Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Sunday Drive

My friend Barb was driving to Cobourg, Ontario today and asked me to come along for the ride. After we finished in Cobourg, we drove 10 minutes down the highway to Port Hope and had a look around there as well. Here's just a peek at some of the cool things we saw on today's adventure.

Both towns have many classic older buildings still present on their main streets. The windows on these vintage 3-storey treasures are so interesting.

Loved this old theatre sign in Port Hope.
Victoria Hall is an astounding sight in middle of Cobourg's main street.  You can read more about it here.
We drove down to the lake to take a look at the beach. It was a chilly 6 degrees Celsius and there was quite a strong wind, so we didn't stay much longer than the time it took to take a few photos.

Imagine my surprise when this collection of geese crossed the road ahead of us.  Can't believe these goslings have hatched already!
This store display was a beautiful reminder that although today might have felt more like winter, spring is definitely close at hand!

Stay tuned, you'll want to see the main reason for our trip to Cobourg.

Day 27/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Random Photo

One of the fun things about cell phones is that you sometimes take a photo at random, without realizing it at the time. Then later on, you're scrolling through your photos and you think, what the heck is that? This is one of those photos.
My foot and a pyjama clad leg, clashing terribly with a blurred oriental rug.  Oops!

Day 26/100 - #100dayproject

Friday, April 28, 2017

More Stamp Love

Back on Easter weekend, I ordered some postage stamps from Suzanne of Art Stamped (click on the name to take a look at her website - she does really amazing artwork with stamps and she has an Etsy shop!)

The package arrived with this cool stamp on the back for decoration:
and these equally cool stamps for the actual postage.

She included a card with a scratch and sniff stamp on it. And yes, of course I scratched it and yes, it does smell like strawberry! 
All the smaller sets of stamps I ordered came in little glassine envelopes with the sweetest stickers holding them shut.
Here's what I ordered:

More bunny stamps (similar to the ones from my first order). 
Some vintage airmail labels.
These unused Canadian postage stamps with a mail carrier theme (since it is National Letter Writing Month, after all!).
Image may contain: 1 person
These "big cat" stamps.
And this fabulous collection of stamps of Queen Elizabeth II.
I also got 1000 of these used British stamps in various colours, because they were on sale. ;)
Not entirely sure what I'm going to do with these stamps but I'm sure I'll think of something!

Day 25/100 - #100dayproject (a quarter of the way done!)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Goose Watch

I've been keeping an eye on the pair of geese that have been setting up a nest beside our parking lot at work over the past couple of weeks.
I took these photos of the female sitting on the nest.
I felt rather sorry for her one day this week, when someone parked their big ass pickup truck over her head.  But then again, maybe she liked the shelter?  I hope it didn't scare her too much when he started up the engine to go home that night, that muffler must be quite loud when you're sitting directly underneath it.
The male spends most of his time strutting around the parking lot.
He seems to like getting very close to the black cars.  Perhaps he can see his reflection?  I've seen him pecking at bumpers a few times, perhaps he is picking bugs off them?  I watched him take a drink from this puddle today.  
When I left work tonight, there was no sign of either goose, which was unusual. The nest was uncovered and I didn't see any eggs.

This article says the mother goose doesn't add feathers until after the second egg is laid, which makes me worry that something has happened.  I hope a predator hasn't eaten the eggs or that someone associated with the building next door, on whose property the nest is located, hasn't chased them off. It would be sad if that happened.  I know they're a nuisance - they've been pooping everywhere and they can be quite ferocious and territorial, especially once the nest is established, but's only for a few weeks and then they'll be gone.

You can be sure I'll be checking first thing tomorrow to see if momma goose has returned to the nest.  I hope she will.

Day 24/100 - #100dayproject

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One More Peacock

After my post yesterday about the peacocks I saw in Mexico City, I was quite surprised today to receive this beautiful peacock card in the mail from Anne, one of my NLWM penpals. How did she know??

National Letter Writing Month is drawing to a close.  Only two more mail delivery days left and then the waiting begins, until April comes around next year.

