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...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kawagama Lake Getaway

We had our first cottage escape this past weekend! Friends have a cottage on an island in Kawagama Lake, which is quite a drive north, but it's worth it to be on water and get away from it all. We went up on the Friday which was grey, overcast and rainy, but we kept our fingers crossed for nicer weather for the rest of the weekend.

View of the dump through a wet car window

Window reflection revealing inside and out

Grey day

Boathouse colours

Cold lake, warm interior

Good night bunky
Well, the crossing of the fingers seemed to work, because the next day was beautiful! Other friends came up later in the day and we enjoyed drinks down on the dock, and I did my usual water frolicking throughout the day.  There was good food, lots of bevies and interesting and entertaining chit-chat.

Blue Bunkie close-up

Our delightful hostess in the chair of truth

DBP in silhouette


Yours truly doing jumping jacks - 1 second exposure!

Sunset - ahhhh!

CC and sunset

Cozy cottage interior
We didn't spend too long at the cottage on Sunday as we had to head home, but it was a lovely, relaxing visit and kicked off the summer with style.