Category Archives: Beautiful Photography

Fun Friday ~ Quirky USA Town Trivia Part 3

The following article, “America’s Quirkiest Towns”,  is the 3rd part of Huffington Posts’ ‘The Blog’ article posted by Katrina Brown Hunt, taken from Travel+Leisure  Sept. 3, 2014.
America’s Quirkiest Towns (PHOTOS)

Paul Stone loves the colorful locals he sees on Boulder, Colorado’s downtown plaza, the no-cars-allowed Pearl Street Mall…
 That double-jointed blend is probably why the Colorado mountain town also made the top 20 for quirky locals, according to Travel + Leisure readers…

Doylestown, PA

14 doylestown-pennsylvania

In the heart of history-rich Bucks County, there’s a fine line between quirkiness and extreme quaintness: cutting-edge souvenirs include the locally grown sachets from the Peace Valley Lavender Farm. Doylestown also ranked well for its fairs, such as the annual Polish Festival, held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (a Black Madonna sometimes seen as a subversive), and the crowd-pleasing Beer Fest, held at the town’s former estate, Fonthill Castle. Readers also applauded Doylestown for brunch: try the Purgatory Plate (poached eggs over slow-cooked sweet onions, plum tomatoes, and Grana Padano cheese) at local favorite Domani Star.

Lawrence, KS

15 lawrence-kansas

This Kansas town made the top 20 for embracing those who aren’t afraid to make public spectacles. Each summer brings the Lawrence Busker Festival, featuring sword swallowers and fire dancers, and every Christmas the fire department makes a show of rescuing Santa off the roof of Weaver’s Department Store. Year round, Lawrence supports the Museum of the Odd, whose curator has collected such fascinating exhibits as celebrity toothbrushes, ashtrays made from animal limbs, and roughly 600 sock monkeys. It also ranked highly for its ice cream, such as the cookie-and-candy-filled Kansas Twister scoops at Sylas and Maddy’s.

Snowmass, CO

16 Snowmass, CO

This ski town landed in the survey’s top 10 for being friendly and smart, but quirky isn’t too far behind. After all, it seems locals have a habit of attaching stuff to trees. The Sanctuaries in the Snow tour, led by a retired attorney, will take you to see the area’s best mysterious shrines—elaborate homages in the woods devoted to, say, Jerry Garcia, golf, or Snoopy. Past quirky residents, meanwhile, have included at least one woolly mammoth; a tusk was excavated a few years ago in Snowmass Village and can now be seen, along with other local fossils, at the town’s Ice Age Discovery Center.

Greenville, SC

17 greenville-south-carolina

The most iconic site in this Blue Ridge town is truly off-kilter: Liberty Bridge, in Falls Park, a pedestrian bridge whose 90-foot-tall masts tilt an eye-catching 15 degrees. If you’re not feeling woozy afterward, stop in at the Dark Corner Distillery, the state’s first legal moonshine operation, where you can taste the Butterscotch Shine or the chipotle-and-cinnamon Hot Mama, and learn to make your own hooch back at home. Readers also liked the casual dining scene: at Papi’s Tacos, the off-the-menu favorite is the Walking Taco, a loaded bag of Doritos and a fork. Locals may enjoy it ironically, since Greenville also placed in the top 10 for being hip.

Franklin, TN

18 franklin-tennessee

This charming town south of Nashville dances to it own beat, winning the survey for its un-countrified festivals, such as its summer Jazz Festival and winter’s Dickens of a Christmas. Franklin also won the survey for its cool souvenirs. You might go home with bottles of brisket marinade and denim coozies from Puckett’s Grocery, or rare volumes from Landmark Booksellers, whose building dates back to 1798 and reportedly houses some busy ghosts. Around here, that’s not so unusual: Franklin’s present-day locals scored well in the survey for staying active.

Amelia Island, FL

19 amelia-island-florida

There’s a fickle backstory to this little island town: it has belonged to eight different nations, and today offers a fun-loving blend of Deep South and island culture. The town ranked highly in the survey for historic inns like the Victorian-era Hoyt House andWilliams House and for its family-vacation appeal. For a one-of-a-kind activity with the kids, take Amelia River Cruises’ Eco-Shrimping Tour, where you get to catch (then release) the little shellfish.

Beaufort, NC

20 beaufort-north-carolina

While some towns do Civil War reenactments, Beaufort does an annual re-creation of a 1747 showdown between pirates and feisty town locals. That swashbuckling sense of excitement still lives on. Readers loved this Inner Banks town for its romantic places to stay—such as The Cedars Inn, which has hosted seafaring types as far back as the late 1700s – and its live music. To hear the best local musicians, go to the Backstreet Pub, where Wednesday nights are “Hoot Nights,” and during downtimes, patrons are welcome to play cribbage at their tables.

water-dropletHope you all enjoyed your armchair travel time,
Parts 1,2,3 with us.

