Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

Adventure bus interior view.

Adventure on a luxury coach bus to Ottawa.

My adventure began on a cool overcast Wednesday morning when our luxury coach bus arrived to pick a bunch of us up at a local large shopping center parking lot..

We had prepared for the event for some time now and today, July 9, 2014, we were going to Ottawa for a “news conference” in which we would be the live audience. After “testing” its new equipment on select areas of the province the local power company with provincial government approval forced the technology in its public.

Of course this was for the “benefit” of Quebecers and would allegedly save a lot of money for the government and its utility, this was the promise made and yet there were still sceptics who just wouldn’t believe the story.

Conflicting reports disseminated by both the power utility and the government and the opposition and rumors became truths. The government/utility boasted how wonderfully safe the new “smart” technology was and how it would make life so much easier for customers. They promised lower rates because of less waste compared to the old analog technology. Meanwhile, the “resistance” showed that RF(radio frequency) radiation exposure accumulates in humans and is hazardous, that there have been many unexplained meltdowns and resulting home fires that the insurance industry doesn’t want to cover. Also, that rates had more than doubled after they installed new meters.

As expected the government and the wireless industry denied all while the power utility kept on replacing thousands more analog meters.

The big room was abuzz with hundreds of excited people and representatives of the Canadian news media all anxious to hear from experts in the field and many witnesses affected by the “new” technology. We didn’t wait long for our experts to summate their findings showing that “Safety Code 6″ is obsolete and that based on new international research needs amending/updating by the Canadian government. The summary and video taken at this conference were sent to Canada’s Health Minister regarding her pending decision on Safety Code 6 this Fall.

I had about 2 hours after the conference to play tourist in Ottawa near Parliament to do some photos and it was during this time that I took this photo inside our waiting bus shortly before we left Ottawa. I think it captures that “adventure” feeling well, what say you?

New Dawn

sleeping cat precludes awaking to new dawn

new dawn

My new dawn arrived early in the week when I awoke suddenly because my cat was meowing loudly, his signal to me to let him out the door…

After working on my set of photos for 5 hours when I realized that it was already 1 AM Tuesday so I quickly concluded the edit and saved everything. I was ready for sleep and after closing down the computer headed upstairs only to find that Anne, my better half, was still reading that novel in our livingroom.

Earlier she was reading it and now she was still at it, must be a very interesting novel I thought to myself. I advised her that perhaps it was time that we both retired for the night as it was already quite late  and suggested that we both should get some badly needed shuteye. Anne immediately agreed and we both headed to our bedroom to discover that our Moosh was still asleep enjoying the comfort of our bed.

He is an old timer and loves to do this anytime we are away however, he quickly vacates whne we come to reclaim our bed. Each day Anne prepares our bed by covering it with a special cover on which Moosh luxuriates himself napping. Tonight, we were late for sleep and then I found that I just couldn’t sleep for some reason. I struggled for a long time trying in fact, I don’t remember when I finally nodded off.  For a very long time my mind was busy going over events of the previous day and all sorts of other things, I just could not sleep!

The Moosh had been meowing now for a few minutes before I suddenly awoke and quickly got out of my comfortable surroundings. I headed out of our bedroom after finding and donning my slippers. I had just opened the kitchen door allowing the Moosh to escape outdoors when I noticed it was 2:45 AM on the clock. Wow, Thought to myself what’s happening here?

Normally, the cat wakes me at about 5 AM by his repeated meows, which start off with a barely discernable low meow which he continues to repeat at prescribed intervals and then finally raises the volume progressively reaching the right tone. The Moosh is quite a nice cat because he comes to our bedroom door opening and waits for us to allow him into the bedroom.
I think this is remarkable because few cats are known to do this this way, perhaps none.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

Peace Tower and its clock architecturally relate to each other.



Dialogue or conversation with another is as old as mankind certainly here on Earth perhaps, going back to the Garden of Eden, when the Almighty created everything. As we all know an exchange between God and humans was followed by another of counter opinions by the serpent and the humans and the rest is history.

A recent bus trip to Ottawa provided me an opportunity to capture these images which show a different type of dialogue, one of architecture. Here parts are brought together and speak as a marvel of Canadian architectural history and also of Canadian heritage. The Peace Tower is the focal point in Ottawa with its giant Gothic style mechanical clocks that adorn it creating a unique dialogue. The Tower just would not be the same without its clocks and they would be just several large, old, out-of-fashion, mechanical clocks without a purpose.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

Fray at ends of dead weeds


Fraying ends of some sort of tall weeds surrounding a snail desperately hanging on one of their stalks creates this interesting scene.

I was returning home from a nice walk through our town’s park when I spotted this light green colored snail hanging for its dear life as gusts of wind of an approaching storm blew through the tall grasses at the fringe of a large soccer field ajoining a steep manmade hill.

It had started as an overcast day with light gray clouds which progessively morphed into menacing dark rainclouds moving in quickly pushed by gusty winds. The temperature was starting to go south so I decided that I better head home soon before the deluge. I had just rounded the corner of the hill when I spotted the first of the snails and took this picture. After this little guy, I spotted more snails along with a lonely honeybee also hanging on to a bit of the dead grasses. Capturing their images I quickly departed for my home as the rain began.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

 Texture of white fungus


Nature is all about texture and my photo is a good example. Although there are plenty more similar examples to be found none will be exactly like this one that I spotted in the bush near the country house in the Eastern Townships.

