REMEMBRANCE DAY 2020

NOVEMBER 11, 2020

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BALACLAVA WOOLEN MILL

A recent visit to cottage country allowed me to stop at the old ghost town of Balaclava, Ontario.

OLD BALACLAVA WOOLEN MILL

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DAME VERA LYNN

Dame Vera Lynn, the “Forces Sweetheart”,  was laid to rest today. Fittingly her funeral cortege was given a flypast by two Spitfires, much to the delight of the crowds that lined the streets of her home town of Ditchling, East Sussex.

SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE

THERE’LL BE BLUE BIRDS OVER THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER!

Thanks for the memories!

AVE ATQUE VALE!

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CUSTER’S LAST STAND

Yesterday was the 144th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Here are some pics I took during a visit to Montana a few years ago.

BATTLE MEMORIAL

 

CUSTER MARKER

 

CUSTER NATIONAL CEMETERY

The Custer National Cemetery was one of the first national military cemeteries for US military veterans.

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COMMON YELLOW-THROAT

While still waiting for the full warbler arrival, I was able to capture some images of the Common Yellow-Throat.

COMMON YELLOW-THROAT

COMMON YELLOW-THROAT FEASTS ON SPIDER’S WEB

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EASTERN SCREECH OWL

Was fortunate to catch a newly fledged family of Eastern Screech Owls.

EASTERN SCREECH OWL

EASTERN SCREECH OWLET

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PANDEMIC

Easter Sunday 2020 and as they say, there’s nothing new under the sun.

And so it is with pandemics. Cholera broke out in Europe in the early 1830s. Irish immigrants coming to Canada brought the contagion with them. To manage the crisis, the Canadian government was forced to rapidly set up a quarantine station on Grosse Isle in the St. Lawrence river, Canada’s immigration choke point, about 40 kms upstream from Quebec City.  

All arriving passengers were forced to take showers, be physically examined and have their clothes and  possessions  steamed. Those suspected of having the disease were required to spend weeks on the island where they either recovered or died. Thousands who had chanced the rigors of a North Atlantic crossing in the dream of starting of a new life in the New World, sadly did not make it off the island. 

Today Grosse Isle has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and remains a destination of Irish pilgrimage.

SECOND CLASS WASH HOUSE, GROSSE ISLE

Second class passengers quarantined on Grosse Isle had to do their own washing in this multiple unit laundry that was way ahead of its time in both design and function. Of course passengers staying in the First Class hotel  had their clothes and linen  laundry washed for them! After all, wealth doth have its privilege!! 

It’s  sad to realize that  millions of present day Canadians have no knowledge of the above scene which would have been intimately familiar to their brave ancestors to whose tenacious resilience and everlasting legacy they owe so much.

MASS GRAVE CEMETERY, GROSSE ISLE

This memorial is to the brave Canadian doctors who died in the service of their country and the arriving immigrants. The grave markers that can be seen in the distance are not for individuals but for mass interments. 

CELTIC CROSS, GROSSE ISLE

A visit to Grosse Isle is a  flashback to a bygone era when we took foreign arrivals seriously. Let’s hope for a resurrection of normalcy in our near future. 

With sincere best wishes for all.

Happy Easter! Stay safe!! Stay healthy!!!

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WINTER BARN

A late winter outing provided the opportunity to capture an image of an old barn in Gatineau, Quebec that has entered a phase of rapid deterioration.  Sad to think that the Canadian landscape will soon be devoid of once so familiar icons of a bygone age. 

 

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ULURU

Uluru Rock, formerly Ayers Rock, in the Red Centre of Australia, has now been closed to the public as of last Friday. The Rock had been one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations despite its remote location (the nearest town, Alice Springs, is over 450 km away!)

I feel sorry for those who will now have to scratch the climb up the Rock off their bucket list. They will just have to make do with some  legacy pictures I snapped with my old Nikon Nikorrmat film camera during a trip I made down under way back in 91.

ULURU ROCK IN THE EARLY MORNING

START OF THE CLIMB

The start of the climb at the base of the rock is strikingly similar to old photos of the Chilkoot Trail during the Yukon gold rush. Unlike the Chilkoot, the problem here is heat so the climb is performed after a 04:00 wake up call to get to the base in the early morning.

TOURISTS MIDWAY UP THE ASSAULT TO THE TOP

CRAGGY LANDSCAPE ATOP AYERS ROCK SUMMIT

VIEW OF THE OLGAS (now KATA TJUTA)  FROM THE SUMMIT OF AYERS ROCK

CAVES AT THE BASE OF ROCK

ABORIGINAL ART INSIDE ONE OF THE MANY CAVES

THE OLGAS

No trip to Australia’s Red Centre would be complete without a side trip to the nearby Olgas.

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE OLGAS

OLGAS ENTRANCE

 

AYERS ROCK FAREWELL

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HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. 

The event, headlined “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism,” was co-organized by  Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center and the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and was attended by political leaders from around the world. 

YAD VASHEM HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

During my visit a couple of years ago, I found the memorial of a cattle car poised on the edge of an abyss to be very emotional and moving.

 

 

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