Friday, July 3, 2015

Thousands of Photos of America the Beautiful

My daughter and her family will be spending July 4th in Oregon, part of a week-long stay to celebrate  her sister-in-law's wedding.  I've never had the pleasure of touring there, but I'm quite comfortable applying the adjective I  did after seeing the photographs she has taken thus far. Oregon looks lovely.

Tomorrow is July 4th, the anniversary of the United States' formal separation from Great Britain in 1776.  The occasion will be marked by gatherings and events. Patriotic citizens enjoy a day of ball games, picnics, barbecues and fireworks. With hands on hearts they profess a love of their great nation, proud to the core of every square inch, as the Stars and Stripes fly boldly everywhere.

Like the land to the north of them — my home, Canada — when it comes to aesthetic appeal, the US has it all. There are majestic mountains,  wonderful waterways, cosmopolitan centres and charming country spaces.  Its places vary from quaint and cultural to the hectic urban business spots.  You can stand beneath skyscrapers or on the spacious prairies; see the verdant splendour of the Appalachians or the rugged Rockies. You can while away the winter in warm havens or  join it at ski resorts.

Oddly, I have seen or passed through far more of America, than I have my own country.  Outside of my own province, I've only visited two others.  South of the border on the other hand, I've spent time in eight states.

What I know from these trips is that this is a country given the wonderful diversity by Mother Nature.  Impressive and lovely, it's an amalgam of past and present. To prove it, these collections of great photos take you from the land of the cowboy and the swamplands, to Hollywood and New York:

Acclaim Images

National Geographic

Twisted Sifter 50 States in 50 Photos

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thousands of July 4th Illustrations

In just a couple of days the fireworks will be blazing overhead south of the border as our friends in the United States celebrate Independence Day, July 4th.

It's a day that will be filled with patriotic pride. The Stars and Stripes will fly on properties across the nation.  Families and friends will come together for picnics, barbecues and ball games, before the aforementioned fireworks begin at dusk.

Like our Canada Day, Independence Day is an occasion to celebrate the joy and blessing of living in one of the best country's in the world.  We, and our neighbours to the south, should be grateful every day for being born in this wonderful corner of the world.

Certainly no place is perfect. But, for its part, America has plenty to brag about. Undeniably a thing of beauty —  from sea to shining sea —  it boasts diversity in its natural assets and resources.  Its citizens have freedom of choice and voice. They enjoy advantages and privileges not granted to those of other nations.

So Happy July 4th America.  Celebrate well and proudly for the country that has provided you with one of the world's best homes.

And in recognition of this event,  here are some excellent clipart collections:

Acclaim Images


ClickArt Online

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thousands of Photos of Canada for Canada Day

In honour of Canada's 148th anniversary of Confederation I thought it might be nice to post some photo collections of this great nation.

I feel fortunate to have been born in the "true north strong and free." I live in a cosy corner known as south-western Ontario. Primarily an agricultural region it boasts plenty of open spaces with just enough cosmopolitan areas to give us easy access to culture.

My home is an hour or less away from arts and entertainment centres, including the world-renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival.  In addition, I reside just a few miles inland from the great Lake Huron, close enough for an easy day trip to the beach on a beautiful summer day.

In a couple of hours I can be in Toronto; a little longer and I can enjoy the spirits of wine country.

And all of this is within one province.

The vastness of Canada is oft remarked upon by visitors here. I remember interviewing foreign exchange students during my days working at a community newspaper and their first comment when asked about their impressions of the country was how large it is, how far apart everything is. Likewise, European guests of our musician son's, whom he had met on various tours, commented on the limited expanse of land.  One from Sweden was surprised she wasn't going to be able to see Quebec and the Rocky mountains during her one-week stay.

The thing is, there really is a lot to see in Canada. I've lived here for more decades than I want to share here and I've yet to see the entire country.  So to get it all in a quick glimpse, just in time for Canada Day, July 1, here are some photos that take in all beautiful places from east to west, north to south in the Great White North:

National Geographic

Lovely Photos

Canada in Pictures

Monday, June 29, 2015

3 Sources for Canada Day Clipart

The day after tomorrow I will be enjoying a day off.  Yet while it's nice to sleep in, to not be committed to being somewhere, to be able to sit down in the afternoon with a tea and book, there's greater significance to this day than me time.

On Wednesday, July 1,  we citizens of the Great White North will be celebrating Canada Day.  The occasion commemorates 148 years of Confederation for this pretty terrific country.

And while it might get lost in the hype of the upcoming July 4th holiday south of our border, there's no doubt in my mind that Canadians feel as much pride for their nation as our good neighbours do for theirs.

Other than we will be celebrating the red and white, rather than the red, white and blue, Canada's birthday is marked  in much the same way as the American Independence Day — with barbecues and fireworks.  Families and friends  will take the opportunity of a day off work to socialize and party.  Our maple leaf will be flying  proud and high on front yards and buildings.

So Happy Birthday, Canada. Proud to be celebrating with you.

Here then are some terrific clipart collections perfect for the day: