Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kingston Town

On Sunday, we drove to Kingston to visit extended family. While we had a very fine visit, I am posting some other pictures.

We purposefully arrived early with the intent of strolling about the harbour area. But it was very busy down there when we drove by, and it was extremely hot to boot.

So, we continued to drive along the waterfront and passed many a green area. Finally, we found both shade and a parking spot for a picnic lunch followed by a stroll before our scheduled meetup. It was pretty pleasant sitting in the shade with the breezes blowing off the water.

These are some pictures from that area. The first is the smokestack of the General Hospital. It's an impressive stack, but I was born in this hospital although we never lived in Kingston.

Following are some waterfront pics. Sue is in two of them, and that's me in the final one among the sculpture.

At the end of the day, when we were about to leave on our two hour trip home, there was a bit of a sunset opposite our hosts' place. It seemed to be a fitting end to a rather fine day.

Apparently the water we are seeing in the foreground is the St Lawrence River, but back around that point of land, it is Lake Ontario.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Market Faces

Last Saturday at the market, I tried a few quick portraits. With my f2.8, 70-200 lens the unfortunate backgrounds were generally minimized, and the results weren't bad all things considered. No, they're not sitting portraits with all sorts of lighting, but they work for me.

George was my favourite of the group. I processed him in a gritty way
to emphasize his well worn and well earned features.
This smile is a winner!
This beginner violinist was reading his music intently while playing.
This is the lady who makes those delicious tea biscuits. She wasn't totally into
the photographic thing, but she did her best to cooperate with my request.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Daytrip to the Rideau Rural Ramble Garden Centre

When I recently saw on Facebook that the Rideau Woodland Ramble (LINK to the article) garden centre was "named Canadian Garden Centre Destination of the Year by The Canadian Garden Council," I put it on my list of things to do on our semi vacation.

From CP, the easiest route is to drive to Dwyer Hill Road and follow it through Burritts Rapids until you get to the garden centre on your right a few minutes later.

We happened through Burritts Rapids just as they were cranking the bridge to allow a boat to pass under. This seems to happen only about 5X a day according to the guy doing the cranking, so we lucked out. But we didn't completely luck out because when I tried to click the camera, I discovered that I was sans memory card. Blast!

I did have my old old Digital Rebel with its kit lens and tiny LCD screen (don't ask why) which I hauled out once we got to the garden centre. Although I used the camera, purchased in 2003, for 8 years and thought it was fine, after 4 years of using a newer camera with a good LCD screen, it was like using a toy. Ah well.

So anyway ... here is a photo I found on the web of the swing bridge. To swing it, a guy sticks a shaft in a crank and walks around in a circle. It's impressive how easy one person can open a big bridge. Good old fashioned engineering.

Once we arrived at the Rideau Rural Ramble, I was quite impressed and took some pictures with my toy camera.

The Entrance. No admission fee btw.
Pretty lady sitting outside hut with paintings inside
The grounds were imperssive with extensive gardens, including woodland paths,
which we avoided for the most part having no insect repellent.

In addition to the gardens and plant sales areas, there were plenty of sculptures and artwork placed about.

A lovely pond
Benches here and there

All in all, it was a lovely spot. The day was really heating up, more than we had thought when we set out, so we didn't linger too long, but it is a nice destination and not too far a trip. We had intended to have a nice lunch in Merrickville, but we decided to head to our cool home for the remainder of the day.

It's a daytrip that I would like to do again, with a sidetrip to Merrickville, on a cooler day.

The Rideau Rural Ramble website:

Friday, July 24, 2015

To Market, To Market

For some reason, we tend to forget about our local Farmers Market, but we've been doing better this year. Somewhat amazingly, I have managed to get down there for three consecutive weeks. I don't usually manage that in a whole summer.

I am a little shy about taking photos in venues like this, but I am doing a little better these days.

One thing that has drawn me back are this ladies delicious scones, which I think she calls tea biscuits. Whatever you call them, they are quite excellent. We bought a half dozen when we had company, and they rather raved about them. I have tried and enjoyed both the lemon-blueberry and the orange-cranberry. Sue has also had the ginger and quite likes them. ↓

There are many colourful things to photograph. Here are a few. Produce comes and goes: the strawberries weren't there on our most recent visit.

Not all of the colour was of produce. These pillow covers were rather striking.

And sometimes I like things not in colour. The whiteness of the onions led me to processing this in bland and white.

And that's that for now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stewart Park

County tourist guides count Stewart Park in Perth as one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County. I think everyone who lives in the area drops by from time to time, but we had never been there in the evening.

It is a very pretty park, with some nice rock outcrops around the Tay River, and there is a very picturesque bridge. But once again, I wouldn't rate it too much more highly than our own Riverside Park.

Anyway, on our way home from Murphys Point, we decided to drop by and wander about. In theory it was the time of day for best light, but in practise, the sun was mostly behind the trees already.

