Sunday 31 May 2009

One of Those Days (2)

The photographer commented that the larger billy above was about to try to ram the cougar off,and ended up with a paw in the face. It was close but the goats dug in (up), and the lion gave up, disappearing into junipers and mountain laurel.

Photo Credit: CC=nc-nd-flickr.

Friday 29 May 2009

Bench of the Week (6)

Park benches in Montreal, Quebec.

For other photographs of benches visit RuneE at Visual Norway who started this idea and Phoenix at Sylvan Muse.

Photo Credit: juluoz cats CC=flickr.

Thursday 28 May 2009

Hiking Trails - Sawback Trail - Day 2

[8-Mt Louis - click to enlarge]

The Sawback Trail goes from the town of Banff to Lake Louise following the rugged Sawback range over a distance of 74km (about 45 miles). Many hikers take this as a four to five day hike, although this post will reflect a more leisurely hike with frequent stops over a longer period. There are several campgrounds to stay an extra day to explore other trails that branch off the main trail.

On Day 2 the hike covers a distance of about 12km with the trail leaving the Mount Cockscomb campground at the 8.2km mark.

[9- Mt Louis]

The hike to the Mystic Valley campground has little elevation gain with the trail in a forested area.

The Mystic Valley campground is located at roughly the 18.5 km mark where the hiker will find 5 campsites and an outhouse. Campfires are allowed.

[10-Sign for Mystic Lake and campground]

A short distance farther down the trail is the Mystic Pass Junction followed by the Mystic Pass Warden Cabins.

[11-Creek at Mystic Lake - click to enlarge]

The next stop is Mystic Lake where the hiker can fish for trout, perhaps catching one for their supper while spending the night at the campground.

[12 - Mystic Lake - click to enlarge]

[13 - Mystic Lake - click to enlarge]

For those who would prefer to ride to Mystic Lake there are several outfitters who provide backcountry trips, some of which are overnighters.

Warren Outfitters
Lake Louise Tours


ParksCanada – Banff

Photo Credits: [8]-ronsipherd CC=nc-nd-flickr, [9]-mikewarren CC=nc-sa-flickr, [10]-
Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, [11][12][13]-meganpru CC=nc-flickr.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Burrard Street Bridge

According to Wikipedia, “this bridge is a six-lane, Art Deco style, steel constructed in 1930-1932 in Vancouver, British Columbia…the bridge’s two close approach spans are Warren trusses placed below deck level, while its central span is a Pratt truss placed above deck level to allow greater clearance height for ships passing underneath. The central truss is hidden when crossing the bridge in either direction by vertical extensions of the bridge’s masonry piers into imposing towers, connected by overhead galleries.”

Busts of Captain George Vancouver and Sir Harry Burrard-Neale are carved above the ship prows that jut from the bridge’s superstructure. Click on the photo below to enlarge.

The towers with the lamps were made as part of a war memorial.

In this photo the Burrard Street Bridge is overshadowed by the high-rise apartment buildings of Vancouver's west end.

Sources: wikipedia; Heritage Vancouver

Photo Credits: wikipedia CC=sa.

Monday 25 May 2009

Tuesdays for Travis

This lake is near Fernie, British Columbia.

Photo Credits: Jodene CC=nc-nd-flickr.

Sunday 24 May 2009

My Town Monday - Then and Now (3)

[1-Ontario Legislature nearing end of construction in 1893]

[2 Ontario Legislature current]

[3 Yonge Street looking north from Front Street in 1885. Building to left of photo is in the same location as the building housing the Hockey Hall of Fame pictured below]

[4 Detail of outside of Hockey Hall of Fame]

[5 Hockey Hall of Fame in former Bank of Montreal]

[6 -Special track installation for electric cars at King and Yonge Streets]

[7 King Street west from Yonge - click to enlarge]

[8 King Edward Hotel between 1903 and 1921]

[9 King Edward Hotel current]

Photo Credits: [1][2][3][5][6]]7][8]-wikimedia, [4]-Bobby Menses CC=nc-nd-flickr, [7]-Gavatron CC=nc-sa-flickr.

