Friday, July 30, 2010

my Saturday morning

Last Saturday was the third annual World Wide Photo Walk. It is ultimately a competition, but really, I just enjoyed the company of so many other photographers (professional and amateur) getting together for a 2 hour walk along a designated area and then seeing what we all came up with on the flickr site.

Last year we wandered along Ottawa St South; this year it was James St North. This was one of the areas I considered taking you on way back in March when you all chose the Pier 4 destination for a tour. So now we finally make it to Jamesville, or James Street North, not far away from the waterfront park and Pier 4.

It is a gritty area, with many old business and empty buildings

still in need of some new investment

there is some interesting architecture and the main cultural group seems to be the Portuguese, with the requisite old men hanging out at the coffee shops

but it is slowly trying its hand at becoming a bit of an artists' enclave

there is still some old advertising art

I tried to follow along with the conversation between another photographer and a worker from the restaurant in this renovated building while they tried to decide what was here originally

later on, we had an interesting converstation with a local man sitting on his front porch who turned out to be a house painter. he is trying to convince homeowners in the area to at least paint their brick homes in pleasing complementary colours (if they must paint at all). obviously, there is some limited success in this endeavour!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

my Sunday morning

I woke up on Sunday a little too early. I thought it was 8:30. Turned out to be 6:30. Turned out I had nothing to eat for breakfast, either. This meant a trip to the 24 hour grocery store.

The first thing I noticed when I got outside, was that there was no humidity.

No humidity!

All that is good and holy, sweet blessed relief!

The second thing I noticed, was that the sky was heavy with those grey layered clouds that look like a downy quilt. So I quickly bought a couple of bananas and some freshly baked peanut butter cookies and headed up towards a park that sits on the edge of the escarpment.
Here is a [not very clear] view of where I live

The whole area was wet from the overnight rain and I, foolishly not planning ahead, was only wearing sandals so I didn't want to venture too far. As it was, I prolonged pondered my way back up the steep, muddy incline to the road where my car was park and stood feeling the cool breeze and listening to the birds chirping and was eaten alive by mosquitoes.

But, as I looked down at the boadwalk out over the wetlands below,

I spotted this

and then caught sight of this big fella

I need to get myself a good tripod, I think.
And an extra pair of running shoes to leave in the car for those impromptu hikes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday AMuse


personally, I've always wondered why they stopped making the doors open this way
then there's this baby that seems to have no doors

am not certain about the logistics of getting in and out of this one

hmmm, those erect headlamps...

I have seen the crocheted lamp posts, but not a crocheted car

as if this car isn't ugly enough
originally found here and here

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SundayStills - rule of thirds

There is no story to go with these photos this time except that maybe, just maybe (after hours of culling my photo files) these are the two subjects I have the most photos of that may be deemed a little superfluous

a view from my balcony

and some ducks

and more baby ducks

How long does duckling season last anyway? These guys were spotted last Wednesday and you'd think I'd never seen ducks before the way I was snapping away! Then again, they have a way of moving very quickly which made it rather easy to follow the rule of thirds as they furiously paddled their way out of frame, but difficult to get them in focus or exposed properly.
See how others followed the rule of thirds in this week's photo challenge at Sunday Stills

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

today he flew

When I get home form work in the morning, one of the blogs I check out before all others is An Explorers View of Life. Barry has been an inspirational writer and never more than the past months as he chronicled his days living with cancer. Last February, dozens hundreds of his blogfriends from around the world joined in a ceremonial bell ringing to celebrate with him the end of his chemo treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Since then, when I pass by my Swiss cow bell that hangs in the hall, I glance at it more frequently and I think of Barry, and the many other people I have known who have endured cancer.

Barry left us yesterday after several weeks in hospital. He wrote a final post, just days ago, where he says that "today I flew". It sounded ominous, yet hopeful that he really would "tell us more next week". I am sure he has found a new audience to tell his story. He had so many stories and it was a joy to have him share them with us.

We will miss you, Barry Fraser.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday AMuse

on a Tuesday

it's been that kind of weekend

Saturday, July 17, 2010

the Open, Tour

I know, I haven't been around much.
It has been hot. And I don't like the heat.
It makes me crabby. And a bit listless. And a lot sleepy.

But, while lounging on the chesterfield with my bowl of fruit and my pitcher of cucumber water (so incredibly refreshing!) I have been glancing at the television that has been on for hours between the Tour de France and now, The Open.

I know, most of you are not sports fans. Neither am I actually. But I enjoy the World Cup and the Olympics where countries vie for a place of honour.

