Summer Evening Paddling Trip

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A call of a loon;

Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,

Kayak glides along.

 

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Yesterday’s warm temperatures and sunshine beckoned.

So, following the family supper, some of us embarked on an evening’s paddle.  Well, as many as could fit into two canoes and a single-person kayak.  😀

We launched our craft onto Taylor Lake and eventually made it to the channel leading to adjacent Clayton Lake….and ultimately the village of Clayton where we finished just as it was getting dark.

It’s a lovely paddling excursion….usually taking about two hours.

There are quite a few cottages along the shores of Taylor Lake, with avid boaters and fishing enthusiasts sharing the water….and everyone respecting the speeds near other boaters.  By contrast, Clayton Lake is quieter.

We were lucky and were treated to multiple loon calls, the sighting of a loon family of three, and a pretty sunset.

Here are some more photos…

 

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A juvenile loon…

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Sunset on Taylor Lake

From the time the sun was just touching the top of the trees to my extracting my iPhone from the protective plastic box tucked inside my life vest and then going for a photo, as you can see the sun went into hiding – moved so fast! Anyway….still looks pretty over the water like that.

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Kayaking is a lot of fun!

(Good time to add in a selfie….)  😀

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On Clayton Lake

I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.

 

 

 

 

 

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Promise of Things to Come!

 

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Hint of pink inside,

Buds holding tight and slowly

Unfolding the show.

 

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Exploring in my garden again today and was caught up in the buds’ progress of this peony plant.

And to think the flowers will eventually be quadruple the size of the buds…..and I wonder how do the buds manage to keep all of that floral splendour inside?

 

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And all those busy ants!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Forest Encounter

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Mottled appearance;

Complement to rocks and wood,

The silent runner.

 

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The common lizard.  Or so my research tells me.

My uncle first said it’s a salamander, as salamanders are native to Germany.

We also bandied about gecko and lizard.

Either way, a sleek-looking and fascinating creature!

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We – my uncle, my husband, and I – spied this little lizard on our extensive hike up towards Schloß Staufenberg in the Black Forest during our recent visit.  The first part of the hike was on a good-sized trail through a forested area, followed by a road along hilly fields, covered in rows upon rows of wine grape plants.

This lizard had been coming along the edge of the trail and then decided we were such big creatures and it was better to hide away in among the sticks and old wood.

Scrambled away quickly!

So cute!

Tourist Moments #4

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When in Copenhagen….you’ve got to check out the LEGO!

Everyone in our family is an enthusiastic LEGO builder and player!

So, on my brief layover in Copenhagen last May, naturally, I was always on the alert to see where LEGOs would pop up.  Particularly since it’s a long-lasting classic toy originating from Denmark.

On an evening walkabout, when most stores were already closed, I spied this brightly lit up store and spent some time looking at all the LARGE and well-constructed LEGO creatures, such as the dragon above.  It boggles the mind, thinking of the planning and then constructing that went into these amazing structures.

 

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My friend, Josh, stood beside this LEGO guard in order to provide a comparison perspective to show the size of these LEGO people.

 

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On one wall were the various LEGO logos designed over the years.  LEGO logos – say that a whole bunch of times real fast!  Haha!

 

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And imagine my surprise when at the airport the next day, there was even a LEGO store there….in among the usual clothing and electronics stores.

 

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Certainly not a small store – given it’s at the airport – and filled with a large and varied selection of different types and sizes of LEGO toy boxes.

Here’s a closer look at the LEGO playing table….laid out so invitingly for sitting down and playing.

 

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Near the entrance stood an almost life-sized LEGO traveller, complete with pith helmet, tropical shirt, and an assortment of cameras.

Imagine how long it took to put that fellow together!

 

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Cheery Faces!

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Daffodil duo;

In among the brown and green,

They smile – springtime cheer!

 

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A week ago I went exploring in the front garden.  I found a few yellow daffodil buds popping up and a couple of flowers opened in full, like these two.

Something about their sunny yellow colour that has me singing inside.  🙂

I also noticed how some daffodil’s leaves and buds were so determined to show themselves, that they broke their way through last year’s leaves, taking them upwards with them!

Leafy collars are the new fashion.  🙂

 

 

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Tourist Moments #3

On my trip in July of 2007 to the South Island of New Zealand – on the occasion of my girlfriend’s wedding – her daughter, Emily, and I took off one free afternoon to go on a mini-excursion.

We came upon this nifty looking, wooden Maori carving – quite TALL – which is located at the Karaka Point Historic Reserve  (a short drive outside of Picton).

 

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This look-out point offers up a spectacular view of part of the Marlborough Sounds area.

The following sequence of photos gives you a somewhat panoramic glimpse into these beautiful sounds.

 

 

 

The clouds and waves that day created a bit of dramatic ambiance.

I looked up some added information for you.

