Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ABC Wednesday

It's Wednesday so it is time for ABC Wednesday.
Click here and join us!

This weeks letter is K for kindness, knowledge, kith and kin, kitties and kraziness!

His Holiness the Dali Lama with Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan


His Holiness needs no words....

I love where I live and enjoy sharing my knowledge about it any time I can.

Kith & Kin (1988) Amazing!

This showed up on Facebook recently and it is hard to believe they were all together at the same place at the same time. Eleven kute kousins under 10! The body attached to the long green legs is mine!

Kitties Kayley and Marvellous Marvin

Oh how I miss my Kitties. Marvellous Marvin is the King of the Street at 26 lbs and Miss Kayley is my rescue Kittie. She spent the first year of her life with me being intimitdated by Marvin...not now! Come to think about it Marvin was a rescue kitty also, he didn't like my daughter's now husband so he flew across Canada to bring joy to my life!

and Kraziness!!!!

You don't want to know what was happening!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My World Tuesday - Mt. Redout

Mt Redoubt, AK pre-eruption, March 21, 2009 (Dennis Anderson, Homer, AK)

I am visiting in Ontario but my home is Haida Gwaii an island 100 km off the west coast of Canada and tucked under the Alaska panhandle. My passion is geography and geology so the eruption of Mt. Redoubt in southcentral Alaska last week peaked my interest. Haida Gwaii has an ancient history of volcanic activity and it is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Although we have no active volcanoes we have our share of earth quakes, the largest being 8.1 on the Ritcher scale in 1949.

Southcentral Alaska, Anchorage is at the head of Cook Inlet (AVO)

Like some people are storm chasers, I am an armchair volcano visitor! How they are created and their spectacular nature absolutely fascinate me. When Mt. St. Helen's blew the internet as we know it was in it's infancy so we were dependant on television coverage. Now everything you ever wanted to know is on the internet.

The crater of Mt. Redout pre-eruption, March 21, 2009 (AVO)

Having said this I take no credit for these wonderful photographs of the eruption of Mt. Redoubt. There is a wonderful website that has so much great information and photographs that I will just give you the website so you can investigate it for yourself. All photos and information are free to use as long as credit is given.

Mt. Redoubt eruption March 23, 2009 (Alaska Volcano Observatory)

Alaska has more 130 volcanoes and volcanic fields with 50 of these volcanoes being active within recent time(1760). Although the direct threat to the human population of an eruption of these volcanoes is minimal volcanoes like Mt. Redoubt create millions of dollars in lost revenue to airlines who use the circumpolar route to Europe. Eighty thousand flights per year and 30,000 passengers a day traverse this potentially dangerous air space.

Ash cloud March 26, 2009 (Robert Cole, Penisula Airways Pilot)

In 1989 a Boeing 747 with 241 passengers on board and flying 240 miles north of Mt. Redoubt encountered an ash cloud from a recent eruption. The aircraft lost all four engines and plumetted 3000 metres (9810 feet) before the pilots could restart the engines and land safely. The 747 sustained $80 million damage.

Mt. Redoubt, electrical activity with eruption of March 28, 2009 (Brentwood Higman)

The ash fallout can be harmful to human health causing closures of schools and businesses to reduce exposure to the ash. The ash eruptions also closed Anchorage airport, disrupting air traffic as far away as Texas. Lahars and lahar run-out flows have also been a source of concern for oil companies who have facilities on the coast as these flows risk damaging oil storage tanks.

Dust cloud over Homer Alaska, March 28, 2009(Dennis Anderson, Homer, AK)

For more information on the volcanoes of Alaska go to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Dust deposit at Homestead Lodge 35 km south of Mt. Redoubt, March 26, 2009 (James Isaak)
Click on photos for full effects especially the electrical storm one!

To find out about more interesting places around the world go to


Thursday, March 26, 2009

SkyWatch Friday #37

The weather has been quite beautiful, lots of sunny skies and slowly increasing temperatures. It has made my SkyWatch photos a little boring all that blue sky! However yesterday a weather system showed up on the horizon. Even though it is out of the north the temperatures stayed pleasant enough to be on the beach. The ice on the beach was not there the day before, the shift in winds brought it back into shore.

The dunes are slow to show any signs of spring but if you look closely

The willow is reddening and getting ready to bud.

After our walk on the beach. I decided to rake the yard of last years leaves. As the day wained the weather system settled in over the fields.

However there is promise of a better day for tomorrow on the horizon.

The Creator's glory!
(click on any of the photos for a better view)

Just a reminder before I close... Saturday, March 28th why not celebrate Earth Hour and turn off your power at 8:30 p.m. for an hour and join the expected 2 billion people around the world who want to make a difference and remember... if you think one person can not make a difference....you have not spent a night in a tent with a mosquito!

Now for more great skies from around the world go to SkyWatch Friday

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My World Tuesday - "Monarch of Main Street"

The Regent Theatre in downtown Picton has been entertaining the folks of Prince Edward County since 1918. It's days of presenting vaudeville and silent movies are long gone, but live theatrical and musical events still flourish on its stage.
Circa 1922 (Prov. of Ontario Archives)
Owned by George and Ellen Cook, The Regent Theatre first opened in 1918 in a building dating back to the 1830s. Designed by Toronto architect Warrington and Page, the theatre is a rare example of an Edwardian opera house, and it's stage is equal in size to that of The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. Above the stage is a 21 metre (70 foot) fly tower. The original dressing room includes blackboards lining the walls where, in a former era, performers wrote their show's running order.

