Posts Tagged With: photo challenge

Close Up -WP Photo Challenge

Are you ready for your close up? Recently the Welland Canal Bridge in downtown Welland has been photo ready. After a very recent cosmetic facelift adding some fresh paint and bright lights it is looking good.

Welland Canal Bridge in Down Town Welland, ON Canada

Welland Canal Bridge in Down Town Welland, ON Canada

Welland is known for its iconic bridges, that used to raise and lower, to allow big ships to traverse the Welland Canal. The canal made the journey easier between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario which, is connected by the mighty Niagara Falls. A new canal bypasses many of these old bridges, so they have been left alone to decay or removed for new cement overpasses. Someone decided to spare this bridge downtown and preserve some of the area’s history.

Welland Bridge at Night

Welland Bridge at Night

In nearby Port Colborne and St Catharines some of the bridges and locks system are still in use today. Watching the ships slowly be raised and lowered is something not to be missed if you are ever in the area.

Close up of Welland Canal Bridge

Close up of Welland Canal Bridge

Stay tuned and check out Word Press for more close ups.

 

Categories: Canada, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ephemeral #2 -Frozen in Time

This week I have done 2 posts for the WP Photo Challenge. The first one Ephemeral: Shanghai Sillies made me think of the time and how quickly my last few months in Shanghai are flying by. I can’t wait to go home, but there is a bit of sadness as some things I will have to leave and experience for the last time.

Ephemeral is something fleeting, that passes quickly. Sometimes we are lucky to capture something on film that you probably could never re-create, or capture again. A moment in time that flashed by, and forever frozen on film. These are my ultimate examples.

These are my nephews and for the last few summers our tradition is to capture a photo of them as they jump into the pool. This by far was our favourite as they were frozen sitting in midair.

1, 2, 3.... splash!

1, 2, 3…. splash!

The second picture makes me laugh every time I see it. My nephew looks like he is falling from the sky, or the picture was photo-shopped. Nope, none of the above. This was pure luck as I caught this shot of my husband tossing my nephew into the air and catching him. Their hands and position made it extra funny, making my nephew look like he is dropping from the sky, while the entire event took milliseconds in real time.

It's a bird, it's a plane..... WT****.....?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane….. WT****…..?

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ephemeral -Shanghai Silly

Time and life is fleeting… As Ferris Bueller said “If you don’t stop and look around once and awhile – you will miss it.”  Our time in Shanghai has become ephemeral, fleeting and lasting for a short time. Sure it has been almost 5 years, but now we are down to months. Three more months. As I reflect and look around I try to soak up those sounds, smells and sights that I want to remember. What will I see and do for the last time? What do I want to hold onto? Counting down the days is bitter-sweet. I am excited to go home and start a new adventure, but want to savour the last days here too. Enjoy it while I can.

As you know there is always things in Shanghai that you may never see anywhere else. That awe and wonder is what made the little daily things fun. It kept us sane as we would laugh and say “Now that will make a good post!”. I didn’t want to lose that feeling, but after a few years many things became normal and part of the every day. Somethings still stood out and once I finally invested in a smart phone I was able to capture more of those fleeting moments that only could be seen to believed.

What do you notice about this picture?

What do you notice about this picture?

One day I was out walking and it was a beautiful sunny day. At the light we waited for it to turn green, so we could cross. A large truck did not advance when the light changed and as we stood waiting I realised the driver had his shoes off and feet on the dash. Ok…

I thought I had seen it all, but napping at the intersection coming off a major highway? NOW I have seen it all.

I thought I had seen it all, but napping at the intersection coming off a major highway? NOW I have seen it all.

as I crossed the street I noticed in fact he was sleeping at the intersection! Now that was worthy of going back and snapping a pic. Another Shanghai Silly, ephemeral…

What is the funniest thing you have seen at an intersection?

Stay tuned… and check out WP for other interpretations.

 

 

Categories: China, Chinese Adventures, Tourist in My Own Town, unique experiences, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

IMG_8078

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: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Lurks in the Shadows

20140531_223247_SHADOW

 

What lurks in the shadows
Can make our hair stand on end
Skin prickle and goose bumps
Fears ready to send

Fleeing away legs ready to run
Shiver down the spine
Is something out there
Or its that imagination of mine?

With lightness and darkness
Shadows and the mind playing tricks
Creating images and visions
Fear often it picks

To spook and to scare
Delightfully fright
Of the sounds and the shadows
That go bump in the night

© CTB :D/DFY July 4/14

Check more images of shadows at this week’s Bastet’s Pixleventures.

Stay tuned….

 

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

HOME -Tourist in Your Own Town

Returning home to Canada for the summer holidays got me thinking about all the things that make HOME special. As it turns out it is all the little things that I miss and started to get excited about especially after 11 months away. Family and Friends are of course top of the list, but what else did I look forward to?

