Tag Archives: Canada
Four members of the Frozen Foursome+ made the pilgrimage to Toronto to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame during the off day of the college tournament. The Hall was established in 1943; it has been in its current location since 1993.
Currently, there is an exhibit honoring #’s 9 & 99: Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. A nice video tribute on both of the legendary players, as well as exhibits highlighting their connection.
One can not argue with the contribution both made to the game of hockey: Mr Hockey & The Great One.
The plaques honoring the players that have been inducted and the various trophies are displayed in the Great Hall, which is in the historic Bank of Montreal building.
The Great Hall is a stunning room, the highlight of which is the 24 fanned-panel, stained glass dome, with eight stained glass circles, and even more detailed panels on the outer edge and inner section.
The Bank of Montreal building, which is home to The Great Hall was constructed in 1885.
The original Stanley Cup, and the retired bands from the current cup, are stored in the old bank’s vault. Now known as Lord Stanley’s Vault.
The HHof receives around 300,000 visitors a year. This year, with the Frozen Four held in nearby Buffalo, NY, there was a definite influx of college hockey fans while we visited.
There is an entire section dedicated to international hockey, which includes Olympic Hockey. A large exhibit honoring the 1980 Miracle on Ice team was prominent.
A hockey fan could spend several days exploring the Hall. I know that all of our group would have loved to spend more time than we had, but it was a well worth the trip across the border to experience the history of hockey.
Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.. The 400 plus acre park was established in 1885. I spent an entire afternoon exploring its trails and taking in the sights and sounds of The Falls.
Compared with last autumn, when I was on the other bank with the Curator & Brazil Lucas, the crowds this week were at a minimum. From the looks of things, May 1 is the date that things open up. The lower trails were still closed off, and few, if any attractions/facilities were open.
In 1896, Nikola Tesla sent AC power, generated at The Falls, to Buffalo for the first time, proving to the world that it could be done. Previously, the DC power generated at The Falls could only be transmitted 100 yards.
It was a beautiful day to be out walking the trails. There is a trolley that runs through the park. You can get on and off as many times as you need during a day for $3. Not a bad price when you consider that a horse drawn carriage ride around The Falls in 1895 cost $1/hour.
There is a pedestrian bridge and a vehicle bridge over to Goat Island. There are actually several islands at this end of the park, with foot bridges connecting them all. Some nice views of both sides of The Falls can be had from the island, with the Niagara River surrounding you.
Four of the five Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River, before it flows into Lake Ontario. 75,750 gallons of water a second goes over American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, and another 681,750 gallons per second over Horseshoe Falls.
It will take 50,000 years, due to erosion, for Niagara Falls to cease to exist.
March 20 means that spring has sprung, and for Fairbanks, it actually feels like spring on the first day of spring. Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories have all seen record temps the past few days, and all three have seen 70F degrees this month. It is the earliest on record for all of us to hit that mark.
The third, and final Supermoon of the year is also taking place on the first day of spring. This full moon, is also known as the Worm Moon. Not as catchy as the Super Blood Wolf Moon, but as it historically signals when worms start coming out of the frozen earth, I can get into the Worm Moon. Quite honestly, even though this has been an insanely mild winter in the far north, I am more than ready for spring. I only have three salmon fillets left in my freezer.
Goose watching season has also begun here in Fairbanks. Alaskans are easily entertained, so we have an annual bet on when the first Canadian Goose shows up at Creamer’s Field. Whoever guesses the date and time of the first goose landing, without going over, wins $500.
Fairbanks Weather Almanac for March 20:
High temp………………….. +39F
Low temp…………………… +26F
Record high………………… +56F
Record low…………………. -37F
Average high……………….. +28F
Average low………………… – 1F
Length of day………………. 12 hrs 15 mins
….. For a gain of 6 mins 44 secs from yesterday
Wednesday, 27 February, is International Polar Bear Day.
There are 25,000 estimated polar bears world-wide. On average, a male polar bear weighs 1500 lbs, and can stand close to 10 feet tall on its hind legs. The largest known came from Alaska, and stood 12 feet, and weighed 2210 lbs. Females are quite a bit smaller, weighing on average 500 lbs, and only standing 8 feet tall.
Polar bears are closely related to brown bears. The two populations likely became isolated around the time of the last ice age, around 150,000 years ago. The two species can interbreed, but have adapted to very different habitats. Neither species would last long in the other’s habitat. For example, the polar bear is so adapted to the Arctic climate, that they can not take temperatures above 50F for very long.
Only female polar bears who are pregnant hibernate. Male bears are active year round.
Polar bears can, but rarely, live past 25 years in the wild. Although, in captivity, they have reached 43 years.
Russia outlawed the hunting of polar bears in 1956, the United States began protecting them in 1972. Regulation in Greenland started in 1994. Currently, Canada allows the hunting of up to 500 polar bears annually.