Saturday, August 30, 2014

Before Sunrise

I woke up early yesterday, and a minor miracle occurred. I actually got dressed and grabbed my camera gear. It had been about two months since I had done that — got up early and headed out. But, the sky was clear (too clear for the best sunrise) and the weather was not too ominous (for a change), so out I went.

I just drove around the corner really, not much more than a mile, and stopped where I had taken my solstice photos that a few might recall. The corn had grown very tall, and I wanted to get a contrasting photo. Well, it turned out that it was too tall to see beyond to the glimmer of light, so I mostly took surrounding photos.

These were all taken just before sunrise when the light was just peeking over the horizon. It can really be best time to shoot. All but the first of the photos have a partial Orton Effect applied in post production: "Orton imagery, also called an Orton slide sandwich or the Orton Effect, is a photography technique which blends two completely different photos of the same scene, resulting in a distinctive mix of high and low detail areas within the same photo." (Wikipedia) Of course in the digital age, we tend to produce the effect in post and not by actually sandwiching two photos.

Since the corn was too tall to be really a viable subject, I included the fence in the first two to use a bit of a foreground element.

Then I turned about 90° to the right and shot down the lane with the corn field of my left.

There were two driveways to the property, so I moved to the other one and took a photo that included the sign: Beckwith Berries and Wild Blueberries. They put up a stand even nearer us in strawberry season, and we enjoy several quarts during the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Finally, I moseyed across the road for this shot.

It was good to get out again for the specific purpose to taking photos as opposed to snapping pictures when primarily doing other things. I woke up early again this morning, but a look at the thick clouds induced me to roll over — rather a typical morning for this odd, rainy, cool summer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Remembering Asha

We received an emotional call from a distraught little girl last night. Her cat, Asha, died at the vet's office. She was old and not well, and it was her time, but it is not easy for a child to lose a pet -- or even an adult for that matter. Both kids were highly upset when we got there. JJ calmed down soon, but poor Dania was in a state for hours. She would gain control and then subside into anguish once again. I think, however, she was ready to sleep when we left. I was lying with her, and she kissed me good night and rolled over.

These were pics that I snapped just last week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AC Has a Problem

As some of you know, our previous car — a black Honda CRV 2003 — was totalled when we were rear-ended last October. By the end of that month, we had replaced it with a 2010 CRV, also black.

For some reason, I seem to have a problem with it as shown in this photo.

That's right! Whatever the cause, even almost a year later, I have great problems parking the thing straight. I can't quite figure out why because this has not been a problem with other vehicles.

I guess the license plate is right: Silly AC.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Our Final Week with the Kids

My goodness. Summer hols are almost done; the kids have one more week before school begins. Mom is with them next week, so our stint is done. It was a long week. The weather was not good for pool time; in fact, it was so rainy for two days that we were confined indoors. It did not help that I spent one of those days plus two nights in some discomfort -- from something I ate, I suppose.

One day, we did enjoy a nice little hike on a path near the river.

A bit of the path with Danica being Danica and Grandma hobbling along as she has developed a sore hip just lately.
It is quite rocky on the south side along parts of the trail. I took this photo of Dani with JJ exploring in the background.

On the north side of the trail there are a few little footpaths down to the river.
I took one of these paths and grabbed this shot looking downriver.
On one of our stops, we encountered this Green Heron, which didn't seem to mind our company. I think it's green although I didn't see to much green in this light. I should have another go at this photo as it is a bit underexposed. Oh well.
At one point, we met a couple walking six dogs. Two were their own, and they were helping to train the four dogs in this photo as they were dogs with 'issues'. More about the jumping dog in the next photo.

He was an Austrian bird dog of some sort and was trying to catch pebbles that the kids were tossing. He put on quite a show, and I hope he didn't swallow too many pebbles. The trainers didn't seem concerned anyway.
We got as far as the overpass or under the overpass before starting back.
At a final rest stop, Sue and Dani took a moment to fan themselves down after all of the exertion.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Post and Run

We are busy babysitting this week, so I'm going to post a couple of pictures and run.

I woke up early enough to catch up on blogs this morning. If you have posted recently, I have likely read your blog, even if I didn't stop to comment.

I revisited an old photo last night and processed it differently than before. You see these kinds of barns around here every now and then, with an open portion.

I took this photo of Danica at our street bazaar earlier in the month. To make it more interesting I extracted her from the background and thenused her face from the same image for a new background.

Two photos of JJ that I superimposed to create a double exposure effect.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Some outtakes from last weekend with company.

JJ looks down on the tea party from the upper floor of the museum.

Danica and Frances took their dragons down to the stream study area.
I have many photos of JJ in windows, but I'll stop with this one.

Danica emerging from the sliding tube.
The ladies relaxing while the children played. Andrea got the baby bear chair.

Danica can't help being Danica.
Once used to remove stuff from the woods.

Barrel on a sled with lots of syrup buckets hanging about.
JJ obliging the camera

A poster to make you sappy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

We Took Our Guests to Wheelers

Our county, Lanark, proclaims itself the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario. We frequently take visitors out to Wheelers Maple Sugar Camp to experience this bit of local flavour. So, Sunday found us taking the 45 minute drive to [near] McDonalds Corners. There are two maple syrup operations nearer us, but Wheelers is our preference.

Wheelers is a family owned enterprise. They built the restaurant and other buildings themselves. I m always impressed when I walk in.

↑ The tribe is seating itself and waiting for  pancakes ↓ .

Maple syrup makes people happy. ↑

After the food comes a quick tour of the boiler room. ↓

There is a play area for the kids as Frances swings ↑ and JJ emerges from the sliding tube.  ↓

There are rockers outside the museum for the adults. Andrea got the baby bear rocker ↑. Meanwhile, AC roamed inside and took a few pics, including this one ↓ of old cast iron pans and utensils.

The children rejoined us. Frances sat quietly. Danica did not. ↓

All in all, it was a pleasant outing, followed by the drive home and time to sit and wag the chins.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Dragon Society Tea Party

The main event of our weekend was to be a Dragon Society Tea Party. The ladies from a local church host "Tea on the Lawn" on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons during summer at the Mill of Kintail, so this fit into the plans perfectly.

Sue, Andrea and Frances (right to left above) exiting the cloister before descending the stairs to the mill.  ↑

We were early, so we waited at the picnic table by the deck for awhile. ↓

After touring the museum for awhile (see yesterdays post), we began to ready ourselves for the event. Sue had crafted dragon necklaces and is helping Andrea with hers tn this photo. ↑

Tea is served. ↓

Both Mary and Danica seem pleased with proceedings ↑ as does Frances ↓ , the Dragon Mistress.

I think JJ's dragon is about to nab JJ's cupcake. ↑

But the other dragons seem content with their lot in life. ↓

Finally: a few photos of the group from various angles.