The first, delectable, evanescent cake slice morphed into a magic disappearing act when the whole lemon butter cream concoction suddenly vanished without a trace after a stampede of hungry birthday party guests with big smiles on their faces descended on it.
As is customary in our family circle homemade cake is a must, always prepared using only natural, wholesome, ingredients designed to bring pleasure when consumed and normally accompanied with some equally delicious ice cream afterwards washed down with a nice cup of good coffee, tea, or other non-alcoholic refreshment.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”EVANESCENT”.
Parliament remains Canadian heritage originator because as the seat of government it creates and decides laws for the whole country regarding what is a national historic site.
The buildings that compose the Parliament block in Ottawa are themselves a national heritage as are all individual legislatures in all ten provinces and territories because Canada will be 150 years old this year.
Today in Montreal they celebrated the 375 year anniversary which blends in with Canada’s 150 year anniversary and started off the festivities in Quebec early this morning with our PM Justin Trudeau and wife Sofie participating and being part of a host of dignitaries including Quebec Premier Philippe Cuilliard, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre launching it all.
Tonight another heritage site the famous 92-year-old Jacques Cartier Bridge has been lit up spectacularly, about CDN $40 millions worth, with zillions of lights delighting Montrealers with a light show depicting the city’s famed history.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”HERITAGE”.
A slight breeze skimming over pond surface creates ripples while lilies overhanging it cause squiggly reflecting long dark shadows on navy blue water bathed by bright late afternoon sun.
This scene happened several years ago near a small man-made pond out in the mountains of the Quebec Eastern Townships near the small town of Georgeville where I was visiting.
As it always happens once a lake or pond is created Mother Nature gives a helping hand decorating the fringes of the body of water with a myriad of different grasses and other plants providing locals such as small frogs, snakes, and salamanders a place to hide out waiting for their prey.
It also becomes home for various insects that lay their eggs on or near the water to hatch and fly around perhaps becoming pests to humans meanwhile, also providing a source of food for the frogs, that sometimes end up as dinner for snakes or animals such as raccoons etc.
I took this interesting picture the moment I saw those wonderful shadow patterns melding with the tiny ripples propagating across the pond’s water.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”REFLECTING”.
Almost obscured by dead leaves and tree twig pieces a cute red cap Amanita family mushroom appears harmless yet there is danger from toxin it may release when cooked and eaten.
Every year thousands of people die from wild poisonous mushrooms some that look similar to ones that are edible even some “experts” have died because they made a mistake when they gathered mushrooms somehow mixing a toxic variety in with good ones.
The mushroom depicted is, I believe, Amanita Hemibapha and looks like the Amanita Caesarea, that I read was a favorite meal of non other than Julius Caesar, both allegedly are edible non-poisonous varieties however, there many others that look similar and if eaten would make it your last meal.
The toxin released by poisonous members of the Amanita family called α-amanitin causes death or destroys or kidneys, liver, and heart usually within 48 hours.
The Amanita family is a large family containing but two known “good” mushrooms and a lot of toxic ones some being in the top ranks of poisonous mushrooms, the death angels Amanita virosa, Amanita. bisporigera, Amanita verna, and Amanita ocreata
This genus of mushrooms allegedly causes 95% of deaths worldwide with the Death Cap variety taking 50% of the credit.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”DANGER”.
Nova Scotia wanderlust happens looking at old picture showing lone piper playing her bagpipe while behind her looms Peggy’s Point Lighthouse seemingly conjured out of the gray, rocky, rugged hill, bringing back memories of my wonderful last visit to Peggy’s Cove on Canada’s east coast.
It was an overcast day with sporadic gusts of wind coming in from the North Atlantic making it a bit uncomfortable however, determined to capture on film as much of this incredible scene as I could so I wandered about taking interesting shots as I went along.
Suddenly, I heard that familiar sound and tried to find from where it was coming from; I turned around and she appeared, dressed in her Highland Scottish bagpiper garb playing for a small group of visitors gathered around her listening and enjoying the music and then she stopped for a moment.