Get out and enjoy nature’s autumn bounty this weekend. 

HAPPY 147th BIRTHDAY/JOYEAUX ANNIVERSAIRE CANADA!!!

CANADA DAY

What a fantastic and uplifting way to start off your Canada Day Celebrations!!!

“Pharrell Williams – Happy (Canadian Olympic and Paralympic version” Fabulous new video published Jun 23, 2014 just in time for Canada’s 147th birthday celebration featuring my favorite song of all time! Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic teams dance to Pharrell Williams – ‘Happy’ featuring, (in no order) / Danse des équipes olympique et paralympique sur la chanson « Happy » de Pharrell Williams mettant en vedette (pas en ordre d’apparition)

Many thanks to Dominique Ritter of Best Health magazine, July 2014 for her slide show, “25 Reasons to love Canada”, by edition is an impressive insight to all Canadians from coast to coast:

WE TAKE A STAND – From Greenpeace’s campaigns against GMOs and climate change to Vice’s front-line reporting to Adbusters’ Occupy Wall Street movement, we have a vital tradition of protest—and a richer democracy as a result. WE’RE DOGS’ BEST FRIENDS – Inspired by a group in the U.S., Vancouver dog trainer Gini Green recently launched Pilots N Paws Canada, a program to help relocate pooches in overcrowded shelters to less doggy-dense areas, where they have a better chance of finding a forever home.

OUR DREAMS CAN COME TRUE – Shawn Van Daele, who lives near Guelph, Ont., is teaching sick kids that anything is possible: he makes them the stars of their own storybooks using digital illustration of original photography.  

WE DEFINE SPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT – At the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi,Canadian cross-country skiing coach Justin Wadsworth—and his spare ski—came to the rescue of Russian Anton Gafarov after the athlete wiped out and busted his equipment. 

NO ONE DOES WINTER BETTER – Sure, we know how to embrace cold weather—tobogganing, hangboarding and snowshoeing were all invented here—but we also know how to fight it: with underground cities, connected office towers, indoor water parks and snow blowers. OUR SWEET TEMPTATIONS – Quebec is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, the stuff great ice cream, marinades and pancake breakfasts are made of. In 2012, the amber liquid was the target of an $18-million heist, the stuff Hollywood movies are made of. The upcoming film will star Jason Segel.

WE’RE SHARING THE CATCH – Thanks to Nanaimo, B.C., resident Jon Pimlott, wheelchair-accessible fishing is no longer restricted to dry land. He’s found simple, inexpensive ways to adapt small craft—canoes and rowboats—for people with disabilities. WE’RE TECHNOLOGICALLY ADORABLE – Brooks Way didn’t realize he’d lost his phone until his friend’s sister pointed out the video that had been posted to his Instagram account. A group of Waterloo, Ont., kids found the phone and decided to make a cute video message—”We found your phone”—interspersed with clips of them skateboarding.

OUR SPACEMAN – It’s possible we love Chris Hadfield even more now that he’s back among us Earthlings, touring schools, skyping with students and tweeting answers to questions about spacesuits. 

  WE’RE CARING FOR KIDS – With the support of UNICEF, University of British Columbia professor Judy McLean’s program to provide essential nutrition to children in Rwanda was recently expanded to include 250,000 toddlers. “My goal is to reach all the kids in this age range,” said McLean.

WE’RE ENTERTAINERS – In 1984, a troupe of Québécois street performers, led by Guy Laliberté, founded Cirque du Soleil. Last year, close to 15 million people worldwide saw a Cirque show, and the province’s penchant for acrobatics has expanded to include Cirque Éloize, Les 7 doigts de la main and two specialty schools, making Montreal circus central.

OUR COMIC OVERLORDS – Some people think Canadians aren’t funny, but that’s only because we’ve been so nice about our total domination of humour! If we may issue a polite reminder of our stars: Leslie Nielsen, Stephen Leacock (Groucho Marx was a fan), Seth Rogen, SCTV, Jay Baruchel, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, the Kids in the Hall, Jonathan Goldstein, Lorne Michaels, Russell Peters, Martin Short and Samantha Bee, not to mention Drake and his hilarious undercover streeters.

