Thursday, September 28, 2017

Love Lives Here

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. - Maya Angelou

Peterborough, along with most of southern Ontario and points beyond has just exited a lengthy and lovely heat wave - summer's last hurrah. Although the following images are from earlier in the recently-ended season, some of them express the recent heat and the current mood of the area, in more than one way.

This Saturday is Yom Kippur - the holiest day of the year for observant Jews. And it will be on this date that a lowlife who bears a swastika tattoo on his chest, will lead a white supremacist rally in our beautiful city. It is under the guise that they are protesting our Prime Minister Trudeau and illegal immigration. Make no mistake that these are nazis who also oppose legal immigration, and any skin colour other than white. A large counter-protest in the form of peaceful, solidarity events called Love Lives Here will also take place throughout the weekend. That's the Peterborough I know and love. I feel certain that messages of anti-hate will far outweigh those of the "the deplorables," but it's still all so unsettling and disturbing.

The photos are from a couple of summer day trips to Cobourg - where all of the beach pics were snapped, as well as Port Hope, Warkworth and Campbellford. The shore of Lake Ontario reflects the sizzling days of the past couple of weeks, and some of the various signs echo the prevalent mood around town at all times but especially during this particular week. For variety's sake, I'm going to alternate scenes and signs - some of which are welcoming in nature and some simply humourous. All which make up the fabric of my Canada.

cobourg harbour3
Welcome to the lovely port Cobourg, Ontario. Boats were everywhere and so were people. This was the early August long weekend.

This image goes back to June - an attention-grabbing Fathers' Day ad.

cobourg sand canada
On the beach, a sand sculpture competition was happening as part of celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary.

signs2 with crane fly
This sign was outside of a more mom-friendly type shop - but didn't want to exclude others - no matter your order of preference.

cobourg - cold water2
A pair of protective arms keeping her safe from the cold water of Lake Ontario.

signs2 with crane fly2
Here's closer look at that crane fly you might have noticed in the previous sign photo.

cobourg - splash
Despite the really cold lake water, some thought it best to charge right in.

signs 3
A coffee shop reminding customers why their daily dose of caffeine is so essential.

cobourg - texting and wading
Others preferred to wade in while texting or perhaps prepping for a selfie.

These are the signs I like to see in my city. In my country. In my world.

road home
The road home provides a pretty vista.

And signs at home in Peterborough help to restore faith.

cobourg - gulls just wanna
May love, acceptance, inclusion and respect always soar above bigotry and hate.

Canada is like a bird, it likes to soar freely. ~ Unknown

Monday, August 21, 2017

Staring at the Sun

Since I don't own the appropriate filter for my camera, I didn't plan to take any photos of the eclipse today - just of the admiring crowd. I didn't even own a pair of protective glasses that everyone else was smart enough to snap up weeks ago.

solar eclipse - at Armour Hill
I did hear though that there would be "viewing equipment" available up on Armour Hill, here in Peterborough. Alex happened to be here for a short visit, so I dragged him along with me.

solar eclipse - at Armour Hill small crowd
A moderate-sized crowd had already gathered when we arrived to view the eclipse and quite a few more kept coming, the closer we got to complete eclipse - which here, was only 68%.

solar eclipse - telescopes and crowd
The equipment was in the form of numerous telescopes set up by The Peterborough Astronomical Association (PAA) for public viewing. They had also been handing out a few hundred pairs of glasses but had run out before we got there.

solar eclipse - son watching sun
We each took peeks through the telescopes and through glasses which so many people kindly offered to share.

solar eclipse - telescope with camera
At least one of the telescopes had a camera mounted on it which was showing images in real time. You can see the camera right near the man with his arms folded.

solar eclipse -mounted camera
I decided to snap a photo of what that camera was seeing.

solar eclipse - filtering lens
One of the PAA's devices was a handheld circular protective lens which we could not only peer through but also snap photos through it.

solar eclipse - child with telescope
Kids took their turns at the telescopes. It wasn't always easy to focus on it right away - you needed to move around a bit to find it which made it a bit tough for the kidlets whose natural tendency was to grab the viewfinder and move it.

