Tuesday, July 31, 2018

About Town

I am trying to contribute to a community project, so I've been taking a few photos around town. While I have some similar ones somewhere on my hard drive, I though I would begin anew.

The view from our main street bridge (called Bridge Street) looking downriver, more or less east toward the former railway bridge.

Then it was off to the railway bridge to look back at the main bridge. There is now a fence because the trains no longer run and the old bridge is in the process of becoming part of a recreational trail running through town for now and eventually connecting with other communities.

And we need a picture of the local high school for this project.

This final image was not part of the shoot but taken a day later. I had noticed a loosestrife plant earlier in the day, so I returned with the camera in the evening to get the flower in the foreground and townhall in the background. It was a good idea, but the light wasn't the best, the wind was stirring the water, and there was a machine parked by the building. But I took the shot anyway because what's a guy to do? I may return on another evening, but I imagine that the machine will still be there for awhile.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Excavator at Work

Once I had a better idea of how to go about it, I have put together another little slideshow of the excavator at work.

This time I figured out how to crop the images to fill the frame before putting my 53 images into a slideshow with each image displaying for 1 second, 1 second being the default timing from my software.

So, I have a bit of a fake timelapse. I say fake because a 54 second timelapse should have abut 1000 images or even more for smooth transitions.

My camera doesn't do timelapses natively, but Lightroom helps to give me that effect, at least a little bit.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Laying the Pipes

The town is putting in pipes along the main street that runs behind us. They've been at it for a long time because the process isn't easy with much digging and filling which takes a lot of time.

Bedrock is close to the surface hereabouts although it won't be seen in this section in the video that follows. Either this has been dug and filled before or right behind us, the bedrock is lower down. I think they had to break up a lot of it farther up though because it was taken many weeks for them to get as far as us, and it's not that long of a stretch.

On day one as they got nearer us, I took a few shots from the bedroom window. I merged two of them into one image.

On the left ↑ a backhoe scoops gravel. On the right it takes the load to the excavator, which will then turn and fill the part of the trench where the pipe has been laid.

But near the end of the next day, the work had shifted to just outside our window; being intrigued with the process, I took many shots.

Then I did something that I had no idea that I was going to do. Having tons of photos, I decided to put them all in one slideshow rather than string out a bunch of photos.

If I had known that I was going to do this, I would have done much more of a time lapse effect, but I didn't know at the time. If I get the chance I will do better later, but it's pouring today, and work has stopped.

The sequence that you will see goes something like this.

  1. The excavator is digging the trench and dumping the load into a truck. This took many truckloads for just this small section.
  2. The truck then takes the load around to the other side where the new pipe has already been laid, and then the bulldozer begins to grade it.
  3. The excavator pulls the box into the new patch that it has just dug. Then it digs out inside the box more. Meanwhile, more loads are taken to the other side which is still being filled.
  4. Gravel is put into the box and is tamped down.
  5. The pipes are laid. This part goes very quickly, which surprised me a lot. 
  6. More gravel is laid, and more tamping is done. Meanwhile, filling of the other side continues.
  7. Day is done. The dirt will be filled in on another day to fill this section and begin a new one.
  8. It rains prodigiously all night and continues on throughout the day. All they can do is pump the water out and wait for another day.
Laying Pipes

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sunset Across the Mississippi

You may recall some shots of the kids by the river last week, where JJ and I skipped rocks for one thing. I thought that it might be a suitable location for evening shots, so I returned on the weekend.

I set up the tripod and waited. These first two photos show the setup. I was trying to get the rock in the foreground. If and when I return, I may put the tripod in the water to get it closer to the rock.

For what it's worth: the shots. Although they are all similar (although cropped differently), I actually stayed for a half hour or more as it got darker and the light changed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Up on the Rooftops

For the first time that I can recall in my many many years of blogging, Blogger ate a post. Or my computer did — probably the latter since it was behaving poorly earlier.

