It's my birthday, but the only pictures I took were for a tutorial I'm writing... booooring. So, instead I'll dig into the 'archives' and post this picture from May 29th (some archives eh, it's 2 whole days ago).
A super close up of the first bloom on my geranium (it *is* a geranium by the way, despite the fact that it looks different from many of the geraniums I've seen). It's already a massive ball of deep green foliage but has only a few flower buds... so far.
Those who have known me for any length of time know my fondness for Hog's Back falls. It's certainly not the most majestic of falls (tautly controlled as it is), the stone and cement walls, black iron rails and skyscraper backdrop give it an urban jungle flavour and the constant drone of traffic over the bridge is audible even over the rushing water, but despite all of that (or perhaps because of it) I love this place.
Our annual all-staff meeting was held on Turtle Island, and between all of the year in review updates, year ahead forecasts and general back-slapping there were teachings and prayers from Native elders (and an amazing Inuit throat singing demonstration). The weather sucked, but the area is incredible and beautiful, a very spiritual place.
This is among the last of the tulips in our fair city, it's been hot (and I mean HOT!) and these babies don't like the heat very much. This one, and a bunch of its brothers, is still standing tall and proud out front of the kids' school but I suspect they won't last the weekend.
My lilacs have started opening! My front yard is sheltered and shaded in the afternoon and evening so they're a couple of days behind other lilacs, but they're opening beautifully and smelling wonderful :)
It's practically a given that a drive home from the folks' place (a little over 4 hours) will involve a stop at one of the many McD's along the highway. The kids were thrilled with their Shrek 'minty mudbath' milkshakes (sugar coma in a cup) but I just couldn't get past how much they looked like snot.
Lynde Shores conservation area, near my parents' house, is a little bit of wetland and forest surrounded by GTP urban sprawl. The little bits love it though, and it's generally a nice place to walk (though a little wet today!)
A very tame Canada Goose, and a VERY fat black squirrel (maybe a she-squirrel?)
It's not that I dislike fundraising for the kids' schools really, but I seriously HATE ill thought out fundraising schemes. This one is Belgian chocolate, $3.00 per bar. 3 freaking dollars for a chocolate bar??!? I don't care how nice the chocolate is I can't pawn that stuff off on anyone I know! ESPECIALLY since it comes less than 3 months after they were forced to shill $1.00 bars of World's Best chocolate.
The school won't let us send freaking RAISINS for snack because 'they're too high in sugar', but they send my kid home with 25 bars of chocolate? My kid who BAWLED (again) when we explained (again) that the chocolate isn't for her.
Ottawa is a festival town for sure. I really think the Tulip Festival is my favourite, and this year we've been blessed with ideal weather. I actually took 104 pictures today, but I'll share just one. I love the colour of these tulips, it's hard to see but they're a combination of bright orange and fuschia, very cool in the afternoon sun.
This is sort of the quintessential Ottawa tourist shot, Parliament from the Portage bridge. I hadn't actually intended on taking shots from the bridge today, it was overcast and crappy lighting, but there were hundreds of protestors on the hill (including dozens of Knights of Columbus, all decked out in capes and feather hats in the 30C heat), so I'll have to go back on a quieter day for the tulip pictures I wanted to get.
Little girls and dandelions, whether they're girly-girls or tomboys it's universal that they love dandelions. Grown-ups see them as lawn destroying pests, little girls see beautiful bursts of yellow or puffs of white begging to be blown to the wind. When do we lose that innocence?
I found the super macro setting on my camera. This flower is in reality about the size of a penny! (Click to see larger). Way cool! What I really love about this picture is the ethereal glow that the late afternoon sun has given the flower.
Can't wait to play more! Here's the teeny flower in non-macro mode.
Spring time in Ottawa is synonymous with tulips. This is the first weekend of the 2007 Tulip Festival and for once the weather is perfect! The early tulips are opening, and the later tulips are tall and turgid, probably the majority will begin blooming this week. This is taken at Major's Hill Park, and the scary completely out of place ultra modern building you can just see in the background (between the tulip and the festival flags) is the fortress also known as the American eyesore, er, I mean the American Embassy ;)
This is beautiful St Andrew's Church, which is at the corner of Kent and Wellington, just a couple of blocks from Parliament Hill in Ottawa. According to the church's website, the church was built in 1828. What you can't see from my picture (again taken from the car window) is that the church is literally flush against the side of a massive modern mirrored skyscraper. VERY odd!
I've seen so many people taking beautiful shots of their handiwork with props and lighting and stuff... but when I attempt it it just looks like a bunch of crap on a tablecloth. Guess I need studio lights and a backdrop... and perhaps steadier hands.