Jack’s Walk

 

Jack is back, ©voyager, all rights reserved

There was a bit of bad news when Jack saw the vet yesterday. It turns out that Larry the Lump™ was not a lipoma (fatty cyst), but instead is something called a spindle cell tumor. It’s a benign type of tumor so there’s no chance it will spread, but it will regrow. How fast it will regrow is anyone’s guess. It took about 5 years to reach its removal size of 10 cm. so we may need to deal with it again in a few years. I hope not. Jack is 10 now and is already a young senior citizen even though he thinks he’s still a puppy.

There was good news too, though. The incision has healed perfectly and the Dr. removed exactly the right amount of skin to allow totally free movement of the joint and not sag. She says that Jack and I may resume our adventures. Hooray! Here is the boy blissfully scenting the air at our local park.

Closer to the Sun

I work on (essentially) the fourth floor so I have a great view of some rooftops. As we had another sunny day, I couldn’t help myself and gave the work camera another workout. Most photos below the fold, since I got a bit… carried away.

(They’re a bit of an obscure Canadian band but something about them caught my ear – their music makes me a little bit happy, a little bit upbeat, a lot like winter sunlight…)

It was much earlier in the morning – I had my fun before the work day began, and it was beautiful.
©rq, all rights reserved.

[Read more…]

A Pair of Beautiful Mornings

As promised, same time, same place… Except does the ‘same time’ argument count if it’s a few weeks later?

First, an overcast morning. I was a bit disappointed because the previous morning had been clear skies and lovely dawn colours, but as it happens, I didn’t have a camera on me – I’ve been using the work camera since the dog out country chewed up my handy little soapbox, and my phone camera has given up ages ago (the selfie camera leaves much to be desired). So I borrowed the work camera, but this particular morning insisted on a blanket of clouds. Oh well, says I.

Lovely snow everywhere. Though a bit thin.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Then I left the work camera at work, of course, and the following morning arrived – clear skies, and those lovely dawn colours through the darkness. Screw it, I thought to myself – this needs a photo. And did my best with the selfie camera on my phone. Just pretend it’s an impressionist painting, and I think you can get past the blurriness and enjoy the atmosphere.

Bit of a different angle because the photo I took from the platform was terrible. See the drama!
©rq, all rights reserved.

It was still November when I took these photos, and the picture shows, I believe, electric train cables.

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!
©rq, all rights reserved.

Wee little icicles! So long as they’re not hanging from our eaves, they’re adorable.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Look at that crispy goodness!
©rq, all rights reserved.

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.
©rq, all rights reserved.

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.

 

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.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Snow-clad rooftops against that pale, delicate sky…
©rq, all rights reserved.

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.
©rq, all rights reserved.

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!
©rq, all rights reserved.

This isn’t a theme with the moon again – but it’s interesting to see the same half moon at a different angle.
©rq, all rights reserved.

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.

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.

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Early morning at the park. ©voyager, all rights reserved

The day started out a bit gloomy, but that wee spot of blue sky has grown and now the day is bright and beautiful. The temperature is even climbing and by tomorrow it’s supposed to be plus 5º C. That should melt all the snow and the world will turn brown and gray again, making it hard to see Jack on our evening walk. The boy disappears in the dark and so does his poop. At least when there’s a bit of snow I don’t have to get out my flashlight and wander around trying to find the poop somewhere amongst all the dried leaves. Snow is good that way…the poop pops and so does Jack. No flashlight required.

Jack’s Walk

I think the winter weather is here to stay. Today we’ve been getting intermittent bouts of snow with gusting winds and it’s a bit nasty. I even resorted to wearing my fuzzy hat with the ear flaps that makes me look like an ewok. It’s not a good look for me so instead I give you Jack who needs no earflaps because his are built in. I hope all of  you are finding ways to keep warm.

He’s been waiting for the snow, ©voyager, all rights reserved