The Long Melt – 2015

It seems like forever since the snow was here, but I wanted to add my visual chronicle of “the long melt” for the 3rd year in a row: you can see 2013 and 2014 if you want to compare

Although this winter was less snowy than previous winters (really, check out 2013 to see some snow), the snow did linger as March was cool as was April and the winter had been cold, and really this is Ottawa, we are just ready for spring when it comes, and it never seems to come fast enough. And we never seem to remember that it just takes as long as it takes for the snow to all melt.  As usual I’ll start the photos on March 21, the last day of winter/first day of spring and continue until all the snow in the back yard was gone.  This year was pretty typical of the last 3 yrs with the snow all melted by about April 19th.

March 21, 2015 - !st Day of Spring - When will the snow melt? (Deck)

March 21, 2015 – !st Day of Spring – When will the snow melt? (Deck)

March 30, 2105

March 30, 2105

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

April 4, 2015

April 4, 2015 (snowfall! a small setback)

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April 7, 2015

April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015

April 11, 2015

April 11, 2015

April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015

April 13, 2105 - SNOW FREE ON THE DECK!

April 13, 2105 – SNOW FREE ON THE DECK!

Now for the Garden Melt.. it takes a little bit longer to finish.

April 21, 2015 - 1st Day of Spring - Garden

April 21, 2015 – 1st Day of Spring – Garden

April 30, 2015

April 27, 2015

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

April 4, 2015

April 4, 2015 (snowfall! a small setback)

April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015

April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015

April 11, 2015

April 11, 2015

April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015

April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015

April 19, 2015.  Snow free day in 2013, but not quite in 2015.

April 19, 2015. Snow free day in 2013, but not quite in 2015.

April 21, 2015.  All the snow is finally gone from the back yard.  exactly one month after spring started.

April 21, 2015. All the snow is finally gone from the back yard. exactly one month after spring started.

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January Photo Challenge: Up Close and Far Away

January was my month to choose a theme, and I wanted to make sure it was something very broad that could be photographed indoors as well as out, since I find that in January I often don’t get outside with my camera because it’s too cold.  That being said, I did get out on the Rideau Canal one afternoon when it was just below zero and possible to take off my mittens long enough to snap a few shots.  The rest of my month’s work took place around our “Lego World” that is constantly in a state of construction and flux in the attic.  Much of the building is still completed by Mommy and Daddy and other adults who happen to be around, but it’s an activity that we all enjoy and Adrian loves to play with all of the machines and buildings that we create.  I also discovered that it’s very hard to get good close-ups of Lego, at least using the lens that I have.  I never quite got the lighting and the focus just right…  (and for the record, whoever says that modern Lego is not creative has not been to our house!)

What's going on in Lego World?  Let's take a closer look...

What’s going on in Lego World? Let’s take a closer look…

Looks like the paramendics are out for a date.

Looks like the paramedics are out for a date.

Santa? is that you?  What are you doing on the roof of the blacksmith's shop?

Santa? is that you? What are you doing on the roof of the blacksmith’s shop?  Oh, just chasing that bad guy?  Ok, go get him…

There was a disaster and an earthquake flattened the city.  But the people rebuilt... newer and better coffee shops, bigger hat shops and more spaceships.

There was a disaster and an earthquake flattened the city. But the people rebuilt… newer and better coffee shops, bigger hat shops and more spaceships.

Let's have a cup of tea.

Let’s have a cup of tea.

And now for something completely different: Here are my photos from the Canal. I was relatively pleased with these.

Close Up

Up close…

Close Up

…up close…

And Far Away

…and far away (the Bridge into Patterson Creek)

Close Up

Up close…

and far away

…and far away

close up

Up close (Looking at the Chateau, under the Somerset Bridge)…

and far away.

…and far away (Looking down the Canal at the Somerset Bridge and the Chateau)

And a little bit of HDR for the last few shots: It’s always fun to play around with HDR to try to make mediocre images a little bit exciting.

close up

Up close (University of Ottawa)…

and far away (University of Ottawa)

…and far away (University of Ottawa)

Close up (Bank Street Bridge)

Up close (Bank Street Bridge)…

and far away (Bank Street Bridge)

…and far away (Bank Street Bridge)

And two more, that I just remembered from the beginning of January, we had an ice storm to start off 2015.

Far away... (after the ice storm)

Far away… (after the ice storm)

...up close (after the ice storm)

…up close (after the ice storm)

November Photo Challenge: City Scape

The November photo challenge was to take photos of city scapes.  Ottawa has some very iconic and famous city scape views.  Alas I did not take any photos of these this month.  It was not a big camera month for me, but I did manage to get out a couple times in a couple different cities.

City scape of Blah.

City scape of Blah.

Here is the city at it’s worst. A beautiful castle-like museum which is completely blocked from view by a highway. Granted on the other side of the road you can see it much better. But it’s a bit sad to see just the top of it peaking over the highway.

Nature Museum with Bus

Nature Museum with Bus

The reality of the mordern city.

Along the Canal

Along the Canal

Ottawa has a more interesting city scape when you take a walk or ride along the canal. These houses have a beautiful view and look nice as well.

Aberdeen Pavillion

Aberdeen Pavilion

This building is part of a newly re-developed part of the city and has been beautifully restored. I’m so glad that the city was able to save it, since no one builds beautiful buildings like this these days.

Old and New

Old and New

We spent a weekend in Toronto, but with kids in tow etc. I wasn’t able to concentrate on the photos that much. I did manage to snap a couple though.

Big City

Big City Skyline

DSC_0002

Iconic Toronto!

October Photo Challenge: Signs

Wow, that month went fast.  The theme for October was “Signs”.  A fitting theme because it was municipal election month in Ontario.  In my ward in downtown Ottawa, there were 11 people running for council as our long-time incumbent was stepping down after over 20 years.  I got out on Election day to photograph some of the signs in the neighbourhood.

The local sign farm.  Most public corners looked like this for the past month.

The local sign farm. Most public corners looked like this for the past month.

I like the "Vote Monday" additions to Conor Meade's signs.

Signs as far as you can see

VOTE MONDAY!

VOTE MONDAY!

The eventual winner, with about 40% of the vote.  I thought she would win, having the blessing of the retiring Councillor, but I also thought it would be a much much tighter race.  There were some other great candidates.

The eventual winner, with about 40% of the vote. I thought she would win, having the blessing of the retiring Councillor, but I also thought it would be a much much tighter race. There were some other great candidates.

Sandro did not win, and I think made all his signs on a colour copier... but he did have volume and almost every utility pole at every corner in the area was covered with these.

Sandro did not win, or even come close and I think made all his signs on a colour copier… but he did have volume and almost every utility pole at every corner in the area was covered with these.

Non-Election Signs

 

 

This one is on the hydro pole at the end of our driveway.

In Ottawa all signs are in both official languages.  Sometimes that makes for a lot of sign.  This one is on the hydro pole at the end of our driveway.

Signs outside the de facto dog park.  I was surprised to see these.  They are certainly routinely ignored!

Signs outside the de facto dog park. I was surprised to see these. They are certainly routinely ignored!

Signs in the window of the bike recycling place.

Signs in the window of the bike recycling place.

September Photo Challenge : up

After taking many photos in the summer, I took a bit of a hiatus in September. I did take the camera out on a few walks and was able to take some photos with the theme in mind.

We went on a walk and found these ladders to nowhere.  A sign said they were a memorial for volunteers who had died.

We went on a walk and found these ladders to the sky. A sign said they were a memorial for volunteers who had died.  Sadly, I decided not to bring my camera on this walk, and so only had the ipod for a camera. 

I love using high aperture numbers to get this sun burst effect.

I love using high aperture numbers to get this sun burst effect.

