Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter V – Needs to Have at Least 6 Letters

….thanks Cee but isn’t the letter V hard enough without having to make it at least 6 letters long?

verticillated: forming one or more whorls (especially a whorl of leaves around a stem)

Verticillated bark around the old tree.

P1050550

variegated

1.Definition: having a variety of colors

P1040274

Voiceless and Villainous Victorian Characters from Guillermos del Toro’ exhibition at the AGO.

 

Thursday Doors – November 16, 2017

….thanks to Norm for hosting Thursday Doors

Last week  I wrote about Dundurn Castle and the Cockpit Theatre in Hamilton. Both places were originally owned by Allan MacNab. Yesterday I came across Castle Doune while walking with my granddaughter. As I came to the end of Locke St. N I spied this impressive structure through the trees. Apart from the historical plaque at the front of the property and the Private Property sign it appeared to be occupied. I was fascinated by the trees on the property and a very old bust made of stone looking over the driveway that led onto the property. P1050551

When I too a photo of the bust a very attractive middle aged woman walked toward me from the back of the driveway. I asked her if it was alright to take photos of the stone head. She was more than happy to oblige me and she started to talk about the history of the sculpture. It seems that it was originally guarding the original gravesite of Sir Allan MacNab before his remains were removed and placed in another cemetery. She was pretty confident that the head was not a likeness of MacNab but some deity that she couldn’t remember the name of.

Again the history of this place is somewhat sketchy. The historical society claims that MacNab built it for his gardener but the present owner thinks that it was MacNab’s first home. Apparently, according to her, he found the place too small for his liking and he built Dundurn Castle.

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to this charming woman. When she bought the place 10 years ago she justified living in this large home because in her words, ‘every princess deserves a castle’.

If it’s true that MacNab needed larger quarters to live in he certainly made sure that his new home met those requirements. Here are a couple of photos of Dundurn Castle.

fullsizeoutput_7a4cIMG_3143

Share Your World – November 6, 2017

….thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

Would you rather take a 2 week vacation with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

Sometimes I think I would like a two week vacation with an organized tour, especially in an exotic place where I don’t know the language. China and India come to mind. On the other hand, I’m far too spontaneous and I’m somewhat adventurous and I think I’d like to organize some of my itinerary. I see benefits to both ways of travelling.

Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing?

I did like swings but I was wary of going too high. I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see children soar to the max.

IMG_3109

What is the most important thing that you ever learned ? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

In my 20s I learned that not everyone will like you and often the reasons are not clear. The hardest part is to except it and get on with your life. Focus on those who love you and don’t try to change for people who don’t.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Last week I went to a wedding and met up with old friends of the family. When we first came to Canada my parents knew few people but my father’s good friend and his wife, along with their 4 year old son arrived before us. As their family and ours grew we were almost like cousins. Carlo was my godfather and my father was godfather to their third boy.  In my family there were three girls and they had four boys.  On  the weekend the second son’s youngest boy married and we were invited. Everyone still calls my Dad, Onkel Heinz and they were thrilled to be able to finally introduce their children to us. It was so nice to put faces to all the names we’ve heard over the years.

The next day we celebrated my oldest daughter’s birthday. It was actually the day before but because of the wedding we delayed the celebration by a day. We met at Barque’s for brunch and then went back to Andrea’s and Josie’s place for cake.

On Monday my 91 year old father wanted relive some memories of his past by visiting the Royal Winter Fair. As a boy he grew up next to a farm and helped tend to some of the animals. Last year I went there with my youngest daughter, Gaelan and her daughter Winnie who was only one at the time.

It was wonderful seeing the joy my father got out of such a simple excursion. We started off watching the horse jumping competition and then walked through the barns where we saw cattle, sheep and pigs. We strolled amongst the prize winning vegetables and fruits and then we went to the food court and had some lunch.

After a meal of fish and chips we headed towards the President’s Choice Theatre to watch the Super Dogs show. We arrived a bit early so we also took in the Medieval Times presentation. My dad loved both shows and was so impressed that he felt that it should have been televised. I explained to him that the Royal wants you to go there. If it was on TV people wouldn’t need to attend.

WPC – Peek

…this week’s theme  asks us to share a Peek of something — a photo that reveals just enough of one’s subject to get us interested

fullsizeoutput_783c

P1040978

fullsizeoutput_7801

This last photo is Webster’s Falls peeking through the foliage.

Halloween at the Zoo

….it started out chilly but when the sun came out the layers came off

Going to the zoo during the week on Halloween had its perks. There was lots of parking, the line-up to get into the zoo was very short and we didn’t have to push through crowds of people to see the pandas. The downside is that a lot of the refreshment stands and rest areas were closed. The mono-rail wasn’t operating and some of the animal enclosures were closed.

We arrived late morning and we needed to bundle up to stay warm. Out came the hats, gloves and scarves. As soon as we entered the grounds we could see that staff had made an effort to decorate for Halloween.

Our first destination was the panda pavilion. The pandas are on loan here from China and the original two successfully mated to produce two cubs. The young cubs are already two years old and are almost the same size as their parents. In March, Toronto will have to say good-bye to the pandas when they move to Calgary. I was thrilled that I was able to get so close to get some great shots.

P1050083P1050077

As we walked from the Giant Panda Experience towards the Polar Bears and then to the African Savanna, the sun came out and we shed our hats, gloves and scarves. The pathways are beautifully laid out as they wind through forests of orange, gold and red. There were many interesting animals along the way but this post would be far too long if I mentioned them all. I’ll save that for another day.

Webster’s Falls

….one of dozens in the Hamilton area

Hamilton is not only the city where my youngest daughter and her family live but it is also considered the Waterfall Capital of the World. Hamilton sits on the Niagara Escarpment and the region surrounding this large urban area has over 100 naturally occurring waterfalls; there are so many waterfalls in fact that some call Hamilton the “City of Waterfalls”.

Webster’s Falls is one of the first falls I have visited in the area. It is 30 metres wide and 22 metres high. I took the following history of the falls from http://www.waterfalls.hamilton.ca.

The waterfall and surrounding land was purchased in 1819 by the Webster family. Their family manor still stands on the Webster’s Falls Road and family gravestones have been preserved in a small area near the parking lot. A story of native folklore also surrounds this site. In the area now known as Westover, lived an Attiwendaron chieftan and his princess daughter. Although the princess had fallen in love with a high-ranking Indian from the Seneca Nation, she was promised in marriage to a young chief of the Erie Nation. The cheiftan threatened to imprison the princess unless she agreed to marry the chosen chief from the Erie Nation. The young lovers, realizing the hopelessness of their situation, locked in each other’s arms, jumped over Webster’s Falls to meet their death in the rock pool below. Legend has it that whenever the water level is high and the air is filled with a silvery mist from the full moon, the princess and her lover can be seen to rise to the edge of the cliff, where they again pledge their endless love to one another.

fullsizeoutput_7800fullsizeoutput_7802fullsizeoutput_7803fullsizeoutput_7804fullsizeoutput_7805fullsizeoutput_7806

Seven Day Black and White Photo Challenge – Day 6

I received this challenge from my blogging friend Cee over at  Cee’s Photography  

Rules are

  • Seven days.
  • Seven black and white photos of your life.
  • No people.
  • No explanation.
  • Challenge someone new each day.

Today I challenge anyone who wants to play; feel free to jump in and start your own Seven Day Challenge.

fullsizeoutput_77e7