Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter Light: Star Party --- March 5, Elk Island National Park

A copy and paste from my email reminders....

Look up, way up: Star Party

March 5, 2011
4-10 pm   
Elk Island National Park

The stars of this festival are... the stars! There is so much to see in space, and just as much to do back on Earth at the Star Party, Saturday March 5 at Elk Island National Park.
Map of Star Party at Elk Island National Park - click here 
The highlight of this event is the Astotin Lake Star Field, where avid astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society share their telescopes and expertise to help you view the solar system, faraway galaxies and interesting space oddities. Elk Island National Park is part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, a special area of night sky conservation that allows for observation of the stars with or without a scope.

Inside the theatre, tents and tipis, the Star Party offers a wealth of intriguing star lore, talks, and presentations by respected scientists, artists, and aboriginal knowledge keepers. This year’s Star Party features local and national guests, including well-known wilderness astronomer and television host Peter McMahon, internationally recognized nightscape photographer Yuichi Takasaka, and artist and educator Kathleen Houston. Closer to home, Star Party hosts local ‘stars’ of sky observation and research, Dr. Warren Finlay, Dr. Erin Hauck-Walton, and Parks Canada sky expert Matt Davis. Traditional knowledge and culture is presented by Betty Lafferty, Walter Quinn, Ben Moses, Sherryl Sewepagaham and special guest and ‘star’ elder, Francis Alexis.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mill Creek Adventure Walk: Raven's Nest-- Feb 25 and 26!

Another copy and paste from my email updates on the Winter Light Festivals, this looks like an amazing event:

Mill Creek Adventure Walk: Raven's Nest

February 25-26, 2011  
Friday and Saturday 4-10 pm   
Mill Creek Park
Lantern parades at 6:30 and 9 pm nightly

The woods come alive with mysterious lights, sound and characters for Mill Creek Adventure Walk: Raven's Nest. The adventure walk takes place Friday and Saturday night in Mill Creek Park, running north and south between 82 Avenue and 92 Avenue, on the west side of the creek.

This new Winter Light art walk is conceived and created by artists
Memi von Gaza and Dylan Toymaker, creators of the hugely popular Baba Yaga Trail Adventure. They have teamed up to transform Mill Creek into a series of magical realms, animating a story of light and hope. This is Winter Light's second event in Mill Creek, the first being the Light Meadow in 2009.

The people of Raven's Nest are gathered at Underbridge, a place of fire and flickering lights, ruled by the eccentric Raven King (
Dave Clarke). He keeps his people safe, but fearful of what lays beyond the boundaries of his camp. Along the path, the Magpie people roam, free to travel,  encouraging people to explore magical worlds: the Light Camp where the Lantern Makers (Ryan Halun, Talia Morrissey) live; and the Shimmering Grove, where the Aurora people (Dylan Toymaker) make music and light dance amid the trees.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Trip to the Muttart Conservatory!

Love in the Feature Pyramid ;-)
Yesterday we went to the Muttart Conservatory. We enjoyed strolling through the four glass pyramids, each supporting different plants: arid, temperate, and tropical zones, with the fourth pyramid being a changing themed pyramid. Right now the Feature Pyramid sports tons of brightly coloured flowers and several heart shaped arrangements.

We noticed several signs of spring, especially in the Temperate pyramid. I suppose spring comes early indoors ;-)

The Temperate Pyramid also features one of my favourite plants, the Wollemi Pine tree.  Apparently this pine was thought to be extinct and only know from fossil records until a man rappelled into a valley in Australia and found a living grove! About 15 years ago, in Sydney, they thought to reproduce this plant, for conservation, and send plants to various parts of the world. Canada got 6 plants with one going to the Muttart! It had been in quarantine for two years since it came growing in Australian soil. Then it had it's debut in a very informative display in the Feature Pyramid in 2009. And, like I said, it's final home is in the Temperate Pyramid!
Or Make a Wish (no coins)

My son's favourites are the Tropical and Temperate Pyramids followed closely by the Arid and Feature Pyramids. Overall, it's a lovely place to visit and sit. We ended up sitting in the Feature Pyramid listening to the classical music playing overhead while we snuggled and read through a guide book to prehistoric life.

Temperate Pyramid, A Pond with Fish

Signs of Spring in the Temperate Pyramid

More Signs of Spring in the Temperate Pyramid

Wollemi Pine with Cones

Arid Pyramid

Tropical Pyramid

Who's hiding in the Tropical Pyramid?

Lovely Water Feature in the Tropical Pyramid
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