Sunday, October 14, 2018

I'm Baaaaaack!

I spent the entire summer on a two-month journey in Newfoundland. If you follow my blog, you know I made 9 separate blog posts with pictures and stories of my trip. Am I going back? Yes, I plan to. I'll decide more in a couple of months. I would encourage any outdoor-minded person to make the voyage.
People ask me if I would live there. I would in a heartbeat, if I didn't have medical limitations, and if I had a network of friends there. Just choosing to live up in Minden 10 years ago meant straining my Toronto relationships: spending an evening with friends or relatives meant finding a place to sleep over, but it was do-able from time to time. If I lived in Newfoundland, it would be a whole other ballgame, it would sever them. You can't just pop into town for an evening or a couple of days, unless you have an unlimited airline budget, for one thing. Moot point, though, since for medical reasons I would have to live in St. John's and I'm a 'bay b'y' not a 'townie'. Defeats the purpose.

There are people I know for whom "roughing it" means "no room service". Sure, there are places in Newfoundland for them to live: Torbay Point comes to mind, or urban St. John's. But for the most part, you have to be an 'outdoors-person' as I said a minute ago. At least 3 times, people said to me, verbatim, "you have to love the wind". That's code for actually looking forward to putting on waterproof gear and venturing outside in a rainstorm or venturing out on the water (there's a whole other level set aside for those who like going out in little boats in heavy seas to fish or crab or lobster). It's waking up on a winter morning and saying "oh, good, it snowed! I can go out and shovel!" Stacking and splitting firewood is great exercise. You have to own a Ford F-150 and a trailer for your boat and ATV. 

I'm all of those things, or I was. So are most, if not all, of my motorcycle friends. I wish I were 20 year younger but I'm 72 years old now and fit (oh, wait. That should be an "a" not an "i" in the middle of that word). There are lots of things that are harder for me to do now. So yeah, turning up the thermostat, putting my feet up in a LazyBoy and flipping through satellite TV channels is more and more appealing. But I love it. As an aside, I wish I could find someone who would like to share that lifestyle with me.

You can click on any picture in the blog to blow it up. Most of the pictures are available as large format prints at very reasonable cost. Contact me.

Random musing:
As I get older, the number of entries in my contact list who have "Doctor" as the honorific seems to be growing.

My house is still for sale. 

Mind you, after a trip into Toronto for my periodic visits to Princess Margaret Hospital (nothing new, "see you in 6 months". Yay), I'm questioning my decision to sell and move back towards the city. The theory is to move "when I can instead of when I have to", but is it worth abandoning this lifestyle?

It took me 90 minutes to get from the 404/Major Mac to my first appointment at Bayview/Eglinton. Turns out that Eglinton was completely closed by construction (how was I supposed to know?). The GPS took me on a tour of some of the industrial areas of the city.  From PMH to the Costco at Hwy 7/Woodbine took another hour and a half. 

If you're interested or know someone who is, please contact me. I'm surprised it didn't sell: yes, it needs a new roof but that's a few thousand dollars and one day's work. Yes, it's not far from the highway and the Inn is across the road, but those are advantages, not disadvantages. Especially for baby boomers looking for a place to live outside the city. Our road's the first one to get plowed in the winter. You're not totally isolated. It's a one-storey house so when the time comes that stairs are no longer friendly, no problem. There's a huge garage and your dock on the lake is 100' away. It's only 2 hours from Toronto (Haliburton is at least 45 minutes further and don't even think about overpriced Muskoka where you don't want to be on the 400 any time from Friday to Monday).

The MLS listing is gone but I do have a record of it so email me if you are interested.
Update: as I type this there are thumping hoofprints on the roof as the roofer does his thing. All laminated shingles, plus Ice/water underlay, this should be good for another 40 years! I'm also having him do the garage roof at the same time, might as well. So what's left to do to make this a turnkey house? Nothing!

Picture time!

I think I shot fewer pictures in September than I have in a month in years. The camera was in the shop for a while — I had my vacation in the summer, a chance to rejuvenate and renew; now it was the camera's turn! In the end, not much was done to it (fixed the "aperture control unit" and a good cleaning), and nothing to the lenses although a couple of them will need some work down the road. But after the summer in Newfoundland, I was a bit burned out.

As October dawned, and the colours started to brighten, I was infected with the annual bug. Every year I say "I'm not shooting the colours this year" and every year, I do anyway. Can't help it, it's addictive. For the record, the colours were better this year than last, although not the best I've ever seen. I was selective in what I shot, though.

Algonquin Park called to me three times in the space of a week. 

OK, I lied. The colours were pretty damned good and when the rising sun peeked out from the clouds... 

A rare sighting for me this year. The grey jays seem to have been absent until now and there are far fewer of them around

These guys are really hard to see until they move. I spent about 2 hours at Spruce Bog and never did see a male. 

I was going to save this image for my "Parting Shot" but instead I put it with the other Algonquin shots. This is probably one of my favourite images, deserving of printing large. I am going to do that, as a canvas for above the headboard in my bedroom. If anyone else wants a print of this, get in touch with me and let's do it!

Most of my images are available as prints. I find stretched canvas prints to be very effective and inexpensive because you don't have to frame them. If anything in my blog or Facebook images tickles your fancy, let me know and I'll tell you whether they'll print well.

I happened to look down at this dead leaf in my driveway and saw this mask! I have to wait for more leaves to fall before i can re-shoot the "Screaming Tree" on Horseshoe Lake Road. Hopefully it's still there

As Fall progresses, the red maples give way to the yellows and oranges of the sugar maples. Here's a few ways of looking at them, shot one afternoon around the Haliburton Highlands area.




As I wrote elsewhere, the colour palette of the fall in the Highlands is hard to beat.

The Haliburton Highlands Camera Club held an outing day. Here are a few images to celebrate that day!




And finally, here's a group shot of the club members on the outing, at Snowdon Park.

Let's see what the rest of the month brings! Get those creative juices flowing!

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