history

Back in 1813

Last weekend we travelled down to Morrisburg to take in a re-enactment of the battle of Crysler’s Farm, which occurred in 1813 during the war of 1812-1814 between Canada (Britain) and the United States. Spoiler alert, Canada won that one.

While not a full re-enactment – at least in scale – it was a demonstration of how wars were fought 200 years ago. It included a number of role-playing events including how soldiers lived, black smithing and music.

One thing I found interesting, was a setup of how the elite would “lunch” in the new country. Set in the time, they included a book by a new, can you believe it, in 1813, a woman author, Jane Austen.

I took along my X-Pro2 for a few shots.

 

The gentry lunching during the summer.

 

A new novel by an upstart female author.

 

Vimy 101

Throwback Thursday is a thing on the webs and social media.

This isn’t.

One hundred and one years ago, on April 9th, 1917, in a small snow storm, the Canadian army acted as one unit, not under British rule, to take Vimy Ridge. A German stronghold that earlier attempts by the British and French were failures.

It was a true Canadian moment, and shows the tenacity that is Canada to this day. When some loser shot and killed an honour guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa and stormed Parliament Hill (and killed by security), I thought, “fuck you. Canadians took Vimy, you can’t do that shit to us”, and went about my day as usual. You don’t mess with Canadians. Yeah, we are super nice and stupidly polite; just don’t push it.

So last year, in 2017, I went to the 100th anniversary of the battle, where the Canadians not only took the ridge, but held it for the rest of the war. Took it with the “fuck you, it’s ours now, you’ve done enough and we will keep it right” kind of attitude. See, most immigrants to Canada, not only left their country to avoid hardship, persecution and look for a better life, they also had to endure the hardships of an untamed wilderness, brutal climate (winters can be rough, even in the 21st century). They put up with all that, so nothing much more can phase them.

Proud Canadian? Yeah.

But I digress. I was there at Vimy for the 100th anniversary. It was the warmest, most clear day of the 10 days I spent in Belgium/France. There were a lot of logistical issues, and problems. But *I* was there. And to look out over the area where the four Canadian divisions came together and made such a monumental success, make me proud.

These are a few shots from the day. I had only my Fuji X100T and teleconverter. I would have liked something more zoomy for the Vimy Flight flypast, but, hey, what are you going to do.

As the 101st anniversary comes, I look at these photos and remember the soldiers who volunteered for a truly worthy cause, the ceremonies and the trip in general.

At the Village

In my last post, I talked about going to Fort Henry for the sunset ceremony.

When we bought our tickets, it included free admission to Upper Canada Village, a short trip east on the 401 near Morrisburg. So we made plans to head there last weekend to take advantage of the offer.

Upper Canada Village is what it name suggests; a village set in Upper Canada (what we know now as the province of Ontario). It is a living museum of life in 1860 Canada. There are a number of homes and businesses that show how life and work was in that period. People dress in period clothes and actually do the work that was done back then. There is a working grist mill and , saw mill and wool factory run by water power, blacksmith, carpenter, broom maker, cheese maker and baker. All of the items made are sold in the gift shop.

The area is historic as well. It is the location of Chrysler’s Farm, a decisive battle in the war of 182-14.

I brought my X100 with the teleconverter to give a 50mm-ish focal length. Since I bought it, I hadn’t had a a good opportunity to really put it to the test. I was more interested in getting some patterns and abstract photos rather than a bunch of period people doing things. These are a few of the shots mostly from the yarn and wool factory.

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Overall, the teleconverter did a good job. I’m considering the upgrade to the x100t and considerably slimming down what I have. With the teleconverter doing a good job, I’m thinking more of this move.