Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Pies are Coming

I was at the hospital with Sue this morning (more to come later – probably) when a notice form Ashton Church Pies popped up.

Actually, there were 10 of each at the time, but you can see the low quantities, above, by the time we got home and before I thought to check again. Two were already Sold Out, and quantities were down in all cases.

I messaged them this: 

I would like to order an apple pie and a butterscotch pie if they are still available. Will E-transfer once I hear back from you.

They replied thusly:

I put 2 pies aside for you this morning before I released the sale 😀 Thank you! I'll send the confirmation this evening 

"Before I released the sale." That was a surprise. lol

I guess they are getting to know me, for as far as I can recall, this is a first for Mother's Day pies. They usually do Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they anticipated me well. 😁😋

BTW, they do this as a fundraiser for the food bank. Perhaps I can persuade you to believe that this is the main reason why I order. Hmm?

Monday, April 29, 2024

Not Too Sharp

I was progressing through your posts when my watch beeped to inform me that I had 4h 20m of sleep last night. To add insult to injury it further revealed that only 3h 50m were restful. However, the situation cannot be quite that grim, for it has me going to sleep at 1:20, and I am pretty sure that we can add an extra hour. Sometimes the tracker gives me an extra hour while at other times it seems to take one away. For the most part, however, the morning report seems to jive pretty closely with what I feel that I have experienced.

I often wish that I could sleep longer. I prefer my sleep duration report to begin with a 6. It's when I have several consecutive nights of 5 or fewer hours that I get overtired and a wee bit cranky. However, even when my nights are too short, a 10 minute afternoon nap will often provide my decrepit and aging body enough juice to get by.

Oddly enough, I was just, this morning, contemplating, and not for the first time, how Sue and I have gone in opposite directions. For much of our lives together, we would keep similar hours, something around 8. Then, as we got into late middle age and early seniordumb, we went in opposite directions. She now requires something closer to 10 hours or even a little more. I have gone in the opposite direction, and, as I have noted, can seldom manage 6 hours. Sue can barely stay up until 9pm while I am currently having trouble getting to sleep before midnight. Then, except for the very rare occasion, I am up an hour, or two, or even more before her in the morning. This morning, I had my 2 cups before she stirred.

Now, there was something else that I was going to blog about this morning. It was a notion from reading one of your posts. But I didn't write it down, so I don't remember what it was or from what post I got the idea.

Perhaps if I'd had more that 3h 50m of restful sleep, I would be a little be sharper. Eh?

Saturday, April 27, 2024

This and That

I was not sure whether to bother posting this, but I guess it is best to stay in contact after not posting yesterday. Of course, we have pictures. Nothing grand, mind you.

I have two photo of moi. Unbeknownst to me at the time, when I am concentering on my photo, Sue often shoots me – so to speak. If I had been more aware at the time, I would have included these photos with my recent posts of the cardinal and daylilies (which is what you folks called the plants).

I was videoing the cardinal.

I think I was trying to get the app to tell me what these plants might be.
Alas, it did not, but I will stick with my blogger friends' ID of daylilies.

I do occasionally shoot the missus. She deserves it.

On another day, we drove into the city to pick up my repaired tripod head ($170!!!). We then went to Swiss Chalet for lunch to chow down ion their two-for-one special. Unlike when we are out and about with our cameras, I do often think to take restaurant phone photos of milady. I didn't like the odd colour of the light in the restaurant, so I converted to mono.

I guess the main reason for this post is this ↓ final image.

Sue's potd subject was Illusion, but she couldn't quite get this done in camera. Either her fingers were unfocussed, or the town hall tower was. So, she took two separate photos, one of her fingers and one of the clock tower, and I was able to help her by combining them in Photoshop.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Cardinal in the Park

The blasted recycling truck picks up very early every Wednesday morning. Our block is first on the route. It's the only time that I come close to first in anything. 

