July, 2009

A Stroll Through Woodbine Park

This is a deliberate attempt at achieving the bokeh effect. Not sure it completely qualifies, but I really like how it turned out. Used the macro lens and deliberately focused on the flower in the bottom of the field of view, and let the rest go diffuse. I like the vague forms of the other flowers, as well as the wisps of long spindly leaves reflecting the light of the evening sun in the background.

Some shaggy-looking daisies found in Woodbine Park. Am guessing that this is a genetic variant of the usual, non-shaggy variety.

A Common Red Soldier Beetle on Queen Anne’s Lace, also seen in Woodbine Park. I saw plenty of examples of why this type of beetle is also called the “Hogweed Bonking Beetle”. 😉

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Day Four of the Beaches Jazz Festival – Shakura S’Aida Playing at Kew Gardens

This morning the sky opened up yet again, for a fourth (or is that fifth?) straight day of rain. By the early afternoon it had let up, and before heading downtown to see a movie I wanted to watch (Sam Rockwell in Moon) I decided to go see who (if anybody) was playing at the Kew Garden gazebo.

I was in luck: Shakura S’Aida was playing with her band. I managed to get close and take a lot of nice shots of the show. Here’s a selection.

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Day Three of the Beaches Jazz Festival – Streetfest

Another day of rain, which let up within an hour or so of the start of Streetfest, just like it has done for the previous two days.

Spent a couple of hours wandering around, staying to enjoy the acts rather than just dashing from act to act. Stuck around for the full sets of old favorites like Dr. Draw and David Rotundo, so I only made it as far as Queen and Lee before deciding to turn back.

Dr. Draw. Significantly larger crowds this evening, so he spent most of the time on an elevated stage so the audience could see him.

Another shot of Dr. Draw in action

Dylan Wickens of Dylan Wickens & The 9s. I had never run into this group before, and Dylan Wickens put on an impassioned performance of energetic blues-fueled rock.

Another shot of Dylan Wickens, arguably my favourite picture of the day.

A shot of the crowds gathered by Queen and Kenilworth

David Rotundo striking a pose

On my way back I caught part of a second set of this band, which was still pumping out load and fast bluesy tunes with gusto. I caved and bought their latest CD, though I usually find that they never seem to capture the verve of a live performance (will see).

There was a point when another photographer who was at the very front was kneeling down taking shots. At one point David Rotundo struck a pose with his fists in the air and then held it for about 20 seconds or so, concluding by saying “I can’t hold my hands up like this all day — hurry up and take the shot!” followed by a big grin for the audience, which got a round of laughs.

Rhythm guitarist for David Rotundo. Nasty gash on his arm.

Puente del Diablo. A crummy shot, but a solid, entertaining band playing fast, Latin-flavoured music.

Crowds watching Puente del Diablo

The guitarist for the Downtown Dixieland Band. At this point I was using full external flash with a diffuser, but it was a loosing battle against the failing light, and I pretty much gave up taking pics of bands after this.

No flash needed (or was necessary) for this shot of one of the many street vendors who selling light sticks and the like.

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Day Two of the Beaches Jazz Festival – Streetfest

More rain today, but again it all let up just before Streetfest was to begin. There was even more sun today, so I made a point of running the length of the Streetfest for once. Usually with the girls in tow I don’t make it much past Lee or Wineva, but with just me and my camera I had the chance to sample of the bands playing that night stretching all the way to Beech at the western-most end of Streetfest.

Here’s a selection of pics.

David Rotundo and the Rhythm Guitarist

David Rotundo’s Bassist and Lead Guitarist

Yiannis Kapoulas

Mississauga Big Band Ensemble

Downtown Dixieland Band

Trombonist for the Downtown Dixieland Band

Lead singer of Fathead

Mae Cromwell and the crowd that gathered around her and her band. I love the expression of the little girl to the left of the shot.

Mae Cromwell close-up #1

Mae Cromwell close-up #2

Lead singer of Dubmatix

Not Affiliated Big Band

The drummer for Footwork. I like the t-shirt. 😉

One of the pan flutists from the Imbayakunas, anchoring the eastern end of Streetfest at Beech Avenue.

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Day One of the Beaches Jazz Festival – Streetfest

It had rained earlier in the day and it was still threatening when I headed out for Streetfest just a few blocks from where we live. The sun was clouded over most of the time, but occasionally it peeked out enough to take some decent shots.

Sultans of String

Blackboard Blues Band

The always-animated Dr. Draw

Dr. Draw and other band members. This year they picked up a new musician who plays electric cello. Love the expressions of the female band members (bassist, keyboardist) in the background.

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Until Sometime Next Month…

Worked up north at the cabin for the morning. Managed to see the girls off to their day camp at the Ojibway Club, and settled in there until lunchtime, checking emails and working away on the netbook that I had brought up with me.

Left not long after lunch. Just before I did, I took this pic of three lonely-looking Muskoka chairs on the deck of the main cottage on the island. I hope to return again sometime next month.

Came home by Ontario Northland bus via Got home to an over-ripe smelling Toronto (no, the garbage strike did not end while I was away) and settled in to finish the work I had started (and couldn’t really work on the bus, though I tried) on earlier in the day.

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Some Fauna (and Some Flora) from Georgian Bay

Am guessing that this is some sort of mayfly. Was at least 6-8 cm long.

The most fascinating creature I managed to take pics of was this Eastern Fox Snake that lived in a hole in the rock between the two cabins. Saw him (or her?) three times in one day, so I managed to take a lot of pics. This was a long one, I would guess at least 1.3 meters in length. I bet there are a lot fewer mice on the island thanks to this snake.

Beautiful but deadly: a foxglove plant that has insinuated itself in a patch of ground not far from the cabins. Luckily the other adults knew what it was and warned the kids away from it.

This giant green dragonfly (I would guess about 10-12 cm in length) landed on a rock and was patient enough to not only let me take plenty of pictures, but even to let me change lenses so that I could get close enough to use the macro lens.

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Leuty Lifeguard House Shutting Down for the Day

Was walking along the Boardwalk and it was the time when all of the lifeguards
were beginning to close up shop for the day at the Leuty Lifeguard Station.

I took several shots, but this was my favourite of the bunch.

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In the Garden After the Rain

Another rainy day. Needing a picture of the day, I ventured out into our backyard garden with the macro lens to see what there was to see and photograph.

Easily my favourite shot of the day: the underside of a grape leaf that had been rained on. I like the way that the droplets magnify the cells in the leaf.

Close-up of a lily spattered with rain drops.

A tall, purple plant with flowers also displaying water droplets.

Looks a bit like some soggy mop. I like the contrast against the dark leaves.

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Young Swallows

Went to the foot of Bathurst Street with the intention of heading over to Fort York to take some pictures. When I got there I discovered much to my dismay that it was closed due to the civic workers strike.

On the bridge heading over to the old Fort I found that there were some young-looking, just-fledged, somewhat fluffy-looking swallows perched on a line that was below me. I got out the telephoto lens and snapped the following pics.

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