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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February Photo Challenge : Faceless Portrait

I have always liked taking photos of people from behind and walking away.  Most of my photos from this month are variations on that theme. I like how the photos of Adrian and his two friends portray a sense of their friendships.  They aren’t aware that I’m taking their photo, so the pictures are quite natural.

Can I reach it?  Fraser learns to walk and gets into everything.

Can I reach it? Fraser learns to walk and gets into everything.

Reading with Uncle Paul

Reading with Uncle Paul

Looking at the ice sculptures

Looking at the ice sculptures

Winter makes for many faceless portraits.

Winter makes for many faceless portraits.

Friendship (I think this is my favourite of the bunch)

Friendship (I think this is my favourite of the bunch)

And the moment is done...

And the moment is done…

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)

December Photo Challenge: Gifts

This was an easy theme to photograph although as usual, my photos are more about the stories and less about the technical mastery of the subjects.  My 4 year old is at a perfect age for Christmas and was excited about everything, giving and receiving.  These photos center around him giving and getting presents on Christmas day.  But the baby is also a bit of a gift, especially after some pregnancy challenges before he came along.  So his first Christmas was certainly a celebration of him as well.

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This is Fraser’s “official” 10 month photo taken on December 5th (or maybe 6th).  He is quite a gift, a fun, happy, healthy boy, who keeps us on our toes and amused most of the time.

 

Wow! What is all this stuff?!

Wow! What is all this stuff?!

I think that Fraser was amazed at Mt. Present on Christmas morning.  We had both branches of the family celebrating with us, so there were a lot of gifts under our tree.  Fraser made a bee-line for them and just climbed on up! (this is the first photo in a series).

 

What could it be?

What could it be?

The 4 yr old is not that great at smiling on command yet, but I love this photo of him with his big present from Santa.  (Santa is a terrible wrapper and next year will have to do a better job!)   – The gift from Santa was ordered online and arrived at noon on Christmas eve.  Santa’s helpers were relieved!

Super Hero Comic book

Super Hero Comic book

We want to encourage the 4 yr old to enjoy giving as well as receiving, so encouraged him to give some gifts.  He (With help from dad) made a comic book for his comic book loving uncle.  It didn’t really have a plot, but was all kinds of awesome like a story by someone who’s 4 can only be.  Uncle Paul was thrilled of course!

And for Grandpa, a squash!

And for Grandpa, a squash!

You can bet that Grandpa was surprised to receive a squash from Adrian!  My mom had said that Grandpa really liked squash in an attempt to get Adrian to eat some the week before.  That didn’t work, but he did decide that the perfect gift for Grandpa would be a squash.  He picked it out himself at the grocery store.  Grandpa was suitably pleased.

 

Optimus Prime!

Optimus Prime!

Optimus Prime was the gift from Santa and was just as appreciated as we’d hoped it would be.  The Iron Man costume (purchased on sale the week after Hallowe’en was also a hit.)

 

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

My mother-in-law is an amazing quilter and made us this beautiful advent calendar. I look forward to filling it up for the boys every year.  Adrian was so thrilled and amazed by it at the beginning of December that he changed where his chair went in the dining room so that he could look at the Advent Calendar the entire time he was eating his meals.  We were able to take a beautiful video of him telling his Granny how he “loved it so much”.

to Mommy with Love...

to Mommy with Love…

I also got a gift from Adrian who apparently looked at everything in the dollar store and picked this out for me because it was the most beautiful thing in the store.  It’s a star for the top of our tree (which doesn’t currently have a proper tree topper).  He was so excited about the present and managed to keep it a secret from me for 4 days. Needless to say I love it, in all its ridiculousness and yes, next year, it will be on the top of our Christmas tree and for many years to come I imagine!

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

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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.

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