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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Squirrel

This is one of our new Christmas decorations, now dont laugh I can hear!!! LoL :)  But its hard not to isnt it.

This little guy was actually my grandfather's and when he past earlier this year, my Mom claimed this silly squirrel before it went out.  And he was become part of our little family.  I decided today that while we were decorating that he "did" need to stay out for Christmas.  However, I thought he need a little decorating of his own.  And I a vision in my head of him wearing hat, mitts and a scarf.  It was Mom's idea for the peanuts and the apple and well I think it worked out pretty good.  Mom made the little hat, mitts and scarfs a while ago for something else but I think it uses this little guy!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Butter Tarts

I made a batch of butter tarts today, and Dam they are good!!!

I found a recipe online for Splenda Butter Tarts, using Splenda brown sugar.  I had always thought that butter tarts were hard to make well I was totally proven wrong today.

I was quite happy to say that I had this all done and cleaned up within a hour, more or less.

The only difference, was that I put a half of a pecan in my tarts.  And they turned out pretty good.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Black & White Photography @ MRU

I signed up for a Black and White Photography course at Mount Royal University, it is only 3 class long, which works for.  One night of lecture, One day of Shooting and Editing and One night of displaying your work. 

The shooting took place on Sunday, the wind was blowing and it was CoLd out but I had a good time.  The shoot was in one of the Industrial parks here in Calgary ... so factories, old buildings, machines, squished cars, railroad tracks etc etc.  Made for some interesting imaginery.

I am to find 3 of my favorite images to take to the last class.  I took over 300 shots so it was a little difficult to decide and I still might change my mind before I head of to last class on Wednesday.

Nothing like weeds, is there.  Well, I guess if you are a gardener, you wouldn't like them much.  But this do make such interesting subjects.

I love these buildings with all the different lines ... gives you eye a work out.

I walked by this pile of rocks several times, and each time I think "Ahh these work make a photo!?" But I think in the end them are very interesting to look at.

I have take several Black & White photos for this class and there will be a few more that I will share along way over the next few weeks. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

The last of my photos from my trip in May of 2011, to Ireland and England.  Quite happy that I finally finished but quite sad ... I was enjoying reliving all of the sites and things I have seen. 

Seeing Stonehenge was truly an experience, to learn how it was, to try to imagine how in the world those stones were moved from possibly as far as the coast. 

The ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is unique; an expectional survival from a prehistoric culture now lost to us.  The monument evolved between 3000 BC and 1600 BC.  It is aligned with the mid summer sunrise and midwinter sunset, but its exact purpose remains a mystery.  Today, this World Heritage Site is a source of inspiration and fascination and for many, a place of worship and celebration.

1 = The Altar Stone, a six ton monolith of green micaceous sandstone from Wales
2 = barrow without a burial
3 = "barrows" (without burials)
4 = the fallen Slaughter Stone, 4.9 metres long
5 = the Heel Stone
6 = two of originally four Station Stones
7 = ditch
8 = inner bank
9 = outer bank
10 = The Avenue, a parallel pair of ditches and banks leading 3 km to the River Avon
11 = ring of 30 pits called the Y Holes
12 = ring of 29 pits called the Z Holes
13 = circle of 56 pits, known as the Aubrey holes
14 = smaller southern entrance

Cute story that I found regarding Heel Stone, Number 5:

The Heel Stone lies just outside the main entrance to the henge, next to the present A344 road. It is a rough stone, 16 feet (4.9 m) above ground, leaning inwards towards the stone circle. It has been known by many names in the past, including "Friar's Heel" and "Sun-stone". Today it is uniformly referred to as the Heel Stone or Heelstone. When one stands within Stonehenge, facing north-east through the entrance towards the heel stone, one sees the sun rise above the stone at summer solstice.
A folk tale, which cannot be dated earlier than the seventeenth century, relates the origin of the Friar's Heel reference.
The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and brought them to Salisbury plain. One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest were carried to the plain. The Devil then cried out, "No-one will ever find out how these stones came here!" A friar replied, "That’s what you think!," whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck in the ground and is still there.
Some claim "Friar's Heel" is a corruption of "Freyja's He-ol" from the Nordic goddess Freyja and the Welsh word for track. The Heel Stone lies beside the end portion of Stonehenge Avenue.
A simpler explanation for the name might be that the stone heels, or leans.
The name is not unique; there was a monolith with the same name recorded in the 19th century by antiquarian Charles Warne at Long Bredy in Dorset.

