Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 273 - Fall Bouquet

Children love to give their teachers little tokens of appreciation. These tokens include such treasures as dandelions, lilacs from a neighbour's tree, weeds, apples and even beautiful fall leaves. While visiting us for our Terry Fox run, Miss B (a Kindergarten teacher and friend on maternity leave) received this beautiful fall bouquet from one of her former students. She graciously agree to pose with them while I took this pic. Thanks Miss B.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 272 - Spiderman

This is J's Spiderman hat. J is a HUGE Spiderman fan. I saw his hat outside today and had to take a pic. J's a pretty funny guy and he makes me think of a fun poem I do with my class. I love reading this to my class and it's a great discussion starter. It's written from Spiderman's point of view but there's a twist. He is tired of doing his job and he has a speech impediment. Try reading this out loud. Just read it as it's written. It's a hoot.

Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem too

All my pwoblems
who knows, maybe evwybody's pwoblems
is due to da fact, due to da awful twuth
I know. I know. All da dumb jokes:
No flies on you, ha ha,
and da ones about what do I do wit all
doze extwa legs in bed. Well, dat's funny yeah.
But you twy being
SPIDERMAN for a month or two. Go ahead.

You get doze cwazy calls fwom da
Gubbener askin you to twap some booglar who's
only twying to wip off color T.V. sets.
Now, what do I cawre about T.V. sets?
But I pull on da suit, da stinkin suit,
wit da sucker cups on da fingers,
and get my wopes and wittle bundle of
equipment and den I go flying like cwazy
acwoss da town fwom woof top to woof top.

Till der he is. Some poor dumb color T.V. slob
and I fall on him and we westle a widdle
until I get him all woped. So big deal.

You tink when you SPIDERMAN
der's sometin big going to happen to you.
Well, I tell you what. It don't happen dat way.
Nuttin happens. Gubbener calls, I go.
Bwing him to powice, Gubbener calls again,
like dat over and over.

I tink I twy sometin diffunt. I tink I twy
sometin excitin like wacing cawrs. Sometin to make
my heart beat at a difwent wate.
But den you just can't quit being sometin like
You SPIDERMAN for life. Fowever. I can't even
buin my suit. It won't buin. It's fwame wesistent.
So maybe dat's youwr pwoblem too, who knows.
Maybe dat's da whole pwoblem wif evwytin.
Nobody can buin der suits, dey all fwame wesistent.
Who knows?

James W. Hall

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 271 - Running Water

After the gloriously hot, dry summer it is nice to see actual running water again in the riverbeds and creeks around Quebec City. We've had significant rainfalls of late with lots more in the forecast. While Mother Nature is sighing with relief, the teachers, parents and kids are anxious for a few sunny days. This is a small section of the St. Charles River we go over on the way to the farm.

Day 270 - Sunflower

There's a patch of sunflowers that we drive by on the way home. I keep saying I should stop and take some pictures. Today I finally did. There was no sidewalk so I had to stand in the road. I wasn't able to get the exact angle I was trying for but chose this pic from the ones I took. I wanted to get the back of the sunflower from a more direct angle. Unfortunately, the leaf was in the way. I like the back of the sunflower and the soft fall colours in the background. Maybe I'll be able to find another patch of sunflowers before the season ends.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 269 - Red Maple

Caught this red maple leaf 'sleeping' in the grass. I like the contrast between the rich red and vibrant green. I also like the lines - of the veins, contour of the leaf, and the grass blades. Peg says it almost looks like the leaf on the Canadian flag. I wonder what the flag would like in red and green???

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 268 - Ground Cherries

Another rainy day today. Fortunately, there were a few breaks so I was able to go out into the backyard with my macro once again. Our ground cherries are still producing so I picked up a few while I was wandering. I liked this one because the part of the paper-like cover has disintegrated so we can see the cherry inside.
I had never tasted ground cherries until I moved to Quebec. They're sweet, juicy and have tiny little seeds. They grow on a tomato like plant. The reason they call them ground cherries is that they fall to the ground when they are ripe.