However, as is my wont, I took my prescribed number of snaps, and here they are.

Above: someone owns a fine house in a prime location with a wonderful garden on the edge of the park.

Below: a look back toward Code's Mill, near where we parked.

Sue on the stone steps by the garden. ↓

Above: a look at the picturesque footbridge and the building beyond.

Below: an impressive old mansion bordering the park.

We didn't go very far into the park because they were setting up a number of tents in preparation for the weekends music festival. We have never attended the festival because we are at pains to figure out how and where we would park and how we would then haul chairs etc to the venue. We had an experience last summer or even the summer before when we drove to Perth with the kids to picnic in the park. We could not find a parking spot, so we headed back to Carleton Place and went to a fine local park.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Murphys Point Provincial Park

I have had a yen to visit this park for pretty well all of ten years that we've lived here. Somehow, I never quite got around to it. However, we had an appointment in Perth on Thursday, so we purposed to drive the extra 20 minutes or so.

We took a picnic lunch and carried our roll up chairs down to the beach, and sat in the shade for a few hours looking out on Hogg's Bay, an inlet off Big  Rideau Lake.

As one might expect, I roamed around a little looking for pictures. I wasn't too happy with my early attempts in the harsh light around 5 o'clock, but around 6:30, the light was more gentle, so I tried again. These were all taken near the beach area of the park.

I could have waited even longer for better light, but by then the mosquitoes would have been swarming, and I didn't feel much like fighting them that evening.

Many lilypads

A canoe coming into shore

An attempt at a classic pier shot, but the pier was too short and
neither the view nor the light good enough to make it memorable.
  Two more views. ↓

Before leaving, we took a slight detour to the boat launch. Not a bad view.

It was nice to finally see this park. I am sure that it's great for camping and boating. There are also hiking trails plus the Silver Queen Mine. From what I understand the mine property is adjacent to the park and involves a bit of hike to get there. Apparently, it is only accessible at specific times.

Personally, I'm glad to have finally seen the place, but if you want to sit in a nice park by the water for a few hours, our own Riverside Park has much to recommend it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tea on the Lawn at the Mill of Kintail

The Ramsay Women’s Institute have been serving Tea on the Lawn at the Mill of Kintail since 1958. Each summer, they serve their tea and loaves from 2 to 4 on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. We have enjoyed this a handful of times and thought that Wednesday being not too hot, it would be a good time for our 2015 outing.

On that day, the sunny tables were occupied, so we sat in the slightly chilly shade. However, Sue is seldom chilly, so it was all good.

For five bucks you can have either tea or lemonade plus a plate of yummy loaves. It's less for kids, and you can also order the beverages separately. But why would you?

After tea, we took a stroll. It was a little buggy, and we weren't dressed for hiking, so we kept it short. As per usual, I looked around for photo subjects.

In the above photo, I was probably taking one of these shots. ↓

Before leaving, I snapped these flowers by The Cloister. With a low depth of field (done purposefully), you can't really see the building, but it's there.

They haven't finished upgrading the kids playground yet, but we have a little while before we will have a couple of weeks with the kids in August. We usually do a picnic there, let them play on the equipment and also in the Indian River, which is really low this year.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Two Cars from One Vantage Point

Last week whilst wandering about downtown Carleton Place, I spied two interesting cars from the same vantage point around the Post Office.

I barely caught this guy outside the Real Estate Office before he pulled out.

Then, I saw this yellow car beneath the yellowish Mr Mozzarella sign. It wasn't so much the car but the juxtaposition that caught my eye. The car was actually more of a bright yellow (canary?), but I adjusted the hue in post to get it closer to the colour in the sign. I know: cheesy photography. /grin/

That is all. AC over and out.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Visit to One of Canada's Largest Bookstores

With two biblioholics visiting us last weekend before Celtfest, we decided to take them to The Book Gallery (clickable link), a highly unique used bookstore in our town. It calls itself, Canada's Largest Bookstore, or at least I have always thought that it proclaimed that on the sign outside the store. However, on the website, I see that it says: One of Canada's Largest Bookstores.

Well, it certainly is unique and quite an adventure with shelves leaning this way and that and books piled two or three deep on shelves.

Working in tight quarters, this shot is actually a 4 shot vertical pano stitch. I asked Lightroom put the stitch together, and then I used the Holga Lens Infrared simulation filter in Perfect Effects to stylize the photo in a way that I thought apropos.

I continued to wander about and thought this next view good for showing the shelving plus the dishevelled desk at the end of the aisle. I decided on an instamatic sort of processing on this 3 shot pano.

My final shot is a straight single shot, processed in a old postcard sort of effect. More warped shelves are visible.

Our company found several books that they had been unable to obtain elsewhere, so it all worked out pretty well, and we lived to tell the tale.

Due to some laziness plus a certain ineptitude, I uploaded much larger images than usual if you care to click for a closer inspection.