Shoo Fly

Trying to keep the photography going. Again, an evening outside after work, a fly landed on the chair next to me and was eating away at something. Probably Chipmunk poop or something. Enough that it didn’t care I was there. I had the Fuji X-T1 and the 60mm lens for the birds. As a bonus, its a macro lens. So I was able to get really close.

This is a fairly extreme crop, but still, cool how close I managed it.

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Train Double Play

Train watching in Ottawa is, to be kind, limited. This city is definitely not blue collar or industrial in any way. As such, there is very little in the way of rail traffic other than passenger trains. For the railfan, it is a wasteland. Basically, the only freight is local 589 that services a couple of industries, and this is on a weekly basis. Oh, and not on a particular schedule, so to see something is pure luck.

So double-bonus for me! My new job has a view to the railway up to Almonte. The once-a-week delivery to the Nylon plant up there. The window behind my cubicle looks that way, and if I’m at my desk, I hear the horn of the train approaching the level crossing. If I see/hear it, I know six hours later (at the end of the work day) it returns, and I can potentially catch it.

Such was last week. I heard the horn, and looked to see two locomotives pulling five tank cars up the line. I looked at the time, and knew when they would be coming back. The time is random, but the day is not, so I had my X-Pro1 with me to hopefully catch the return. Luckily, I did.

I knew where I wanted to be, so I hung out there a bit early to make sure I’d catch it. When it did come, I got some shots. When I came home and looked, I saw that in my excitement to see the train (remember, nothing much happens here) some shots were not very crisp. The one below looked better with a black and white treatment.

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The other shot, though not much better, worked in colour.

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As a bonus, this Sunday while I was sweeping up the walkway, I heard a train coming. I’m just across the street from the tracks served mostly by Via Rail. The train sounded different and when I looked, it was the local delivering lumber to the nearby lumber yard. I immediately grabbed my camera and made for the tracks. There is a bike/walk path along the tracks on either side. It was a quick job, and I caught it on its return to Walkley yard.
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XT015335What the photos don’t show is motion.  The locomotive is pushing the box car. As I saw it coming down the tracks, I could see the flashing red light of the End of Train device coming towards me.

I’ll leave out the train-geek reasons for this. But suffice to say, for a very barren train location of Ottawa, I had a pretty good week.

Sunset Chickadee

These days, it seems photography is a distant memory. My new job is in a location that is devoid of anything to shoot , although I really should take a page out of Thomas Hawk’s way of photographing everything. Still, with a new job and all the learning and work to do, inspiration falls to the side. Recently, after work, I’ve taken to sitting in the backyard with a drink and my X-T1 with the longest lens I have (60mm) to catch anything interesting. And while Mr. Hawk desires to publish a million photos before he dies and as such (and I think his camera is sewn to his hand) I’m  little more discerning. The image has to be “worthy”.

So it was the other day when sitting outside that a Chickadee flew in close to check things out. Thus is the resulting shot with the setting sun. There have been a number of little creatures showing up, including a humming bird, which I’m hoping to catch next.

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Times are changing

Last week I took a walk near my work at lunch. It was a 10 minute drive to a spot where a path followed a bit of the CN tracks up to Arnprior on the Beachburg subdivision. At one spot, the trail comes very close to the tracks, so I took a little detour up onto the tracks. I knew that the only train through here was on Wednesdays and it was a Tuesday. That and my Spidey senses are always in tune for a train or any train sounds, and the max speed is about 20 mph, so I knew that if something did happen to come, I would hear it well before and have time to get out of the way (and it didn’t stop me from looking over my shoulder constantly…just in case).

At one point there used to be a junction (switch) that would lead up the valley on a different route. A year or so ago, that was ripped out and all that is left is the remnants of where the rails went. I was surprised to see a lot of the track bits still scattered about the location. I figured they would have cleaned it up and sold it for scrap.

Bonus for me, as it made for some fine photo shots with my trusty Fuji X100T. Sad that there is a little less rail traffic in Ottawa. Especially for someone like me who likes trains.

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Wild Backyard

Living in the suburbs presents an interesting dichotomy. While it is a bunch of humans in big boxes, there is still the ever-present wildlife, who have adapted to having people around.

Our backyard on some days, is like something out of a Disney movie: various birds and animals coming and going. From the birds at the feeder (Chickadees, Finches, Cardinals, Grackles and now Red-winged Black Birds) to other wildlife in red and black squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits.

Tonight there was a couple of visitors, one being a new little bunny. We have a couple of domestic bunnies, and to see the wild ones are fun to see and forever welcome in the backyard. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and affixed the 60mm (my longest lens) to get some shots. And the chipmunk also made an appearance. Both these shots have an extreme crop to “zoom in”. The 60 is my longest lens, and I’m thinking its time to invest in something longer to get some better shots.

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