Monday, May 31, 2010

(Day 151) Self portrait, and grandpa to a child prodigy

Today was a bit of an arduous day - I spent another full day with my son, demolishing his house, er, doing the necessary demolition work in preparation for renovations. It did feel a bit weird though swinging a sledge hammer through his kitchen wall! But that's not the point of my post today. You see, I took the camera with (yes, ABC) to record for posterity what the old interior looked like, during the gutting and before the  restoration. So - it was with me when, close to home, I spotted Mr. Turtle in the middle of the road - it looked like he was late for dinner  - but he stopped dead in his tracks as I drove up to him. I wanted to get some closeups, but didn't really want the neighbours seeing me lying face-to-face with a turtle, in the middle of the road! So I placed the camera close to him hoping he wouldn't retreat into his shell (he didn't and that's why I knew he was late for dinner), checked the exposure, hoped I'd aimed it ok, and proceeded to make some photos.

Now - why did I call this a self-portrait? Well, if you blow up his eye, you'll see me in his eyeball with an outstretched arm pressing the shutter release (an unintentional byproduct). You may also notice a bug crawling up his nose, as well as some greenery he obviously didn't have time to wipe off his head.

(60mm  f5.6  1/60 sec  ISO400)

After a late dinner (ours, not Mr. Turtle's), my son opened a birthday card he received in the mail, from his sisters. Graydon, his son (my grandson) reached out for the card 'cause he wanted to read it for himself. Imagine that, not even 5 months old, and he's already reading birthday cards - what a child prodigy!

You look skeptical - here, see for yourself:

(50mm  f1.4  1/100 sec  ISO400)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

(Day 150) Iris Sunday

No, I'm not starting a new theme to compete with Scott's Sunset Sunday. It's just that the irises have been beckoning me these last few days to immortalize them (well, at least take their photo) before they fade away again. So I went out today to various places - around the pond (some irises thrive in shallow water near the edge), and in the garden. It was a little breezy and as I waited out the occasional gusts I was rewarded with the fragrance of the irises wafting about.

(60mm  f5.6  1/320 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f14  1/10 sec  ISO200)

(60mm  f5.6  1/250 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f4.5  1/80 sec  ISO200)

And for Sunset Sunday I have the following photo, shot when we were away a couple of weeks ago:

(18-55mm  f8  1/320 sec  ISO200)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

(Day 149) At the waterfront

This early onslaught of summer has everyone excited about water sports. We're blessed to live near the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands, a wonderful place to enjoy all sorts of water-based activities. We were there this afternoon to have our fish & chips dinner in the waterfront park and watch people and other creatures enjoying a fine late spring day. Here's a small view into what was going on.

(18-55mm  f8  1/1000 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f8  1/320 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f8  1/640 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f8  1/250 sec  ISO100)

(Day 148) A look at the past

We are lucky to live within a 15-minute drive of 'Canada's most beautiful village' - Merrickville (no, I didn't make that up - it's official), situated on the Rideau River. I went there today to make a few photos of some of the relics of yesteryear's industry. The earliest setllement there dates back to 1791 (fairly 'modern' compared to Europe). With abundant power from the river, over 50 industries thrived in Merrickville in the 19th century. Today, the oldest foundry in Eastern Canada, dating back to 1840, still crafts metal products. Hope you don't mind a bit of history.

(18-55mm  f5.6  1/1250 sec  ISO200)

wall of the old mill; inscription reads 'S. H. Mirick  1848'

(18-55mm  f5.6  1/320 sec  ISO200)

'interior' of mill

(18-55mm  f8  1/160 sec  ISO200)

old turbine mfg'd by Northern Electric

(18-55mm  f8  1/100 sec  ISO100)

current resident

(18-55mm  f8  1/60 sec  ISO200)

old abandoned boiler

 (18-55mm  f18  1/6 sec  ISO100)

the Rideau water that drove industry

Thursday, May 27, 2010

(Day 147 A walk in the woods

I made a little trip back to a favourite spot today. As I wandered (carefully) further into the forest, I got some curious glances from people in a pickup truck slowly making its way up the lane. Fortunately they could pass since I'd pulled my car as close to the trees as possible. Neither they nor I expected to see someone in such a secluded spot. They went on and left me to enjoy this little piece of paradise. Hopefully you'll enjoy along with me ...

