June 2, 2012 – Gananoque sports a population of 5200 and is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River a few kilometers downstream from Kingston, Ontario. There are a number of reasons that one might want to visit Gananoque. One reason might be to visit the OLG 1,000 Islands Casino visible from the Hwy 401 intersection. As we were arriving at that intersection, we were directly behind a large white bus that acted as a shuttle bus bringing another busload of people to the Casino. We had no particular interest in following that bus into the casino parking lot since my success rate at slot machines is very low.
A bunch of us headed to Sandbanks Provincial Park for the August Long Weekend. This Park is made up of two sections, a large campground with sandy beaches and the ‘banks’ which is Sandy Dunes for which you can walk for hours on.
Located Near Kingston Ontario and along Lake Ontario you have to act fast to get spots when the Camping Season Starts (and the Ontario Parks Reservation System Goes Online) to reserve a spot; that said we were in the group campground which you have to call directly. I can’t remember who in our group was fast enough to score of the of the two group campgrounds, but I thank them. The Group Campground has enough room to hold numerous tents and has a large central firepit, we are also across a street and some forest from the main campsite so your very secluded. The seclusion is a plus/minus sort of deal, although your group won’t be having other campers walking through your patch of green, your also on the far side of the campground with your own ‘beach’ which pales in comparison to the main beach so to really get that “Sandbanks” feel you will need to walk across the main campground to the main beach.
Starting up a website. www.megapixeltravel.com, with my son, Graeme, was one of the major milestones for the year. Graeme had been prodding me to think about a blog format for my photo postings for quite some time so this was the year that it happened. I like to add text to the photos that I post. Although that works fine on Flickr for single photos, a blog format provides me with a better sense of continuity of thought and sequence of events when uploading a series of photos. In 2011, I intend to continue uploading to Flickr but will likely leave the story-telling here with my blog uploads.
Boxing Day 2010 has arrived with sunny skies and -10C temperatures a far different situation than Boxing Day 2009.
Rather than seeking out one “best” photos, here are some of the highlights of my year and some of the memories that keep me attached to my camera. Clicking on the thumbnail images in this annual review will take you to a larger version on my Flickr photostream or to the specific blog entry associated with that photo.
Photographing fireworks on the ski slopes of Mt. Tremblant in Quebec to end the old year (2009) and start the new year (2010).
Introducing complete strangers to the enjoyment of feeding the Chickadees or meeting friends out on Ottawa’s Greenbelt trails and enjoying the company of like-minded souls on outings with Ottawa’s Flickr groups
Watching artists at work carving large blocks of ice into masterpieces at Ottawa’s Winterlude and then seeing another Spring arrive and being able to use my camera to help out in a small way at the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.
Helping students achieve their goals and being glad that not all fires take lives.
Awaking many, many mornings at 4:30AM to conduct Breeding Bird Surveys for Environment Canada.
Participating in some of the craziness of my school’s 50th anniversary reunion under the watchful eye of a full moon.
Photographing local events and concerts. I don’t normally take photos of people, so this was a new challenge for me. “Sloan” and “Monkey Junk” at Ottawa’s Westfest; “The Initial Reaction” and “Insensitivity Training” and “The Duck Wife” at Ottawa’s Fringe Festival; “Jennifer Podemski”, “Don Kelly”, “Kinnie Starr”, “Inez”, “Lucie Idlout”, “Digging Roots” and Algonquin elder, Grandfather William Commanda, at the APTN (Aboriginal People’s Television Network) broadcast; “David Usher” and “Elliot Brood” on Canada Day: and “Blue Rodeo” later in the year.
Finally taking my camera to the Museum of Civilization, a much overdue totem pole experience.
Taking a step back in time at medieval festivals and re-enactments and restored “castles”.
Experiencing the excitement of finding a bug, flower, bird or animal that I haven’t seen or photographed before or successfully testing my recuperated Achilles with a nice mountain climb with my wife, or just enjoying the thrill of another beautiful sunset.
Of course, spending two weeks in Africa looking at lions, elephants, giraffes and exotic birds with Graeme does have its benefits and plenty of high points.
Photographing lights at night is always a favourite pastime especially when winter approaches and I don’t have to stay up all night to do it!
And, finally, to finish off this rather long post, there is the enjoyment that I get when wondering what people think when they search on words like “nude men” or “alien communication devices ” and arrive at my on-line offerings :-).
Not sure where I will be on New Year’s Eve but, hopefully, I will find more fireworks to photograph where ever I end up being.
A series of multifamily dwellings were almost ready for occupancy at the corner of Stonehaven Drive and Stonehaven Crescent when a vicious fire reduced then to ruin. My father lives in the complex next to the site and so, at about 3 AM, I was called and told that his building had been evacuated as a precaution and that Stonehaven Manor had suffered only minor damage. When I arrived later that morning, the fire fighters had done their job, the police had secured the site, and all that was left for me to do was to take a few pictures for the photo album.
The media crews had most of their interviews completed and were just waiting for the fire chief to make a comment and then all that was left to do was pick up the pieces, look for clues as to the cause (likely arson) and rip everything down and start over again.