Posts Tagged With: Niagara

Descent -Photo Challenge

Looking down; a new perspective to see where you have come from… a descent…

The sun setting in Niagara region over the escarpment.

A beautiful golden sunset

A beautiful golden sunset

A plane ride home and anticipating the decent back on Canadian soil. The view was amazing with clouds, landscape and a little sparkle from a lake.

What a view

What a view

The most intense decent, but welcomed after a long climb up hundreds of stairs on the Great Wall on the Mutian Yu section.


A long way down. What is worse the climb up or keeping your tired, shaking legs steady and in balance back down?


The steep climb where we just came down

The steep climb where we just came down


This is the challenge set by Word Press this week.

Stay tuned…


Categories: Canada, Chinese Adventures, Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer: Tourist in Your Town

It has been about 1 year since I first posted the Tourist in Your Own Town series. I started it as a random challenge whenever something struck my fancy. A fellow blogger suggested I do it at a regular interval to increase results and participants. It then became a monthly challenge. After a few more challenges with only a few participants I considered stopping the challenges. After lots of comments and encouragement from the blogging world to keep going I decided to give it more time, but still I have had less than positive results. Good intentions are appreciated, but it makes me think my idea is just not something that interests enough readers.

Summer Rain

Summer Rain

The first few challenges had a few regular followers join in and I made a few new friends a long the way with new bloggers stopping by. Since those first months fewer and fewer people have joined and I am lucky to have had one or two bloggers join in. July was the worst results with no one until just recently Chava61 found my blog and did a great post.

A portable beaver tail truck! Just for you Bastet!

A portable beaver tail truck! Just for you Bastet!

With mixed feelings I have decided to retire the monthly challenge. A challenge needs work, time and leg work getting out there to tempt you all with great ideas and dropping by to nudge, hint and persuade you to participate. With a busy work schedule where I work 10-14 hours a day and 4-8 hours on weekends I cannot devote the time to a blog and photo challenge that I would like. So August will be the final challenge. For the final prompt I would like to tempt you with images of summer. Maybe it was a picnic in the park, trip to the cottage, a beautiful sunset or garden. No matter show something summery where you live. Link back here and use Tourist in Your Town in the title and as a tag.   Rainbow20140705_080227

Fun at the pool

Fun at the pool

Funny that I wrote this before last week’s “summer lovin” theme set by word press, but since I am doing a scheduled post because I will be travelling half-way round the world on the usual posting date. Why not send us a link to that post? Thanks to all my followers and participants over the past year. Stay tuned… not for more challenges, but more adventures in Shanghai and around Asia as we enter our final year.   Sunset20140705_085609

Categories: Photography, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comfort Maple: Tourist in My Own Town

As my time home winds down I wanted to post on The Comfort Maple which is thought to be the oldest living tree in Canada. It is believed this tree is about 530 years old! She is a sugar maple, which is famous for the sticky sweet  sap used to make maple syrup.

Last year you may remember my post on the shoe tree in Niagara and my Aunt suggested writing about the Comfort Maple. I had hoped to post about her for the photo challenge old set by ‘We Drink Because We are Poets’, but didn’t have a chance to get out there until after I posted. A few weeks ago we went in search of this tree and snapped a few photos.

The Comfort Maple is located in Pelham, Ontario. Not far from Fonthill and St. Catharines. Located off Highway 20, a main road that crossed the top of the Niagara Escarpment.

We drove down a small country road and then came to a sign pointing us to the tree. We went down a little side road and came to a large grassy area with the lone tree in the centre. Surrounding the tree is farmers fields. It is peaceful, quiet with only the sound of birds singing merrily in the background. A few benches allow you to sit and drink it all in, how soothing .

The Comfort Maple

The Comfort Maple

Let me tell you she is big! I tried to wrap my arms around her and as you could see I wasn’t successful. I was surprised to see some areas have been bricked up and wires holding her together. Age and time is taking their toll, but someone has decided to hold her together, so we may enjoy her and her great history a little longer.