Day 267 - Macro Fly

Since inspiration's been lacking the last few days I thought I'd take out my old reliable macro for a couple of days. Perhaps it would give me the new perspective I needed. I headed out to the back yard between rain showers and took a few shots. This little fly was kind enough to hang out for awhile so I could snap a few shots. I like that we can make out his eyes and the hairs on his back. Of course, had I brought out the tripod the picture could have been clearer yet.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 266 - Backside

We headed out to the farm before supper this evening. We figured we better get a good walk in as they're announcing LOTS of rain over the next couple of days. Brought the camera but wasn't feeling particularly inspired. I decided to take another picture of the private sign shown in one of my August blogs. However, this time I shot it from the backside. For some reason I really like this sign. I think it's the effect of the rustic with the 'new' growth in the background. Not too sure but I hope my inspiration will return soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 265 - Blooming Daisies

Peg planted these bouquets of fall daisies last fall in the garden in the backyard. When she planted them they were short, bunchy and compact. They are now over three feet high and sprawling over 2/3 of the garden. I have been teasing her that they are really just weeds and that she's in denial. She just smiles. I had to eat my words today as they have started blooming:-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 264 - Geometric Dessert

I ate lunch with a few of my students today. 'L' had these cookies for her dessert. She and her friends were talking about their French project. They have to build a kingdom based on a food theme. 'L' was inspired and created this tessellation with her hexagon cookies. Knowing I'm always looking for a photo opportunity, she suggested I take out my camera. Finding ideas for pictures can be tough so it's nice to have young and imaginative minds around to suggest ideas.

Day 263 - Braided Friends

Once again, Walk Around the World provided me with some photo opportunities. I was walking behind three of 'my' girls for most of the time. They posed for some other pictures but I took this one while they weren't looking. I like the way their arms are braided together. One of the students walking with me also noticed that they were lined up according to size. The fun part is I'm pretty sure it wasn't a conscious decision.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 262 - Misplaced Garbage

We decided to deviate from our regular walking routine at the farm today. We went under the fence and took the path often used by motorcycles, snowmobiles and even jeeps. There is a wooded area on either side of the path and power lines above. While walking we saw evidence that people left more than their footprints behind. The picture above was a rusted piece of metal. We're not sure what it was but it kind of looked like a bucket off a tractor. Further along the path we also saw a rusty fridge that looked like it had been used for target practice. It's sad to see such a beautiful area used as a dump.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 261 - Burr or Burdock

Peg spotted these sticky fellows while we were out walking. They cling to clothes, pets, anything that will take them from here to there. You could say their existence depends on travel. After spotting these Peg was reminiscing about her childhood. They reminded her of the burr fights she used to have with her brothers. Of course, her mom was never too pleased with these battles as the remnants usually showed up in the laundry.

Day 260 - Digger Dane

No, Dexter did not lose his head, not permanently anyway. While out at the farm he found a groundhog hole and figured he'd try to find the owner. Luckily for all of us, no one was 'answering' the door. Dexter thought he'd try and get a closer look so he dug a bit and then stuck his head in the hole. I couldn't resist.

Day 259 - Shoo Fly!

Thanks to some welcome sunshine, the daisies are no longer drowning. I was checking out the back garden by the house. There is a huge patch of mums with a multitude of buds. However, they seem to be taking their time to open. While I was looking for mums I noticed this fellow taking a rest on one of the daisies. He was nice enough to stay still long enough for me to get a few shots. I like this one best. When I had it open in Lightroom (zoomed in) the fly's eyes seem to be almost the same colour as the flower. Maybe a reflection?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 258 - Four Square

Ventured outside with my camera at recess time. Caught this young man getting ready to throw the ball in his opponent's square. Four square is a popular outdoor game at our school. Kids of all ages play and it often evokes very lively debates. They have chosen to invent their own rules citing the "real" rules as boring. So the "new & improved" version includes fireballs, slammers and life-saving.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 257 - Helping Hands

Today we met with our learning buddies for the first time. I'm not too sure who was more excited, my Grade 5/6 kids or the PreK kids we're paired up with. We get together once every 6 day cycle. It allows the PreK teachers to plan activities that require more assistance than they can give all by themselves. It also gives the little guys role models they can look up to. But the little guys aren't the only ones who benefit. My kids get the satisfaction of helping and taking care of younger kids. They love the responsibility and it's a good feeling for them to have someone look up to them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 256 - Drowning Daisies

Another rainy day here in Quebec. While it's nice to get the rain after such a dry summer, it makes the school days longer for the kids and teachers. Hopefully, the rain will let up enough tomorrow so everyone can get outside for recess. Fortunately, the rain let up a bit as we were heading home so I was able to go in the backyard and take a few pics. I chose this daisy. It just seemed to be a little bit of happy colour on a gray day. I also like the raindrops on the petals.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 255 - Brussels

Visiting our friends Sarah and Seb today, we were admiring their produce purchases from the Farmer's Market. Although we are not fans of the mighty brussel sprout, we did like the gnarly look of this acquisition. Glad we only had to take pictures and not swallow these guys. The Ozone layer will thank us for it:-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 254 - Mauve Meadow

Peg noticed these little purple flowers while walking at the farm. She's intrigued by the different coloured centres. Not sure really what they are, probably a weed. We appreciate their determination to hang onto summer as fall creeps up on us.

Day 253 - An apple a day

As I've mentioned before we do something called Walk Around the World at our school. In previous years we walked first thing in the morning. This year we decided to try walking at the end of the day. We had our first try on Friday. After the rainy week it was great to be outside. This year students are working their way up through 4 base camps to the summit of Everest. As a class, they must walk 250 km to get to each base camp. Classes walk an average of 50 km each time out. After all that walking/running this little guy needed a snack. Healthy habits - a great way to end the day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 252 - Traffic!

I know I've mentioned the amount of construction happening in Quebec City this year but I couldn't resist talking about it once again. I just happened to have the camera on the passenger seat for the drive home. Okay, I anticipated I might be stuck in traffic so I put it there just in case. Anyway, I thought I would make use of the time I was stuck in traffic to take a few pics. Shhh, don't tell. After all I wasn't talking on my cell phone. It was a gray day so I thought I'd put the pic in BandW and bring back the colour of signs and stop lights.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 251 - Rainy Day Walk

Despite the rainy weather, this dear old soul was taking in her daily constitutional in the neighbourhood near our school. She caught my eye as I was heading to the school to pick up Peg. I happened to have the camera beside me so I could take pictures of the CRAZY traffic. I have to admit, I prefer the serenity of this picture even if both are slow and steady.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 250 - Looking Ahead

It's always fun to see the students' enthusiasm at the beginning of the year. They're so excited to have all their new materials and their empty agendas. I caught a couple of 'my' girls outside after school busily filling in their agendas. If you look closely you can see M's agenda is opened to January. I know I told my students they should look ahead to plan their work but I didn't have such long term planning in mind. Then again, maybe she was just looking for all the holidays throughout the year. Hmmmm.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 249 - Fall's approaching

Although fall is still a couple weeks away, the leaves are on their own schedule and have starting turning colours. These leaves caught my eye because you could actually see the change mid-process. I like the mixture of the red and green. It almost looks like the leaves have some kind of rash.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 248 - Hay Hide and Seek

The grass at the farm has been cut and as a previous post has shown, bailed. By the way, these great big bails make a great place to hide when playing hide and seek with the dogs. The trick is to sneak off without them hearing or seeing you. I managed to sneak away a few times but was found quickly each time. As the picture below shows, Sadie sometimes likes to be the hider rather than the seeker.
It was another nice walk but we had to put the camera away part way through due to rain. It was nice to get some rain today but we didn't get as much as they promised. Here's hoping there's more to come.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 247 - Her(e)-On the Farm

Another beautiful walk at the farm. It's amazing the amount of wildlife we've seen since we've been walking there. Today's treat was a somewhat camera shy heron. I was hoping to get closer but as soon as he felt I was too close he flew to a new spot. Of course, having the dogs around didn't help. I did manage to get him proudly standing on a rock in the pond. He's actually near a place where there's still water. Unfortunately, with the dry summer, the pond is almost dry. Here's hoping we get lots of rain and snow in the upcoming months.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 246 - Very 'Pret-tea'

As a welcome back activity, our school's Parent Participation Organization (P.P.O.) hosts a Corn Boil for all the kids, staff and parents. The clouds moved out and the sun came out just in time for the festive community event. While mingling with the kids and parents, I captured this young Kindergarten miss' braids. I loved the colours, contrasts and shadows. Our school is predominantly caucasian, however this year we are blessed with the addition of a bit more cultural diversity. Here's to celebrating differences!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 245 - Jungle Bunnies

Another hot day but the kids seemed able to play hard just the same. This piece of equipment is called "The Skywalker". They use it to climb, hang, glide, and even sit (There's a chair behind the climbing wall.).
Other students were playing soccer, 4 corners, climbing on "The Spiderweb" or spinning on the "Super Nova". Of course there were those who chose to hang out in the shade chatting with friends.
Here's to playing with friends and learning new things.

Day 244 - First Day of School

I took this picture at the end of the day when the bags were much lighter. In the morning they were filled with school supplies, lunch boxes, gym clothes, paint smocks and other goodies. It was like a sea of turtles in the school yard, little bodies with heavy shells (bags). I guess it's a good thing it wasn't windy. It was HOT though, 40 degrees Celsius with the humidity. Let's just say it didn't take much for us to work up a sweat.