(50mm  f8  1/40 sec  ISO100)

(50mm  f11  1/6 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f8  1/4 sec  ISO200)

Do you see the 'face' in this rock? The large hole is the mouth, 
slanting down to the left.

(70-200mm  f11  1/8 sec  ISO200)

I think this is a black damselfly - there were many of these in
the forest.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

(Day 146) The promise .. and the glory

Isn't it amazing how plants survive through the harshest weather! In our climate, where temperatures fall to -25C (-13F) regularly, the ground gets frozen solid, and I'm sure roots, rhizomes, and bulbs get equally frozen. Certain plants, of course, would be dead almost instantly, but we have a lot of perennials that come back to life with the warmth of the spring sun. As we watch them develop, we always remember the promise of beautiful blooms and fantastic fragrance. Today I captured a couple of these which are only a day or two away from delivering on the promise - the iris and the peony. And the European snowball bush is already out in all its glory. Praise the Creator of all this wonder.

(all made with 18-55mm lens at f5.6, ISO100  shutter speed of 1/50 and 1/60 sec)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

(Day 145) "Fly me to the moon"

As we sat near the pond early this evening, we watched dozens of dragonflies racing around, undoubtedly keeping us from the usual swarms of bothersome bugs. Before long, a froggy suitor's serenade started whereby he hoped to entice a comely froggy maiden to join him for a pleasant evening side by side on a lily pad. I could make out the strains of that old lover's song "Fly me to the moon". I thought that if I could catch him performing his repertoire he might make a suitable subject for today's post. And so I did, and he did.

Well, it so happens that we're almost at full moon time (close enough when I looked up at the moon), and I haven't posted a moon shot. I decided that I should at least try. I made a few photos and as I was making them I heard the droning of an airplane. As luck would have it, the pilot's flight plan also followed my theme for tonight (you'll have to enlarge the photo to see how).

(70-200mm  f11  1/50 sec  ISO400)

(70-200mm  f8  1/400 sec  ISO400)

Monday, May 24, 2010

(Day 144) 'Flocks, of a different feather'

Today was demolition day. Not a day to measure twice and cut once, but rather to take apart, with force if necessary. And that's how an opportunity to make a few photos for today's post came about. You see, my son and his wife are planning extensive renovations to their home - including the kitchen, dining and living rooms, and bathroom. I went there early (well, relatively early) to help with removing everything, down to the bare studs. But when I got to his place I couldn't help but notice the beautiful wild flowers growing among the walnut trees at the back of his property. Since ABC rules were in effect, I made some photos of the phlox (sorry, bad pun in title) that grew there in large swaths. (And then, of course, we got down to 'real' work).

(70-200mm  f11  1/60 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f3.5  1/640 sec  ISO200)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

(Day 143) Of dragons, and flying

There are many pluses to having a couple of small ponds near the house. They attract birds, frogs, and snakes and create a little habitat where the daily cycle of nature can be observed. However, they are also a breeding ground for prolific insects, or as we call them (scientifically) 'BUGS'! Thank goodness that swallows and purple martins have a great appetite for bugs, and we're glad that they've chosen to take up residence near the ponds. But we're especially glad that those voracious bug eaters - dragonflies - come here in abundance to keep the bug population down, otherwise we'd be forced indoors. Here are a couple that stopped long enough for me to capture them this evening.

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/60 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/400 sec  ISO200)

While we were away last week, I was mindful of Scott's Sunset Sunday, so I saved a couple of sunset shots for today's post, even though I was provided another subject (above). Hope you enjoy them.

(50mm  f2  1/8 sec  ISO200)

(18-55mm  f5.6  1/125 sec  ISO100)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

(Day 142) At the going down of the sun ...

... I just had to go out and make a few photos. Family was visiting, and we were just going to have coffee and goodies, when I noticed a glorious sunset developing. How could I let such an opportunity pass ? (My wife says I have enough sunset shots, but can you ever have enough ??). I'll just share a couple, even though it isn't Sunset Sunday yet.

