Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

Scarborough Bluffs Park on sunny but windy Sunday afternoon in March.

Scarborough bluffs, cliff by Lake Ontario

The red twig dogwood is looking redder and the trees are barely starting to bud.

a couple walking together on a path at park, with tall grasses and leafless bushes beside

signs in a park, Scarborough bluffs, that say danger unstable soils and naturalized area do not disturb

2 teenagers climbing a cliff face at Scarborough bluffs

a few people standing on a path in a park with cliffs behind them

Scarborough bluffs, cliff by Lake Ontario

The water and air are still cold enough that icicles form on the overhanging branches that get hit by waves.

a woman with black hair and weraing a blue winter coat is taking picture of icicles with her phone, waves crashing against the rocks along the shore below the tree with the icicles

icicles on a branch that overhangs Lake Ontario

a woman with black hair and wearing a blue winter coat is taking picture of icicles with her phone

men in the water with wet suits on as they try to surf in Lake Ontario

a woman in a white parka is watching men surf in rough waters and high waves of Lake Ontario

two women in winter clothes sitting on a blanket on rocks by the lake, one is pointing at something

shoreline of Lake Ontario, rocks and trees, early spring, no leaves,

Getting used to this “social distancing” thing but not the “stay at home” part.   A walk in the park seemed like a good way to mix the two – get a little exercise without running into too many people.

below: Keeping his distance

a man sitting on a bench in a park

It’s close to March 21st and the beginning of spring.   Actually this blog post started to take form after I parked my car and wandered aimlessly a few yards.  I was standing on a path in a ravine wondering which way to go… but why was I here?  I heard a bird, and then I heard another.

below: A robin snacking on sumach

a robin perched on top of a cluster of sumach buds and is leaning over to eat one

below: A female downy woodpecker

female downy woodpecker on a small tree

below: A little chickadee

chickadee sitting in a red dogwood, early spring, bright red branches, no leaves

below: It’s not a bird nor is it a sign of spring,  but it sat still enough to let me get my camera focused through the branches.

black squirrel sitting among tree branches, holding something in its mouth

below: The red dogwood branches have started to become more vibrant.

bridge over creek, sumach and dogwood bshes, winter to early spring, no leaves

below: Pussy willows have opened up their fuzzy white buds.  A definite indicator of spring.

a few thin branches of pussy willow

below: There weren’t many tree buds but this tree (and others of its type) were an exception.

small clusters of pink buds at the end of branches and twigs on a tree

below: There was a train too!  A different kind of sign of life.

park and trees in the foreground, early spring, with train on bridge in background

young birch tree

a purple graffiti heart painted on the concrete support at the bottom of a large metal trestle

Spring, and a walk in the park.  Sometimes it’s just the little things….  including someone to share your space.

a couple walks together over a small pedestrian concrete bridge

below: Reflections in the Wilket Creek

reflections of lifesaving equipment beside the Wilket Creek

I’m not sure what the allure of the cherry (aka sakura) blossoms is.  Has it become a symbol of spring and who doesn’t like the long awaited end of winter?  Is there something special about the cherry flower?  Or is it more ‘exotic’ than the magnolia that flowers about the same time, or a bit earlier?  Why not celebrate the lilac trees?  Or other trees that blossom in the spring?

below: A couple of cherry blossoms along with some buds and partially opened flowers.

sakura cherry blossoms on a cherry tree along with some pinkish coloured buds, white petals and yellow centers.

Although there are a number of places around the city to see sakura trees (14 I think), High Park seems to be the most popular place.  True, they have the oldest trees and the most trees planted in one area.   It has become the site of an annual pilgrimage by thousands of people to see the blossoms.   Even though the ‘sakura watch’ website said that ‘peak’ blossom hadn’t yet arrived, I decided to check out High Park yesterday.

below: Lots of signs to direct pedestrian traffic to the cherry trees.  The roads were closed to most cars.

pink sign on the grass by the entrance to High Park that says Please keep of the bloomin' trees.

large trees in the park, people walking on the path on the other side of the trees, green grass, shadows, some blossoms on a couple of the trees

below: There were a couple of school groups there for the morning. Although there weren’t too many blossoms to see, it was a beautiful spring morning and many of the kids were making the most of it.

three girls have a crab walk race down a small hill

a black person walks a dog on a leash up a hill on a paved path through HIgh Park, other people are behind. Some pink and white flowers are starting to grow on the trees

below: An Instagram moment I suspect.

an Asian woman with a bright pink handbag holds a branch of a cherry tree in front of her face while another woman takes her picture with a phone.

people enjoying a day in the park, some taking pictures of cherry blossoms

below: An engagement photo shoot

an engagement photo shoot at high park, man on his knee presenting a woman in a bluish green dress a box that presumably has a ring in it. Another man is holding a stand with a large light on it.

Yesterday there were many more buds and partially opened flowers than there were blossoms.  By the weekend, there will probably be a profusion of white petals… as well as a swarming of people.  I had to search for flowers to take pictures of but at least it was a relatively quiet and peaceful morning.

sakura cherry blossoms

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “doors” post but as I was walking with my camera today, I noticed that a number of doors were catching my eye.  I’ve narrowed the selection down to a few pictures where snow plays a role.   None of them are the prettiest doors but I hope that you find at least some them interesting.

pale cream coloured building with white door frame around cream coloured door, snow in front, no steps in the snow to the door. No parking sign beside the door

below: For sale.  No tracks in the snow probably means no one has been by to take a look.   I tried to find the listing online and discovered that it has a bit of notoriety.  Toronto’s ‘The Star’ newspaper featured it in an article just a couple of weeks ago.  Apparently this “as is” bungalow is priced at $2,500,000.  Yes, 2 1/2 million. If I had known this when I walked past, I would have paid more attention and taken better pictures!  Check out the article!

small white building with snow in front, for sale sign in the door, yellow graffiti on the exterior wall to the right of the door, old chair behind the fence to the left of the door

white door in green house, awning over the top of the door, icicles hanging from the awning and from the roof

below: Watch your step!

white door in a brick building, no steps, bottom of door is a couple of feet above the ground level, snow on ground, worn path to another door at the edge of the photo

below: A blast of purple in an alley.

purple garage with purple door, snow in front

below: Another painted wall and door

exterior of a building, graffiti covers the wall, black and white tag on blue background. Door in wall is also covered in the blue

a blue tarp covers the front steps of a brick house, small fence between the front lawn and walkway, lots of junk in the front yard.

below: I am always fascinated by the chairs and tables that people leave on their porches and in their front yards.  It’s not quite coffee on the lawn weather yet though!

greyish stone house with dark red front entrance, small porch with dark green wood railing, table and chair left on front yard, covered with snow

Like the previous few doors posts, this is a  (little late) “Thursday doors” post – part of a series of door posts on a number of different blogs hosted by Norm 2.0.  As usual, if you want to see more doors, follow that link.  At the end of each of Norm’s posts there is another link that leads you to even more doors.   Lots of doors!  I wonder, how many doors are there in Toronto?  In the world?

People watching at Kensington Pedestrian Sunday

a woman in white sleeveless top and with very red dyed very curly hair, carrying a bottle of ginger beer,

a young black man in black wide brimmed hat sings in front of a microphone, part of a band performing ouside in front of a mural on a wall

below: The Spontaneous Poet, poet 4 hire

woman with green felt hat with floppy brim, smoking a cigarette, sitting at a small table and typing on an old Smith Corona typewriter.  She has a sign on the table that says, poet for hite, the spontaneous poet.

older man with white beard and mustache, wearing sunglasses and teal baseball cap, leans on a garbage can while smoking a cigarette

a young black woman with long dreadlocks has a large snake on her forearm, she's smiling. A man with grey grey beard and moustache watches her.

man standing in an alley with street art on one wall, holding a guitar, he has just finished playing and singing, a man is behind him on a bike

balding black man with the Queen of hearts playing card stuck on his head makes a muscle man stance with fists clenched, he's performing magic tricks while people watch him

below: #whatsvictorupto painting the word ‘together’ on the sidewalk.

victor painting on the sidewalk in Kensington.  He's wearing a shiny sparkly mask over the top of his head. people are walking past #whatsvictorupto

an older man in tweed jacket and cap with long white beard and mustache, black rim glasses, white plastic bag over one arm, walks down the street

young black man dancing on the street, part of a group, Pedestrian Sunday afternoon at Kensington, people in the background watching

young Asian womanin a straw coloured wide brimmed hat, smiling as she dances, she is holding the brim of her hat with both hands so it doesn't fall off

a male mime, black hamburg hat, lime green shirt, black suspenders and red carnation on the suspenders, beckoning to the crowd, outside, street festival, pedestrian sunday at kensington

a black man dances on the street, slow dance, with an older blond woman,

two women dancing, one with long hair on the top but shaved on the sides, wearing an intricate black necklace, double, one woman in focus in the front, the other slightly out of focus, purple and black sleeveless tops, close up of head and shoulders and one hand with grey fingernails

woman in short velvet close fitting top, large necklace, and holding a white parasol walks down a street in a crowd of people

young girl in Minnie Mouse tshirt and frilly pink skirt, pacifier in mouth, sits on the street beside a bike while she watched a performer, summer afternoon,

black woman with very short hair, round sunglasses and white top, wearing many strands of beads, sitting on a bench on her phone

a man wearing a purple vest and white hat, stands on stilts with long trousers covering, juggling 4 different coloured bats (or pins?) shaped a bit like bowling pins, two in his hands and two in the air.  outside on the street

