Monday, March 28, 2016

Within Walking Distance

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. ~ Steven Wright

A couple of weeks back, I ventured out along the shores of Peterborough's Little Lake.

From the ages of 8-18, me and my family moved around a lot. Mostly we would just stretch, but occasionally one of us would actually get up to go to the fridge. ~ Jarod Kintz
It was typical March weather - warm in the sunshine but a cool wind. The water's edge was still icy in most spots. I'd say that this Mallard was doing yoga poses but that would be a... stretch.

I floated like driftwood in the ocean. I wasn't worried about sharks, because my bathtub is much too shallow. ~ Jarod Kintz
A somewhat weathered branch waiting for further melt to release it.

frozen edges
You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there. ~ Edwin Louis Cole
A different view of the icy shoreline.

mallard pair
Duck love is recognizable in any language. ~ Edmond Manning
Just a few feet away, at the edge of the dock, these ducks will have a much softer landing.

the lighthouse
I'm good at exploring roofs. You never know when that kind of thing comes in useful. ~ Enid Blyton
As we approach Del Crary Park, we see the familiar red roof of The Light House Lounge and Grill - not quite ready for the upcoming summer season.

Light House
Distance lends enchantment to the view. ~ Mark Twain
Here it is again from a different perspective.

too early
One scoop of ice cream can go a long way. Not to mending friendships, but it can get up to 40 yards in the air if you lob it just right.
~ Jarod Kintz
Same spot, up close. People will be lined up to buy their yummy Kawartha Dairy ice cream here, in just a few months.

I'm part wood nymph. I require mountains and warm, dense patches of moss to thrive. ~ Vera Farmiga
With the bits of greenery here and there, and the absence of ice, you could almost believe that this was taken during spring or summer but it was the same day - just a little further along the lakeshore.

There's a small walking bridge over the water where Jackson Creek rushes in to meet Little Lake. The waters were running rapidly at this point, on this day and I was about to take a photo of it when I heard voices coming from deeper within the tunnel-like setting.

When I must leave the great river
O bury me close to its wave
And let my canoe and my paddle
Be the only mark over my grave
~ Frank Oliver
Just as I focused my camera, these two came swooshing out of the shadows into full view. The water was still very cold as you can tell by earlier photos of the icy shores, and I was surprised that neither of the paddlers were wearing PFDs.

I run a tight ship. It's so tight, you could call it a canoe. ~ Jarod Kintz
I quickly turned to look over the other side of the bridge. Her hands looked very cold but her smile was warm.

A true Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping. ~ Pierre Berton
There was no doubt that they were having a great time. It was most likely their first canoe trip of the season. They headed under the railway bridge and disembarked around the next bend.

train bridge
Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. ~ Dwight D Eisenhower
And here's what that bridge looks like from up close.

That's it for this walk along Little Lake. I hope you'll join me again whenever my feet make their way back.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

One of Those March Days

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
~ Charles Dickens

Spring has officially arrived. Don your rubber boots and join me on a short walk around the neighbourhood.

spring melt
Drunk people run stop signs. High people wait for them to turn green. ~ Unknown
There's still a bit of snow in the shady spots (or at least there was ten days ago when these photos were taken) but for the most part, it's looking like spring in Peterborough.

black and white kitty
When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up. ~ Rodney Dangerfield
This little cutie came running to me from his comfy spot on the front porch, demanding a belly rub.

little cutie
A mouse does not rely on just one hole. ~ Plautus
Another cute little scavenger which was nowhere near the cat, thankfully but nearly got himself run over by a car as he panicked and hesitated on the road. I shooed him across the street and he promptly ran into an open door at the back of the gymnastics club.

The balanced rocks that sit on the inuksuk...represent the balance we strive to find in our lives. 
Life is fragile, just like the balanced rocks, but they help us remember that anything is possible. 
~ Shelley Hrdlitschka
An inukshuk just outside of a business not too far from home.

cute mallard drake
I am a duck. I'm cool and calm on the surface, but underneath it all is a nonstop struggle to succeed.
My feet are like orange spatulas.
~ Jarod Kintz
This handsome Mallard just emerged from the Ontonabee River to graze along its shoreline - just a couple of blocks from my place.

princess galoshes
March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice. ~ Hal Borland
While watching the ducks, a little voice pieced my thoughts from off in the distance.

princess galoshes2
Childhood is that state which ends the moment a puddle is first viewed as an obstacle instead of an opportunity. ~ Michael K. Williams
She was full of fun and glee just as you would expect when stomping puddles on a sunny spring afternoon.

princess galoshes3
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. ~ e. e. cummings
I chatted with her mom for a bit. A bit earlier, she had been running around barefoot. It really wasn't that warm out (15C/59F) but the sun had been strong and the kidlet was strong-willed. Eventually the chill got to her and she wanted to get back into the car to warm up. Little Ms. Princess Galoshes.

To me, driving through construction zones with pylons and barriers is a lot like giving birth:
I have to remind myself to breath. ~ Brenda Priddy
Lots of melt in this parking lot which allowed for the colourful reflections of the pylons.