OUR ON-SCREEN SWEETHEARTS – Two of Hollywood’s current crushes hail from here: Regina’s Tatiana Maslany, who masterfully portrays a handful of clones like it ain’t no thing in the sci-fi hit TV show Orphan Black, and Halifax’s Ellen Page, whose moving coming-out speech showed us she doesn’t just kick butt as Kitty Pryde in X-Men.

WE’RE UNRAVELLING THE MYSTERIES OF THE HUMAN HEART – Last year, the Nobel committee awarded its literature prize to Alice Munro, declaring that her short-story writing has “come close to solving the greatest mystery of them all: the human heart and its caprices.”

WE’RE THERE FOR EACH OTHER – Vancouver artist Jeff Hamada is out to boost spirits. In February, he offered to send a postcard with an encouraging note penned by a stranger to anyone who commented on his blog, Booooooom.com. They just had to provide their mailing addresses and descriptions of their woes. 

WE KNOW SO MANY THINGS! – What game was invented by two Montrealers after they bemoaned the cost of replacing Scrabble sets because of lost tiles? Trivial Pursuit! The most successful board game in Canadian history is 35 years old and still taxing our ephemeral knowledge with apps, new card decks, party versions and special editions (including Disney and Lord of the Rings). 

WE GOT GAME  -Not only did we give the world basketball (thank you, James Naismith), but we also gave the world NBA super­star Steve Nash, as well as Brampton, Ont., a hotbed of top league talent like Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson. And how about those Raptors? A for effort. EVEN OUR PETS ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM – How many countries can say that about their four-legged friends?

 

OUR NATIONAL BROADCASTER – Sure, it has slashed staff and lost hockey broadcasting rights, but CBC still means Anna Maria Tremonti, Peter Mansbridge, Rick Mercer, Shaun Majumder, Eleanor Wachtel, Stuart McLean… 

WE PLAY IT AGAIN (AND AGAIN) – “Hockey Night in Canada” was the first broadcast to use instant replay back in 1955, when producer George Retzlaff employed a new process to recreate footage of a goal. We’ve been watching live events over and over ever since, with Major League Baseball the latest to adopt the technology for all game play in 2014.

WE PAY IT FORWARD – Last July, a man walked into a Tim Hortons in Edmonton and bought coffee for the next 500 customers.
Days later, other people did the same in Calgary, Ottawa and Red Deer, Alta.

 

WE’RE SAVING THE WORLD FROM SUPERVILLAINY – Created by Toronto artist Jeff Lemire, Equinox—a 16-year-old Cree girl from Moose Factory, Ont.—is the newest addition to DC Comics’ roster of superheroes. 

 

IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY – Our awesome athletes come in genetic bundles: the Dufour-Lapointe sisters (freestyle skiing), the Hamelin brothers (speedskating) and the Subbans (hockey). 

 
WE’RE FULL OF HOT AIR – Canada is poised to lead the world in a new era of transportation that looks a lot like an old era of transportation. Airships—dirigibles that require little fuel and no runway, and can carry weighty cargo—are the perfect way to access hard-to-reach areas such as disaster zones. 

WE’RE CHANGING THE WORLD – With We Day, Marc and Craig Kielburger have turned global charitable works into headline pep rallies featuring inspiring speakers (Al Gore, Jane Goodall) and top musical acts (K’naan, Demi Lovato), giving teens a reason to get excited about forging a better future.  

VICTORIA DAYFIRE5HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

From your friends at

Rainsoft Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada        

 

“We have a lot of great things going for us in the Great White North. Here are 25 reasons to feel proud of the Maple Leaf” http://www.besthealthmag.ca/embrace-life/home-and-family/25-reasons-to-love-canada      

OMG! My heart just jumped up to my throat!

BALLOON HIGHLINE

Hold on to your your favorite squeeze and/or whatever furniture you can grab and you might also want to take your heart medicine if necessary – you’re not going to believe this!
O.k. so my collage above is not what you’d expect for this post’s topic, but I didn’t want to give away the secret too soon!)

“You won’t get much closer to Skylining than this!…
We left winter behind and headed to the sun to try and turn our latest dream into reality…

All of the Skyliners team was excited to put their skills to the test on such an amazing line…
BALLOON HIGHLINE2
Thanks to the talent of the pilots, we came really close…
We’ll be going back again very soon to make it happen – watch this space!”

