Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Pretty, isn't it :D
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Poison Ivy

Don't touch this....
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Columbine on the cliff

Another shot from my early morning jaunt into the woods. The columbine abounded along the edge of the escarpment in charming bunches. I have a neat close up that I'll post next.
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The mayapples were flowering at Mount Nemo last weekend. The flower drooping from the crotch between the stalks of 2 large, umbrellalike leaves. I had a hard time getting a clear photo owing to the overhead shade now that the forest has leafed out. The forest seemed entirely changed from 2 weeks previous. Aside from different wildflowers, and the shade - there was a profuse growth of my favourite (not) plant - Poison Ivy. Thus I ended up walking a ways with a gentleman and his lab/shepard cross - so that I could show him what it looked like. It was cool... he was also a UNBF grad and had been a professor at Waterloo. We had a nice chat about pretty places in New Brunswick and why Fredericton was such at great place to live and the founders of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Fest. Sometimes its a small world, but I seem to have an uncanny nack for finding New Brunswickers with dogs in Ontario.
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ibis eye

This one I took at Busch Gardens - actually - its got a funny name like spoonbill - I don't think it is an ibis at all. I got a movie of it catching a fish too. Weird to watch.

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Flaming Ingos

Well, they sure are colourfull...

I've a full day planned for today... so off I run - faster than a flaming ingo.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A fall of flowers

Cascading veil sweeps
Tumbling artless locks - Pale
Against sunlight glow
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More Funky Flowers

I suppose I should tell people about my trip one of these pictures. Well, at least say more than I have. I learned a great deal - and found myself inspired with new ideas to tackle my own research. The hotel was nice and the weather not nearly as hot as I worried it might be. I found myself quite comfortable outside - what little time I did spend outside. I didn't even get a burn or even much of a tan, but with the garden to bring to life, I'm sure I'll get plenty of time outside here.

Yesterday, I tackled the garden - finishing the bundling of branches from cutting back the forsythia. I edged and turned over most of the beds - now I have to build them up with soil. Then I need to work on the lawn - although the stuff we did last summer seems to have really helped. I'm hoping to plant some seeds and grow some veggies. Anyone have shade tolerant suggestions?
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Butterfly Dreams

Here is one butterfly captured by the lens, but yesterday I had one sit on my knew for a few minutes (perhaps I seemed a warm rock reading on the deck). Oddly, I felt honoured. This one above is an exotic (to Ontario) swallowtail - while yesterday - was a smaller butterfly perhaps a painted lady - it was smallish, orange, brown and black and had knobs on its antenae that were tipped in white. Sigh... I used to know more than I can remember now - in terms of nature ID... I'll have to get out there and practice...
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Wave

I always think of the Last unicorn when I see waves crashing foamily on the beach.

Galloping magic -
Spraying foamy energy on
Sand shores steeped in time
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Clearwater Beach at Sunset

I love the pattern of the water on the beach. Our trip to clearwater was quick, but the sand was unbelievable. We actually left right before the sun actually set, but this seemed to capture the idea well enough
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Ybor City maty

Uh... so here it the historic touristy bit of Tampa, not too far from where we stayed. There was a cute little market and some expensive shops and a trolley and streets made of brick. Apparently, it is also a night club district... but it was pretty quiet on a Saturday morning
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Logging hours of solar power

The upstairs portion of the florida aquarium is set up to recieve natural light - here this "wetland" turtle suns himself on a log (or herself).
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See ya later Aligator

Here, under the baleful glance of this resting aligator (okay, okay... so I only saw them in the tame venue of the Florida Aquarium.) I quailed... then took the picture. :D
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

gotta run..

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Tropical Ponderings From Charlotte

Here be a funky flower from Busch Gardens. I had a great week in Tampa at the EWRI conference. Although, I have to admit that Busch Gardens was one of the highlights. Its a pretty cool place, cooler than I initially gave it credit. Its been a long time since I've had the pleasure of being on a rollar coaster that made me scream without reservation. I'm pretty tired, and owing to some weirdness in flights I'm delayed, but enjoying having access to the internet for the first time in a week, but now I should see what I can do about making sure my lugage is here too....more to come.
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stormy Waters at "The Jack Pine" site

Here is Grand Lake on a stormy April morning, the picture taken at the spot where Tom Thompson painted the sketch that would later be his famous Jack Pine picture.


