awakening

Woke up five minutes before 6 A.M. this morning. That’s a little early for me.  The moon’s rays were trickling in through the blinds in the bedroom. It’s one day after being full moon, so it still looks pretty full to me. I got up, thinking I might get some good moon shots from the balcony. Turned on the coffee machine, which I prepare each night before going to bed. Looked out and saw that the moon was still way up in the sky. Decided to wait a while so that it would get closer to the horizon and hence look bigger. Also nice when you can get some kind of foreground. Drank my coffee, did my web stuff … looked out every now and then. Even got out and shot a few, but I was not happy with them. It was cold out there … only nine degrees below freezing, but the blustery wind made it bone chilling, and the tripod would hardly stand still. The closer it got to the horizon, the more daylight there was and after three mugs of strong, black coffee there was no point in going back to bed.

We went out later today and I saw two bald eagles in the sky. That’s always a treat! Too high up for any good shot, but just seeing them is enough for me. In Rockwood Park I shot this gull.

Rockwood Park sent out an email the other day. They wanted photos for various publications, to attract (even) more people to the park. They stated that they needed pictures with people kayaking, from the golf course, from the camp grounds et cetera. I went over to my Flickr albums, searched for all photos tagged ‘rockwood park’. Got close to 2,000 results, but only two, three with people in it! Had they asked for ducks, furry animals or morning mist I could have supplied them with oodles. Shooting people is really not my kettle of fish.

I’ll sleep like a log tonight.

 

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nice ice

Today was rather eventless. A visit to Costco and on our way home we swung by Rockwood Park. It looks rather spiffy now with a little snow cover. There’s also a thin sheet of ice on parts of the lakes.

The other day, when we went down to Calais, Maine, I visited a drugstore there … Rite-Aid. Still — after eight years in North America, I was struck by the differences between my homeland and here! Apart from medications they had everything from potato chips, kitchenware, toys to booze and smokes!!!

Back home, the drugstores [apotek], are very … strict. The only items apart from medicine would be a few shampoos, body lotions and now … for Christmas; mustard and saffron.

Lately, things have loosened up a little, I learned when I was home. Now they sell a few common painkillers, similar to Tylenol and Aspirin, in grocery stores and gas stations.

They all look pretty much the same. I still remember the pharmacies of my childhood, when all the bottles were brown and made of glass. In my town, it resided in a beautiful, old building and  was later turned into a bar.

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.

Walking in the Rain

Lily Lake in Rockwood Park

Yesterday started out promising, with a glorious sunrise. After having my little breakfast, I decided to take a walk to Rockwood Park … take some photos, get some fresh air.

I’ve never walked there before — always ridden the car. Have you noticed how close most things seem to be when you always go there by car?! With our proximity to the park, I’d figured it would take me ten minutes, at the most, to walk there. The walk took thirty minutes, and I walk at a rather fast pace.

Had almost forgotten how nice it is with a good walk, when you do it for pleasure … not because you have to be somewhere at a given time. You just put one foot in front of the other and let your thoughts wander. I’m a really good multi-tasker so I can walk and think at the same time 😆 Was thinking a little about this type of blogging and various topics popped up in my mind. Decided against most of them, thinking ‘nah … that’s way too personal’. There’s always that fine line … the balance I want to keep, as I don’t know who’s reading. There’s no way I can know how my words are perceived. Over the years, it has felt like I’ve known people online, but it never beats knowing someone ‘in real life’.

I’d only reached Somerset when I felt a raindrop on the tip of my nose. Could have turned around there, but  thought ‘I’ll wait and see how bad this will get’, and walked on. Only a few drops fell, well … quite a few when I reached the actual park, and then I came back home again. Not many pictures taken … hardly any at all. Talked a little with a mother and her three, young sons. They’d walked all the way from downtown.  A taxi was idling outside Lily’s Café and I was almost tempted, but then I thought: ‘what the heck is wrong with me?! I have two, healthy legs, just hoof it!’, and afterwards I was glad I did.

Today isn’t any better … fog and drizzle. A good day to spend on the couch.

Sunday Morning Sunrise

Many people have written about sunrises around the blogosphere, so why not me too. Mornings have become my favorite time of day. It’s the serenity of it all. Hardly any cars moving, just the occasional gull laughing. The morning mist still hanging around the river… Mornings like today, I just can’t help myself from trying to capture the beauty of it all, even though it’s always the same view.

It’s something about the colour of the light … just a few minutes before the sun comes up — when the very first rays hit the buildings. Almost … but still not the same … a few minutes after the sun sets. The light turns a little indigo.

Disney Cruise lines have decided to make Saint John a port of call in 2012. Saint John is known for its fog, jokingly called Fog Capital of Canada, and Disney wrote on their website «Compared to inland locations, the climate of Saint John is moderate, with plenty of romantic fog billowing into the city throughout the year.» Many people here can’t stand the fog, so they found this sentence incredibly funny … about the romantic part! It’s a personal choice! I love the fog … perhaps I’m one of the few, but the feeling of being enveloped in it and how it absorbs all sounds. The only thing that’s missing here is the fog horn! That’s a sound I remember well from my childhood back home in Härnösand, Sweden — a likewise foggy town.

Here is a guy who really has it made! He has moved in to a hole at the duck pond in Rockwood Park, right beside the walking path around the pond, with an enchanted view of the ducks. He gets fed all the time by all the people walking there, thinking he’s cute as he’s peeking out. It seems he’s already used to it — I gave him a peanut yesterday and he wasn’t scared at all.

 

 

«Baby, it’s Cold outside»

That was what the weather man in Boston said last night and boy, is that ever true! The weather is on top of my mind right now …. in fact, I think it’s on top of MOST people’s minds. We get Boston on the big networks and the weather they get in Boston, we get here … just a little later.

It’s -24°C  or -11°F, but what’s worst is the WIND. According to the weather site I frequent the most, with the wind chill factor it feels like -35°C  or -31°F. They have put up a red warning there.

The wind kept me awake overnight … the sound of the howling gusts and also the building itself. All kinds of little weird sounds that I’d never heard before.  We live on the top floor (9th) of this building. I had to convince myself that this building has stood here for more than forty years and has probably seen worse weather than this!

A photo from yesterday. I doubt many pictures will be taken today … I don’t know.

This is Lily Lake. She’s being prepared for the annual pond hockey, that takes place February 4th — 6th. Pavilion Cup, it’s called. For new readers to this blog … Lily Lake is in Rockwood Park … the place where most of my animal and duck photos are shot. It quickly became my favorite place when we moved to Saint John, NB.

The pond hockey is a fund raiser for various charitable causes … childrens camps in the park … people with disabilities et cetera. It’s a wonderful thing.

Apart from my friend and blogging buddy KJ McLean and her hubby, we also bumped into a couple of deer yesterday at the birdfeeder spot in the park.  KJ also did that thing I tried yesterday … acting as a human birdfeeder.

Usually, the deer hang out at another spot, where people put out apples ‘n stuff for them but they roam all over the park. Now when it’s this cold and this much snow, I guess they get more inclined to get closer to humans.

As I climbed into bed last night … we have a wonderful bed that we bought when we moved in, and I never get over how nice it is … I was thinking about homeless people. How fortunate I am! The lousier the weather, the more I think about them. Hopefully they’ll be taken care of now that we have this extreme chill.

There’s some frost on one of our windows. Yesterday, I put on the 50mm lens [Nifty Fifty], and tried to get a real close-up of it. Nice pattern Mother Nature has created there…