Double Double :)

Double Double 🙂

 

 

1. Food –especially Tim Hortons Coffee. As I walked through the arrivals hall I could see the long line and smell the coffee in the departures section below. Hmmm deep breath. It was too late in the day to savour a cup, but first thing tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

2. Blue Sky with Fluffy Clouds and Sunsets – sounds silly, but when the majority of your days are the same dull gray it is something to get excited about. A few weeks before I came home I saw a picture of blue sky and clouds and I caught my breath. I knew that sky; a distant memory. It was something I started to look forward to. Every day there is blue sky and colourful sunsets. I take a moment like little Frederick in Leo Lioni’s book to soak it all in.

Wide open spaces, blue sky and fluffy clouds.

Wide open spaces, blue sky and fluffy clouds.

3. Wild Life – Living in a large city you are not going to see anything other than birds and maybe dogs out for a walk. Living in a small town and heading to my brother’s place out in the country we experienced more than pets and birds in the last 4 days. Just today we saw a squirrel scamper across the back yard and a bunny munching on clover. Luckily I caught a glimpse of 2 very shy deer across a farmer’s field, at the edge of the forest, nibbling away on seeds or fresh shoots sprouting this year’s crop.

Field of Dreams?

Field of Dreams?

4. Fresh Air, Water and Green Grass – deep breath in… with the poorest levels of pollution, since we arrived in Shanghai, this past year it is nice to go out and not worry about checking the Air Quality Index. It has become part of my daily routine, as much as I check the weather. Levels this past year hovered around 150 with a few days less than 80. The worst was a 4-5 day stretch with the pollution levels getting close to 475, or higher. When day looks greenish and inside is hazy, you just know it is bad. To compare the worst I saw Toronto was 10 and people get excited about that. The World Health Organization state anything over 20 is poor. Then there is the water. A young passenger on the plane was quite surprised when I told him it was OK to drink the water from the tap. Oh the little things we take for granted.

Soft grass to run bare foot in. My feet on Canadian soil.

Soft grass to run bare foot in. My feet on Canadian soil.

5. People and Speaking – Coming home I can speak and be understood. I don’t need to worry if others will understand me. It is a little stress that I never really thought about, but it is there. Trying so hard to say something I practiced, but can’t get the tone quiet right or the difficult zzz and dzz sounds. It then becomes a frustration on both sides. A few times we have been thrown out of cabs because they cannot understand us. At home people are friendly, take a minute to talk and say excuse me, or move out of your way rather than be preoccupied by a smart phone and bump into you instead of taking a step around you. Just last night we were at Wal-Mart and the line was getting longer, but everyone waited patiently as we chatted to the cashier, a lovely woman nearing 75 years of age. Even though it was busy she took the time to chat and enjoy the conversation. That is what I miss most… friendly conversation. Tuesday we were in a Canada Day Parade for the Shriners. People called out “Happy Canada Day” and tears sprang to my eyes. I was home and all the little things I missed for the past year were right here to be enjoyed. Oh Canada, how I miss thee.

Just Clowning Around at the Parade.  My Point of View from our float.

Just Clowning Around at the Parade.
My Point of View from our float.

What makes your country or HOME special? What would you miss most if you moved away? Maybe it is your favourite restaurant, or park? Maybe it is a cool tourist attraction, or site to see? No matter what it may be share it in a post during the month of July and be sure to link back to this blog. Place your link in the comment section below so others can find you too. This theme will run for July and come back early August for a new theme (usually the first weekend of the month). We are in the height of Festivals and Gatherings, last month’s theme, so if you have anything to share of an event you attended or one about to happen let us know. Maybe someone travelling to your neck of the woods would like to check it out.

Looking forward to seeing you. Stay tuned… summer is just beginning.

 

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

Rain Rain Go Away

Rain rain go away…

Heavy rain in Hong Kong. View Looking down onto "Times Square"

Heavy rain in Hong Kong. View Looking down onto “Times Square”

I know April showers brings May flowers, but it seems every weekend for the last two months have been super soggy. Spring arrives earlier here in Shanghai than what I was used to back home in Southern Ontario. This year March was glorious. The blossoms filled the air with delicious sweet scents and the sun was shining. Then April happened. We went to Hong Kong in the middle of their ‘Black Rain’, which was a terrible storm that lasted a week. It was the worst they had in years, maybe ever. It must have been a bad omen, bad luck or hid away in our suitcases because we had terrible weather, all of April, here in Shanghai. After a mild winter many complained April turned into winter -cold, damp and grey. We didn’t see the sun for days or sometimes a week at a time. How depressing. The winds were chilly and every weekend it rained. The rain was that heavy downpour that soaks you to the skin in seconds. What is worse it is a cold rain. Brrr!

March sunset and blossoms

March sunset and blossoms in Shanghai

April seemed it would never end, but eventually May made its way. After the first soggy weekend in May temperatures started to rise, the sun shone for days in a row; a shock to our now sensitive eyes. Then the weekend came and it rained and again it rained some more. Our balcony is covered in water and the pinging of the heavy rain on the railing and pipes outside is constant. 14 floors up I can hear it coming down! Tomorrow is Monday and the forecast is…. sun.

Join in on Bastet’s Pixleventures and show your examples of Spring activity.

Stay tuned….

