Photography Blog: Trip to Niagara Falls

43.0800° N, 79.0710° W

We filled up our ride with discounted fuel at Costco then headed out onto the highway with Tom-tom, our GPS plugged in and a plethora of 50’s and 60’s show tunes CDs ready at hand. A ‘pleasant’ -10C, -16C with windchill and overcast skies were our companions on the open road. We were off to see one of the wonders of the world; right after we got our free McCafe double-double courtesy of McDonalds!

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Free small ‘Double Double’ to keep us warm

After coffee we started our drive from Scarborough to Niagara. Tomtom suggested we take the highway and so we did for the most part, until we reached near to the lake, then we drove along the apple farms, grape farms and the lake taking the scenic route.

Yacht Club along the way 

The farms along the lakeshore were mainly apple farms with neat rows from the road to the lake. Once the car stopped travelling they were beautiful tunnels towards the lake; otherwise the were quite dizzying. Thousands of lanes of trees moving past in a blur. Here is a shot of when we came to a standstill. This farm is the opposite; it is a grape vineyard. Usually they are laden however it is winter.

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When you see something spectacular for the first time in your life, when you’re completely awestruck, pull the car over and take it in. This is the meandering Niagara River that flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario meanwhile also acting as a boarder between two of the three countries on the North American continent, Canada and the United States of America.

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Before coming to Canada I often associated the two countries closely to each other. These two North American countries are both part of the developed world versus my country, Trinidad. Since I’ve come to Canada, I must apologize to the Canadians, you are not at all like the Americans. Aye? There are many separations that occur naturally, others we impose on ourselves. Here’s a significant boarder.
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This is also spectacular. The Niagara Falls on the American side complete with banks of snow solidified thus creating numerous other falls. Looks wonderful for a swim, only it is freezing cold. Literally. On January 8th it was claimed that the US side of the falls froze over for the first time since 1901, that was false. This is the scenario according to the Niagara Parks Twitter, “While very chilly and strikingly beautiful right now, Niagara Falls is NOT completely frozen today.” There you go. Something you probably didn’t know. Google it.

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The Niagara Falls, NY. USA

As you give, so it will be given back to you. The deepest section of the falls is  equal to the height of the falls which is 52 metres. The US side, ice speckled and all is obviously beautiful, captivating. The Canadian fall, stand right next to it, hear the water gushing over the precipice and feel the wind pushing you away from the brilliance of the fall. This is what it looks like.

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The enthralling horseshoe Niagara Fall of Canada

Last but not least. Love. Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13. Love never ends but we do and so we often feel the need, as with many other things, to document our love. Love.

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“…and if we lock it and throw the key into the water it will remain here locked forever; the same way love will live in our lives.”

I hope you enjoyed my review of my trip. If you did, show a friend or share it with someone.

Aside: Cheers to Matthew McConaughey, the only guy to thank God at the Oscars, Academy Awards, thanks for the life lesson as well.
Sincerely,
Rushell

5 months

A new person

Tomorrow please God I will be going to visit the Niagara Falls for the first time. I’m going with my aunt and her friend. We are driving there from Scarborough, which is where we live. I have to wake up and be ready to leave the house at 8:30am. I don’t have an alarm because I sent my phone to fix today and I’m nervous that I won’t wake up in time. My aunt also seems to be a bit displeased with me and I’m not sure why. She told one of her friend’s on the phone that she had a long day and that she was tired hopefully that is it and not me. Up until a few moments ago I thought that tomorrow was also going to be the 26th of February. Knowing that it’s not sort of changes things but I’ll write this nonetheless. On the 26th February will be 5 months since I’ve given my life to Jesus. Five months since I asked Jesus into my life; opened the door that God had been knocking on. To be honest, I don’t know what is going on.

My friend who was there with me when I first believed told me that as a result there will be temptations. There were and I succumbed, like literally the very next day. In the beginning I knew that I was making the right decision but it was all very weird. I read the bible, I tried to change my ways sometimes but mostly I still sucked (hindsight) and I didn’t hear from God. Then one night I did, He said that He missed me. That was it, no more. It was enough for me though; I was really excited and felt good. I was getting better at following Jesus in some ways but mostly I continued to stuck and still do mostly. I was pretty excited because I thought that five months after accepting Jesus that I was going to be visiting a wonderful creation; turns out I’m not, I got my dates mixed up.

I have since left university and returned home to Trinidad, now I’m on vacation in Canada. Back at school I often got guidance from the Holy Spirit but back in Trinidad my life was very noisy and I rarely heard Him. Now I’m in Canada and I still rarely hear Him. I want to go and tell the Good News to others but I don’t know how to. I want to do what I ought to. I want to follow Jesus’ directions and instructions but I haven’t been.

When I die and God asks me what I did with my life right now my answer would most likely be that I wasted it. I did good deeds here and there. I didn’t go out and tell people of God’s great love for us or Jesus’ willing sacrifice, I didn’t always treat the least of us as I would Jesus nor did I always love my neighbour as myself. I didn’t always see that I am a wonderful creation of God and that He knows me in and out, my most private thoughts and more so the many fragments of thoughts that summarise my consciousness. I didn’t go where He lead me or listen out for Him in the quietness of my heart. I tried to do things that would please Him whenever I remembered or felt comfortable. Mostly though, I sat around being upset that I couldn’t connect with him. I read numerous other Christian books but I didn’t read the Bible as much. I was melancholy because I didn’t know where He was leading me. I know that He didn’t forget about me or not have a plan for me but I didn’t know where to make my next step.

