Jack’s Walk

Jack won’t be allowed to take walks for the next 2 weeks so I thought this was a good chance to post some of the photos I took over the summer. Today I’m sharing the place we overnighted on the way to Perce. It’s a little place called Saint Luce, Quebec and we arrived just in time to watch the sunset over the St. Lawrence River.  There are a few more photos under the fold  and you can click for full size.


Sunset on the St. Lawrence River, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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David Ruston’s Roses

From Lofty, the story of the man behind Australia’s famous Ruston’s Roses.

This is a statue of David Ruston in a park in Renmark, a tribute to the man and his contribution.

… Ruston’s Roses in Renmark, once Australia’s biggest rose garden. David Ruston began working here at 18, and developed a life long passion for roses. He became world renowned, and was for a time President of the World Federation of Rose Societies.  He built his father’s original collection of 500 rose bushes in to over 50,000 bushes. But he didn’t just grow roses, he was also an expert floral arranger.

Sadly, his health declined, as did the gardens, although they are still open to the public and with new ownership I hope the garden will return to its previous splendor and supply roses to the world once again.  The garden currently has a contract to supply rose petals to the Nineteenth Street Distillery in Renmark for use in their Gin.

David had a fall a year ago, and although he was present for the opening of the Renmark Rose Festival he was unable to participate.

I like the use of hard steel to display a man of flowers.

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

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Achievement Unlocked: Status “Winter Wonderland” Acquired

Yes, it’s a winter wonderland out there right now (complete with angry driving and the fools who didn’t change to winter tires on time because ‘the law says December 1!’). I have said it before, and I will say it again: I love snow. A winter without snow is a desolate mess of oversalted streets and sooty puddles and pure, unadulterated darkness (and this ain’t even Finland!), but a winter with snow – ah! Ice Swimmer said it once, twice the light, and this is true. Yes, it’s a slushy, desolate mess in the city, but I far prefer hopping the irregular snow banks to slogging along the dirty trottoir without them.

Alas, the work schedule forbids me daylight hours, but here’s a glimpse into the wonderland of my backyard. I can only hope that there will be more.

It’s not much, but it makes a difference, even in that orange sodium glare.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Little solar light, doing its best, wearing a lovely winter hat!
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Wee little icicles! So long as they’re not hanging from our eaves, they’re adorable.
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Look at that crispy goodness!
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The beginnings of the skating rink – after a years’ hiatus, it will be up this year! Though I’ve been told there will be no skeleton track. Boo.
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And I had to retake the previous shot, because Ronja insisted she had to get in on the photo fun. She’s all puffed up and happy.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Singing the beauty out, it’s the Latvian Voices – the video is shot in the attic part of the National Art Museum (worth a visit), which is all painted white, and I hope this is a good omen for the winter to come.


Jack’s Walk

Jack is doing fairly well after the removal of his lump yesterday. The wound has 18 stitches and it’s on the back of his front leg running up to the top of his shoulder which turns out to be a difficult place to keep covered. Every time he stands up the dressing slides down to his toes and the area starts to ooze a bit of serous fluid tinged with blood. We see the vet later today and I’m hoping she has a solution for this. I tried using a child’s sock with the toe cut off to keep things in place. That didn’t work. Then I tried a long swath of veterinary wrap wound tightly and that didn’t work either. Ditto for Kling wrap and a tensor bandage. He’s pretty sleepy today so it’s not too much of a problem, but it will be in a day or two when he’s brighter. The stitches stay in for 2 weeks and no walks until they’re removed. I’ve added a surgical photo under the fold in case anyone is interested. It’s a bit gory, but we nurses like that sort of thing. If you don’t or are squeamish please don’t click-through.

Not quite HappyJack today, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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Winter Light

With yesterday’s sunny weather, the buildings across the street at work were showing off some beautiful crisp lines and shadows.

This is the view down the street – it’s not so much the buildings you should enjoy, but that lovely low golden light. About as bright as it gets.
©rq, all rights reserved.

And here’s the view across the street – you can see the years these two were built, and also compare and contrast the degree to which they’ve been taken care of.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Detail of 1912, it’s got a funky little piece of identifying art at the top: judging from the implements, someone in the building industry (engineer or architest) was the initial owner of the building.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Here’s 1900 next door with no such identifying marks, but it has a certain respectability to it.
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Snow-clad rooftops against that pale, delicate sky…
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An hour later, the sun had moved enough to cast significant shadow and all the impressive lighting was on the other side of the building.
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Indeed, nothing compares to the magic of a sunny winter’s day. Who knows how many we shall have this year?