Our town has the oldest, continually operating canoe club in Canada. This leads me to suppose that there is an older club which perhaps shut down for awhile. But I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

They have a regatta every year, and it fell on last weekend this year.

A few of us local photogs were invited to shoot from a nearby rooftop — the former Hawthorne Mill.

Now, I'm not the most rooftopyish guy on the planet, but I was game to try. It was four flights up: four dark and dirty flights. When I say dirty, I am referring to the prodigious quantities of pigeon poop, which was even on the railings which we were forced to grasp. (Having a very good wash was the first item on my agenda afterward.)

It was a somewhat comical climb (and later descent) as both Bob and I are seniors with some difficulty with our legs. He has a bad knee while I limp around (a little) on a bad foot (and my knees are no great shakes either). But we made it along with two others.

The roof was slightly slanted with a peak in the middle, but the pitch wasn't great, so I wasn't too nervous. I was at pains to stay far from the edge, however. (iPhone pano shot)

Later, we went down to a lower roof. This is a shot looking form the lower to higher roof.

As it turned out, neither location was great either for sight lines or distance, but we snapped away anyway. These were all taken after the finish line, which was the best view that I had. I did take a few others of the actual races, but these were the better shots.

Oh, here is a finish line shot after all.

Shots of other things while I was up there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Kids Week, Day 5

Final day for this round, but there will be three more next week and two the week after. We officially have the last three weeks of August off.

We've had a good week, and the final day was no exception. As usual we had another bike ride. JJ wore the GoPro once again, but since I've shown the trail twice before, I'll keep it short. There are also some of us in the clip as you can see by the cover image.

JJ and I played at skipping rocks, and I can still do it despite the sore shoulder that I am seen favouring in the clip.

A few more brief clips of the kids hanging out by the river, which is getting pretty low as we are verging on drought conditions once again. Normally that bedrock that they are on is under water.

We had another quick game of Monopoly in the afternoon, which Amma won this time. Buppa spends most of the game paying taxes and going to jail. It's crazy. It happened in both games this week and in both games that we played previously.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Kids Week, Day 4

We'd been playing the game off and on for 4 days, when we took steps to speed it up by trading properties to allow for houses and hotels. JJ had the least posh of the blocks, but we all kept on landing there, and he kept miraculously missing everybody else's properties. So there you go.

I was cleaned out first, then Sue. JJ and Danica battled it out until the end.

(Too many videos below for the casual drop-on-by blogger, but they are more for personal records. Passers-by are not expected to watch or comment.)

Of course there was another bike ride. This time I wore the GoPro. I just need to keep my head up more as I barely kept the kids in the frame.

Just past that boardwalk at the end of the previous video, we stopped by the water once again. I took a brief clip of the kids and then panned west to east along the river.

Then it was off to the "mountain" bike course for JJ to strut his stuff. He wore the GoPro to record his adventure: an adventure than ended in a tumble.

Meanwhile, these two beautiful gals rocked the time away (so to speak).

Having recovered from his wounds, JJ did a few tricks.

After a respite at home, with more Monopoly, we drove to the park for a picnic lunch. I set up the camera on timer for a little group portrait. I might even print this one, or maybe not because JJ is munching.

We were there for maybe 90 minutes, during which time JJ grabbed the camera and snapped a lot of pictures, mostly of Danica, and she was glad to oblige.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Kids Week, Day 3

Another day, another bike ride. I think it's great that grandparents and grandkids can go on semi serious bike rides together. By that I mean more than just around the block.

Sue was wishing for a Go Pro for our rides, and the kids piped up that dad had one. Oh really?!

So they brought it over; we put it on JJ's helmet, and off we went. I managed to edit about 19 minutes down to 1 minute.

I really should add music. I have done so in the past, but I mainly do videos in passing for the memory book as it were, whereas I take still photography a little more seriously. But we shall see.

Toward the end of the vid, you will see a portion of our Mississippi River.