I was doing something I try to do whenever I am out in the country, taking nice long walks to see what I can find to photograph when I got lucky and saw this white fungus growing on a rotten log. As you can see the bark has come apart in irregular sections leaving bare darkened wood meanwhile, the remaing bark has been overgrown with the white fungus creating an interesting texture. My “log” rests nestled amongst small dead broken twigs and mostly dead brown leaves complimented with some fresh green new ones.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Rideau Canal a real relic

A real relic of Canada’s history, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa

Ottawa is full of relics of Canada’s historical past and one, the Rideau Canal, took a very important part in this country’s development.

Recently, after attending a conference at the Chateau Laurier Hotel just a stone’s throw from Canada’s Parliament complex, I discovered a part of the Rideau Canal system. I had just left the hotel and crossed the boulevard, when I found a staircase leading down to the Canal, it has been there for a very long time yet I never knew it was there during my previous trips to Ottawa.

After walking down the stairs I found a wonderful sight, a waterway populated by strolling visitors and Ottawa citizens along its banks. Seen also were numerous big pleasure boats moored as well as some seagulls, and the various ducks, puddling along in the water or sleeping on some wooden planks near the water. I was very interested to see the old locks and its machinery, the old technology that was used to operate the system some of which you can see in my photograph. The weather that day was partially overcast with numerous sunny breaks allowing me to take many great photos.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Hydro power tower girders contrasted against a grey sky.

Power tower girders contrast against an overcast grey sky.

The dark behemoths of galvanized steel stood there contrasted against the light grey sky.

That afternoon, as I walked out of the town city hall complex, which also houses the municipal library I passed directly under hanging high tension wires overhead of the huge electrical power towers.

I had done this countless times without paying much attention to them however, this time it was different because I had brought my new digital camera with me. These towers are massive and populate a stretch of “no-man’s land” straddled between mostly residential housing or as in this case, between the city hall complex and Centennial Park adjacent the complex.

It was perfect weather for photography because it was overcast which provides a neutral light. What first caught my eye, were the large glass insulator roundels hanging from the side of the tower, so I just snapped a picture of that. Looking around I then captured an image of a triple transformer assembly that looked interesting. Afterwards, I decided to seek more photo opportunities at the nearby park so I headed there before heading home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between


Cellphone user between me and my subject.

Coming between you and what you want

Someone just got in between me and my camera and what I was about to capture digitally, and he was totally oblivious about it because he was having his wonderful conversation on his cellphone.

I had just arrived on Crescent street during this year’s Grand Prix celebrations when I saw this busker playing his musical instrument. I wanted to capture his image on my camera so I pressed my shutter button however, almost immediately this cellphone user “automation” just casually gets into my picture.

Doesn’t it irritate you when people just walk right into your picture without even considering what you are attempting to do? This guy was a total automation connected the nearest microwave communication tower providing him his “hit” to feed his habit. He cared little for anything except that conversation he was having on his cellphone with his girlfriend, wife, boyfriend or drinking buddy, he is one of the modern, connected, beautiful people and the cellphone industry loves him.

I did want that picture of that busker so after waiting a bit I snapped that second picture quickly avoiding another in between scene..Enjoy!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

Extra, extra little bird on old chair

Extra, extra is a sparrow perched on restraurant’s weather beaten wooden chair.

Our search for that extra, extra, special, unique item began a while ago, about 2 weeks ago although it wasn’t officially announced by WordPress yet. It began in downtown Montreal during an annual event that brings many tourists visiting and enjoying what the town has to offer. It began during one of my strolls in a popular section of Montreal full of bars and fancy eateries which were filled with happy international and local clients.

Having checked out the “hot” cars and lovely women on Crescent and Mountain streets during Montreal Grand Prix race Friday afternoon, I decided to walk West along Sherbrooke street to check out the various museums and art galleries and other interesting landmarks that populate that area.

My first stop was to view some of the large metal sculptures located outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, these I have written about and shown the images on my last week’s blog. After this I crossed Sherbrooke street going South and briefly entered the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts new main entrance. I worked my way over to the front ticket booth to enquire whether it was still free to see the various exhibitions as was the case the last time I visited alas, it was not!

Finding out that I had to fork out $12.00 to get in, I decided to leave it for some future time and continued my walk along Sherbrooke street. As I walked along I stopped a few times to view some interesting window displays that caught my fancy at some of the various small private museums/art galleries. Peripherally, I just happened to catch this tiny fellow come flying in from somewhere to land in the restaurant outdoor veranda.

I had just passed this temporarily closed restaurant with an outdoor veranda when this sparrow decided to make his stage appearance. He had landed among all these weathered, aged, wooden chairs and some tables in this sort of “dugout” veranda, first on the floor then hopped up onto one chair then a table then on a crossbar of another chair and finally on that chair to view me eye to eye.

He had caught me unawares and it took what seemed a very long time before my brain kicked in to realize that this may be great photo opportunity. Almost immediately, I began busily fumbling trying to extract my stored camera in my soft camera bag and fortunately, I got this paparazzi type shot of our new celebrity!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

Finding "room" to park at shopping center is challenging.

Parking “room” still available.

Finding “room” at the local strip mall can be a challenge especially at this time of the year as folks populate those wonderful stores and eateries now that the weather has become nicer.

I took this picture about a week ago when I was one of those folks driving a car trying to find room to park. As you can all see
there were only two spots nearby where parking was possible to do although there probably were a couple more further down on
the right side towards the tree line where that Honda or Toyota was turning.


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