September 5, 2010

Every Sunday morning, I’ve been walking around the property taking photographic records of garden life (or lack of it). Here is a photo from this morning of an amaranth plant called Love Lies Bleeding. It drapes over a one-foot-high plastic “picket” fence, at the back of the parking pad planter, beyond which is a row of sunflowers.

Knowing I could play with the straightening tool in my Picasa program later, I didn’t attempt to muscle aside the sunflowers but slipped my arms in between two of them, taking the shot without looking at the screen (I was about to say “through the viewfinder” but this camera doesn’t have one).

So. Not being all that good in the 2D department, let alone 3D, I puzzled awhile about how to straighten the photo. Below are six versions. Which one do you prefer?

Original shot

Aligned vertically with closer righthand side of first picket

Aligned vertically with righthand side of second picket

Aligned vertically with maximum length of sunflower stalk

Aligned horizontally with bottom edge of siding

Aligned vertically with unpainted fence post

And that’s our blog for today, folks. Scintillating, eh? Almost makes you wish you’d gone to church instead of playing on the Internet, doesn’t it?

A Fair Deal of Photos

September 2, 2010

Yesterday, we went to the fair.

What used to be known as the Atlantic National Exhibition has suffered some downsizing over the years, and is now called the Saint John Exhibition.

I don’t mind. Growing up in southern Ontario, I occasionally went to the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. It was and is humongous. I don’t deal well with humongous.

The Saint John Exhibition, on the other hand, is just right. There’s a barn with farm animals for the kiddies. Another barn houses the poultry judging, and a third the horticultural competitions (what lovely squash!). One tent is dedicated to six hours a day of folk music acts. For those of you nostalgic for the Freak Show, a toonie gets you into the Reptile Tent, where the handler makes hourly presentations. 

Outdoors, a lumberjack show, a dog agility demonstration, and a raptor exhibition are each held once or twice a day. And of course there’s the midway: the rides (a good half of them for the tiny tots), the candy floss, the games of chance.

All that, with FREE admission and FREE parking. The only money E.g. and I spent were on the souvlakis, pop, and candy apple we had for supper.

Of course we took our cameras. I’ve brought home some photos that I thought you might like. Many of the pix, in fact, were taken with one or another of you in mind. They’re in chronological order. Enjoy!


For Goodbear: Look at that devoted Agility Demo Dog!

For Barefootheart: a bite of grass and a bin of melon protectors.

For Tony: A shooting gallery, research possibilities at the poutine booth, and naval reminiscences on the good ship Sea Ray.

For S. Le: Unfortunately, we missed the Lumberjack show. But let’s all sing along with Monty Python!

“I cut down trees, I eat my lunch,
I go to the lavat’ry;
On Wednesdays I go shopping
And have buttered scones for tea.”

For Livingisdetail: a moment of bliss.

For Lolarusa: please go to E.g.’s blog for her photo of a retro candy floss booth that would make a perfect backdrop for all those 60s sweater patterns:

Tin Can Beach, September 2 2010.

For Pennycat: 1942, lovingly restored.

For Jayne: until the Greater Melbourne Area improves its public transit schedule, you and the Feral Kidlet might consider a pair of these for your jaunts to Dunolly and Bendigo. There were three altogether in the farm-animal barn.

For Seabrooke: We didn’t get to the Raptor show either. How about a quail?

For Shelley: an Indian Runner Duck. Let the Cardi herding practice begin!

For Alyson: a Hamburg Silver Spangled hen. Beautiful — even in moult.

For Stephanie: invite this couple to your next baby shower!

For special-guest blog reader Aunt Theodora: the Duck Pond — a little different from the one at the end of your road?

Finally, for Dennis the Vizsla: Fetch your fedora, professor, because another adventure is about to begin!

(Wordless Wednesday) Captions, Please

September 1, 2010

Getting the Feel of Nova Scotia

July 29, 2010

…’cause I didn’t get many good photos. Many photos, yes; many good ones, no.

If I could lightly touch on “What Was Nova Scotia?”, using the best of the rest (except for one last thematic post tomorrow), what would I say? What, to me, was my experience of Nova Scotia?

It was a view of the Annapolis Valley’s famed farmland.

Blomidon Look-off

It was enthusiastic quick-change actors at Grand-Pré, recounting early Acadian life.

haughty upper crust founding couple

insulted working class founding couple

It was a university facility dedicated to native plants.

