November 24, 2016 – All Full Up

This blog is now at capacity. If you wish to continue following along, here are my new blog addresses. The top one is the one where current posts are being made.  Thanks for reading.

I had thought to post Brian and Kathleen’s wedding post on this site, but I doubt I have enough room for the pix, so it will come up on the new site in the next few days.

Thanks to all my readers for being patient.





November 16/16 – Down by the Lake

Down by the lake as the orange sun comes up,

morning quiet but, for the yips of one pup.

Geese huddle in an ever shrinking expanse,

me with my camera and two freezing hands.

The glow, at first subtle comes on with a roar,

a great time to be in the great out of doors.

I wait for the shot, for the one perfect scene,

the geese ignore me and continue to preen.

The sun now up and cool winds rustle the grass,

I rush back home to avoid freezing my ass.







November 15 & 16, 2016 – Under the Super Moon

Strange things happen under the Super Moon (Luna in Latin). You might develop a tic and become a Luna-tic. Or, like me, you might be convinced that if you grab your camera and tripod and head outdoors in the dark, stumbling down pitch black town paths, you might get a good vantage point from which to capture the moon. I am certain that the 2 Luna-tics on bicycles on same said dark path rolled their eyes as they passed me on my mission.

I found it strange that my handheld shots of the moon almost turned out as good as the tripod mounted ones. Below is the tripod shot.


I also found it strange that if I spent a bit more time with the Autofocus system, I could actually get the moon in three different hues. Below are the handheld shots.

The feature shot is actually from the next morning (16th), when I set out before sunrise to capture the setting moon. Now, to do this in this part of the world at this time of the year dose not mean you have to lose any sleep. Sunrise on this date was 8 AM. I at least had the smarts to drive part way and then walk into Four Seasons Park. Oh, and the vegetation in front of the moon in the feature shot does not mean I was down on my belly in the tall grass. There was a very strategically placed hill of soil with weeds growing on it that I could use by simply moving closer or further away. Pretty neat, huh?

This next shot over Sparrow Lake shows the reflection on both open water and ice. Did I mention that it was nippy outside and that I froze my freakin’ fingers?



The last shot was taken with the sun coming up and the wispy clouds caressing the moon. Shortly after that, the moon disappeared totally behind the cloud bank. Good thing I got out there early. Lunatic signing off.


November 9/16 – This Birthday takes the cake

Another year older and what do you get? A walk in the river valley without getting wet. Unusual weather for November, so nothing for it but to get outside and enjoy it, before the snow flies.

We originally planned a much smaller walk in MacKinnon Ravine and over the recently opened 2nd Avenue Bridge, but the day and the weather spurred us on and we ended up walking almost 15 kilometers.

Starting at the west end of MacKinnon Ravine…


we hiked under skies littered with feathery clouds…


down to the shining waters of the North Saskatchewan River…


and up Ramsay Ravine to Old Glenora, where street sweepers whizzed around Alexander Circle, fruitlessly trying to collect the fallen leaves. The fountain was shut off for the winter and the plants were long dead, but the stately homes in this area never lose their appeal, nor their high maintenance costs, I expect…



down to 102 Avenue and over the old bridge above Ramsay Ravine where light play created dramatic effects…


past the former Royal Alberta Museum with shrubs showing the last bright sunlit colours of fall…


to the recently opened 102 Avenue Bridge. The art budget for this project was spent on cutting the old metal decking plates into circles and mounting them at each bridge in homage to history…


into MEC for a much needed comfort stop and then to Planet Organic for coffee, and down to Victoria Promenade to enjoy said cake…


the Pearl tower soared above us as we dined on fine Tupperware…


and enjoyed valley views including this bridge view to the East.


Our repast complete, we headed over the Groat Bridge and looked back at the downtown view….


before cutting through Hawrelak Park with squirrels a-chattering and Canada Geese a-bathing. Everyone was having a good day…dsc01012

on across the foot bridge into the Off-leash area with its muddy paths to who knows where. At last, we arrived at Nola Hill beside the Katz mansion and picked our way carefully upwards before arriving at another downtown vista from Valleyview Drive.


When we lived in the West end, we often walked here, but time seems to have dulled our sense of direction, because after walking along Valleyview and Summit Drives, expecting to find our car around every corner, we finally realized we were 7 blocks East of it. Arriving at last, we spotted this scene.


I guess he decided to LEAVE it parked.




November 5/16 – Segway from Fall to Winter

I know, I know, it is actually spelled seque. Can’t blame a guy for a little word play. Not wanting to be inside during the recent spell of good weather, we stopped in the river valley for a short walk before meting the kids downtown for supper. While not as warm as Thursday and Friday, it was still +13, not bad for November 5.

What piqued our interest most on this walk was the construction of the new Touch the Water project, a funicular down from the Hotel Mac to a promenade that would cross Grierson Road and then cantilever out over the river bank. It is amazing how far they have gone and opening is supposed to be complete in Fall 2017. This has some bridge elements, so based on recent City project performance, stay tuned.


The late afternoon sun on the river made even our old riverboat shine.

To the West, progress was being made on the long delayed Walterdale Bridge replacement. The suspension lines were being installed. Maybe, this will finally open next fall, as well.


From our vantage point in Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, the Low Level Bridge was awash in the golden glow of the late afternoon sun. Speaking of son, he would be expecting us soon.


The river valley trees were devoid of most of their leaves, but a few still lingered……

…..and the larches golden colours did brighten up the day, just a bit.



November 5/16 – Red Sky at Morning

Through closed blind slats, the bright glow spread

outside the house, the sky was red.

Was it hot flames that lit the sky?

Curious, I looked out to spy.

Grabbing camera and some shoes,

in such a rush, no coat I choose.

Front yard, back yard and in between

snapping photos of what I’d seen.

Back inside and on my laptop,

colours looked faded, what a flop.

Post production, my colours fixed,

now all colours were nicely mixed.


November 4/5/16 – Give me a Sign

Downtown on the afternoon of November 4 and evening of November 5 and there was little sign to indicate that winter was upon us.

After our Friday hike, we took Liam to Starbucks Rogers Place for his birthday coffee and spent a bit of time perusing the building. Despite living next door, he had not yet been inside. The Janvier mosaic was still spectacular, but I think a little extra cleaning may be required to keep up with the foot traffic.

Through the windows, downtown was still a beehive of construction activity.


Down to 104th Street we headed to see the recently rejuvenated and unveiled statue of the Great One, carefully placed beside the media scrum room.

On our two days downtown, we managed to catch the Neon Sign Museum in three different lighting situations. This was a great idea to keep the memories of these old signs alive.

On the evening of the 5th, the streets were alive with concert goers (Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire were at Rogers), diners (we found it tough to get into our restaurants of 1st choice) and wingnut bikers showing off their mechanical prowess and other shortcomings.

On the corner of 104 and 104, someone had set up a camera on a tripod waiting for the perfect photo of Rogers. Nope, it was not me, but I took a shot anyway.