Saturday, July 31, 2010
When we were in Scotland, we marveled at the exquisite thistles that grew everywhere. When we visit Ontario, the teazles tickle our fancy. While walking in the field at the farm today we spotted these wee thistles growing beside the fence. They are not as big or picky as their international cousins but none the less attractive.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Today, Peg and I had lunch in Old Quebec and then went on a walking tour. We had some gift certificates and decided it was time to cash them in and reap the benefits of living in a city so rich in history. The above mural is painting on the side of a building in Place Royale. Due to people and event equipment I was unable to capture it in its entirety. It's a tapestry of historical events and people, cultural references, seasons and old and modern Quebec woven together. It's mesmerizing and you get the feeling you could walk right into it. A must see if you visit Quebec City.
Decided it was time to play in the dark. I got out my remote timer and tripod and ventured into the backyard. I tried flowers, solar lamps, the pool and a few other objects around the yard. The above picture is one of our solar lamps. I used the 'bulb' setting. I believe I kept the shutter open for about 10 seconds but I can't remember because I changed objects and settings often. I did learn that when taking picutres in very low light you need to have it on manual focus. Well, at least I did.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Today Peg and I went on another field trip with 'E'. We went for a ride on the Louis-Jolliet with him and his daycare. We had a nice ride on the St. Lawrence. For the first part of the trip we remained downstairs learning many things about boats, St. Lawrence River and a little bit of history. We then ventured to the top deck. The view was beautiful but it was pretty windy. All hats were left downstairs so they wouldn't blow into the river. The above picture is the view of the Montmorency falls we saw from the boat. Overall, a great time.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
It's not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that
It's not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky
But green's the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean, or important
Like a mountain, or tall like a tree
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be
- The Muppets
Monday, July 26, 2010
While walking in the park today, we spotted these feathered friends practicing their single file synchronized swimming. It was interesting seeing the wake they left in the algae covered pond. It almost looks as if they were lined up by size too.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Out at the farm again this evening. Just as we were getting ready to leave we noticed the moon rising in the sky above the trees. The sky was much lighter than in this photo but I didn't have my tripod with me so I had to use a faster shutter speed so less light. I played with it a bit in Lightroom and voila.
I took pictures today but they were of the split rail fence. Our friend Sarah wanted pics for her file as she wants to build one in the near future. So....I cheated a bit and used one of the pictures I took on my photo shoot with my photo buddy. This one was taken with my macro lens. Peg finds that it looks like brush strokes on an oil painting. I like the contrast of the bright petals on the dark background.
Went to Lennoxville to visit family for the day. Got together for a BBQ supper. We had yummy burgers, hot dogs, salad and fresh local corn. Due to the hot summer harvests of all sorts are early this year. As in the olden days, child labour was recruited to do the shucking. They did a pretty good job and the corn was delicious. Of course the best part of the meal was spending time with family.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
We took the dogs to get their nails cut and then headed out to the farm to let them run around. We haven't been for a few days and both dogs were VERY happy to be back. They love running around the fields and going in the pond. I've been trying to get a shot of Dexter running. I want to capture the look of glee on his face when he's running full out. It's also fun to see how his ears flip up. I wasn't able to get his 'smile' in this one but managed to get his ears and more clarity than I have in the past.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Went in search of water lilies today to no avail. Our neighbourhood garden center had some but they were not open yet. I'll go back in a day or so. They suggested we go to Domaine des Maizurets. We drove there and walked to the pond area. The water level was VERY low and although there was A LOT of algae and some lily pads, no water lilies. I managed to capture a few ducks and then caught this little guy (or girl) on our way out of the park. I saw him and tried to 'call' him closer so I could get a shot. Peg happened to see a peanut nearby and voila. Luckily for me, this model works for peanuts.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Captured this little fellow while taking pictures with my photo buddy Nathalie, today at the Domaine Joly-De Lobiniere Botanical Gardens. We had a great time playing with our cameras, lens, tripods and perspectives. It was fun learning from each other. I really like the serenity of this shot. The tension between the lily pad and the water is palpable.