Travis Erwin from Amarillo, Texas is the founder of My Town Monday. For other locations to visit please go to Travis' site here.

Saturday 23 May 2009

One of Those Days

When I rode horses there was the odd day I would be pitched off. An element of riding is that a horseman or horsewoman always gets back on, no matter how afraid you might be. Even if it's only for a few minutes, then you can get off and go do something else for awhile. It's important to get back on to quell any fears before they take hold after the shock of hitting the ground in an unflattering position.

When the rider returns to riding the horse they had the spill on, it is important to be firm but fair, while working on the area that caused the pitching. If the horse was being willfully disobedient, then perhaps the trainer asked too much of the horse. It is then necessary to go back to the beginning and work through the steps again to offset any future mishaps.

Photo Credit: Isulde Mulder.

Friday 22 May 2009

Bench of the Week (5)

This photo was taken at Parksville Beach, British Columbia. Parksville is located on the central eastern shores of Vancouver Island, 30km north of the Nanaimo Departure Bay Ferry Terminal and 2 hours driving from Victoria at the southern tip of the island. Click photo to enlarge.

To view another bench far across the pond where RuneE at Visual Norway has a delightful set.

Raph Neckmann has posted his bench today too.

Phoenix C. of Sylvan Muse has lovely bench photos in forest glens.

Photo Credit: Alanna@VanIsle CC=nc-nd-flickr.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Hiking Trails - Sawback Trail - Day 1 of 11

[1-Mt Norquay from south bank of Bow River. Note the bridge has an Indian head on the side - click to enlarge]

The Sawback Trail begins in the town of Banff to Lake Louise following the rugged Sawback range over a distance of 74km. Many hikers take this as a four to five day hike, although this post will reflect a more leisurely hike with frequent stops over a longer period. There are campgrounds to stay an extra day or so to explore other trails that branch off the main trail.

On Day 1 the trailhead is located at Mt. Norquay.

[2-Mt. Norquay ski area - click to enlarge]

Follow the trail through the ski area while watching for trail markers.

[3-Trail heading for Forty Mile Creek - click to enlarge]

About 1km farther there is a dividing to the trail: left for the Sawback trail, while taking the right fork will head toward Elk Lake.

[4-Horse trail from Mt. Norquay - click to enlarge]

In another 6 km is the Edith Pass Junction where the hiker should move straight ahead. The Cockscomb campground is only 2 km farther. As this is a long hike, I would like to take it easy and enjoy the sights rather than forging ahead. This portion of the trail is short and easy at about 10km.

[5-Mt Edith from trail - click to enlarge]

The Mount Cockscomb campground provides views of Mt. Louis and Edith from the nearby Forty Mile Creek in a forested site.

[6-From camp]

[7-Camp food cache]

Hikers should be aware the Sawback Trail is used by commercial horse parties.

TO BE CONTINUED - See Sidebar on right for list of Trails

ParksCanada – Banff

Photo Credits: [1]-Satoru Kiuchi CC=flickr, [2][4][6][7]-Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, [3]-meganpru CC=nc-flickr, [5]-Dru! CC=nc-flickr.

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Treats Anyone?

This is a good example of what happens when bears see people as a good source of food. The bystanders in the background are taking a risk by being so close. Parks Canada warns people to stay a minimum of 100 metres from bears.

[click to enlarge]

Photo Credits: Julie Bauer, copyright.

Monday 18 May 2009

My Town Monday - Montgomery's Inn (Toronto)


Built in the 1830s, Montgomery’s Inn was surrounded by a large profitable farm, which provided food for the Montgomery family and visitors to their hotel. The Inn was closed in 1856 but the family and their tenants continued to farm the land until the 1940s.

[2-Fuel for the winter]

The architectural style is “late Georgia” or “Loyalist”. The Inn is built of rubble stone and was originally covered with pebble-dashed stucco, “coined” on the corners to give the appearance of cut stone.

[3-Historic Inn sign was rescued from the trash]

[4-Tom Montgomery's desk]

The Inn has been restored to the 1847 period, a remnant of colonial times and operates as a museum. Most of the period furnishings have been donated, though a few of the items once belonged to the Montgomery family. The furnishings reflect those of a conservative country innkeeper.

