Tuesday, September 30, 2008

195:365 Here's lookin' at you, Kid!

Anna: My younger daughter spotted this bright eyed visitor on our sliding screen door. Of course, I had to break out the macro lens. :-D

That second set of "eyes" is really interesting. I wonder what it is?

Monday, September 29, 2008

194:365 Reflections

Anna: Headed to the park early today and made a point of doing a walk-about. I loved how the fall colours were reflecting in the pond.

I ended up going back to the Canon S3 for the day, too. It's smaller and lighter. It came in handy, as I ended up using the video function and getting a few clips of muskrats in the pond. At least I'm pretty sure they're muskrats. It's great to be at the park when there's hardly anyone else. We get to see some of the shier creatures.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

193:365 Hippocrates' prescription

Anna: Hippocrates was a strong believer in the healthful benefits of barley, recommending a barley based diet for the sick until they got well.

This is the finished result of a recipe from The Philosopher's Kitchen, which would have been at home on any ancient Greek or Roman table, Herbed Barley with Pancetta.

The ancients knew good food. Even my barley hating elder daughter enjoyed it - once she got around the fact that it was... well... barley.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

192:365 - Dressed for the weather

Anna: Headed downtown today. I took a detour round Churchill Square when I noticed an addition of a real shirt to this sculpture. I just had to get a shot. People frequently add things, like the flowers in his cup, or removable Oilers tattoos to his cheek, but I thought this one was the most creative of any I've seen. Mostly, I was curious as to how it was put on - you can see part of the cut along the side seam and sleeve.

Friday, September 26, 2008

191:365 Indulgances

Anna: Today, before heading home from the library, the girls and I decided to swing by an Italian grocery store just a bit out of our way. It was well past noon and we hadn't had lunch yet, so I was thinking of little things we could eat quickly.

It's always dangerous for us to go to this particular grocery store. ;-) They've got stuff we've never seen anywhere else.

On today's lunch menu, then... we've got two types of Polish cream cheese - salmon and cucumber, and a jar of Polish pickles. There's some prosciutto and pancetta. The breads are olive and cheese on the right, black Russian rye. The beautiful bottle is extra virgin olive oil. I admit, I picked it for the bottle. I could justify it, though, as it cost less than what I got last time at our regular grocery store. I don't often indulge in olive oil because of the cost, but it's nice to have.

The canned olives actually had an English language ingredients list - it's got black and green stuffed olives (I'm not sure I understand the list, but I think it's saying the stuffing is pickles. And there's 6% of it), baby onions, caperberries, capsicum, vinegar, salt, etc.

The bowl on the far right has green figs in it, while the bowl in front has green, fresh olives. I've never seen fresh olives before, so I asked the cashier if he knew what to do with them. He had no idea! He asked another cashier, though, and she said they get put into fresh water. The water gets changed daily, until they are sweet. Everything I see online, however, says to use a brine. Hmm... not sure what to do with those. This site looks useful, though.

I would have preferred to play around a bit more with the photos, but I found I had to rush quite a bit to take them at all. The kitten was *very* determined to get at the meats. LOL My elder daughter did manage to distract her with a can of cat food for a while, which helped. It gave us time to eat out lunch in relative peace, anyhow. LOL

The combination of olive and cheese bread, prosciutto and those canned olives was incredible. The olives really brought alive the other flavours.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

190:365 Not what you think...

Anna: I'm sitting at the computer when I notice what, at first glance, seems to be a moment of feline peace and affection. Nice to see the cats getting along, right?

And then I remembered.

Tiger is actually licking yogurt off Harley's face.

You see, Philippe was finishing off a container of yogurt for breakfast this morning. As far as we know, this was Harley's first exposure to yogurt, and she was *really* interesting in examining the source of what she was smelling. After fighting her off for a while, Philippe gave her the container. Now, this is a 650g container. So to get to the bottom, she had to stick her entire head and neck in. When she took it out, her face was covered in yogurt! She would'nt clean herself off, though, so Philippe wiped the yogurt off as best as he could before heading to work. She spent most of the day with crusty fur on her face.

Tiger is just finishing the clean up job.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

189:365 Chillin'

Anna: The girls and I have been busily going through our bins, sorting through stuff that don't fit anymore - or won't be fit into next summer - in preparation for a boot/clothing exchange. The kitten had fun chasing things around, and I guess she tired herself out. I thought how she stretched herself out across the pillow was just hilarious.

Nice to see the cats are getting along, too. Well, sometimes. Harley does harass Tiger a bit too much sometimes. ;-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

188:365 An Afternoon Walk

Anna: This afternoon, we grabbed our cameras, tripod and monopod and headed out for an afternoon walk in the River Valley. (More photos here.) We used to do this walk several times a week when we first moved out here, but stopped when the snow got too deep. We just never really got back to it on a regular basis, so it felt good to do it again. The walk from where we head down to the river by our place, then back up to street level downtown, is something around 3 miles. Then, after a stop for drinks and a treat downtown, we found we'd missed our bus and just walked home rather than wait for the next one.