Tree Hugger

Tree Huger

Up close and sparkling personality

Up close and sparkling personality

This is part of Tourist in My Own Town. If you wish to share something unique and old about where you live tell us about it in the comment box below, or even better add the link so we can check it out 🙂

Stay tuned…

Categories: Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Golden Hour & Simple: Weekly Photo Challenges

I set out to take some Golden Hour Photos as I wrangled with ideas of something to post on the theme simple and as I reviewed this fresh snaps I thought these covered both themes in one.

Golden Hour is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. Colours pop because the light and shadow is perfect.

Simple… could be so many things. First thing that comes to mind is ‘keep it simple stupid‘ and I think that can apply to photography too. As I participate in these photo challenges, learn and grow as a photographer I think simple does make the best shots. 🙂


simple dandelions in the golden hour

Golden Hour Wheat in Sepia

Golden Hour Wheat in Sepia

Both taken with Canon Power Shot SX40 HS

Check out WordPress for the Golden Hour shots and Where’s My Backpack for Simple. Everyone can join in, or just check it out for more responses.

Heading off to Ottawa Wednesday so stay tuned for more Canadian Adventures!

Categories: Photography, post a week, Tourist in My Own Town, Uncategorized, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

You Scream I Scream…

…we all scream for gelato ??? Doesn’t have the same ring does it? If you have ever traveled to Europe you will know that gelato is WAY better than ice cream. It is cool, refreshing and it usually comes in tangy fruit flavours. I have been drooling lately as a few bloggers have mentioned eating gelato in Europe. I am so jealous… until I found my own little shop within walking distance!

Living in Canada can be just as good as travelling the world at times since so many different nationalities make up our country. Within a short block radius you can often find a variety of cuisines stretching from Greek, Italian, Chinese and Vietnamese. Head to larger cities and your variety and choices increase exponentially.  Toronto even hosts many little towns within its metropolis with Little Italy, Greek Town and China Town to name just a few.

Smaller towns sometimes surprise you with little hidden gems. Since returning to Canada for the summer we are staying at my brother’s. I went out walking to explore and happened upon a little gelato place. The next night we returned money in hand to try out the yummy treat. The place was quiet and looked new, but the near empty tubs showed business had been good. It was tastefully decorated and a large display case housed a variety of (16) flavours. The hardest part was which one to try first? Prices on the wall indicated small, medium and large and regular or premium. Two small cups set us back nearly $7 (must have had the premium 😉 ), but were worth it for the homemade natural goodness.


I tried raspberry and John mango, both delicious and very fruity. According to their Facebook page there are different flavours that we didn’t see, so they must mix things up on occasion. Looking through the Facebook page again I see that they have 237 different flavours to tantalize the pallet. Yum! Flavours include hazelnut, coconut, banana, pistachio and a variety of chocolate kinds. That will keep us coming back for more; definitely a place we will see again. If you are in Fonthill be sure to keep an eye out for Gelato Village. What flavour do you want to try?


What is your favourite summer treat?

Stay tuned… lots to write about and time to do it 😉

ps thanks Jo for asking what the difference between ice cream and gelato was… after looking it up on a few websites I found that gelato has less fat 3-5% less than ice cream. Additionally it is whipped less, so not as hard, or as much air as ice cream. Plus it is served warmer than ice cream. All these coat the mouth differently and gives it a different flavour. Another note I found gelato was used to cleanse the pallet between courses. Interesting… learn some thing new everyday. 😉

Categories: post a week, Tourist in My Own Town, travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

Weekly Travel Theme: Green

Each province in Canada has its own provincial flower. Ontario happens to be the trillium. Each spring for a few short weeks these tri-petaled flowers cover forest floors. Most of the foliage is green except for the 3 white petals, but some have a slight pinkish hue.