Tomorrow I'm going on a photo shoot with my photo buddy, Nat. It's our first time shooting together and I'm looking forward to having a great time and learning lots. Peg is coming along as our Sherpa Chef. She made us delicious AND nutritious chicken mango salads. I'm dealing with tendonitis in my elbows so she's also going to help with equipment transport. I tell ya, some gals have all the luck (I'm talking about myself of course.). I took some pictures of the salad and tried to do some photoshop with it. I wanted to put in a background. I got the green from the spinach in the salad. It didn't quite turn out as I had planned but I'm learning.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
HA! Not what you thought it was! We have spent the last week digging out sod and an over-grown section of our perennial garden to be able to put in this decorative split rail fence. We have long-admired the beautiful rustic roses that bloom all summer everywhere. While in Kamouraska, we decided to copy the beauty of the roses that drape over similar fences all along the waterfront. Today, we finally got the fence up and are feeling quite proud of ourselves!. Now we have to freshen up the garden with new dirt, then plant the rose bushes which are waiting patiently propped up beside our new fence.
Nothing says comfort food more than home-made bread and cookies hot from the oven. Despite the heat, we do like to eat, so Peg bit the bullet today and did the cooking. My request for the week was shredded wheat bread, one of my favourites. I got no arguments from Peg because she'd give up desserts for hot bread with cold butter. The cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip, a bit of healthy with a touch of sinful!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Our God-son "E" has been haranguing his parents all week to visit with Aunt Shelley and Auntie Peg. We enjoyed their company tonight for supper and play-time. The toys are a combination of old beloved dinky cars stowed away in Peg's grown-up son's toy box and the new Tinkertoy purchased for new friends. Although the new Tinkertoy is made of plastic and is more colourful, it is not nearly as sturdy as the old wooden set. After "E" left for the evening, I played around with the toys while I was tidying. I like the old and new, black and white and colour contrasts.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Yep, more flowers. It was cloudy this afternoon so I took out my cameras AND tripod and did some shots with my macro and zoom lenses. Originally, I had planned on getting more lily shots which I did but I prefer the daisy shots I got. Our neighbours so graciously let me into their yard to photograph their flowers. They have a beautiful patch of daisies. The top shot is a macro which means the one below is a zoom shot. I've done a lot of flower shots lately but plan on a couple of day trips in the upcoming weeks so hopefully I'll be able to post a variety of other subjects.
I decided to play with my Macro lens tonight. I found a patch of Paprika Yarrow growing in the corner perennial garden in the back yard. I like the effect of the tight little buds seemingly exploding into little red stars. The top picture shows a cluster yet to open while the bottom picture displays another cluster that has popped open. I did use my tripod but am not really pleased with the finished product. Still a bit blurry for my liking. I guess it's good to have something to work on:-)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I have found myself on the hunt for a variety of lilies lately for a couple of reasons. I love them, they grow prolifically here in a range of colours and shapes as well as for a special project I'm working on. Our god-daughter's name is Lily and she will be christened soon. I want to create my first photographic montage of lily pictures as well as those of the little Miss. This is called a Strawberry Lily for obvious reasons.
