole in 1909. I highly recommend the tour of the cottage. Many artifacts commemorate the family and Bartlett’s achievements as the greatest ice navigator of the 20th century.
During the more than 50 years of his seafaring life, Captain Robert (Bob) Abram Bartlett skippered some of the most famous, dangerous, and controversial exploratory expeditions to the Arctic. He travelled further north than almost any other living person, was shipwrecked at least 12 times, survived for months in the inhospitable Arctic after sea ice crushed his ship, and journeyed hundreds of miles by dogsled to reach civilization. Despite these hardships, Bartlett returned to the Arctic whenever circumstance allowed and almost always came back with photographs, film reels, and scientific data that greatly contributed to the world’s understanding of the north.
Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage web site
Historic structures built in the 1800s
From top left, clockwise: St. George’s Heritage church built in 1876; Stonewalls line the river; The Tunnel bored through solid rock on Brigus waterfront in 1860; Pinkston’s Forge built in 1889; The Leamon Museum: Ye Olde Stone Barn built in the 1820s.
Brigus Bay and Bishop’s Beach
From top left, clockwise: Steel Sails Monument erected at Bishop’s Beach in 1972 commemorating Captain Bartlett; Directional signs in Brigus; Blue bench at Payne Family Park; View of Brigus Bay; Stone table and bench at Bishop’s Beach.
Brigus Homes and Town Hall
From top left, clockwise: Brigus Town Hall in a beautiful blue; Brigus winding lanes; Birdhouses on a post; Side door at the Baldwin’s; Door with green trimmings; A house in Brigus.
My visit to Hawthorne Cottage and Brigus was informative and enjoyable. I hope to take you on an idyllic island getaway next week.
Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 33 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #83. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.
Today’s post is my postcard from St. John’s. After a long stretch of beautiful sunny days in Newfoundland and Labrador, I finally experienced overcast sky and brief periods of rain, drizzle and fog in St. John’s. I came prepared with my rain gear and took a long walk to explore this historic, artistic and colourful city.
St. John’s (always abbreviated and with an apostrophe) is the most easternly city in North America and Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital. St. John’s is not to be confused with Saint John in New Brunswick, another province in Atlantic Canada.
“I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try; dreams are made if people try”
Terry Fox (1958-1981)
If you don’t know who Terry Fox is, please read about him here.
Officially opened in 1962, the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) is one of the longest highways in the world. From St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Victoria, British Columbia, the TCH covers over 7821 km and crosses six time zones.
There are blocks and blocks of brightly painted houses on the hilly streets that rise from St. John’s harbour.
Pubs and Music
George Street in downtown St. John’s has some of the best pubs and restaurants in Newfoundland, as well as all types of music – Irish, blues, rock n’ roll, dance, country and traditional music.
Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 27 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #77. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.
In June, while in Newfoundland and Labrador, I explored three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the province:
Gros Morne National Park
L’Anse aux Meadows
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In case you’re unfamiliar with local name and geography, the official name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). The Strait of Belle Isle separates the province into two areas: 1) Newfoundland and 2) Labrador.
This post includes the highlights of my visits to the three sites. The first two sites are along the Viking Trail on Newfoundland’s west coast and the third site is on Labrador’s south coast. I included links to Parks Canada and UNESCO official websites for more information. As always, click on photos in galleries to see a bigger version and read their captions.
1. Gros Morne National Park
In 1987, Gros Morne National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its unique geological history dating back 1.25 billion years and its exceptional scenery. Gros Morne French meaning is “big lone mountain” or more literally “great sombre.”
The park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.
UNESCO Gros Morne National Park
I visited the majestic Western Brook Pond, a fresh water fjord which was carved out by glaciers. The photo below shows the Long Range Mountains where the fjord is located. The steep escarpment on the right marks a crack (or fault) in the Earth’s crust. The fault was created when continents collided about 400 million years ago.
