Sunday, October 31, 2010

(Day 304) Ablaze

Hopefully if I`ve figured this out, this post should appear around the time we`re driving into North Carolina, on our way to Florida.

And I also hope that by that time of day I`ve captured a few images to post later for my 365. In the meantime, I`ll submit this Sunset Sunday shot which I made when I was returning from shooting someone`s new kitchen (more on this later, I hope). I had to pull over a couple of times because the sky just kept growing more spectacular, and I was heading right for the sunset. I think my poor camera almost had a stroke trying to capture all the colour and light in that sky. The trees in the photo were about 1/2 mile or more away - I had my 70-200mm lens with a 2x extender on it at the time.

(70-200mm  f7.1  1/1600 sec  ISO200)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

(Day 303) Lemon-aid

Some people might call the type of day we had today a lemon day - leaves a sour taste in your mouth and doesn't at all meet your expectations, especially after a couple of very nice days we had earlier in the week. Weather doesn't usually put a damper (ew, bad pun) on my spirits - I can go-with-the-flow, so to speak. And since I'm on a roll here with a bunch of clichés, how about the one of making lemonade when you're presented with lemons.

In that vein then, the lemonade was literally hanging from everything today as a light drizzle turned into a steady downpour. But I was determined to capture some of it. You should have seen me out there in the yard today - carrying a tripod with camera attached in one hand and trying to keep everything - me included - dry by holding a large candy red umbrella in the other ! Good thing we live back far from the road.

NOTE: we will be on the road for the next 2 days as we make our first foray as 'snowbirds' to Florida. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to post or visit anyone's blog during that time; I shall try my best to capture an image or two along the way, however. I appreciate your visits and comments and hope to be back in full swing by Tuesday.

(60mm  f4  1/50 sec  ISO200)

 (70-200mm  f5.6  1/40 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f14  1/13 sec  ISO200)

Friday, October 29, 2010

(Day 302) Didn't phorget phriday phun ...

Ok, Mr. MacGregor would have chastised me severely for butchering the English language like that - fyi, he was one of my English teachers back in high school. But if you haven't heard of having photographic phun on phridays you need to get over to Scott's blog for a look. I've joined in the phun occasionally, but too often I've phorgotten. But not today - I just went out and looked for opportunities to do something a little different and phun.

(18-55mm  f22  1/2 sec  ISO100)

fall bustin' out
(18-55mm  f36  1.3 sec  ISO100)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

(Day 301) Lawn ornaments and surprises

You may not remember, so I'll remind you, that we've had our share of rain here lately. And with the temperatures still up in the comfortable range (15-20C/60-68F) that means that the grass is still growing. I thought I'd done the last of the mowing, but the lawn looks like it should have another trim before settling down for the winter.

As I noticed the length of the grass I also saw a couple of lawn ornaments poking out from among the grass, and I thought I should capture them before they too got trimmed.

Oh, and my wife shocked me this morning when she handed me the camera and asked me to look at the images on it (I always delete images from the camera once I've downloaded them). Imagine my surprise when I saw some beautiful sunRISE photos she had made ! Early morning is not prime time for me so I miss the sunrise (unless I set the alarm, which is rare). I thought I'd share one with you. Maybe I should get her a DSLR for Christmas - better yet, give her mine and I can get a shiny new one ;-)

(60mm  f7.1  1/60 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f7.1  1/13 sec  ISO100)

 I think my endless prattle about photography must be having a subliminal effect - she mentioned that she specifically went to the pond so she could get a reflection in the shot also !

(10-22mm  f4.5  1/60 sec  ISO400

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Day 300) Reflecting on day 300 !

I am self-diagnosed as having ADD. When I was growing up there weren't neat little labels like that - and there certainly weren't pills to 'help' you. In fact what there was in school was a cuff on the ear, or if 'help' was really required, there was also 'the STRAP' (anyone around remember that ?). But I digress.

From my reading about ADD, I've found that besides the (sometimes, not always) difficulty in focusing and not becoming easily distracted, a sufferer (?) of ADD can also become very focused, almost to the exclusion of other things that need to be done, on a particular task or project. I think I experienced that when I built a cabin out back a few years ago. I would be out there every available waking hour working on it - in the WINTER (no bugs !).

Perhaps this positive (?) aspect of ADD is one of the things that has helped me reach day 300 of this Project 365. I would also like to think that it's the encouragement I have received from the many friends I have met here in cyberspace or bloggerland. So I found a nice little place on my way home from the dentist today to reflect on that.

