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Kanata Badminton Club 2014 AGM

July 25th, 2014 No comments

Kanata Badminton Club 2014 AGM

Traditionally, the Kanata Badminton Club’s Annual General Meeting has been held in Tommy’s restaurant at the old town center. This year, the meeting had to be delayed a couple of months while renovations at the restaurant were underway. Happily, the renovations were finally completed and we could have our meeting.

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As a club with about 140 members, the club operates during the winter months utilizing the facilities of two local schools in Kanata, Ontario. Since the City of Kanata amalgamated into the City of Ottawa a few things changed but the Kanata Badminton Club still operates much the same as it did many years ago when I first became a member. Over the years, my ability to see the bird has diminished somewhat and, with each passing year, the entry players seem to be a bit younger :-).  It’s a community based recreational club and it’s still a fun way to survive the winter months.

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Kanata Badminton Club Executive 2014 – 2015

This year’s executive should have an easy year as usual even though it will once again be a year with some changes :-). Maybe, my play will improve and I’ll be moved back to the competitive red level again!

Sir John Carling Building Demolition – Ottawa, Canada

July 13th, 2014 No comments

P1070802.MOV.Still001July 13,2014 – Sir John Carling Building Demolition – Ottawa, Canada

It was a dull, dreary, overcast morning with lots of rain threatening from the south but, after 2 1/2 years of planning and preparation work, the planned implosion demolition of the 11 story Sir John Carling Building went ahead as scheduled and in only about 14 seconds the 11 story building became a contained pile of rubble. I was happy to have the opportunity to be there for the event and to assist Front Page Media Group in the documenting of this event. Unmanned GoPro cameras were stationed at various locations to capture the event from as many angles as possible.

The above high resolution video was taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 4K Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera from a prime location offering direct line of sight of the whole building. I left the camera filming after the explosions to capture not only the initial explosions that started the demolition process but also to capture the billowing cloud of dust that moved across the field toward our position a safe distance from the explosions. A pretty unique experience and the first of its kind in Ottawa, Canada. If you view this high resolution video at full screen size, you can see an employee scurrying to get to the safety of the cab of his truck before the billowing dust quickly closes in around him.

Haunted Walk Ottawa – Time Traveler Trail

July 6th, 2014 No comments

The Haunted walk has a new trail for the time-travelers among us, its called the Time Traveler Trail and it focuses on Ottawa’s past when Ottawa was Bytown and riots and pistol fights in the market were more common than Beavertails. Guided by Steampunk attired guides prepare to set off on an adventure in time.

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The new walk has already gathered the attention of the Whovians in Ottawa, as the Society of Doctor Who made an appearance to take the walk through time.P1070732 P1070738Our guide was quick to take us back in time with the help of their timely-whimey device.

P1070748- ShunkThe tour was full of great historical stories about a time when Ottawa wasn’t as tame as it is now, in fact traveller’s beware, time travel can be hazardous to your health and you could end up finding yourself in a duel as a way of solving slanders and slights!

A duel was the way to settle disagreements in the past, although what these two had against eachother we will never know.

A duel was the way to settle disagreements in the past, although what these two had against eachother we will never know.

Also this might be a cleverly disguised Dalek, just saying…

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Along the route we had a chance to seem some clearly historical signs, some on purpose and others by time traveler luck?P1070761 - Cropped

P1070751-CroppedP1070764 - Cropped Finally as the night drew dark (7:30pm tour rather than the weekend matinee 11:00am tour) our Time Travel energy grew low with the fading light and we got to see some of Ottawa’s premier buildings in their evening glory.

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In the end, all by Steve (poor Steve) made it back to our present time alive and well about 2 hours after we headed off on our adventures through time and walking distance.

Canada Day 2014 – Kanata, Ontario

July 1st, 2014 No comments

Canada Day 2014 – Kanata, Ontario

Graeme and I took a short walk around the Kanata Canada Day 2014 activities, met some people whom we have known from past events and activities and met some new people. Lots of things happening during the day and, if the threat of blustery weather passes by (appears to be heading off north of the city), it should be a great night for the fireworks. (Kanata weather)

When we arrived at the base of the toboggan hill, the Holy Trinity Catholic High School Rhythm and Blues Band were setting up on stage under the direction of Neil Bateman, so, while waiting for their performance, we just wandered around.
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Of course, our cameras were busy when the band did arrive on stage.

