Thursday, April 30, 2020


Happy God of the Lightning Bolts Day from the somewhat thunderstruck Ottawa Valley Bunnies

I had never seen miniature daffodils, but we found some on our walk. They were only a few inches high. I went back to take photos, but I didn't like how they turned out. I did take a video, however. You can hear birds chirping. You can also hear a motor. Sorry about that. (I remind you that this is a full screen video if you press the appropriate button — 12 seconds.)

Although the mini daffs didn't work out, I did find another possibility with one regular daffodil. This is the original of two photos with a second variation farther below. The black background just happened. I like it.

Then a took a photo of just a stalk and bud.

I decided to composite the two. Do you like the result or not?

A glimmer of hope regarding COVID. In the previous post, I mentioned that after a downward trend, there was a spike of new cases in Ontario. Yesterday, however, looked quite positive with new cases going down to 347. Except for one day, April 5, that's the lowest number all month. I imagine that fluctuations will continue, but the trend seems very positive.


I conclude with a lighthearted song about Canada. Have a good day, eh?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cooking and Trending

Good morning. Who needs to shave anymore? Not even Sue.


I see on FB that the kids are still taking their turns at cooking meals. I think they each do 1 per week, under supervision of course. Her dish was skewers for the bbq; his meal was eggs benedict with bacon and pancakes. They're doing better than I am at this point. Sue and I are mostly scrounging although I did make linguine last week and meatloaf before that. We were prepared to begin bbqing at one point when the weather seemed to be improving, but then it got bad again, very bad. In addition to cobbling meals, Sue has made chocolate chip squares, banana bread, and lemon loaf.

The kids also seem to be coping well with their online classes, which is a good thing since school cancellation has been extended until the end of May. I assume that it will be extended until the end of June when the time comes. Will school reopen in September, I wonder. The government has made provision for kids without access to be supplied with tablets and also internet if need be. Our kids are not without access, however. They both have phones (better than ours) and there are computers in the house. Their dad is a computer geek by vocation.


I am heartened by this Ontario graph. Look at the red line: New Cases. After an upward trend for the month of April, or really since early March, there has been a downward trend for 4 days, from an absolute peak of 640 new cases on the 24th to 424 on the 27th. At the [almost] end of April we are back to where we were at the beginning of the month. Look at the Green recovery line too. Update: that was Monday; new cases were up again on Tuesday, not to their highest point, but still up. It continues to be a struggle.

Should all go well, the government has the intention of beginning to loosen the reins on May 5th. Beginning.


The heart-wrenching videos keep coming. Here is a virtual rendition of Lean on Me by many Canadian performers. It was recently shown on tv to raise $$ for the Red Cross in their COVID fight. There is a very brief message about leaning together by our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, at the end:

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

An Old Man Lies on the Grass

I don't know if you'd call this selfie, psychedelic, but it feels like it to me.

Sometimes I get a wee bit behind myself, so I am taking you all of the way back to Friday morning. Someone had posted a photo of a nearby yard that was full of tiny scillia flowers, which I see that some just call scilla without the 'i'. So fairly early, I went out, lay on a stranger's lawn, and took some macros. The lawn was by a fairly busy street, though not as busy as usual during the pandemic, and I have to wonder what passersby must have thought upon seeing an older man lying on the grass. As for the 4 photos, I like the last 2 best although they have a very different mood from each other.

I now present the photos, followed by a very short video (10 seconds). I took the video because a breeze was blowing the flowers, and I thought it would make for a nice, little clip. I put a little music to it, and I like it.

Second to last item: an article that answers many questions about Corona such as whether you need to wash your clothes or shower when you come home from an outing such as grocery shopping. Providing you are keeping your safe distance from others, it shouldn't be necessary in the majority of circumstances. Also, most small droplets wouldn't land on you but be blown around you (my words) due to how aerodynamics work.

Last item: Alycia's Keys' Good Job song honouring essential workers. It includes many images of regular yet extraordinary workers in these times.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Coffee at the Park

Saturday was the day: that first lovely weather, spring day. After a month of gloom and howling winds, we had sunshine, and the temperature soared all of the way up to 16C/61F. It didn't last through Sunday and today, but we really appreciated it at the time.

We did out first take-away coffee in many weeks and took it to the park. Believe it or not, where I first parked in the direct sun, we were too hot sipping our drinks in the car, so we drove to a shadier spot.

Sue shot one of our few, non-comedic, isolation selfies from the shadier spot.

After sipping our coffee, we ambled through the park. Although it has subsided a lot, the river remains higher than usual. I had to take a picture of record.