And you can't leave with out getting a photo of the green landscape and the white sheep!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SunSet Sky at the End of October

One of the things that I do love about Calgary are some of the Chinook Sky Sunsets.  If you didnt know any better you would think that the world was coming to a fiery end!! 

This was taken just at the end of October, 2011.  And I have just had sometime to work on them. 

And these skies make the trees really stand out, specially now that they do not have any leaves left on them.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bath, Somerset, England

Well, this was a totally learning experience!! I had no idea that such a place existed outside of Greece.  Bath is a place that needs to be experienced, and long that 2hours!! 

The official site of Roman Baths: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/  Worth checking out.
My Gallery of Bath, Somerset, England

The entrance to the Roman Baths

The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") by the Romans in AD 43, although verbal tradition suggests that Bath was known before then. They built baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs.

Bath is at the botton of the Avon Valley, and near the southern edge of the Cotswolds, a range of limestone hills designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The surrounding hills give Bath its steep streets and make its buildings appear to climb the slopes.

Bath became the leading centre of fashionable life in England during the 18th century.  During the 18th century Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Thomas Lawrence lived and working in Bath.  John Maggs, a painter best known for his coaching scenes, was born and lived in Bath with his artistic family.  William Friese-Greene began experimenting with celluloid and motion pictures is his studio in Bath in 1870s.  Jane Austen lived in the city from 1801 with her father, mother and sister Cassandra and the family resided in the city at four successive addresses until 1806.

Royal Victora Park, one of several public parks (which costs 1pd to entry) was opened in 1830 by an 11 year old Princess Victory and was the first park to carry her name. 

Pulteney Bridge is a bridge that crosses the River Avon, in Bath and it was completed in 1773.  The bridge was designated by Robert Adam, whose working drawings are preserved in the Sir Soane's Museum and is one of the only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides.  Shops on the bridge include a flower shop, antique map shop and juice bar.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lacock, Wiltshire, England

Another spot along the country side day tour, that the tour passed through.  What a great little town to see, wish I had had more time to explore and photograph.  It was old and I so have a thing for old stuff!! The abbey that was established in 1232, now with about 160-90 people, there is architecture from 14th century through to 20th century.

The Church of St. Cyriac, Lacock was established in the 11 century.

The village has been used as a film and television set, notably for the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, the 2007 BBC production of Cranford. It has also made brief appearances in the Harry Potter films Harry Potter and Philosopher's Sthone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

There was a great little tea shop here, picked up some wonderful tasting cookies and other sweets. 

A few links that might tempted you;
  1. Lacock Tourist Information
  2. Lacock - Wikipedia
  3. Photographs of Lacock

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

White Horses

While on my last day in England, I took a tour of the countryside and it was a beautiful day for it.  It was a unique and exciting experience too see sights that are so old.

It was also great to see how green the country side really was.  As we were driving through the country, I spotted something rather interesting, to say the least.

Now not the greatest of shots, but through the window of the bus, I thought it tooked out pretty good.  This is the "White Horse of Cherhill", which was built about 1790's.  Dating from the late 18th century, it is the third oldest of several such white horses in Great Britain, with only the Uffington White Horse and the Westbury White Horse being older. The figure is also sometimes called the Oldbury White Horse.

"A bold theory for the origin of the first Wiltshire horse is that it commemorates Alfred the Great's  victory over Guthrum and the Danes at the Battle of Ethandun, in 878. Another is that it was carved in the early 18th century as a show of loyalty to the new royal house, the House of Hanover, the white horse being a heraldic symbol of the Electorate of Hanover. One writer on the subject has commented "...the hillside white horse can be a slippery creature, and the origins of some are impossible to establish with any certainty." ~ Wikipedia

Check out a couple of sites regarding the White Horse:
  1. Cherhill White Horse
  2. Wiltshire White Horses: The Cherhill or Oldbury White Horse 

Just a little further down the road, not far from the White Horse.  Just love those trees!!!