Monday, April 27, 2015


Yesterday was the last day for the Vanishing Ice exhibit at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, so three of us made the excursion for a day's outing. You couldn't take photos of the exhibit - which really was a blessing - and anyway, there are examples of the pictures on their website which you can see here

Since it was a sunny and warm afternoon we thought about wandering through the woods after the gallery closed, but really it all still looked so brown and dull, that we just walked into the village for some coffee and dessert. That other walk could wait until there was more green on the trees.

That quaint village feel of Kleinburg also seems like it is vanishing with all the new construction going on. Even with new condos going up right at the entrance to the gallery.

It was dismaying to see this huge crane, but a little consoling to see this sign which shows that the two older buildings are to be incorporated into the development design.

I suppose it is a compromise for the necessary need for 'intensification' (as mandated by the government)

As we walk further into the village, there are still some of the old storefronts. Sadly, these particular ones are currently empty.
But,  there is the cutest Starbucks, ever...
that is so popular there is outdoor seating all the way around the free-standing building (of course no-one wanted to sit in the shade, though eventually some did)
and .......... flowers!
the Sugar Plum Children's Boutique always puts a nice display in their pram!
with a few signs for Lesley

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dinos of Canada

Six million dinosaurs have been let loose with these new stamps issued this month.
They were illustrated by Vancouver based paleo artist Julius Csotonyi with photography by Judy Arndt. Below is the coolest, or better, version 

with embossing and holographic foil. 
According to CanadaPost website, the dinosaurs 'tear their way through barren background images of Dinosaur Provincial Park, one of Canada’s richest sources of dinosaur fossils'. The Park , as well as the Tyrell Museum, can be found in Alberta 

The five dinos are:
Euoplocephalus tutusan herbivore that was known for its spiky, plated armour
Chasmosaurus belli - a horned relative to Triceratops. its large frill was supported by a bony framework that was likely used for display, not defence 
Tyrannosaurus rex - the 'tyrant king' of dinosaurs  
Ornithomimus edmontonicus - a feathered ostrich-like dinosaur 
Tylosaurus pembinensisa giant sea-dwelling reptile that could open its jaws wide like a snake and swallow large prey

Sunday Stamps II

Monday, April 13, 2015

salute to spring!

Yesterday was the day the swans of Stratford have been looking forward to for months. The day they would be released back into the Avon River. 
And the whole town celebrates.
This was the 25th year for the Swan Parade
The swans have been a part of Stratford's history since 1918 when a pair of Mutes were gifted to the city.  And in 1967, a pair of Royal Mute Swans from the Queen's herd were sent over as a Centennial gift.  From these are now about 20-odd swans who have their wings clipped so they can't fly too far away.  The swans are gathered and housed in a spacious pen during the winter when the river freezes over and cared for by volunteers.

First, we'll take a walk downtown
where various business have decorated swan topiaries
Stratford is a theatre town with a Shakespeare Festival every summer.
This is the main Festival Theatre (there are three other smaller venues)
but, it is time to walk further along the river front... towards the area with the food trucks and activities to keep the kids entertained
Many people staked out their spot an hour or so before the 2pm parade start.
This parade is all about the swans - they are led to the water's edge by the Stratford Police Band

But, there is always someone who likes to be first and doesn't care about orderliness, like this Chinese Goose who lives with the swans.  Most years, she is first out the gate, well ahead of the band.  Maybe she doesn't like bagpipes?
For some reason there was a long delay.  It can't be easy to round up a herd of swans and in the end it seemed a few were missing.  I wondered where the lone black swan had gone.  Finally, they came waddling around the corner and many of those who weren't holding up cameras and phones were applauding the stars
A few people set up on the other side of the river where they were suitably rewarded with a swim past.
The whole parade lasts about 10 minutes, but totally worth the 75 minute drive to see it.