Then, I began to shoot some video footage. I liked the idea of videoing the river, so we drove to two other spots from which to also shoot. I thought readers might like to see our version of the Mississippi in other than still pictures. (About 50 seconds and a wee bit shaky in spots because it is handheld.)

If you choose to watch the video, please expand it to full screen.

What a moment! This lady was attempting to film a funny video putting on  a mask with "creature hands" when a hummingbird landed on her. What an unforgettable experience!

A few COVIDish bits and pieces

There was a very small anti-isolation demonstration in front of our provincial legislature. Our premier called them yahoos and not fine people as some other nameless leader has done.

I've seen photos of crowded beaches in Florida and empty beaches in California: proof that not all Americans are yahoos, which one might think from the news, but some sure are.

Although the province of Quebec is fighting hard, Montreal has a higher rate of COVID infection than Italy. This virus is a heck of a thing.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Celebration and Mourning

Let us dispense with the lighthearted stuff first, shall we?


This item is lighthearted in the sense that it is a celebration of local Health Care Workers, but it is deeply felt too. Encouraged by the town, last night our neighbourhood participated in the first Hero Hullabaloo. I hope other neighbourhoods participated too.

We all tuned to the same radio station; some, like Sue in the rainbow slacks, danced while others just hung out.


This is the sad and sentimental part.

As you know, there has been an incomprensible mass shooting in Nova Scotia. One of the victims was young fiddler Emily Tuck. Renown fiddler, Natalie MacMaster, plays a virtual duet with her in this video. What a beautiful tribute! Can you imagine how touched the family would be? I am deeply moved as well.

I have nothing else to add.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Caturday 22: Odd Feline and Odd Human Ducks

This is Lacey — every single morning and now most nights too. I get up, perform my ablutions, sit in my computer chair, and this is what I see.

She wants me to feed her kibble, just her regular dry food, by hand.

If my morning routine, which I assure you is quite brief, takes longer than she wishes, she begins to bite my legs, even before I sit down.

I have a dry food container by the computer. I take out 3 bits at a time and put them beside her on the floor. She consumes them and waits for more. We do this again and again until she is sated.

She will then go sleep it off somewhere.

Perhaps in my chair.

Perhaps in her window perch in which her large self spills over the edges.

Or most likely, she goes back downstairs since she has no further use for me for the time being. I have served my function until I am pressed into service once again.

That service will occur closer to bedtime when we must do it all again. At least this is the pattern that is developing.

This nighttime ritual must occur after I have filled her dish which is in the other room perhaps just 20ft away. She can go to said dish at any time day or night, but come morning or evening, I must feed her by hand regardless.

I must add to the dish even though it is full. Sometimes, I just shake up what is already there. So far, she falls for this maneuver.

She will consume some nourishment from her dish, but within minutes, Lacey will be back by my feet repeating the pose in the first photo.

Lacey is the oddest cat ever.

Speaking of odd cats, here are a couple of very odd ducks, doing their daily selfie.

Have a good day and weekend wherever you may be.

Friday, April 24, 2020

We Found Lewis

Blowing kisses your way.


You thought you saw Danica open her iwatch on her birthday in our garage, but you didn't really. It was a poster that she opened because her watch hadn't arrived yet.

Delivery is so out of whack these days that the expected parcel didn't arrive until 3 days later. She facetimed us for the grand unboxing, and her dad took this picture.


Sometimes, it is nice to rewatch old mysteries. We liked Inspector Lewis when it was airing live and wanted to see it again. You would think that the British streams, Acorn and Britbox, would have it. Alas not. Neither does Netflix or any other stream that we have access to.

We were able to get a few seasons through our library and Hoopla but not nearly all of them. We watched what we could about a year ago.

Finally, I found it on Apple TV. It can be purchased by episode or by season. Since we had rewatched the first 4 seasons previously, we have begun with season 5 this time around. Like Morse, it has a nice British, cuppa tea sort of vibe and pace. Watch Masterpiece: Inspector Lewis Season 1 | Prime Video

While I don't love having to make an additional purchase, it is nice to get back to a program that we really liked, so we are treating ourselves. It's not as though we are otherwise indulging ourselves much during the pandemic.


Finally, after 2 days of horrid weather, we did go out yesterday. It wasn't a bad day but was still somewhat chilly and windy. The grass is greening, but the trees are still looking barren.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Doin The Twirl

Selfie Time

As I sit at the computer on Wednesday morning, the wind is still raging.

Because Sue has a sensitive nose, we have recently relocated the garbage from the garage at the front to the backyard. Come garbage day for the past 2 weeks, however,  the sliding door has been iced over, so I have had to go around the adjacent house to access our backyard. Then I carry the garbage around to the front. That hasn't pleased me greatly when the weather has been so deplorable, but then I remembered that I forgot to pick up one little bag of cat doodoos, so I had to trek all of the way around and back again.