Inn staff offer guided tours of the Inn with highlights of the Montgomery family’s private sitting room

[5-Montgomery private sitting room]

[5B-Montgomery's Inn Bar]

[6-Dining room]

[7-Pantry served family and guests]

[8-Victorian meeting room on second floor]

[9- Beds at the Inn]

[10- Drying apples, dipped in lemon first, in the kitchen]

An open-hearth kitchen serves treats to visitors, the old-fashioned way. For a few hours each afternoon in the Tea Room pots of tea and light snacks are served for a modest price. A bookshop sells souvenirs and items related to the Inn, its period and neighbourhood.

[11-Garden behind Montgomery Inn]

A city resident who grew up near Montgomery’s Inn visited regularly and had an unusual experience when in the 7th grade. For a class assignment the students were asked to write a short story and the resident chose to write a story of a maid who worked at the inn, received a good grade and the teacher sent a copy to the Inn. The next time the resident visited the Inn, the tour guide to whom they were well acquainted was very excited and was shown into an archive room where some of Thomas Montgomery’s records were kept. These records had never been on display. The student’s essay had mirrored the life of a maid who had been employed there, even her name: May Evans.

Montgomery's Inn is located on 4709 Dundas Street West just east of Islington Avenue in Toronto.

Telephone: (416) 394-8113

Note: Prices do not include GST (5%).
Adults: $5.71
Seniors (65 +): $2.86
Youth (13-18 yrs.): $2.86
Children (12 and under): $1.90
Open Tuesday to Sunday 1pm to 5pm
All Mondays and Statutory Holidays (excluding: Valentines Day, Victoria Day and Canada Day when the museum is open for special menus in the tea room.)

City of Toronto Museums's_Inn

Photo Credits:
[6]-cameraphone, [10]-suzannelong CC=sa-flickr, [11] - PinkMoose CC=flickr.
Other photos by wikipedia

Travis Erwin from Amarillo, Texas is the founder of My Town Monday. For other locations to visit please go to Travis' site here.

Sunday 17 May 2009

You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe - Christopher Potter (Book Review)

Mr. Potter has an easy way of explaining the meaning of what we call the universe. He begins with the story of how something evolved from nothing and how that something became everything, while exploring everything in between.

A brief excerpt provides an excellent example:

“We do not like to think about the universe because we fear the immensity that is everything. The universe reduces us to a nub, making it difficult to escape the idea that size matters. After all, who can deny the universe when there is so much of it? ‘Spiritual aspirations threaten to be swallowed up by this senseless bulk into a sort of nightmare of meaninglessness,’ wrote the Anglo-German scholar Edward Conze (1904—1979). ‘The enormous quantity of matter that we perceive around us, compared with the trembling little flicker of spiritual insight that we perceive within us, seems to tell strongly in favour of a materialistic outlook on life.’ We know that we must lose if we are to contest the universe.

Just as terrifying is the idea of nothing at all. A little while ago each of us was nothing, and then was something. No wonder children have nightmares. The something of our existence ought to make the nothingness that preceded life an impossibility, since we also know, as King Lear observes, that ‘nothing can come of nothing’. And yet every day in the annihilation and miraculous resurrection of the ego that is going to sleep and waking up, we are reminded of that very nothingness from which each of us emerges.”

Mr. Potter weaves an entertaining narrative following the history of early scientists and philosophers with their perceptions of gravity, life, whether the earth or the sun is the centre of the universe.

There is an interesting chapter on the original humans in Africa, including descriptions of the various types of fossils found of humans’ hominin ancestors and subspecies, like the Neanderthals. He writes in detail of the different branches of hominins related to chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.

This book provides current scientific thinking from quarks to galaxy superclusters, quantum physics, string theory and details are described of the different sizes of things in space until suddenly distances in the universe are understood.

The examples Mr. Potter uses to explain the infinite space and particles of the universe are wonderful, and I whole-heartedly recommend this book to others.

Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: March 10, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Pages: 304

Saturday 16 May 2009

Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa, Ontario - click to enlarge.

Photo Credit: Jose P Isern Comas CC=nc-nd-flickr.