Saturday, July 22, 2017

Escaping the Laundromat

We had some heavy items to wash, which would have been problematic our aging washing machine, so we took them to the laundromat one morning. It was a little hot and stuffy in there with somewhat grungy, uncomfortable seating, so I took my coffee outside and began to wander.

Just around the corner I spotted a few potential photos, so I returned to the car to grab my camera. Now, I don't take my camera everywhere (although I suppose that I should), but I had grabbed it that morning.

I was intrigued by this pretty flower box under a window on a plain garage wall.

The same house had a flower box under the window facing the street. In the original photo my reflection and an uninteresting house were starring back at me, do I decided to try to change it. I don't think the result is all that good, but it's better than the original in my opinion.

The next and final photo is of a different house and shows the flag flying between two trees, so I snapped it.

Older neighbourhoods are much more interesting to me than newer ones, and people in this one had added some very nice touches that made for a fine diversion from the laundromat.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Try Try Again

After my little tour with Brian, one evening I wanted to go back to Blakeney and take some photos in different light. That I did get but there were no clouds, which are desirable for the most part. When you go out to shoot landscapes, you make do with whatever light there is and do your best.

This had been the shot I had gotten on the previous visit. It was okay on a cloudy day in subdued light, but I thought I could do better.

So, I want back in low evening light with the sun coming from the back and to the right. It's a tighter shot centering on the tree that is to the right, above. The blank sky is not the best result, but if you don't show too much of it, you can get by. The reflections were good on this calm evening.

I should go back early some morning and take a shot with front light. Maybe I'll do that when the sun gets up a little later. It's not that I don't get up early already, but the sun was already getting up when I arose at 5:30 this morning. 😎

Meanwhile, I also took this shot looking in the opposite direction and came up with some interesting reflections at a slow shutter speed. A 1.6 second exposure was enough to slow the water and catch movement. It also caught reflections that I couldn't see very well with my eye.

That above photo was pretty cropped and I wouldn't mind returning with a longer lens to focus more on the foreground at the bottom.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

An Ordinary Stroll

Summer is moving along apace, and we have scarcely spent any time in our park. Of course, we might have it were to have rained less. There's been rain almost every day, often in the form of downpours to the point where Sue has had to remove the drowned flowers from some of her planter barrels. Needless to say, we are setting records, and this just a year after an almost record drought last year.

Well anyolehow, we did go for a stroll on Saturday evening, after a rainless day, and it was lovely. We're there so often that I don't always take photos even though I almost always lug my camera, but I did take a few that evening.

The town erects a temporary dock every summer for people who want to fish or put in a light craft. There is a bigger, permanent boat launch dock farther up and two more temporary ones nearer downtown for cottagers to tie up if the want to visit downtown.

But what was shocking was the the dock was mostly submerged. I have never seen it like this as one always has had to dangle one's feet in the past.

The kids and me: sitting on the same dock five years ago. Quite a difference.

Further up, there was a lot of water lying in puddles. One has to look for interesting reflections, but I didn't find any although I tried.

On our return to the car, we spotted these two girls fishing, and one of them really got into her work. I tried to process this with a summery, vintage sort of look.

So, that was our little re-introduction to Riverside Park. Hopefully, we'll get there a little more frequently as the summer progresses.

Addendum: On the 16th (July 2017), we had rain for the hundredth day this year. This set a new record for how quickly we got to 100, beating the old record of July 31, 1983.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Little Tour with Brian

Sue's sister, Heather, and brother-in-law, Brain, usually visit for the Celtfest weekend. Before Brian went home, while Heather stayed over to do some workshops, we did manage to find a few hours to tour and shoot some photos.

Our first stop was a last-minute notion, as I detoured to Blakeney Rapids. Brian took a number of shots from the bridge, looking south down the Mississippi. I wouldn't ordinarily have taken this shot since I can be a bit of a stickler for good light in landscape photos, but I relented. It shows the profusion of green on the far bank, especially in this year of very abundant rainfall.

