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Eleanor Kidd gardens

On yes­ter­day’s bike ride, I snapped a cou­ple pho­tos of the once and future Eleanor Kidd gar­dens, which are still full of plants but not the ones placed with care by a gar­den­er.

Above, a tree in the con­crete; below, a Breniz­er panora­ma (6 pho­tos) of a gaze­bo full of grass.

Gazebo gone wild

Series: Bike Ride Photos

The entire series: Down by the riv­er; Bike ride birds; The ex-gar­den and the weir; Snap­shots of a ride; Across Town; Black­bird; North Hill cam­pus; Lilacs and coun­try roads; A pop of colour; Back lane flow­ers; More Breniz­ers; The riv­er is high; A bird and a reflec­tion; Rideau Park; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers; Storm dam­age, sun­flow­ers; Eleanor Kidd gar­dens; Scenes from today’s ride; All right, autumn can be pret­ty.

Storm damage, sunflowers

Panoramic photo of the pines on 18th Street; one has been lopped off about halfway up

…and a bun­ny.

I went for a bike ride on Fri­day and anoth­er one today, Sat­ur­day.

Fri­day I snapped a pho­to of a rab­bit on BU cam­pus.

Rabbit on BU's campus
Bun­nies at BU. Nature is heal­ing.

Today, I went on a longer ride, and got pho­tos of some of the branch­es downed in the storm ear­li­er this week.

As I snapped pho­tos, a trac­tor came along and start­ed to drag the top of the pine tree off of 18th Street North. I tried to get a pic­ture but it turned out too dark.

I found a colour­ful com­bo just off Kirk­caldy, too, that remind­ed me that blue + yel­low = green.

And then, in the south end of town, I decid­ed to get a cou­ple shots of the sun­flow­ers (and the dill) grow­ing in the com­mu­ni­ty gar­dens.

And then, I went home, con­tent after a 26-km, 2‑hour bike ride.

Series: Bike Ride Photos

The entire series: Down by the riv­er; Bike ride birds; The ex-gar­den and the weir; Snap­shots of a ride; Across Town; Black­bird; North Hill cam­pus; Lilacs and coun­try roads; A pop of colour; Back lane flow­ers; More Breniz­ers; The riv­er is high; A bird and a reflec­tion; Rideau Park; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers; Storm dam­age, sun­flow­ers; Eleanor Kidd gar­dens; Scenes from today’s ride; All right, autumn can be pret­ty.

Lightning

Lightning in the clouds

After this after­noon’s storm had most­ly moved on, I set up my cam­era upstairs. In about 1500 pho­tos, I got one good shot of light­ning.

2 sec­ond expo­sure, ISO 100, 24mm, f/22 (as high as my cam­era would let me go), with a polar­iz­er and a neu­tral-den­si­ty fil­ter on the lens.

Here’s a video, too, of about 40 min­utes’ worth of storm clouds rolling through, con­densed into 44 sec­onds or so.

Star trails, and a couple Perseids

Star trails, Aug. 11, 2020

I went to my dark spot last night from about 10:45 pm to 11:45 pm or so, and set up my cam­era. I was hop­ing to catch a few of the Per­seid mete­ors, though I knew I was too ear­ly for the peak.

I let the cam­era run for about an hour (the bat­tery actu­al­ly died at about the 0:55 mark, but close enough), and the result is the star-trails pho­to above. I found two bright(ish) mete­or trails in it, high­light­ed below. (The star trail image is bright because the sky was still faint­ly glow­ing with sun­set light, even at 10:45, when I start­ed; the mete­ors below are from lat­er on in the process.)

A soundtrack for tearing down a garage

As we fin­ished up, my phone’s ran­dom­iz­er deliv­ered Corb Lund’s song “Hard on Equip­ment”, which seemed appro­pri­ate, giv­en it reminds my wife of me and reminds me of my dad.

I had my phone play­ing music through­out the week, and it deliv­ered some gems:

Good times.

What a difference another day makes

The squirrel checks out the dumpster

Anoth­er day, anoth­er bunch of garage demo­li­tion.

Above: the fore­man checks the dump­ster’s con­tents.

Below: some more com­par­i­son pho­tos

The garage with its roof down

And begin­ning to end.

The garage, roof still intact

There’s still some work to do—mostly cleanup—but we got a lot done in a few days. Huge thanks to Kevin, who lent his exper­tise, his mus­cles, and his chain­saw to the removal of the roof.

After, I sat in the yard and took a few more art­sy pho­tos.

A baby tree and a power line
A baby tree and a pow­er line
A puffy little cloud
A puffy lit­tle cloud
The branches straight above our yard
I’m gonna miss those branch­es when they’re gone

What a difference a day makes

Our foreman

Above: our fore­man, the per­pet­u­al­ly-angry Angry Squir­rel, who’s los­ing a safe hid­ing spot for all the pine cones he’s col­lect­ed.

