Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Something Different
August 8th, 2018

A video instead of stills. When RJ visits us, a buddy of his, JR, lives up the street. I'm all for coincidences... RJ and JR. Go figure. 

They were doing this dance in our backyard. Something about the 'Fortnite' game maybe. Not sure. But they obviously knew. They did this dance together. "So so different from our childhoods."

I thought it was really cool, even though I didn't have a clue what they were doing. :) They were both into it.

Here's the link if you want to stay connected to the current generation. To them, the Internet and screens are just like a telephone was to us... no big deal. They always existed, didn't they? 

RJ keeps reminding me of my past... unbeknownst to him... and he gets me thinking of the future. Even of the present. :) 

The world is changing at a frightening pace. Or, if it's not changing at a frightening pace, it sure as hell ain't like it used to be.

Keep well,

Sunday, 22 July 2018

A Mix from the Last While
June-July 2018

At the end of the year, RJ's school had a music concert. The younger ones played recorders. We had similar things called 'tonettes' out west. Any one else familiar with those?

After the official concert, some fun in the hallway with a buddy.

I still get out in nature once in a while. This was along a creek near RJ's baseball game. It's Dame's Rocket, aka Wild Phlox by some.

Grasses catch my eye, but I get very few images of them that I like. This one isn't great but not bad.

Signs in a shop. Both are pretty good.

Trying to cash in on the 'anti-Chinese' refrain.

My surprise birthday dessert when Jane took me out for dinner. No singing...  which is fine with me.

Garden colors change as the weeks go by. This was a a couple weeks ago. Maybe more.

I've always liked this guy. Tom Sawyer to me.

You never know what will catch kids' attention. RJ was intrigued by this mini waterfall in a park downtown.

And he loved this. A 'magic' glove with 'special' bubbles that bounced off it. Jane & I were impressed too. Very cool.

Another outing with RJ... to Oshawa harbour. We watched a couple tugboats bring this freighter into the dock. There are two tugboats in the image. One is harder to see.

To end the week, Jane & I went to Darlington Provincial Park. Turned out it was a free day for day visits. Not well advertised so it wasn't busy at all. Started with a hot dog at the park store, then went down to the beach. A hottish day but a nice breeze off the lake to make things comfortable.

People were soaking up the sun or swimming. When you can't see the other side of the lake, it feels like you're at the ocean.

We just had to stick around for this to see what it was all about... a turtle race. 

Yah, right. As you'd guess, the turtles just weren't into it. They went every direction except the one the were 'supposed' to. Kids had a ball, but us adults got a real kick out of it too. Lots of comments, lots of kidding.

We went for a short walk down a trail and Jane spotted these water striders below a bridge. Hard to make out in the image... too much sun. But if you're not familiar with them, they 'walk on water'... surface tension and such. You can see their feet on the water if you look closely.

I've never seen a gathering like this. I've only seen one or two at a time before.

We ended the day back at the park store for an ice cream cone. Not much choice. They didn't have any of my favourites so I tried a rum & raisin. Not bad but not one I'll add to my favourites list.

It was good to get out in nature again. Not seeing much of it lately. I must try harder to.

Take care,
Bob & Jane

Monday, 9 July 2018

Bit of this, bit of that...
July 9th, 2018

After a short flurry of a few new pics, my cameras are gathering dust again. This is a mix from a few weeks back. 

Some of you have seen this one. It was taken on an outing I went on with a camera club a few weeks ago. Actually I'd love to drive a tractor again and take you with me in the wagon. :) 

I have more than a few hours on tractors. One summer I tilled fields in southern Saskatchewan. A huge 5am breakfast before I started, and tilling until dark. Lunch was delivered to me in the tractor. Loved it.

This was on the same outing. This is what I call a "photographer's shot". I take very few of them any more. This and the next one are two of the only ones of this type I've shot in months.

I'm much more into people, or shots that show emotion or some feeling these days.

They just don't grab me the way they used to.

As a supporter of Second Marsh in Oshawa, and a nature lover at heart, I attended an event lakeside... Lake Ontario.

The hit of the event was this display of live animals. No one asked... I think we all just assumed that the skunk was 'de-skunked'.

Kit fox. Any baby animal seems to put 'cuteness' off the scale. I think it's so important to expose young ones to young animals. 

The chance of any of us seeing them in the wild is minimal. So I hope you'd take your young ones to events such as this. I think it's important to a child's development. I'm 'soap boxing' but it's one of my passions that children should be exposed to nature as much as possible.

There was an indoor portion at the event. The kids loved it. Adults did too though.

It gave us all the chance to see a Turkey Vulture up close and personal. They're common in our area now. Referred to as TV's by birders, they catch the thermals and float effortlessly as they drift in circles above us, wings upward in a 'V' shape. 

Try to spot them in the sky and point them out to the kids... soap-boxing again, but no apologies.

I took a break from the event and wandered a bit. This is 'snake spit' on wild plants. Actually it's spittle bug bubbles. The larvae is inside the bubbles. As a kid in Saskatchewan, we always called it snake spit. 

Not everyone is into nature... sad, but true, to my way of thinking. But maybe you've noticed that the press is stressing more & more lately how important it is that we should spend time in nature. Nature truly restores the soul for me, and millions of others I hope.

Our way of life doesn't encourage it. With fears of ticks, bears, and whatever else, I do understand. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think that too many people could care less about nature. They're too rapped up in the business of life today. Too many options. Too many choices. 

We're all too busy. But keep in mind, our kids learn what they experience. I think life offers too many options now. Just look at any shelf in a grocery store.

Kids can't become interested in things that they haven't been exposed to. Expose them. Find out what 'grabs' them.

I'm a soap-boxer at times as I've said. No apologies. Think of the kids in your life.


Friday, 15 June 2018

Fun Fair and More
June 15th, 2018

RJ's school had a Fun Fair yesterday. I shared it with him. He had a ball. I arrived later than I told him I would. I expected a cool reception, but he was kind to me. :)

While I bought some tickets, he went to talk to the firemen at the firetruck. I almost had to tear him away, suggesting we look at some other things.

He loves the dunk tank... being the dunkee rather the the ball thrower. He did it 3 times. Go figure. 

Goggles on, ready for the dunking...


After the dunking, with one of the teachers.

Buddies sharing a laugh.

RJ's first potato sack race. He loved it. He tried it twice.

Poutine time... and sharing more laughs. I sometimes wonder what they're sharing at this age. Their faces say more than words can.

This one was new to me... throwing water balloons at the girls. I wonder if they had a problem recruiting the girls for it.

And an old one... pin the tail on the donkey... good to see.

This was the classic 'guess how many jelly beans' there are in the jar. RJ won. His prize... the jelly beans...998 of them. :)

This was from a few weeks back. Crabapple blossoms on our driveway and steps. I love it. It passes way too quickly though. I may have mentioned that I love them scattered on things, more so than on the tree even. Maybe I'm an oddball.

Back to Calgary for a few. I joked that you shouldn't zoom in on this one. I zoomed in for you. :) It's the biggest Adirondack chair we've come across.

I like to learn the names of common trees. Although this one isn't common in our neck of the woods, I'd heard of it many times. It's an Ohio Buckeye. Beautiful blossoms.

This was at the garden in the prairies that Stephen & Michael took us to. It's one of my favourites from the gardens. It blends the garden with the prairie. The gates invite you to venture out to explore the prairie. I forgot to include it last time.

If any of you are curious how our story with the pigeon is going... P.G. as Jane has named him. He's still around. Jane feeds him faithfully. I do too. Theories vary with stray pigeons. Feed them. Don't feed them. 

We always leave out food for our critters. If we don't put feed out our other critters will be deprived, so not feeding him isn't an option for us.

I say let nature take it's course. Jane feels PG must be lonely. She may try to get a local club to help get him back to his home. I figure he'll get tired of living out of a suitcase, and go home when he's ready.

Jane said today he was cooing to her when she appeared. 
A bond is developing. :)

Time will tell whether he goes home, or decides Oshawa is his new home. My bet is that we're not the only ones he's visiting in town. We all have decisions to make. PG will have to make his. Will keep you posted on PG's decisions.

Have a good one,
Bob & Jane

Sunday, 10 June 2018

May 2018

We went to Calgary for Jane's brother Stephen's wedding to Michael. They've been together for 35 years. It was informal and lots of fun. Stephen said beforehand that it would be a party, broken up by a 10 minute ceremony. He called it. It was a beach party theme in casual dress. Everyone had a ball.

It was held in a beautiful setting... on the 4th floor, close to Stephen & Michael's, with a wrap-around balcony and a great view of the city. 

From left: Minister, Janet (Michael's sister), Michael, Stephen, Jane. So many friends were taking pictures that I only took a couple. 

The only drunk at the party.

This was the first trip that I didn't take my big camera along. Just took a shirt-pocket point and shoot, a more capable P&S and of course my phone. It made for a much smaller carry-on. Worked out fine. It'll be the way I travel from now on.

