Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Community Shared Agriculture

Gail at the Ignaatius CSA pickup
Today was a CSA  - Community Shared Agriculture - day. First, Gail and I went to Ignatius Organic Farm and collected a 1/2 share of weekly produce that we had previously won in a silent auction.

Members of a CSA buy shares in the harvest and pick up their "share" each week all year long. It's a great idea that's quite popular in Guelph.

Kim & James at the Ploughshares CSA pickup in Guelph
Then we stopped by another CSA pick-up location to get a photo for SNAP. James Gordon - singer/songwriter and now candidate for the provincial NDP - happened to be there picking up his weekly veggies. We chatted and he took the time to play for us his new song using words from Jack Layton's final letter, now called the Manifesto for Social Democracy. Check it out on YouTube. It's great!

those little tomatoes taste so good!
Then we can home to wash and prepare our own organic veggies. Don't they look good! As Joni Mitchell's song said: "Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees. Please!"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jack Layton

I'd like to share this photo of Jack Layton that I took at the Gay Pride Parade in 2003. I can't say I really knew the man. Our paths crossed a number of times: at Alex Macdonald's annual parties; and on the campaign trail in Guelph, where he'd show up regularly to support Tom King. I'm a Liberal by instinct but after the last election I had the thought that Jack Layton would be a great leader for a new party of the left, merged from the NDP and Liberals. That won't be possible now. I'll miss him and his sunny, hopeful disposition.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Family Photos

Sorting through old boxes of 'reject' slides today I came across this 'keeper' of my kids, Heather and Trevor, playing dress-up with their friend Robin on the right. I may have a better one filed away in a binder, but I thought I'd scan it just in case. I love the poses being struck. The younger we are, the less inhibited we can be!
Heather, Trevor and Robin circa 1985

Sunday, August 21, 2011


After a 16 day slumber my second Black Swallowtail emerged from its chrysalis this afternoon and Gail & I were fortunate enough to observe the process. The chrysalis had turned dark so I knew today was the big day. We kept the situation monitored all morning with cameras ready. First there was some wiggling, then a crack appeared and after another long wait the wet butterfly pulled herself out of the chamber.
The body was plumb and the wings were tiny but over the course of the next several minutes the wings grew and the body shrank to its normal size. Then the butterfly settled down to let her wings dry and harden. Another successful butterfly birth!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Storm over Mount Nemo

Driving back from Guelph yesterday I encountered some strange weather. It was sunny and raining at the same time. In the distance were enormous cumulus clouds that seemed to gather together into a dark wall. As I pulled over to take this photo Gail called to say a fierce storm was pummeling Oakville with high winds and hail. I promised to drive carefully and returned to capturing the fearsome beauty before me.

stereoscopic cross-view

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A New Butterfly

For the past two weeks I've been minding a couple of Eastern Black Swallowtail chrysalises. This morning one of them turned dark and a new butterfly was born! I missed the actual emergence from the chrysalis but when I picked him up (it's a male) his wings were still floppy and damp. What a gorgeous creature! Perhaps I'll have better luck in observing the birth of the next one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Melanie Price

We took a walk down to our local beach here in Oakville this evening. By co-incidence a long distance swimmer, Melanie Price was arriving on the beach at the same time, after an 18 hour swim from Port Dalhousie on the other side of the lake!

Melanie's 40km swim across Lake Ontario raised funds for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a registered charity working to restore and care for Lake Ontario. Melanie had a big crowd of fans waiting for her on the shore. After a rest in a rescue boat she was carried through the cheering crowd to a van where her daughter was the first to greet her.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Monarch on Joe-Pye Weed

I took a stroll into Petro Canada Park this morning and found a couple of monarch butterflies feasting on the flowering swamp milkweed. They were so busy sipping their breakfast that they paid no attention  to me as I moved my macro lens closer and closer. Can anyone tell me if it's a male or a female? Apparently they have slightly different markings.
3D cross-view of Monarch butterfly

Sunday, August 7, 2011

3D Bugs

Scarab Beetle pelidnota punctata
In the past few days I've been getting some interesting photos with my new macro lens for my Fuji 3D camera. Here is a sampling of what I've shot in my garden and around the neighbourhood. They are set for stereo cross-viewing. To learn how to do it go here.

Buffalo Treehopper

Pink Spotted Ladybug

 Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bugs along Bronte Creek

Rose early today and took my cameras for a photo safari along Bronte Creek. It was a gorgeous, dewy morning and I had the trails along the river to myself. Only the Great Blue Heron seemed disturbed. The wildflowers along the shore were buzzing with every sort of insect. Bees, beetles, butterflies, all manner of bugs were waking up. My kind of heaven. So I stopped by a little glade and captured a few interesting ones with my camera. Now for the hard part: finding their names!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NVidia 3D Image Gallery

Stereographers around the world were invited to submit six images for NVidia's 3D Digital Image Showcase at last month's NSA convention. Hundreds of great images were submitted and the best of them went online today. They can be seen in a variety of formats at 3DVisionLive. You can jump straight to my 3D images of birds by clicking here. If you need a pair of 3D glasses to see these images in depth, just let me know!

Monday, August 1, 2011

John Galt Day

Like Simcoe Day in Toronto, our civic holiday in Guelph, called John Galt Day, is held to celebrate civic pride and honour the city's founder, a fascinating Scotsman who was an accomplished author and biographer.

Brian Holstein as Tiger Dunlop, Karen Farbridge, Mayor of Guelph and Vince Wall as John Galt

I attended the event in my roll as a SNAP newspaper photographer and caught up with many friends after my month-long road trip. It was great to see so many people having a great time despite the heat!

At one point I slipped into the River Run Centre to catch a lecture given by Prof. Gil Stelter, about John Galt's idea of establishing churches of several denominations in Guelph's early days to make it a civilized and tolerant place even though he wasn't particularly religious himself. It was a good beginning for Guelph but didn't work out for Galt: he was recalled by his shareholders and thrown in debtor's prison for giving away too much land to the churches and the poor immigrants. Quite the story!