Wednesday, May 24, 2017


When I first thought about what image I would photograph for today's Artful Adventures prompt, "cracks", I thought of the cracks in the pavement of the parking lot at work.  There are many, of various thicknesses and designs.
But as I went to take a photo or two, I realized that I hadn't seen the Canada geese yesterday when I got back to work after the long weekend.  I walked over to the nest and sure enough, it was empty, with only a pile of feathers and a bunch of eggshell debris left behind.
On closer inspection, I noticed this piece of something that looks like half an eggshell, except it seems to be sort of a thin membrane - presumably the inside of the shell?  (I didn't want to touch it!)
There were definitely broken pieces of thicker shell scattered about.
I can only surmise that sometime over the three day holiday weekend that just passed, the goslings cracked open their shells and stepped out into the world.  The family then would have made its way to the nearest water source, which I believe (based on previous years of goose watching) is somewhere to the west of this parking lot, across a four lane road (which would have been lightly trafficked on the weekend, thank goodness!) and down a road about two blocks and then across a field.  Hopefully they all made it safely to their destination!

Day 15/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 51/100 - #100dayproject

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Today's prompt for Nathalie Kalbach's Artful Adventures is "pattern". I took this picture of a mosaic tile wall a couple of weeks ago while walking around the Queen Street West neighbourhood in Toronto.  I love, love, love all the different patterns of these tiles!

Day 14/30 - #artfuladventures
Day 50/100 - #100dayproject (OMG, halfway done!!)

Monday, May 22, 2017


Today's Artful Adventures theme is "night". Given that it is Victoria Day here in Canada, you can guarantee that there will be fireworks as soon as darkness falls this evening.  A few people have been setting them off on each of the past 3 evenings (even last night in the rain - what?!?) but tonight will be the main event.  The view from my balcony will look something like this:
According to Wikipedia, "The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (24 May 1819)" and "Canada is the only country that commemorates Queen Victoria with an official holiday".  For most of us, it's the first long weekend of summer, no matter how chilly it may be.  That's seems a good enough reason to be setting off fireworks to me!

Day 13/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 49/100 - #100dayproject

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Today's Artful Adventure is all about trash.  In my apartment building, there is a small room on each floor with this sign on the door:
Presumably the hours of operation are posted as a courtesy to those whose units are closest to the disposal room, so it's a little quieter for them. (The outer door is quite heavy and noisy as it closes, as is the chute itself.)  These signs are posted inside the garbage room:
I've never quite figured out who would "wrap" their garbage? 

One opens the door and places the garbage inside the chute.  The picture of the green garbage bag above the opening is somewhat misleading, as it's a smallish opening, no way a big bag would fit in there. (There is an area outside for larger bags and items such as furniture).
Any items for recycling are deposited in containers like these on the main floor.  Our superintendent tells me the building has been fined several times because people put food waste in the recycling bins. Perhaps they don't realize there is a separate bin for compost, which is kept outside due to its tendency to get a little smelly.  But really, people, get your act together!! 
As the bins get filled up, they are placed outside where they sit until garbage day, which is Tuesday in our neighbourhood.

Day 12/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach     
Day 48/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, May 20, 2017


The prompt for today's #artfuladventures hosted by Nathalie Kalbach was "sign".  Nathalie herself posted a picture of a rusty sign in her neighbourhood that she has enjoyed seeing and which inspired her to create a mixed media piece of artwork.  I was going to take a walk and take pictures of the many directional and construction signs in my area.  But this morning, as I went to sit down at my art table, I realized I was being confronted by a different kind of sign:  a message from the universe. Like the one in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" when the pigeon poops on Diane Lane's head and the old woman says it is a sign from God that she is the one who should buy the house.

In my case, I took it as a sign telling me that it was time to clear off my desk.  I had only the grey grid area showing in the photo below left clear.  The rest of my table was a jumbled pile of art supplies and letter writing paraphernalia from April's NLWM activities.  It had been that way for weeks and it had been bothering me and, obviously, restricting my use of the space, but I hadn't had time to do anything about it.  Until today.
I was mostly finished when Maggie came to inspect the progress. She seemed happy with the results and so I continued on.
After only an hour or so of concentrated effort, success!

