Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two For Tuesday - The Day Old, Half-Price Edition

The ebb and flow of creativity has struck. And the result being yesterday's total write off. Not from a lack of desire, somedays there's just nothing in the tank (sorry about the cliche, but sometimes the best words are those that have been used to describe like situations time and time again).

Fast forward one day and everything has changed. Our fool who awoke one day ago to spring is trapped in the midst of a snow storm.; the flooded back alley has become a quagmire of slop and slush. And his head is literally bursting with ideas (which if he had any sense he'd write down as he's sure to lose more than a few of them as the chaos surrounding twists and turns his attention to something new).

This morning as I returned from depositing the children at school, I heard the lonesome cry of the first gull of the year competing with the howl of the wind. I couldn't see it, but it's darn near a white-out out there this morning. I'm thinking the other gulls where having one over on him, an early April Fool's joke perhaps, telling him that March in Winnipeg is the place to be - the weather being fowl and all.

Being Wednesday, it's time for sepia. Today I've got two images (two for Tuesday and all that):

First I've got a red River cart wheel photographed at Lower Fort Garry.

And secondly, the grotto at the trappist Monestary Ruins in St. Norbert, Manitoba.

For more sepia:

My apologies for the disjointed rambling nature of today's post,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Water Water Everywhere

A temporary spring has sprung and my little pond is fast becoming a lake. A quick spike in the mercury combined with a frozen/plugged catch basin out back has allowed the melt water to inch ever closer to carrying off my aged garage. What's more, with rain today and a winter storm watch on the horizon, it's going to make for an ugly couple of days, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a stuffed bear float by with his head stuck in a hunny pot. I do recall March coming in like a lion; so just where is that promised lamb hiding?

On to things photographic; and being Monday that means it's time for monochrome.

I Photographed these little tracks in the snow just days before the mercurial melt that has since left the snow a mix of slush and ice.

For more monochrome:

Have a great week,


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just Me and My Shadow

For this week's contribution to Shadow Shot Sunday , I've got a shadowy self portrait with my favourite snowshoes, photographed with the aid of a wireless remote and tripod (which in my case means that the shot was taken with a film camera).

For more shadows, don't forget to visit:
Have a great week-end,

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Farewell to Winter?

Despite Spring's official arrival, it still looking a lot like winter out my window - plenty of snow on the ground with more looming in the forecast (here's hoping that the weather forecasters maintain their high probability of being wrong).

So in honour of the snow that still blankets my little corner of the planet, here's today's photograph.

Below is an image of the Old Pinawa hydro dam in Pinawa, Manitoba, Canada, in winter, photographed with my Minolta maxxum 7 on Ilford hp400 film. The Old Pinawa Dam has been out of use since 1951 and is now part of a magnificent heritage park on the Winnipeg River, about an hour northeast of Winnipeg.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

It's Thursday, and as usual, I'm late. So in lieu of posting something interesting, and/or witty (which believe it or not does on occasion happen - really), I'll simply get on to the photo.

Living close to a river (the Red River in my case) does provide ample photo opportunities. Below is an image from last spring before the water levels rose back to normal and the tree and roots that were exposed in the photo were washed away as the bank continues it's yearly erosion.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

At The Sod House - Sepia Scenes

For today's sepia scenes contribution I've got an image of the sod house at Fort Whyte Alive Nature Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It's just my opinion, but this works so much better with the sepia tone - it provides so much more atmosphere than the original shot.

And here's the original un-edited shot.

For more sepia scenes visit:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two For Tuesday Act I scene iv - A Wee Visit

We pick up our scene with our fool (hapless as ever, perhaps more so) in the bathroom washing the green marker off of his face.

Having tempted fate by setting traps with the children through out the house and baiting them with pennies in hopes of catching a leprechaun (and perhaps their treasure), our fool has once again found himself the butt of fate's mischief - green toilet water, a message painted on his office door, and, the crowning glory, a face decorated with green marker. And of course empty traps (aside from the chocolate coins left for the children). I'm sure my Irish ancestors are rolling in their graves.

So on to the photo's: Being St. Patrick's day, green is in order.

First is a close up of a crow's foot violet leaf, photographed using natural light, a 50mm macro lens and tripod.

And below, in lieu of a leprechaun, is a tiny house gnome that now resides in my rock garden.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

It's Monday which means that it's time for monochrome. This week's contribution to Monochrome Maniac's Monochrome Monday is the view from the treehouse at Fort Whyte Alive Nature Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

For more of Monochrome Monday, be sure to visit:


Sunday, March 15, 2009

A New Perspective

It looks as if spring has finally found a chink in Mother Nature's armour, and made it's way to the pond. Change is in the air. The temperature is on the rise and the familiar honk of geese was heard over-head. Which also means that it won't be long until the chickadees and their cheery chick-a-dee-dee-dee will be leaving for the summer.