(70-200mm  f11  1/25 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/40 sec  ISO200)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

(Day 299) Exposed

When springtime arrives, all sorts of things start to appear, and we're eager to get out there and capture them. The first buds, new leaves on the trees, emerging plants, and those first blooms. But there are other things that disappear as the trees and bushes come into full leaf. Among them are some of our neighbours' homes, and they don't reappear until autumn has come full circle and trees have again shed their leaves.

Just up the road from us sits the home that is today's subject - no longer hidden behind the foliage.

(70-200mm  f11  1/125 sec  ISO200)

Monday, October 25, 2010

(Day 298) Bugs beware big bullfrogs

In between bouts of rain this afternoon I went out to check the pond pumps since the fallen leaves tend to get sucked into them and they get clogged. As I walked around the edge of the pond, a number of frogs in succession leaped into the pond, out of harm's way I suppose. However, at the far end sat 3 of them, seemingly oblivious to my presence, but keeping a good eye on my movements.

I quickly went back in the house to get camera and tripod, and to put Sasha on the porch - her favourite pastime is hunting frogs ! Slowly I crept up on them, but they just sat there unperturbed. I think though, that despite their apparent disinterest, had I been a bug that strayed within reach, I would have met my end rather quickly. After all, they didn't reach this size without a steady diet of unwary bugs.

(70-200mm  f8  1/4 sec  ISO800)

(70-200mm  f14  1/3 sec  ISO800)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

(Day 297) Good morning Denver

Sometimes you just do what you have to do to meet the self-imposed obligations of doing a project 365, namely to make and post (at least) 1 photo each day for a whole year. I wasn't too sure what opportunities there might or might not be today as we had to leave our hotel early, return a rental car, and get to the airport for our early morning departure. With little time between our 2 flight segments, crossing 2 time zones and a 2-hour drive back from the airport, it was dark by the time we arrived home. Opportunities were about zilch, nada.

Anticipating that, I quickly stepped out onto the 12th floor balcony of our hotel at 06:30 a.m. and made a few photos of Denver's skyline. Needless to say, there wasn't much traffic.

(18-55mm  f7.1  1 sec  ISO800)

(Day 296) Here's lookin' at you

Saturday Oct. 23, 2010

We're back from our whirlwind trip to Denver - made it there by 01:00 am Saturday morning in time to witness the wedding of my niece later that afternoon. After catching the required zzzzzzz's we still had time late Saturday morning to go for a nice walk near the Colorado state legislature and Denver's civic centre. I was able to make many photos of the beautiful architecture - which I won't post. I happened upon this cheeky fellow perched on top of a statue in the park and he naturally won out over the buildings for today's post. I had my wide angle lens on the camera and didn't have time to change to another, so I cropped the photo somewhat to bring him a little closer.

(10-22mm  f8  1/500 sec  ISO200)

Friday, October 22, 2010

(Day 295) Autumn's last hurrah

We're rapidly approaching what I call the calendar dead zone - no more autumn colours, days mostly gray and sometimes wet, trees barren, and blooms finished. The world around us seems to have already gone to sleep but has not yet received its blanket of snow. Sasha and I walked around a little this afternoon and ended up near the pond. A  maple tree beside the pond had just shed another leaf, and a water lily was trying in vain to open a flower one last time.

We await the next scene.

Note: we will be gone to Denver this weekend for a niece's wedding. Camera is travelling with me but I will be unable to post or visit till Monday (maybe Sunday).

(70-200mm  f14  1/200 sec  ISO800)

(70-200mm  f11  1/125 sec  ISO400)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

(Day 294) Of weeds 'n seeds

It's amazing how quickly nature reclaims an area that's left alone for just a little while. You may recall that we used to have a few chickens, which we gave away when our chicken sitter went off to college and we started doing more travelling. We had a fenced area outside the coop where the chickens could scratch to their hearts' content, and it was barren of any living plants. It wasn't long after they were gone, however, when the weeds started sprouting. Now, you can imagine how fertile that ground would have been after chickens had run around on it for several years ! Those weeds grew as though they were on steroids - which they were I suppose.

This afternoon I happened to walk by there and I hacked my way through the weed jungle to the centre of the fenced area where an enormous weed, taller than me, dominated the landscape. I immediately noticed the interesting seed pods - which should ensure a good weed crop next year - and which became today's subject. I had to shoot them indoors, however, due to the wind gusts.