After lingering by the water for awhile, we took JJ to the mountain bike park. You have see both kids and even moi there previously, but you have not seen him doing tricky bike sorts of things in the parking lot.

Of course, no kids week would be complete without a stop at Tims.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Kid Week, Day 2

Day 2 also feature bike time, and just a little more than we had thought. The goal was to head downtown and visit the painted pianos with the kids.

It was covered on this day, but we removed it, and set it to one side, and the kids had some fun trying it out, both before and after the picnic lunch which we ate there.

JJ roamed and managed to climb up on the fountain. It's not exactly a fountain, but just a trickle of water pouring out of the top and down the sides. Once again, I at am pains to figure out how he did it, but once again, he required some assistance in getting down. And, of course, there was a little performance at the top.

While Danica and Sue stayed with the second piano, JJ decided that he wanted to nose around townhall.

I must explain the bit above about doing more cycling than we had intended. When we were more than halfway home, Danica realized that she had left her biking gloves behind at the benches shown above (photo taken from townhall). So back we pedalled. By the time we arrived back home, we were all drenched with sweat.

Finally, earlier in the day, Danica had done a little performance with the cups, and I think it's worth posting.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Kid Week, Day 1

This is our week with the kids. There will be another sometime later this summer, but this is our July stint. Today (Friday, as I post this) is actually our last day, but I am just getting around to reporting on the first day — Monday.

So far (as I write about Monday on Tuesday to post on Friday), bicycles are forming an important part of the week. On Monday we headed out on the trail fairly soon after they got here and had consumed breakfast, for it was going to be a hot day. Predictions turned out to be correct; it was a scorcher. But it wasn't too bad early on, especially along the shadier parts of the trail.

We ended up about 4 km from home at St James Park, where we lingered for awhile before turning back toward home.

The international cairn was intriguing. Danica read out the countries that contributed to the cairn. The rest of us found some of them.

Then Danica and I went down toward the river where I showed her the dam. She had trouble with the concept but mostly because she had learned to associate dams with beavers. But there were no beavers. Eventually, we communicated intelligently.

But when I turned around, JJ was on top of the cairn. The boy is a climber, but I'm not sure how he scaled that monument.

He can be quite a performer.

Occasionally, the old guy is still moderately useful, as the boy needed a little help getting down.

Meanwhile, Danica indulged in her favourite pastime — taking selfies.

A few more pics from the day.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Flowers and Water

Two more early morning pics from my shoot with the boys with flowers in the foreground with the river behind.

The building across way is the old Leatherworks. It was later a restaurant by that name, but now it is a restaurant by another name.

From the other side of the bridge looking upstream, more or less southwest.

I guess that's it for that morning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Up on the Rooftops

Our town is said to have the oldest, continually operating canoe club in Canada, which I presume means that there may be an older club which shut down for awhile. But I don't know; I'm just surmising.

They do have a big regatta every year, and this past weekend was it. A few of us were invited to shoot it from a nearby rooftop.

It was four flights up: four often dark and dirty flights. When I say dirty, I mean that there was bird poop everywhere, including on the railings that we were forced to hold on to. My friend, Bob, and I are both of a senior and decrepit bent, he with a bad knee and I with a bad foot (with knees also not exactly great either). But we made it.

The roof was sloped with a peak in the centre, but the pitch wasn't bad. Nevertheless, I stayed pretty far back from the edges.

The sight lines weren't great and the distance was a problem. The lady above had a pretty big zoon lens, so she might have got some better pictures. Later, we moved to a lower roof, but the position still wasn't optimal. I am shooting from the lower roof to the higher one in this ↓ photo.

Some of the regatta shots.

And a few non-regatta shots.

And the spire of townhall poking above the trees.

It was fun to go up there and try.  The height didn't bother me quite as much as I thought it would, but I was pretty careful up there.

And then I hurried home to wash my hands very thoroughly. Very. Bird poop be gone!