I scrambled to get a good shot of her while played for the group however, as luck would have it they quickly moved on and she had already removed her Glengarry bonnet when I took this picture, too bad!
Peggy’s Cove is a small Nova Scotian rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margaret’s Bay that is about 43 km from the Port of Halifax.
It is a place like no other in the world parts of it seem like your walking on another planet because of its barren land populated by huge glacier carved, erosion smoothed out boulders and crevices intermingled with some scrub, sun-burned grasses.
The boulders continue down to the shoreline, an area containing large dark-colored algae covered rocks constantly swept by rolling waves coming in from the cruel North Atlantic, that may reach many stories high depending on the tides, signs warning people of the danger of being swept away are found here.
Despite warning signs some people still venture into this restricted area sometimes paying with their lives when a rogue wave from the bitterly cold, salty ocean rolls in unexpectedly; I personally saw two people almost getting caught however, thankfully it was a smaller wave and only got them wet from its spray meanwhile, biting at their feet as they desperately clung to some rock.
This my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”WANDERLUST”.
“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust..“, words everybody has heard or will hear at least once in their lives probably during burial services for a loved one, a family member, a friend, or someone they knew.
These are words a Christian priest or a minister would say at the grave site of the dearly departed reminding all present that our lives on this planet numbered, very short, and we will all end up dying and get buried (or cremated then buried) ending up just some dirt returning back to mother earth.
My picture depicts a remembrance prayer service by a group of Ukrainian Catholic priests for their own brother priests buried at Montreal’s Cote-des-Neiges Cemetery following another service for Ukrainian community members buried at this cemetery.
This has been a tradition followed by the Montreal community since the 1950’s to visit the graves of their deceased and attend the special service during the month of June each year to remember and pray for the souls of those now sleeping the eternal sleep here.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”EARTH”.
A nasty surprise awaited raiders that early morning August 19, 1942 after some landing craft unexpectedly encountered a small German convoy resulting in a noisy, violent, running, sea battle and the element of surprise was lost.
Alerted well prepared, well-entrenched, and strategically placed German coastal defenses immediately sprang into action putting concentrated mortar and machine-gun fire on the landing beaches so intense that Canadians suffered 3,367 casualties including 1,946 prisoners of war and 916 dead.
My photo, of German captured Canadian survivors marched through a Dieppe main street, was taken from this famous picture displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
The Raid on Dieppe, France was a battle doomed to fail from the start, a day of infamy, Canadians were just fresh meat for German guns and this disastrous adventure accomplished nothing in return for their tremendous sacrifice.
Despite best efforts of some spin doctors claiming that it helped prepare Allies for D-Day or was a British intelligence secret operation attempt to capture latest version of German “Enigma” secret code machine which maybe would have speeded up final destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich.
To give more spin and credibility to the code machine story they even included “James Bond” author Ian Fleming, who was with British intelligence during the war.
The whole mess according now deceased, retired brigadier-general Denis Whitaker, the most prominent of few Canadians penetrating into the town of Dieppe it was the morale, lack of discipline, and combat readiness among the troops that sealed their fate.
Back then Whitaker was a captain of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and ended up their only officer returning to England unscathed at end of that horrible day.
An eyewitness to failed leadership and conduct by superior officers, who lacked initiative leading their men during that operation, lead to defeat however, on the bright side, according to him “it was the best thing that ever happened to his regiment because it cleared out all the dead weight.”
He remembered his regiment resembling a social club when joining it in 1936 its officers lacked real training instead playing soldier on weekends and when the regiment was sent overseas into battle the men were green never adequately prepared for the fighting moreover, arming was done only onboard ship, oily packaged Sten guns, when sailing towards their objective never really familiarized with their weapons.
On April 9, 2017 Canada marked the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France an official Canadian delegation including war veterans, special guests, youth, governor-general Johnson, and prime minister Trudeau attended the service at National Vimy Memorial.
Canadian troops captured Vimy Ridge in April 1917 earning a reputation as formidable, effective troops after seasoned British and French armies failed miserably against alerted well prepared, well-entrenched, and strategically placed Germans.