The Cook's managed the The Regent until George's death in 1959. In 1962 Ellen Cook decided to lease out the operation while retaining ownership of the building. She remodelled it before handing it over to the new tenants and was very pleased that....“it gives two young men a chance to try their hand at show business, and earn a living at something they feel they are fitted for”.

Interior view from back - circa 1922 (Prov. of Ontario Archives)

In 1964 their youngest daughter Louise Cook took over the operation of the theatre. With the advent of television in the 1950s, the theatre came upon hard times. The number of seats went from 1000 (these photos) to about 500 and when the present seats were installed, the number was further reduced to 353. The balcony and orchestra pit were removed and the Regent became primarily a movie theatre.

Circa 1922 - View from the stage (Prov. of Ontario Archives) Main Street, Picton, Ontario - Circa 1934 (Prov. of Ontario Archives) Circa 1947 (Prov. of Ontario Archives) 2009
Not much has changed!

In 1994 Lousie Cook sold the theatre to The Regent Theatre Foundation, a year later an anonymous donor paid off the $300,000 mortgage!
The theatre is unique in Ontario for being both a movie house, showing first-run movies, and a facility for stage productions. Shows like Wingfield On Ice, CBC's Vinyl Cafe with Stuart MacLean, a first class Jazz Festival, and film festivals along with great live performances such as
Murray McLauchlan have made the "Monarch of Main Street" the success she is at 90!

Murray MacLauchlan will kick off Maple in the County this weekend
with a performance on Friday evening.....I'm going!
To learn about more great places around the world go to

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SkyWatch #36

Sunday was a 50 km bike trip day, the surroundings are still rather bland around here with no colour in anything but the sky and it was absolutely stunning.

Of course I couldn't get on the bike and not go by the lake and check things out. Shoreline fog added a new deminsion and colour to the horizon.

The sun was doing its magic.

More beautiful blue.

When I lay back on a picnic table to take a rest I could not resist this photo! Whichever way you look at it, it is great!

Click on all the photos for better views and this photo makes a great screensaver....feel free to use it!

Happy Spring everybody!

For more great skies from around the world go to SkyWatch Friday

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ABC Wednesday

" I " is for Intense Ice

Last week strong winds buffeted southeastern Ontario.
Water became mist and iced everything it touched.
Ice was broken and jammed up on shore.
Hopefully there will be no more!
For more incredible I-words, visit Denise Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday here

Monday, March 16, 2009

More from Sandbanks Provincial Park - My World Tuesdays

The white sand dunes of Sandbanks Provincial Park

"For more than 12,000 years a sculptress has been shaping the western shoreline of the County. Her tools are the winds and waves of Lake Ontario and her creation is one of the largest sand bar and dune systems in the world - Sandbanks Provincial Park." from "BreakAway to Prince Edward County 2008". This discription is about as good as it gets to describe this amazing park.

Area between the two dune ridges - looking toward Lake Ontario dunes.

I have been absolutely fascinated by it since first seeing it a week a ago. My new friends who first took me there have a specific area they like to walk, so I finally had to venture out on my own to see more. The weather has been perfect....sunny and clear and getting warmer each day!

My trusty two wheels!

Without my own "four wheels" I had to resort to "two wheels"! So for the past week I have ventured into town to get information about this area from the local library and then down to the park to explore.

View Larger Map

The sandbanks consist of a long narrow peninsula of glacial sand deposits about one & a quarter kilometres wide at its base tapering to a point eleven and half kilometres to the north near Wellington where an outlet drains West Lake.

The Lake Ontario dunes

The sandbanks lie broadside to the full force of prevailing southwesterly winds blowing across a wide expanse of Lake Ontario. Waves washing up glacial sands formed beaches where dried sands were carried inland by winds. Originally the sand hills dominated the Lake Ontario side close to the shore and formed a bulwark for the forested land beyond.

West Lake dunes

Two ranges of dunes now exist, the front range, adjacent to the beach on Lake Ontario, and a larger range at the West Lake shore to the east. The dunes were originally stablized by the development of vegetative growth which formed an obstacle to the sand-laden winds, they were de-stablized by human destruction of this vegetative cover.

Vegetation coming back on dunes - looking to West Lake

With the settlement of the area by the Loyalists some 225 years ago came the development of an agricultural economy, land owners expanded the amount of land available for cultivation and grazing or harvested the timber resources behind the dunes by clearing the trees and vegetation that had been a natural buffer.

Dunes in the forest

The exposed top soil blew away or was eroded by runoff and laid bare the sand foundation. Without the buffer, the sands began to move. When the dunes were most active the front advanced as much as 40 feet a year and some of the dunes were built up to a height of 150 feet above lake level. At it's height barns were buried and homes had to be moved, sometimes several times. Road #12 which runs through the park has had to be moved four times!

This fence was put up in the 1920s to slow the movement of the sand ,
snow fences continue to be used today in vulnerable places.

In 1922 a settler finally got the attention of the Provincial Government to do something about the prime farm land being devoured by the sands, at that time 85 acres! An active replanting program was started and in 1954 Sandbanks Provincial Park was created to protect the sandbanks and the farm land.
To see more great places from around the world go to My World

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SkyWatch Friday #35

Yesterday a cold front came screaming through southern Ontario on the back of winds gusting up to 90 km. per hour. The neighbour and I went for a walk on the dunes of Sandbanks Provincal Park. It was wild but glorious!

What looks like water breaking on the beach in the previous photo is actually ice.

(Click on photos for a better view)

Think it is a little early for picnicing!

For more great skies from around the world go to SkyWatch Friday


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