Day 23/100 - #100dayproject

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pretty as a Peacock

For today's episode of Time Travel Tuesday, I'm remembering the peacocks we saw on the grounds of the Delores Museum in Mexico City in March of 2015, which was one of our excursions on this trip. As we walked along the stone pathway leading to the buildings where the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo artwork is on display, there were peacocks everywhere.
The males were presenting their finery to us all.  Here's a picture of Joely and one of the birds, so you can get an idea of how big that fan of feathers actually is.
The colouring of the males is absolutely stunning, no question about it.
But I think the peahens are equally beautiful, in their own way.
Apparently there is quite a lot of symbolism associated with the peacock, you can read a little bit about it here.

For now, I shall leave you with this butt shot of a male, which I find equally interesting!!

Day 22/100 - #100dayproject

Monday, April 24, 2017

Stamp Love

I am loving the variety of stamps that are arriving in my mailbox this month from my American penpals as part of National Letter Writing Month.

This image of two horses and their reflection in the water is somewhat obscured by the cancellation stamp but it sure does look pretty!
Love this Wonder Woman stamp and the colourful heart image.

I had to look up the artist Albert Bierstadt, as I can tell from the stamp below that I would love his paintings!  This one of Yosemite looks positively dreamy to me.  I also like how the stamps have the year printed on them as well, the Bierstadt from 2008 and the (oops - upside down) flag from 2013.

This envelope came with a flower, a rooster and a pair of parakeets!
I really like this blue butterfly but I believe this Jimi Hendrix stamp is my favourite so far!  

Day 21/100 - #100dayproject

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cherry Trees in Bloom 2017

Every year around this time, Torontonians go on "blossom watch", waiting for the sakura cherry trees to bloom in High Park.  I've never actually been to High Park during this time but I have heard how crowded it can be, both with people and traffic.

Two or three days ago, local sources reported the first blossoms had made their appearance and that this weekend would be good for viewing, with a warm, dry, sunny forecast.  This website has an interesting chart showing the peak bloom dates for years past.  April 24-25 (i.e. tomorrow and Tuesday) is predicted to be the height of this year's season.

My friend Cheryl and I decided we wanted to see cherry blossoms but avoid the crowds, so we headed off early this Sunday morning to look for a lesser known and hopefully less crowded location in Etobicoke. Based on the advice of this blog post, we headed off to Broadacres Park, allegedly the home of 100 cherry trees.  We crossed a very soggy soccer field and a small creek to find a grand total of ...two (2) cherry small trees in bloom!
We found a stand of about 15-20 trees in the southwest corner of the park that have the beginnings of some buds but no way to tell if they are sakura trees or not.  All in all, it was a disappointment.

However, as we left the park, we drove past Etobicoke Civic Centre (located at Burnhamthorpe and The West Mall) and noticed six blooming trees in front of the building, glistening in the sun.  We turned the car around and headed to their parking lot, where we were the only visitors.
We proceeded to snap photos and inhale the gentle aroma of the cherry blossoms.

Here is Cheryl, focused in on the blooms.
The buds are a soft rose shade, while the open blooms are white.
The sky above was so blue, without a cloud in sight.
Here's a photo of Cheryl and me under one of the trees, flushed with success at having found this well kept secret location and taken our share of photos!

Day 20/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day 2017

We celebrated Earth Day yesterday at my office with a potluck lunch.
Heather had the winning dessert with her cupcakes made to look like carrots growing out the ground (complete with Oreo crumbs like dirt sprinkled on the top of them!).  They were delicious!
Jennifer's butterfly cake was just as clever.
A number of us then headed outside to take part in the 20 Minute Makeover, cleaning up our corner of the city.  
We didn't have to look too far to find a creek bed full of trash, just on the other side of a nearby parking lot.
Twenty minutes later, things were much improved.
We picked up all the usual suspects: coffee cups, empty water bottles and beer cans, cardboard, candy wrappers, newspapers.  The weirdest things we found?  A pile of dishes (probably from one of the restaurants nearby).
And a knife. Probably from one of those same restaurants although the caution tape nearby did make me wonder if we had stumbled upon a piece of crime scene evidence that had been overlooked...
Here I am, doing my part, carrying a couple of garbage bags to the dumpster.

And here's our merry gang with the results of our labour.

Leaving our city and planet just a little bit cleaner than it was.  Happy Earth Day!!

Day 19/100 - #100dayproject