Tuesday, February 02, 2016


Sometimes I get very frustrated with technology. When it works, it's a dream, but when it doesn't, it can be a nightmare. This was no nightmare, just an irritatingly bad dream. My "cloud" wasn't properly transferring images between devices, so I missed posting the following...

Was walking home from the gym one early evening, when it started to snow. This little shortcut looked inviting. The accumulation on the bench reminded me of pillows and I was mesmerized by the falling snow under the lamplight.

Closer to downtown, I passed under the train bridge, by the market building. The plows had dealt with the roads, but the sidewalks were still covered. Two other trudgers were ahead, on the other side. The light, again, made it almost cozy.

Underbridge noir
The same shot as above, but black and white, which gave it a somewhat more sinister tone.

Hidden courtyard
When I went exploring downtown stores this past Sunday, I checked out an upstairs vintage store that I had not yet visited. I came out into an interior courtyard that I had forgotten even existed. It looked like something out of the eighties, which was probably the last time I had been here. Lots of lines to entertain my eyes.


The Old City Hall building reflected in the window of Acker's furniture store on Carden Street. I like the superimposition of the CLEARANCE sign on the stone building, and the car reflections interspersed with the store interior. The red bowls are amusingly reflected onto the pedestrian entering from the right.

Our Glorious Dead

This war memorial is just beside the train station. Black and white makes it more sombre. I like how the cross in the foreground is repeated, on a smaller scale, in the background.

Avian shelter

The wing-like top of one of the bus shelters, with a security camera-head!

Colourful Commerce
Always liked the barn-like look of the distant red brick building. Pumped up the colour of it and the plastic bins in the foreground.


Graffiti on the back of a red brick building that overlooks the Speed River pedestrian trail. I was always an admirer of the blue Che, but  LOVESiCK is a great new contrast and addition, especially with Valentine's Day approaching.

North on Bay

Taken from the 19th floor of the PGCRL, looking north. The sun had just risen, so there's some early morning golden light in there amongst the cold, shiny blue.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Recent activity

Hot and Cold 
This photo was taken one cold but sunny morning from the 19th floor of the building I work in. It's looking south and east at sunrise. The cold created a lot of steam from the roofs of the surrounding buildings, which lit up nicely in the morning's first light.

A Place for everything...
Another Toronto shot from up on high, but this time looking north. Am always intrigued by the changing of everyday objects that we don't always notice until they start to disappear.

Reflections over Bay
It was morning, but still dark outside. A fresh dusting of snow on the city streets helped illuminate the scene. I was having my ritual tea and oatmeal before starting work and looking out over the cityscape. I liked how the window directly in front of me reflected the table and chairs behind me, while the exterior of the building reflected the structures facing it. The dark vertical line is a window washer's rope.

Monochromatic texture
Taken today, in the backyard, when we had some sunshine on this unusually mild winter's day. It's now raining! The neighbour's fence cast a long shadow across the snow and part-way up the bark of the Black Walnut. The foreground, slender bark creates a nice contrast.

The Second Coming
Actually, the second flowering of my yellow Christmas Cactus. This is a favourite because the yellow ones are harder to find. I also have orange, purple, white and red ones but this is the only one in flower right now. Love the contrasting pink pistil.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell 2015!

We have had something of a quiet Christmas break, but have both enjoyed the peace and relaxation. We were starting to crawl the walls though, as we had been spending a lot of time watching Netflix and iTunes shows and movies, and invitations to friends' were few and far between.  So, today we headed out in the car down to the RBG in Burlington/Hamilton.  It was a grey day and we thought the proximity of plants would be uplifting. We toured the Mediterranean gardens and the following are a few pictures that I thought would be worth sharing. Happy New Year!

Red Berries

White flowers ready to bloom

Koi pond

Bird of Paradise

Aloe flowers

Ready to bloom

Fuzzy Succulent

Barbed stem

Orchid macro1

Orchid macro2

Friday, October 09, 2015

Ottawa Visit

Antique store window
Last weekend, we took a four day break to go to Ottawa.  We were going to visit my dad, just outside of Ottawa, on the Friday, but he had the flu unfortunately.  We decided to go ahead with our mini-vacation as we both needed the time away. The weather was mostly pleasant, although there was quite a cold wind coming off the Ottawa River - we counteracted that with eating out and going for long walks.  We had some memorable meals ,especially at Beckta and Town, both on Elgin Street.  We also checked out the Antique area on lower Bank Street and the Glebe, just further north from there.  No Museums this time around, as we wanted to be outside as much as possible. Here are some of the better pictures from that trip...

War Memorial
Rideau Canal Still Life
Chateau Laurier Reflection on the Rideau
Above and Below
Elgin Street at night
Architectural spine
National Gallery
Rideau Canal colours
Rideau Canal in action
Backlit Parliament building
Oh Canada!
Under construction
Pagoda detail
Sun lamp
Heading home
Sun and clouds through my sunglasses

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Autumn colours

The days are getting shorter and cooler, but the garden is giving a last-ditch effort at beauty before the monochromatic winter comes.  Here are a few shots of the garden's delights...

We have a garden full of Asters, mostly of this colour.  The bees love them!

Mum's the word.
CC bought a few different colours of mums for the various urns around the garden, and they provide a nice contrast with the Asters.

The word.
Black-eyed Susans
Along the driveway, we have masses of Black-eyed Susans, that CC, quite correctly, refers to as bumble-bee flowers, mostly due to their colour. In the background, out of focus, are more of the omnipresent Asters.

Wild grapes
Purple fruit and red stems literally "pop out" amongst the greenery.

Even the outdoor house plants are getting in on the action, as these Begonias demonstrate.

We have three Fuchsia shrubs that will winter indoors, but they are at their peak right now and are popular with Hummingbirds.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Where did August go?

     Or the summer for that matter!
     Can't believe it's Labour Day already. It's a stinker out there today, but CC and I have already been out on our bikes, along the Speed River trail.  I'm now down in the cool but dank basement, sipping an iced tea, working on my pictures, so I thought I'd update my blog. Part of the reason I haven't been working on my blog is that I find it a lot easier to post pictures on Instagram (jdpb82) or Flickr (JdPb1963) - so feel free to check out some of my posts there.

Baby Kalanchoe and water droplet

     We were also away for a week, at the beginning of August, to visit two sets of friends at their cottages - some highlight jdpegs will follow.  Since we've been back, I decided to organize my computer better. To start off with, I updated my operating system to Yosemite, which changed how I store my photos - iPhoto has been replaced with Photos, which has taken some getting used to. Secondly, I have been working on the Sisyphean task of backing up all of my photos from my computer to a hard drive (ALL my digital photos, some 18,000, were on my laptop!) and to Flickr and then going through and deleting extraneous photos to free up some more space on my laptop's hard drive. It's an ongoing process, but it has been quite nostalgic to go through old photos, especially of trips I have taken. I figured out that I could upload all my photos to Flickr, but just make the better ones available publicly.  In that way, I can access all of them myself, but not have to worry about people seeing the crappy ones, or family photos. It also enabled me to organize them into albums, to find them more easily.
     The first cottage we visited in August was up in the Kawarthas, on Crego Lake. There were four couples along with four kids of varying ages. The weather was perfect, the food delicious and the company entertaining and enjoying some relaxation. I was down at the dock, in and out of the water, a lot of the time, but then that's what makes me happiest. There was a fair amount of alcohol imbibed, so it wasn't surprising that we had an impromptu dance party on our last night - thank god there is no photographic evidence of that!

Cocoa walking on water!

Sunset on DBP

A quiet end to the first day

Misty sunrise 

Sunrise jus above the tree line

Calm waters at the dock

     From there, we headed over to the Halliburton Highlands to spend some time with another group of friends on Redstone Lake. Three couples, three young adults and a big dog named Berg. More eating, swimming, drinking and lots of napping rounded out a perfect three day retreat.

Cottage life

First sunset

The golden hour

Frank's silhouette

Dramatic clouds

Crane nest

Rusty chain macro

Sunrise on the last day
     Since being home, we have been doing a lot of household chores: going through books, clothes etc. and doing a bit of gardening. The produce at the local market has been extraordinary, so I made a big batch of apricot chutney, perfect for host/hostess gifts come the fall and winter.  Earlier, CC made his dill pickles and I made some different batches of jelly - Red currant, Black currant, mixed currant and a combination of Gooseberry and Blackberry with fruit from the garden.  CC put the leftover dill into a small vase on the kitchen table, where I took some still life pictures with it.

We have also managed to do a bit of antiquing. We went to Aberfoyle to have a good look around, and I managed to find an old, English brass ewer in the Art Nouveau style that I fell in love with.

We also made our way down to Locke Street in Hamilton to visit our two favourite stores there. Locke Street Antiques had a pair of Imari ginger jars that practically leapt into my hands, so they are now in our sitting room.

Hope that gets you all caught up with my life. Now, back to those photos...