Missed Autumn

Missed Autumn

Hello friends,

Welcome to 2020! I hope your year has started of fantastic! We (Nugget and myself) have been a bit slow rolling with the new year and the new starts and all, hence why this is my first post.

This year I decided to not make any resolutions. I know, oh my what? No resolutions?

Yes, no resolutions for this gal. Instead I have decided to create a few goals for myself regarding ideas I have been wanting to work towards for a while now, just never dedicated enough time, energy or research into. I am quite excited and beginning to get into a decent groove over this last week. I always feel there is an extreme amount of pressure regarding the fresh start and resolutions, so I will be keeping mine to myself and quietly hustle away. Obviously, if any major goals get achieved I will write a post to keep you all in the loop of my life!

Even though I didn’t post really at all last year, I still feel like the family we have created here is a close one and I am excited to share my 2020 with you all and grow this family!

So to start the new year off simple, I have put together a few photos from one of my fall drives to the more “Northern” part of Ontario. I hope you enjoy them! It was a very gloomy fall day so keep that in mind, raining on and off as well!

So in closing out, I am going to make it a priority to post on here at least once a week this year. That is a goal I will share with you guys ๐Ÿ™‚

How has your new year started out? Do you have any resolutions or goals you would like to share with me? Tell me down in the comments below! Let’s start the new year with positive vibes together!

Until next time,

xoxo

The Black & Red Swan

The Black & Red Swan

Hello friends,

Todays post is about an amazing swan we saw while touring around the United Kingdom.

The day started off touring around like most days do when you’re in a new place. It was mid-afternoon at this point and it was a bit chilly and windy! We were walking around in a residential neighbourhood and looking at all the old mansion houses – there were a lot of them! haha

Eventually we came across this really cool house. Not a stone mansion like we have been seeing, but probably my favourite house yet. It looked like a house out of the hobbit movies with a thick straw roof!

It intrigued us so we went up to it. The backyard/side of house was full of thicker brush jutting out in all different directions. We saw that there was a pond in the backyard and there was movement in it! We kept trying to poke our heads over the fence and between the fence to see what was back there. That’s when we spotted the swans. There was a couple white ones but then this black beauty appeared.

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This swan was the most gorgeous swan I have ever seen. Beautiful black feathers with a bright red beak. When it rustled its feathers and raised its wings, lush bright white feathers were revealed. This somehow amazed me even more. Such a beautiful animal.

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It was hard getting any clear pictures because the brush was so thick, but I tried my best haha because my mom fell in love with this little guy. All she kept saying was “take a picture take a picture” and I replied with “I’m trying!” haha it was a comedy show to see.

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Have you guys ever seen a swan that looks like this? Or one that isn’t white in colour? I would love to know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Autumn in Ottawa 2018

Autumn in Ottawa 2018

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


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Todays post is mostly based around the pictures you’ll see! Fall is quickly coming to an end here in Canada so I have been snooping around everywhere in Ottawa to try and find the best fall pictures.

Ontario has beautiful fall colours:

* Red

*Orange

*Yellow

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The places I have found to be stunning my first autumn in Ottawa, ON are:

*Major’s Hill Park

*Hog’s Back Park

*Mer Bleue Conservation Area

Out of those three I feel like Hog’s Back has been my favourite. I think I have gone back three times just to play around with my camera settings – its so relaxing to me. I completely lose track of time.

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Two things I love are being submerged in nature and taking pictures. I find fall weather is the perfect time to do these two things. Its not too hot or cold yet and the colours are so vibrant. Like yes don’t get me wrong I love the vibrant greens in the summer, but there is just something about the beautiful fall colours that grabs my attention.

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I kind of blame my mom for my love of fall colours. She always talks about mustard yellow and burgundy, which are now probably two of my favourite colours to find in nature as well as wear! haha But one of my favourite colours that will never change is a beautiful teal blue ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, enough talk about colours haha just enjoy the pictures!

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The leaves are quickly falling off the trees here. Soon we will be left with large brown twigs until the beautiful blanket of snow covers everything. I wish fall lasted longer – always have. However, we hit our first morning of below zero weather today and I would be lying if I said it didn’t get me thinking about Christmas already! I know I know, too soon!!