This cheeky little chap offers a whole new perspective on bird watching - bottom's up.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Of Shadows and Ruins

It's back to the Trappist Monastary Ruins in St. Norbet, Manitoba for this week-ends contribution to Shadow Shot Sunday.

Check it out:

Later, and a have great day,

Friday, March 13, 2009

We Just Don't Talk Anymore

"We just don't talk anymore."

I'm sure we've all heard this at some point. And it's true.

We blog and comment. We text, message and chat. We update our status, and poke one another. We throw sheep, and send drinks. We twitter and tweet (and I'm pretty certain that there are those among us that chirp, squawk and cluck).

As we sit behind our monitors linked to the world wide web; or in our cars with a blackberry in one hand, and a frappamochachino in the other, and maybe a head set strapped on, we compensate for our lack of physical contact by broadcasting our every thought to the outside world to let someone, anyone and everyone, know that we're here - please don't forget me (just as I'm doing now).

We have become a society of virtual exhibitionists and voyeurs.

Now maybe I'm just a little old fashioned, but somehow, something's missing - a little human contact.

Don't get me wrong, I love how this technological virtual world we live in has allowed us to connect with others around the world, but I do think that perhaps there needs to be some balance.

And with this end my ramblings; it's time to move on to today's image.

Today's image dates back a couple of years. Pictured are the Trappist Monastery Ruins in St. Norbert, Manitoba, Canada. This is a film image, shot on Ilford hp400 film using my Minolta Maxxum 7.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now For Something Completely Different

It seems to be a growing trend to be increasingly late with my Thursday posts. But seeing as I was rather wordy yesterday, I'll cut myself some slack (but just a little, too much slack is bad for one's health), and simply get on with today's/tonight's image.

Tonight I've got a different take on one of my favourite subjects - frost. I've attempted to mimic the effects of black and white infrared film with this shot. Whether or not I've succeeded is up for debate, but I do enjoy the image none the less.

Late err,


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Lonesome Road Home

Today I've got a sepia toned image from rural Manitoba - anyone that knows Manitoba at all is likely asking themselves if there is any other sort. I call it the Lonesome Road Home.

The story behind the image (which was captured this past fall), actually begins a couple of years back. It was a gorgeous fall morning; it may not be politically correct to call it so, but Indian Summer had arrived. Seeing as it may be the last nice day of the year (winter's do come early in Manitoba, and are long and at times harsh), my wife and I decided to keep the kids home from school and go for a drive to Oak Hammock Marsh (which I have mentioned in past blogs and is a fabulous place to visit anytime of the year, but is particularly stunning in the fall when the geese flock there by the thousands before heading south to warmer climes).

I was studying slide photography at the time and it was an ideal day to shoot - the leaves were turning, the sky was clear and blue with wisps of clouds gliding across. rather than take the our usual route down the highway, we opted to take a back road that ran parallel. As we continued along past the old farm houses, and quarries, we arrived at a dead end: to the right, we would head back to the main highway and Oak Hammock Marsh, but to the left, sitting amongst the fields was a little white clapboard church with a green roof and trim.

We chose left.

The little church was in fact a cemetary - Victoria Cemetary.

We parked on the side of the road and decided to take a look around. I wanted to photograph the weather vane on the roof of the little church.

Looking around at the old headstones we discovered something interesting - there were Gillespies buried here (I'm a Gillespie just in case you were wondering) dating back to the late 1800's; and Littles and Bowmans -other names from my father's side of the family (other surnames have since emerged, including Williams and Sauers). Now my father had recently passed away and being the last of his family there was no one to inquire about this discovery. But with a little help from my wife and many hours of research - it turns out that we discovered my great great great grandfather's grave - and have since found numerous other family connections to this little cemetary.

I have since developed an insatiable thirst for family histories (well, my family history), and have traced family lines back hundreds of years. And have found numerous questions and mysteries that still require answers.

I don't know why we ended up where we did that fall morning, but it now a regular destination for morning drives. It was as if there was something guiding us that morning, down that lonesome road, home.

I should also mention, that if you are interested in more sepia toned images, visit:


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two For Tuesday Act I, Scene iii

It would appear as if this hapless fool's appeal to the good lady, Mother Nature, hath fallen on deaf ears. And has instead inspired her to bring further woe to the pond in the form of a -38 C wind chill and the threat of snow. So what does this all mean? Next time, complain about the over abundance of chocolate. One can always dream.

Now for the photos. Two for Tuesday has gone to the birds - literally.

First I've got a canada goose dancing on the pond.

And below a porcelain replica of a trumpet swan and pond.