(60mm  f4.5  1/2 sec  ISO800)

(60mm  f11  3.2 sec  ISO800)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

(Day 293) Out in the country

Some of you may remember a song by Three Dog Night from 1970 by this name. I think it pretty much sums up what I feel about living in the country. Now I realize it`s not for everyone, and not everyone is able to, for many reasons. But I think almost everyone enjoys a drive or a walk or a  picnic out in the country.

We put many kilometres on our legs just walking along the country road by our place, the scene of today`s photo. And even our dog Sasha, who has 77 acres to roam around on, gets all excited when we say the word `walk`(we have to spell it if we`re not ready). She would rather be on a leash walking along the road than running freely on our land - go figure.

If you haven`t been able to get your fix of country today, maybe the song and photo will help. Enjoy.

(10-22mm  f7.1  1é30 sec  ISO200)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(Day 292) Malva sylvestris

Don't worry about the name in the title - this post isn't about a bad cat, or anything bad for that matter. I put it there to save you the time of looking up information about today's subject. It's the formal name of a flowering plant which we still have growing in the garden. I'm not sure how much frost it can endure before it succumbs, but the frost that did in the dahlias overnight had no effect on this plant. But I cut some of the flowers anyway today to replace the last of the gladiolus we had in a vase in the kitchen.

Apparently this flower also goes by the name of tall mallow (among many others) and is related to the hibiscus. We received 2 of these plants a number of years ago and haven't had to buy any since. Each spring I look for where the previous year's seeds are sprouting - if I don't I'm sure they would completely take over all the flower gardens. They're nice to have, however, (in appropriate numbers) because they flower into late autumn when a lot of other plants have retired for the year. If you need a few million seeds, just let me know !

(60mm  f16  5 sec  ISO400)

Monday, October 18, 2010

(Day 291) Between friends

It's not a well-known fact that America's largest trade partner is Canada. Billions of dollars worth of goods cross the border between the 2 countries each month. And Americans and Canadians seem to like each other's countries too -  in July alone this year, 1.7 million Americans visited Canada, while 3.8 million Canadians visited the United States. The border between the 2 countries is the longest undefended one in the world - 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), including 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) with Alaska, although there is, of course, significant border security. Almost 200 years have passed since a shot was fired in anger across the border.

We are fortunate to live within a 20-minute drive of the border. Since I was near the St. Lawrence River today, I went to see one of the border crossings.

(70-200mm  f22  1/25 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f22  1/13 sec  ISO200)

(Day 290) "Major Tom to ground control ..."

Sunday Oct. 17, 2010

"... here am I sitting in my tin can, far above the Moon; Planet Earth is blue, and Saturn's rings are now in view ..." (with apologies to David Bowie).

I thought I'd show you an astronomical photo, or should that be astronomy ? Actually I had a little more phun today - I know, it's supposed to be reserved for phridays, but I've missed so many I'm making up for lost time.

Yesterday I told you about the great day I had enjoying the beauty of the creation. Well to top it off, the Creator also painted this masterpiece when I was on my way home last evening. Sasha didn't mind that I stopped once more to capture it, and since today is Sunset Sunday the timing couldn't have been better.

(10-22mm  f8  1/3 sec  ISO800)

(70-200mm  f8  1/160 sec  ISO200)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

(Day 289) Fall extravaganza

Sat. Oct. 16, 2010

I was on a high today, well, at least all afternoon and I'm still coming down. Ok, don't worry - it was a legal high and it didn't involve drugs of any sort. I had the afternoon all to myself and decided to revisit a place where we got rained out earlier this year - Jones Falls on the Rideau Waterway.

Now I thought that the fall colours were coming to an end because the trees around here have been shedding their leaves and are almost barren. However, I was in for a wonderful surprise. You might see some sunbeams in a few photos - they were beaming down on me all afternoon. As I meandered through the woods and along the locks and little lakes, I said a little thank you to the Creator for putting on such a show for us. Perhaps if more people could/would take the time to get out and enjoy what's been made especially for us, we'd have less time and inclination to go fight each other.

I won't tell you how many photos I made but it's the reason I'm late posting tonight - I've been going through them and having to make choices. I whittled and whittled some more and I narrowed it down to the ones I posted below. In the interest of time I'm not going to post my camera settings for each photo - I used 3 lenses: 10-22mm, 18-55mm and 70-200mm and used a fairly small aperture for a larger depth of field in most cases, and I stuck to my usual ISO200.

Friday, October 15, 2010

(Day 288) Phun with oil and water

Well, I couldn't let Scott have all the phun today. I haven't participated in too many Phun Phridays, mainly because I keep forgetting - I had an image ready 2 weeks ago and I plum forgot. But I'll save it for the next time I remember.