Trillium -Niagara Escarpment Niagrar on the Lake

Trillium – Niagara Escarpment Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

This is in response to Ailsa’s photo challenge GREEN. To see more examples or join in the challenge visit her web page here.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Home is what defines us as people. How we furnish it, pictures and knick knacks from adventures, childhood and other milestones give a glimpse into who we are and what we hold as important. As an expat I don’t have a home, but a place to live. I won’t stay there forever, so my home is defined as my country. When meeting people one of the first questions asked is “where are you from?” I define myself as Canadian. People automatically make assumptions about what kind of person you are based on your passport.

Snow Storm Feb 8, 2013

Snow Storm Feb 8, 2013

Cultural references need to be explained to others and often the reference or meaning is lost in translation. One of the big things I find myself explaining is snow. Many people assume it is very cold and snowy in Canada all the time. They seem surprised when you mention summer. I fall into the trap when we get the few snow flurries or skiff of snow that barely covers the ground in Shanghai. I can be heard saying “This isn’t snow… you have to see a Canadian winter to experience real snow.” I should tell them the few flurries in Shanghai are the equivalent to a snow in summer in Canada and really mess with them 😉

 This week’s photo challenge is home. I happened to be home here in Canada to experience a ‘real snow’. This was the worst storm since 2008. In St. Catharines we had 44cm of the white stuff. To put it in perspective Toronto has had 33cm of snow thus far this winter, not including the February 8th snowfall of course. St Catharines had the highest amount where most places 20-30cm fell.  Snow is what home has been defined as since I have lived abroad for close to 3 years now. I am sure many of my coworkers and students will be in awe of my trip home and having the experience of all this snow.

Snowy Street

Snowy Street

Snow Blowing the Driveway

Snow Blowing the Driveway

Well over 33 cm of snow!

Well over 33 cm of snow!

To see more examples of the theme home or to join the photo challenge click here.

What does home mean to you?

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekly Travel Theme: Glass

This week Ailsa over at Where’s My Backpack has posted the theme Glass. Immediately I thought about my recent trip home where I walked along the Parkway in Niagara Falls. All the trees, fence posts, street signs and lamp posts were in cased in glass, I mean ice thanks to the freezing cold temps. I felt like I was inside of glass menagerie of beautiful figurines. I have seen this phenomenon before and each time it is different, but equally as beautiful. My only wish was I went on a sunny day. How everything would have sparkled and dazzled in the sun light. It was a nice touch that a few days before everything was also covered in snow. It added to the effect.

IMG_2008 IMG_2014



Bus loads of tourists were in awe of everything encased in so much ice. The additional weight even broke off some branches or bent some trees into usual shapes and designs.







Have something you would like to share? Want to see more examples for this theme? Click on the link to take you to Ailsa’s home page.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, post a week, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Travel Theme: Circles

Around and Around and Around We Go…. Where We Stop Nobody Knows…. Not sure what this is from, but it sprang to mind as I started to write 😉

At first I didn’t think I had anything with circles then thought about the lovely grapes from a winery close by where I used to live in Niagara. As I was looking for that photo I stumbled upon many other possibilities and I included them here…

What do you think? What is your favourite?

Thanks Ailsa for another great photo challenge. If you would like to participate or see more follow the link to join in the weekly fun.

I am still here! YEA! So stay tuned for more…


Categories: Chinese Adventures, Photography, post a week, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

Solitary… alone, lonely, isolated… This week’s photo challenge is solitary. Most photos we take are of friends and family together or in groups, so to truly find something to fit the definition could be tricky.

I saw this tire swing driving this summer and each time we passed it I wanted to stop and take a photo. It was interesting and a dying breed. Most children have swing sets purchased from a store, or go to the park where there is large expensive climbing equipment. This swing reminded me of those feel good movies and my childhood, but this one was in a big yard, alone… There were never any children on it as it rocked gently in the summer breeze…

Here is my entry for solitary… a lonely swing of days gone by in the setting sun.

What is solitary to you? Share your photos or see more entries here.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,