 

For a number of reasons, I started walking late yesterday.
It was overcast and the the light was flat.

a woman on the sidewalk, with people on the other side of the street in the background

  There were a few people sitting around and/or hanging out – on their phones, alone with their thoughts,  meeting with friends, or just passing by.

three people, two sitting, one smoking and the other on her phone. The third person is male, lying down with head on lap of woman on her phone, outside,

Catching moments and freezing them in time – is that what photography is?   To call the images random would be farfetched.  They are edited starting from the first decisions such as where to aim the camera and at what moment do I take the picture.   But they are candid in that the people are unaware, unposed, and to me, more natural.  These women are just hanging out outside the Eaton Centre, together, yet separate.  Are they waiting for someone?  What is the woman on far left reacting to?

women in head scarves standing beside glass window of a store, other women walking past

men sitting on a bench, a woman walking past

As I mentioned above, the light was flat.  It was a grey afternoon and that is always a challenge.  As the day becomes darker, the ambient light provide by windows increases.

below: Is it my imagination or is her neck longer than most?  I don’t think that I’d be able to wear four leather rings around my neck even if I wanted to.

head of a mannequin in a store window, white, large sunglasses, leather rings around her neck

As I was processing some of my photos, I got to thinking about my grandmother.  I remember driving with her at dusk and into the early night.  She would get excited about being able to look into people’s windows after they’d turned on their lights but before they’d closed their curtains.  We could only get a quick glimpse as we passed by – were there pictures on the wall?  What was on TV?  What were the people doing?  But even that was enough to spark our imaginations and we would create stories about the possible lives of the people in those houses.

below: Talking at the bar

from the outside, looking into a bar. Line of bottles on a back lit shelf, two women takling near the window

below: Sitting at Timmies

three people at Tim Hortons, sitting at a table. Seen from the outside, a poster on the window blocks the view of one of the people

Night windows offer a different view.  Things that are hidden during the day become visible.

below:  Interior renovations in progress

looking in the window of a construction site, two ladders, square panes of interior glass on a wall

below: The mundane and austere railing and fluorescent light in the stone bank building caught my attention.  As I was lining up the shot I noticed the woman (who had obviously noticed me first).

evening, from outside, a lit window in a bank of Nova Scotia building shows a hand rail, a woman stands outside the window

people in the midst of getting on and off a streetcar

two people, slightly out of focus pass by a lit window

And then it started to rain.  My feet were getting wet and my umbrella wasn’t big enough so I called it quits and went home.

a woman holding an umbrella crosses the street

red chairs and white tables in an empty restaurant

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair 2018,
Nathan Phillips Square

three men, in two different booths, side by side, looking at paintings, Nathan Phillips Square, outdoor art fair

three men looking at paintings, Nathan Phillips Square, outdoor art fair

two small paintings on wood, hanging on a metal grid

reflections in a framed artwork, people passing by, outdoor art fair

woman in a brown hat starts to pack up her paintings of people's faces at the end of an outdoor art fair in Toronto

two paintings in a booth at an outdoor art fair, one is yellow, there is a table in front of it, with a flower and and a hat on it, a man walks past

three little glass sculptures of little robot like creatures with rectangular heads and one large antenna

a woman walks past a painting of a cat head in blues and greys,

old rusty hand saws with wood handles, blades have been cut in intricate designs, one in maple leaves and the other with oak leaves

a couple looks at a painting at an outdoor art fair

a man, with back to the camera, stands beside a painting of a topless woman, their faces are close together

a woman carries a large painting, passes by another large painting of a black man with a white beard

a woman in a large brimmed pink hat is talking to another woman in front of some paintings at an outdoor art fair

five black and white photos are attached to a string with wooden clothes pegs

square artworks arranged in a grid on a metal mesh wall, hanging at an outdoor art fair.

sqaure artwork, mainly yellow, person body with large clock head , fish swimming around, letters and numbers on the edges

two muslim women in head scarves walk past some glass sculptures at an outdoor art fair