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We did consider stopping at the Lemonade stand but Dan Robidoux and his group had a better offer. It was pretty tough to walk past a free draw for a bike and also get a free bottle of cold water and a free carabiner, all from the same booth. So, of course, we stopped; filled in a ballot; got some water; and ended up with a green carabiner and a red carabiner. Now, I’ll have something green for next St. Patrick’s Day (LOL)

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Although I would love to win a bike, it would have been even nicer if the vehicles on the other side of the pathway had been up for grabs. Each Spring, for the past few years, I have traveled hundreds of kilometers of rather rough gravel forestry roads in Northern Ontario while conducting breeding bird surveys and other surveys. For that, a big, high clearance muscle truck would have been awesome (gas economy notwithstanding).

014_0940-Ballot-Box 014_0939-big-truck 014_0938.Prowler-jpgWhen the temperature outside is above 30C who could possibly be thinking about curling but, there, right in the middle of the heat, was the Huntley Curling Club of Carp, Ontario tent complete with brooms and a bit of black ice to show the next generation how to sweep -:).

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I wanted to see how the USA would do in the World Cup match on television today so had to head home pretty quickly but not before stopping at the large soccer ball that marked the display promoting the FIFA World Cup Soccer Event which will be coming to Canada (and Ottawa) in June/July 2015. (FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP website)

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IMG_66401-EVA2EVA should be ready to compete after another year of practice !!!

(see EVA, the Cockapoo, in training for FIFA)

For those reading this blog on Canada Day who might still have time to get to Kanata for the evening activities, there is plenty scheduled

(see official Canada Day in Kanata website)

If attending fireworks, take a moment to review our on-line fireworks photography tutorial before heading out with camera in hand.

HAPPY CANADA DAY EVERYBODY

Ron & Graeme Hay.

Returned late in the evening to listen to the stage group “Amos the Transparent” which is a Canadian rock band from Ottawa, Ontario, featuring Jon Chandler, Chris Wilson, Dan Hay, James Nicol, and Olenka Reshitnyk.

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A Spring Outing

March 24th, 2014 No comments

A Spring Outing

Graeme wanted to get out on the trail to obtain some high speed shots of birds in flight with his Sony NEX-FS700 with SELP18200 lens.The easiest place to do that is on the many trails in the National Capital Commission’s Greenbelt where the Chickadees and Nuthatches are quite happy to come in close and personal to obtain a sunflower seed or two from outstretched hands. Graeme was shooting at 1080p and either 240fps or 480fps. I on the other hand was shooting with my Nikon D300 and a 70-300 f2.8 lens. I restricted myself to 1 frame at a time. My finger can’t click at 480fps LOL. I hadn’t been out on the trails much this winter, so was a willing participant and offered him a hand – actually offered to hold out my hand with an offering of sunflower seeds.  The temperature has continued to be rather chilly so winter clothing was a necessity and outstretched hands can become uncomfortably cold rather quickly.

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It was a Sunday, so the birds had already seen plenty of outstretched hands offering all sorts of bird seed. All along the trails, there were small piles of seed left behind by hikers and skiiers sharing the trails with the birds and the squirrels. After leaving a few seeds scattered among the snow-covered branches of the cedars alongside one portion of the trail, so that Graeme would have plenty of winged visitors to photograph, I headed further along the Sarsaparilla Trail to see if there was anything else that might catch my attention.

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There had been reports of a Barred Owl in the area and others had seen a Porcupine sleeping in the higher branches of the trees, but I saw neither. Often, when I walk along this trail, I will be greeted by a Blue Jay or two, but this particular day, the Chickadees were my only companions. There were signs that a Pileated Woodpecker had recently been hard at work, but as this large woodpecker tends to be a bit wary of humans. I suspect that this particular woodpecker had taken a few days off from its labours to avoid the weekend crowds of humans.

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014_9218-Pileated-holesWhen we arrived back at the parking lot, we found that someone had left a copious supply of seeds and peanuts at that spot, so we stopped again to watch the Chickadees and Red Squirrels return time after time for another bit of food to add to their cache. As we were about to leave, a Red-Breasted Nuthatch joined in and returned a few times.

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014_9224-r-b--nuthatchOur next stop was the Bird Rescue center.  Although the sunshine was sufficient to melt some of the snow on the roof, it was still quite chilly when not in the sunshine.

014_9231Icicles-After that stop, we headed over to the Old Quarry Trail, hoping to see a White-tailed Deer or two. We saw only one doe this time around, and she was a bit skittish and raised her tail in alarm as the X/C skiiers passed by. The Chickadees and Red Squirrels were happy to entertain us, though, and in addition to a few Red-breasted Nuthatches, our more common feathered friends were also joined by one White-breasted Nuthatch. The sky was blue and the sun angle was warming, so I was able to tolerate standing with my hand out for quite a lengthy period of time, as about 20 Chickadees swooped in, one after another, to pick out their favourite seeds. Red Squirrels watched on waiting for their opportunity to run in and get something to eat.