I went to my son's house today to make some photos of the renovations - remember those ? (I promise to post some as soon as he's seen them.) They moved back to their home last weekend - like all renovations this one took twice as long and cost twice as much as initially planned/hoped for. While I was making some photos there I thought about some ideas I'd read about that might be used for a phun shot. This was my take when I got home:

(60mm  f14  2 sec ISO200)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

(Day 287) Fleeting moments

There's an acre or two of bush a couple of hundred yards in front of our house - mostly lilacs guarded by some nasty little bushes with sharp spines, and interspersed with a few tall ash trees. Hidden within are the remains of what must have been an apple orchard many years ago. It's the haunt of wildflowers (2nd photo) in early spring, but I hadn't thrashed about in there since.

Who knows how long ago these apple trees were thriving - they can live to be 80 years old, like some people. And yet, this is what they look like today - a reminder that despite a long life we too are but a fleeting moment in time. Carpe diem !

(60mm  f14  1/2 sec  ISO200)

(60mm  f25  1.3 sec  ISO200)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

(Day 286) He leads me beside quiet waters

 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       He leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 He restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name's sake.
 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death,
       I will fear no evil,
       for You are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.
 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.
 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

(All photos made with a 10-22mm lens, aperture of 7.1, shutter speeds from 1/6 to 1/40 sec and ISO of 200 or 800).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

(Day 285) Flotsam and Jetsam of Fall

I was out on the old David Brown yesterday and again today, cutting a few acres of grass before we get hit with heavy frost. We've had beautiful, although cool, weather over the past week and it feels a little cooler than the thermometer suggests due to a fairly stiff breeze. I've noticed that besides the usual autumn leaves, there's lots of other 'stuff' floating around on the wind.

After the grass was all cut, I wandered around the yard some, camera in hand. Often when I set out on one of these jaunts, I'm never too sure what I will see and what might prompt me to stop and make a photo. After dinner I noticed that the wind had calmed down so I went in another direction, this time with an idea of what I wanted to capture. I think I discovered some of the sources of the flotsam and jetsam.

(70-200mm  f18  1/160 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f7.1  1/80 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/60 sec  ISO200)

 (70-200mm  f11  1/20 sec  ISO200)

Monday, October 11, 2010

(Day 284) (Not) just another sunset

No, I'm not doing a repeat of Sunset Sunday. I was walking through the field on the west side of our property while on a little photo shoot, with Sasha as company (she never complains when I dawdle). I had already captured some brilliant red sumacs in the setting sun when I walked over to the split cedar rail fence that surrounds our land to watch the sun disappear beyond the neighbour's field. As I approached it I thought it might make a suitable subject in the late day glow. This fence has certainly seen many decades of sunsets !

(10-22mm  f5  1/100 sec  ISO200)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

(Day 283) You say it's your birthday !

Just as seasons mark points throughout the year, so do birthdays mark milestones in our lives. Today we celebrated the 6th (!) birthday of our oldest granddaughter, Hailey. Now, it's not quite her birthday yet - that's Oct. 18 - but since we were all together for Thanksgiving and most of the family lives a 4-hour drive away, what better time to do it. It's a milestone for her because it marks the first year of her 'formal' education - although she's been receiving an 'education' virtually since the day she was born.

We celebrated with what most of us probably still appreciate - family, balloons, and a chocolate cake, and of course, the presents came nicely wrapped, some in pretty fancy paper !

And for any of you that have had enough birthdays, this should bring back some memories. Enjoy.

(60mm  f4.5  1/13 sec  ISO800)

Now I've been a follower of Scott's photo blog for some time and I really enjoy his Sunset Sunday theme. Tonight, as 2 of our daughters were getting ready to head out on the journey back to their home, I managed to capture this sunset.

(18-55mm  f8  1/800 sec  ISO200)

(Day 282) Sharing the wealth

Sat. Oct. 9, 2010

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada which is an opportunity for families to get together to enjoy the special bonds of family, and to celebrate the blessings of another year. One of the blessings this weekend was the beautiful weather we enjoyed - a day which started out crisp but sunny and soon warmed up nicely. I took the opportunity to go with my son-in-law and granddaughter to one of my favourite places for a brief walk in the afternoon. Then the whole family, including 4 dogs, went there after dinner to shuffle through the thick layer of leaves that now cover the ground. It was good to share the beauty of this small, quiet piece of the creation.

I wish all of my Canadian friends a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend !

 (18-55mm  f5.6  1/60 sec  ISO200)

 (18-55mm  f5.6  1/800 sec  ISO800)