The last few days

Our friend Tess dropped by for a vis­it last week­end, and stayed overnight. I decid­ed to snap a pho­to of her, and one of Kath­leen as well.

Then I saw a love­ly red-and-yel­low autumn tree on my way to work.

Autumn leaves
The tree up the block went all red and yel­low

And today it snowed.

The court­yard through a win­dow spot­ted with snow

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.

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.

Writing Retreat: Days 3 through 5

Clouds above the field

It seems I’m a bit behind on the ol’ posts. Here’s a quick recap of Wednes­day to Fri­day:

  • wrote a bunch of words, though I’m a bit behind my goal;
  • went on a cou­ple quick bike rides, includ­ing one up the hill to the grave­yard (where I was tempt­ed to lie down, just for a moment, because that’s quite the hill) and the obser­va­tion tow­er;
  • con­tem­plat­ed going kayak­ing but decid­ed I was over­heat­ed, so went swim­ming instead to cool down;
  • drove to Win­nipeg for my nephew’s 19th birth­day;
  • also went up to Clear Lake to vis­it my friend Tim;
  • and went out again on Fri­day night to attempt some Milky Way shots.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5

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.

Writing Retreat 2019, Day 2

Star trails -- about 100 images, 30 seconds each

On Tues­day, I:

  • wrote 2,000 more words in two shifts, morn­ing and evening;
  • read about ⅓ of Drey­er’s Eng­lish, chortling all the while;
  • went for a 3.5km kayak ride on the lake;
  • did a quick 5km bike ride to the cof­fee shop and to Co-op for gro­ceries;
  • and went back out for some more astropho­tog­ra­phy, this time in the riv­er val­ley to the north.

Here’s a quick sam­ple of the writ­ing so far (still 1st draft):

Your nose is bro­ken, she’d said. I reached up and touched it, gin­ger­ly, expect­ing pain. Instead it felt cold and numb. Touch­ing it felt like I was touch­ing some­one else’s nose. Like it was made of wax.

I felt a thin strip of met­al or met­al-like plas­tic that ran from between my eye­brows down the bridge of my nose to its tip. I tried to lift it off, to pry a nail under it, but couldn’t. It was like it was a part of me. Maybe it was a part of me now.

You’ve been con­cussed. That part I didn’t need to check to believe. I remem­bered the headache, the nau­sea that nev­er quite went away and nev­er quite resolved into actu­al vom­it­ing. When I lay down on the bed, the room seemed to shiv­er and spin, slow­ly, an orbit that I didn’t like.

From Trans­la­tions, 1st draft
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2

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.