Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, Montebello, Quebec

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, Montebello, Quebec

While we were visiting at the Chateau Montebello, we decided that it would be nice to take the short stroll over to the grounds of the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site directly adjacent to the Chateau properties. (Location) It was late in the day as we explored the exterior properties in the setting sun and then we returned in the morning expecting that we would be able to see the inside of the building. Unfortunately, it was the first week that the Fall hours were instituted and, being a Monday, this was the first day that the buildings were not open for viewing.

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Le Fairmont Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec

Le Fairmont Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec

The Fairmont Chateau Montebello is located approximately 1/2 way between Montreal and Ottawa on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.  It is now part of the Fairmont chain of hotels and resorts.  The facility is a well maintained original log building with four wings extending out from a central meeting area with a large fireplace.  Each wing consists of approximately 50 rooms.  On this occasion, we had one of the river facing rooms, in the same alcove that George W. Bush used during his stay in 2007 for the NAFTA Summit.  His Seigniory Room accommodation (Rm 219) had a nicer view of the marina :-). I don’t think that they will be putting up a sign announcing that I stayed there though!

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International Fireworks Competition at Lac Leamy

Since returning from Italy three weeks ago,  I have had my camera out of its bag only twice. When I saw Wagboy’s fireworks photos in  a Flickr posting, I decided my shutter finger needed some exercise and off I went to photograph the fireworks competition at Lac Leamy.  Missed a turn and ended up on the wrong side of the Gatineau River but found a spot with no crowds and no parking hassles. Couldn’t hear the music but lovely wide angle view of the fireworks. Remembered a few things from our fireworks tutorial and forgot a few things :-).

Posting a few shots from the fireworks before heading back across the river again to play a 6:30PM soccer match in Gatineau. It’s an OT6 Division game against the Hull Albatros team on Mont Blue Field #2 by Ecole Secondaire Mont Bleu. The average age on the field will be about 40-45 y.o. so if you happen to be in the area, stop by and look for the oldest guy on the field! After the match, I’ll need a rest to recover from that and then the next day everything hurts, etc.  Age.  Ain’t it wonderful!

For those who are following my uploads from my Italian trip, I hope to finish those uploads next week and for those who are waiting for my to upload the Ogdensburg re-enactment photos, those too will hopefully be on-line next week.

International Fireworks Competition at Lac Leamy without the music.

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Pontiac Observatory Initiative RASC Presentation

Pontiac Observatory Initiative RASC Presentation

Stephane is trying to win the Pepsi Refresh Canada $100K prize to build an Observatory Park in Pontiac Quebec. The idea is that it allows for the general public to get access to telescopes, planetarium and a safe dark sky location in which to observe the stars.

He put on a presentation to the RASC members in Ottawa this month and the next day help promote his challenge and astronomy in general during Astronomy Day at the museum of Science and Technology.

To help support his cause vote daily here:  http://www.refresheverything.ca/observatoryinitiative

Just logon via facebook (yeah I know you got one) and vote everyday towards this valuable astronomical asset!

Night Lights of Old Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

A bit chilly on the fingers but fun nonetheless to walk around the darkened streets of Old Montreal looking for interesting night scenes to photograph.
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Montreal, Quebec – The daytime view from Mont Royal

After a breakfast/lunch/brunch at Eggspectation in Old Montreal, we hopped in the car, left the cobblestone roadways of Old Montreal behind, and drove to the parking lot atop Mont Royal. The walk from the parking lot to the viewing area required lots of attention and an adaptation of the ‘duck walk’.  A combination of warm temperatures and rain and then freezing temperatures had turned the pathway into a good imitation of a sloped skating rink. I must be getting older. I’m beginning to notice such things. The young joggers pranced by seemingly impervious to the cold breeze and the slippery conditions underfoot. Then, there were the x/c skiiers with their skiis making that grating sound as they made their way along the icy trails bereft of any new snowfall to provide any grip.
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Old Montreal, Quebec – Just out wandering on a cold Sunday morning – Part 2

Cour d’Appel Du Quebec

It was morning. It was cold. The wind made it feel like -20C despite the bright sunshine. Very few people out on the streets. Wandering around the streets of Old Montreal under those conditions is quite the experience. The quiet was deafening. The stone and concrete gives off no heat.
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Old Montreal, Quebec – Just out wandering on a cold Sunday morning – Part 1

It was morning. It was cold. The wind made it feel like -20C despite the bright sunshine. Very few people out on the streets. Wandering around the streets of Old Montreal under those conditions is quite the experience. The quiet was deafening.

Note: Due to the number of photos of this area, I am breaking this morning’s meanderings into two blog postings. This one will show a few things that I found interesting and the next one will focus more on the architecture and street layouts.
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Montreal, Quebec

My wife and I decided to travel to Montreal, Quebec for a bit of a change. Weather conditions were supposed to be nice but another cold front came through and temperatures dropped abruptly as we were driving along. Gusting winds accompanied this change but at least they were coming from behind. By the time that we got checked in, light for photography was diminishing but there were a few interesting things to look at on Rue St. Catherine.
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Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

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. 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!