topics

When I exported this blog to the new place, everything came with it — meaning, comments and tags too, not only the posts. Noticed that I had more than six hundred tags. I knew that they were numerous but not that many. Very few tags with many posts [except the postaday2011-tag, of course]. I made a point of it, from the very beginning, to tag them thoroughly as it makes it so much easier to find an old post, and also to be found. The only ones that had a few posts were ‘rockwoodpark‘ (9 posts) and ducks‘ (10 posts). Oh, and I see now that ‘blogging’ appears thirteen times also. Apart from that, there’s pretty much one post for each tag.

Tagging is an excellent system, perhaps even moreso for photos. My system, for storing pictures, isn’t very good; I must always make sure to tag them properly otherwise I never find them again.

I admire a guy like Quotidian Hudson River, who started out with a topic and stuck with it, even though he’s sometimes strayed away from it just a little bit, but always managed to keep the blog interesting.

 

it feels like…

I’ve neglected my blog a little the last few days. This is not good — it has to change because I love my blog.  I admit I got caught up in the Facebook group about my home town that I mentioned. Not that I’ve sat here gazing at that all the time, but the thought process it started … a long line of memories of people, words and places. My memory has worked overtime and things have popped up that haven’t even been brought up in the group. All the enthusiasm about that will soon fade and I’ll get back to a healthy balance between blogging and other things.

After a gray and rainy day it turned out to be a lovely evening. Decided to take advantage of the night light and drove out to the park after supper. It was peaceful there. A few ducks paddling around in the pond, blue jays came to pick up peanuts … squirrels too. Many people also — some running, walking their dogs or just walking themselves. It’s great to see how this park is taken advantage of all year round.

Came back, brought up the photos I took on the computer. Was once again reminded of that LIGHT is everything when it comes to photos. To me, taking photos feels very gratifying.

ducks lined up

It’s morning, I’m on my second cup of coffee, and it’s still pleasant. I won’t write about hot hot it is, or how humid. Today we’ll get a visitor — Gerry’s son from Quebec is coming to see us … stay for a few days. He’s bought one of those wind surfing boards — a board with a sail on it — so he’s eager to try that out here in the ocean … or on the rivers … we’ll see.

These, nice trees, the have in the park, along the pathways.  They bloom each year, for a very short period of time … today all the blooms might very well be gone, or at least turned brown. I don’t know what trees they are, but I like how they’re reflecting in the water when there’s no wind.

A little farther down — outside the picture — there’s a little beach, and there were lots of people, frolicking in the water.

It’s rare to see ducks these days. The pond is vacant. Maybe they go into hiding somewhere when it’s hot. These little guys were paddling along with their mother in Spar Cove. I think the mallard population of Saint John is pretty secure … not a threatened species 🙂

It’s good to have a few pictures, when you’re out of topics to write about. My brain is about to melt and the electrons are jumping very slowly in between the synapses.

 

new edition

Yesterday I got a pleasant surprise in Rockwood Park. These little guys appeared before me. Never seen them out as early as May before. Mother Duck was quacking at anyone who happened to come too close, and eventually she marched them across the road [it’s not a ‘real’ road] to a calmer part of the pond. There were nine of them, all in all.

If all nine of them make it, I don’t think there’s any threat to the duck population of Rockwood Park 😉 However, there are always characters who see them as a yummy snack, or lunch. That’s just the nature of things, I guess.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

2011-05-25, posted with vodpod

It was a fabulous day yesterday. We’re back to fog and possibly drizzle this morning. Tried to get a shot of an American Goldfinch on Tin Can Beach but that’s really difficult — they’re too nervous.

Think I’ll grow web

Another day of rain and fog. We went to Costco. On our way back we drove through Rockwood Park. They usually say about rainy days like this that ‘it’s weather for ducks‘, but even they had come to their senses and left. There was not a duck to be seen anywhere — the pond was vacant!

I’m in no way complaining about the weather. I watch the images from Joplin, MO … the immense devastation … and think it’s very pleasant here. It’s unfathomable…

When we lived in Quebec … several years ago, we found a plant in the grocery store …. we later found out that its name was Lisianthus, but also referred to as Texas Bluebells. We bought a few, and they just kept on blooming until late Fall. They were beautiful and I have a thing for blue flowers [and white] … this is a little purple-ish blue but nevertheless … I love them.