Looking up into the trees.

Looking up into the trees.  I had fun playing with where the focus was on these.

DSC_0802

Photo Challenge: Unique Angles

This month’s photo challenge was “unique angles”.  I finally got out with my big camera to take some purposeful photos. It was fun to try and find a unique angle to shots that I take pretty much every spring (tulips, flowering trees).

There is a cheesy set of newborn photos that people take where they put the wedding rings of the parents around the toes of the baby to show how little the baby is.  I didn’t want to recreate that, but I did think this was an unique angle to take a photo of the baby.  (and his tiny feet are pretty cute!)

tiny feet

tiny feet

Tiny feet (black and white)

Tiny feet (black and white)

My next idea for “unique angles” was to take photos of the backs of houses as seen between two houses. I have been walking around a lot since having the new baby, and I notice that you get a glimpse into back yards and back decks if you look down people’s yards and beyond. I was planning on doing a series of these shots, but then I only really ended up taking one that was really worth sharing.

Through the gap

Through the gap

The next two photos are somewhat random, a view through the window and some water splashing on a leaf. I’m not sure if the angle is that unique, but I’ll publish them anyhow.

out the window

out the window

water dropping

water dropping

Finally, I had the most fun on a walk down through the tulips at the end of the tulip festival when the blossoms and tulips were at their peak. Most of my unique angles are pointing straight up to the sky instead of looking down as would be more normal. There are a few that are not flowers, but they were all taken on the same walk. I was quite pleased with these photos.

looking down

looking down

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

tulips

tulips

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

blossoms and sky

blossoms and sky

blossoms and sky

blossoms and sky

reflection

reflection

Only Natural: April Photo Challenge

I have spent the month of April wondering what the photo challenge theme was.  I was convinced that nobody sent out a theme.  Then at the end of the month Dave (another member of the group) sent out a set of photos under the theme “Only Natural”.  Something twigged in my brain, that yes, I probably had seen this theme before.  Too bad it’s already the end of the month and I didn’t take any photos with the theme in mind because I had totally forgotten what it was.

However, I did have a little instagram photo challenge of my own for April which fits the theme (a nice broad theme will do that). So I will share it as my April offering.  The photos actually start on March 22, the first day of spring, and document the melt of snow from my back yard.  I did the same thing last year, and although this winter started a month earlier than last winter, the snow on the deck was melted on the exact same day, April 19.  The photos are taken looking out the back door at our deck and at our veggie garden.  The garden is where we pile the snow we shovel from the driveway all year long, so it takes a bit longer to melt than the deck – it’s covering of snow is “only natural!”.

March 22, 2014 - the deck

March 22, first day of spring 2014 – the deck

March 25, 2014 - Deck

March 25, 2014 – Deck

March 31, 2014, deck

March 31, 2014, deck

April 3, 2014 - Deck

April 3, 2014 – Deck

April 10, 2014, Deck

April 10, 2014, Deck

April 14, 2014 - Deck

April 14, 2014 – Deck

April 15, 2014 - Deck

April 15, 2014 – Deck

April 17, 2014, Deck

April 17, 2014, Deck

April 19, 2014 - Deck

April 19, 2014 – Deck

And the Garden…

March 22, 2014 - the garden

March 22, 1st Day of Spring 2014, Garden

March 25, 2014, Garden

March 25, 2014, Garden

March 31, 2014, Garden

March 31, 2014, Garden

April 3, 2014, Garden

April 3, 2014, Garden

April 10, 2014 - Garden

April 10, 2014 – Garden

April 14, 2014 - Garden

April 14, 2014 – Garden

April 15, 2014 - Garden

April 15, 2014 – Garden

April 17, 2014 - Garden

April 17, 2014 – Garden

April 19, 2014 - Garden

April 19, 2014 – Garden

It’s “only natural” that the snow would melt… eventually! Now if it would only warm up, we could really start to enjoy the spring!