Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 114 - Sadie

After a very rainy day, the sun was a welcome sight today. We took the dogs out to the farm for a run. They had a wonderful time and so did we. I decided to take my camera along, something I haven't done in quite some time. I snapped this picture of Sadie as she was standing on the hill and watching Dexter. As you can see, there is still a bit of snow around. The good news is they're announcing warm temperatures and rain for the week ahead so there shouldn't be any left by this time next week. YES!

Day 113 - Let the renovations begin!

Peg and I have had a pretty busy weekend. On Friday the gentleman from Chez Ti Pere, one of Peg's favourite places, came to take the measurements for our kitchen and bathroom. We're redoing both rooms upstairs and upgrading the downstairs bathroom with a new toilet, sink and vanity. The thing with renovations is that one job inevitably leads to another. Since Friday we've visited the ceramic store and picked out our tiles, ordered new windows for the bathroom and kitchen, and purchased the following: kitchen and bathroom faucets, bathtub, bathroom and kitchen sinks, lights for the bathroom, two toilets and a microwave with a built in fan.
Now that most of the shopping is done we have to start the demolition and make sure we book the plumber and electrician. All the jobs are quite entertwined (or braided) so we hope we're able to choreograph it all. I'll be sure to keep you posted with the process with pictures and posts containing some complaining, excitement and no doubt some blunders. Oh, by the way, this picture is of the hoses that are contacted to our new bathroom faucets.
Let the renovations begin!

Day 112 - Welcome Weeds

Spotted these yellow flowers while walking out at the farm. They are a type of weed. They look a little like dandelions. I know weeds aren't always welcome but these happy flowers brought a smile to our faces today. We still have patches of snow here and there so ANY colour is more than welcome.

Day 111 - For the Birds

We have a bird feeder in the backyard and these little guys seem to empty it almost as fast as we can fill it. They must have been pretty hungry because they let me get quite close today to snap some pics. I know one of them is a male and the other a female but as I've mentioned before I'm no bird expert so I'm not sure what kind of bird they are. Any ideas? I do love the touch of red they possess. Also, do they shell the seeds before eating them? The seeds seem to be big for their little beaks and I'm amazed that they don't choke.
Okay, I've done my research. These little guys are Common Redpoll finches.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 110 - Nice day if you're a polar bear.

Well today definitely was a first; we had to close the school at 2:00 because of a snow storm AND it's April 20th. We've had to do this process before but never this late in the year. We've had about 15 cm of snow so far and it's not over yet. It was a slow drive home as most people no longer have their winter tires on and were slipping and sliding all over the place. Being a procrastinator actually paid off today as I haven't had the tires changed on the car.
Of course when we got home we had to shovel. I shoveled the deck and then Peg took over for the stairs. I managed to capture the polar bear 'enjoying' the snow. Now I do love polar bears but enough is enough. I want flowers!

Day 109 - Wild Canary

We had sun and blue skies today. According to the weather forecast it's the calm before the storm. While in the backyard checking on the dogs, Peg noticed a bunch of birds in the bushes. I brought out my camera and snapped a few shots. The lighting was great but it was tricky getting the camera to focus on the birds rather than the branches in front of them. I got as close as I could and my feathered friends were quite stationary. I managed to capture this little guy through the branches. Hopefully, filling the bird feeder will bring them closer so I can snap some shots minus the branches.

Day 108 - Business 'Ring'

A few teachers at school enjoy making jewelry in their free time. A couple of them even sell pieces. Part of the creative process is sharing ideas between them. I was asked to take some pictures of their samples so they could compare colour combinations. I took a hundred pictures or so for them to keep on record. There were many beautiful samples but this one stood out for me. I like the soft colours used.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 107 - African Adventure

No, unfortunately it's not me that's going on an African adventure. However, my stepson Christopher is and he's taking my old camera so I guess you could say parts of me are going. Christopher is going to Malawi with a group of students from Bishop's University. He's just finished his Psychology degree and was invited to do some research on community. He's excited about the experience and is ready to have his eyes and mind opened. He's promised to take pictures so we can see part of the adventure through his eyes.

