Friday, December 31, 2010

The dawn of a new year

Happy New Year and Bonne Année!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Settling in

We know that Old Man Winter has arrived when the frost and snow begin to cover everything, such as bales in a field, spiky leftovers from summer and a lone tree that survived a clear-cutting operation.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bright lights of a small town

The town of Alexandria puts on a free light show during the festive season in its park.

Every colour in the spectrum is used, as well as imaginative use of logs. Those carolers are whimsical, but critics may say that the performance is wooden.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not big on sharing

Birds of a feather are not always good at sharing, particularly when the seed is running low, and the number of feeding spots is limited. It can create some peak-to-peak confrontations and leaving some hanging in midair.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The colours of the moon

I shot this in colour but it came out in black and white. Or, put in another way, the moon was dancing on a frozen patch of water, and it was in fact a high-contrast composition. Or, a most astute observer may note that the image does in fact attempt to capture the period of transition between the liquidity and sombreness of Autumn and the cold and rigidity of Winter. But who cares? The cats loved it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going, going....

Memories of fall will soon be just that -- memories -- as Old Man Winter is just around the corner.
But -- touch wood -- we still have some sweater weather left before we are obliged to batten down the hatches.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Breakfast guests

The snow brought, among other things, a flock of evening grosbeaks to the feeder.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lyrical trip

Just like that song, when we were walking in Memphis, W.C . Handy (the statue) was looking down over us, we were walking on Beale, we walked through the gates of Graceland and there was some gospel in the air. The firearms sign was a bit of a jolt, though.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Birds in the hand

During our trip through Algonquin Park, we encountered these gray jays, which have become accustomed to eating out of the hands of visitors.

I do not know who was more thrilled -- the birds who got a free meal, or Ronna who wanted to share all our worldly goods with the friendly creatures. But both emitted noises of delight.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Southern comfort

We just got back from a great week in Tennessee, where we enjoyed that proverbial Southern hospitality, great barbecue, an installment of the famed Grand Ole Opry radio show, and a new appreciation of the Civil War. And that was just the beginning!

At the Ryman Auditorium, we posed with a statue of Minnie Pearl, with her famous price tag, and enjoyed a typical country show -- one moment we were laughing at a beer-swiggin' song, and the next we were almost sobbing when violonists played the mournful Ashokan Farewell, better known as the theme from The Civil War TV series.

Tennessee is stepped in history, much of it tragic. We visited Franklin, a tiny community where on November 30, 1864, one of the bloodliest battles of the Civil War was waged. Bullet holes remain embedded in buildings at Carter House. At Carnton Plantation, the McGavock family's fields became a Confederate Cemetery.

But the visit was far from grim. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Juggling acts

The Festival de la poutine in Drummondville is all about juggling, on so many levels.

There is entertainment provided by some stilted performers, and in the case of the Poutine Chronicles correspondent, the responsibility of sampling wares and taking notes at the same time, without a net.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Populist pawns

In Drummondville, the locals can make some really big moves on large-scale chess boards.

I guess you must be cconfident, because if you tank here, you do it big-time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


At the Festival de la poutine in Drummondville, Ronna had a chance to offer cooking tips to famed Montréal chef Martin Picard, who co-hosts the Wild Chef on the Food Network. Actually, she was complimenting him on his lobster poutine, and his hair.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Web postings

This is a great time to catch a glimpse of spider webs, which give a different twist to the term "web posting."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Spirit of Stan

A few months before our beloved Chicago Blackhawks ended a five-decade drought and won the Stanley Cup, Ronna gave me this Stan Mikita action figure, which has since been perched on my computer while I have kept track of Hawks' happenings on the internet. As you all know, Stan was a small, classy playmaker who only in the latter years of his career donned a helmet. He was one of the best in the game, but, alas, he never hoisted the Cup. But he is now an ambassador for the Hawks and his spirit helped keep our spirits up during the many tense moments we experienced in the drive that ended in springtime delirium. OK, so the Habs had a good run, too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brief encounter

This heron did not seem to mind sharing the road until a camera appeared and the creature decided to take flight.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Landmark lost

When the phone rings at 4 a.m. and somebody mentions "fire," you know this is going to be a long day. When fire consumed the Long Sault bar in Grenville, just across the bridge from Hawkesbury, fire fighters hosed the 100-year-old building down, oblivious to the danger posed by propane tanks. Some people got bricks as souvenirs from the landmark, which contained two businesses and lots of happy memories.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet jam

Ronna and I had a chance to enjoy great company and great music at a Saturday night hosted by Terry and Kathy Gillespie. The evening featured some high-end talent and food, a fabulous combination.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Low levels

The Ottawa River has revealed many submerged objects this summer as levels have been abnormally low. With clouds reflected in the glass-like surface, it may appear that this deadhead is a wand floating in the sky, or maybe not.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer hummer

We know that we have reached the peak of summer when the hummingbirds are flitting around.

They are fast, beautiful and territorial, as we have learned from witnessing some high-flying skirmishes between two opposing hummers.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Diving into summer

Only an hour north of New York City, bliss can be found in a small lake, where youthful laughter signals the beginning of another season of lazy, hazy days.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wonderfully wicked

They say you are wicked, and I believe them for I have seen your painted women under gas lights luring farm boys...

That lad Card Sandburg had a way with the words, eh?

Ronna and I spent the weekend in Chicago, our kind of town, for a double celebration -- her milestone birthday and the Hawks' long overdue capturing of the Stanley Cup.

We arrived downtown in time for the aftermath of the parade and rally.

We discovered that even at the Art Institute, hockey fever had gone to the heads of art lovers.

And we vowed to change the medication after checking out the Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The drought ends

A few years ago, we many long-suffering Chicago Blackhawks fans could barely find team merchandise to purchase, let alone display. The 49-year drought is over, and now summer can begin.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A child's view

There was something compelling about this child looking through a window as the world passed by him outside. In fact, although he seemed isolated, he was watching the crowds of bargain hunters converge on the Trash and Treasure sale in Vankleek Hill.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A fallen hero

Sylvie Lormand takes a sneak peek at the memorial dedicated to her son, Corporal Patrick Lormand, who was killed at the age of 21 while serving in Afghanistan last fall. The newly-created playground at Pleasant Corners Public School, midway between Hawkesbury and Vankleek Hill, Ontario, has been named Patrick Lormand Park. Since Patrick's death, we have all in our own way been sharing his family's grief and their celebration of his life as a fun-loving, caring daredevil whose motto was "Share The Luv." When I look at this shot I took of Mme Lormand, I wonder if her first instinct was to return the blanket to its original place and bundle up her son.