Online the site, 100% Pure New Zealand, describes the Marlborough Sounds as follows:

“Marlborough Sounds is a collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Forested hills rise steeply from the sea around an intricate coastline of sheltered inlets and sandy bays. The area has three main bodies of water – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorous Sounds. The Department of Conservation manages over 50 reserves in this scenic playground.”

 

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There are grassy areas where one can walk about and enjoy the views.  I imagined what it would be like to walk all the way to the end of that huge outcropping.

 

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And finally, included is the sign as well.   😀

 

 

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Six Word Story #9

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Canada’s Birthday in Ice and Lights

 

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What a vibrant glow from those red and white lights as they shine through the carved ice!

The colours of our flag.

Celebrations have already started, and there will be all kinds of activities and events taking place in communities  all across the country, leading up to July 1st of this year.

This ice sculpture is among several artistic and creative frozen carvings temporarily located in Confederation Park in Ottawa, Ontario, during the Winterlude Festival.

And here is how it looks in the day time – I took that one a few days earlier.

 

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Note:  I took the day-time one first as I was passing by…..when I went exploring the area,  right along with all kinds of tourists and visitors.

I didn’t realize that the colours would be intensified in the evening darkness, which I noticed yesterday evening on my way to go see a play at the National Arts Centre (located a bit further north of Confederation Park).

 

 

Nature’s Delicate Side

With icy and snowy landscapes greeting me as I look out the windows, I sometimes go poking through older photos with some of them taken in the warmer seasons…..just for that occasional break.

I came across these two last night.

 

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In a patch of downtrodden grass

Stands a sentinel.

Reaching tall….reaching for the sun’s warmth.

A splayed fan of fine, grassy wisps at the top.

In a burst of bright green,

Saying, “I am here!”

 

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Little girl in white

With a bouffant of pink hair;

Dancing with a friend.

 

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The first photo was taken during a visit at a wildlife reserve in August 2015 up in the Yukon.  Our group had walked over to where some caribou were grazing in their sufficiently large area – we could watch them with a wired fence between us – and in between taking photos of the caribou, I also found some other beauties in this spot….like that little grassy shoot.

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The second photo was taken of bleeding hearts blooms in the front bed of my garden in the spring of 2015.  I had actually waited too long, and many of the fuller clusters had already passed the height of their generous blooming time.

 

 

Have you heard of a brinicle?

Wow!  It is freaky cool!    😀

I just discovered this video clip the other day.  The actual scientific footage was filmed in 2012.   It’s the first time I’ve heard of a brinicle.  So interesting to see how it is created and formed and what effect it has on its immediate surroundings in the ocean.  All part of scientific studies done in Antarctica.

Our earth is a never-ending source of new discoveries!

Check it out below….

 

 

In addition, this BBC article provides some extra details.  Click here for the article.

 

 

Tourist Moments #1

As I was looking through photos, an idea came to me!

What if I put together small groupings of photos from travelling as little highlighted tidbits – I tend to take LOTS of pictures and that would make ONE enormous post!

Not that I would do that.  Fill one post with 500 some photos, I mean.   But, you know, the mind gets these funny notions sometimes.

It’s not a new idea, as I have seen other blogging friends highlight a trip to a heritage site, for example, and included several photos to accompany the writing.

Except it’s a new thing for my blog.

And I would call them Tourist Moments…..inspired by the television shorts that I used to see several years ago, called “Canadian Heritage Moments.”

I’ll see how it goes!

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And to start things off, how about….

Light Rail Trip in Copenhagen; May 2016

During our brief trip to Europe last spring, my husband, daughter, her boyfriend, and I took a little trip to a more central part of Copenhagen by taking the light rail system.

This is the Bella Center station…

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As we got closer, my attention was momentarily directed at this apartment building situated on the other side of the canal – understandably – due to the bright green colours along its side.

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When I zoomed in closer at the bottom level, I noticed the sign that read, “Klinik for Fodterapi.”

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I smiled because I was able to figure out what this place was – a clinic for Foot Therapy!

Also, you will see another view of this green building….further down.

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Here is the view from the one end of the platform

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Getting our tickets….

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We were boarding at Bella Center – it’s highlighted on the train map – and getting off again at Kongens Nytorv to go for a walkabout and see some of the older parts of Copenhagen.

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This light rail train system looked so clean and modern.

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As you can see, trains come through around approximately every 5 minutes.  Here, Vanlöse is the end station in the direction we were headed.

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While we were waiting for our train to arrive, and as I was looking around, I noticed this cool street art design along the lower wall.

Do you see how the pattern changes, looking from right to left, and how the deer is moving in the light forest part, moving more and more into the darker forest part.

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And here is that green apartment building again – as seen from higher up – it’s eye-catching from any level!

I like how they jazzed up this building in that fashion.

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And finally a glimpse into what the inside of the train looks like – again, clean and modern…..and look!  People bring their bikes along, too!  Cool!