In preparation to capture this difficult ridge, Canadians carefully planned and rehearsed their attack and then their and allied British artillery intensely pounded German positions killing many and pinning down enemy machine gunners allowing the attack to move forward.
Canadians also used new tactics, special underground tunnels, improvements to artillery ammunition, and a new counter-battery system allowing accurate locating and destruction of hidden enemy field artillery positions moreover, Canadian troops were well-informed both of their objectives, tasks, and methods in the attack.
“Chaps, you shall go over exactly like a railroad train, on time, or you shall be annihilated,” warned Canadian Corps commander Sir Julian Byng and they all listened.
Victory however, was not cheap instead at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians killed and another 7,000 wounded in the stunning successful operation.
Two different wars, two different battle operations, both costly, both memorable however, the difference is that at Vimy the men were disciplined, well-trained, motivated, confident, well armed, familiar with their war equipment, and versed with their objective and how to do it. The troops also had respected, good leadership with knowledge very familiar of the whole battle plan and its risks, they were willing to follow.
Finally, Canadian high command were willing to break with British and French allies advice and being obediently part of the old boys club, instead opting to do battle a new way, saving their men being cannon fodder.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”SURPRISE”.
Responsible home security is important and everything reasonably possible should be done to protect you, your family, and your home however, we don’t need an MG42 to do it with.
In our increasingly dangerous world, nasty things happen sometimes without any warning giving victims little chance to do anything about it and to save themselves from harm.
Our homes are our final refuge, our fortress of solitude, our base of operations therefore, worth all our efforts to ensure to remain safe from the criminal element lurking out there.
Some possible measures, simple steps, we can take to feel safe include the following:
- Paste security-company decals and “Beware of Dog” stickers, where visible to visitors or passersby, even if you don’t have either.
- Always ensure your home appears occupied.
- Use timers connected to room lights and radio to give the appearance that someone is home when you leave it.
- Install adequate external lighting connected to timers.
- Clear all offending vegetation near and around home that could provide cover for burglars.
- Use quality locks that include deadbolts.
- Consider installing an economical close circuit security multiple camera system.
- Lock all doors and windows well when leaving.
- Install an alarm system that includes motion detectors and sound.
- Inventorize all your home assets and valuables and keep this information in a safe place.
- Photograph all your contents, something insurance companies recommend.
- Get a dog to warn you of intruders on grounds.
- Call police immediately if you witness a crime like burglary or home invasion.
This my contribution for WP single word prompt:”SECURITY”.
A slice of this freshly baked dense textured whole wheat bread with a pat of butter or margarine and perhaps, a bit of strawberry or raspberry jam makes for a nice snack alone however, if coupled with some good coffee or tea it’s even better.
It is always exciting sampling your own culinary work especially baked bread straight from the oven and cooled down sufficiently to slice meanwhile, enjoying smelling that heavenly fresh bread aroma permeating the kitchen mmm.
Whole wheat bread is probably the most easiest yeast dough to prepare giving excellent results in the least of baking time compared to others like for example the famed sour dough types requiring much more preparation time.
Whatever your preference in bread preparing the dough, decorating with poppy, caraway, or sunflower seeds and then baking it is something worthy to learn well because the reward is delicious.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”DENSE”.
It is easy being green mallard mother duck with obedient family paddling around the lake in the springtime during late afternoon trying to avoid predators.
The little guys stay close to mother trying to grow up quickly to survive by avoiding enemies ready to pounce on them.
As my picture shows a female mallard duck leads her brood around the man-made lake in Centennial Park in the West Island while another female mallard duck in the foreground not moving seems to watch perhaps, guarding over them.
Each year I witness this same sort of scene while I walk the path circling the lake where I encounter waterfowl families quietly moving through the still water of this lake or just lurking in the tall grasses that line the shore either resting or eating something.
An assortment of wild ducks and Canada geese come back here each spring knowing the lake is a safe place to lay eggs, hatch young, and help them survive until they can fend for themselves.
This my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”IT IS EASY BEING GREEN”.