Farewell, summer

Sunset on Clear Lake

A friend told me once about his young son’s reac­tion to autumn. The boy was maybe two years old, and my friend took him out into the yard to watch the leaves fall from the trees. After a cou­ple moments spent look­ing around with con­ster­na­tion on his face, the son picked up a dou­ble hand­ful of leaves, held them up to his father, and said, “Fix it, Dad­dy!”

I feel the same, kid. I’m not ready for sum­mer to be done, but there were yel­low leaves on the deck this week­end and I had to use the space heater at the office today.

I know a lot of peo­ple who love fall, with its sweaters and the riot of colours in the trees, but to me it’s just the gate­way to yet anoth­er win­ter. I’m def­i­nite­ly a spring-and-sum­mer kind of guy.


Galactic panorama

Star Trails

I went out last night, since it was clear, and vis­it­ed my friend Tim, who’s camp­ing this week­end at Wasagam­ing. I snapped some star trails at his camp­site (my bat­tery, almost dead, man­aged 80 shots at 10 sec­onds each).

On the way home, I pulled off the high­way about ½ a mile down a grav­el road, and tried out a panoram­ic pho­to of the Milky Way. I set my cam­era up in por­trait mode and shot 5 pho­tos, 45 sec­onds each, tilt­ing the cam­era up after each shot. The cam­era start­ed out aimed at the hori­zon and the last shot was point­ed straight up at the zenith.

I stitched the pho­tos togeth­er using Hug­in, which did a very good job of auto­mat­i­cal­ly ori­ent­ing the pho­tos and find­ing the match­es. I did­n’t have to mas­sage any­thing man­u­al­ly.

Le voilà:

Panorama of the galaxy
Panora­ma of the galaxy. 5 images, stitched with Hug­in.

Shodan × 2

Two of my judo stu­dents/­co-instruc­tors grad­ed today for their 1st degree black belts (or shodan). They did just fine.

It was an odd expe­ri­ence for me. They were the first two that I’ve shep­herd­ed that far. It felt like a test-by-proxy for me, as well as a test for them.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Neal and Joe. Wel­come to the dan ranks.

Hawk attack

A hawk against the sky

So I went for a bike ride. I head­ed out to the coun­try­side south and west of town, and on one of the mile roads I paused to take some pho­tos in the “coun­try roads” style.

Country road
Coun­try road, just past the edge of town.

Where I stopped, though, there was a dead bird on the road, a big one. I think it may have been a hawk. While I was snap­ping pho­tos, two oth­er hawks land­ed on a cou­ple of near­by tele­phone poles and start­ed squawk­ing. One flew a cou­ple pass­es over me. I put my cam­era away and rode off about anoth­er ¼ mile down the road, where I stopped for a few more pho­tos. As I was snap­ping away, I heard/felt some­thing whoosh over my head, maybe three feet above me. I looked up and one of the hawks had fol­lowed me. I snapped a cou­ple quick pic­tures of him (one’s at the top of this post) and then took off again.

After that they left me alone, and I took some oth­er pho­tos.

Rainy evening

I hap­pened to be out and about last night with my cam­era, and took a cou­ple of pho­tos.

Long weekend bike ride

Bales under the prairie sky

I went on a 23-kilo­me­tre bike ride on the Mon­day of the August Long Week­end, before it got too hot out­side. I took along my cam­era, with my 50mm, 24mm, and Lens­ba­by lens­es.

Here are the results.

Writing Retreat, Day 6

The Milky Way

Sat­ur­day, I:

  • wrote my 2,000 words in two stints;
  • crossed the 100,000-word mark in my nov­el;
  • debat­ed chang­ing the title from Trans­la­tions to Reflec­tion, Trans­la­tion, Inva­sion (which is a not-com­plete­ly-inac­cu­rate sum­ma­ry of the sto­ry, at a very high lev­el);
  • turned on the air con­di­tion­ing, because it was get­ting pret­ty hot;
  • bor­rowed the neigh­bours’ kayak and pad­dled on the lake for a half-hour or so right at sun­set;
  • went and got some more pho­tos of the Milky Way and (serendip­i­tous­ly) the Auro­ra Bore­alis.

Can I help you with some­thing?” Head­less man­nequins wore flim­sy cot­ton dress­es in earth tones. Coun­ter­top racks dis­played neack­laces and bracelets made of beads, pearls, or smooth and pol­ished stones. A sign at the back said RESTROOMS FOR PAYING CUSTOMERS ONLY.

I need a wash­room,” I said.

She motioned at the sign.

No, I need a wash­room.”

She sighed, though I couldn’t tell whether she was exas­per­at­ed with me or with the sit­u­a­tion I was evi­dent­ly try­ing to put her in. “Pol­i­cy,” she said. Then, giv­ing me a good look­ing-over, she said, much more qui­et­ly, “You okay?”

Yes, I want­ed to say.


From Trans­la­tions
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6

Series: Writing Retreat 2019

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2019; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 1; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2; Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6.