Sunday, 31 March 2013

Early spring at Toogood Pond

It was a gorgeous day to make what has become an annual spring ritual for us - a trek to Toogood Pond in Unionville - it always seems to give us just enough of a taste of nature in the city (and the promise of a good lunch afterwards) without overtaxing our energy.   It is tempting to think that it is named "too good" because it is too good to be true but it is actually named after the man who owned the pond prior to its acquisition by the Town of Markham in 1980 - Arthur Toogood.  The geese that always seem to be there and the quieter mallard ducks enlivened the peaceful pond and trails.  It usually takes us no more than hour to do the trail with multiple stops for photos.  Here are some taken yesterday.

Testing the waters with one foot?

Spring rituals!

Not much I can add to this perfect landscape

Spring jogger

Aggressive spring behaviour


Friday, 29 March 2013

One of a kind!

It was such a feast for the eyes!  We visited the One of a Kind show today and thoroughly enjoyed the work of the artisans, not to mention trying the multitude of chutney,vinaigrette, handmade chocolates, shortbreads, etc.  You won't see any food below because we were too busy trying them to take photos. But there were a lot of unique creations there worth capturing...

Contemporary lamps with unique wood stands

beside antique looking ones

Baubles galore

Great vases designed for minimal water and flowers

Hammered tin shade

 A wallful of peppermills and a tableful of  soap

Good enough to eat!

Colourful to wear

Acrylic centrepiece at the show

A Marilyn mosaic
And I took this for my stingray fan cousin...

No, it's not a candle, it's a ceramic vase 

All happening at the Direct Energy Centre this weekend!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Pinnacles National Park

This was a spectacular surprise just a couple of hours south of San Jose.  We went for what we thought was a short hike one day during Christmas Week in 2011 and stumbled upon this geological wonder.  This park is actually part of an ancient volcano (Neenach erupted 23 million years ago) that had shifted 150 miles north from its original position on the San Andreas fault.  After years of erosion, the volcano  had settled leaving massive monoliths, spires, sheer canyons, and talus caves which made for adventurous hiking trails, at points of which we found ourselves clambering through narrow crevasses, squeezing past hanging boulders that looked like they were tossed from the heavens by some angry god and even  treading through the waters of an underground creek at some point.  We wouldn't have ventured very far if we weren't in the company of younger people so it was a bonus trip for us.  You can see some of the places we hiked through in the photos below.

The park is protected wilderness.  If it had been developed into a tourist area, this would have been named "Camel Rock".

Climbers assessing whether they want to come back for this...

Some of the crevasses that we had to clamber through

Great backdrop for a film shoot...
After you walked past this boulder, you could look back and see it from the top

Looking back at the giant hanging boulder from above

At the top of the climb, the reward - a peaceful lake

A friendly rock face to say goodbye to