Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Fear Factor

One of my online friends loves to challenge herself to the limit, overcoming fear and trepidation - I am wondering how she would feel about this feat. The CN Tower, in Toronto (and both snafu and I have blogged about it in the past), stands 350 metres, or 116 storeys, high and one can take the elevator, or the 1267 steps to the Sky Deck and find a beautiful panoramic spread for miles. On a good day, one can see the spray from Niagara Falls.

Courtesy CP24 News

But the CN Tower's latest claim to fame is the Edge Walk.  You can find a video here, but don't watch, if you are afraid of heights! TG (The Grandson) and  I had queasy stomachs watching this, especially right after breakfast!

Keep watching, as a second video follows the first - sorry about the ad, but it's a short one:

Any takers?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Disaster! And Other Stories

So, DOTH is away and I am holding the fort - but not doing a very good job of it right now.

Well, the drought/heatwave isn't my fault, but knowing how particular she is about keeping the lawns well-manicured I have a feeling she will not be a 'happy camper' when she returns.

parched lawn
Despite getting up at the crack of dawn to water, green is turning very quickly to white -- but at least I am doing better than my neighbour. And we are not over the drought yet - going up to 36 Celsius on Thursday; will "feel like"  46, they say.

Then there's the case of the lilies:

Well, they WERE lilies, on either side of the rock in front of the purple cone flowers -- now they are just bare stalks. I was left with strict instructions to watch for the beetles - the ones that look like ladybugs, but aren't so nice, since they feed on the lilies. I have been very diligent, honest I have, even though I hate picking them off and squishing them, at least twice a day.

No, I have a feeling the naked lilies are the result of.....
the bunny, whom I keep shooing away from the front lawn. I caught him one day (no camera in hand, unfortunately), front paws up on the stalks chewing away to his heart's delight.

Then, this morning, with living room windows open because it's a bit cooler, I heard a squeak, squeak, squeaking. I thought it was children playing but when I heard it again, got up to look out.

Suddenly, out from the bushes under the living room window (foreground)...

bushes in front of living room window
 came a neighbourhood cat, chasing...a baby bunny so small it could fit in the palm of my hand, but the exact replica of the larger one - white cottony bobtail and all.  They chased  around the rock a few times and then took off down the side of the house - no time to get my camera and it all happened so quickly I don't think I could have captured the scene anyway.

So -- now it appears we may have rabbits living in those bushes under our front window. DOTH will be thrilled :{ but at least it accounts for the little pooey blobs I've been finding on both front and back lawn and on the patio.

And -- speaking of poo (sorry), to top it all off the loo has gone on the fritz, so now I am flushing Romanian style - dumping buckets of water into the bowl each time.

Well, let's look back to brighter days. Snafu who was here with his better half not so long ago, posted some great photos on his blog of their time here. But he didn't post this one:

Just wanted you to see what an earnest photographer he really is. He got some great shots!

I took this one, in the parking lot of the same park down at the bluffs:

Doggy Day-Care - this one is worth clicking on, for a closer view
  You've really gotta LOVE dogs to do this!

Finally, not the burning bush, but a burning fir tree:

Just the way the early morning sun hit it

Friday, July 8, 2011

Countrified Living -- ah the joys (and the sorrows)!

He's back...!

...and in broad daylight!
No fear in him, our bird-feeder predator...but at least he has not yet tried to climb up the pole to help himself. He's content with the crumbs under the table!

All those sunflower seed shells make one very thirsty!

But then, the very next day we were asking ourselves...
was he responsible for this?

This was the view from our kitchen window last Friday (trash day), early in the morning:

Just how did that bag of trash get on top of our neighbour's van?
It would have been quite a feat for a raccoon, but this kind of mess is pretty typical of him:

But no...turns out we have some pranksters in the neighbourhood who decided to have a "mischief night" and wreak some havoc in a number of driveways.

Fortunately, DOTH and I were late getting our garbage out that day!

Me peeking out through the office window, at a rose peeking in.

We don't actually live in the country. We are less than a mile away from some really busy streets, but sometimes we wonder...and smile...

A goldfinch enjoying a seed

A nuthatch (or black-capped chickadee) having a harder time - breaking open the shell as he holds it between his feet

A male cardinal and a sparrow "breaking bread" together

A change of diet for the downy woodpecker - a first ever at the bird-feeder!

A baby robin...

with mom (or dad) watching on.

And look who's here...also in broad daylight!

The wily old fox....

...makes himself thoroughly at home on our front lawn.

Looking very refreshed after his nap, he's on the prowl again!

But, oh dear....was this one of his victims?

 I'm not sure if foxes eat squirrels, but this was on the front lawn later that day.

Now I am on the look-out for a tail-less squirrel all the time --
or perhaps that's all there was left of him :{

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Canada Day 2011

Friday, July 1st was Canada's 144th birthday. Not sure if it is my imagination, but it seemed that there was much more of a patriotic spirit to the celebrations this year, in general. I think we are beginning to realize just how blessed we are to live in "the True North strong and free:"

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North, strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free !
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

For our celebration of the day, which is typically climaxed across Canada with a firework display, DOTH (Daughter of the House), TGS (The Grandson) and I headed down to DOTH's sailing club for a very nice, late dinner. Then we settled in, with around 100 other celebrants, to a prime location on the deck of the clubhouse, to wait for the fireworks to begin!

Presented by Ontario Place, a premier waterfront park in downtown Toronto, the display took place on a barge in Lake Ontario just off the coastline of the park.

The CN Tower was all decked out in patriotic colours:

and, although the firework display was disappointingly short this year, still it was quite magnificent.

It was my first time taking nightime photos with my new camera and I had a terrible time finding the right setting, but, right or wrong setting, they turned out not too shabby! Sorry about all the yachts' masts looming in the foreground. Click on the photos for an enlarged view.

About 30 minutes' worth of fireworks at what some have estimated as a $1000 per minute - which TGS, in typical teen fashion, (truthfully) said wasn't worth the money!

It took us three times that long to get home. We left the clubhouse at 11:00pm and arrived home at 12:30am - normally about a 40 minute drive. Traffic was horrendous especially because it was the first really warm day of our summer, a holiday at that; there were a number of other large fireworks displays downtown and some Canada Day parades had garnered thousands of people also. So we crawled home and then crawled into bed, tired but grateful for the country we love.

And now wishing all my U.S. followers a very happy Independence Day - July 4th!