We'd been to Calgary before but we found some new sights on our own, plus Stephen & Michael took us to some new ones out of town.

Our first stop was a garden in the prairie. En route we stopped for a break at Bomber Command Museum. How lucky I was to been born when I was. So many were killed in the war. Too young to die but they died for us. We can never forget.

At the gardens... under the Elm archway. As they say, where we are raised is in our blood. The prairie is sure in mine. It's hard to describe the feeling I get when I'm on the prairie. As some wise soul once said, "Thoughts run deeper than words, feelings run deeper than thoughts."

I really don't like pictures of myself anymore, though at a distance like this is ok. Don't zoom in. :) Doesn't look like prairie here does it, but behind the trees it sure is. :)

A unique birdhouse at the gardens. One of the coolest I've seen.

In a shop in Calgary. I'm always on the lookout for new signs. I like this one.

I drive a 2010 Impala. I've wondered what the new ones were like so I rented this 2018. Great car but not great enough to make me want to save my sheckles to get one. Plus I don't buy new cars anymore anyway. 

This woman photo-bombed my shot. She's kind of cute though.

At a garden park in Calgary. In the heart of the city but very quiet and peaceful.

Stephen & Michael took us to the Bar-U ranch south of Calgary. The drive was through a mix of rolling hills and prairie. It was originally owned by the Burns' of Burn's Meats fame.

Telephoto lenses really compress the view. The mountains were close, but not 'this' close.

Jane has water in her blood. It's hard for her to resist dipping a toe into any ocean, lake, river or creek that we encounter.

Sometimes it's the name of things that grab me. This light colored Wolf Willow bush is an example of that. It reminds me of Russian Olive in our neck of the woods.

Checking out the chicken 'coop'... though a small one. The chickens are underneath it here.

I'm drawn to sculptures. This is an action one to be sure... wolves attacking a rider.

This one would be more my speed. :)

A cute plaque on a bench. One of the best I've seen.

Car2Go... another of today's trends in larger cities. Pick up a car you 'find' and drop it off somewhere else. At least that's how I think it works.

A mall in downtown Calgary. It had a very open feel to it. You could see any of the 4 levels from various points. Malls don't usually impress me, but this one did.

One section of it had mucho plants and small trees. Very relaxing. You could sit on the borders of the gardens, but hopefully not on the plants, as this sign cutely says.

The Calgary Tower is much smaller than the CN Tower of Toronto, but it's just as interesting. Rather than a typical shot of it, I chose a reflection.

Jane spotted these ladies having tea in a downtown park.

A 'whack-a-mole' wall in the same park... not really. Signs said 'Please don't climb on the bricks'. Of course all kinds of kids did anyway.

Prince's Island is just opposite the skyscrapers of downtown Calgary in the Bow River. Quiet and no vehicles other than a park truck to tend to the gardens. Seemed to be a favourite spot for geese to raise their brood. Must have been a 100 goslings together in a goose clutch.

It was one of those moments you're glad you didn't miss.

As Jane pointed out, this isn't something you see advertised down our way.

A walking mall downtown. Loved it.

In a street vendors' truck window. 

This sign had me puzzled. Stephen explained that it's so the parking 'police' can easily see your license plate. Alberta only has plates on the back of vehicles. No front plate.

I decided to include this shot, only to illustrate that some shots are only for 'us'. Jane called this 'our' tree, since it's where I parked at the hotel if the spot was free. It's a little memory of our trip that no one else would be interested in. So why include it? Just for the helluva it. :)

A reminder for us that this trip was maybe on, maybe off. Maybe we'd get to Calgary and have to make new plans to get back to Oshawa. In the end the strike didn't happen. Whew!

Arriving in Calgary. You can see storms on the horizon in the prairies. When I was growing up in Moose Jaw, if my Mom saw something like this, she'd always say, "Somebody's getting it."

Magpies are everywhere in Calgary. Anywhere on the prairies for that matter. A beautiful bird to my eyes. It's tail is half its body length. They do a lot of squawking at times.

My chief navigator checking things out.

Thinking of the ladies and their heels I assume. Common in downtown.

Back at the ranch. He regaled us with some stories. Lots of them. He sure knew his history of the ranch.

Gotta love the huge lazy-susans.

Another new saying for me... on a cushion in a store. I can identify with this some nights. :)

'Twas a great trip. So glad that we were able to share the wedding and prairie outings with Stephen & Michael. Had some great meals at their place too. They're first class hosts.

Take care,
Bob & Jane

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