Day 11/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 47/100 - #100dayproject

Friday, May 19, 2017


Here in the city of Toronto, we have all sorts of wildlife.  We have animals of all sizes and descriptions, from the smallest (mice) to largest (deer) roaming through backyards.  It's not at all uncommon to see raccoons, possums and porcupines on local streets or in one of our many parks.  A raccoon ambled past our picnic table last Saturday afternoon, which was a shock to all of us, as he was quite close to us and did not appear to be at all perturbed by all the people and dogs nearby.  Just last week, authorities shot a bear in the east end of the city!  Which I admit is quite unusual but still, not completely surprising.

Squirrels are everywhere and come in various colours - black, brown and grey.  My mother tells a funny story about when she was driving guests from New Zealand around the city several years ago and they suddenly and urgently asked her to stop the car.  She thought there was some sort of emergency, they were making such a fuss. Turns out they had spotted a grey squirrel, an animal they had never seen back home. We laughed when we heard the story, for we tend to take them completely for granted here and most of us think of them as merely furry rodents who try to eat the birdseed in the feeder.

However, I was quite surprised to catch sight of this unusually coloured specimen just a few weeks ago as I was walking in my neighbourhood.  I have never, ever before seen a black squirrel with a white tail.

Here's a better shot.
You can bet I'll be watching to see if I can spot this little fellow again next time I'm walking in that area!!

Day 10/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalback
Day 46/100 - #100dayproject

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Plant Life

It's that time of year again. Almost overnight, fields of bright yellow flowers appear to blanket the green grass. Yes, it's dandelion season.
From many morning-glories
That in an hour will fade,
From many pansy buds
Gathered in the shade,
From lily of the valley
And dandelion buds,
From fiery poppy-buds
Are the Wings of the Morning made.

(from The Tree of Laughing Bells, a poem by Vachel Lindsay)

Day 9/30 of #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 45/100 - #100dayproject

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I noticed these petals on the ground underneath this blossoming tree near my office yesterday.
I had never stood on the ground under this tree before, never consciously noticed these blooms before this year.  They don't last long, one breezy day and they vanish. But the tree remains, firmly rooted.
“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.”
― Steve Goodier

Day 8/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 44/100 - #100dayproject

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


One of the things I love about my apartment is the view.  Whether it's looking south to the lake or east to the far away skyscrapers of the city centre, with just the top of the CN Tower peeking over the roof of the neighbouring building.  Long time readers of this blog have seen several photos of various sunrises here. Sometimes I think, I couldn't possibly post any more. And yet...
How could I not take a picture of this morning's sky for today's prompt? The softness of the colours was simply irresistible.

Day 7/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day43/100 - #100dayproject

Monday, May 15, 2017


This collection of items can be found on my balcony:  a skull I brought home from my travels one year, an old wooden window frame with the glass removed (I can't remember where I found it) and a piece of glass that used to hang in the window of the building in which my father's dental practice was located.
The skull reminds me of who I was with on that trip, the adventures we had, the discussions about whether this was a goat or a cow skull, the examination of the teeth.

I love the font on the glass, the effectiveness of the gold and black paint. I wonder who painted those letters and admire their skill.  It reminds me of visits to my dad's office and how this sign complimented the various antique pieces he had in his waiting room.

I wonder about the type of building in which this window frame used to be installed, who looked through the panes and what they might have seen.

I like the way these 3 things go together, the suggestion of days gone by they create both separately and together. I wonder what sort of stories these pieces could tell if they could talk, the people and times they have seen come and go.

Each of these items are a window into the past.