As it is, five months later (almost) I am hoping that this pregnancy will soon end and that I am able to partake in this new life.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”  Corinthians 5:17

Here’s a picture of a sunset that I took. I hope you enjoy it.
Rushell
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Soothing Sounds of the Subway

Its quarter past ten in the night on Thursday, I’m on the leaving Eaton Centre heading back to my aunt’s condo in Scarborough. My hands are filled; American Eagles Outfitters, Aeropostale, Sephora, Forever 21, Starbucks, La Senza, bags are everywhere. Sure these aren’t necessities but they are items that I planned to buy on my trip here and the majority are not made in sweatshops in the East. I felt the weight of the bags in my hands and mused on the fact that belongings don’t make us happy. Sure upon receiving them we tend to me overcome with euphoria but it’s not happiness; it’s short-lived.  Since I’m now following the path that I always encouraged others to walk I am a lot more at peace with myself and decisions. Sure my new belongings and gifts to my family were wonderful but they were not responsible for the smile on my face. The peace and reassurance of my life did. Into the subway I went after compressing the numerous bags, lightening my load and managing not to get lost.

Clearly rush hour extended way past 8pm here, the subway was crowded. From somewhere yonder came a comforting sound, not the usual subway station intercom music but smooth strumming that brought a pleasant smile to my face. As I walked closer to my stop it got louder, I got happier. As I turned the corner I saw him. He was average height white guy, possibly around my dad’s age or a bit older with long wavy hair that placed him way back in time. He strummed with a content look on his face while his guitar case lay open at his feet collecting change. I slowed my subway sprint to a stroll to take in the tune. I told him good night and great music, I walked on then down the escalator.

Brian Moore  Guitarist of the subway
Brian Moore
Guitarist of the subway

In those moments I laughed at the irony of my possession and what brought a fire of happiness into me.  It was the strumming that captivated me. Meanwhile the next train to leave the station for my stop was filling up quickly and people swarmed around me. Coming on the bone chilling breeze through the unheated station was that sweet, sweet strumming. Did I get onto the train and join the sea of private lives and blank expressions? No. I skipped that train and stayed there mesmerised by the wonders of a single man, his instrument and the overwhelming joy that I received. Surely this would be worth it. Another train came, I did not get onto it either, partially because I didn’t want to and also because I could not. Have you ever tried walking away from a breathing sunset or turning away from the sparkle in a child’s eye? There are some things that can’t be done and we should give into these.

I wanted to leave some money for him but I had no change and, with that melodious sound drifting down the staircase, neither was I in a hurry. I paid for water in the Afghan subway store and gave him the change in the guitar case. He had just about finished a song and stopped playing. When he saw the money he questioned it, then was thankful and gave me a CD with his songs. I’m really glad that he did that because otherwise I would have no clue about his name or where to find his music. Unfortunately I forgot to ask him the name of the first song that I heard, hopefully I will find it.

Money has its purpose which it readily fulfils but sometimes we base so much of our lives on gaining it and the ways that it facilitates us that we forget to separate ourselves from it. Sure we don’t wear money, we are separate in that sense, yet we identify ourselves in alignment to our monetary successes. If only it was possible that we would let loose of that final tie, the beauty of this would become that much clearer in our eyes.  I didn’t go shopping to make myself happy but there are numerous ads around us depicting girls leaving malls grinning and laughing, evidently happy with numerous large brand name shopping bags. We, mainly girls, are taught that shopping heals. I’m sharing this because after a long day and a few hundred dollars later it was a free experience that fuelled a wonderful feeling of happiness.

(Okay so technically it is not free since I paid $40 Canadian for a week pass. Nonetheless it comes really close to free because if we divide forty by seven then by eight you would get how much that single trip cost. So I paid $0.78 and two days later I’m still smiling.)

The guy’s name is Brian Moore and he has a CD as well as a profile on soundclick.com. He isn’t signed and he claims to be a regular in the Toronto Subway Station. I definitely look forward to seeing him in such a wonderful capacity again. Thank God for the gifts of talent and willingness of such talented individuals to share. You should check out his work here, I like the tracks ‘Thank You’ and ‘Circle of Light.’ I still can’t find the one that I love as yet though.
Sincerely,
Rushell Rousseau
Living the Great Perhaps

Lake Ontario, Toronto Island

I am in Toronto on vacation, yesterday I went to Toronto Island late in the evening and took a few shots with my Nikon D3200 18-55mm lens. After many below zero days the city warmed up to 0 on Wednesday, my friend and I decided to make the most of it and headed over to the beautiful island. 
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The sunsetting West of the city of Toronto over a frozen part of Lake Ontario yesterday. 

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The path cut by the ice breaker to allow the ferry to move between the city and Toronto Island

 

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A tree hanging over frozen sections of Lake Ontario on the Eastern section of Toronto Island at sunset.

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Some warm homemade cappuccino!
Hope you enjoyed! If you did leave a comment or recommendation or share with a friend. 
Wishing you a happy day! 

Sincerely,
Rushell