Hello friends! This is my post to share some of my ice sculpture photos from Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville IceFest21 event with the theme A Trip Around The World. As I type this, Toronto is still in lockdown. The IceFest21 is a nice change of scenery without traveling out of town.
From Canada to the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Japan, and Australia. Bon voyage!
Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #7! 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.
1. Link-Up News
Last weekend, we had a new high: 42 participants at Weekend Coffee Share #6 (41 in InLinkz and 1 did a ping back to my blog but didn’t enter the InLinkz party). Thank you, everyone, for your participation.
We have new participants and some returned from a blogging break at each link-up. So, a gentle reminder of my guidelines to join the Weekend Coffee Share link-up:
Link one post.
Read the host’s post and two posts from other Coffee Share participants and leave a comment so they know you’ve dropped by.
Spread the Weekend Coffee Share word and link back. The hashtag is #WeekendCoffeeShare.
The guidelines are also posted in the InLinkz dashboard.
2. This Past Week
I had a good week, enjoyed many activities, and chatted with my family and friends more than normal. Downtown Toronto got some snow overnight on Monday and part of Tuesday, a lot less than other areas in Ontario. During the week, my brisk and long walks boosted my mood and the birds by the lake kept me entertained.
I got into birdwatching about two years ago. When my sister and I went to Ecuador, the biodiversity there, including species of birds were amazing and noticeable. We spent time watching colourful birds and had a memorable overnight stay in the Amazon rainforest.
After that trip, I pay more attention to birds. Lucky me, Toronto is the home of the Blue Jays and over 350 other incredible species of birds. Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto. They won the World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.
When I walk by Lake Ontario, I enjoy watching birds in the harbour. They make my walk more fun and interesting. In this post, I focus on birds by the lake even though I’ve seen many more bird species in land. Let me show you in photos.
Common birds that are at the lake year-round include gulls, ducks, geese, rock pigeons, and swans. The ring-billed gulls have a black band encircling the yellow bill that distinguish them from other gulls.
Canada geese have the signature white chinstrap on their black necks. There are many of them along the lake shore, both on land and in the water.
In the winter, attractive bufflehead ducks, long-tailed ducks, and common mergansers arrive here and stay for a few months. The cormorants with aquamarine eyes show up in the Spring.
Bufflehead ducks: The male duck has a large white patch on the head, the female duck has a small white patch on the cheek.
Long-tailed ducks: The males have mostly white, rich brown, black and grey on the face and long, slender tail feathers. Females are smudgy brown and white without the long tail.
Common Mergansers: They are large ducks with long, slender bills. The males are striking with clean white bodies, dark green heads, and a slender, serrated red bill. The gray-bodied females have rich, cinnamon heads with a short crest.
Last summer, I was thrilled to see many birds when I went paddling in the wetlands on Toronto Islands. My favourites were the great egrets and grey herons.
Hello blog friends! I’m glad you’re here. I hope you have a few minutes for a chat over a cup of coffee or tea. We had a mixed bag of weather this past week: Sun, rain, snow, and sun again. As I type this, Toronto is under lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 virus so I limit my in-person contacts and continue to go outside only for exercise or groceries.
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, there are still many small pleasures and fun moments to enjoy every day. Here’s my bits of joy and photos to share with you:
Going for a Beach Walk
Sunday was sunny and beautiful. It was perfect for my bike ride to Sunnyside Beach and a walk along the sandy beach. I enjoyed views of Lake Ontario, blue sky, fresh air, bird life, trees, with very few people around at the time of my visit. This may be the last “warm” day of Autumn 2020. Two days after I took this beach photo, we got snow!
Monday was a rainy day. Having three ripe bananas on my kitchen counter prompted me to bake. I haven’t baked for a few months because it was too hot to think of baking in the summer. I used Jean Paré’s Banana Bread recipe and the loaf turned out really good. It was a tasty homemade snack to go with a cuppa while staying dry and warm indoor.
Loving the First Snow
Tuesday was snow day. First snow accumulation on the first day of December 2020! Just a thin layer by the lake and more snow elsewhere in Ontario. The snow flurries and snow flakes looked so pretty when I sat inside sipping my hot coffee. I love to go for a walk after the first snowfall when everything still looks pristine.
Cycling to a Park
Wednesday was sunny again so I went cycling and enjoyed a beautiful wintry day. I was glad to have my sunglasses with me as the reflections from the snow were blinding. How many Canada geese do you see in the above photo? There were many more of them by the lake than those I captured here. When we get more snow in the parks, it will be fun to go snowshoeing.
Speaking of blinding, on Wednesday around noon, while cycling, I saw a flash of blinding light then a fireball in the clear blue sky. It appeared and disappeared in seconds. The local news reported it was a falling meteortravelling an estimated 100,000 kilometers an hour. The American Meteor Society also received reports on this daylight fireball event occurred over Central New York. That was unexpected and pretty cool to see.
Joining a Challenge
Dan at No Facilities blog has taken over hosting the Thursday Doors photography challenge. I decided to participate for the first time. My debut Thursday Doors entry in Beaux-Arts style is here. I look forward to sharing my selection of door images and meeting other bloggers who participate in the challenge.
I browsed and found a handsome evergreen tree for the holidays. No, I don’t plan to bring one home. I like the natural look of the first snow landed on the tree and its symmetrical shape. This is my digital tree all decorated and ready to go as my e-greeting card to my family and friends.
How did your week go? Any fun plans for the coming week? I’d love to hear your comments.
I hope you love the music, art, film, and fashion of the 80s. The Awesome 80’s was the theme of the 15th annual Ice Sculpture Festival in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood on February 8 and 9 weekend. It’s a family-friendly event and admission is free.
Over 70,000 lbs. of crystal-clear ice were carved into magnificent sculptures inspired by the music, art, film and fashion of an awesome decade. All things 80’s are retro-cool again! I’m sharing some of the ice sculptures on display at the festival.
The Main Ice Exhibition included an 80’s sculpture, a Boombox, an Elton John silhouette, Converse sneaker, Madonna – Desperately Seeking Susan, Leg Warmers & Heels, Andy Warhol, a Roller Skate and Eddie Van Halen.
The Back to the Future sculpture was in the Photo Opportunity area for many photos and Instagram moments.
The Terry Fox Run Walk Wheel Ride sculpture was #1 winner of the ice carving competition.
Number 5 (not Wall-E) and Van Halen’s The Flying V Guitar sculptures were #2 and # 3 winners of the ice carving competition.
I loved the colourful Icefest Lounge where visitors could take a break while listening to the curated selection of songs from the 80s. It made a huge difference when professional DJs played live.
February is Heart month so volunteers from the Heart and Stroke Foundation were at Icefest. For a donation of $2, visitors could sample tasty maple syrup taffy or play vintage arcade games, including Pacman, at the Icefest Arcade Tent.
There were about thirty-five sculptures and I took photos of all of them. Just in case you don’t like the 80s, I share just a few in this post. I love the 80s!