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!