Do you have vibrant fall colours where you live? Let me know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Hello friends,

Have you ever just woke up one morning and gone for a little wander? I have and that is what this post will be about today.

At the end of August I was visiting my grandparents, parents, etc. at camp. Now I call it camp, but I know most people refer to these places as cottages. I always felt like cottage was too fancy to describe our camp. Camp is a place where we hangout outside, go fishing, swimming, biking, etc. and just have a great time.

This one particular morning I woke up and it was still so foggy and misty out so I decided to grab my camera. I was up pretty early so it was still quiet – all the loud ones were still sleeping. I know my mom was up and in my grandmas camp though because I could see her sitting in her corner spot on the couch with a fresh cup of black coffee – in her words the only way to drink coffee is black or you ruin it. (My dad and I like a wee bit of cream in it though)

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Of course the puppies need to follow me around anytime im doing anything. They are always so curious. This one here is Molly. She is ten and grows random lumps that shrink and increase in size whenever they please. We have gotten them checked out and its nothing to worry about the vet says so don’t be alarmed!

Another fact about Miss Molly here is that she brings her ball everywhere. She has multiple tennis balls and eventually we have to throw them out because she plays with and chews them so much they break. So here she is in her natural habitat watching dad come out of the boat house with her ball of course.

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Eventually I wandered down to the dock. The clouds hung low this morning as I crept through the dewy grass in my moose pyjamas and bright teal gwacks (crocs for normal people – my dad has us all in a habit of calling them gwacks and to be honest it took me a few second to remember their actual name).

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Next I try to get an artsy shot of our 20+ year old boat called Bike. He is the real deal. He has pulled more people behind him then you could ever count. Countless trips back and forth with someone strapped to the wakeboard or waterskis, or trying to hold on for their dear life on the tube whilst being peed on by whomever is on top.

Such a great majestic boat. Anyone, mostly the younger cousins, who come to camp and sees Bike in the water knows that a good time will be had. Cold or hot, rain or shine, Bike the boat will still take you for a ride.

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Now this tree is beautiful. It is hanging right beside the dock. When I was young it did not look like this. The river water has increased for many years now and with that the bank has eroded and has become unstable. It needs to come down in pieces soon because once its in the river it will be much harder to get out!

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The next spot I wandered to in my now grass covered gwacks was in front of my parents property. The water was like glass and if you only look at the reflection it would be hard to tell which way was up or down.

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Now, as I was bent down petting the puppies I noticed some undisturbed blades of grass with water droplets still in tact. So, I decided to attempt for pictures. It was a bit difficult because when you get right low the dogs swarm you with love and puppy morning breath. I was battling the wagging tails away before they knocked the precious droplets to the ground.

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Next I was just playing around with focus and ended up capturing a few pictures I liked. I enjoy how the yellow is so vibrant against the darker morning mist in the background.

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Now by this time I have been wandering around for a while. As I venture back to the boathouse to put my camera away before heading to grandmas for coffee and breakfast, I can see the lost boy (aka my boyfriend) talking to my dad asking where I am. I just look at them and laugh.

The warm cup of coffee fills my cold body with caffeine and then the pancake making commences.

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #3

Picture of the Week #3

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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If you have been following me for a bit now you know I recently moved to Ottawa! This was one of the views I have seen parliament from when I got lost trying to find a walking trail. Have you ever seen the parliament buildings in Ottawa, ON?

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Until next time,

xoxo

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my boyfriend and I’s first fall activity thatย he actually brought to my attention… I know eh, what boy brings up fall activities! In all fairness to him, it was a client at his work who told him about it so I won’t go too hard on him!

First Fall Activity of 2018: Apple Picking!

 

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The place we ended up going to was called Log Cabin Orchard. It was only about a 25 minute drive from our apartment at the South end of Ottawa, ON. As we were getting closer to the location, we noticed all these cars lined up along the side of the road. I thought wow this must be a pretty good spot to get some apples!

The first thing you do when you arrive is figure out which driveway to go into! Hint: its the one by the big sign. Then you wander down it and if you are anything like me you stop and take a million pictures of their cute little cabin! (star of my picture of the week last week – click here to see!) Once we made it down, we wandered into the cabin from the back door. That is where you pick out what size of bag you want to fill up with apples and pay for it before you go out picking! They also had a food/drink area outside the cabin where they were selling fresh apple cider and churros!