But I love the Tour and the Open.

The challenges. The thrills and spills. The hills and bunkers.
The brutal conditions of wind and rain. The long, long days of hard slogging.
The British announcers.

Mostly though, I love the aerial views. That sky over St Andrews has been so dramatic at times. The end of the day shot of Tom Watson crossing the old Swilcan Bridge in the sunset brought a tear to my eye. (yeah, well it was 90F, and I also get sappy when I am not crabby). And France... well, I just want to be in that helicopter, flying low over the Pyrenees (tomorrow!)

And, it is a bit late, but have you ever looked at the official Tour de France website?
It has to be the most detailed and instructional site for any sport, ever.
There are stats and photos and local lore. And not just of the cyclists. It also serves as a most informative tourist guide. You can follow along with a detailed map, read about each area they are passing through. There is a bit of a history lesson. There are calendar worthy photos. You can watch the action. Listen to those British announcers. They have hours and hours and hours to fill with talk and surprisingly I find almost all of it interesting.

One day, I will be among the cheering crowds lining the streets of one of these impossibly picturesque villages...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday AMuse

It is time for everybody to hang up their vuvuzelas and go home.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

SundayStills - shadows

With all the bright sunshine we've had this past week, there was lots of opportunity to get some interesting shadows.
Had I bothered to venture outside.
Now that it is a bit cooler, I could have gone out today (Saturday)..... but I was watching the World Cup. Then I watched the Tour de France.
Then the sun began to set a little lower in the sky.
I don't have trees to create shade, but I do love the way the blinds make lines on the wall when the sun is at a certain level.

On the balcony, I have an old plant stand that creates an interesting pattern

and these tendrils from a passion flower are quickly creeping up the wall and attaching themselves to anything they can grab hold of

so I try to guide them towards the trellis and wait for the blooms

here is one now!

see other shadowy figures at SundayStills


Go, Netherlands, go!
Hup, Holland, hup!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

day five

Is it not poor manners
for someone who has locked them self inside
an excessively air conditioned house
to be complaining about the heatwave
(and the smog and humidity
that came with it)?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

having fun in the sun

It has been a busy few days, this past week. Busy and almost unbearably hot. Not as hot as it will be this week, however, so I'm glad to have that busy-ness out of the way.

The heat did not stop me from getting outside into the smoggy fresh air. Getting some colour on my cheeks. I drank lots,

some of it not hydrating liquids,

all of it refreshing.

has anyone else noticed this trend to serve water in old fashioned milk bottles?

When I did eat, it was very good salady light fare type food.

I visited some friends where the husband cheerfully attended to the grilling of the shrimp and vegetables on the bbq and later laughed with us as we three women compared notes on our degrees of hotness and sweatiness (with, or without, any accompanying heatwave).

Found some interesting, refreshing drinks to buy in Chinatown.

I made my way to the Pride Parade and attended just long enough to show my support for my friends before heading into the art gallery to cool off and get away from the thousands of hot, sweaty bodies with water cannons. It was so cool and quiet there that I decided I couldn't be bothered to walk all the way back down to the lake to find a spot to see if I could see the tall ships in full sail. (I could have paid for grandstand seats to see it, but I was too cheap to pay for the all-day pass at Ontario Place, plus the seating, plus the exhorbitant parking, which seems to have doubled all of a sudden)

I walked where the crowds were
which really wasn't that crowded

and where they weren't

I drove to the locks at the Welland Canal and was in time to see The Bounty (and a few others) go through - and almost scrape against the side of the pier!

Then, I finished off my extral long, busy weekend here

the carousel in Port Dalhousie, that had a constant line up from the moment it opened at 10am!

you can choose from 68 animals and four chariots

where else could you get so much fun for a nickel?

If you are interested, (and why wouldn't you be?) there are more photos of the tall ships on my flickr and on SightLines

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

SundayStills – framed

Toronto 011 The Tall Ships arrived in Toronto this week and I thought what a perfect subject for framing – all those ropes and masts! The top one is a a canoe between seen through the rigging on the Bounty.

Below is the Niagara in the foreground with the Bounty in the centre. And, I cannot remember which the other two ships are, possibly the Unicorn and Roald Amundson?

Toronto 199 The lake was full with canoes, kayaks, sailboats, yachts, tourboats and ferries…Copy of Toronto 064Toronto 184Finally, we reach the hometown pride, the Empire Sandy… and that CN Tower thingy.

Toronto 403 Toronto 376

Check out the other participants at SundayStills