Below: before-and-after pho­tos of the roof going down on our garage.

The garage, roof still intactThe garage with its roof down

Smashy smashy!

Writing Retreat 2020: The Numbers

Cloudy prairie sky

My goals for this past week’s writ­ing retreat were:

  • Fin­ish the last scene in “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse”, first draft
  • 1,5002,000 words a day in either Trans­la­tions or “Dried Flow­ers”
  • Pho­tos of the Milky Way (pos­si­bly a video) and Comet NEOWISE
  • Pho­tos of the coun­try­side
  • Dai­ly bike ride
  • Some kayak­ing

Let’s see how I did.

  • I fin­ished “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse” on my first evening
  • I wrote 13,000 words between Trans­la­tions, aka Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, and “Dried Flow­ers”
  • I got all kinds of pho­tos of the Milky Way and the comet—even on the nights where clouds were fore­cast, there was usu­al­ly at least some time where the stars were vis­i­ble
  • I also took all kinds of pho­tos in the day­time
  • I rode my bike every day, for a total of over 60 km (which sur­prised me)
  • And I went out in the kayak three times, cov­er­ing about 10 km in the lake

So, on bal­ance, that was a good week.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers”

Series: Bike Ride Photos

The entire series: Down by the riv­er; Bike ride birds; The ex-gar­den and the weir; Snap­shots of a ride; Across Town; Black­bird; North Hill cam­pus; Lilacs and coun­try roads; A pop of colour; Back lane flow­ers; More Breniz­ers; The riv­er is high; A bird and a reflec­tion; Rideau Park; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers; Storm dam­age, sun­flow­ers; Eleanor Kidd gar­dens; Scenes from today’s ride; All right, autumn can be pret­ty.

Series: Writing Retreat 2020

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2020; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 1 & 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 3; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 6; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 8; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 9; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers.

Writing Retreat 2020, Day 9

Ah, Sun­day.

  • Wrote 650 words in “Dried Flow­ers”
  • Biked anoth­er 8.75 km
  • Cleaned the cab­in
  • Packed up
  • Head­ed home

It’s been a great week, and if I could I’d do it all again next week. But it’s nice to see my wife again. Also appar­ent­ly I need to do the day job if I want them to keep pay­ing me.

Series: Writing Retreat 2020

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2020; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 1 & 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 3; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 6; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 8; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 9; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers.

Writing Retreat 2020, Day 8

Panoramic view of Lake Minnedosa from a kayak

Sat­ur­day:

  • Wrote about 650 words in Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, most­ly in an out­line
  • Read more of The Knight—only two chap­ters left now
  • Found out on Face­book that my sis­ter-in-law has renamed her pear jam “Patrick Pear jam”—I can only assume this is because I’m an inces­sant evan­ge­list for the stuff (seri­ous­ly, try it on pork chops)
  • Tried to decide if that’s bet­ter than Pat Pota­to, or if it’s a lat­er­al move
  • Biked into town, osten­si­bly to get sun­glass­es (since I dropped mine in the lake last night while I was kayak­ing) and end­ed up tool­ing around for almost 10 km (I did get sun­glass­es, though it took a while to find a pair that weren’t a) wom­en’s or b) camo)
  • Wrote anoth­er 1,300 words in Daniel, Daniel, Daniel; I seem to have some­thing to aim at again
  • Kayaked for about 45 min­utes, this time with a cam­era (see the panora­ma at the top)

Here’s a quick snip­pet of some of the writ­ing recent­ly:

Feb­ru­ary 30
Church bake sale (Make pie!)

Even though it was writ­ten in red ink, excla­ma­tion-point­ed, cir­cled thrice, and marked with an orange high­lighter, she for­got and had to take store-bought cook­ies that she unpacked onto paper plates and cov­ered in plas­tic wrap while she sat in the park­ing lot, fur­thest from the door, hop­ing no one would look in her car’s win­dows and catch her at it.

Mach 4
Stephen (Birth­day)

She gave him a card drip­ping with sap­py sen­ti­ment, because she was, after all, his moth­er. Also a mug she’d found online with a bird on it, cussing about meet­ings, that she thought matched his sar­don­ic, off­beat humour.

Avril 18
George + Judith (Anniver­sary)

Judith got a card, too. She was still fam­i­ly, even if she and June had­n’t spo­ken since the funer­al. June knew she had stuff to work through – they both did – and also that every­one grieves in their own way.

From the first draft of “Dried Flow­ers”

This is my last full day here at the cab­in. I’ll be clean­ing up and pack­ing tomor­row, and head­ing home.

Series: Writing Retreat 2020

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2020; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 1 & 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 3; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 6; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 8; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 9; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers.