Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Fall of the Wall

This is one of the historical photos we saw in 2013 when we visited Berlin.

Former Chancellor Kohl at Brandenburg Gate 25 years after the collapse of the Wall.
Twenty-five years ago today I watched the Berlin Wall come down on TV with my Dad. He left East Germany just before it became impossible to do so. Obviously it was quite an emotional experience for him to see it dismantled; something he never really expected to see.

The above photo of Former Chancellor Kohl is all the more powerful for me because my Dad was a paraplegic. He saw the wall come down, but he died 2 years later. It's easy for me to imagine it's my Dad sitting there in quiet contemplation.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Disney Mushrooms

On my daily lunchtime walks lately I've seen the strangest mushrooms ever. If I hadn't seem them with my own eyes I'd think they were photoshopped. They remind me of an image from a Disney cartoon. They've popped up after (and during) the heavy rains we've had recently.

Something tells me the red colour is probably Nature's warning label not the eat these ones.
Every time I see these things all I can think of is Dopey, Doc or Sneezy diving for cover under one of these red polka-dotted umbrellas.
This one was at least 10 inches in diameter!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Burnaby Lake Park

Another weekend, another park.

It's true; dogs are good for people's fitness. If we weren't dog owners I don't think we'd be out so often exploring new parks. A few weeks ago it was Deer Lake, this weekend it was Burnaby Lake.

I hadn't been there in several years despite working practically next door to it for 7 years. The last time I was there was over 5 years ago when our SunRun training group did a 10K jog around the lake. Today we took Tannah on  an approximately 4K walk along the east side of the lake. She had a blast! Even though she wasn't allowed in one area that juts out into the lake itself.

Tannah was not impressed she wasn't allowed to follow Shauna down the jetty to the lake. But I bet the ducks were breathing a sigh of relief! 

Tannah was much more intrigued by squirrels and birds than mushrooms.

The metropolis of Burnaby appears to be sprouting from the tops of the lake shore trees.

Wood ducks must spend hours in front of the mirror every morning.
At first I thought this was a dove, but I think it's actually a white pigeon. White certainly seems to be the colour of authority in this tree.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tall Shadows and Tall Trucks

I completed my first business trip with the new job. They sent me to Wild Rose Country: Clairmont, Falher and Vegreville.

The following is my photo essay. It was actually the perfect time of year to go to central Alberta. The leaves were still on the trees and the snow hadn't yet fallen. Well, OK, there has already been a big dump of snow in Calgary a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't stick, and I don't think it's snowed yet in the region in which I was traveling.

An aerial view of the Richmond Olympic skating oval.

This is the puddle-jumper I boarded to go from Calgary to Grande Prairie.

The Fall colours form quite an impressive pattern from this height.

I thought this region was known as the "Oil Patch", not the "Mud Patch".

Tall trucks and tall shadows.

Dawn as viewed from the 9th floor of the Paradise Inn in Grande Prairie.

Sunrise at 8:15 along on my way to Falher, Alberta.

That's my Hyundai rental car heading North along Highway 2 to Rycroft.

My assignment was to review a tire store in Falher. Lots of farm equipment gets re-tired here.

Little House on the Prairie?
This structure reminded me of Medicine Hat.
Morning sun reflecting from the dew delineated the high voltage lines against the dark clouds.

They're not exactly roaming the prairie wild and free, but this still scores as a buffalo sighting in Elk Island National Park on my way to Vegreville.

Frequently I saw this type of bird in and around the Edmonton/ Grand Prairie region. I think it's a variety of Jay. I'll have to look it up. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Extra Low Tide from June - part 2

I finally got around to photoshopping a few photos from June's extra low tide at Spanish Banks. I had wanted to level the horizon in many of my shots before posting, but it wasn't supposed to have taken this long. What's that old saying about life getting in the way?

Better late than never. I was having difficulty with my Elements program in June. After upgrading from Version 5.0 to 12.0 I'm now on the right track.

Below are Tannah's exploits out on the open sand, leash free!

I love the perspective of this shot. At first I didn't like that there were two tiny people in the background, but now it strikes me as rather Lilliputian. I mean, how big is this Spaniel anyway?

Tannah is teaching my wife her "Happy Dance". 

I don't think Tannah even realized that herons were out there; they were that motionless.
Out there on the sand it's quite a surreal perspective of the city.
Tannah always obeys the signs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Deer Lake

We checked off another local lake this past weekend; Deer Lake.

We'd been on Deer Lake once before, years ago, to rent a pedal boat, but I wasn't even aware that a trail circumnavigated the park.  So, on practically the hottest, most humid day so far this summer, and ironically one of the last days of summer, we set off with our dog to explore a local hidden gem.

It's a good thing we packed water for us and Tannah.  As we left the parking lot the temperature sensor in the car read 25 degrees, but on upon return 1-1/2 hours later, it was 29!

We didn't see any feline wildlife...
...but we did see amphibious life.
And plenty of dew-covered spider webs.
Although Tannah didn't get to chase anything, she still had fun.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sandwich Board

I saw the best sandwich board this past weekend. How's this for a mantra?