Day 6/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 42/100 - #100dayproject

Sunday, May 14, 2017


I went out for a walk this afternoon. I had some library books to return and one on hold to pick up. It's about a half hour each way. Took my camera along, looking for something to photograph for today's #Artful Adventures prompt: shiny.  Nothing seemed to suit. Just as I was nearing home, I pointed my camera upwards and took a picture directly into the sun.  When I got home and took a look at the image I had captured, I knew I had the perfect shot.
The heart-shaped cloud was just a bonus. :)

Day 5/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 41/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, May 13, 2017


I get my mail every day from the collection of mailboxes in the lobby of the apartment building in which I live.
If I receive a parcel, the mailman leaves a key in my box and I get my package from this container. 
The funny thing is, I never think to post mail in the slot provided in this box. I always end up finding a mailbox on the street instead, don't ask me why! (perhaps because my mailman comes to our building around 6:30 pm most days, so anything he picks up probably doesn't get going on its way until the next day.)

I had an #Artful Adventure today exploring the Queen Street West/Trinity Bellwoods area with friends.
In between checking out several of the very cool shops in the area, lunch in a restaurant that served only perogies with various toppings (OMG, so very tasty!) and admiring the local wall art/graffiti and spring blooms,
they helped me look for mailboxes.  We found several examples.

This first one is similar to the package box in my building, only it's operated by a private delivery company, not Canada Post.
The traditional Canada Post red boxes were also around, complete with their own touches of graffiti.
The gray distribution boxes were much more heavily decorated with graffiti!
This old wooden door had a lovely mail slot at ground level.
One store we visited even had postbox t-shirts available!
Many thanks to Maria and Cheryl for a wonderful time enjoying this spring day and for their assistance in searching out examples for today's prompt.

Day 4/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 40/100 - #100dayproject

Friday, May 12, 2017


For today's #ArtfulAdventures prompt, I didn't have to look too hard. All I had to do was take a walk around my building.

There's the fence around the ramp to the parking garage, to prevent those foolish people who might somehow tumble over the cement enclosure.
There's the fence that prevents the ground floor occupants from having to look out at the garbage receptacles.
Out on the street directly in front of our building, there are several fenced areas, all part of the water main replacement project the city is currently undertaking on our street.
When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence. (author unknown)
Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow. (Norman Vincent Peale)
Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. (Maya Angelou)
There, by the starlit fences, 
The wanderer halts and hears
My soul that lingers sighing
About the glimmering weirs. (A.E. Housman)
Mend fences, build bridges, forgive trespasses, grieve losses and let toxic grudges go.  Then move on. (Unicahija Tamano)

Day3/30 - #Artful Adventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 39/100 - #100day project

Thursday, May 11, 2017


From where I keep my car in the parking lot of my apartment building
to my daily commute to work.
Lucky for me, it's only about a 10 minute drive.
I work near the airport, so planes are flying over constantly.
Also lucky for me, my employer provides free parking.
Sometimes I take the subway if I'm going downtown for an event.

Planes, trains, automobiles and my own two feet
Take me almost anywhere I want to go.
My imagination takes me everywhere else!

Day 2/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 38/100 - #100dayproject

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


I am taking part in Nathalie Kalbach's Artful Adventures: Stroll Challenge.  Nat created this 30 day challenge to count down to the release of her new book on June 8th.  You can read more about the challenge in this blog post and hey, why not sign up for the free workshop and play along??

Each day, Nathalie gives us a prompt and we encourage to look around our neighbourhoods for inspiration related to the day's prompt.  For this first day of the challenge, the word is "home".

My idea is to take these prompts and document my daily life as it is for the next 30 days. So to begin with, here is the building I currently call home.  It's spring and the crab apple trees are just starting to blossom.  One of those balconies and some of those windows are mine, although it's funny how hard it is to pick out your own when you looking up, way up!
This rather ugly doorway is the door of my apartment.
It may not look like much but it's what lies behind that door that really means home to me.  It is my refuge, my oasis, filled with my treasures and most importantly, these four fur babies that greet me at the door every time I return.
No matter how long I have been away, whether it's just a few minutes or a few weeks, they always come running to say hello to me.  And no matter how I might be feeling, it always lifts my heart to see them again.
It may not be a fancy place, it may be in need of a fresh coat of paint and some minor repairs but right now, it is home to me.
As much as I enjoy being away, I am just as happy to be at home.

Day 1/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 37/100 - #100dayproject