I took a boat tour on beautiful Bonne Bay. It was a clear and sunny day so the 806 m high flat-topped Gros Morne Mountain and the Tablelands with a dusting of snow were visible.
L’Anse aux Meadows was designated a National Historic Site in 1975 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It is the only authenticated Viking site in North America and the earliest evidence of Europeans in North America. It comprises 80 square kilometers of forest, bog, coast, bay and islands.
Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine, were searching for Norse landing places along the coast of North America. With the help of local resident George Decker, they would uncover the only Norse encampment ever to have been discovered in North America. Following excavations, they determined Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers arrived here and built a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings over a thousand years ago.
My visit started from the Visitor Centre to watch a short documentary for an overview and to see the authentic artifacts that proved the site’s origin. A tour guide took visitors along a beautiful boardwalk to the Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture, created by Luben Boykov and Richard Brixel and unveiled in July 2002. This sculpture symbolizes the meeting of human migration from the east through Asia to North America and from the west through Europe to North America. The two groups met when the Norse landed at L’Anse aux Meadows. Anse French meaning is “cove“.
We continued to the actual site to see the fascinating archeological remains of three halls and five smaller buildings where the Vikings lived and worked have been carefully preserved as they were when discovered by the Ingstads. We then followed the boardwalk trail to the reconstructed sod huts and met costumed interpreters.
3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is the earliest, most complete and best preserved 16th-century Basque whaling site found anywhere in the world. Red Bay was listed as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979, and designated a World Heritage Site in 2013.
For about 70 years beginning in the 1530s, whalers from the Basque region of Spain and France used the harbour at Red Bay as a seasonal base for hunting whales and producing the whale oil that lit the lamps of Europe. Each spring as many as twelve ships and upwards of 2000 men arrived after a dangerous voyage from Europe to set up operations at Red Bay, one of about a dozen seasonal whaling stations along the south Labrador coast.
To visit Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, I traveled from Newfoundland to Labrador by ferry. Labrador means Big Land. At the Visitor Centre, I viewed a remarkable collection of original artifacts, archaeological remains, videos, models and the restored 16th century Chalupa, the oldest known whaling boat in the world. Behind the Chalupa exhibit is a stunning ‘whale and mariners’ mural created by Newfoundland-born artist Lloyd Pretty in 1999.
I’m grateful to be able to visit these three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. I hope you enjoy them through my lens.
Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #60! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.
Week 10/ 52
A lovely evening outing gave me an opportunity to photograph three modern art installations in downtown Toronto. Here they are in pictures with excerpts from their information boards.
Sunlight has great potential to impact our well-being and the circadian rhythm by which we operate. Visoleil, designed by CIBC SQUARE in conjunction with Delos Labs, is a light-emitting public sculpture that simulates natural sunlight to help alleviate the negative effects caused by lack of bright light during the harsh winter months.
The 8 ft circular sculpture generates full spectrum bright light that may help improve circadian rhythm alignment, alertness, and mood by suppressing melatonin and stimulating serotonin production, helping to give observers an energized start to their day.
Visoleil at CIBC SQUARE
moonGARDEN traveling art installation includes a set of five giant illuminated spheres. The spheres range from six to twelve feet in height, and are filled with immersive animated shadow theatre designs. It was created by Montreal-based design firm Lucion in 2012 and has travelled to about 20 cities around the world.
The colours and light brightness of the spheres change as music plays and the animated theatre designs appear. Sometimes all the spheres show the same colour, other times they vary. It’s mesmerizing to watch the changes.
Click on the arrows to see the slides.
Storytelling with shadows originated around 1000 BC in India and China. They were used to tell local legends and caricature current events. They became a symbol of the wishful, subjective fleeting emotions; the antithesis of light and reality.
moonGARDEN’s shadow theatres are used to project an evanescent dreamlike vision. Much like the effect of music, the visual composition evokes a whimsical poetic moment reminiscent of the imagery we mused over as children.
The multiple shades of grey, the quality of the images, the ever changing positions creates abstract mandalas which flavours daydreaming.