As in many parts of the country, summer means haying. I caught this photo on the way back from the country. I have great appreciation for the enormity of the task farmers embrace daily. They truly are the backbone of our country!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Being from Saskatchewan, grasshoppers are childhood friends. They are not usually as predominant in Quebec City but this year with the dry weather, they have come out in abundance. I captured this fella while walking the dogs at the farm using my zoom lens. I love the detail of his markings and the way his colours blend into the surroundings.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
While this is not my best photo it is definitely a surprise catch. We were walking the dogs at the farm this evening as temperatures had cooled to below insufferable, when we accidentally spooked this deer who was napping in the long grass. I was able to get a few shots but I like this one as none of his/her feet are not touching the ground and we can see the profile a bit. Dexter tried valiantly to pursue the poor creature but ended up chasing scent only!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Saw these great big dandelions gone to seed and I couldn't resist snapping a few shots. I really think it's too bad that they're considered a weed because I find they're so happy looking when in flower and elegant when they've gone to seed. I love the softness of the seeds and how they reflect the light. If only we looked so good when we go to seed. :-)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
This perky little flower poked its way through the fence in the back of our yard today. I like the contrast of the rich burgundy against the weathered grey wood. We always smile when we see clematis as we have a dear friend who happens to love this flower but has a mental block when it comes to its name referring to it as chlamydia.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
We accompanied our God-son's daycare on an outing today to a local petting farm. The temperature was in the low 40's with the humidity. The animals tried to make a good impression and the kids were thrilled but by eleven this morning, the heat won out sending the animals in search of relief in the shade. This is "Shrekkie" napping and no doubt dreaming cool dreams. Goodness knows we were awake and were thinking the same thing!
The train station in Quebec City is a beautiful piece of architecture. In celebration of Quebec's 400th birthday a few years ago, a local artist was commissioned to create a lasting reminder. The piece reminds us to re-discover a new world from the comfort of our home. This is just one part of the display. There is another section that has 40 chairs each representing one of 40 decades. The chairs are placed in juxtaposition to each other . Well worth a visit.
With temperatures in the high 30's and low 40's, this is a common scene in Southern Ontario and Quebec this week. Everyone is finding a way to cool off. We are truly blessed to live in a stone home complete with a pool and air-conditioning. Our sympathy and admiration go out to those toughing out the heat wave without these luxuries. If you're in the neighbourhood, feel free to drop in to cool off!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Had Karine and the boys over this afternoon for a swim. Unfortunately, Sadie was not invited to join them. She loves the water and would probably enjoy swimming. However, getting her into an above ground pool would definitely be easier than getting her out. She's neurotic about our stairs inside so there's no way we'd get her up the pool ladder :-). Guess she'll have to stay in the air conditioned house and settle for swimming in the pond next time we visit the farm.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
While at Kamouraska we took a break from hiking to play with the bubble machine 'E' received from his grandmother, Woo Woo. The Infinite Bubbles machine makes MANY bubbles at once. I managed to get quite a few of shots of 'E' and Peg playing with and catching the bubbles. Since 'E's mom would prefer that his face not appear online, I cropped this photo to show his little hands about to pop this bubble. If you look closely you can see the chalet reflected in the bubble.
Went to Kamouraska to visit friends. It was a beautiful bright day which is great for touring but not the greatest for taking pictures. However, we did appreciate and take advantage of the beautiful weather. After lunch we hiked up Mount Coton which reputedly was the home of a hermit years ago. It was a nice hike up the hill and the view was spectacular. The above picture only captures a fraction of the grandeur of the scenery. For those not from here, the body of water you see is the St. Lawrence River.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
This is our 'friend' Effie. We picked her up as a souvenir when we were in Scotland. I was looking to do something a little bit different so Peg suggested I take Effie out to the garden. I managed to get her poised on top of the support for peonies. She's looking at the malva which grows like weeds by the way. There's a little bit of baby's breath in the background. It's funny how a stuffed animal can add character to a picture.
We had our end of year staff BBQ last night. The weather was not terribly cooperative changing every 5 minutes so we ended up inside for the festivities. When we left, the weather had cleared up and the sun was getting ready to set. The view from the parking lot was beautifully clear as we looked off towards Quebec City's two bridges, the Pierre Laporte Bridge and the Quebec Bridge. The old Quebec Bridge is the longest cantilever bridge in North America. It's the darker coloured bridge in the foreground. While you can't see all of the bridges' architecture from these pictures, I really liked the clarity and contrast of the old and new above the tree line.