014_9245-w-b-nuthatch  014_9253-red-squirrel 014_9256-Red-SquirrelTwo years earlier, the temperature was significantly warmer and snow had all melted away.  Not this year, though!!!  Nice to be able to interact with the birds and mammals we find along the trails and provide them with a few more seeds to help them get through the winter.

Breeding Bird Surveys (2013) – Day 1

June 3rd, 2013 No comments

Breeding Bird Surveys (2013) – Day 1 – June 3, 2013

This was the fourth year that Gerhard and I had teamed up to conduct breeding bird surveys for Environment Canada on four prescribed routes between Ivanhoe Lake and White River, Ontario. Our first day was always a very long drive since our destination was Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park where we hoped to pitch our tents before nightfall with a bit of time left over to get something to eat for supper and to still have a bit of daylight left to explore the shoreline and a few of the trails in the area. To do so meant that we had to leave Ottawa before sunrise (about 5AM) and drive the 900 km distance with only quick breaks for nourishment and gas along the way. On our first day’s drive, last year, we encountered heavy fog as we departed the city but, this year, the weather cooperated and we had clear driving until about the time that we reached the Montreal River crossing at Latchford. As we headed further north from that point, we encountered, first, a few intermittent rain showers and then a few more showers and then, as we got closer to Timmins, Ontario, the weather had deteriorated into showers composed of a mixture of rain and snow which made driving a bit more difficult. The wet stuff, although white in the air as it passed our windows, melted immediately when it hit the ground so was interesting to experience but not a significant danger. Standing at the side of the road, however, signalling traffic to stop or go would definitely be less pleasant in such inclement weather.
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Read more…

Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society Annual GIANT AUCTION – March 24th, 2013

March 25th, 2013 1 comment

AquaMania-Banner

Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society Annual GIANT AUCTION – March 24th, 2013

This year, the Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society (OVAS) combined their annual auction held on the Sunday with a Saturday slate of guest speakers and  a room full of vendors to produce a fun-filled weekend dubbed AQUAMANIA.

Today’s entry will focus on the events of the GIANT AUCTION on Sunday March 24th, 2013. To see images and information relating to the Friday and Saturday activity see our previous two blog entries.

Friday night preparations
Saturday speakers and vendors

As has become the tradition in the past few years, Peter was hard at work late into the evening and again early in the morning dealing with the registration of a varied collection of items from gravel to driftwood to full sized aquariums and fish with unpronounceable Latin names. Other members and volunteers had already done all of the hard work of setting up the tables and chairs before I arrived – I was certainly happy to see that :-). Read more…

OVAS AQUAMANIA WEEKEND – Ottawa, Ontario – March 23 – 24, 2013

March 23rd, 2013 No comments

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OVAS AQUAMANIA WEEKEND – Ottawa, Ontario – March 23 – 24, 2013

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DAY 1 – Well it is now Saturday and I’m at the Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society’s Aquamania weekend event. (LOCATION: Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre, 1876 Robertson Road, Bells Corners, Ottawa, Ontario).  Today has a full slate of interesting speakers and tomorrow is the annual GIANT AUCTION. Our previous AQUAMANIA blog post provides a full schedule for today’s speakers but, just in case, here it is again. Read more…

OVAS AQUAMANIA WEEKEND – Ottawa, Ontario – March 23 – 24th, 2013

March 22nd, 2013 No comments

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Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society (OVAS) – Aquamania weekend – October 23 – 24, 2013

The weather promises to cooperate this year as the executive and volunteers of the Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society continue to work to put the final touches on this weekend’s AQUAMANIA – a two day event culminating in Sunday’s GIANT AUCTION.  (LOCATION: Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre, 1876 Robertson Road, Bells Corners, Ottawa, Ontario)

There will definitely still be snow on the ground but the forecast is for sunny, blue skies and temperatures in the +2C – +6 C range, a definite change from the past couple of years. Read more…

Ottawa weather – February 11, 2013

February 11th, 2013 No comments

Ottawa weather – February 11, 2013

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It’s been an all too familiar scene recently.  Snow is falling once again this morning and the temperature is expected to rise to about +1C by the end of day. Of course, when snow is falling in the morning and the temperatures is rising a few degrees during the day, the outcome is often a slippery, messy one and it looks like today will be such a day.  It is 9AM and a freezing rain warning is in effect!

I know that it wasn’t a good thing for me to comment yesterday on how nicely I had shoveled the last vestiges of the last snowfall off of my driveway and onto the piles growing beside the driveway (one now exceeds six feet near the roadway!).

Tomorrow is forecast to be a bit warmer, still.  Certainly hope that it is warm enough to melt whatever falls today.  I am beginning to tire of the act of shoveling snow, regardless of how much exercise it might provide!

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