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Assassin's Apprentice

Robin Hobb is surely my favourite author. While there are undoubtedly numerous ways that she is a talented storyteller - it is her characters that make me read her books over and over again. For a time, I swear I was half in love with one of them. So, although I've lost count of how many times I've read this trilogy before, I still sit infront of this computer my eyes bleary and my face tight with tears. I swear I cry harder with every reading. I have read books by authors far crueler to their characters, but her writing is like the person who forces you into tears simply by asking what is wrong or putting an arm around you when you are trying so hard to hold all those tears in. Ah... how they spill at that kindness and that is her knack - to balance cruelty with kindness, and bad luck with deserved consequences and while Fitz is perhaps the character I identify with most strongly, I can say with honesty that each of the supporting characters is wrought with equal skill. I can close my eyes and picture them, imagine their voices, I know their woes and struggles by heart, and their quirks and habits. How people so complete could spring entirely from the mind of one woman baffles me - and I can only shake my head in wonder and sniffle quietly and blink the gummy feeling from my eyes.

I must hustle off to the other things I should be doing....but, I recommend anything she has written highly and I thank her once again for the gift of her stories that have taught me more about courage, honor, friendship and sacrifice than my own life has - and for that I shall be grateful.

Jennith Peart
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For whom the Trillium tolls

Silence keens sharply
White wind sucked dry of sounding
Solitude ringing
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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Twisted Bellflower

My life is odd. My room feels I went for a hike early this morning to cheer myself up and catch the spring wild flowers before they were gone. Maybe pictures of trilliams and large bell flowers later I headed home being glad that I don't live so far from the woods that I can't visit.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Trailing Arbutus

These were pretty much the only flowers (save a few carolina spring beauties) that we saw on the trip. They were peaking out from the needles on the berm lake trail.
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Canoeists below

Looking down from a 100 ft cliff we caught a lucky soul canoeing the barron canyon. Having left the canoe at home - we didn't get a chance, but I'm definately planning on going back to do that at some point.
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Wolfe Farm

I just loved this farm so much I had to stop and take pictures of it, even if it meant hiking nearly a km back up the highway.

The weather was dreary, but I think it added to the beauty rather than took away.
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Bon Echo Bay

Bon Echo was open but only partially. We did one hike along a ridge, but half of the park was still shut - so we decided to keep going and see where we ended up.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Barron Canyon Pine

This twisted pine clings to the edge of a 100 foot cliff carved by raging waters and sediment born of melting glaciers. Today, it is a nice spot for a bit of lunch and photography.
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The Barron Canyon

On the east side of Algonquin, after a 50 km stretch of dirt road from Pembroke, is Archray Campground. Small by Algonquin standards, this 45 site campground features many sites on the shore of Grand Lake. Aside from its beauty and the sense of being in the interior (especially in late April), this was the site of the ranger station that Tom Thomson of the group of 7 (well, more or less) stayed. The log cabin he stayed is is still there, and a short trail takes you to the place where he sketched the painting of the Jack Pine - although the tree itself is long gone. Two other hiking trails are available. The Berm Lake trail, sharing some trailway with the eastern pines backpacking trail (14.5 km) travels around Berm Lake, while the Barron Canyon Trail provides a stunning viewpoint of the canyon from a cliff. Here we met a lady visiting from Dublin while her son competes in a playboating (crazy kayaking) tournament. I promise to post some more pictures both from the camp ground and Barron Canyon. Its amazing there, I was quite pleasently surprised.
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Farm in the hills of eastern Ontario

A quaint and beautiful farm nestled in the hills. We saw some of the neatest log cabins on our trip. At this point our destination was Pembroke.
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April Roadtrip 2007

This picturesce church in Wolfe, ON (on the 512 maybe) is surrounded by rolling hills and farms. The scenery was so lovely, we stopped just to take a few pictures on a dreary day.

As for travel in April - well the weather was warmer than our trip to Cape Breton about the same time of year 2 years ago, we saw little snow, but the weather was pretty dreary when we set out, improving greatly on Sunday.

Why travel in April? Well, here are a few advantages:
- the park we stayed in was nearly empty and we were able to pick the best site and didn't have to pay reservation fees.
- its rarely painfully hot
- well, the last week of april and august are generally the only moments in student life between school and job when nothing is hanging over you head.
- there is nothing as neat as seeing the first signs of spring, burst in to life

Alright. Work now, but more pics to follow.