Friday, September 30, 2022

Helpless Help

It was dark at 7:30 pm, garbage day, and they still hadn’t picked up the recycling although the garbage had been taken. Deducing that something had gone amiss, clever boy that I am, I went out to bring the bin back in. However, I espied a truck up yonder, which I soon confirmed to be the garbage truck.

A neighbour had discovered that it was so late because there was only one guy to empty the bins instead of the usual two. I contemplated what a heck of a day that must have been for the lone person — 12 hours or more at that point. The only way I could help was to move the bin as close as I could to the road.

When I commented on his ordeal, he explained that it wasn't even his job, for he was the owner's son. But three workers had booked-off that day, so he was forced into service. He despaired how bad things might get when these kinds of employees would be the main workforce in 20 years time.

I mentioned the garbage situation to Shauna, and she just about had a fit. You see, she manages a retirement home and has huge problems staffing and keeping staff. I didn't even tell her what the garbage guy had said, but she had plenty to say all on her own.

Geez. I honestly am stumped. People have no work ethic.

I think we’re in real trouble until the kids of my gen get there. My work ethic has been passed to Danica. She’s doing it right. The 20-30 [age] crew? Holy crap! I don’t even know how they’re going to survive. It’s insane.

You should see some of the crap we see. You would be gobsmacked.

My toe hurts I don’t think I can work.

I just got my period.

Someone said something mean to me.

I feel faint

I had a server who had great potential. 21-22 I think. Gap in resume for the last year. No car and depending on parents etc to drive them to work. “I have a deal with my parents that if I can commit to, and succeed at, a new job for a month - they’ll help me buy a car. 

Great worker. For a week. Second, third, fourth week - worked 1/5 shifts. Anxiety, couldn’t work with coworkers, stomach ache. 

We had to let them go. Kept coming to work but would walk into town so that parents wouldn’t know we had to let them go.

It’s rampant. It’s nuts I tell you. You wouldn’t believe the stuff we see. I spend my days stupefied

That is the experience of two people, but I seem to hear echoes of that refrain around and about, and many businesses are most certainly enduring labour shortages.

What do you hear or perceive in your corner of the world?

Booster 3 and Sleep and No Sleep

All of our other C-shots have been Pfizer, but booster 3 was Moderna. I have heard that this combination can have more after-effects although I have possibly heard incorrectly.

I was very tired on the following morning, especially considering I had one of my better sleeps the night before. Actually, I had two consecutive very good — for me — sleeps, at least one of which may have been more than 7 hours. In any case, I seemed to perk up around noon, so that's not bad. I also don't even know if the extra tiredness was an after-shot effect, because I am pretty sure we all are subject to fluctuations of energy.

My injection site may have been a little sorer than after some the previous shots, but the soreness was only at the injection site and didn't spread throughout the arm or body.

Sue also experienced more weariness than usual and felt that her joints were achier and stiffer than normal. She also slept more than usual, but that is hard to tell that too because that also fluctuates. Now that the sun rises later, and especially since we have been having dull mornings, she is tending to sleep longer regardless.

However much sleep Sue now requires, I must say that things have changed since her infancy. If you believe her mother, (and who could ever doubt?), Sue was, apparently, not disposed to sleep much when she was an infant. In point of fact, I heard her mother once declare that Sue didn't allow them to get one wink of sleep for 5 years. She really said this and I'll have you know that she was never known to exaggerate. 

I don't think records were as big a thing in those days, or this feat surely would have made it into Guinness World Records.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

I am but a Crooked Man

This is me, now.

from the Poetry Foundation

I had this poem in an illustrated story book when I was a child. While the poem is only 4 little lines long, they were able to divide it and illustrate it into a little book.

I am reminded of the book today, for I am that man, or at least a version of him.

Here's the account.

Earlier today, I posted of my disappointment with the weather yesterday. But this morning promised to be sunny (and it was), so I gathered my gear.

After popping open the car trunk, I swung my rather heavy and cumbersome camera bag into place. Unfortunately, the motion was accompanied by a rather nasty back spasm.

Now I am walking a little bit crooked. 

At least I am able to hobble around the house — once I am up, that is. It's the getting up and down that is fraught with difficulty. I am glad that I already had socks on because ho boy! they are a real problem when the back goes kerflooey. Now, just imagine what a sneeze might do to a guy already in a state of back stress!

I told Sue that I could get get downstairs, but that I didn't think I could get the cat food down to the floor.

This change in procedure perplexed poor puss. She got confused since she is disposed to follow my every move. So, I shuffled along with Sue as Sue put her food down. Lacey squawked with some concern and anxiety but eventually overcame this seismic shift in her life and went to her dish.

In the meantime, I will be the crooked man, for that's how it tends to go with my posture when I have a spasm. Thankfully, I haven't had one for quite a few years, but here we are reprising that old tune.

I will not be walking a mile, crooked or not, but at least Sue and Lacey are not crooked and  neither is this little house.

Now that the weather has perked up, here am I — quite unperked. Sadly.

Feeling Disinvited

I am not altogether pleased this morning, which happens to be Wednesday, but who knows when this post will see light of day — if ever. 

Autumn is happening. Colour is appearing. And I feel stuck.

This morning, I was prepared to head out with the camera. I was ready in plenty of time, but, alas, when dawn came, it was overcast and bleak — again! Not only that, but it was windy., which is not exactly desirable for photographing foliage.

I got back into my slouch-around-the-house clothes and brewed a second cup.

We’re still in early days of fall, but it is a short season, and with the weather being disinviting and uninspiring, I begin to despair. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Another Memory and a Rather Odd One at That

I seem to unveiling a spate of memories, but I have one more before I go on to forget about this remembering thing. This isn't a brand new memory, for it has come back to be from time to time over the years.

The old songs that frequently pop into my brain are usually old hymns or gospel songs, but this one is by Shirley Temple Black and neither churchy nor popular.

Everyone knows the child actor, but I am not sure that I did for a long time. However, I have remembered that, as a woman, she had a tv program: a story time program for children. I don't remember the stories, but I do remember her closing song. While I may not have the lyrics 100%, I am pretty sure these ↓ are close and that I have the essential tune in my head.

Dream along little man
Dream as long as you can
Don't grow up I beg of you
For dreams were made for children
And we're children
As long as we dream

I can't find the song anywhere, but I think I have it pretty well as it was although I am not going to sing it for you. You're welcome. 

Wikipedia (see below) did tell me that the show ran, from '58 to '61 when I was ages 10 to 12. I think that I only saw the program a few times, but I must have liked the tune or the words or, perhaps, Mrs Black. I  really don't know how or why I recall this from just a few exposures more than 60 years ago. 

Do you have any quaint but puzzling memories such as this?

(Wikipeduia) Between January 1958 and September 1961, Temple hosted and narrated a successful NBC television anthology series of fairy-tale adaptations called Shirley Temple's Storybook. Episodes ran one hour each, and Temple acted in three of the sixteen episodes. Temple's son made his acting debut in the Christmas episode, "Mother Goose". The series was popular but faced issues. The show lacked the special effects necessary for fairy tale dramatizations, sets were amateurish, and episodes were not telecast in a regular time-slot. The show was reworked and released in color in September 1960 in a regular time-slot as The Shirley Temple Show. It faced stiff competition from Maverick, Lassie, Dennis the Menace, the 1960 telecast of The Wizard of Oz, and the Walt Disney anthology television series however, and was canceled at season's end in September 1961.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

A Plucky Little Thing

I have recently posted a long-forgotten memory of my busby bank. On the same day, I had another and almost-as-forgotten memory surface from the murky depths of my gray matter.

We moved from Montreal to the far outskirts of Toronto on just about the day that I turned 15. When I say outskirts, I do mean outskirts. We weren't really in Toronto but a few miles beyond its suburban edge. So, I say Toronto because Cooksville would be rather meaningless to just about everyone in the world. And we were even outside of this Cooksville place.

Living on a nursery about 2 miles from the nearest store was quite a culture shock after residing within the actual city of Montreal. We needed a car, so mom got one and took driving lessons when she was closing in on her 50th birthday.

That was in 1962, so it must have been the next summer that we drove into Toronto and entered one of the multi-story parking arcades.

This was pretty new to us and after going up a few floors and not finding any parking spots, mom began to be concerned. As we came to the penultimate floor there was a space between a car and the concrete wall.

She asked if she thought there was enough space to park the vehicle. I said, "No," but she decided to try anyway.

After scraping the car on the concrete wall a few times, she decided that I was right and proceeded to the top floor where there were a number of spaces.

And that was the memory, folks. It came to me as others have — in the bathroom. Go figure, eh?

As I thought about it, I realized how astounding it was for mom to learn to drive at her age and then drive the car into downtown Toronto.

At 5'1" she was of diminutive stature, but I recall my paternal grandmother having called her a "plucky little thing."

And so she was. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

The Disappearance Disappeared

We were watching the limited Norwegian series, The Lorenskog Disappearance, on Netflix. It was dubbed into English, and dubbed very well, I might add, with lips synching surprisingly well.

It was based on a true event in which a rich Norwegian woman, or rather a rich man's wife, was abducted and was never heard from again. For more than two years police and reporters endeavoured to solve the crime.

We were into the fifth episode and thought we might watch one more before retiring for the evening. The episode ended, and a new suggested series popped up.

That's right. The series just stopped without warning. Obviously, that means that the case was never solved, but it was very abrupt and unexpected. We could scarcely believe that it was just over without even a hint that it was going to end. There was certainly no denouement, let me tell you.

You can read about it here if you want to know more.

But I am just here to tell you that our jaws dropped and cries of dismay were heard when the series so abruptly. I don't think I've ever had a series end like that before. Mind you, it was pretty well done, and I am not sorry that I watched it.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Memory of a Busby

We have seen much of the Queen's Grenadiers in the past few weeks — the soldiers in dress uniform who wear the hats made from bears' fur. You know, the big furry hats that seem to come down over their eyes.

Yes, unfortunately, they are made from the pelts of actual bears. Despite calls by some to use artificial fur, they still employ the real thing, and the real thing is getting quite expensive.

We call those hats busbys, and basically also call the soldiers who wear them busbys, but busbys are really the hats and not the soldiers.

In Canada, you may see them standing on guard at the Governor General's residence in Ottawa. I think we also see them during summer at the ceremonial Changing of Guard parade during the summer on Capital Hill.

I don't know how many times I have seen them without ever remembering what is, I suppose, my very first connection from when I was very young. Despite all that we have seen recently, I did not remember this until something about busbys came up in conversation during our kaffeeklatsch this week.

For whatever reason, I suddenly remembered my little toy soldier, busby bank when I was a boy. I possibly had it sometime between the age of 5 and 10 (probably closer to 5 than 10), so it was 65 to 70 years ago. I am almost certain that I haven't thought of my little soldier bank since then, for why would I? But then at coffee of all times and places, the memory surfaced. The recent ceremonies didn't evoke the recollection, nor the several times that I have seen them in person, but a chance remark over coffee took me back to that little toy bank.

I wish I could find an image of the little bank, but of course I can't.


Busby is the English name for the Hungarian prémes csákó ("fur shako") or kucsma, a military head-dress made of fur, originally worn by Hungarian hussars. In its original Hungarian form the busby was a cylindrical fur cap, having a bag of coloured cloth hanging from the top. The end of this bag was attached to the right shoulder as a defence against sabre cuts.

If you go to the Wikipedia link, you will see that a busby hat doesn't have to look exactly like those with which we are familiar. Any military hat that fulfills the above definition is a busby hat. Who knew? Not I.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Wolf at the Door

Some of you have read and commented already, but this posted by mistake yesterday, so I reverted it to draft and reset it publish today. Sometimes, I get confused when I have a number of posts in the queue. 


The wolf is at the door, is an expression that means that your finances are close to the edge. However, we had a literal wolf big wolfish, black dog come to our door for family dinner on Monday evening. In stature, it wasn't as huge dog as in a St Bernard or a Russian Wolfhound, but this guy was big enough and powerfully built.

Look at that short, thick tail! Good thing it is short
because it can send objects flying.

This is the kids' second rescue dog. You may recall Tip, the little golden retriever mongrel from early August. Well, that sweet pooch was adopted out within a week.

Now, they have Jasper, who is 7 years old.

He's gentle and friendly, which is somewhat remarkable for he has a sad history. For 5 of his 7 years he was tethered to a porch in . . . wait for it . . . Iqaluit!

You know Iqaluit, right?

It's right up there on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, very close to the Arctic Circle.

Iqaluit is that lonely red dot.

What a life! being exposed to the elements on Baffin Island. Imagine living, chained outside in that long northern winter. Good thing Jasper is part Husky.

He behaved pretty well during dinner in our little place and has accompanied Shauna to work and done well enough.

You may recall that Tip didn't much care for me, but Jasper likes to be petted and rubbed, even by me. 

I don't know if Jasper is here for a long time, but, hopefully, it will be a good time and that he will be well loved and cared for, for the rest of his life  

Friday, September 23, 2022

Above the Fray

In light of the passing of Queen Elizabeth and the ensuing ceremony and pageantry, The Frumpy Professor, aka Pipe Tobacco, has asked me about Canadian attitudes toward the monarchy.

There are 43 countries with a monarch or the equivalent as head of state. The list includes the following countries that all seem to manage fairly well:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Frankly, even though I am a born and bred Canuck, I don't really know what the Canadian attitude is. Until I learn differently, my opinion is that we don't share a single attitude and that, for most part, whatever opinions that we do have are mostly likely not very strong ones. Obviously, there are those loyalists who love the monarchy and those at the other extreme who repudiate it for its colonial heritage and present opulence, but it seems to me that the rest of us are bunched somewhere in the middle, between the two camps. 

Personally, if people want to have a monarch, it's fine by me. We probably are a little taken aback by just how ostentatious the pomp and ceremony is in Britain, but we accept the Canadian adaptation, which is to have a less lavish Governor General as the monarch's representative on these shores. If we or Britain were to dissolve the institution entirely, I think that I would feel a sense of loss. 

I had never thought of the institution much, and still haven't really, but the passing of Her Majesty and the resultant ceremonies have made me think just a little bit. Then, when Mary mentioned in passing that it is her opinion that a constitutional monarchy is the best form of government, I thought a little bit more. Just a little bit, mind you, for I don't want to strain the brain too much.

I think it is apparent that this queen, for I am am not convinced that I can say the same for her forebears, carried out her duties with class and dignity. In the midst of an era of rapid technological and societal change, she was always there, like a rock of stability. She was steadfast, honourable, gracious, reliable, and apolitical. While I am sure that she had her own opinions, she remained reticent about expressing them, or at least she has been for a very long time.

A constitutional monarch can carry out many honorary and ceremonial duties that might be onerous for some other political leader, for she, or now he, can remain above the fray (which is what I have just decided will be the title of this post). The monarch can go to a ribbon cutting ceremony, for example, and few will be triggered as they might be by the presence of a politician with whom they might vehemently disagree.

We had a very nasty case recently where our deputy prime minister was accosted by a very verbally abusive couple in Alberta. It was an ugly incident that was almost universally decried. For whatever reason, the couple was triggered by her politics and decided that they should vent their anger in a most foul and unacceptable way. My guess is that the presence of a neutral representative would likely not have aroused any ire at all.

More practically, also consider the demands inherent in running a country. A constitutional monarch or their representative can allow a leader more time to attend to the rigours of their taxing jobs than having to expend as much time in quite so many time-consuming public appearances. Also, as noted, there could be less upset for many.

When I see how alternative types of government are being pushed beyond acceptable boundaries, I do consider that there is some value in having a titular head of sate who is steadfast, resolute, dignified, apolitical, and Above the Fray.

Meanwhile, I have asked if Mary would share her thoughts more fully, for they are likely to be more well-honed than mine. I don't know how long she has held her view that a constitutional monarchy may be the best form of government, but I am pretty sure that it has been longer than two weeks, which is what it has been in my case. If she does post something, I will let you know.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

An Unfoggy Morning

I went to bed in a fog, and I got up in a fog.

Naturally, you suspect that I write of an internal fog in my slowly atrophying brain. While that is normally a quite valid assumption, today I am speaking of actual atmospheric fog. Indeed, it was very foggy when I went to bed around 10:30 last night and also very foggy when I arose around 4:30, with the assistance of the most blessed Lacey the Cat.

If I remain motionless, she normally doesn't linger on me for long when we wants me out of bed, but she wasn't budging on this day. Full disclosure: my repose was probably all but done in any case, but I like to give the furry muffin her due credit.

I settled myself at the computer with coffee, did the stuff that I do, and purposed to go out closer to 6 o'clock.

Having done just that, the fog was all but gone when I got out to the car. Just to be sure, I headed to a spot where I might get car lights in the fog if there were any, but there wasn't to speak of.. I turned to go home but then hung a left instead of a right and found myself back at the park from which I can see the little waterfalls as well as town hall.

Every morning looks a little different, and I thought that was true of town hall although I can't quite tell you what was different. Maybe it is just my imagination.

When I looked toward the waterfall area, I was seeing more mist in the air below the light than I had seen previously. Or remembered seeing previously.

Meanwhile, I have another of those minimalist photos from the previous walk in Riverside park that I posted about here, yesterday. I am not as chuffed with it as the others which I posted, but I kind of like just the duck and the little trailing wake.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Filter Fun

Sue's 365 challenge on Sunday was to use the Adamski Effect on a photo. Essentially it involves making two layers of a photo and blurring (ie stretching) one of the layers. You them keep some of the unblurred layer and some of the blurred layer.

This is a photoshop technique. Sue doesn't so photoshop, but I do, or at least I can. I am not a photoshop guru by any means, but I can more or less stumble along most of the time.

I took one of the queen's cup and saucer photos that I didn't post on Monday. It had pink sedum in the background, and I thought it might work well. I think it did.

I tried the technique on the curving road photo from Balaclava that I posted last week.

Then, I tried it on two autumn photos from last year.

I think Sue's photo was the most suitable for this technique, for it may be that, for best results, one needs a clear subject at the bottom of the frame, such as the cup in the first photo. I will try to keep the technique in mind, but keeping it in mind is much more easily said than done when your mind tends to wander hither, thither and yon and gets lost on the way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Fine Art Minimalism

On the day that Sue and I went to the park to photograph the queen's cup and saucer with maple leaves, I took a few other photos as we ambled along. I can never resist taking photos at the park. This time around I chanced upon an unusual photo op.

There was a heron and a Canada goose is fairly close proximity in the river. While I wished I had ported a telephoto lens, I took some photos anyway. I didn't care for them when the came out of the camera, but with some processing, I really like the final result.

I processed this in a minimalistic, fine art style by letting the water go to white. thereby eliminating all but the pair of critters.

As we walked along the riverbank, the pair remained in proximity, so I kept taking snaps. One of my final attempts led to a very different image from the first.

While I wish that the goose had raised its head and assumed a better posture, I am pleased with the results.

Later, I tried another minimalistic photo with three geese. It didn't turn out quite as well, I guess, but it did turn out well enough, I think.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Sue Honours the Queen

 Her Majesty's funeral will take place today. 

Inherited from her grandmother, Sue has a teacup and saucer and another plate commemorating her coronation in 1953.

To now commemorate the queen's funeral. Sue decided to take the cup and saucer to the park to see if she could photograph it with some maple leaves, which would seem to be a fitting Canadian connection. The leaves aren't out in profusion yet, but she found a few suitable candidates.

For these first two photos, Sue manipulated the subject amongst the foliage. When she decided that the composition was acceptable, I took the photo with her camera as she held the cup in place..

She also photographed many other arrangements.

We had the idea to put it in the path, which was probably not the best idea of all, but it was something to try. This was the only photo I also took in all of the setups, for it was her photoshoot, not mine.

On the day of her funeral, this was Sue's personal tribute to Queen Elizabeth the Second, who reigned long and well as Queen of Canada as well as Britain. I think that including Canadian maple leaves was inspired.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

In Her PPE Finery

Shauna posted this on Thursday evening,

COVID isn't over. There is an outbreak on the second floor of Shauna's retirement residence, They are in isolation up there, and this is what she has to wear when she does ascend to check in on the old folk. This is the second flare-up now that we no longer worry about the pandemic. Oddly enough, they escaped all of the previous outbreaks when the pandemic was being taken more seriously.

Almost all of the residents are vaxxed, of course, and I think the only few who aren't both vaxxed and boosted have resisted due to problematic aftereffects. I assume and hope that all will make it through without serious sickness.

The 3rd booster is currently arriving in health facilities, which reminds me, that I must get to the website, sooner than later to book an appointment.

Meanwhile, I continue to mask-up in grocery stores, which are really the only stores that I ever visit. I am not so diligent at coffee outings, however, but I do choose to keep going and take my chances. While I intend to wear a mask until I sit down at the table, we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

However, I will forego fall fairs, art tours and crowded events that are on now. It's not much of a deprivation since we are not particularly drawn to them anymore, having already experienced our share in our lifetimes. At this stage of life, we can miss them without really missing them, if you catch my drift.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Caturday 40: Lacey Falls into Her Fall Chair — aka My Chair

Lacey seems to be making an adjustment to the fall. She hasn’t bothered with my chair for months. Now, when I want to use it, guess what I see. I often wonder if I should shoo her off or take myself elsewhere. Sometimes, I let her be for awhile, but if and when I do shoo her, she crabs at me.

Since Lacey is adapting to fall, I will take the opportunity to go on about it a bit from my perspective  

It really feels fall-like now. The big heat seems to be all but over although I suppose there might be a short-lived hot spell. When I was teaching — never in a air conditioned room, I hasten to add.— some days of the first week back in September were torrid. That would have been the case last week too, but the grandkids’ classes are all in AC-ed rooms, so what the heck, eh. By week two, which would have been this past week, it was almost always quite bearable.

The path of the sun as it enters my window, confirms its progression southward. Where the morning rays once reached way past the computer by maybe 5 feet, now are not even reaching the monitor. When this happens I call it fall, for in meteorological terms, it is.

Yesterday morning was 8C/46F. I was not enticed to venture forth with camera in hand. And it was pretty dark for a pretty long time. This morning too. Early morning hasn’t been inviting since Monday’s trip to the sawmill. 

I was so tired after awaking at 3:30, which is an absolutely ridiculous time to awake after probably less than 5 hours of sleep. Sleeping until 4:45 this morning was much better, especially since I got just a little more than 6 hours. Six hours are usually enough for me to be at least semi conscious during the day. On very rare occasions, I manage close to 7 hours, and, perhaps once a year, the powers that be grant me somewhere close to 8 hours. Well, I think that has happened once this year. 

It seems fitting to inform you that Lacey has now confiscated my chair on this Caturday morn. Y'all have a good un. Eh?

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Other Balaclava Photos

Once we were done with ye olde sawmill, we looked around nearby. There isn't much around the ghost town, although town is scarcely the right word — one house across the road, one beside the mill, and one around the corner.

There was a barn and a truck belonging to the third house which lies around the bend that will appear further down this post. It was golden hour, and I liked the soft effect on the old truck. The camera picked up more of a misty effect than I noticed in person  

A little farther over was just a field. The light was still good but not quite as good.

I mentioned that there was a house around the bend. You can just see the fence off to the right in front of it here  . I didn't include the actual house, for I was mainly photographing the bend and thinking what a nice scene it would be in a few weeks time when the autumn colours come out. By the time I took this photo, golden hour had all but passed.

I'm not sure what Nick was photographing here: maybe also the truck.

Then, it was time for the drive home.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Monday Excursion with Nick

Shall we continue with our three-days-behind theme? Someday, I will again become up-to-date. In fact, there will be days when I have nothing to post although that has seldom stopped me. It's just that I have been on a bit of a tear lately with a number of early morning forays with my camera. That is something that will not continue forever.

However, it did continue on Monday morning but in a very different way than recently.

Most of my morning excursions are local in which I go to a nearby spot for a half hour or so, and then I am back home before normal people roll back the covers.

On Sunday evening, however, Nick texted me and asked if I would like to go to Balaclava in the morning. The place is more than an hour away, and he proposed setting off at 5:15.

I accepted and set my three alarms: watch for 4:00, phone for 4:05, and Alexa for 4:10. Of course, you know that this is what I do on the Sundays when I drive Danica to work, and you likely recall me bragging about never once having to use them. Of course that is for 6:00, and this was for 4:00.

But once again, I didn't require nudging from an alarm, for with the help of dear Lacey, I awoke just after 3:00. I did try, futilely, to get a little more shut-eye until about 3:20 but was soon out of bed having breakfast and coffee before grabbing a quick shower, for it had been a sweaty night.

Needless to say, I was more than on time for Nick, and we were soon off. It was a very foggy drive in places, but Nick didn't seem alarmed.

There is a tumbling-down old sawmill at Balaclava, and Nick knew the kind of photos that he wanted. He headed down the boulders to the water's edge to look along the waterway for some long exposures on the swirling water.

As you know, I hobble with a recalcitrant foot and could only get as far as where I could take this ↑ photo. Even getting that far down the boulders was highly problematic. Nick, however, is disgustingly nimble and is sure-footed as a mountain goat.

So I stayed where I was and took the photos that I could. Once I sat down to develop the photos at the computer, they seemed to be suited for black-and-white treatment.

I did take one more smaller section of the structure ↓ where I could see some light hitting the wall past the window.

There is another structure behind the mill. I confess to adding a fake sky because the blank one was bothering me and ruining the photo. I dislike doing that and almost always won't, but I felt that this photo needed a sky to complete it properly.

Nick was able to get down to the water's edge and managed to get a very nice photo of that tower along with a good reflection, but this was the best composition that I could manage.

I have learned to be satisfied with photographing what I can access and to not worry about what I am missing due to my mobility issue. It is enough to be out and clicking the shutter and then post-processing in what seems to me to be the most suitable way. 

It had been a nice outing, and I was home by 10:30 or so to see what the rest of the day had to offer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Serendipitous Sunday Sunrise

It had been awhile since I had gone to the pond for a blue hour photoshoot — 2 months, I later discovered. I didn't go back for blue hour this time but returned with hopes of photographing fog over the water. As it eventuated, there wasn't any fog, but there were clouds, and there was a sunrise.

They had also trimmed the tall, noxious weeds near the water since the previous visits, so I was able to get to some slightly different spots. That was good because the sun has certainly changed position since July, and the better access really helped.

What a sunrise it was! I stood there for a half hour shooting photos and frequently saying Wow! to anyone who would listen —which was just myself at that hour. The photos may looked unreal or over-processed to an observer, but I do try to remain pretty doggone faithful in editing these sorts of photos. While I am more than willing to stylize some types of images, I refrain with this kind of photo.

Here are 2 early photos: 6:29 and 6:35. Look at the clouds and their reflections in the second photo! What a change in 6 minutes!

By 6:51 the sun was up over the horizon. I narrowed the aperture ↓ to get that sunburst effect. Except for that narrow strip by the horizon, the sunrise colours were all but gone. What a rapid change!

Almost done, I turned the camera to the vertical position and squeezed off just one more photo to capture more of that strip of light coming across the pond.

I generally appreciate being out for early morning photography, but I especially loved being out there on that morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Saturday Morning

Once again, went I out with the camera. I didn't mind being a bit later than I have often been recently because was hoping for sun, rather than blue hour, this time. I was also hoping for fog. Well yeah. I was hoping for both — sun and fog. I am speaking of layers of fog near ground level and not of a generally foggy day.

I went to the spot around the corner where we have been known to sit on a bench overlooking the river.

Sadly, I couldn't see the rising sun from that spot, and there was no doggone fog either. I tried some photos anyway, but they weren't worthy, and I have since deleted them.

Then I decided to explore another road very near our house. Lo and behold (and it is not even Christmas) I found sun and fog: no water but 2 out of 3 ain't so bad.

Keep in mind that if you try to photograph full sun it will be blown out, just as it is when you look at it. You can also get some effects around the sun, but I do like the photos. There were 3+ minutes between the 2 photos, and they were taken from different spots. The second was more of an afterthought sans tripod, but I think it developed well enough.

I almost forgot to relate a curious incident.

A lady came by in a car and stopped right by me. I wondered what she wanted. She explained that she sometimes hears guns being fired. When she saw me carrying my tripod, she thought it might be a rifle, and she wondered what I was up to, so she stopped to inquire. I am not sure of the wisdom of stopping to question a person whom they suspected was carrying a gun, but there you have it.

After a few words, she exclaimed that she liked photographers and drove away satisfied. I was left a little perplexed, however.

A little later we went on Ride #19.

Since it was Saturday, we diverted to the Farmers Market after the usual turn-around point,. It lies just off a different part of the trail. Sue is in the approximate middle (white top) buying a goodie.

The goodie turned out to be a badie. It was something scone-like with raspberry and lemon. It was doughy, and neither of us cared for it. Ah well. 

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Church Revisited

We ended yesterday's post with this ↓ photo. You may recall that I had eliminated some signage in edit.

The next morning, I returned to the church. Rather than shooting from far away, and thereby having to include distracting signs again, I decided to get close and eliminate distractions that way.

So from shooting at 400 mm with a telephoto lens, I found myself very close to the building and shooting with a wide angle lens at 15 and 16mm. Quite a difference.

I stationed myself directly in front of that marvellous door and took the first photo in vertical (aka portrait) mode. Of course, I had to tip the camera upward, which resulted in the steeple leaning way back in the photo. I really had to compensate and straighten things up in edit: 15 second exposure.

The next photo was taken in horizontal or landscape mode 10 minutes after the first, so is brighter, which I think is better in this case. It also required quite a lot of perspective correction in edit.

I am still being plagued by blank skies, but that is the way the cookie, er images, crumble, and I think the blue is passable.