Monday, March 9, 2009

Monochromatic Monday Musings

It would appear that winter hasn't quite agreed to release the pond from it's grip quite yet, and has steeled it's resolve to lay siege just a while longer. The mercury is once again on a descent into well below normal range. I hate to harp on Mother nature, but it'd be nice if she could at least make up her mind and stop with the yo-yo action, and perhaps even, if it's not too much to ask, get business back to normal.

So in honour of Mother nature's current frigid attitude, I've got a frosty landscape shot northeast of Winnipeg for Monochrome Monday.

To learn more about Monochrome Monday visit:

Have a great week,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Night Reflections

It's already Sunday night; how quickly the week-end has come and almost gone (must have been day lights savings that hurried it's departure). It seems an apt time to reflect; on the week that was and the one that lies ahead. With spring in holding, just over the horizon, winter is refusing to give up it's hold on the pond just yet, threatening one last assault on the mercury before giving way to the inevitable thaw, and the rains that accompany it heralding change.

So I leave a reflection of my own; of the rain and street lamps reflected in the puddles on the sidewalk.



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Yes, I realize it's still Saturday here (Saturday morning actually), but I've decided to try something new. So here's my contribution to Shadow Shot Sunday.

Shot at Lower Fort Garry, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on the banks of the Red River.



There is always so much going on that plot threads always seem to be put on temporary hold; left dangling; waiting to be picked back up and woven into the final tapestry. But for now it's loose ends for me, and in honour of such, here is today's photo.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Simpler Times - Flashback Friday Part II

It's Friday once again, which means it's time to step back from the hustle and bustle; from the glass and steel; from the iPhones and sushi bars; it's time for another flashback to a simpler time (although the simpler time phrase may be a misnomer; has there truly been a simpler time than now where one can sit in front of a flat screen and converse with people half a world away or order a hot meal and have it delivered to their door without any physical exchange of money or input in the production of the meal - we are living in an age where the click of a button can satisfy just about every human want and need to some degree, and if it can't, then you can click on something that will certainly divert your attention from it).

Today's flashback takes us into Manitoba's Interlake region just north of Narcisse. Narcisse is known world wide for it's snake dens - here you will find the largest concentration of snakes (have no fear, they are harmless little red-sided garter snakes) in the world. each spring thousands of red-sided garter snakes emerge from the limestone caves and fissures that exist below the frost to mate before dispersing through out the region until fall, where they gather once again before hibernating. It's truly a site to behold.

Below is the remains of a farmstead just north of the Narcisse snake dens. As I mentioned before, I love to photograph old buildings (especially those that have been abandoned and seen better days). And this one may be my favourite.

Have a great week end,


Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm Late, I'm Late

To borrow a line from a certain white rabbit, "I'm late, I'm late", and not just a little. But rather than write the day off altogether, I thought I'd quickly post a photo in honour of the spring like temperatures (and rain) that have made their way into the pond today.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesdays Wanderings Part II

Fortunately my braining myself on the lintel yesterday seems to have caused no lasting damage (but you'll have to ask someone else on that, as I must admit, I am just slightly biased on that one).

Today I've got a couple of quick pictures. The first shows another frosty scene from my little corner of the world.

And below is the reflections of a back alley in downtown Winnipeg.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Two for Tuesday, Act I, Scene ii

We pick up the action with our fool picking himself up after his attempt at levity left him splayed across the floor, and attempting to proceed with his day as if nothing had happened. Something of course did happen, but the fault clearly lies with the home designer that did not take into account a 6'4" fool bounding through the doorway from the kitchen to family room to entertain the royal children, when the height of the doorway was determined. Perhaps an extra foot or two would have helped our poor hapless fool avoid braining himself on the lintel. Oh the humanity.

On to the photos.

Fences. I love phtographing fences; especially old ones.

The above photo was shot on film (Ilford hp400) in Headingly, Manitoba at an abandoned home that has since been demolished.

And here I've got a digital shot of the boundary fence at Bird's Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba taken on a frosty morning.

Later and watch your heads,


Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Did the Time Go?

It's Monday morning and time is unexpectedly short. So while I had an idea for today's posting, I'll have to keep it on the back burner for now in hopes that time will sort itself out, and I can come back to it. In the mean time, I've got a photo that I have been playing around with for a while. It's green and mossy and bright - just the thing to brighten even the gloomiest Monday morning.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Apparently the promise of what's to come from yesterday was an even further drop in the mercury - nice. That's exactly what I wanted for the first day of March. Neither lamb nor lion would be found wandering about the pond today, and who could blame them; it's -28 C out.

Now that I've got that off my chest, on to today's photo.

Shot while snowshoeing in Beaudry Provincial Park, just west of Winnipeg. Beaudry is a fantastic place for a winter afternoon tromp through the snow - when the mercury is a little more agreeable mind you.

