H.O.P.E Volleyball Summerfest 2013 – Ottawa, Ontario

H.O.P.E Volleyball Summerfest – Ottawa, Ontario

I started off Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Mooney’s Bay (location) where the 31st edition of the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest gets underway early in the morning. First games on the beach were scheduled to begin at 8AM. Graeme was one of the participants playing in the corporate draw for the Plasco Energy team later in the morning so wouldn’t be taking too many pictures. Visit the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest website for further information about this event.

I parked by the University and walked over to the event location. A couple of the shuttle buses passed me when I wasn’t at a location where I could flag them down. It was a hot day and by the time that I got to Mooney’s Bay, I certainly wished that I had put my bike on the back of the van before leaving home. Certainly plenty of participants and spectators had arrived by the two-wheel option.

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Graeme’s team was just getting ready for their third game when I found them. They had won one game and lost one game before I arrived and were now getting warmed up for their third game. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was just below +30C at the beach and keeping the feet moving on the hot sand was a priority as the day progressed.

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On the adjacent bit of real estate, the ladies of the Ottawa Sun team were attracting attention with their fine play while on the sidelines, Ottawa’s mayor was getting a bit more media exposure. Turns out that he and I were following similar routes this particular Saturday since a hour or so later both of us were not far apart in the Kingdom of Osgoode.

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The Plasco Energy team fell behind early in their game but then a  couple of their players had a nice run of successful serving and the team moved into a 12 t0 6 lead, a lead which they never relinquished. It was a fun game to watch. The Plasco Energy team went on to win another game later in the day but, in the end, their final 3 win 2 loss record was not enough to get them to the next level.

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With over 10,000 players representing 1032 teams playing simultaneously on 86 courts on hot sand under a clear sky and blazing sun, more than a few of the participants chose to wander into the water to cool off a bit.

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Various bands were playing on the stage for between-games entertainment. DJ Noah was also present from Live 88.5 kicking out some tunes.

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I wasn’t the only photographer lugging around a big camera.  I’m certain, though, that if I wasn’t heading out to another event, I would have tried standing in the water while taking pictures.  It was definitely a wonderfully warm day for such an event.  Sure beats rain!

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I was soon heading back to my car and, this time, the shuttle and I made a connection and I didn’t have to walk all of the way.

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After visiting the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest in the morning, I waas off to the Kingdom of Osgoode (location) in the afternoon to photograph their festivities including a hand-fasting wedding and jousting (not the same event :-)).

3rd Quarter 2012- MegapixelTravel’s most popular blogs

3rd Quarter 2012 – MegapixelTravel’s most popular blogs

Top Ranking – For the second quarter in a row the top ranking goes to blogs about the Kingdom of Osgoode. Although the Kingdom of Osgoode blog for 2012 still garnered quite a bit of attention, it was the 2011 live Hand-fasting wedding blog and video combined with the video of knights battling that kept the Kingdom on top.

Near the top (educational)Poison Ivy once again with mermaids a close second along with my review of the North Face Mountain 25 tent.

Near the top (athletics) – We didn’t photograph the 2012 event this year but quite a few people visited our site to view past cycling posts especially the 2011 RLCT post. In the heat of the summer quite a few people must have been thinking Polar Bear Swim as blogs relating to the activity of donning a bathing suit and jumping into ice cold water were very popular during the quarter.

Near the top (International travel) – Graeme traveled to Denmark and Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium and the blog entries related to those countries were viewed regularly but, as mentioned above, the Mermaids of Copenhagen  got the most notice. When the link to “El Otro Varadero” made it onto the TripAdvisor website, that specific blog, as well as our other Cuba entries, found their spot in the sunshine.

Near the top (North American travel) – Good hiking weather meant lots of people were interested in the Bruce Trail – Lions Head photos as well as the entries for similar hikes around the countryside.

Near the top (Historical) – With the addition to the annual re-enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, the Civil War reenactment at Massena and a visit to the 19th century lifestyle of Upper Canada Village, a lot of history was covered but we didn’t attend any of the reenactments specific to the War of 1812 but do have a couple in mind for later in the War.

Back  to the 2nd quarter highlights.

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Upcoming event of particular interest to us is the Annual Live Butterfly Show at Carleton University.

 

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2nd quarter 2012 – MPT most viewed

2nd quarter 2012 – MPT most viewed

The following subjects were the most viewed MPT blog posts for the past three months.

Top ranking – The two Kingdom of Osgoode posts from 2011 – I guess everyone likes looking at brides on horses with an entourage of armor-coated best men! Hopefully, Graeme or I will be able to photograph this year’s event. Always interesting!
Kingdom of Osgoode 2011
Hand Fasting Wedding at the Mediæval Fair in Osgoode, Ontario – July 2011

Near the top (educational post)– Images of Poison Ivy. No surprise there. Each year, as the itching begins, people find out that they, or their children, have been exposed to Poison Ivy and, since the rash shows up a day or two after exposure, the search for images and information invariably leads the sufferers to our poison ivy pictorial tutorial. Doesn’t stop the scratching but at least, hopefully, our posting will help some folks avoid contact and avoid the suffering the next time they get near the stuff.
Poison Ivy (Images and Description)

Near the top (athletics post) – Images from the Ottawa Race Weekend Marathon were the most active but a significant number of individuals still arrive each month to look through the many pages of the posting for the 2011 Ottawa Bicycle Club Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour.
The Marathon
Ottawa Bicycle Club 2011 Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour

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Near the top (Scientific posts)
Sun photos (With solar filter)

Near the top (Flora and fauna posts) – Butterfly images get top billing but snakes are also right up there! Most searches for butterfly information arrive at our Carleton University butterfly exhibit summary page. Since we have butterfly images scattered throughout our posts, the total number of visitors coming to our posts due to butterflies is definitely high. Snakes on the other hand are just too numerous at the Narcisse snake pits in Manitoba. Visitors to that post just love to pass the link along to their friends to freak them out :-)!
Butterflies at Carleton University – using the MPT internal search function (upper right of screen just above “share this blog”) usually works well for finding other butterfly images in MPT posts but can sometimes yield interesting results.

Narcisse, Manitoba snake pits – an MPT image from this post is highlighted in one of Frommer’s tour guides which suggests the Narcisse pits as a top tourist destination for May – if you like snakes, that is.

Near the top (International travel) – Individually, each travel post gets high numbers of views but, collectively, views on posts for individual trips are always very high. To see our posts from a particular international region, just click on the category box to the right of the screen. Whether searching the Serengeti for lions or snorkeling in Saipan or just wandering through New York City, we hope that you will find some interesting images and come back often.

Best of summer to everyone.

 

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Kingdom of Osgoode 2011

Kingdom of Osgoode 2011
Note: Once we have the time to do so, Graeme and Ron Hay will be posting Kingdom of Osgoode 2013 images here: Kingdom of Osgoode 2013 (Saturday and Sunday)

Again we travel back in time (and about 30 minutes south of Ottawa) to the Kingdom of Osgoode and their Annual Medieval Festival. (Location) This year there was a lot going on, from Song and Dance on the Main Stage and Real Live Sword-fighting and Jousting to a Real Hand Fasting Wedding. If all you want is a quick overview of the activities this year I did take video using my new Lumix GH2 camera and have compiled the shots into a short video of the event. To see the video, click on the next image.


So I’m going to start with what really makes this festival such a treat, and that all the people who come out in period clothing, they really make this a special treat.

Of course it is the 21st century and its always a bit of fun to see what creeps into the photos; mainly glasses (people like to see) and water bottles (because sun was out and it was hot outside).

I also had the chance to do some more “pose” type shots of the Steam Pixie from Verdigris grove. They make a lot of fea masks and enchanted looking trinkets. I did play around a bit with this photo using Magic Bullet Looks and Photoshop to try to get that “Steam Punk” look.

Some limited success, I should probably study art styles more. I tried to get this modern day robin hood character to look as menacing as possible.

Well that it for me and Photoshopping for this event… Next Up, Hand to hand combat, Thor demands it!

So the Chivalrous Sword-handling group put on a nice sword fighting display for the festival, it included a couple of live steel fights along with more foam based fights and melee.

This next photo is a crop from the melee, I don’t know about proper form or stance but this just looks cool.

Next some Political Punishment.

Councillor Thompson for the region apparently (willingly) signed up to be placed in the stocks. The mayor of Ottawa (Jim Watson) also showed up to cheer him on and get in on the pelting of wet sponges at the councillor, all in good jest mind you.

I also had the GH2 to take a video of the stockage, so please enjoy.

Of course afterwards Thompson had to throw some wet sponges as well.

Next I’ll cover the on-stage activities…