Youtube video, “The Balloon Highline” published on Feb 6, 2014 

Published on Feb 7, 2014 Globus Kon Tiki s’ajunta amb Skyliners per assolir un nou repte: passar per una cinta (Slack Line), d’un globus a un altre des de una alçada de 600 metres. L’event va tenir lloc a la comarca de la Noguera a Catalunya el 31 de gener de 2014. Translation: Globus Kon Tiki meets Skyliners to achieve a new challenge: to spend a tape (Slack Line), a balloon one other from from a height of 600 meters. The event took place in the region of Catalonia in Walnut January 31, 2014

O.K. Now breathe………….
Ah-h-h – this is more my style – magnificent and breathtaking panoramic videography,  colourful balloons, and gentle calming music – Enjoy! ~ 
Youtube video, “Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey”, published on 5 Nov 2013 by GaborVids ~

Support our team by watching our feature documentaryhttps://www.reelhouse.org/seb.montaz/…

http://www.facebook.com/theSkyliners
http://www.globuskontiki.com
http://www.sebmontaz.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apostle Islands Secluded Ice Caves ~ Amazing and Magical!

APOSTLE ISLANDS NEW

IMAGESIGNThe Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior, off the Bayfield Peninsula in northern Wisconsin.  The majority of the islands are located in Ashland County – only Sand, York, Eagle, and Raspberry Islands are located in Bayfield County.  All the islands except for Madeline Island are part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Deep Freeze Reveals Lake Superior’s Secluded Ice Caves
For five years, the winter wonder of Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands sea caves have been hiding—but recent freezing temperatures have revealed their beauty by Natasha Geiling JANUARY 24, 2014  

IMAGE13For the first time in five years, visitors to Lake Superior’s Wisconsin shore can experience the winter beauty of the Apostle Sea Caves—completely frozen and safe to visit, thanks in large part to this winter’s exceedingly low temperatures. National Park Service officials, who monitor conditions along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, say that the last time Lake Superior’s ice was thick enough to safely hold visitors to the caves was back in 2009; but with weeks of frigid temperatures caused by the polar vortex, Lake Superior has iced over enough to support adventurers on their one-mile trek from mainland Wisconsin out to the caves. Bob Krumanaker, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore superintendent, told Wisconsin Public Radio that the caves are one of the most unique sites in the park, which includes 21 islands formed from sandstone over a billion years ago.

IMAGE14Visitors to the caves who make the mile-long trek over an icy lake are greeted by an amazing winter view, with icicles hanging like stalactites from the cave ceilings and a clear ice floor that reveals the lake floor below. During the summer, visitors can kayak through the caves, but a solid lake offers adventurers the only way to experience the caves on foot.

IMAGE4On a peak weekend day, more than 1,000 people can visit the caves. Krumanaker hopes that weather conditions will allow the ice caves to remain visitable for another six weeks, though with fickle winter, the caves could be closed as soon as the coming weekend. If you can’t venture out on Lake Superior to check out the caves firsthand, we’ve compiled some of Instagram’s best to give you a sense of the icy beauty.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/frozen-lake-reveals-secluded-ice-caves-180949470/

The following paragraph and photos are taken with thanks and appreciation from the Maven Cookery blog article, “Our Morning At The Sea Caves” posted Jan. 17, 2014. (link to site provided below)

“There was a single track along the shore and out across the lake.  The snow was a pristine white blanket, it was quiet enough to hear the ice creak and pop with unseen swells from the lake and it was solitary enough to feel the ancient energy radiating from the rocks that ringed the shore. Words can’t begin to describe what it felt like to witness the wild and ephemeral beauty of ice and sandstone. The different colors, shapes and textures of the ice was mind-blowing. It was a work of art, created by wind and water— magical in its perfection.”

APOSTLE ISLANDS CAVEShttp://thecookerymaven.com/2014/01/our-morning-at-the-sea-caves/

Related link ~  17 Photos From the Frozen Ice Caves of Lake Superior – Esquire 

Friday’s ‘Aw… and Wow’ Factor ~ Amazing!

PENGUIN NURSERIES

The following article, “Hey, I think that’s our kid, 3,233rd from the left: Stunning pictures of island where penguins have created the world’s largest crèche” by Emily Allen, was updated 2 June 2011, on http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

I thought you might also enjoy this great Youtube video, “King penguins – Attenborough: LIfe in the Freezer” – BBC, uploaded Mar. 7, 2012. In a fantastic clip from Attenborough’s 1993 series ‘Life in the Freezer’, Sir David demonstrates how inquistive baby penguins are. A great glimpse into the life of king penguins and their parental instincts.

