Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring 2022

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #62! 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 12/ 52

Spring arrived on Sunday March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere. I was ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring. On Monday, the daytime high temperature was about 14C (58F) and sunny.

A sunny spring day was the perfect opportunity to visit the 7th annual Winter Stations outdoor art installations at Woodbine Beach before the exhibits end on March 31st.

Lifeguard chair at Woodbine Beach.
Lifeguard chair at Woodbine Beach

Goodbye Winter 2022

Winter Stations began in 2015 as a way to highlight the beauty of Toronto’s east end beaches and make them a destination point for outdoor art installations during the winter. The artworks are set up at the lifeguard stations along Woodbine Beach, and each year an international competition receives entries connected to that year’s Winter Stations’ theme.

The theme for this year was Resilience. I’m sharing my pictures of the five winning designs for 2022. For each design, I included lake view and city view.

Click on the arrows or swipe to see the slides.

If you’d like to read the Station description, click on its name on the following list:

  1. S’winter Station – Design Team: Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science, Canada.
  2. The Hive – Design Team: Kathleen Dogantzis and Will Cuthbert, Canada.
  3. Introspection – Design Team: University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, Canada.
  4. Enter-Face – Design Team: MELT – Cemre Onerturk and Ege Cakir, Turkey.
  5. One Canada – Design Team: University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, Canada.

It was a beautiful day at Woodbine Beach where I said goodbye to winter. I love that even though Toronto is an urban centre, it has several Blue Flag beaches like Woodbine Beach. To see interesting public art on the beach is the icing on the cake.

Hello Spring 2022

Speaking of Resilience, on Tuesday, another sunny day, I spotted several early spring flowers in the public gardens. They have survived the cold winter months and bloomed amid the dead leaves. Seeing them made me so happy.

Hello snowdrops, hellebores, and a variety of crocus flowers! Welcome back. Even though winter still seems to linger, spring will take over. I look forward to seeing more lovely flowers in the coming days.

Click on the arrows or swipe to see the slides.

Your Turn:

  1. Which Winter Station is your favourite?
  2. What signs of Spring (or Fall in the Southern Hemisphere) have you seen?
  3. How has your week been?

Shared with #CellpicSunday, #FOTD, #PPAC41, #SpringFestival2022, #SundayStills, #ThursdayDoors.

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Nordic Lights: 6 Dazzling Displays

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #56! 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 6/ 52 – Two Announcements

First, I’ve created the Weekend Coffee Share badge for 2022 and added it to the sidebar of my blog. Weekend Coffee Share participants and supporters are welcome to display this badge on their blog.

2022 Weekend Coffee Share badge
2022 Weekend Coffee Share badge

Second, Dan Antion, the blogger behind No Facilities blog and the host of the Thursday Doors photography challenge, has kindly invited me to meet him virtually on Saturday February 12th at the Island View Café. Feel free to follow our lively conversation about blog challenges and more here.

Nordic Lights Festival

My family and I went out one evening to see the outdoor Nordic Lights festival at Harbourfront Centre. It was a dazzling display of Canadian and Nordic light art installations, some with accompanying sounds.

Here are the 6 light art displays with excerpts from Harbourfront Centre information boards.

1. Control No Control by Iregular Media Art Studio, Canada

Control No Control is a big LED cube that reacts to everything that touches it and every movement performed on its surface. Streamlined patterns and generative sound emerge as interaction occurs. Allowing 48 people to participate at the same time, the experience is extremely intuitive, leading to quick audience engagement and prolonged interactions.

2. Equinox by Anastasia Isachsen, Norway

Equinox by Anastasia Isachsen, Norway.

Equinox asks questions about the nature of light and darkness and about the unique moment of equinox when they are in balance. Equinox combines elements of contemporary dance, nu-jazz and graphics to invite the audience into a dynamic, poetic and contemplative experience. 

3. Gorži by Outi Pieski, Finland

In Gorži, waterfalls cascade from the Power Plant building’s windows. The installation by Outi Pieski is inspired by the Sámi spiritual tradition, in which we live in a reciprocal relationship with all living entities. Gorži creates a poetic sight in which clean water flows freely. The voice of Sámi yoik singer Hildá Länsman brings out the feminine power and the spiritual meaning of water.