If at all possible, I carry the bin out on Tuesday evening, but since the prodigious winds continue to blow hoolies, this week I thought it best to hold off until morning. Consequently. I was out in my PJs at 6:45 hauling both garbage bag and recycling bin curbside.

The truck came shortly afterward, and when I looked out the window, I saw our empty bin being blown southward. Sigh . . . out I went again.

With the wind in my mind, at first I was refusing to go for our late morning walkie. However, I relented as long as we would choose another sheltered route. Off we drove to O-Kee-Lee Park. which, like the nearer trail of yesterday's post, we don't visit during winter. As you can see, it is also a scrubby woodland, probably even scrubbier than yesterday's trail.

I don't know birdcalls well, but I can identify cardinals on a good day, and I did hear one yesterday. We eventually found him. Luckily, my compact camera does zoom a little, and you can find the tiny but glorious red patch that is Mr Cardinal in the middle of the image. ↓

I decided to capture its joyful song, but you probably will have trouble finding him in the middle of this ↓ clip, which is the main reason why I have showed you the above photo.

There is much swamp around this path, which I have decided to share . . . because that is what I do.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Other Section of the Trail

The strong winds continue, so we headed to the more sheltered trail for our walk yesterday. For the sake of variety, we drove to a different part of the same trail that we normally walk. We haven't walked this section near the arena since before winter due to accessibility, but it makes a change now that the snow is gone.

Sue was looking for a photos of contours for her potd. She didn't use this ↓ one in the end, but it does shows how it currently looks hereabouts – bare branches for the most part. The grass is pretty green, though.

There is a patch of blue scillia by the path the ↑ photo, and I also found a patch of bloodroot off the trail. The wind was blowing too much (what else is new?) for photos, so I used my phone to take short video clips. The two clips combined are only 5 seconds long. I really should shoot for at least a few more seconds, but I do like to keep videos brief because I know that people have their list of blogs to consume.

Near the patch of bloodroot, a solitary Canada goose went floating down the river. I always feel sorry for lone geese. I wonder if it is the same loner that we see in the local pond. If it isn't, they should find each other and hang together.

The only other item of note was this vibrant patch of green plant amongst the bleak surroundings. I don't know what this plant is or if it will flower. If I walk by there again, I will ask my phone to identify it.

Surely we will soon get a break from the wind as well as the showers that it brings too often. I also look forward to seeing leaves on the trees. Our own tree out front is beginning to leaf, as is the lilac bush out back.

Monday, April 22, 2024


Although her actual birthday was on Friday, Darling Girl will celebrate her 17th birthday with us later today. Time does fly, and some of you have been with me and her for all of the journey or most of it.

As usual, I heave put together a little card. It used to be that I had plethora of photo choices for my cards, but now pictures of Danica are fewer and farther between. It's not because we don't see the kids or that she's averse to photos, but it is just the way that life goes. 

Front of Card from a recent photo of mine.

The Inside, featuring a composite by Sue that she earlier sent to Dani via FB on her actual birthday.

Not too long ago, I found myself looking at a picture folder from June 2010 when the kids were 3 and 1 years old. I put some aside for a possible blog. I hadn't planned on using them in a birthday post, but since they were still in the queue, today seems like a appropriate time to stroll down memory lane.

Of course, I wasn't thinking birthday at the time, so I had also set aside some JJ pics, which I will also append here, even though it isn't his birthday.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Conspirators Among Us

I just came across another one. It's a tweet or whatever you call it now. An X-Off maybe? Whatever the case, I can no longer resist the temptation of posting about it.

Without exaggerating, I see these sorts of posts daily – at least daily.

Apparently, we vaxxed folk are dying at such a rate that there will soon be few of us left. Our deaths must surely be in the 100s of millions by now.

Not only that, but don't you know that we shed?

Just is case you are concerned here is a link and summary from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

In sum, viral shedding is an issue when someone is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but not when they are vaccinated against it.

That's their summary, but you have the link, above, if you want to read the whole article.

While there are those who fret about keeping their DNA pure, I would say that it would be best not to in some cases.

 What a world we live in. Good information is only a click away, but the conspirators are out their doing their thing. I just don't know why.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Coffee and Guitars

Nick, my photo friend took me to a coffee shop in a nearby town. The attraction for him was a little display of guitars hanging over an old piano. I took a picture, but Nick didn't because the light was very bright at the part of the display near the window before tailing off into shadows at the other end. Shooting in high dynamic range is not ideal, so Nick decided to return on another, cloudier day, without such bright sunlight pouring through the window..

However, I did what I usually do and opted to make the best photo that I could under the circumstances. I used a few tricks including an HDR blend (for those who might know what that means). I think it's a nice enough image — good enough for me on that day.

We discussed photography over coffee, and that included talking about double exposures. Nick is good at them, and you have seen lately that I have been experimenting, just a little bit. Anyway, while we were sitting there, I took a few of Nick overlain by the guitars. These are for fun only and not to be taken seriously.

Before driving back home, I took this photo of reflections in the windows of a fine, old building, near the coffee shop.

Oops. I almost forgot that I also did a b&w conversion of the guitars photo. Of course, I prefer the colour version, butcha never know unless you try.

If we ever go back for round two, we'll have to ask the owner if we can temporarily relocate the plant.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Feeling Swamped

I walked with Sue sans camera on a day when I didn't expect to see anything worth photographing. However, when I spied a couple looking outward over a swampy area from one of the footbridges, I asked them what they had were seeing. They has spotted two turtles.

I only saw one smallish turtle on a . . . well let me show you rather than describe it.

Except I didn't see that ↑ turtle at that time. The one that I did see then did not have its back turned toward me. Rather, it was a smaller one, in profile and looking pretty darn photogenic.

Knowing that turtles are not necessarily quick (although the story goes that they can defeat hares in a race), I decided to return after walking all of the way back to the car. From there, I drove back to the house to retrieve my camera. By the time that I got back to the swamp scene, big turtle had displaced little turtle and had also turned its back to the camera, which I found excessively rude. Of course I took the shot anyway because watchagunnadoo?

Whilst there, I also took a photo of a bit of swamp vegetation. All I can say is that the green is nice right now and looked pretty night in the light. Yes, there is that at least.

One does one's best under the circumstances.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Logs and Doubles

Note: I've had this is the queue for awhile, but it got buried so deep that I lost track of it. It was from my double exposure experiments a few weeks ago. I like the wheel and tree pics.

For Easter, I posted a double exposure of easter eggs over a log house. 

Well, there is another log house in Appleton on the other side of the river. Note the wagon wheel.

I decided to try to use the wagon wheel in a double exposure. I like it.

Since we were in a log house kind of mood, we drove back to town to photograph the one near the park and boat launch.

I took one exposure of the trees in the park and then one of the house. I ended up with a very airconditioned house.

Then I took another of a single tree before turning back to the house. I kinda like this one.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

First Ride

I've not much to say today, but I will post a couple of family pics. Although Danica has been driving her car for awhile, neither Sue nor I had the privilege of experiencing a ride, I still haven't, but Danica took her into the city on the weekend. The mission was to go to the Apple Store to get her faulty ear buds checked.

Shauna was running other errands but joined them at the mall.

Sue was aghast that those ↑ coffees and cookies cost more that $30. 

I'll throw in a selfie of Sue and me on a walk. It was for Sue's potd, with the theme being affection, or something close to that. Of course, being closer to the camera, I look gigantic.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Daffs and Things

I just have two unrelated photos and a video to share in today's post.

I am surprised to see a daffodil blooming in what will be a clump of tulips in a few weeks. I planted daffodils years ago. I don't think we've any any for the past few years, and yet, there it is.

To confound me even more, I saw another daffodil bud a little later in a different spot.  It is a little behind in its development but should flower soon. It's good because I like daffodils, even these old-fashioned, generic ones. We had a mass of them in our previous abode.

I took that ↑ photo with my telephote lens, because I didn't want to fuss about much in the rain. However, I was also able to use it for this next photo. Sue was out yesterday, and I had a free coffee offer about to expire, so I took the coffee and a donut to our usual hangout near the boat launch. I used the telephoto from the driver's seat to capture part the tree across the way.

Posting that Canadian English video  the other day has led to more suggestions from YT. This one is by a British lady, but includes our same Canadian guy and an American lady. The British host showed pictures of objects and asked both the Canadian and American what they called that object. Then she shared what Brits would call the same thing. It's about 20 minutes long if the topic interests you.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Was it Real?

It was a brief image that came to me as snuggled in my chair late one rainy morning. As brief as it was, it kept lingering in my then awake brain. It was odd for it to linger since when pictures cross my brain, they tend to just float away. And yet I can still see this one in my imagination, albeit fuzzily, several days later.

I was looking downhill along a somewhat shady, tree-lined street. I think there were some cars parked along the street although that part is a bit unclear, but there were older two-storey* homes on the sides.

I feel as though it might have been a view that I might have spied from my bicycle somewhere in Montreal back about 65 years ago.

The question is whether it was some sort of amalgam of things seen, kind of AI-like, or was it, perhaps, a real image that my brain captured and, somehow, retrieved all these years later.

I asked Adobe AI to render something with those keywords, but this ↓ was not what I saw. I think my street was narrower with trees actually arcing over the street . My houses were set back just a bit farther and were a different style and not so attached. Nevertheless, Photoshop put together something realistic and interesting in my first ever trial of asking it to render a complete photo from scratch. So far, I have only asked AI to add very small items to photos. It is all just for interest sake.

Now, what say you? Do you think my brain retrieved an actual image from decades past, or was it just sort of composite of things that I may have seen?  And was it Montreal, and was I on my bike? Or perhaps, it had nothing at all to do with real sightings.

I am curious, but we will never know for sure.

* I see that spellcheck doesn't like my spelling of 'storey'. It's the more British and Canadian way of distinguishing between a narrative story and a storey or floor in a building


Friday, April 12, 2024

Honking Horde

We walked around the pond, the bigger one and not the one that we visit frequently. It was a bit of a slog because, aside from the pond itself, the path is stark with no trees to speak of, and it was also somewhat mushy.

One quite wonderful thing did occur. There were geese at the far end, but then we heard much honking as another large skein approached. They teased us by going around twice before they actually landed, all accompanied by much noise.

I am not a video guy, but I held up the phone and took a few clips. I merged them into the one video, below (about 37 seconds).

I really enjoyed see so many geese, honking their little hearts out, before they finally landed on the pond and continued honking furiously for a long while afterward. I guess they were catching up with old friends.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Early Spring Flowers

I have already posted both snowdrops and crocuses, but more flowers are poking through. So far, most are little and close to the ground.

There are some in the park where someone has planted them around a boulder at some point. There are crocuses here, but they are just about done. I don't know what this flower is. 

double exposure

I had purchased a little portable and extendable seat after photographing the snowdrops a few weeks ago. Sue took a photo. Frankly, I barely recognize myself and think it would have taken me some staring to figure that it was me, if I didn't already know. This is not how I picture myself, but it is reality. Whatever the case, I am still young in my dreams.

Who is that old man?

The daffodils are beginning to bloom. This is from the same spot: a bud with other daffodil blooms as an overlay in this double exposure.

From the park, we continued along the trail. Eventually we discovered a patch of little white flowers. Some online searching leads me to believe that they are Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), but I am not certain. Whatever they are, it's my favourite photo of the day.

Later that day, I drove to another spot, where I have previously seen crocuses. I think these flowers are Siberian Squills or just Scillia. If they are, they are considered to be invasive. It was breezy. I did my best. (The middle photo is a double exposure.) 

By the way, I just lay on the ground for these.

I guess tulips will be the next flower to bloom, but they are still probably a week to two off. I am not sure if the forget-me-nots bloom before or after the tulips.