(18-55mm  f8  1/8 sec  ISO200)

(18-55mm  f8  1/8 sec  ISO200)

Friday, May 21, 2010

(Day 141) Wild things

The difference between looking and seeing can be remarkable. While cutting the grass today on the riding lawnmower, I looked and saw a lot of 'weeds' amongst the grass, and at the sides of the 'domesticated' lawn area. However, here and there I could see bits of colour that weren't really evident with a sweeping glance across the same area.

After dinner I decided to go and see what I might find. Camera in hand, I truly saw what was there, and decided to share a selection of what I found, all of which was just growing wild. I'm sure you all have similar experiences, daily. Aren't some of the smallest things in creation really grand!

(60mm  f2.8  1/320 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f8  1/50 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f8  1/250 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f8  1/200 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f5.6  1/125 sec  ISO800)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

(Day 140) Meanwhile, back in the garden ...

We have this little shady spot just behind the house and beside the deck. It seems well-suited for ferns and moss to thrive, and it's also where my jack-in-the-pulpit does so well. Tonight I thought I'd give this bit of greenery a little focus. And no, we don't have an exotic fern that is also flowering - one of the small clumps of spring flowers has found its way over here and I thought it added a nice touch to the green.

(60mm  f8  1/13 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f8  1/15 sec  ISO800)

(Day 139) Fine feathered friends

Due to travel circumstances I was unable to post yesterday, however, I was able to capture a few friends we met. Since I had to travel light, I didn't have my trusty telephoto lens with me, so I had to use guile and stealth to sneak as close as possible to get a shot - some with better results than others.

Note: thank you for all your comments on my recent posts. I hope to be able to reply to them and to visit my favourite blogs over the next few days to see what everyone has been up to.

(60mm  f8  1/500 sec  ISO100)

(60mm  f8  1/320 sec  ISO100)

(60mm  f8  1/200 sec  ISO100)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

(Day 138) In the early morning fog ...

Well, sometimes things aren't really the way they appear, are they. Just like a story sometimes has another side to it. We're wise not to jump to conclusions too quickly, even when things seem pretty obvious to us.

Take this photo for example. I got outside fairly early this morning and made a few photos. Things certainly looked foggy, at least through the lens. Turns out that the warm humid air outside condensed on the lens as I brought the camera out of an air-conditioned room. In my hurry I didn't wait for it to get acclimatized. However, I thought the effect was neat so I decided to post this one.

(50mm  f8  1/250 sec  ISO200)

Just to show you that it was a beautiful clear day, however, I'll post this shot which was made minutes later - after I'd cleared the lens by holding it up to the sunlight.

(50mm  f8  1/320 sec  ISO200)

Monday, May 17, 2010

(Day 137) Morning beauty

I had a few minutes this morning to make a couple of photos, and another few minutes this evening to post. It's wonderful to be in a place where these beauties grow outdoors, naturally. At home hibiscus can only be grown indoors. And yes, I made this photo :)

(50mm  f8  1/320 sec  ISO200)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

(Day 136) Shots 'from the road'

I've got a few minutes at the hotel to get online and post a couple of shots for today. Credit for these photos goes to my wife (well, I'll claim director's credit since I did the virtual composition and gave the order to press the shutter release :)  I couldn't choose between the two so posted both.

(50mm  f6.3  1/1000 sec  ISO200)

(50mm  f6.3  1/800 sec  ISO200)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

(Day 135) No colour, no life

Whilst I was on my forays out into the yard and garden lately I kept seeing interesting shapes and textures. I even made a few photos but they didn't fit with a particular day's theme, so I left the opportunity for another day. Today that other day arrived. I found it interesting how the weather over time has fashioned these.

NOTE: I will be traveling for the next few days, and will remember to ABC, however, I'm not sure if I'll be able to post each day. I'll try.

(50mm  f16  1/25 sec  ISO100)

(50mm  f16  1/40 sec  ISO100)

(50mm  f14  1/5 sec  ISO100)