Displayed in a cluster of extra large spheres, bathing in a magical soundtrack, the installation underlines the all inclusive nature of the Set Theory.
moonGARDEN – Lucion
Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa created Dreaming in 2017. It was installed in Toronto in September 2020. Created with polyester resin and marble dust, this sculpture is over eight meters high. At first glance, the large and powerful, white sculpture represents a portrait of a young girl with closed eyes.
As you walk around it, its look and feel changes depending on where you are standing. From some angles, the head appears giant and somehow soft. From others, it appears tall, long, and angular. The sculptor’s skills and creativity are impressive.
These art installations make me think of the sun, the moon, the galaxy and dream of peace on earth.
Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #59! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.
Week 9/ 52
The local weather forecast for March looks promising for cycling so I create a short list of cycling routes to explore during the month. Today I’d like to share a recreational trail that I love and a few photos that I took in Fall 2021.
The Lower Don Trail
One of the most well-used recreational trails in Toronto is the Lower Don Trail. The trail runs along the Don River, from Corktown Common to Pottery Road, passing a number of different parks and sights along the way. It’s five kilometres long (3 miles) and is primarily used for cycling, hiking, mountain biking, walking and running.
I love cycling and hiking on the Lower Don Trail and come here as often as I can.
Starting from Corktown Common going north, the first kilometre of the trail goes over bridges, under overpasses and near old railway lines. It has a bit of a wild feel to it. I enjoy nature, an array of plants, animals, and sights of the Don River.
At the 3 km mark on the trail, my favourite sight is the Bloor Viaduct, officially known as the Prince Edward Viaduct, built between 1915 and 1918.
The impressive Prince Edward Viaduct crosses the Don River Valley and the Rosedale Ravine, linking Bloor St. with Danforth Ave. Built to designs by architect Edmund Burke between 1915 and 1918, the bridge was originally a controversial project due to its high cost. Because Danforth Avenue was sparsely populated at the time, the viaduct was dubbed ‘the Bridge to Nowhere.” On the recommendation of engineering firm Jacobs and Davies a subway deck was incorporated into the viaduct, a foresight that saved significant time and costs to the construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway line 50 years later.
Source: Prince Edward Viaduct signage
A short distance north of the Bloor Viaduct is an interesting public art display known as Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality by Cree artist Duane Linklater.
It is a series of fourteen cast concrete sculptures that are scattered in a field along the trail like forgotten ruins. The sculptures are cast replicas of gargoyles adorning prominent buildings in downtown Toronto.
I love cycling along the Lower Don Trail, then take a walk beside the river’s edge and explore the side trails to see local wildlife on these less used trails.
The Lower Don Trail offers a peaceful and scenic outdoor escape with beautiful views, serene sounds of the river, art exhibits, wildlife and access to green spaces. From Pottery Road, the trail connects to more parks and recreational trails.
In the winter, when the Lower Don Trail is snow-covered, I use other available bike paths. The City of Toronto has started making improvements to the Lower Don Trail. I look forward to cycling on the Lower Don Trail again soon.
Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #47! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.
If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve already enjoyed Canadian Thanksgiving in October so this week has been a regular week for me with several good happenings.
Plenty of sun and some clouds every day, except light rain on Thursday
A few enjoyable bike rides and lovely walks in nature
I saw a red fox in a park (first time this year)
Phone chats with my family and friends in the USA
A 5K walk-and-chat with my neighbour on a mild and sunny Sunday morning
I completed my regular meditation, language lessons, strength training and yoga
I had my haircut
On one of my bike rides, I passed by Sugar Beach. The urban beach with pink umbrellas is named Sugar Beach to draw upon the industrial history of the area and its location adjacent to the Redpath Sugar Refinery that has been on Toronto’s Waterfront since the late 1950s.
Here are my photos of public art near Sugar Beach. They share a common theme: Water.
The next four images are the four-panel Water Clans mural created by Anishinaabe artist Que Rock. Each panel tells a story of water as a healer, a teacher, a protector, and a source of life. I transcribed the explanations from the Water Clans information board for each panel below.
The first panel tells the story of Turtle island and the original Anishinaabe peace treaty between the 6 nations: Plant, insect, bird, fish, animal, and human. The Grandfather Sun with seven rings around it representing the Guiding Principles of the Anishinaabe: Love, respect, courage, truth, honesty, humility and wisdom.
The second panel explores the duality of all life, both past and present thinking. The two spirits featured in the middle represent humanity and our role to defend and protect the Water Nation. Offering Tobacco to the water is a ceremony the Anishinaabe still practice to this day.
The third panel symbolizes the teachings of water as a protector and how the Water Nation is the source of all. The loons represent unconditional love and duality of nature, as well as the connection to Grandmother Moon and Mother Earth. In the background, you can see many layers of sacred geometry based on traditional teachings of the medicine wheel, along with other patterns.
Lastly, the fourth panel tells the story of the human nation and the Wolf Clan and how we walk parallel through life together. What happens to the wolves affect us and vice versa; we are all connected. The 7 rings around the Grandfather Sun represent the 7 Grandfather teachings. The Rivers that flow in the background operate as the arteries of Mother Earth, if the rivers change so will she.
I hope you enjoy the art work. Have a wonderful weekend!
Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #39! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.
It was a mainly sunny week with daytime high temperatures around 19C (66F). I had a fun week that included a day trip to Niagara Falls. Today is the first day of October, a new month, so I took a look back at September and appreciated the month just passed.
Here’s my summary of what made September special.
Photography: I enjoy taking photographs when I go outside. I’ve shared many images of nature, buildings, flowers, murals and sculptures on my blog. Here are two additional artworks that I like:
Reading: I finished seven books in September and updated my Books in 2021 page. I love opening a new book and see where the story takes me.
Travel: My sister and I took a day trip to Niagara Falls and had a fantastic time. We enjoyed sunny weather, stunning waterfalls and beautiful flowers. Good food and good conversation again. More details in a future post.
Writing: I wrote five blog posts and enjoyed hosting and blogging every weekend in September:
Looking back, what made September special was the heartwarming social time that I had, either in groups with my family and friends, or one on one with my sister and my neighbour. On weekends, I enjoyed virtual coffee shares with my blogging community.
I’m grateful for all the good things that happened in September.
Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #37! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.
It was a week of mostly sunny days with thunders, lightning and rain on Tuesday night. Daytime high temperatures ranged from 22C to 27C (72F to 81F) although cooler in the morning and evening. The parks are still full of green trees and beautiful flowers like the flowers I feature in this post.
It was also the week before Canada’s Federal Election. Election day is on September 20. I went to cast my vote first thing in the morning on one of the advance poll days. There was no line-up. It felt good to get this important action item done.
One of my neighbours called and asked me to go for a walk with her. At 80+ years of age and living alone, B is active and sharp as a tack. She talked, I listened and we did a 3.2 km (2 miles) walk. She’d like to walk with me again next week.
The rest of the week went well. I cycled most mornings, saw herons at a conservation area, took several walks, played disc golf twice, completed my mind and body exercises, chatted with my family and friends, and did house chores, reading and writing.
I’m pleased to contribute to the #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.
I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.
I was pleased to discover Jon Tattrie and Paige Toon who were new to me. If I were to rate this batch of books, on a 5-star scale, I’d give 5 stars to Peace By Chocolate, 4.5 stars to The Giver of Stars and 4 stars to the other books. I linked the book titles to GoodReads.
While both The Giver of Stars and Peace by Chocolate are excellent stories of human resilience, compassion, kindness, love, family, friendship and community, I give an extra 0.5 point to Peace By Chocolate because it’s a true story of a family of Syrian refugees who settled in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The book is an easy read at about 200 pages. Does chocolate play a role in the story? Yes, Peace by Chocolate ships worldwide (this is not an affiliated link).