Take care and enjoy your day,

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Frosty Promise?

It's another frosty morning in the pond; temperatures are well below normal. But despite the cold, the snow has begun to recede, and here the last remnants of last year's roses has been revealed. Perhaps a little hope for what's to come.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Visions of Days Past

Flashback Fridays. That's my theme.

I spend a lot of time looking back. I love old buildings. Ruins. Cemetaries. Books. Photographs. Old stuff in general. It fascinates me. The stories that are held within - these are my ghosts; the memories that are imprinted in a palce or object's history.

Today I've got a photo from a building in Ste. Elizabeth, Manitoba.

Ste. Elizabeth is a ghost town; and a few years back, one could have owned the remaining three homes for under $30,000 canadian. Southern Manitoba is dotted with ghost towns and the remnants of settlers dreams. Ste. Elizabeth sprung up along the banks of the Marsh River in the late 1800's. What remains is the church and the three derelict flood damaged homes and out buildings that are now home to swallows and small rodents.

Take care,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Then and Now

I guess that the groundhog was right; just as it appeared that winter was waning, the mercury has dipped to accompany a fresh carpet of snow. I feel a little like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football only to have Lucy yank it away once again. Now don't get me wrong, I love winter as much as and probably more than most, but when you get a taste of what's to come, you can't help feel a little resentment towards Mother nature's fickle treatment. All I can say is "Good grief".

On to the photos.

Today I've got two shots of the same stretch of highway taken about two months apart (October and December).




Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's Wanderings

There is no map. No goal or destination to be reached. That is Wednesday. Whatever and wherever I end up is fine with me. Random, chaotic; perhaps. Whatever tickles my fancy rules the roost today. Any semblence to a plan is purely accidental. So here's to Whatever Wednedsay.

I've got three photos today.

Vulture Silhouette

Marsh Grass Up Close

Fountains at Night

Enjoy your journey,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two For Tuesday, Act I

I'm a little behind today. Actually I'm a lot behind today. I'm not sure how that happened, but that's just how it is.

I thought I'd start something new today. Rather than just randomly posting photos from my corner of the pond I'd have a loose theme (and I do stress the looseness of my themes) to organize my posting. So for the foreseeable future Tuesday will be Two For Tuesday's (I know, oh so original, but it works for me) in which I'll post two related photos to accompany my ramblings.

Today I've got two sepia toned prints for your viewing.

The photo above was shot just north of Winnipeg, in the R.M of Rockwood, Manitoba; while the photo below was shot at Fort Whyte Alive nature center in Winnipeg.

Thanks for indulging me,

Monday, February 23, 2009

By Hand and Then Some

This is me at work. I'm hand tinting a photograph. I love photoshop, I really do, but there is a cetrtain satisfaction I get from doing thing by hand. I like the feel of the pen or brush in my hand.

Here are the results. The picture itself was shot on Ilford hp400 film using my Minolta Maxxum 7, and developed and printed by hand on Agfa multi contrast glossy b&w paper (which is sadly no longer available). The colour was applied using a Spotpen photographic hand coloring pen #39 (yellow).

And here's what happens when one begins to play with photoshop. I'm by no means an expert, when it comes to photoshop, far from it. But essentially this is a collage effect combining the two above photos. For a far better explanation of the process than I could ever give:

Have a great week,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day of Rest?

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. We'll see how long that lasts (I figure I've got about ten minutes before the circus starts back up). In the meantime I thought that I'd quickly share a shot that I took last week.

Have a great day,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Into The Woods

It may be the week end, but there is no time for relaxing in the pond. It's times like this that I wish I could simple escape into the woods for a little peace. These particular woods are about 20 minutes north east of Winnipeg at Bird's Hill Provincial Park, and would do nicely.


Friday, February 20, 2009

All Dressed Up ...

It's Friday night, so I thought I'd dress things up a little. Nothing says 'Craig' like a room full of vintage dresses and sewing paraphernalia. But seriously, the Costume Museum of Canada, located in my hometown - Winnipeg, houses a ever changing collection of stunning vintage fashion.

For more information about the Costume Museum of Canada, you can visit their website:

Winter Visitors

Not all uninvited guests are unwanted.

Despite living in the middle of the city, there is an unexpected variety of wildlife that finds it's way into the backyard. The deer, one would expect in winter, but the little raccoon was supposed to be hibernating. She curled up on the backstep waiting for a hand out and wasn't going to leave until she got one. I suppose that's my fault, as I used to feed her when she was the runt of a litter of four during the summer. I could set my watch by her appearance at the backdoor at dusk. Her larger siblings would scamper away at my arrival, but Circle (my two year old daughter named her) would sit at the door and scratch until I fed her scraps of bread.

Have a great week end,