20170125 R.I.P. Brandy, The Princess

Last Wednesday (January 25th) Brandy, the Princess, was killed on the railway tracks behind my house.  Fortunately she died instantly when hit by a fast moving freight train.

Here are some photos of happier times:

Posing for a portrait, August 2013 …

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Playing with waves out on Bathtub Island, July 2012 …

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Sneaking up on a water lily, Black Bay, August 2012 …

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Maintaining her watch from the co-pilot’s seat, March 2015 …

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Relaxing on Floatboat II, on the occasion of  Paul’s visit July 2016 …

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She has joined her friend, Buddy, who predeceased her February 2016, in Doggie Heaven.

She gave back today:

This morning, on her behalf, I donated two large unopened bags of her special (and expensive)  dog food to her Veterinarian, to be given to a pet owner who found it difficult to buy such needed dog food.    Later I had  lunch with two friends and told them about the circumstances of Brandy’s  passing and about her donation.  At the end of the meal, our server said that the folks who had lunch at the next table had paid my bill to help celebrate Brandy’s life.  Wow!   What a great reminder of the essential goodness in all of us … in spite of current tensions in some parts of the world.   Sometimes it takes a doggie to help us recognize the goodness in all of our hearts.

So, thank you, anonymous friends and thank you, Brandy.

My pace of photo-making has slowed but I have a few that I’ll share in a few days, when I am feeling a bit better.

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20170115-16 Local, Parry Sound and Pine Grosbeaks

Bright sunshine, enabling more practice with the Nokton:

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Friend Andrew knows how to lighten snow while preserving sparkles.  Here is another one for him to try….

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The end of the road at Trapper’s Lane, looking towards Byng Inlet …

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These Pine Grosbeaks are the first I’ve seen this winter…

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Foot of James Street in Parry Sound:

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On the way back, Skerryvore Community Road ….

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Negligee of Tamaracks along Shebeshekong Road …

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Here’s an interesting fact about our American Goldfinches …

https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/american-goldfinchs-storage-solution/

Nature always is a great source for learning new stuff.

I suspect that learning new stuff helps to keep our happiness quartet flowing —-  a good antidote for the current incessant political “news” programs.

20170113 Nokton: Burwash day and local night

We played with the Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 prime on the GH4 with these results:

Burwash, Neilly Lake …

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Neilly Lake red pines …

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Trying for good diffraction, nice sparkles and useful exposures with a manual focus and manual exposure Voigtlander Nokton lens.   Focus peaking and zebra striping of a modern mirrorless camera (GH4) really helps!!  Click on photos to get a full size version to see the sparkles….

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Back home …

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St Amants dock posts illuminated by moon from left and streetlighting from right.  (And car tail lights in foreground.)

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Diana’s festive lighting …

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Glenny’s entrance with post office in background (Moon is diffracted) …..

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Oft-photographed White Pine on Hwy 529, hand held from car, …

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Back home …

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I’ve learned that fresh snow is important to show sparkles on a moonlit night.  Snow that has been around for a while has very small sparkles (due to sublimation and/or melting of individual crystals, methinks) which do not show up well in a night photograph.  In the above photo, the camera operator did not stabilize the camera properly for the 2 second exposure, resulting in a very blurry incompetent photograph!

Moon as seen by the FZ1000  at 400mm equivalent focal length, through the trees across from Annie’s.

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Sans trees.  Click for detail.  Moon is about 2 nights past full moon.

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Interesting relationship between Ruffed Grouse and Trembling Aspen:

https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/the-relationship-between-ruffed-grouse-poplars-in-winter/

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20170112 Winter wonderland

On January 12th we awoke to an overnight fall of clinging white fluffiness.   So we spent most of the day going to Parry Sound via Hwy 529 and returning the same way.   The snow had changed to rain near Pointe au Baril so the following images were all made north of PAB during the morning and late afternoon.

This is what we saw:

(Click on an individual photo to see the snow up close.)

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The f0llowing night the wind came up, removing all of the snow clinging to the branches …. reminding this picture-maker to take advantage of each moment … carpe diem!

20170108-11 Experiments with Nokton Lens – day and night

We had some patches of snow, rain and clear skies during the night and day for a few days, giving us the opportunity to play with the FZ1000 and the Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 manual lens on the GH4.  Here are some results:

All of these exposure were hand-held from the car—- with elbows propped against the window sills, ignition off.

Very soft Nokton at a few seconds.  Click on the image to see the stars … notice the hand-held blur.  I need more practice.

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The following night I tried again, just at the clouds came in to partially obscure the moon.   The obscured moon did not illuminate the sparkles sufficiently for a good capture.

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These 4 Halogen lights illuminate the driveway of the BAFD.   The diffraction patterns are exactly what I am looking for with the Nokton lens.  I want to get  that lens  to diffract the little sparkles of light reflected from the crystals of snow when illuminated by sunshine or moonshine.

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Dave and Irene’s winter scene…

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Glennie’s entrance … with the Nokton, giving a little bit of diffraction “star”.

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Through a glass, darkly

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Glennie’s entrance on a snowy night with the FZ1000 … no diffraction.

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Doug and Doreen’s house with the FZ1000.

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After 6 hours of rain after a snowstorm…  those patterns will show through the following snow cover giving an interesting texture.

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After this series we had a heavy clinging snowfall … making for some interesting scenery … next posting.

20170108 Sunshine on hoar frost and trip to Meshaw Falls

We had a nice sunshiny day to photograph frost on newly fallen snow.  Here are some local sights …

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We took Hwy 607 up to Dry Pine Bay and Meshaw Falls.   This was taken from the new bridge over the Murdock River, looking north to see the first ice huts of the season.   Palatial!!

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The mist from the falls froze on this stick…

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There is a rock outcrop under that cap of ice … with drops of spray coming in from the left …

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Sparkling snow …

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On the way back we took Hwy 607 A to the former CPR rail stop of French River home of the controversial French River Resort.

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Back to Dry Pine Bay …

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Looking northeast from the Meshaw Falls bridge.p1830264-1

Plant watching over some sparkles in the snow…

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And, as the day progressed, the sun set in the west, lending some red to the light…

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This morning we got another 15 cm of snow as a major Lake Effect streamer stalled over Britt for a few hours …screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-11-49-43-am

So it is time to get out of the driveway and explore the newest version of our winter wonderland.

20170105-07 Winter sunshine and snowstorms

We enjoyed very nice weather for photography the last few days.   This is what we saw:

Smith Bay Road off of Hwy 522:

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Hwy 522:

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Roadside ditch near Byng Inlet:

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From the end of Texaco Rd in Byng Inlet, looking North to Britt:

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Oft-photographed tree cradling a third-quarter moon, one week before full moon.

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Northbound freight of empty oil tankers at Pointe au Baril CPR trestle. Usually these trains have about 160 -200 empty tank cars as they head back west for a refill.  That is the mid-train locomotive.

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Twin Rivers as the sun sets…

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Many of these images are worth clicking on to see the patina of falling snow…

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Try clicking on this one  and look at the dark trees, creek.   The exposure time is quite long, 1/20 second, hand held …

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Sunshine is forecast for today.   Cold but nice!

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