Real flowers may wilt away but fake flowers have never lived. ~ Anonymous
Just as I returned home, I came upon this fake flower which sat face down in the driveway. It won't be long before real flowers will brighten gardens, parks and other landscapes.

Thanks for joining me on this walk. I hope you'll be around for the next one - coming up soon!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Winter is Dead

She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead."
~ A.A. Milne

Winter is dead.

How do I know this? Well, I don't really but everywhere around me, there are sure signs of spring.

Signs like the ubiquitous robin and other warmer weather birds heard singing for their mates. I snapped this image with a short lens, through all sorts of twigs which were partly obscuring a branch fairly high above me. I couldn't resist the robin's cheery song. Yup, I should have put the camera in video mode but alas, I did not.

winter spring
It's March. In Canada, that means that we're never sure whether we'll need the shovel or the rake, so why not keep both handy?

The kids don't care about the above dilemma. They're gung ho to dig in the snow or in the earth. I suspect these toys might come out at any time during the year. They were at the same house as the rake and shovel.

hate the drake
Another sign of spring is when the mallards become rather possessive of their mates, fending off other potential suitors. Of course, an even clearer sign is that there is open water in which to do that.

spd green
It's March and that means that St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. And on the Sunday before the 17th, Peterborough gives the GREEN light for the St. Paddy's Day Parade. I became aware of the event with plenty of time to plan attending. The route takes it to within a couple of blocks of my place. Judging by the recent Santa Clause parade, I estimated how long it should have taken to make its way here. And I was way off. I missed most of it but caught the tail end.

spd knights
Its few remaining minutes (about 15) still brought some interesting characters my way. These guys were from the nearby town of Hastings where they run an educational theme park called Blades of Glory.

Cars and drivers, big and small were all decked out with the greenery of the day.

spd rogues of northumberland pipe and drum band
These are the pipers and drummers from The Rogues of Northumberland.

spd dancin
This girl did her own personal version of an Irish jig. I wonder if she kept it up throughout the whole parade route.

spd slurp
And this adorable fashionista stopped to pose for me, and throw some sloppy doggie kisses my way. Smooch!

That's it for now. I've spent the last couple of weeks totally flattened by a nasty flu bug but I'm very much on the mend now, and have been getting out for walks more often. This means more photos coming up before too long. Until then, I hope you've enjoyed this emergence of spring.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

For the Soul

To see in color is a delight for the eye 
but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.
~ Andri Cauldwell

My longtime blogger buddy, Kaye of The Bucksnort Chronicles recently created a black and white photography challenge on Facebook. I tend to shy away from memes and challenges for the most part but every now and then, one catches my attention - especially if the rules are relaxed enough. They were plenty casual in this case - simply post black and white images throughout the month of February, as often or infrequently as the urge strikes. It struck a few times and those efforts are below.

Of course, I have to admit that I never shoot in monochrome. My personal challenge was just finding subjects which I thought could look better in black and white than in colour. All of these images were photographed in full colour and turned into black and white photos for the event. Most have probably been posted on my blog at some point through the years. I hope you enjoy them.

finger grasp b&w
This tiny hand belongs to my past-neighbour Lilly. Remember her? That sweet little munchkin has recently celebrated her sixth birthday. Time sure flies, doesn't it?

little feet b and w
She's always been utterly delicious from tip to toe. Thankfully, I get to read about her brother's and her antics on FB, occasionally.

b:w helping hands
The protective arms and helping hands of a patient father teaching his child how to fish off of the dock.

FourForFishing B:W
Same dock, different day. I was out for a walk when I spotted his quartet fishing. I stopped for a quick shot and then hurried along.

b:w seed
A macro view of a teeny-tiny seed which landed on a narrow railing of a different dock.

b:w hazy moon on dock
And still another dock, at night, shortly after the moon rose in the hazy sky.

hazy morningb:w
From hazy night to misty morning. This was the view across the bay.

b:w back door shadow
Late day sunlight presents the shadow of a planter as it falls across a back wall and door.

b:w bar chairs
Just a couple of bar chairs which caught my eye while waiting for lunch one day, a few years back.

b:w under the table
And since we're talking about chairs and lunch, I had a decent meal at a little restaurant near my place, one day. For some reason I was intrigued with getting a shot of the boots under the table. I grabbed this one on the sly - without use of the viewfinder. I just lowered the camera, took my chances and clicked blindly.

tough little dude
It's not every day you see a bearded dragon out for a walk in the park. Especially when he and his person are wearing matching leather vests.

My neighbour, Carol kindly gave me a few old books for which she no longer had room. Among them was a 75 year old copy of Treasure Island, a 1917 copy of The Merchant of Venice, Black Beauty from the 1930s and a couple of copies of Tom Sawyer - one from 1949 and this opened one which is undated.

zephyr nose b:w
Zephyr's little black and white, heart-shaped nose which is magically dark grey and pink in true colour.

I hope you enjoyed these. Full colour and I will return before too long.