Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Time and space

Details of Cobourg's historic city hall...
Does time flow east to west... or north to south?
The clocks and weather vanes at the top of Cobourg's historic city hall...

Monday, May 29, 2017

On top of the overpass...

A mysterious call to action...
What's the story here?
A couple of weeks ago while out photographing the neighbourhood, I came across this mysterious bit of urban art painted on a local overpass.

It strikes an odd balance somewhere between defiance and resignation, jealousy and self-acceptance...

Friday, May 26, 2017

What the world needs now...

A testament to cross-border love...
A metaphor for love...
It's corrosive and shackles you in chains...
Cobourg, Ontario has a display of love locks not far from its waterfront, including the one above.

Cobourg's love locks on display...
Locks are like love... you forget the magic combination that
connected you to your lover and you can't easily break free...
The signage in the photo above says:
Cobourg has been inspired by an ancient custom where people in love lock a padlock on a chain or a bridge and take away the key, symbolically locking their love forever. Around the world, cities from Paris to Rome are filled with bridges, poles and fences adorned with padlocks.
These padlocks are an expression of hope and humanity, connecting people around the world with the one thing that unites us all... LOVE.
Ironically, in Paris, love locks have proven to be a nuisance. There were so many locks weighing down fences along the river several years ago that they were posing a safety hazard. Authorities had to cut them down and remove them.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting for the crowds

An empty life guard station waits for summer crowds to show up...
Cobourg has a fabulous sand beach on the shores of Lake Ontario. Right now, it's empty but, come the summer, I'm told that every square inch of sand will be covered with sun-worshiping bodies.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Doors and windows

Colourful doors and windows in Cobourg, Ontario...
Eye-catching...
Periodically as I stroll about my eyes are drawn to doors and windows.

Ever walk into a room and then forget what you entered the room for?

The 'doorway' effect is a real phenomenon. It turns out that your brain can undergo a mental "re-reset" when you through a doorway, purging your short-term memory in order to be fresh for new sensory input.

Period windows overlook Cobourg's old town...
Weathered windows overlook Cobourg's old town...



Friday, May 19, 2017

(Not so tropical) Cobourg

Cobourg's main waterfront marina...
Not so warm as you might think...
The water colour and the background of bright condos against a marina in Cobourg suggest warmer latitudes. Although it was a spring day, the truth is that it was bitterly cold between the lower-than-normal seasonal temperatures and a brisk wind.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Urban killers

A cat mocks me from the other side of the window...
Mocking me from the other side of the window...

This guy/gal is a frequent visitor to our yard. I'm reasonably sure that s/he is responsible for the frequent dead birds that we find outside as I've seen it stalking the birds at our feeder.

On this day, I caught it napping in our garden. I've tried to trap it numerous times but s/he is extra-skittish and bolts at the first sign of people. Right now I'm experimenting with a fake owl... so far so good after four days.

Cats are extremely efficient hunters. As our pets they are always in peak physical condition. The result is that cats are decimating bird and small animal populations around the world.

A study from England revealed that even when owners were presented evidence of the destructiveness of cats on the environment, they largely refused to restrict their cats' outdoor activities, or even fit them with belled collars. I can personally testify to the irresponsibility of urban cat owners from my own experience.

I have no problem with rural cats that earn their keep as rodent hunters. In that situation, nature tends to balance things out since the cats themselves are preyed upon by other wild animals.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stacked

Sudbury, Ontario's infamous superstack...
Spreading it around the neighbourhood for over forty years...
Sudbury's (in)famous Superstack was built in 1972 for about $25 million and has dominated Sudbury’s skyline ever since, spewing smelting byproducts from local mining operations over an area far and wide.

For years it was the world's tallest smokestack at 1250 feet high. Recently there has been talk of de-commissioning it as improvement to the smelting process have made it redundant.

Smoke spews from the Sudbury Superstack.
Smoke sallys forth...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Philosophical Friday: Be a beacon

The peak of the lighthouse at Goderich, Ontario
Sometimes you are the unwitting
lighthouse in someone else's storm...
This lighthouse on a bluff overlooking the waterfront of Goderich has been sending out its message of safe passage since the mid-1800s.

The lighthouse of Goderich, Ontario with its view of the salt mine in the background...
Ever present and on duty...



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Big Nickel

Sudbury's iconic Big Nickel...
Big Nickel country...
While visiting family in my hometown of Sudbury, I stopped in to see the iconic Big Nickel. You can read some interesting facts about the monument here.

In the distance, you can see another Sudbury icon, The Superstack.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Brick mansions

One of Goderich's many brick mansions...
A typical brick mansion in Goderich...
Here on Vancouver Island, you don't see many brick homes. Stucco and wood seem to be the popular choice.

Like many of the small towns that dot western Ontario, Goderich has many large and magnificent brick mansions that are probably a hundred years old, or more. Many of them are near the bluffs that overlook the waterfront, giving them views of Lake Huron.

Another of Goderich' brick mansions...
Home of the Addams family or the Munsters?



Friday, May 5, 2017

Goderich comes through

Sunset seen from the main beach at Goderich, Ontario...
Another fabulous sunset over Lake Huron....

I recently returned from a trip to Ontario. I've previously mentioned the fantastic sunsets of Goderich which is located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron.

Like everywhere else in Canada it seems, this spring has been cold and rainy. Goderich was no different, so I wasn't expecting to see a decent sunset during my stay, but Canada's "prettiest city" came through.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: Getting buggy with it

Nuclear fallout does the darndest things to insects.
Nuclear fallout does the darndest things to insects.
Recently my Facebook account reminded me of this photo that I first posted five years ago when my wife and I were on a weekend getaway to Seattle.

At the time, the local science museum had an exhibit about insects, complete with this large robotic mantis that was disturbingly real.

I took my inspiration for this image from the "giant bug created by atomic testing" movies (Them, Tarantula, The Deadly Mantis, The Black Scorpion) that were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s when I was a young kid.

Monday, May 1, 2017

(Not so) Little Qualicum Falls

Little Qualicum Falls on Vancouver island...
The upper and lower cauldrons...
As a result of the greater than normal volume of rain during the past winter on Vancouver Island, Little Qualicum Falls was swollen to a volume that I haven't seen in a lot time.

On this particular sunny day, there were lots of hikers about enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.