Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto, Ontario

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto, Ontario

Our primary reason for visiting the Royal Ontario Museum on this occasion was to view the Mayan exhibit since we had visited the site of two of the Mayan ruins (Chichen-Itza and Coba) during a winter vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula. Photography was not permitted at the Mayan Exhibit so I’ve broken the ROM blog into two parts. The first part comments on the Mayan exhibit and this second part shows a few images of the main areas of the Museum.

I enjoy looking at masks and carvings from all over the world and have posted a number of mask images in previous blog entries, most notably in the blog entries for the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec and the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, B.C. It should come as no surprise then that I spent a bit of time in the ROM section that highlighted masks and carvings from Polynesia and Micronesia.

I find the beadwork on First Nation’s moccasins and mukluks fascinating so always stop and take a look at the different pattern choices. I have a couple of pairs of moccasins that were made for me by a member of the Swamp Cree of Northern Ontario. They made the interesting observation that, for themselves, they only use enough beads to make the outline while ones made for tourists get the filled-in designs. Not sure how true that is or whether or not it is just part of modern-day economizing but it is interesting to think about in terms of how the designs might change depending on the scarcity of beads or the perceived importance or wealth of the recipient.

Leaving the masks of Micronesia and the beadwork of Canada’s First Nations peoples, my next stop was in front of the costumes of European battle such as this Italian Barbut weighing in at 2.5 kg. People complaining about carrying around the weight of a DSLR should consider what it would be like to wear one of these in the field of battle.

There are lots of other interesting items on display at the Museum but I certainly didn’t have the time to photograph everything, but I did try :-).

For more information on what might be happening at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) click here to access their website directly: Royal Ontario Museum website

New Year’s Eve – Ottawa, Ontario

New Year’s Eve – Ottawa, Ontario

My wife and I headed to Parliament Hill for New Year’s Eve. Some years they have fireworks, other years they don’t. This happened to be one of the years when they didn’t. We waited along with a small crowd and midnight came and there was no big bang in the sky so like everyone else we said Happy New Year to those around and headed home.
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Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Starting up a website., 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. Icicles on the Thule.

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.

New Year's Eve Fireworks - Mont Tremblant, Quebec Photographing fireworks on the ski slopes of Mt. Tremblant in Quebec to end the old year (2009) and start the new year (2010).

With hands out they waited Kanata Badminton Club meeting on Jack Pine Trail Flickr Wakefield outing - March 16, 2010 - Unabridged Yup! Definitely tastes like 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

The creation of a masterpiece - Winterlude ice sculptures - Feb 2010 Crocuses in shock! +27C/81F today! Where there are dreams there is hope. 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.

A project of Mairin Peck in Oregon Stonehaven Drive Fire - Kanata, Ontario Helping students achieve their goals and being glad that not all fires take lives.

Last campground site - Obatanga Provincial Park -  Breeding Bird Survey Road to Dubreuilville, Ontario 5AM Awaking many, many mornings at 4:30AM to conduct Breeding Bird Surveys for Environment Canada.

Full Moon - VMC 50th - Vincent Massey Collegiate, Winnipeg (Fort Garry), Manitoba Participating in some of the craziness of my school’s 50th anniversary reunion under the watchful eye of a full moon.

 The group The hosts of the show - Jennifer Podemski and Don Kelly - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! 2010 - Ottawa, Ontario Kinnie Starr - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario Inez - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin Elder, Keeper of the Sacred Wampum Belts readies for greetings and opening ceremonies - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario David Usher - Canada Day 2010 - Kanata, Ontario 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.

Grand Hall - Museum of Civilization Finally taking my camera to the Museum of Civilization, a much overdue totem pole experience.

Osgoode Medieval Festival 2010 -  Am I missing something?   :-) Taking Aim - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY Land Battle  - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY From the staircase - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Pump House - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Taking a step back in time at medieval festivals and re-enactments and restored “castles”.

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider Christina and the butterflies Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks Running out of light! 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.

Lion cub out for a morning stroll - Serengeti, Tanzania Lion in the Serengeti Lilac-breasted Roller Licking the lips. Mmm. Good. 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!

Shades of Nudity - Sculpture Garden - City Park, New Orleans Alien Communication Device - Canada Day 2010 , Kanata, Ontario 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 :-).

Fireworks - Canada Day 2010 in Kanata 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.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Museum of Civilization – Gatineau, Quebec

Museum of Civilization – Gatineau, Quebec

A great place to visit but I certainly don’t get there as often as I would like to. This day in June, seemed like a good time as any to pack up my camera gear and head across the river for another visit to this museum. A number of years ago, I met a tour guide of Haidan ancestry at the UBC Museum of Anthropology who said that she would like to see pictures of the Museum of Civilization’s Grand Hall. She was particularly interested in the Haidan house because much of the exhibit came from a location of her youth and her grandmother’s village.

Grand Hall - Museum of Civilization

The grand hall is indeed grand. Because the totem poles are so tall and the buildings are so wide it is a bit tough to photograph the whole area.

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