As we near the heart of the downtown area, the park and paths become far more elobarate and divergant. One section of pathway becomes a series of switchbacks, bordered by a profusion of roses on both sides. I had a field day with the macro lens. LOL This is one of my favorites.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

187:365 - Park day

Philippe: We hit Hermitage park today. I've uploaded a few pics here, but these are my favourites. :)

This guy was aggressively chasing other geese and being an all-around bully

Just cruising, but I like the reflections on the water.

Many, many children at the park, so the geese were often startled into flight.

This is by far my favourite shot of the day; this has to be the *one* benefit to having a slow lens. I was panning to keep the goose bracketed so the shot had built-in 'speed'. The end effect was fairly startling.

186:365 - moment Updated: soft

Philippe: Being lazy this morning, it suddenly occured to me that this moment was 20 years in the making.

Love you Anna :)

Anna: Awww.... isn't my guy a sweetheart? *melt*

Today, the girls and I have officially been in Edmonton for 3 years (Philippe was here 6 months before us). We're still getting to know many parts of the city.

We headed out to a park we haven't visited yet. I've uploaded a number of photos into a set here. I really liked the contrasts in this one, with the spiky spruce needles and the oh-so-soft looking seed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

184:365 Library ballycumber

Anna: Didn't get much chance to think of a photo today, so I got the girls to bring all the library materials we currently have, just to see what our total ballycumber looked like. *L*

The books on the right hand side, under the dvd's and cd's, are mine. The left hand stack is the girls'.

No, we didn't take all these out at once. We shoot for weekly library trips, with loans being 3 weeks long, and a fair number of these have been renewed at least once. Our elder daughter just finished reading Darwin's Blind Spot tonight - a really fascinating book with frequent read-aloud moments. I just finished going through A Cowboy in the Kitchen before sitting down for this post. I love cookbooks that include interesting stories, and this one has a story for every recipe. Shakespeare in the Kitchen is really good for that, too.

The hardest part is going through all the dvd's. We don't actually watch much tv. They're due the day after tomorrow. We'd had to renew a few of them already. I had the girls watching tv all afternoon to try and plow through them. *L* The Headless Romans was really interesting. The Naturalist (one of only 2 I picked - the rest are the girls' choices) wasn't what I expected, but still neat. We didn't finish RNA, though, and we have a second disc from Byzantium to watch. That still leaves about 3 or 4 dvd's to watch. :-/ I just don't see us doing that in so short a time. Hopefully, I'll be able to renew them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

183:365 - Mooning - update: Here's looking at you...

Sort of.. ;) The surrounding scenery sucked since there was a great big "exit" sign glowing directly below the moon. Luckily, my zoom was able to ignore it :D.

Anna: Our younger daughter and I made it to our weekly park day today. I missed out on the fetal pig dissection, but I did get a bunch of photos of this chattering squirrel.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

182:365 Happy Accident

Anna: I love happy accidents like this! This was taken at one of the flower gardens at our local museum.

More of the day's photos here.

We also took in the closing show for our local museum's summer theme, Dragons: between science and fiction. The show was Fire & Water: The Dragons Awaken by Scarab Productions & the Edmonton Stilt Walkers. (When we tried to see a performance last month, it was canceled due to high winds.) It was really fantastic! You can see my flicker set of the show here.

The walker in blue's sword is hooked up to the tank on her back and splashes water.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mystery pic solution

Congratulation to Lauraliz - the only one who guessed a boiled egg. :-D

More specifically, canned quail eggs. All of these are from one small can. Despite the small size, my elder daughter made deviled eggs out of most of them.

Canned eggs have an ... interesting texture to them. :-/

181:365 - Peek-a-cat updated: new toy

Philippe: So Anna's energy level matched Tiger's today... Me? I only see targets of opportunity :)

Anna: Philippe got a new toy today. A joystick head for his tripod.

Very neat.

Friday, September 12, 2008

180:365 Reflections

Anna: I spent the day cleaning and running errands. I didn't want to miss another day of taking photos - I've done too much of that lately - so I grabbed the macro lens and sought a handy subject.

I can see myself in her eyes.

More here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

179:365 Downtown - Updated

Anna: It was library day for the girls and I. I brought along the Canon S3, instead of the Nikon D70, for its smaller size. I didn't want to be carrying a heavy camera, along with the heavy books! ;-)

Across from our downtown library branch is a square that's used for a great many events. City Hall is across the street from that, and the section of street in between is frequently closed down for events in the summer. Right now, the city is celebrating 100 years of public transit, and are currently setting up old buses, etc. as part of a weekend event.

This street car is still being set up in the middle of the closed down section of street. Quite the job, what with having to put a section of rail under it, too.