 

Categories: Tourist in My Own Town, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Shanghai Street Scenes: Photo Challenge

This week WP has asked us to show a street scene. There are so many interesting sights and sounds here in Shanghai that it is hard to pick what to show you. Streets are generally crowded with people and sellers showing off all things to tempt you from t-shirts to DVDs to books to dishes to flowers and fruit.

A few weeks ago we had some visitors from home and we took to the streets. Here are some new and interesting shots I captured while we toured around.

Enjoy my views of the streets of Shanghai.

One thing you see on occasion is a small gathering of men playing this traditional game.

Game ON!

Game ON!

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These men were near the bird and insect market that I posted about here. Quite a crowd gathered to see this man’s items for sale and  little birds.

For Sale

For Sale

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A typical side street is crowded with people, bikes, and cars. There is always laundry hanging out of windows. It certainly makes for an interesting site. This is more typical in the older part of Shanghai. With newer buildings the balcony has racks for hanging laundry so it is not as noticeable.

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

 

Please visit Word Press to see more examples or find out how to participate.

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Chinese Adventures, Culture, Photography, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , ,

Unexpected: Photo Challenge

This week’s theme from Word Press is unexpected. If you have been following this blog since the start in July 2010 you have read many stories about the unexpected events, sights and situations in Shanghai. Everything was new to us and very different from home. We often stopped and did a double take because things were so unexpected. I posted pictures and stories about different things we found unexpected like the “Chinese Family” motor bike where 2 adults and 1 or 2 kids are all on a small motor bike. No helmets, seatbelts, just hold on tight. I have also tried to get photos of the motorbikes with small trailers piled high with recycling, but can never get the camera ready fast enough. I caught a few smaller versions, but not the ones that seem miles high. They are also less common now as more road safety rules are enforced.

So how do I tempt you and interest you with something unexpected? As we are into our fourth year less and less seems to jump out at us as unexpected. Now it is all part of daily life. Such a shame since the awe and wonder of everyday street life made even the most ordinary fun. I went through the ‘archives’ and tried to find something new and unexpected that I haven’t shown you before. Something new and different and certainly not what you would expect.

Staff Parking:

When you think of staff parking, especially at a school, you think of a long paved area filled with numerous cars. Our parking area fits 3-4 cars only. On the street another 3-4 people park. Cars are expensive here and you must wait for a lottery system to get a licence plate before you can have a car. Some people wait months, maybe years for their name to be drawn so they can have the opportunity to buy a car. Getting a licence is a very long test and cars are super expensive. Other rules that restrict hours of driving or plate numbers can only drive on certain roads on alternating days are just some of the rules around cars. With pollution woes the government has stated they will restrict driving and new cars further in attempt to help with pollution levels. Now that is up for debate since really all the cars are probably not the prime cause, but I will leave that argument for another time.

Staff Parking -bikes and motor scooters

Staff Parking -bikes and motor scooters

If you have seen any photos of China you always notice many bikes and motorcycles on the road. Our staff parking consists of ‘bike’ parking. It was so hard to get a spot sometimes! Finally the school extended the parking area, so now there is room for bikes and electric scooters to all fit comfortably. The bike area is covered, so on rainy days your bike can stay dry. Many staff will opt for the bus on rainy days, so the bike is dry and protected allowing it to stay safe until a dry day.

Workout Gym:

Each compound has an area I thought was a play area until I looked closer. It is not a playground for kids, but an area to workout. That was totally unexpected. This outdoor gym held a variety of metal equipment similar to the fancy electric stuff you find at any gym, but needs only human power to operate. Best thing about this gym it is free, no membership and the lines are relatively small. As the east becomes more westernised younger locals are opting for the paid membership gyms with modern equipment and pools. The older residents seem to continue to use these workout areas on a regular basis. I was going everyday and really enjoying it. Having trees and flower gardens around you as you worked out was very peaceful. Now that the pollution levels are higher I have been using them. The weather is the one drawback to a gym outdoors.

Let's Get Physical and Work Out

Let’s Get Physical and Work Out

Laundry:

Back home we have a clothesline at my parent’s house where my mom still likes to hang laundry to dry clothes outside. Our house was built before the subdivision behind us and the newer homes are not allowed to have clothes lines. The reasoning was it looks too messy and draws away from property values! Crazy right? That is not the case here in China. Even apartment dwellers hang laundry out to dry. If you have a balcony there are contraptions that raise and lower so you can hang the laundry easily. If you don’t have a balcony no worries just hang it out the window! Some buildings have folding metal clothes lines while others use long poles of bamboo or metal. The best is still just a random shirt or pair of undies hanging on a coat hanger in a tree or on a pole. We went to Tianzifian a cool area of Shanghai that have lots of interesting little shops and bars. Narrow allies twist and turn in an area that has been converted into more of a tourist haven for expats and locals alike. It would be like wandering the waterfront in Toronto. Walking down one alley it was funny and much unexpected to see someone’s laundry hanging out to dry.

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

DSC04841

Be sure to check out Word Press for more unexpected posts. What have you seen that is unexpected? Post your link to a post, or just comment below.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Chinese Adventures, Culture, everyday occurances, teaching overseas, Tourist in My Own Town, travel, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,