Tag Archives: Canada

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

This is my first blog in a few months. Summer is over and it is time to get back to it.

I recently spent time on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The beaches are endless and great for surfing and boogie boarding. I spent a week camping and enjoying the grandchildren and some fun in the surf. Playing in the waves brings out the free spirit in all of us. The wind and water sets the soul free.

I am free

thrilling and free

Cannon is loving it

boogie boarding on Vancouver Island Canada

with the surfing dog Lucy

What do Bears talk about?

“Bear watching” teaches us how bears interact in nature. We were in the beautiful Pukaskwa National Park of Canada on the shores of Lake Superior. It was in September of 2011. We stopped to photograph a couple of Black Bears.

The bear and her cub were just off the highway. We pulled over to snap a quick photo. They did not seem to mind the photo session and carried on as if we were not intruding on their day.

"Son, I know you are getting to be a big boy, but you still have to listen to your mother."

"Mamma, stop it, I am too big for the tickling game""

"did you hear something?"
"yes, son, I sense danger, run, go climb a tree."

" I found a tree, mamma."

"Higher, baby, climb higher... I know you are scared of heights but get over it and climb."

Gravel Eating Sheep in the Northwest Territories

While driving on the highway toward Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories, we pulled over to photograph some sheep. They were busy on the side of the highway feasting on the gravel. I understand their real name is Thinhorn Sheep but are also called Stone Sheep (I have not confirmed this name)
The sheep were not afraid and allowed me to approach fairly close. I am sure they were actually posing. We lingered for a while watching this adorable family.

The family that eats together stays together.

Yep, that is rocks they are eating... yummy.

Is Mr. Billy inviting me to join the family dinner?

The baby is smiling, I am sure of it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

For this weeks challenge, I thought I would post a few photos I took last summer while on an extended roadtrip. These photos emphasize a contrast in size.

The largest Dump Truck in the world

We crossed the border from Alberta into BC and arrived in a beautiful little town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, in the southeast corner of the province. Sparwood is a small coal mining town on the Elk River. They have lots of scenic hiking and mountain biking trails in the area and lots of opportunities to enjoy the water. You can spend your time either fishing, kayaking or canoeing in the Elk Valley. Sparwood is also home to the largest tandem-axle dump truck in the world! Built by General Motors of Canada, the 1974 Terex Titan – all 350 tonnes, 66 feet and 3,300 Horse Power of it – lives in Sparwood, Home of the Titan. Two Greyhound buses and 2 pickups can fit into the box!

These photos of the Titan show how small we are in contrast to this Monster truck. I am 5’6″ and my husband is 6’3″ tall, yet we are dwarfed beside the wheels of this dump truck.

Can the driver see me down here?

Winter is for Ice Fishing

It has been a strangely warm winter here in southern Canada, many doubted if the lake would freeze enough for fishing, but the bay is finally frozen indeed. It was time for us to take another walk on the ice. Today we wanted to check out the fish huts.

The access to the lake is easy, just walk down the boat launch.

There was a lot of action on the lake, it was as if we all had to make up for lost time. Everyone was enjoying the day in their own way.

Trucks and snowmobiles flew across the ice.

Some were cross-country skiing with their very large dogs

I live on Lake Simcoe, which claims the title of “Ice-fishing Capital of Canada” some say “of the world”. I approached a hut.

Is anyone home?... I knocked on the door... no answer. I tried the door... it opened.

I opened the trap door to look into the fishing hole. There is a small stove for warmth, Sitting in the small hut patiently fishing can get pretty cold.

"what are you doing trespassing?" my husband asks.

I knocked on another door and these fisherpeople (politically correct) invited me in to watch as they fished. I waited a while but, no fish were biting. There are smart fish in Lake Simcoe.

Some people were enjoying the day by Ice-sailing. They have a parachute that takes them zooming on skis across the ice

It looks like so much fun... I think I want to try this out one day.

We walked back to shore. You can see how far out the huts are..

additional info added Feb 28:

The thickness of ice is always a concern. Every year, we lose vehicles and sadly some lives are lost as well because the ice is not always safe. The  DNR (Department of Natural Resources) measures the depth of the ice on a regular basis. There are regulations for the fish huts too. Each hut on the ice is numbered and must be removed by a certain date each year.

There is a thickness recommended for various activities:

*Less than 4 inches* � STAY OFF! There is no reason to test the newly formed ice at this time.

*4-6 Inches* � Ice fishing, foot travel in single-file lines, and small spaced seating on the ice should be safe, presuming the ice is clear and clean.

*6-10 Inches* � Snowmobiles and ATV�s can travel safely on good ice that is over inches thick.

*10-16 Inches* � Small cars and pick-ups can begin to venture on to the ice. However, the DNR states that it is best to avoid driving on the ice whenever possible.

*16+ Inches* � A medium-sized car or mid-size pickup can drive on good clear solid ice.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of Lake Simcoe in winter.

Architecture in Ottawa

Last week we had the privilege of taking our grandson to Ottawa to check out two universities there. He is thinking of Political Science, so we had to take a visit to the Parliament Buildings. I have been before, but this trip I noticed the beauty of the architecture in a new way. We took the elevator to the top of the Peace Tower, then sat in on a debate in the House of Commons. ( my camera was taken from me while we were in the House. ) A very interesting experience.

Some protesters on the walkway leading to the Central Block.

The Lion stands guard on one side of the archway representing England I believe.

A unicorn stands guard on the other side of the entrance. I understand it represents the French and Scotland. Why its tongue is sticking out I have no clue Why a unicorn at all baffles me. There are gargoyles in a lot of places too.

looking up at the archway, there are the shields for each province and corn, birds, and a multitude of other food and animals depicting the abundance of Canada.

inside there are stained glass windows and beautiful scrollwork on the ceilings. It is so beautiful

Looking down into the main entrance hall

We went up the Peace tower past the bells and to the lookout. A view from all sides. This is looking past the Library across the Ottawa River to Hull, Quebec.

For anyone from the USA, the building in the foreground is the US Embassy

Looking north and up the river.

From the top of the Peace Tower, the clock was right above our heads.

The centennial flame, added in 1967 for our 100th year, the shield of each province is set in the fountain, with the flame burning just above the water.

It seems like the water is on fire.