Tuesday, August 14, 2018

On the Rocks at Sunset

Near us, but still on the Mississippi River at Appleton, there is a dam and power installation. Just beyond it, one can walk out on the rocks. I was accompanied by two friends because the footing was somewhat problematic for me and my silly right foot. If I fell on my own, there would be help.

Using my tripod as a cane to some degree, I managed reasonably well and only got one soaker when a rock wobbled when I was almost back to the bank at the end of the shoot. Only my right foot went in, so I mostly emerged unscathed.

I never got to the edge of the rocks where I was hoping to get a clear view of the sunset over the water and had to content myself with shooting from a less advantageous spot. Maybe I will make it to the edge if I ever summon the courage to try again.

Bob and Nick at the spot where we first found ourselves. Bob had a good composition in mind already, so nick and I moved on.

Before I moved on, however, I took this photo of a fisherman. I applied warming and glow filters liberally to get the effect that I was after. I usually try to keep my landscape photos close to reality, often with some enhancement, but sometimes I am moved to be more artistic in my interpretation. After all is said and done, I think this is my favourite result of the night.

With the sun now setting quickly I hobbled to a spot near a drop in height, so I set up my camera there and hoped for the best. While I think it would have been better to find a way down to the edge of the rocks, there was simply no time: not the way I limp and gimp anyway. lol

These were some of my attempts. You can see how the sun was almost down in the first and then below the horizon in the others. Some I've exposed darker and some lighter so you can see into the foreground rocks.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Kids Day 10: The Rest of the Day

This is it, folks — the last of the last day. Having said that, we may go out with them tomorrow. It's just that their mother will be in charge. We shall see.

After the bike ride, we played another game of cribbage. They're still getting onto it but doing well. Danica impressed me toward the end of the game when she was able to count a hand of 16 without help. We were playing partners, and Danica and I defeated Sue and JJ by a very slim margin, and only because we got to count first at the end while they could have actually pegged farther than us.

Then it was off to Riverside Park for a picnic lunch. I set up the camera and placed it on the ground ...

... and got this picture, but I wish that I had focused better.

After lunch and some relaxation, we went for a drive to find the sunflower field that we found at this time last year. Sadly for us, it is a corn field this year.

So on we drove to the conservation area at Blakeney rapids where, of course, Jonathan had to perch on top of the old mill wheel.

But the main thing was the water. Although these are rapids, the water is low this year, so I encouraged them to wade out to the rocks. I wouldn't have done so in a higher water year, but it seemed safe with the water only coming up to their knees for the most part.

I had wanted to get out a way too because some of those rocks might make a nice foreground element for photos, but the rough yet slick rocks underneath were too much for my weak, injured foot to cope with. This discouraged me for a time, but I got involved in taking videos of the kids getting out there and playing. They had a very good time, and we enjoyed it vicariously.

The video is 2 minutes long.

When they were heading back to land, a snapping turtle went by. I can't recall ever seeing a turtle in the water like that, at least not in nature. It was well camouflaged and hard to see in the photo even though I darkened the area around the turtle and brightened the turtle a bit.

Day 10 was a very good final day with the little munchkins, who aren't so very little any more. Who knows when they will no longer want to hang out with their grandparents, so we enjoy it/them while we are able.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Kids Day 10: On the Bikes

You knew this was coming. Didn't you?

After taking 3 posts to go over day 9 of our time with the kids, I have arrived at day 10 — our final day.

The weather had changed for the better, so we were able to get out on the bikes. We took a different trail, a straighter one along an former railway track; the straightness made it only seem longer. Danica's disbelief of this comes at the end of the video, below.

But first, a few pictures.

The trail was once a railway line.

It became part of the Trans Canada Trail, which it says on the little sign to the right. In this area, you can cycle all of the way in Ottawa (and well beyond, of course). Apparently it has recently been renamed to the Great Trail. I don't know why, and our signage, at least, hasn't been updated.

A few more.

This hydro truck was parked in front of our door when we got back home. They were changing power boxes, and the electricity was out, but not for long.

We manged to get our hands on the GoPro again. The clip is almost 2 1/2 minutes long, but give me some credit for cutting it down from almost 1 hour. 😃

Friday, August 10, 2018

Kids Day 9 Take 3

I know I have been stretching this out, but it s a record of our life and times.

Danica went to cooking camp for a week this summer. By the sounds of it, they didn't do a whole lot, but they did make spaghetti. Her spaghetti called for turning on the oven on a hot day, and that wasn't going to fly. But adaptations were made and the result was quite good.

And then they returned for day 10.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Kids Day 9 Take 2

After Tims, it was off to the library.

First the door photo although Danica is finding it difficult to fit.

She likes to use the computers to visit ancestry.com. Later, JJ got into the act too.

Once we finished inside the library, we spent some time just outside in the park. They call it or at least part of it Veterans Way. There are two cannons and there is a monument to the fallen. They like to play on these. One wonders about climbing on the monument. Is it disrespectful? I thought about it and decided that they died for freedom and for kids being kids and having fun. Still, I am sure that others might disagree.

Danica is not as agile as Jonathan and needed some help to get down from there, but we managed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Kids Day 9

These haven't been consecutive days; there were 5 followed by a break, and then 3 with a long weekend before the next one (yesterday). And it hasn't really been 9 days, just 9 scheduled days because 1 was cancelled last week.

There is one more scheduled day to go — on Friday of this week.

Since that first week or 5 days, during which there was much bike riding, we have been thwarted. Mostly it has been too hot, but there have also been other factors. Yesterday, for example, we had hoped to get out very early before the worst of the heat, but it was wet on the trails due to overnight rain.

So we didn't ride — again!

But we did do something new. We introduced them to cribbage.

Cribbage is somewhat of a family tradition, I mean if you look far into the past. Sue's dad and his dad would play for hours, and I have played with both: Sue too as well as other members of the family.

She is 11 and he only 9, and it's a difficult game to get onto, but we played partners and were able to talk them through a game. They seemed to be getting it at the end.

Another tradition is taking them to Tims for a lunch or snack. We usually manage one trip per session. I gave them the choice of McDonalds or Tim Hortons and was a bit surprised when they chose Tims: bagels over burgers and fries for them.

to be continued

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

As the heat continues ferociously and unabated with the feels-like temperature reaching past 40C/100F, we ventured out to the ballpark on the weekend. Sue's nephew and family stayed with us while their son was playing in a nearby tournament, and we took in a game.

I shot a few from beyond the left field fence. What with the lens fully extended plus cropping in post, there were a few keepers.

Above: on the left is my fave photo of the day. I love the expression. If you can capture that peak moment, the result is usually good. In the top right, he is hitting the ball that drove in several runs and ended the game. Bottom left: making a play at second.

Below: four versions of the big swing photo.

A few others.