August, 2009

A Day Up at Pointe au Baril

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Wasps and Leaves Already Turned Red

Last summer we had a lot of yellow jackets. This summer it seems to be these guys. They’re annoying, but at least this one posed for my camera.

Took a walk down by Woodbine Park, and was surprised to see that some of the sumach there had already turned red. Am guessing the relatively cool weather this summer along with all of the rain is turning them red earlier than usual. Still, makes for a nice picture.

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Warrior’s Day Parade at the C.N.E. 2009

Went to the Canadian National Exhibition this morning, mainly to catch The Warrior’s Day Parade. There are several aspects of it that appeals to me: the chance for some interesting portraiture shots, the many different types of dress uniforms over different times and places and of course it is also a slice of history. It is also a way to honour the memories of my parents, both of whom played their part in WWII.

According to the Warrior’s Day Parade Web Site the order of the contingents in the parade are as follows:

  • Various Royal Canadian Legions
  • Public Service Veterans, Police War Veterans, Fire Fighters War Veterans Associations, Unattached Veterans – 1939-1945, Korea, Peace Keeping, United Nations Force
  • Dieppe Veterans, Regimental and Corps Associations, Hong Kong Veterans, Dunkirk Veterans, Burma Star Association, Royal Navy Association, Royal Marine Association, Merchant Navy Association, Canadian and British Airborne Forces Associations, Guards Division Association, Royal Canadian Naval Association
  • Allied and Visiting, and Re-enactor/Living History Contingents.
  • Though the skies initially threatened rain, it ended up being a nice day, and though the clouds never completely disappeared for the event, there was enough light to take good, crisp shots. Thanks to various transit snafus I didn’t make it for the start of the parade, but managed to find a good spot to take pictures from.

    All of the contingents of marchers were accompanied by a cadet carrying a three-number placard, identifying the group. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a listing online, so the only ones I can positively identify are those that had their own signs, either as a banner at the head of their contingent, or written across a drum.

    Here in parade order, are the pics:

Contingent 215. While not in this pic, both NATO and U.N. flags were in their contingent.

Pipers from contingent 228

Three standard bearers from contingent 147

Pipers from the Toronto Rameses Shriners Band

Standard Bearers from the Woodbine Heights branch of the Canadian Royal Legion

Two WWII veterans from the Highland Light Infantry of Canada and their driver
Accordionists from the contingent 138

More Royal Legion Veterans

Drum Major from contingent 122

Pipers from the same contingent. That can’t be good for your cheeks.
Close-up of a standard bearer

Veteran in a wheelchair

Veterans from the contingent after 183

Pipers from the Derry Flute Band

Veterans in a vintage M38 jeep

Standard bearers

An RAF veteran in a wheelchair

Drum Major and Pipers from contingent 121

By this point in the parade many of the vets who had been in earlier parts of the parade had started walking back, and I caught this fellow beside me giving a salute to those who passed.

The one moment I wished I had caught on my camera was a smile and a hand-shake an old WWII vet had given to a young boy from an Asian family who had paused to let a contingent pass. A nice moment.

Drum Major from contingent 105

Drum Major and pipers

WWII veterans from the Toronto Police contingent

The sole Mountie in the parade

Flutists from the Queen’s York Rangers of Toronto

Members from a Parachute Regiment, contingent 269

We’re definitely into the “Allied” portion of the parade now: these are trumpeters from the Polish contingent, #103

Flag bearers from a South Korean contingent

Trumpeter from a Guards unit

A WWII vet and sole participant from an Indian contingent, #240

WWII veterans

The sole (horse-)mounted soldier in the parade, from contingent 268

Veteran from contingent 264

U.N. contingent from Ghana

A couple of wheelchair-bound veterans from the Taiwanese contingent, #274

A few other members from that same contingent

A much be-medalled veteran

A very young Drum Major and piper from contingent 139 (not 266, which follows) of a Georgian-era re-enactment regiment

Members from another re-enactment group (#266), also in Georgian-era uniforms

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Studies of Old City Hall

Went to the Wold’s Biggest Bookstore downtown in order to pick up the fourth “Thursday Next” novel by Jasper Fforde, and then walked down Bay Street to Queen Street in order to catch a streetcar home, and passed by both Old and New Toronto City Hall in the process. So I took out the camera and took some pics, mainly of Old City Hall.

The building was bathed in that wonderful warm glow of an summer evening sun, adding contrast and picking out colour in the old stone. Here are the pictures:

The Old City Hall clock tower against the modern Cadillac Fairview tower

Close-up of one of the Old City Hall gargoyles.

Gargoyle and Clock

North face seen from an angle

North face detail, straight on

Gargoyle detail facing north-west

Detail of the scroll-work on the last half of “Court House”

The clock tower in light and shadow

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A Long Day at Ontario Place

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Sunflower Studies

Bought a bunch of cut sunflowers for my wife who is returning from her extended stay up north today. It also gave me the opportunity to play around a bit with my macro lens as well.

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An Attempt at Astrophotography

Woke up very early this morning, and while making my usual morning tea I looked out the porch door at the back and saw a very bright “star” in the low east. I figured it must be a planet, likely Venus. I confirmed this when I went to check Stellarium on my computer. So I dug out my camera tripod and the telephoto lens and thought I’d try to see if I could catch the planet in one of its phases. The picture below was the best of the bunch I shot.

The planet Venus

Stellarium also pointed out that Jupiter and the moon were prominent in the western sky, so I set up my tripod on the front porch and took some more pictures. The pic below shows Jupiter either flanked by some of its moons, or is a form of lens aberration.

Jupiter and Moons(?)

I’ll have to try and take another set of pics of Jupiter to see whether or not I get the same effect.

I don’t have much to show really, and I can’t help but think that the next stage up in telephoto lenses would be desirable for taking better, more detailed astrophotography pics. Still much to learn!

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Experiments with Backlighting

A lily cut flower in the morning sun

Another backlit flower

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Of Birds and Bugs (in Woodbine Park)

A male song sparrow being true to his name

Ladybug on Queen Anne’s Lace

A Black Saddlebags dragonfly.

A male cedar waxwing. Haven’t seen one of these reclusive birds in years

Close-up of a male goldfinch

A pair of male goldfinches. Both of these had flitted away a moment later

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Honeybee on a Coneflower

Was invited over to Dave and Charmaine’s for dinner last night, and I made a point of going to Charmaine’s well-stocked garden to take photos before the light disappeared completely.

To make a long story short, there were honeybees having a good time sucking nectar out of the many coneflowers (also known as Echinacea) so I got out the macro lens and started patiently taking pics. Those below are culled from about +130 I shot.

On this one you can see the three mini-eyes set between the two big compound eyes on either side.

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