As you make your way into the orchard area, they also have a little petting zoo for the kids. Even though it was mostly for the kids we checked it out too … always a kid at heart!

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The older man who owns this orchard tells you that you can walk in and follow the orange cones to the trees that are ready to be picked or you can take the tractor ride in! We chose to walk for a bit of exercise on our relaxing/lazier day, but that tractor ride sure looked like fun! Well at least all the kids looked like they were having a good time ๐Ÿ˜€

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The orchard was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere you looked the trees were lush with all types of apples. It was a very hot and humid day, however when the clouds covered for a bit it was a nice break from the direct sunlight!

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So, I have never been apple picking before but it sure was fun! This is the view you get when you arrive at the trees you’re allowed to pick from. Its amazing how straight the lines of trees are! The first apples we picked were Macintosh. We filled up half our bag with these ones. They were hanging low enough on the trees that you could still reach them – although the ones up higher were bigger!

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Next, we scampered across to the other size where the Lobos were. Now the lower apples were picked over here so they had ladders set up so we could reach the higher ones! And yes, the ladders were the old school wooden ones – very cool.

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It was a bit sketchy climbing up those ladders though because they weren’t the most stable! The apples were calling my name though so we went up anyways – sorry parents! haha we got our apples in one piece I promise!

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Photo credits go to the boy – he took over the camera whilst I was picking!

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We ended up with our bag full right to the top and had a lot of fun doing it! Now we had to walk back to the car with this heavy bag of apples in the +30C heat – safe to say I has a sweat stash going on and the boy was kind enough to point it out.

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In conclusion, I would highly recommend going out and picking some apples this fall! It is a very fun activity to do with yourself, a friend or even the whole family! I know I will be going out picking apples every fall from now on!

Also, the best part about it is that you get to take home and eat these delicious apples! We still have a few left but I have been having one or two everyday!

Have you ever been apple picking before? If you haven’t, would you go try it now? Let me know in the comments below!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #2

Picture of the Week #2

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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Location: Log Cabin Orchard

To be honest I truly love this little cabin – you will have to wait and see the story behind it in an upcoming post!

What is your first thought when you see this picture? Tell me a little story in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk | Ottawa, ON

Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk | Ottawa, ON

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my time exploring the Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk in Ottawa, Ontario!

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The Mer Bleue Bog is one of the largest bogs in southern Ontario. This type of landscape is more commonly found in the Arctic than in the Ottawa Valley, but we will take it! It is absolutely beautiful.

The conservation area of Mer Bleue is 33.43 km square, with the most amazing feature being the bog. The vegetation on this bog is vastly different from anywhere else in Ottawa – it is quite noticeable once you arrive!

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It was a beautiful sunny Sunday when we went to explore the bog. We actually came across Mer Bleue on a different day while we were eating ice cream and looking up places to walk around Ottawa. We always end up going for walks/hikes in Gatineau, Quebec so it was about time we found more places in Ottawa!

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The bog boardwalk was a stunning place to see – such a different feeling than all of our other walks we have been on. The boardwalk is in excellent shape too; people were able to easily push strollers down it.

There were many families at the boardwalk embracing the last few beautiful weeks of summer weather before fall really begins to hit. We are in the stage now where it is sweater weather in the morning, but come the afternoon you’re a sweaty mess!

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The boardwalk is 1.2km long and has many information boards along the way to keep you informed about the ecosystem you are exploring. The posters were actually very educational!

In the Mer Bleue area, there are many other walks you can adventure out on as well. We actually went on another walk after this one since this boardwalk took less then an hour.

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I love how when they made the boardwalk they made sure to disrupt the environment as little as possible.

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The amount of cattails in this bog was surreal. It looked as if they went on for miles and miles and never ended. They were definitely taller than me in some areas too!

Our day started out with clear blue skies, but by the time we were done the walk they had clouded over. The type of cloud that still leaves it bright outside but no blue to be seen.

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Playing with the cattails

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And oh my you guys, I am sorry for all the frogs in my recent posts but they are just everywhere! Everywhere I looked when we were doing the boardwalk I spotted frogs then my boyfriend started spotting them too. No shortage of frogs in Ontario let me tell you that!

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young frog

Here I actually caught a young frog growing in his life cycle and not fully matured yet. When I took this picture at the bog I did not realize that he was still in the growing stages. It was not until I was at home looking through my pictures I realized that he still had the little tail – too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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The last little part of the boardwalk is in the forest near the bog and we came across this old dead tree. The tree was quite large as well. Looking up admiring the size of it we notice the fungus growing around the top of it. Pretty cool too see when the light shines through it.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend checking out this bog if you are in the Ottawa area! It was beautiful – like a little escape/vacation from Ottawa without actually leaving. Great for any age range too; I saw little babies there to an old couple just going for a stroll.

Have you ever been to a bog before? Let me know down in the comments below!

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xoxo

Taking the Tube | London 2018

Taking the Tube | London 2018

Hello friends,

Before I start this story I would just like to say that all the photos used were taken in poor lighting and off my outdated iphone so disregard the quality – I needed some pictures to go along with my story however the tube is so busy and fast paced therefore I did not feel like possibly having my good camera damaged!

Also, if you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!

Now back to business!


Since I learned about London when I was young, I knew about the tube. I use to always think it was funny people called their bus the tube – little did I know how different it was from what I originally thought.

I assumed it was the same as busses, as some people do, but it is vastly different from that. Sometimes you are above ground and sometimes you are below! The cabs are large, but get filled up very quickly. My sister (who was teaching in Bristol at the time) told us that the tube was not even busy when we went on it and I thought – wow it must be claustrophobic in here when its rush hour!

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On the other side of the gates for the first time about to take the tube!

Once we got to the station, obviously we had to commence the mission on figuring out what ticket to get. Once it was all sorted we put that little ticket to use and ended up on the other side of these gates! I felt as if I were a local taking the tube and I am so happy we ended up doing this for a day instead of an Uber. (Good job sister telling us it was a must!)

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First glimpse of inside the tube!

So this was our first glimpse at the inside! Everyone had gotten off and we were the first on. The stop we were at was at the very end of their tracks so it had filled up more as we hit other stops.

We got off after 3 or 4 stops I think to another station where we had to hop onto a different train. It was quite entertaining trying to get to the other train in time so we wouldn’t have to wait for a long time haha the signs helped but there was a lot of people and it was all so new we became overwhelmed! Thankfully my sister was like – dudes its this way haha

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Mind The Gap! (and the rubbish! haha)

Finally we arrived where we needed to be to board the next train. Obviously I had to take the classic mind the gap picture! Because that gap is real let me tell you! If you don’t know where it is or how wide it is you could definitely get your leg stuck in it – ouch!

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Chilling at the station

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This man looked slightly too tall for the doors …

Within a few minutes the next train arrives and we wait for people to unload but you also have to get on quickly or the doors close! Once we were on we stood for a bit and then as people got off we sat down.

A couple stops after we sat down a lady with a dog came on. This dog was quite well behaved and absolutely loved my sister because she pet it once! Once you pet it, he became your best friend haha she was covered in dog hair for the rest of the day!

The dog was whimpering a bit though because the tube moves at the speed of light! It is extremely fast and loud, especially when you are underground. If you have super sensitive ears I would actually recommend wearing ear plugs! Another thing to keep in mind if you ever do venture onto the tube is give yourself a lot of time to get to the door before your stop. They do not wait for you if you are too slow! My sister would tell us to stand at the door when she knew our stop was the next one so we could get off quickly.

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Cute puppy that sat beside us!

As you can see, the tube was not packed this day, however coming from spacious Canada we all felt like it was! Not sure how you would even be able to get on and off when its busier!

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Proud father moment realizing he successfully took the tube!

At the end of our tube journey we were all relieved haha we made it to the centre of London! Also, if you are going on a long journey on the tube, make sure you have coins… you have to pay to go pee there! (ยฃ0.20 pence (GBP) to go pee = $0.40 cents (CAD)) Very different then what I am use to haha I had to break a bill so I could pee! The escalators to take you up from underground too are extremely steep so hold on – don’t goof around or you may be falling back to the bottom!

Overall, it was an amazing experience and would highly recommend anyone travelling there to try it out! Live like the locals! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you ever taken the tube in London? If so, do you have any crazy/funny experiences to share?! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo