Snowy encounter

In October?

It all happened last weekend on Saturday afternoon.
Very tiny swirling snowflakes filled the sky
looking very innocent
as if they didn't mean to settle at all!
But settle they did... just look at my surprised Chinese Lantern!

The beautiful blooming autumn flowers
take on a new form of beauty,
but they have been reminded of the cycle of the seasons
and all is as it should be...

A fallen leaf becomes a receptacle for snow crystals
and manages to look as if this was its only role in life
and harmony pervades.

On Monday, the sun returned, the leaves took on a golden glow once again
and the snow put on its prettiest face
pretending it was all a joke!

The melting snow allowed the tiles on the roofs
to regain their cloak of moss and leaves.

Thank you, thank you,
 murmured the flowers from my balcony...
There were so many of them blooming still when those first snowflakes started falling.
I rushed out to pick them all and put them in vases everywhere.
Their pink blooms still embellish my home
and remind me that summer will return again!

Toronto City

This is my first view of the Toronto City as I crossed the water
in the ferry from the Toronto Airport.
What do you think?
I stayed in the second tall building from the left
on the last but one floor!
In the lifts, it says: Floor 55...

Once in the high building,
I gingerly shuffled my way across the balcony
not quite to the edge!
"Don't look down"! My son called out to me.
I did, but not on that first day!

Late afternoon was a good time of the day
for power-walks or strolls.
This one took us down to the lake away from the sky-scrapers
and alongside a park with trees and grass.
So many people were running or cycling - 
all of them going as if their life depended on it!
This is life in the fast lane... watch out strollers, you're in the way
and going too slowly for our city speed!

The sky darkens and the glorious sunset bathes the buildings in a golden light!
This is the view from the apartment.
You can see the C.N. Tower, famous landmark which stands high above
all the other buildings.
You don't need a map in Toronto, you just need to look up and see where the tower is.
Of course, it helps if you're living nearby, like I was!

I couldn't get enough of those sunsets
and the way they lit up the windows in the buildings.

At such moments, you can hear the heartbeat of the city.

One evening, we went out with our cameras and tripods and practised
night photography.
We stood on a little bridge and waited for the traffic lights
to turn green!

On the way home, I noticed some interesting reflections.
That tower always seems to be in the picture!

See what I mean?
The big dome shape below the tower is the
Rogers Centre, the city's sport stadium. The roof is retractable and motorized.
 Among other sports,
Baseball, Canadian football and Basket Ball are played here.
The centre is also used for concerts and other manifestations.

This is the top part of the C.N. Tower which houses a revolving restaurant.
There is a very rapid lift in the stem of the tower which takes you to the top.

Ending up with a peaceful late afternoon shot taken from above.

Lake Ontario from Toronto

Like freshly applied watercolours, the sky and lake mingle together
in the softest pinks and blues.

The early morning sky takes on astonishing colours
 before the sun actually breaks through

Then like a liquid, golden ball it appears in its oval loveliness

Overlooking the port and the small landing strip of the Toronto Island airport,
also known as Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
There is a frequent ferry service between the airport and the city.

A lovely sailing boat glides past

A plane goes slowly down the runway before turning around
to gather speed before taking off.
Part of the Toronto Islands can be seen behind the airstrip.
They are a chain of small islands in the western part of Lake Ontario and are just offshore
from the city centre and can be reached by ferry.

Little sailing boats bob around on the structured surface of the water.

and now we are back to a similar view as on the first photo of this series,
but this time, with a completely different atmosphere.

The sky changes colour constantly and we leave with this peaceful image 
of a darkening lake 
and an orange sky reflected in the water's surface.

Autumn interlude

In-between the misty October days 
there are gloriously sunny moments when all the autumn colours
come alive and glow

The tiny asters bring a welcome touch of vibrant purple
matching their centres to the burnished orange of the colours around them.

The first beech leaves to change colour stand out against
the other still-green leaves on the tree

Grapes ripen ready for harvesting with promises of juicy sweetness
or silky wine yet to be produced.

Tiny red berries create colourful droplets after the rain

and bright orange leaves burn with an inner light thanks to the angle 
of the rays of the sun.
The shadows and lighting change and each leaf reflects the shadow
of the leaf opposite.

This little plump robin stayed around just long enough 
for me to go click with my camera!

A charming garden shed takes on the warm colours of autumn
in the late afternoon sun.
Winter is coming
but for now
all is bathed in a golden light
and here we are!

Niagara Falls

The American Falls
The Canadian flag can be seen flying on the Canadian side.
It's just about impossible to stay in Toronto without going to Niagara Falls!
So along with many other tourists, we visited these impressive waterfalls.
It's an amazing sight indeed.

I've zoomed out here so that the Canadian Horseshoe Falls are also in the picture.
You can see the boats on the Niagara River that take people to see
the falls close up.

The water really is that deep turquoise colour

Aren't those rocks impressive?
Boat tours start off at the calm part of Niagara River near Rainbow Bridge.
The boat trips last 30 minutes and go right along the American Falls
and into the dense mist of spray inside the curve of the
Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

The boats are appropriately called: "Maid of the Mist" and each one 
has a Roman numeral after the name.
The first Maid of the Mist was launched in 1846
as a ferry service between the Canadian and American sides.
We didn't go on a boat, but maybe next time!

Look at that mist rising into the air from Horseshoe Falls.
Two boats are about to cross paths, going in opposite directions.

Rainbows are very common over the falls. Here is the beginning of one
on the American Falls.

Here is another one over Horseshoe Falls.

Horseshoe Falls seen as closely as this are impressive and just a little scary.
The force of the water is incredible and the colour amazing.
The noise is rather loud too!

I was pleased to get this angle shot.
It's difficult to get the whole rounded shape of these falls into one shot
and this is because of the thick mist which hides it from view.
I think a helicopter might show the shape better.

To finish this series, here is a late afternoon capture with the sun
bathing everything in a pink hue.
What a visit!

My time in Canada: Bruce Peninsula

Singing Sands Beach in Dorcas Bay on Lake Huron

In September, I visited Canada.
Based in the city of Toronto where my son lives,
we went on many outings.
Our first outing was to drive up north from Toronto to the
Bruce National Park, near Tobermory.

Singing Sands

We visited another beach called Little Cove
where there were lots of pebbles.

I found a rather good charcoal drawing of an anchor on one big slab of stone.

The other side of Little Cove

Dunks Bay
This was my favourite beach, calm and peaceful and sandy.
There were small cottages above the beach.
The water looks almost unreal and it was so calm with tiny wavelets breaking on the shore.

Soft sandy beach and grasses

Tobermory has a small harbour and a grocery store
where we bought our groceries for our rented cottage in the woods.
We took a boat out on Georgian Bay to go round Flowerpot Island, so-named because of
curious rock formations.
The water was quite choppy!

On our last day, we visited Cabot Head Lighthouse and museum
on Georgian Bay.
It was really interesting to visit and see the life of lighthouse keepers a century ago.
There was a big blackboard up in the entrance
for the sightings of the day.
Here is what I read:
"A female black bear and two playful cubs were seen playing in the garden
at 7 am this morning!"