These stunning aerial images of a King Penguin colony in South Georgia show just how extraordinary penguin parenting really is.
In what looks to be the world’s largest crèche, thousands of King Penguins instinctively herd their recently born young into giant huddles to stop them freezing to death.
Parental instinct takes over in the inhospitable climate of the South Atlantic and the chicks with their long, brown, downy coats are made to crowd together to retain their body warmth in the equivalent of bird crèches – visible as brown swathes on our photo.
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Birds of a feather: Thanks to these stunning aerial images we can see penguin parenting in action. The brown swathes are the young penguins herded together.

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P-p-p-peckish? A King Penguin feeds its baby in the colony in South Georgia.

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The young brown penguins are clearly visible in their huddles.

IMAGE4Meanwhile their extraordinary parents waddle down to the shore to bring back dinner for their offspring. The chicks, which take between 10 to 13 months to raise – cannot regulate their body temperature and the parents care for them round the clock for the first three weeks.

DAILY MAIL4
Extraordinary patterns emerge as the brown baby penguins are herded into crèches.

The penguins look after their young around the clock for the first three weeks. They then put the chicks in one of the crèches, returning every two or three days with food. 

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A King Penguin protects a female from another male as the sun sets.

MAPNEW
South Georgia is a British territory close to the Falkland Islands and is one of the main breeding colonies for the birds.

IMAGE9The King Penguin is the second largest species of penguin, weighing up to 35 lbs. The Emperor penguins are the largest. They eat small fish – mainly lantern fish, and squid and repeatedly dive to more than 100 metres to find lunch. A full penguin breeding cycle lasts more than a year and pairs generally breed twice every three years.
There are an estimated 2.23 million pairs of King Penguins with numbers increasing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1393379/King-Penguin-colony-South-Georgia-Stunning-pictures-worlds-largest-cr-che.html#ixzz2qaj35Ki1

HAPPY 146TH BIRTHDAY CANADA! ~ JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE CANADA!

CANADA DAY

HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA!!!
JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE CANADA!


              146 YEARS OLD

       

“… with glowing hearts
we see thee  rise, 
the True North strong and free…”

CANADA DAY FLAG ICONOn July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world’s second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories:  Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The three territories are Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.

FIRST:

Let’s celebrate our country’s birthday by watching three superb, entertaining and educational videos. Canada is an incredibly diverse land: geographically and culturally from “sea to shining sea”.

The following is a spectacular example of how music enhances photography.  This video is accompanied by Il Divo and Celine Dion’s , “I Believe”.  To fully appreciate Canada’s incredible beauty, watch the three videos in ‘FULL SCREEN’ MODE.

For all of our friends around the world the following YouTube video, “Tom Brokow Explains Canada to Americans”, is a great introduction to Canada ~ and I must admit that, although I have lived in Canada all my life, I LEARNED A GREAT DEAL BY WATCHING THIS VIDEO AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE!

~ Uploaded by on 27 Feb 2010 ~ Tom Brokaw explains the relationship between Canada and The United States, in a pre-recorded short film that aired on NBC, prior to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

AND LAST, BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST ~ this special video, “CANADA REGIONS – CANADIAN PERSPECTIVES CLASS”, has slides, videos and TEXT DESCRIPTIONS of the photographs ~ Beautiful video expressing Canada values and attitudes. What a majestic landscape and incredible people ~  the second largest country on earth!

    SECOND:

CANADA DAY FLYPAST

Now that you’re incredibly ‘PUMPED’ about this GREAT COUNTRY of ours ~ get out with family, friends and neighbours to participate in all the ‘Canada Day’ activities that are offered in your communities – fellow Ottawans and visitors to our fair city see the video below.

 
Link to history of Canada’s Provinces and Territories ~

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_and_territories_of_Canada
VICTORIA DAYFIRE5I hope you enjoyed my tribute to Canada and that you will store this blog in you ‘Favorites’ folder for encore viewing.

           HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

From your friends at Rainsoft Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc. Ottawa

Bon anniversaire!

IS YOUR LIFE LIKE A CUP OF COFFEE?

LIFE LIKE CUP OF COFFEE

This YouTube video combines beautiful pictures, inspiring music, and a touching story to help empower people to live more fully. This was uploaded Feb. 6, 2009 and already has over 3 millions viewers!  From http://www.VideosMotivational.com

RAINBOW1GIMPTEXTThe happiest people don’t have the best of everything. 

They just make the best of everything.

LIFE COFFEE6Do you complain about the stress in your life and at work?  While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves – that is the source of your problems and stress. 

 ROSEGIMPTEXTWhat wonderful words for all to live by ~
the world would certainly be a happier and safer place!

WATERFALL.jpgGIMPTEXTHold the thoughts from this video close to your heart
and really savor your next cup of coffee!!!

Please share this with people you care about.