solar eclipse - grandpas helping hands
By the time we were much of the way through it, we could see the changes in the colour of the surrounding landscape. Everything was a little more saturated like it gets a couple of hours before sunset - but in the early afternoon. In that lovely light, scenes like this were everywhere. Parents and grandparents helping little ones to see the eclipse safely.

solar eclipse - woman with filtering lens
Here again, is that homemade, handheld lens which allows you to look and take photos through it. Had I known that, I'd have brought a more suitable camera lens.

solar eclipse Aug 21 2017 - 5 stages
I gave it a try anyway and had less-than-stellar but good-enough results. Here are a few shots Photoshopped into one image. Pictures were taken at the half-hour mark, one hour (with clouds passing by), about ten minutes from totality, a couple of minutes from and right at totality (68% here).

It was great fun to witness it and to record it. Thanks, Peterborough Astronomical Association!

How was it in your part of the continent?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Where Roads and Rivers Meet

If you like the title of my blog post, you're not exactly in the same boat as most of Peterborough. "Where roads and rivers meet" was the proposed new tagline for the city but it was widely rejected recently. Despite it being a rather accurate description, I think its irony comes too soon after the great flooding we experienced this and previous springs. Social media spots and other various online publications have suggested a contest for a new slogan. Some of those suggestions as well as previous slogans, and those for the Trent and Kawartha area in particular will appear with my images below.

london st generating station
Slogan: Electric City
These are the churning waters of the London Street Generating Station.

fishing on the otonabee
Slogan: The place at the foot of the rapids
This woman was fishing closer to the shoreline at the base of the generating station.

Slogan: City of bridges
A small show of defiance on the nearby walking bridge.

litlle lake kayaks
Slogan: It's just around the way
Regardless of water levels, many locals have kayaks and canoes, and enjoy getting around town via the waterways.

lower side lock 19
Slogan: Heart of the Trent-Severn Waterway
A twenty minute walk or a three minute drive from the above scene, we found ourselves at Lock 19 where some of the same boats were now in action. This group really got around on that day.

lock 19
Slogan: Gateway to the Kawarthas
The watery gates were soon opened and they continued on their way.

canoes by lift lock
Slogan: Bright waters and happy lands
A few boats having a bit of a rest near the lift lock.

lift lock
Slogan: Marine highway
And here is the lift lock in action. A couple of boats (including the Lift Lock Tours boat) in the left chamber are about to make their ascent.

lift lock2
Slogan: The land of shining waters
Almost at the top, they'll continue their journey north along the Trent-Severn Waterway. The caisson on the right was full of smaller boats including some of the kayakers we saw in previous photos. I told you they really get around.

little library
Slogan: Popular Peterborough for progressive people
Peterborough has dozens (it would seem) of these Little Libraries around town.

Slogan: The participaction city
A little more graffiti on the way into Jackson Park expresses sentiments like "the whole earth is our hospital" and "resolute kindness."

meadow rev copy
Slogan: Nestled in nature
It was a beautiful early summer day with puffy clouds scudding across the sky. This Jackson Park meadow was very inviting with its long grass undulating in the wind.

male downy
Slogan: Where land and nature nurture us
A male Downy woodpecker was working hard at this one tree. His rat-a-tat easily caught my attention.

vine covered pole
Slogan: Is there anyplace you would rather be?
This pole pretty much disappears behind the vines.

Slogan: Your life right here
Step back in time with this beauty parked near my place. Something tells me that it's from 1956.

on a walk
Slogan: It's a natural
One of the many pretty spots seen while out walking one day in May.

graffiti at jackson creek
Slogan: The wide awake city
A litte more graffiti because who doesn't love bees? And cake!

birthday rainbow2
Slogan: Come share the magic
And finally, let's close this tour with a rainbow - a double one, in fact. This one illuminated our view on my birthday while my younger son was visiting and we were both on speaker phone with my older boy. Life is good!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Canada 150 - The Smitten Image 10

Time between blog posts seems to be longer and longer as my everyday life seems to get busier and more demanding. I keep hoping that I can put more time into blog posting and visiting but that just doesn't seem to happen. I'll keep hoping though!