Day 106 - Tulips

Although the snow is slowly disappearing here in Quebec, the flowers have yet to start blooming. Feeling impatient, Peg purchased a bouquet of beautiful tulips. They have stayed hardy for the week and add a beautiful touch of colour to the room. I liked the way they looked against the blue wall, almost like they were outside with the blue sky in the background. Can't wait to be capturing these colourful creatures outside.

Day 105 - Student Portraits

It's Friday and a Day 1, which means Walk Around the World. We've taken a bit of a break due to the weather and yucky walking conditions. My students seemed to be pretty happy to be back walking. We spent the time walking, running, chatting and taking pictures of course. A few of the students borrowed my camera and took some shots. It's fun to see that they still have the photo bug. Lau took this pic of her two buddies, 'K' and 'J'.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 104 - Ice Cold

I drink a lot of water and I like my water COLD. The above picture is the top of a pitcher filled with water and ice. Yep, you guessed it - really cold water. I snapped a picture before pouring myself a drink. While Peg and I were looking through today's pics this one caught her eye. To her the ice kind of looked like rocks. I played with it a bit in Lightroom to make the ice cubes look more like rocks. Although the water was not moving the water does seem to be running down stream.
Well, all this talking of water has made me thirsty so I'm off to get a nice cold class of water before bed. It also makes me very grateful that I have the luxury of having such a valuable resource so readily available.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 103 - Pussy Willows

While Peg was on bus duty after school she noticed some pussy willows just outside the gate. When she came in she told me she had found a possible photo for the day. When we were ready to go home I took out the camera and snapped a few pictures. It was pretty tricky as the wind was blowing making it difficult to get a picture that wasn't blurry. Since it was Peg's idea I had her help me choose today's photo. The one above was her favourite because it revealed the softness of pussy willows. I played with it a bit in Lightroom and Photoshop and the result is above.

Day 102 - Fellow Blogger

While at the workshop in Montreal I ran into a fellow blogger, Susan. It's always nice to see each other outside the virtual world. It was fun to chat together to compare notes and catch up on day to day stuff. Of course, we both had our cameras with us so we decided to snap a few shots. There weren't tons of photo ops within the room but we still managed to find a few interesting shapes, textures and lines. Taking photos is always fun but doing it with someone who shares the same interest makes it even better.

Day 101 - Resilience

On the way to Montreal we stopped to let a freight train go by. While we were stopped I looked out of the window and noticed an area that had very few trees. I realized this was part of the area that was devastated during the ice storm in 1998. This stump is one of many that were left behind. After almost 15 years, new growth can be seen. I admire nature's resilience and ability to regenerate but I fear that we often forget the time necessary for this process. As a society we too often take nature's presence for granted when we should be taking care of it.

Day 100 - Tracks

Off to Montreal to help give a SMARTboard workshop to teachers. As you can probably guess from the picture, I'm traveling by train. I always enjoy riding the train. I find it very relaxing and it's nice not to worry about traffic. It also gives me the opportunity to get a little work done or watch a movie. While we were waiting for the train I decided to go out on the tracks and take some pictures. I would have liked to stay longer and try some different angles but I was worried if I stayed too long I might be getting a closer look at the tracks than I really wanted to.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 99 - Time

Today's assignment of the Daily shoot was to illustrate time in a photograph. I decided to capture the spinning pendulum of the clock Peg bought me for my birthday a few years ago. I've always loved this type of clock. My parents and aunt and uncle bought one for my grandparents' anniversary. I remember admiring it when I was young. I was mesmerized by the spinning pendulum and found watching it quite calming. This type of clock not only represents time for but family, memories and comfort.

Day 98 - Spring has sprouted

Spring is FINALLY starting to sprout in our yard. We have a small garden in the backyard next to the house. The snow has melted in that spot and the irises, tulips and hyacinths are starting to sprout. I believe this is a hyacinth making its debut. I like the contrast between the green and the darkness of the soil. The light seems to be coming out of the leaf tips. Such a welcome site. YES, spring is really here!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 97 - One last one

I know, another butterfly but I couldn't resist. When I was looking through my photos in Lightroom I realized that I hadn't posted this picture yet. Besides, I didn't have an alternative - busy day. I really like the pattern on his wings. He kind of makes me think of tiger tiger ice cream, a pleasant childhood memory. We won't be seeing any outside around here for quite some time so I promise this is the last butterfly picture, for a while anyway.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 96 - Robots

One of our Kindergarten classes is discovering the wonders of robots. They spend their days exploring, experimenting, questioning, creating and reading about robots. They've also started working with the primary Lego robotic kit, WeDo. These pictures are examples of their robot creations. As you can tell from their paint and crayon illustrations, their teacher has taught them a lot about background and filling in a page. As I was taking this pictures I overheard them discussing what makes a good picture. They really seem to know their stuff.
Some of my students will be visiting the class to share what they've been learning about robots. They'll also demonstrate some programming.