4. Great Minds by Aleksandra Stratimirovic, Sweden

Great Minds is a dynamic monument that praises the birth of ideas and relates to all creative people. Light work appears in the form of two monumental brains in dialogue, performing active, luminous brainstorming – the unavoidable phase of each creative process – and figuratively using light to emphasize births of unique ideas and sparkling activities of all great minds.

5. Pressure by Hans E. Madsen and Frederik D. Hougs, Denmark

Pressure is a piece consisting of a 300-metre long RGB-LED hose shaped like a doodle wrapped in the construction. Flashes of impulses whip around in the LED doodle and run towards each other while shifting colour and giving the expression of a digitally-stressed doodle.

6. Sense Light Swing by Alexander Lervik, Sweden

Sense Light Swing.

Sense Light Swing is a light fixture that is also a moving, eye-catching work of art. The shape of the fixture comes from a hanging swing for children that creates a spectacular light show as it swings back and forth on its long hanging cords.  

One More…

Neon hearts are on display at Brookfield Toronto properties from November 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022. Each glowing neon light was hand made in Ontario, Canada by Our Glowing Hearts. Here’s how it all started and how to make a neon heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Which light art installation is your favourite?

Shared with #PPAC35.

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IceFest21 A Trip Around The World

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!

The Canadian Rockies.
The Canadian Rockies.
New York City Taxi, USA.
New York City Taxi, USA.
Chichen Itza, Mexico.
Chichen Itza, Mexico.
Palm Trees and Beach Photo Op, Caribbean.
Palm Trees and Beach Photo Op, Caribbean.
Big Ben in London, The United Kingdom.
Big Ben in London, The United Kingdom.
Gondola in Venice, Italy.
Gondola in Venice, Italy.
St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia.
St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.
Pagoda in Japan.
Pagoda in Japan.
Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
Opera House in Sydney, Australia.

I hope to see you again at the Weekend Coffee Share link-up on Friday.

#IceFest21, #Lens-Artist, #Lovin’Life, #WeeklySmile, #WordlessWednesday.

Copyright © 2023 – All rights reserved.

Lakeside Birdwatching

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:

  1. Link one post.
  2. Read the host’s post and two posts from other Coffee Share participants and leave a comment so they know you’ve dropped by.
  3. 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.

3. Birdwatching

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

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.

A ring-billed gull.
A ring-billed gull.

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.

2 Canada geese.
2 Canada geese.
Winter Birds

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.

2 Bufflehead ducks.
2 Bufflehead ducks.

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.

4 male and 1 female long-tailed ducks.
4 male and 1 female long-tailed ducks.

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.

3 female mergansers.
3 female mergansers.
Summer Birds

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.

Great egret.
Great egret.
Grey heron.
Grey heron.

I refer to the Birds of Toronto guide to identify these birds.

What birds are common in your neighbourhood?

Linking with Sunday Stills, Life This Week, The Weekly Smile.

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Copyright © 2023 – All rights reserved.

Bits of Joy

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

Sunnyside Beach

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 meteor travelling 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.

Hill without snow.
The thin layer of snow was gone by Thursday.

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 enjoyed reading a few e-books this week. One of them was Jill Weatherholt’s Second Chance Romance novel. It’s an easy read and a heartwarming story with happy endings. In addition to reading Jill’s book, I also read and agreed with the Second Chance Romance book review by Annika Perry, another blogger and writer that I follow. Both Jill and Annika have my admiration for their wonderful writing.

Selecting a Tree

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.

Linking here.

Copyright © 2023 – All rights reserved.

Do You Love the 80s?

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 Main Ice Exhibition at icefest 2020

The Back to the Future sculpture was in the Photo Opportunity area for many photos and Instagram moments.

Back to the Future ice sculpture

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.

Icefest Lounge

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.

Icefest Heart sculpture

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!

What about you? Do you love the 80s?

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