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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.


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.

RON_4328-Plasco-Energy RON_4329-Plasco-Energy


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.

RON_4331-Ottawa-Sun-team  RON_4325-Mayor-Watson

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.


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.




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


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!


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.


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 :-)).

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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.


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





Canada Explorer Home and About Ontario Osgoode

Kingdom of Osgoode 2012

Kingdom of Osgoode 2012

Well, it’s July of another year and once again Graeme and I were able to travel to a mystical place (location) to enjoy the dancing, the sword fighting, the jousting and the many other things that were happening this weekend (July 6-8, 2012) at the Kingdom of Osgoode.

The King was there and was kind enough to inform me that some of his normal entourage were unfortunately detained and not yet present. Some mention was made of a dungeon but I cannot divulge more.

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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


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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A year in review – 2011

A year in review – 2011

It’s a damp, cold and drizzly day outside (December 13, 2011 – Kanata, Ontario – +3C and forecast for freezing drizzle overnight) so I decided to start our year end review a bit early (will add to edit through December and then will do final update Jan 1st!)

Flickr photo views – I passed the 700,000 views level this year in my Flickr account so between Graeme and I, we expect our individual on-line photo views to pass the one million mark sometime in 2012. Might already have passed that mark if we count in previous discontinued accounts that Graeme and I have had in pBase or Nikonians galleries.

MegaPixelTravel blog – when we started the MPT blog in the Fall of 2010, we thought that we were being a bit optimistic when we projected that we might see 30,000 to 35,000 views in our first year. When we passed the 50,000 mark with ease in 2011, we were both happy and surprised and very appreciative of all of the nice feedback that we received.

Geographic distribution of visitors to our MPT site – we don’t specifically track visitors to the MPT site itself but I do have a counter on my (Ron’s) profile page  In 2011, that counter rolled past the 2900 count for unique visitors from 78 different countries. Visitors to that specific page have included individuals from all of Canada’s provinces and all of the United States except Delaware.

I think that the most interesting photo of ours that has appeared in a commercial publication this year is this shot of garter snakes emerging in the springtime from their underground dens in Manitoba’s Interlake country. The Narcisse area is alive with snakes in early May of each year (LOCATION) and I am happy that John Wiley and Sons chose this image for their publication: Frommer’s Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada’s Best Travel Experiences which is available through or as well as many other locations.

Exploring the world of film:
I continue to stick with the still image world while, in 2011, Graeme has expanded his interests in the world of film. I’m rather fond of my star role in Graeme’s short clip of the roof opening on the Volvo C70 while Graeme is certainly happy with the success of other film work that he has been involved with in 2011 including, most recently, his work with the Digi60 Ottawa Film Festival.

Travel and Events:
Traveling in 2011 was a bit curtailed for a variety of reasons but we were still able to travel to many interesting locations and photograph many interesting places and events both at home and abroad. It has given us a lot of pleasure to share images and stories from those travels and events through our MegaPixelTravel website. Some of the highlights.
Polar Bear dips in the Ottawa River and Cycling in Florida in January.
– In February,  Old Montreal on a cold Sunday morning and an NHL hockey game in Ottawa.
Stowe, Vermont in March with a Super Moon event to add a bit of excitement at home.
Syracuse, NY in April
Tulip time and Ottawa’s Tulip Festival in May
– June got rather hectic with everything from participation in a breeding bird survey in Northern Ontario, to Graeme’s presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, to participation in the Juvenile Diabetes Society Foundation Walk, to the photographing of the Ottawa Bicycle Club’s Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour
– July featured the Will & Kate show in Ottawa (a.k.a. Royal Visit), plenty of fireworks, Noctilucent clouds, a real wedding in the Kingdom of Osgoode, an exciting re-enactment in Ogdensburg, NY, and adventures on a bus tour through Italy.
– In August it was some astrophotography for Graeme and a Fort Niagara visit for Ron.
– September was a bit subdued.
– October opened with the excitement of the Annual Butterfly Show at Carleton University, included the drummers and dancers of Remic Rapids and featured the many colours of Fall.
– November was a great time to wander the local trails and feed the Chickadees.
– December isn’t over yet but already Christmas lights and seasonal decorations in Toronto, Ottawa and Upper Canada Village are the theme.

Seasons Greetings to everyone and hope Santa knows what you want!

Canada Explorer Home and About Ontario Osgoode

Hand Fasting Wedding at the Mediæval Fair in Osgoode, Ontario – 9th July 2011

Hand Fasting Wedding at the Mediæval Fair in Osgoode

For the third year in a row, Graeme and I have had fun photographing the activities of the Mediæval Fair at Osgoode, Ontario. (Location) This year was a special year for a young couple since it was their wedding day and therefore my photos of today’s activities (July 9th, 2011) show more wedding than jousting and more kissing than dancing. You can view one of the videos that Graeme took of the events by clicking on the above image. (Please note that these photos are copyright so we would appreciate that they be treated accordingly and not be distributed without our permission, etc.) Links to photos of the previous years’ Osgoode activities can be found here.