Never found them again, although we kept looking each year, until now! In the grocery store!

We bought a whole slough of them and now they’re sitting here, waiting to get out on the balcony.

Saint John River

I can see the river from our window up here. In the mornings — like it is now — it’s always calm and cool, looking like a mirror. Other times it can be a little choppy … it all depends. In any event, it’s beautiful, and yesterday we took a drive along it up towards the Fredericton area.

Our Spring is still brown. There were spots where you could see slight shades of green but not on the trees … merely on grass.

Our first, brief stop, was Morrisdale. There’s a little lighthouse there and you have a grand view of the river.

Deep down, I was hoping to see some Ospreys, like we did last year, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Near Queenstown, someone has put up a really tall pole, with one of those wooden pallets on top. That seems to work well — I’ve seen several of them and Ospreys build their nests there.

The one up on Kingston peninsula broke off … unfortunately, because it was so handy to the road. This one yesterday is a little too far away for a good shot and I didn’t want to disturb them in any way.

Hung around there for quite a while to see if the other parent would show, but he or she was sitting in a tree nearby, eating a fish. He was still sitting there when we’d turned around and drove back.

I decided to put in the pictures in a little gallery like this for easy viewing. Click on the first and then the arrows… Some of the photos are from the same trip last year.
https://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

  
Saw a large group of Scaup … the duck-like bird in the gallery. I haven’t seen too many of them before — they have a very elegant design! The little, brown calves were just too cute for words, with their curious faces! I don’t know what type of cows they are, but the mother could sure use a hair-cut … those bangs are hanging way down over her eyes! 🙂

Today is Easter Monday … still holiday, but the stores will be open between noon and 5 o’clock as they are on a regular Sunday. It’s still very early … the day is wide open, like a blank sheet of paper.

This Saturday Morning…

looks really good to me! When I go to the eaglecam to watch the family first, there’s always the risk that no blog at all will be written. It’s so fascinating. Today, the nest was full of snow! It rained there (Iowa) yesterday, and apparently it turned into snow overnight. There’s a social stream beside the camera [FB, Twitter, AOL], and people really worry about them.

Yesterday, I was playing around with the header image here. The theme [Suffusion] I use for my WordPress blog here is the best, because you can make anything you want with it. They really wouldn’t need any other teme … this has it all!

For a while, I haven’t had any image at all but decided to put one in yesterday. The one you’re seeing right now is of East Quoddy Light and it was shot from Deer Island. I have oodles of photos, obvioulsy, but it’s really difficult to find one that is suitable for being turned into a header. You have to resize it … you lose in quality or it doesn’t work at all.

I’ve come up with a kind of technique that works pretty well … I open a new image with the exact measurements of the header. Open the photo that I want for a header. Then I can see the proportions, so I turn down the viewing of the photo to the percentage that is closest to the other one’s size, but a little larger. Take a screen shot of it.

Then I paste that screen shot on to the new, empty image as a layer, and can move it around until it looks good. This is something I’ve come up with myself, and I don’t know but I have this feeling I don’t lose as much in quality this way.

Many other themes have this where you upload a picture and then get a chance to crop it right then and there, but then you must be even more careful to choose a suitable image.

Am. Wigeon couple and a Mallard

This just turned out  to be a lot of talk about the technicalities of WordPress. I’m going out to buy a filter for my camera today and I’m feeling really excited about that! 🙂 The decision has matured so that I’m now ready to go for it. It’s called a ‘fading filter’. My ‘mentor’ Ivon, who works in the photo shop posted some pictures in FB a while back, when he had just gotten the filter and I was hooked… We’ll see this afternoon, if I’ve been able to produce anything.

There was a nice light yesterday … for shooting ducks.

 

After the Storm

The weather always seems to get more glorious … more brilliant … the day(s) right after a storm. This is my feeling — I’ve no idea if it’s a fact or not.

Yesterday morning was cold — some fifteen degrees below freezing — but it quickly went up to one positive degree, as the day progressed.

When we got outside, it felt much more like an early Spring day than a day in the end of January. Bright sunshine, melting snow in the streets …

Either way, this winter isn’t over in any way, and it’s coming back to prove that later this week … supposedly. New storm on Thursday, I think they said. That’s a very long-term prediction though, so we’ll see about that. Some storm that’s brewing out west is supposed to cross the whole continent before it ends up here, and I don’t know what to believe about that.

I’m fine with whatever weather Mother Nature provides me with now. Love Winter!

Went out to the west side of town, to the grocery store there, to buy a certain cheesecake they have. Our store here in the north end, rarely seems to make it. It has fruit on it … and cream. Sinful!

After that, we just took a ride over town … down to Tin Can Beach, where, by the way, a dead body was found the other day. According to the newspaper, it was found just a little while after we’d been there. No foul play suspected.

In Rockwood Park, people and animals were frolicking. The Clydesdale horses got to get out on a mission too. In the summer time, they get out several times a week, when they are brought uptown. They drag the tourists from the cruise ships around, and that’s an appreciated part of the whole scenario.

The ducks seemed happy enough too. I love ducks, so I guess perhaps I watch them more attentively than most. I’ve noticed that at a certain time in the afternoon, when the sun is getting low, their emerald colored heads turn even more glowingly beautiful than usual.

One duck, I noticed, was banded! There are banded birds there, every now and then — last year, there was a ring-billed gull with a wing tag — but this mallard had bands around both legs! He was too far out on the ice for a close-up though. The gull with the wing-tag, I managed to trace back to a water shed down in Massachusetts.

This day is link a blank sheet of paper … we have no plans so far and can fill it with whatever we want. I managed to sleep until almost nine o’clock and for that I’m very thankful. Usually, these days I’m up “too” early. My morning coffee is now finished and hence I’ll finish up this post too.

How the Winds are howling

That headline, made me think of an old song my friend and I used to sing when we were young: Donna Donna. It was Joan Baëz that made it popular but it’s an old, Jewish folksong. However, in the song, the winds weren’t howling – they were laughing. It’s a very sad song.

This new snow storm arrived overnight, and now … 7 o’clock in the morning, it’s in full force. Watched the news from Boston, before going to bed last night, and there, they even got thunder & lightning! We’ll see … maybe we’ll get that too!

Very few cars are moving outside, but I see a few people struggling in the winds and the snow … going to work. I don’t have to do that so I’m very blessed on a day like today.

I never had any problems adjusting to not working. Many people I hear about, almost seem to fear retirement. Perhaps the fact that I’d moved to a another country at the same time as I quit working made it different for me … everything was so new! I just never thought about it, until a long time afterwards.
Living in Quebec the first, almost five, years, also made it impossible to work, even if I’d wanted to, as I never got around to learning French.

Since we moved to Atlantic Canada, a little over two years ago, I feel that we’re more active. There’s hardly ever a day that we don’t go out somewhere … if nothing else, at least just a little spin to the park. It’s not far from here … I’ve never tried, but I think should I walk there, it wouldn’t take me more than fifteen minutes. Would have been able to see it from the balcony, had not Mount Pleasant been in the way.

I watched a criminal show on TV last night. The TV is on most of the time in the evenings here, but often I just watch in the corner of my eye, while I do something else on the web, but every now and then something comes on that captures my full attention. This one was British and called Silent Witness. This show used to be with an actress I really like before … Amanda Burton, but that has changed. It was about one of those school shootings, and I felt it was very realistic. I’ll have to wait one week now, to see part two.

As if that wasn’t enough – all the blood and guts — I watched Criminal Minds afterwards. I will never understand people … and not even myself! Why do I even care to watch these horrid shows, with really screwed up minds?! I’m not that type of pereson — what I really like to watch is drama … like on the Hallmark channel, but we don’t get that and it’s very rare that they show any of those films.

Now I’ll just sit back and enjoy the storm. Can’t be too bad, because our cat McDuff hasn’t even gone into hiding. He has opened the door to the closet underneath the sink, where he usually goes when the weather gets really bad. Still, he’s just sitting in the window, watching the snow falling sideways.