Winter Has Come

And nobody knows for how long!

This morning I left home about a half hour later than usual because I had to take the car in for pre-winter-season servicing, which is always a fun time of year, but that’s not the point.

The point is the wonderful clear winter morning light – compare the darkness with the photos from the train station a few weeks ago. I’m determined to get that same shot tomorrow, though I have no idea if it will be overcast darkness, or the wondrous pearly dawn we had today. In any case, here’s the backyard all snowy, and the subtly dramatic colouring of the sky, heralding a sunny winter’s day:

©rq, all rights reserved.

There’s a bright light in the sky!
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This isn’t a theme with the moon again – but it’s interesting to see the same half moon at a different angle.
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And the song I wanted by this band, Fight the Feeling, could not be found by me on youtube, but here’s something appropriate in theme by The Music.

Jack’s Walk

Jack and I took our walk at 6:30 this morning when it was still dark because Jack is having Larry™ the fatty lump removed from his shoulder girdle this morning. Larry™ has been quietly growing in Jack’s armpit for the past 5 years, but this summer he reached baseball size and started to track down the arm (leg?) so it’s time to go. Jack is very healthy going into this. His bloodwork is all normal, he’s lost weight and he’s ready for to say goodbye to Larry™ himself. Imagine a baseball in your armpit! Anyway, our photo for the day is Jack, with Larry™ front and center. I’ll let everyone know in TNET later today how he makes out.

Jack and Lumpy Larry, ©voyager, all rights reserved


Wednesday Wings: The Story of the Kinglet

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

In German, a wren or kinglet is known as a “Zaunkönig”, the king of the hedges, and this is how he got his name.

One day, the birds decided to crown a king. They wanted the strongest bird to be their king so he could protect them, and they decided to hold a competition. They would all fly towards the sun, and the bird who could fly the highest would be their king. They all flew as high as they could. First, the small birds needed to return to earth. Then the geese and swans. the falcon flew very high, but finally he had to give up. The eagle flew higher and higher until the sun burned his light plumage to a dark brown. Finally, he was at the end of his tether and turned around. But the small king of hedges, who was still called by a different name back then, had hidden himself between the feathers of the mighty eagle. He had waited for just that moment, and when the eagle turned around, he came out, flew a bit higher and sang his triumphant song, declaring himself king.

The eagle was very angry at the cheating little bird and swore to kill him. The little king of hedges flew into the thick hedges to hide from the eagle, who was named king by the other birds. He keeps hiding there to this very day, but he still sings his song about beating the eagle in a flying competition.

Frozen Bubbles

I was cleaning out some files recently when I came across an email I’d saved from 2015. It isn’t hard to see why I saved it. The photos are gorgeous and it’s hard to believe these are ordinary, transient soap bubbles. Since we have so many talented photographers on this site I thought I’d see if anyone else is interested in this art medium. Story via Backyard Neighbour,

Soap bubbles blown in freezing temperatures turn into stunning ice crystals

  • Hope Thurston Carter captured the images after blowing bubbles on several freezing days in Michigan
  • Temperatures between -9 and -12C are ideal for creating the ice bubbles

In the midst of one of the most severe winters in modern American history, the 52-year-old, of Martin, Michigan, got the idea after seeing similar pictures on the Internet.

‘I was instantly curious and ran out and bought some bubble solution so I could try this myself,’ she told HotSpot Media.  ‘I found out very quickly that blowing bubbles in the winter and trying to photograph them is not as simple and easy as it looks!’

Still weather with temperatures between -9 and -12 degrees Celsius is ideal for creating the ice bubbles.  On such a day, Hope ventures into her back garden with a bottle of bubble mixture, blows a flurry and, when one lands intact, runs to her camera to photograph it as crystals spread.

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Imaginary Experiments in Transgenics

I have a colleague who has a pet horse and also a pet spider.

This is the card she got for her birthday:

I haven’t worked out the internal anatomy. That’s an issue for an actual geneticist, I’m just the conceptual artist!
©rq, all rights reserved.

It’s a bit rushed because I totally forgot that I had to have it done for that day, but I had the idea all set up in my head. And mostly got it right.