I am sure that you recall this image from yesterday. I mean how can you possibly forget any of my gems? lol

A number of my Flickr friends have been playing with the twirl filter in Photoshop, so I thought I would try it.

Yes, it is the same photo, but I have rotated it. If someone (I am thinking possibly Tabor) is interested in trying it, here is a youtube tutorial.

Seen on FB: Caption This.

No photo description available.

I don't usually do these as I am devoid of imagination, but how about; "I swear that wasn't me caterwauling on the back fence last night." You could also make it specifically COVIDish: "I thought 6ft was just 1 metre not 2, officer."

I leave you with this video: The Liar Tweets Tonight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Jolene and the Torrent

The Return of the Daily Selfie. Just remember, you're no bunny til some bunny luvs ya.

On Monday, we took our usual walk on a somewhat nice day: sunny, calm and not too cold.

There was you-know-what to pay yesterday, however. Soon after daybreak it snowed. Then it rained. There was hail in the afternoon, which was followed by snow pellets and then just snow. Throughout all of this, the wind was whipping something fierce with gusts up to 80kph/50mph. What a day!

Back to the Monday walk. We certainly didn't walk yesterday.

I ported my wide angle lens, which is my heaviest lens, but I didn't get the shots that I wanted. You need to get right up to a puddle and low to get the reflection results that I was hoping for. This was almost a pond and not a little puddle, and the edge of the pond was too muddy for me to get close like I wanted to. Of course, I snapped the shutter anyway.

Have you seen any of the Jolene parody songs where the woman in COVID isolation pleads for Jolene to come and actually take her man? There are a few. This is the best acted IMO.

But this is very well sung (as is the other).

Last year at this time our (Little) Mississippi River was raging and becoming a Mighty Mississippi though not quite as wide or long as that other river of the same name. (You perhaps have heard of that other Mississippi. Some have.) There was also damaging flooding in low lying areas.

Thanks goodness we don't have to endure flooding along with the other challenges this year.

However, we are being pretty good about isolating and such in Ontario, and current modelling has us doing much better than the original modelling predicted. We may be on a pace to match South Korea although we are not yet doing nearly as well with testing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Bench and Crocuses

There is good news about COVID in the province. It appears that we are on the cusp of entering the plateau for new cases and are even farther along in terms of flattening hospital and ICU cases. Indeed, we are doing very well in that area all things considered.

On one of our recent walkies, I took a photo of that empty bench by the river where we sat in the first few weeks on pandemic isolation. I may even try another with a wide angle lens, but this is what I have for now.

You may recall that I have taken a few photos looking across to the far shore. I don't think I have shown this one yet.

I went into video mode. I began by looking across the river once again, where the water is fast but not raging as much as last year. Then I swung the camera around the other way back toward the pond. (about 30 seconds)

We saw our first spring flowers across the street. I may return for a better photo, but this is what I took then, and it will do.

Crocuses and Heather

I am sure the daily selfie will return forthwith.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Danica Has a COVID Birthday in Our Garage

What to do? It was raining, so driving over to hers and standing out in the rain to celebrate her birthday, no longer seemed like a good idea. So, we held a little gathering in our garage. This is the setup.

Sue and I were planning to sit on the stairs which is the camera position. We will be about the proper 2 metres from Shauna who will sit in the blue chair to the left. The kids and their dad, who live together, will sit in chairs by the door which will be open.

It's just a garage, but Sue made it as nice and welcoming as possible.

And here is Shauna and the others observing the 2 metre distance and eating cake.

The Birthday Girl

She opens her birthday collage of photos taken during her 13th year.

She realizes that she's getting an iWatch

Some video, which I managed to pare down to just over a minute from a number of sometimes lengthy clips.

As birthdays blend together in what will, hopefully, be a long life, I have a feeling that the COVID birthday in a garage will be remembered for a very long time.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Doodad and Hyacinth

A most noteworthy event today — Danica enters her teenage years. I will, perhaps, post more about it tomorrow, but for now, I present a little collage of Danica on her 12th birthday last year.

Let us continue with the doodad of the title, which you can see in the selfie, below. We are back in our masks again but with doodads this time.

The doodads were part of an unexpected surprise from Shauna. The surprise included hyacinths, girl guide cookies, and bread.

But what be these doodads?

I think this graphic explains, without necessitating any superfluous and bumbling words from yours truly.

It is a COVID-friendly, door-opener and button pusher, made by someone local with a 3D printer. Amazing. Sadly, it did not come with that handy dandy holder shown in the third part, above. Life is so hard.

As for the hyacinths, there were two but only the pinkish one is in bloom, so I made a few macro photos.