xpro2

Powerful sunshine and solar panels

We had our first real snowfall of 2021, and winter really. Its a testament to climate change that here in Ottawa we can get to mid-January before any significant snow and still not be very cold. When I moved here 30 years ago, it was snowing and on the ground in November and stayed until late March/early April; the temperatures were easily -20 celcius or colder throughout January. Here we are January 18, and its the first really cold day at -6 celcius, and the lowest it’ll go is -8.

I don’t mind as much, as the older I get, the less I like the cold.

So after a snowfall of officially 21cm, the sun came out for a spell. As it went down, I was surprised to see the solar lights come on. It was cloudy most of the day, and a good layer of snow covered the solar panels that charge the batteries. Good panels!

The charge only lasted about a half hour though, but it gave me a chance to snap a few light beams from the lamp projected onto the snow.

Fall photos

What is it about autumn, trees and the need to take pictures of the leaves?

The event happens every year without fail, yet people continually take and post photos of the leaves. I do too. Or at least, I thought I did. Looking through the archives here, I had to go back five years to find some pictures. Although I do look at the trees and think, I gotta get a picture of that, then never do.

It must be just the colours. We go from brown and grey of winter to lush green for the summer. The fall burst of oranges, reds and yellows, especially against a crisp blue sky, is just so inviting and fun.

So, here are my obligatory fall photos…so far….

May flowers

As the warm weather arrives, that means it’s time to start planting. Some flowers and veg are scarce, due to the pandemic and people just plain hoarding things (formerly toilet paper, victory gardens are the thing now).

We did get some flowers to brighten up the back yard and draw the bees and birds. A splash of colour after a cool, wet and house-bound spring is a welcome view.

New kids in town

Ahhh spring. And with it comes warm weather and little creatures from their burrows.

Here in Barrhaven, in the ‘burbs of Ottawa, there are many rabbits in the area. Over the winter there were three that frequented our backyard, to eat up any spilled bird seed from the feeder. At least one of them was my friendly bunny.

Last year, a little baby rabbit frequented our yard, and became so used to me, that he (or she) would hop over and ask for bird seed. Of course, I could not resist, and gave him some. He would sit a foot away and eat the seed while I sat there. If I moved, he bolted. So while not totally trusting, it was enough to allow me to be that close. He had a shock of red fur between his shoulders, so I knew who he was.

Fast forward to now, and in the neighbours yard, new bunnies have emerged. Whether they will be as friendly remains to be seen. But there are no dogs in our yard, so the bunnies like the sanctity.

When I saw the newlings, I grabbed my longest lens and got this shot of the little guy. We figure he is about four weeks old. We’ve seen two so far.

Small baby bunny in the grass.

Midway hawkers

On Canada Day, we went to an event nearby. There was a midway, bands and of course, fireworks. We went in the evening for the fireworks and toured the midway. It was nice to see people out enjoying themselves on a clear, hot night. I reminded me of my younger days at the Cactus Festival back at home in Dundas.

I’m also reminded of the Rush song, Lakeside Park, in particular the opening lines:

Midway hawkers calling “try your luck with me”
Merry-go-round wheezing the same old melody
A thousand ten-cent wonders, who could ask for more?
A pocket full of silver, the key to heaven’s door.

That was written in 1975, and of course, nothing is 10 cents anymore. Still, the opening lines are pretty much still exact. I took a lot of shots of the midway.

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.

 

A little Acros

Its been a pretty cold and blustery winter. Since getting my new X-Pro2, I’ve had little opportunity to get outside and take some shots. A little while ago, the weather was (relatively) quite warm, and I took the opportunity to get out and get a quick walk in before it rained. I brought along the new camera, and threw it into the Acros film simulation. I’m not much of a fan of black and white photography, but there has been a lot of good comments on this simulation. Given that this time of year is pretty monochrome, what better time to try it out.

I’m still not convinced that black and white photography is the best, but I had a good time, and the photos here are decent enough. Enough to try again for sure.

Arriving UFO

I gave myself a Christmas present… a Fuji X-Pro2 Graphite edition. It’s an X-Pro2 with a cool look to it. Through some searching and a few other discounts, I got it at a really good deal. I’ve been looking at it for a while and while the weather sealing and wifi were definite draws, the 24 megapixel size was holding me off. It’s just a stupid amount of pixels for what I do with the camera. In the end, the deal/price I came up with was worth it.

So this is one of my first pictures with it. I find I have a tendency to purchase new gear in the winter when it’s too cold, too dark and just not feasible to get out and use the new stuff. Huh. This shot was from my back door in -20 temperatures. The sun was going down and the blue in the sky made for a neat picture. I was shooting other things in silhouette when an airplane was taking off. I grabbed this shot.

Its important to note that this is straight from the camera as shot with an ISO of 3200, not post processing other than a slight crop. The colours and rendering are awesome. Looks like I made a good choice!