(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for July, 2010

Reach for the sky (Photo Friday)

The one thing I can remember from third or fourth grade is the topic of photosynthesis.  I know that the little branch, above, is reaching for the sky because otherwise it will not get the sunlight it so desperately needs to live.  It’s amazing that something as big as a tree depends on something as small as a leaf to live.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 100; 1/160 sec.

Summer flower

I like flowers.  They’re so pretty.  Pretty flowers.  So pretty…

Sheesh…I’m kind of brain-dead tonight.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/125 sec.

Shadows and Water

Another photo from the Lindeman Lake hike.  “Post Creek” runs out from Lindeman Lake.  Both are fed by a glacier in the area.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f3.5; ISO 100; 1/160 sec.

Went hiking; found life (and pain and exhaustion and sweat).

The hike up to Lindeman Lake, which we did not reach, is beautiful.  It’s a 215 meter gain from the bottom to the top of the trail and I think we made it about 2/5 of the way.  My kids had two reactions:  1.  This is amazing!  Why is it so green?  Ohmygosh that’s water flowing downhill at a rapid rate!  Can we do this again? and; 2.  Let’s run up here as quickly as possible!

My wife and I, on the other hand, were gasping, hyperventilating, gasping, sweating (well, she was glistening) and thinking of the pain we were going to experience on the next day.  We slowed the kids down and they, wonderfully, waited for us and looked at us like zoo exhibits (the mid-30’s sloth comes to mind).  We convinced them we’d come back another day and finish the hike because there was no way we were finishing the hike.

The photo above shows what the scenery is like on the hike up.  It’s beautiful.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 400; 1/50 sec.

Too tired to write – here’s the moon.

Two shots of the moon, taken from my deck at different apertures and different speeds.  I’d tell you more but I spent the last two days digging up my front yard to make a new planting bed, and now I need to go to my bed.  G’night.

The only game at which my grandma used to beat me.

My parents used to go on date nights and they would drop off my sisters and me at my grandma’s house.  Grandma always had cookies (frozen by the dozen in one gallon ice cream containers – “just in case visitors showed up at the door” as she used to say) and games.  Games that I never played at home, but always played at grandma’s house.  We never played cards, tool of the devil and all that.  We, instead, played Chinese checkers and crokinole.  We never called it “crokinole” but what we called it I’m not sure I can write accurately.  We called it “knipstesh” – “knips” for the action of placing your index or middle finger against your thumb, creating a little pressure and then letting it go against that little disc while trying to knock your opponent’s pieces off the board; and “stesh” for, uh, I don’t know.  It was never explained to me.

Explanation or no, grandma would whip my hide in this game all the time.  She could set up “20’s” (perfect shots into the middle) all night, bouncing her pieces off mine to get the high scores.  I don’t know what kind of Mennonite spells she could cast to beat me, but I knew there was no way I would win.  I loved her, but she was ruthless.

Pentax K2oD; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 400; 1/4 sec.

I just put it right there!

Someday, when my kids are grown up, I will be able to walk along the trail by the river.  As long as my kids are along, however, we must spend time in or next to the river.  My son has to be reminded regularly that the river is moving very quickly and that falling in might be disastrous.  His response is always, “I know.  I won’t.  I know.”

So when we went to the river yesterday, I reminded him of all the dangers involved.  Then he decided to take off his Crocs to wash the mud out of them.

My wife:  “Don’t lose your shoes down the river.”

Ben:  “I know.  I won’t.  I know.”

My wife:  “Where’s your other shoe?”

Ben:  “I put it right there (pointing at the shore behind him).”

My wife:  “Well, where is it?”

Ben:  “I just put it right there (with indignation).”

My wife:  “It’s not there now.”

Ben:  “But I just put it right there!  (big pause)  Uh oh.”

Ben was carried from the river back to the vehicle, so he was rewarded.  My wife and I, who shared carrying duties, were punished for not stapling Ben’s shoes to his feet.  Oh, and the photo above, those are Ben’s feet after the mishap.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.

Cooking in summer is a delicious endeavor.

I moved to a new house a little over two weeks ago and as a result of the move I got to buy a new barbecue.  It’s a Cuisinart.  I know, I couldn’t believe they made barbecues either.  But it’s pretty sweet (and huge).