This time, I thought I should acknowledge a couple of events - Canada's 150th birthday and my 10th blogging anniversary - both happening this month. Unfortunately, only one of those occasions gets a parade, party, music and fireworks - so my photos will focus on Canada's celebrations as they occurred in Peterborough.

Before I do, I want to express how very rewarding it has been (and hopefully will continue to be) to connect with hundreds of amazing bloggers this past decade. I've made friends with whom I've connected in real life, in email, on the phone and through Facebook. And I have sadly lost wonderful people along the way to illness and to tragedy. I've had incredible feedback on my photography and feel validated and appreciated because of it. Thank you ALL for allowing me to share my creativity through the years and for sharing yours with me. I hope we can all enjoy many more years of that blogging connection.

That's enough of stealing the spotlight from my elderly country. Canada turned 150 on July 1, and my town of Peterborough celebrated in style. Let's start with the parade.

on wheels
Kidlets of all ages brought their wheels to the event.

sir john a
This guy represents our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. McDonald who did many wrongs to our Indigenous People - wrong which we continue to hope that our current government will begin to right.

Shriners Hospital
What's a parade without the Shriners and their funny little cars doing tricks and spins throughout the route?

Terry Fox
Remembering our beloved Terry Fox who raised awareness and funds for cancer research by attempting his walk across Canada. Cancer took his leg prior to his journey across our country and it sadly also took his life during his Marathon of Hope in 1977 - a month before his twenty-third birthday. His life is celebrated every September with a 10k run, walk or cycle which raises money in his name.

Southcrest Farms in Lakefield
This original float represents Southcrest Farms in nearby Lakefield, Ontario.

brownsea base rowing
The Trent-Severn waterway passes through Peterborough. This means that boats, canoes, kayaks and floating recreational devices of all kinds are very popular in this area. This young canoe enthusiast sporting Canada-red hair represents Brownsea Base Water programs for Scouts.

All decked out
After the parade, I wandered over to Del Crary Park where some of city celebrations were happening. Crowds had already gathered.

Several local performers took their turns to sing and dance on stage.

Two cakes were presented for sharing with the crowd. One was Canada's 150th birthday cake and the other represented our Multi Cultural Day which coincides with Canada Day.

Four Little Canadians
Leaving the park, I encountered this adorable scene. Their Canada Day hats were homemade. Mom had posed them on this couch sculpture and was taking their photo from the front. I thought the back of their heads, all decked out in their patriotic finest were every bit as cute.

Four Little Canadians2
Eventually they turned to look over the back of the seat and I stole around to the front for a different angle.

tree hugging flag
I headed home for a few hours to recharge and saw this tree-hugging flag along the way.

kim Mitchell6
The evening took me back to Del Crary Park to see singer/DJ Kim Mitchell perform. The concert kicked off the MusicFest season of free outdoor concerts every Saturday and Wednesday night through the summer.

kim Mitchell3
Our seats were close and the music was LOUD.

kim Mitchell2
They put on a good show.

kim Mitchell8
The crowd left with major smiles and minor hearing loss.

little lake at night
Night had fallen and we walked along the shoreline of Little Lake so that we could take in the Canada Day light show..

Canada 150 fireworks19
Colourful jets of fire burst forward with colour, exploding in the night sky leaving tinkling showers of silver in its wake.

Canada 150 fireworks
Canada's signature red and white lights scattered across the sky, shattering into a multitude of glittery sparks.

Canada 150 fireworks3
Puffy golden stamens were ablaze in the dazzling heart of a delicate flower of fire.

Canada 150 fireworks16
The finale brought cascading waterfalls, dazzling whirls and shimmering spirals - all which rained down on the lake in a twinkling trail brilliance.

Hopefully it won't take me this long to get my next blog post out but I'll have more photos for you whenever that is. Thanks for celebrating with me.