Wednesday, August 2, 2017

La Machine

These photos are from July 28.  As part of the Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa this summer, some street performance art called "La Machine" came to town from France.  Long Ma, a Dragon-Horse, and Kumo, a giant spider, are huge mechanized creatures that wandered and duelled in downtown Ottawa over the course of 4 days.  The backstory is that Kumo has stolen Long Ma's wings, and they both roam the streets of downtown, with Long Ma battling Kumo at intervals to try to get them back.  We went down on the Friday to see them encounter each other for the first time.

Ed took these first two of Kumo at rest:

Here is Long Ma at rest over lunch, the battle was scheduled for 2 pm:

This shows the machinery that operates Long Ma:

The crowd was really big, but well behaved.  This is as close as we got for the battle part, there is a spider way off in the distance waving its giant legs:

Ed took these next few with his zoom lens.  You can see Kumo's orchestra that follows behind her on raised platforms:

The dragon is not happy, and exhales some smoke to prove it:

Kumo takes off after Long Ma to start roaming the streets again:

We hate crowds and were at our quota of standing around, so we took off in the other direction.  It was cool to see it though, and then to watch the videos on Youtube from people who had had closer encounters with them.

MosaiCanada 150

I kind of got derailed about posting about Hawaii, but I will get back to it!  In the meantime, here are some photos of the MosaiCanada topiary displays that are in Parc Jacques-Cartier this summer.

Ed got to learn about a lot of sterotypical Canadian iconography on this outing.  Here he is with the Mountie, representing Saskatchewan:

The lobster fisherman, Nova Scotia:

The muskoxen (my favourites!) represent the Northwest Territories, and the inukshuk is for the northern lights (which are pictured on the other side so you can't see them from this angle):

The drum dancer is for Nunavut, and the polar bear behind him is for Manitoba:

The dragons are for Beijing, I guess they get an honourable mention on Canada's 150th, so we can't be accused of being too parochial.

The voyageur:

Bison grazing:

And a couple of Mother Earth:

I really liked this event, it was my favourite of the Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

December 5: Lava and things around Hilo

After all the rain, and with the forecast still threatening more, we decided we were ready for the nut house.  Macadamias, of course!

Here's the edge of the macadamia orchard:

After stocking up on nuts, we headed south to check out some lava trees, formations that occur when flowing lava runs up a tree and then the tree catches fire and burns out, leaving an upright tube of stone:

We then started meandering further south, without a real plan in mind but to see what there was to see along a couple of scenic roads:

We stopped at this park and had a look at the lava beach.  There were surfers but you can't see them in the photo.

Then we drove west ...

We came to this insanely beautiful spot along the road, stopped and took some photos, and I'll restrain myself and only post a couple:

Then we came to a spot near Kalapana where a lava flow back in 1990 formed a lot of new land on the coast:

In the upper left hand corner of the photo below you can see steam from where lava is currently flowing into the ocean, over near the National Park:

Some of the locals over the years have been planting coconut palms in the lava field near the coast, here are some of them growing:

On the drive back into Hilo, we stopped at the Zoo which was about to close for the day.  Here's one of the pathways:

This is as close as I got to any animals ...

Back in Hilo, we went for a walk and saw this huge cruise ship on its way back out to sea.

We walked over the bridge to Coconut Island in Hilo, here I am standing by a tree showing the height of some of the tsunamis over the years:

Just a picture of a restaurant across an inlet from our hotel as we went back in at dusk:

Coming up next, Volcanoes National Park ...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Driving Saddle Road

On Dec. 4 the itinerary item was to drive the scenic Saddle Rd., which connects the east and west sides of Big Island.  We had wanted to go up to the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano, but we knew already that it was still snowing up there and the road would be blocked.  Still, we headed out to see what we could see.

That's the slope of Mauna Kea ahead of us ... and yep, there's weather up there.

We passed over many old lava flows, this is one:

Lots of volcanic hills:

Heading up Mauna Kea towards the visitor centre.  Yep, that's snow!

And ... this is where it ends.  If we had been collecting photos of places we'd been weathered out, this would be #5 or so by now:

We did a little short hike up the cratered hills, instead:

Yep, it started actively raining again, such that one layer of rain gear wasn't enough:

Back down towards the saddle, passing some craters on the way:

Below is Mauna Loa in the distance, the other volcano, it's got snow happening up at the top too, but you can't see it from the saddle, it's clouded in at the top.

We stopped at a pullout and it happened to be where the Hilo-Pu'u'o'o trail crosses the road.  This trail crosses an 1855 lava flow, but the route roughly follows more ancient trails.  We would have walked part of it except it was, yeah, raining:

Our rental car awaits back at the highway.

We stopped at Rainbow Falls on the way in to Hilo.  Ironically, due to the rain, no rainbow today, but on a clear day I guess it habitually has a rainbow in the spray.

There were banyan trees near the falls:

And, since we had shortened and reduced our stops of the day due to the rain, we got to the hotel early.  Here's Ed sitting in the open air lounge:

Here's hoping for some less miserable weather tomorrow ...