Day 95 - More Flutterbyes

Had some more butterflies that I wanted to share so I made a collage. The variety in nature is amazing. I guess variety is the spice of life.
The pics are a bit smaller than I'd like. I have to figure out how to fix that. If you click on the image you will be able to see a larger version. I've been using the Mac program 'Collage'. If any of you use this and have advice please share. Or if you use another software for your collages I'd like to hear about that too. Thanks.

Day 94 - Which wing to wear?

Yesterday was the last day of the butterfly exhibition at the local Jardin Hamel. Peg and I went in the morning to visit. There were many butterflies but even more people. Next year we'll definitely go earlier and maybe on a weekday. I did manage to get quite a few pics but one of the guides told us there were fewer varieties than when the exhibition first opened.
Believe it or not these two pictures are the same type of butterfly. Sorry, I can't tell you what kind. When their wings are closed they're beautiful but designed for camouflage. When the wings are open a stunning display of blue and sometimes violet appears. It was magical to watch them fly around as their wings open and shut.

Day 93 - Mega Strawberry

Often on the weekends Peg makes me french toast. I know, I'm totally spoiled. Anyway, as she was cleaning and cutting the strawberries she found this fellow in the batch. It was the size of about 3 or 4 berries. She kept it aside so I could snap some pictures. Once the 'photo shoot' was done we had breakfast. Yes, the strawberry did taste as good as it looks.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 92 -Happy Memory

April is Cancer Awareness month in Canada. Part of their campaign is to sell Daffodils. These are Peg's favourite flowers. For her they are a happy sensory memory. When she was a little girl, her mother volunteered as a member of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.) to sell these for the Cancer Society. She remembers being in the room where they had cases and cases of these waiting to be sorted for sale. She can never resist buying bouquets of these at this time of year. I often catch her sniffing them with a big smile on her face. To her they smell like spring.

Day 91 - Future Engineers

Today I accompanied our school's robotics team to the regional competition at the Museum of Civilization. Elementary and high school teams were challenged to complete challenges simulating water clean up. The elementary teams had to avoid the obstacles and then remove the robot crab that was infesting their waters. The high school teams had to clean up the water by removing black and white containers and placing them in the designated areas. It's a great opportunity for students to work together. They learned how robots have changed how we study and clean bodies of water. They were also exposed to the various careers within the area of robotics. From what I saw today, I'd say there were definitely a few future engineers participating in today's event.

Day 90 - Walk?

Peg wore this pin today. It's one of my favourites. I liked how it looked next to her red polar so I snapped some pics. I was lazy and used the flash instead of getting out the tripod. As a result, there's more glare on the pin than I'd like. If nothing else, it does demonstrate the rule of thirds.

Day 89 - That's Mr. Potato Head Vader to you

It's that time of the year when the snow is dirty and there isn't a whole lot of colour to capture outside. To top that off I left my photo until later in the day. I searched around the house and found these two characters in Christopher's room. We bought these for him a couple years ago as a joke gift. He's a big Star Wars fan and although he was 21 at the time, we knew he'd appreciate these guys. He didn't bring them to university with him but they have a spot on the top of his bookshelf. I took them down, posed them and then added a plastic wrap filter in Photoshop. I've seen some beautiful use of filters on the blogs I follow. Now I just need to sit down and play around with them a bit more. I especially like the ones I've seen with flower pics. Thanks to all for your inspiration.

Day 88 - Blue Bubbles

I was looking at Peg's flowers today and noticed the bubbles on the stems below the surface. As I was trying to get pictures of the stems this lonely floating petal caught my eye. The petal is from the infamous 'blue' flowers that 'E' picked out. I find it interesting how the bubbles form on the bottom of the petal. You can also see the surface of the water. The tricky part was getting a clear shot through the vase. I would have liked clearer but this was the best I could manage.