There's a number of planters around the square that are large columns of blossoms about 6 ft in height. I couldn't resist using the super-macro setting on the S3 and trying for these bright flowers with the gorgeous middles.

We've been in Edmonton for almost 3 years, so to us, the square has always looked the way it does. This is, however, a fairly recent transformation. It used to be all trees and grass, not concrete and steel. Locals understandably express regret at the loss of beautiful spot of greenery in the downtown core. The city did leave a section of it, though.

And here it is. In the three summers we've taken part in events at this square, I've come to understand why the city made the changes it did. As you can see, the grass is all gone, and it's prepped for re-sodding. This has been done every year we've been here, and from what I've been told, the city had to do this for pretty much the entire area every year. This section is quite a bit higher than the rest of the square. Even so, it doesn't take much rain for the grass to become mud - especially with the crowds of so many festivals. The lower areas must've gotten so much worse. Unfortunate, but there's not much that can be done about it.

Philippe: I leave the editorial to Anna; I bring you the ferocious Rawr-cat.. :D

Mystery photo

Anna: I finally found something that would make a good mystery photo. Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

178:365 Yeah, it's another kitten picture... ;-)

Anna: I've been trying out the 50mm lens, and the new kitten is a handy subject.

The original photo was actually quite yellow. A modest adjustment in PSP X2 took care of that, and the photo looks a lot more true to life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

177:365 - Cop-out

Philippe: Well, I'm not very mobile, so I waited until the kitty was asleep.. no real movement required on my part.

Monday, September 8, 2008

176:365 Meet Harley

Anna: Today, we welcomed Harley, born June 3rd, into our home.

Now, Tiger won't have to put up with a camera in her face alone. She'll have someone else to share the torment with. ;-)

We didn't expect to get a kitten today. We'd been talking about it, as Tiger seemed to be a touch lonely. Then, when I got the mail this afternoon, I spotted a notice that someone in our building was giving away a kitten. They needed a new home for her by Wednesday, as they're moving out. They didn't have her long enough to even name her! (She was a gift from family.) So we gave the number a call and went to take a look. The person didn't even ask us any questions, just handed her over. :-(

So far, Tiger's not too sure about our new addition. She's made a point of letting Harley know exactly where she stands in the household feline hierarchy, but not in any drastic way.

Harley, meanwhile, seems ready to accept us and our home. She has a thing for feet. She likes to attack our toes - with her cheeks. She's very enthusiastic about rubbing her cheeks on our toes. Why toes? I have no idea. *L*

Sunday, September 7, 2008

175:365 - Leg trip - updated: This is my Good Side

Hit the leg for basic shots, just to get back in the habit.

Philippe: This was just cute, and frankly it's not like I have access to my macro lens these days

Philippe: though I blew out this shot, I got me some *new* software (The latest version of Nikon Capture NX) and I'm playing with it a bit. Here are the before and after shots. :)

Anna: It occurred to me that the title and comments above might be a touch confusing. "Leg" is short for "legislature" - we went to the legislature grounds this afternoon to play with the cameras.

*ahem* I was having fun with the macro lens again. ;-) More photos uploaded here.

This wasp was decidedly co-operative. She kept wandering around the flower, letting me get some good views. I had a hard time choosing which one to post here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

174:365 - Flight - updated: playing with macro

Philippe: First time out of the apt since thursday or so.. Figured I was due. caught him as he was launching off of a branch :D

Anna: I got to play with the macro lens today. :-D More uploaded here. I'm really happy with the most of the results.

Gosh, I love macro! :-D

For this photo, I was testing out one of Philippe's birthday presents on my camera to see if it would work on an older model. I can't remember the proper name for it, but it's a cable for the flash, so it can be held off to the side, or wherever is appropriate. For this photo, I had our elder daughter holding the flash for me, above my head.

Friday, September 5, 2008

173:365 - Happy Birthday to me - updated

So I hit a milestone this week; As a reward, I got one and a half pairs of slippers (the second slipper is being worked on) and a *really* cool coin.

Anna: I couldn't resist getting a photo of our elder daughter trimming the cat's claws, even though the light was horrid and I had to use the flash. Paint Shop Pro X2 does an decent job of fixing that. ;-)

I just find it really funny that the cat will simply lie there on her back, all relaxed like this, while her claws are trimmed. She looks like she's enjoying a day at the spa or something. Nice comfortable lap to lay on, a bit of a massage on the tootsies... life is good, as a cat. :-D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

172:365 Sweet tears

Anna: The girls and I were at the annual Not Back to School Picnic in a local park today. I thought these photos turns out interesting.

I was walking past this tree when I caught a flash of what I thought looked like a drop of water - which made no sense on a day like today. It turned out to be a single drop of sap, glinting in the light.

Then I found a spruce tree with drips of sap all over. I think spruce sap is the worst when it gets on your clothes, but the sticky drops sure do look interesting.