Happy 150 Years to Canada

Without the risk of jumping on the familiar band wagon and screeching Happy Canada Day in a crowd full of happy and drunken Torontonians or wherever these people are from, we all celebrated the sesquicentennial incoming with the question, "what's with the duck?"

But I was there to photograph it along with so many others trying to get that perfect shot, feeling stupid.  I even witnessed some man from Hong Kong yelling at his girlfriend for moving because he was looking for that perfect night shot of her profile in front of a giant yellow duck.  I had to laugh. 

Never before have I ever felt so stupid for being part of a 'once in a lifetime' moment.

Next up! Fireworks from the CN tower.  Are we all that spoiled that we are not fascinated by fireworks anymore?  I never heard an ooooh  or an ahhhhhh  from the crowd while these beautiful flowers of light were coming from the sides of the CN restaurant.  I did my best to take the shots as they came, but I couldn't help but feel a little bored of the colours of red.  My personal favorite is blue, so perhaps the hues of blue would have brought some more activity from my camera.

The final show was from the docks of the Asbridges Bay, where I had to chuckle as we all, as a crowd felt compelled to move and shuffle to a different direction to view because we didn't know where the fireworks were coming from.  Here's the best of the lot! :)

Glen Rouge Campground

Lately, it certainly doesn't feel like camping weather, but it's nice to plan ahead sometimes and dream about warmer days even though it seems they'll never come again!

Located at 7540 Kingston Road is Toronto's only campground.  Even in winter, there are tons of trails to hike each with an average of about 1.5-2.5 km taking you through valleys, meadows, orchards, along creeks and streams and vista overlooking the Rouge River.

It was a cool afternoon after a nice lunch, and I was burning up calories to make up for the chocolate ice cream I had for dessert.  A lot of the Rouge Valley is perfect for camping and this place has its fill of customers from May - October.  It's far enough from the city (about a 20 minute drive) to get a look at the stars at night.  I think one of the bonuses of the Glen Rouge Campground is that it's close enough to home (just in case an emergency comes up) and yet it doesn't feel like you're in the city at all when  you are meandering through the forests.  Even in the winter, the trees are alive with birds, most of which never migrate.

I hadn't walked over to the beach area and why would I in January? However in mid-summer, you'll enjoy sandy beaches and if  you have kids, there's a few swings in a small playground for them and plenty of power stations and water at every camp site.

My favorite trees last all year long here, and this is really what I love about this place, the Jack Pines.  It's really a toss up between them and the melancholic willow tree.

 Funny to see a little woodpecker, I think that's what it was.  It was a little blue bird, with a long beak making a rat-a-tat-tat sound against the trees.  If anyone knows what kind of bird it is, feel free to send me a line.

Other activities besides hiking, and swimming at the beach are paddling on the creek, cycling on a few of the trails and for a change a scenic drive though the valley along Reesor Road, Lapps Cider Mill (built in 1872), Glen Eagles Vista, Bailey Bridge (1954) and through Bob Hunter Memorial Park.

So that's about it, it took an hour or so to finish a trail stopping to take the occasional picture.  If you are interested in checking out this campground this year, they take reservations as early as January, so get your name in there soon before it fills up.

Happy Trails!

Samuel Smith Park

I have to admit, I really am NOT a winter person.  I chill to the bone and search for warmth wherever I can find it.  Just yesterday on my way into work, I wrapped myself up for a 5 minute walk going by a downtown construction site where men were out already at such an early hour in the morning.  I felt bad for them because I thought in a few minutes, I'll be warm as apple pie and they may be spending the entire day out here! 

Weekends can be tricky as I find myself having all sorts of ideas and itineraries in the evening while curled up in front of my computer, but by morning I'm still curled up in bed thinking about all kinds of reasons why to go outside at all.
I think it looks better in B & W

A positive experience I wanted to share was Arrowhead Provincial Park, located in Huntsville.  It offers a lot of outdoor activities in winter.  One of which is the over kilometre long skating trail which we did last year and loved!

The only 'con' was that it can get a little crowded which takes away from the 'man against nature' feel, but it's still something to do at least once in a lifetime!

Since I put my camera down for over a year, I never took any pictures of the day except for some on my phone which really aren't any better than anything you'll find if you do a search on Arrowhead ski trail.

Right here in the city, we have our own version of the skating trail, at Colonel Samuel Smith Park - actually several of them including one at the Brickworks so there's no need to travel north if you want to stay close to your warm bed.

Here's the unofficial but well maintained site which I found to be an excellent resource.


Happy New Year 2017

  Every new year we wish to come up with some way to begin again.  To apologize for  our past, to mend broken hearts, broken dreams, broken promises, but in the end we need to learn from our mistakes.

To be better people, to learn from the pain from loss, the hope for the future and to give more of ourselves than we have done before.  If that means we come up short, so be it.

Nothing is more precious than family and friends, and that means no matter how much money, or job status, or goal mines we discover, our friends and family or really anyone we hold precious and dear in our lives, are worth all their weight in gold.

Let this year, not be a way to begin again or struggle with ourselves to correct what mistakes we think we have but rather to move forward.  To learn from the past and continue walking forward one step at a time.