I love to barbecue.  There’s no extra heat in the house; dishes are cut back slightly; I get to eat outside (and I think everything tastes better when you eat it outside).  I’m getting pretty good at knowing how my barbecue cooks, but I’ve recently started cooking vegetables on the barbecue.  My little sister, Alison, showed me a grill-top wok when we were out shopping and I picked one up when I bought the new barbecue.  It works great.  So far, I’ve done baby potatoes tossed in seasoning and olive oil and the dish you see above.  The potatoes took forever.  Seriously, I think I sprouted new grey hair while waiting for them to cook.  I should have boiled them beforehand and then finished them on the grill.

The veggies you see above were done in this order:  carrots were blanched in boiling water for about seven minutes, and then tossed into the bowl with the mushrooms and yellow and red peppers.  I tossed it all with olive oil and garlic salt.  I placed the asparagus on the grill at the same time as the wok, and after eight minutes I placed them inside the wok as well and tossed the whole mess a few times throughout the grilling process with a pair of locking tongs.

It tasted great alongside some lemon-herb chicken breasts.  Now that I’ve raised the expectations for dinner, however, I’ve been informed that I’ll be doing even more of the c0oking.  Anyone have any good recipes?

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 400; 1/50 sec.

Summer joy with total abandon

Is this not the picture of the joy of summer?

We went to a little work BBQ for my wife and the kids got to do a little swimming in the pool.  Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I just went at a swimming pool with total abandon like my son is doing above.  The arms akimbo, the momentary flight, the lack of concern for personal safety (while wearing a life jacket, mind you) makes me smile.  In a time when playgrounds are being made more and more safe and people who, apparently, were never children are making decisions about child safety it’s wondrous to let my son run on the deck of a pool and jump in with total effort.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 5omm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/200 sec.

Why I love where I live

I have learned a few things about property value since moving and buying a house.  The most relevant point I’ve learned is that a park directly across the street from a house is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because, if you have small children, having a park within a two-minute walk means easy access and you can put less playground equipment in your own yard because the city has conveniently spent a lot of money so you don’t have to.

The curse?  Some dipstick with too much money from his negligent parents, the drug trade, or whatever, is playing his bass-induced stereo out the back of his parent-purchased GMC Yukon for his friends in the skate park.  Luckily his bedtime is pretty early, and he’ll have to check in with Mommy and Daddy before long.  Plus, the city comes around and locks the gate past which he’s parked his Yukon so he’ll have to leave.

I happen to fall into the category of person who believes that having a skate park/playground/tennis courts/twin rinks/running trail across the street, instead of staring into the living room of my neighbors, is a massive blessing.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f5.6; ISO 800; 1/80 sec.

Floating mountains

Pretty floating mountains (I think Cheam and a couple of others).

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f8; ISO 100; 1/160 sec.

Beauty in the midst of a storm

Two mornings ago I awoke at 5:51 a.m. when there was a loud (by my sleepy account) bang in my house.  I jumped out of bed, ready to take down the perpetrator of some horrible crime in my house.  Turned out it was the wind, which was kicking up quite the little storm outside and had blown in through my son’s open window and slammed his door shut.  I remedied this and then went through the house checking for open windows, blowing curtains and other possible hazards to my going back to sleep.  With the patio umbrella all closed up and the deck chairs and barbecue tucked against the house I went back to bed.

I couldn’t sleep.  I went back to the den and grabbed my camera and noticed that with the windstorm that was blowing up came an absolutely beautiful sunrise.  Looking off my deck I took the shot that you see above.

Beauty in the midst of a storm.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.

Life is getting back to normal

Hi.  I’ve been a bit busy lately, so I thought I’d tell a short story through photos to illustrate part of why I’ve taken an accidental one month hiatus from posting photos.  Besides the ending of the school year, which was busy (as usual) and emotional (we lost quite a few staff members to layoffs, transfers and retirement), the Family B moved.  We sold our house in May and moved on July 1st.  We’ve found a few perks have come with moving to a new house.

This is Cultus Lake.  It’s a summer retreat that fills up with Lower Mainlanders from everywhere from Vancouver to Chilliwack.  It used to be 40 minutes away from home; now it’s only 15 minutes away.  Yay!

Yesterday morning the kids and I went for a walk.  This is off the Rotary Trail, which is five minutes from our front door.  I guess there’s no excuse not to go for walks along the river.

Last night, while barbecuing on our deck, I snapped this photo (actually a photomerge of two photos to create the panorama effect).  This is the view out my back patio doors.  Yay!

There are some drawbacks to moving (stress of the physical and mental varieties / moving further away from my family), but I think the move has been positive.  I plan to post daily starting today.  Thanks for checking in an sticking with me.  See you tomorrow.


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