All right, autumn can be pretty

Autumn Leaves

Those who know me know that I much pre­fer spring and sum­mer to fall. I love the new growth of spring, and I would much rather wear shorts and T‑shirts than long johns and parkas. Autum­n’s begin­ning brings with it the threat of inevitable win­ter, and it makes me some­what melan­choly.

But I will grudg­ing­ly admit that ear­ly autumn, before the cold sets in to stay, has its own charms.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “All right, autumn can be pret­ty”

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.

Scenes from today’s ride

Map of my bike ride

I went about 22km on my bike today with my cam­era.

CHAOS written on an orange reflector square screwed to a concrete bollard
CHAOS
Four trees, growing in the median between two roads; two are yellow, two are still green
I’m not ready for yel­low leaves
A police vehicle with its right front panel smashed up and the passenger-side airbag deployed, sitting in a repair lot
Seen bet­ter days
A cornfield, almost entirely harvested, except for about a dozen stalks in a clump right at the edge of the field
I’m call­ing this one “You missed a spot”

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.

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 7

Fri­day:

  • I lay awake from about 4 am till about 5:30 am thanks to a cou­ple of thun­der­storms pass­ing through.
  • In the morn­ing, I biked about 6 km before it got over­ly hot.
  • While I was out on my bike, I took pho­tos for a cou­ple of panora­mas (one of which turned out as I’d hoped).
Minnedosa cairn with a plough on top
The plough cairn (panora­ma; 18 pho­tos, 50mm, f/2.8 each)
  • I wrote 500 words in Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, did some pre­lim­i­nary edit­ing of “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse” (though it might still be too ear­ly for me to work on this), and wrote 300 word in “Dried Flow­ers”.
  • I read a few more chap­ters in The Wiz­ard—as I approach the end, I’m torn between savour­ing it and find­ing out what hap­pens next.
  • I tried to come up with a coher­ent end­ing for Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, because while I know the final scene, I don’t have the sto­ry’s end­ing ful­ly fleshed out yet. It’s a bit frus­trat­ing, frankly; I’m the kind of writer that needs a sol­id end­ing before I start a project. I thought I had it, but the char­ac­ters are going their own ways.
  • I noticed the sky had got quite colour­ful about 9:15 pm, and stepped out­side in time to snap a pho­to of a love­ly sun­set. I only got bit­ten by 22 mos­qui­toes in the 5 min­utes I was out­side, too, so that’s a vic­to­ry.
Sunset with clouds: blue, orange, pink, and indigo
Sun­set on a Fri­day evening
  • About 11:45 I went and got some pho­tos of Comet NEOWISE and the north­ern lights. (And anoth­er cou­ple dozen bug bites.)
Comet NEOWISE and aurora
Comet NEOWISE and auro­ra
  • And I man­aged to catch the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion as it went over­head, even though it tried to hide behind a cloud.
The International Space Station ducks behind a cloud
I waved to the ISS astro­nauts as they went by

All in all, a good Fri­day, even if it was a bit too hot to even think straight. (No sweet­er sin than air con­di­tion­ing, I tell you.)

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.

These things happen

fountain pen on notepad

And then I got home, and made some notes, and it turns out that the “bril­liant sto­ry sug­ges­tions” intro­duce some more con­flict, at the cost of mov­ing a few scenes around.

No spoil­ers for the short sto­ry, but it a) makes my antag­o­nist a more inter­est­ing char­ac­ter, b) makes my pro­tag­o­nist have to make a very dif­fi­cult deci­sion, and c) allows me to illu­mi­nate how the pro­tag­o­nist plays games with the truth.

And now, to actu­al­ly fin­ish this draft.

Rideau Park

The BRANDON water tower at Rideau Park

The Bran­don one.

14 images in a panora­ma, each 24mm f/2.8.

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.

The river is high

Panorama from the bridge

But I guess 155mm of rain in a sin­gle day—honestly, in about 6 hours—and then anoth­er, what, 30mm in about half an hour a cou­ple days lat­er will do that.

Tak­en on a 20km bike ride on Cana­da Day.

Panorama from the bridge

The white lines in the image above show rough­ly where the water should be.

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.

More Brenizers

Brandon University

Before it got too hot today (34°C again, with a humidex of 38), I hopped on my bike. I took it easy—it was already about 25°C at 9:30 in the morning—and I took some pho­tos of BU.

I also took a few more Breniz­er-style panora­mas, as prac­tice. One did­n’t turn out, but three seemed all right. (There’s some weird­ness to the pole behind the deer stat­ue, but I’m post­ing it any­ways.)

As always: if you want prints of any of the pho­tos, here or else­where on my site, let me know.

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.

Back lane flowers

I spot­ted some love­ly flow­ers in a back lane on today’s bike ride. Since I had my cam­era, I stopped and snapped some pho­tos. Enjoy!

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.