Canada

Posted by Ellen

A shaft of sunlight has slipped between a couple of skyscrapers to illuminate this woman's walk across King Street in Toronto.

Posted by Ellen

The poor bicycle, chained to a pole, had no chance to escape. But at least nobody was riding it at the time.

Photo by Sam Javanrouh in Toronto.

Posted by Ellen

About twelve summers ago, we made it to Idaho Peak, above New Denver, British Columbia, in the Selkirk Mountains. That meadowful of flowers up there is as good as it gets for flowers.

The trail isn't as sketchy as it might look; it meanders gently around the bend up ahead toward a fire tower that overlooks Slocan Lake and the tiny lakeside towns of Silverton and New Denver. All the settlements in this neck of the woods were late-nineteenth-century mining towns; when the silver and gold gave out in the early to middle years of the twentieth century, the towns struggled, and some vanished. A revival began in the 1960s with U.S. draft dodgers and Canadian and U.S. back-to-the-landers, who were attracted by the scenery and the lack of twentieth-century sprawl.

Best thing about the flowers on Idaho Peak: it's always summer up there. The flowers are always in full bloom. I can't remember it any other way.

Posted by Ellen

The goalkeeper for Toronto FC, an MLS team, plays almost in the shadow of the city's CN Tower.
 

Posted by Ellen

I know nothing about this picture, except that photographer Geoff MacIntosh, of Calgary, Alberta, titled it "Grin."

Posted by Ellen

The Great Lakes are basically big puddles that filled with meltwater after the last Ice Age; to this day, almost all the rivers that feed the lakes come in from the north, where the glaciers used to be.

We could think of the Great Lakes as five bowls set on a staircase, each bowl brimming over and cascading down into the next. By the time the water slops over from the fourth bowl--Lake Erie--down to the last one--Lake Ontario--it's really spilling seriously, all fast and furious.  And so we have Niagara Falls: an entire Ice Age of fossil water, draining down through four Great Lakes and then crashing hard through a narrow little riverbed to splash into that one last lake and then the St. Lawrence River and finally the Atlantic Ocean.

When European explorers first glimpsed Niagara, its connection to the two huge lakes seemed obvious and dramatic. This 1837 bird's eye view puts Lake Erie at the top, the falls in the middle, and Lake Ontario at the bottom of the picture, collecting all that splashover from ten thousand years of melting ice.

Posted by Ellen

They wanted a picture of themselves at their lakeside campsite in Banff National Park, so they put the camera on a rock and set the shutter for a delayed snapshot.

The whirring sound made by the camera as it prepared to snap attracted a squirrel, who chattered right back at it and got himself nicely pixellated for his 1/250th of a second of fame.

Or so it said on the National Geographic website. Hat tip to John "J.J." Stein for this fine submission to our irregular summer series of cute animal pictures. (Yes, there are more....)