Then we wandered for a bit in the conservation area. We didn't get too far in due to the mud from all of that rain which I just mentioned. But I took a number of shots of Brian, and put some of them into this collage. Brian is an even more avid photographer that I.

I also have this one of some flowers and plants between the rock and the river.

Next, we stopped at the Stone Bridge in Pakenham, which I posted about fairly recently. Since I had been there so recently, I didn't take many shots, but I like this of the daylilies in front of the bridge.

Our main destination was Arnprior for Wes' Fries (see this post for previous description of these yummy fries) and a little ramble in Robert Simpson Park. These two photos are across the Ottawa River, which eventually empties into the St Lawrence River. That's the province of Quebec on the distant bank in both photos.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lake Road West

The local museum has produced several walking tours which we have attended, but we had missed the Lake Road West tour so far. So we remedied that one evening last week. There are a few fine homes of an historical significance on this street. But of course, I forget most of the details already.

We met at Market Square, near downtown, and headed west past the road construction which you can see a bit of in the second photo.

Our first stop was the Heritage Inn which is being redeveloped. This building has quite the history; before being the Heritage Inn, it was the Mississippi Hotel, and that it still the most commonly used name. It will soon become the Grand Hotel. We are standing in the courtyard in the photo. It was a popular outdoor eating spot when it was the Heritage Inn, but I don't know if it will be used that way in the newer enterprise.

In the background is one of the fine homes which were mentioned in the tour, but I tend to forget who was whom and what was what, so I won't try to retell the story.

We were able to get inside the home that is now a bridal shop.

The final walk-by was this rather grand mansion. I do remember some of the rather sad story associated with it. They had four sons and lost them all in the war. It is for sale if you're interested. The problem for many people would be location since it almost backs onto a grocery store parking lot.

In case you didn't know, the lady in white in some of these pictures is Sue.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hawthorne Mill

The Hawthorne Mill was built in the late 1800s, and despite being owned by various people and having various names, Hawthorn has stuck.

It was a woollen mill that produced serge for British army uniforms in the early 1900s and cloth for the RCAF (Royal Canadian ir Force) in WWII. However, it is said that it was never too very profitable and has lain a'moulderin as it were for any number of years.

But it has been purchased and will be turned into condos plus a restaurant in due course. There was a open house last week, and I couldn't resist showing up. People were also allowed to scavenge for a donation, and some visitors partook of that enterprise.

Me? I was just there for a few pictures. Shocking, I know.

This is the building or the main one of three. What you can't see here is that there is a river behind me, so it will make a very nice setting for condos.

One of the first things that appealed to me inside was this door.

There was no evidence to me of the earlier woollen mill, but there was evidence of activity.

There were many rickety stairs, which I did force myself to climb although my knee wasn't faring too well on that day.

On the top floor, except apparently there was another staircase to the rooftop, which I did not venture to, some windows were open. The first photo looks east, more or less toward downtown, and the second looks out on another building in the complex.

What a major conversion this will be. I trust someone has deep pockets, and I'm sure someone does.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Goodbye Celtfest

Well ... let's wrap up Celtfest for another year, shall we?

On Friday night, I looked around and spotted this fellow dancing freestyle all by himself. I congratulate this free and uninhibited spirit.

Searson was the penultimate group on Saturday evening, and they should have been the ultimate. The sisters and the others were vivacious and enthusiastic. I would have liked to ave listened to them longer, and also as the wrap-up act of Sunday afternoon, but we had been chased by the rain.

Above: the sisters do some exuberant Ottawa Valley step dancing, which always delights the audience. Below: an intense moment.

I didn't get too close to the last group, Ecosse, but I liked the light as the sun went down in the background.

The floodlights even caught the leaves of the nearby overhead tree.

And that is likely all  that I will post of Celtfest for this year. Meanwhile, I will hope for dry weather for next year.