Harriet Irving Botanical Garden, opened 2002, Acadia University

 It was a peek into the pottagers of early French settlers.

Front to back: cabbage, carrots, yarrow, elacampane.

It was meeting E.g.’s childhood school chum and his husband, recounting their still-fresh dreams for an ancient homestead.

35 acres, 1850s farmhouse, heritage hens, and honeybees

 It was carrying candles in lanterns of glass, wood, and wire.

Fort Anne graveyard tour

 It was the most fought-over piece of land in North American history, now a grass-covered park.

Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal

 And…it was relaxing over good meals.

Say "cheesecake"!

It was a vacation. It was worth the 37-year wait.

For the lastest, finalest post on our trip to Nova Scotia, you can vote for:

A. carvings on the tops of old grave markers, or

B. our folk-art souvenirs.

Please vote in the comments section. If there’s a tie (or great groveling on behalf of one subject or the other), I’ll post a few of each.

(This oughta be interesting.)

(Wordless Wednesday) So solly. Berry busy.

July 28, 2010

A 37-year-old Dream Comes True

July 4, 2010

Yesterday I finished removing the final 43 wheelbarrowloads of topsoil from the driveway, smoothed them out in strategic places, and sprinkled them with eco-friendly fescue seeds, so E.g. said I was allowed to go on vacation with her.

Having wanted to visit Nova Scotia since 1973, I’m pretty excited to finally be here. And having wanted to board the Digby Ferry since watching her leave and arrive from our apartment window last Spring, I’m feeling doubly blessed. This is gonna be good.

This morning, we drove to the Princess of Acadia — aka the Digby Ferry — dock. We’re taking the little Toyota Echo, so we got to park on one of the side shelves in the ferry. I was driving (yep, still on the learner’s permit), so parking up there was a bit of a thrill.

View from the shelf

 The name “Princess of Acadia” is printed on numerous things, from the bridge to the lifeboats to the lifebuoys.

Wait a minute…Weren’t you supposed to be watching the house, Flat Tony?

Baby Tracy’s watching the house??? Sigh. James, you tried to tell me there was a stowaway.

Moving right along. The crossing from Saint John, NB to Digby, NS takes three hours. As we approached the Digby landing, some fishing boats were coming out to inspect their pens:

We also saw some sunbathing Harbour Seals, some diving first-year Northern Gannets (I think), and some frolicking dolphins. I was pleased.

We landed, the ferry disgorged us and we went on towards Lunenburg County.

But here is the first place on Nova Scotia that I have ever stood upon, just outside Digby, beside an auto repair shop. Flat Tony wheedled us into stopping for a photo:

It all makes sense, somehow.

After only three wrong turns and a 45-minute detour, we arrived at our hotel. Nachos and salad and chicken wings and chocolate souffle fueled us up — washed down with Nova Scotia beer, of course. Ahh.

I don’t need to tell you, I was a bit miffed at Flat Tony’s impulse to crash our vacation. On the other hand, it’s always a good policy to treat guests with kindness, so instead of a swift visit to a recycling facility, FT is allowed to come with us this week. There’s only one condition:

Nighty-night. Day trip to Halifax tomorrow.

“Groom dogs. Distribute topsoil. Pack swimsuit.”

July 2, 2010

What do you do to prepare for a vacation?

E.g. and I are off to Nova Scotia for a week. Leaving on Sunday. Seven days without dirty fingernails, staying in B&Bs, downloading our photos onto our laptops each night, just taking it easy.

That gives us tomorrow to finish moving this:

out of the driveway. It’s been considerably reduced from the original truckload, but we don’t think it’s polite to leave it where it is. E.g. moved some of the topsoil today. You can see a bit of it in the next photo:

Isn’t that the cutest? The multigonal pavers are the ones I quickly pulled out from our front walk when the City workers offered to pour a concrete one to better connect to the new sidewalk. The rectangles were buried in the front nasturtium beds that lined the old walk. (The 40-inch ones took two of us to manoeuvre them.) Free found objects! Now we have two do-it-yerself little patios. (The chaise will remain on the lawn for the time being.)

The white line under the green chair? Cuca found a ball of twine on the side table.

In the past, E.g. and I have sometimes taken other people or species with us on our vacations. Not this time. The dogs will be boarded out, E.g.’s mum will call on Cuca, Flat Tony will house-sit, and E.g. and I will have a carefree week to explore the south shore and the Annapolis Valley, just us two.