Ottawa Winterlude 2013 – Ice Sculptures

Ottawa Winterlude 2013 – Ice Sculptures

_RON7962-WinterludeA retroactive post – We started off our downtown visit with a stop at the Rideau Center and then we were off to the NAC to purchase tickets for an upcoming performance and then it was off to Confederation Park to take a look at how the ice sculptures were progressing. Weather couldn’t have been much better for the sculptors and their blocks of ice. Unlike some previous years, there was no severe cold weather in the forecast and above-zero temperatures weren’t forecast either, so with a bit of luck the work of this year’s sculptors will hang around for a few extra days.

_RON7941-Rideau-Center
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Winterlude 2012 – Ice Sculptures

Winterlude 2012 – Ice Sculptures

Feb 6th – 2012 – One day of +6C temperatures and clear blue skies with lots of sunshine took a quick toll on the smaller sculptures out in the open by the fountain in Confederation Park and by the time that Steve Boyton and I arrived to photograph them in the evening, they were no longer in existence. This year, the Winterlude planners had erected canvas shelters to protect the larger carvings from the elements. Although the larger carvings were all dripping wet and had melted somewhat and, in some instances, had lost parts due to gravity and the melting action of the day’s heat wave, there were enough of the sculptures still intact to provide a glimpse of the excellent work that had been completed only a day earlier. Continue reading

A Short Visit to the Shirley’s Bay Feeders

A Short Visit to the Shirley’s Bay Feeders

Graeme and I had spent some time photographing the ice sculptures at Confederation Park. On the way home from there, I decided to take a short detour to Shirley’s Bay ,where I found a woman photographing a Pileated Woodpecker at one of the suet feeders. For my part, I was happy to watch the birds coming to the feeders. After taking a photo of a White-Breasted Nuthatch taking some crushed peanuts from one of the feeders, and a Porcupine sleeping high up in one of the nearby trees, I was once again on my way toward home.

Winterlude 2012 – Canada’s National Capital Region – Confederation Park in the Daylight

– February 4th – Winterlude 2012 – Canada’s National Capital Region – Confederation Park in the Daylight

The previous night I enjoyed watching the fireworks and then heading over to Confederation Park (location) to see the carvers in action.

Lots of things happening for Winterlude in the daylight hours as well, so Graeme and I took a bit of time to visit Confederation Park once again on the Saturday. I took still shots, he took videos. Some of the video footage will be posted later. Continue reading

Winterlude 2012 – National Capital Commission – Ottawa/Gatineau

Winterlude 2012 – National Capital Commission – Ottawa/Gatineau

Today marks the first day of The National Capital Commission winter festival, “Winterlude”.

Where: Ottawa, Ontario & Gatineau, Quebec (former Hull, Quebec). During the period of festivities there are activities in many locations but the primary locations are at Confederation Park (Ice Sculptures and Ice Carving), Jacques Cartier Park (Children’s snow slides) and along the Rideau Canal between Wellington Street and Dow’s Lake.

When: dawn to dusk and later each day from February 3rd, 2012 until closing on February 20th, 2012. During that period of time, Graeme and I will be attending various events and posting photos on our website.

Tonight, February 3rd: photo opportunity for fireworks near the Alexandra Bridge at about 9PM (location)

Lots of detailed information is available at the National Capital Commission’s Official Winterlude Website.

Skating on the Rideau Canal 2011

The Rideau Canal is considered to be the World’s largest skating rink and is a central feature of activities during Canada’s National Capital Region’s winter festival “Winterlude”.  The weather was nice on the weekend so I joined my wife and some of her friends, donned skates and demonstrated my skill at staying vertical while trying to photograph and skate at the same time. No one volunteered to push me around in a fancy conveyance so I was on my own in the “keeping vertical” department.


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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!

Winterlude Ice Sculptures – Ottawa – 2010

Winterlude Ice Sculptures – Ottawa – 2010

“Winterlude” is the name chosen for the winter festival celebrated in early February each year in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. For many the main attraction is skating on the Rideau Canal. For others it is the on stage entertainment. For me, it is the ice sculptures. I enjoy seeing the ice artists transforming large blocks of ice into translucent objects of art using such unlikely combinations of tools such as chainsaws, Dremels and household irons.

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Winterlude 2006 – Ice Sculptures

Winterlude 2006 – Ice Sculptures

One aspect of the Winterlude festival in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada’s Capital city) that I enjoy seeing is the talented work of the amateur and professional ice sculptors. Amazing what they can do with blocks of ice as they use all sorts of instruments to remove the bits of ice that they don’t want. Sometimes, it is a chainsaw that cuts away the large bits and then there is a whole collection of smaller tools such as knives, axes and Dremels but the really interesting part is when they go to work with irons and blow torches to smooth out the finished product.

This photograph appears in a NowPublic news story:Rideau Canal named UN World Heritage site.