A previous post, from 4 years ago, with video can be seen here

Sunday, April 12, 2015

brought to you by the letter S

Yeah, they work, work, work
All week 'til the job gets done
...That's how country boys roll*

Three Brazilians busily working away at sewing, sawing and making shoes
this series came out between 2005 and 2007
I find the one eyed faces to be just a little creepy

this stamp is also from Brazil, featuring the famous soccer star Pelé scoring his 1000th goal.

Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, scored the goal on 19th November, 1969 at Maracaña Stadium

see more people working on stamps at SundayStamps II
*song lyrics Billy Currington

Monday, April 6, 2015

street signs - Old

Today's Monday Walk is a short one, brought to you by the letter O for my (irregular) street signs series.

Lakeshore Road was part of the old Highway 2 that was once the main east-west route across southern Ontario.  I'm not sure how this island was created between Lakeshore and Old Lakeshore Roads

Nor am I certain when the names became what they are today. I suspect that Lakeshore was 'straightened' at some point. Perhaps in 1917 when became the first concrete road in Ontario as part of the highway between Toronto and Hamilton.

note how the 'Downtown' and 'Burlington' are reversed on each sign??

At one point, way back in the 19th century, there were ships and trains here and the area was a "Junction". All that remains is this Junction House

The streets were also known as Water Street, which is why we have a Water Street Cooker

and Gore Street, which is why we have the Gore Variety

The area is slated for some massive rejuvenation and development
which you can read about in this post from a year ago
It needs the rejuvenation, not so sure about the development.... 
(was at a heated neighbourhood meeting the other week about the plans)
that's Lakeshore Road above
with a view of Old Lakeshore Road behind the presentation centre, below
there are some townhouses built in the 1970's
and a few waterfront buildings for lease 
(if you want to lease a building in a construction zone)

and this vacant lot that has been vacant since long before I moved here 18 years ago.  
great view of the lake!
yes, there is a high tower being planned for this site, too, that will block the view of the lake.

it is also a favourite spot for my old friend Chris the Lonely Goose.
though, to be honest, I don't think this is actually him; I think he has gone on to meet his mate.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


This was issued in 2009 as part of the Roadside Attractions series, so not eggsactly an Easter stamp, but it is a giant easter egg, or Pysanka, celebrating Ukrainian heritage in Vegreville Alberta. The stamp was designed by Fraser Ross and illustrated by Bonnie Ross.
It is the largest Ukrainian Easter Egg in the world. And in the fairly small, unassuming, town of Vegreville, about 60 miles or 100 kms east of Edmonton.  This Pysanka symbolizes the harmony, vitality and culture of the community and is dedicated as a tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian mounted Police who brought peace and security to the area's pioneers and their descendants. The Alberta Century Celebrations Committee would give funds to communities that wished to build a monument to the RCMP.
For those who like numbers....
The Pysanka is really an immense jigsaw puzzle containing 524 star pattern, 2,208 equilateral triangles, 3, 512 visible facets, 6, 879 nuts and bolts and 177 internal struts. The Pysanka is recognized around the world as not only a unique artistic masterpiece but also an achievement of nine mathematical, architectural and engineering firsts, plus being the first computer modelling of an egg - remember this was in 1973!

Paul Sembaliuk, an authority on traditional Easter egg design, used three colors - bronze, silver and gold - to symbolize prosperity. Bronze is the predominant colour of the design and suggests the "good earth", the land on which our forefathers struggled for survival and existence.
Five distinct symbols make up the design. The radiating gold stars on the end sections symbolize Life and Good Fortune. The three-pointed stars, in alternating gold and silver, symbolize the Trinity, representing the strong devotion to the faith of our ancestors. The band of silver circumscribing the Pysanka, with no beginning or end, symbolizes Eternity.
On the central barrel section, gold and silver windmills with six vanes and points symbolize a Rich Harvest. The most prominent motif of the design - the silver wolf's teeth which point to the centre from the silver band - symbolize the main message of protection and security afforded our pioneers by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It measures 25.7' wide and stands 31' high. and what I didn't know was this thing is like a giant weather-vane: it spins!
below is a video of the Pysanka on a windy day