All posts tagged: building

Unexpected Entertainment in Nelson, British Columbia

We arrived in Nelson on motorcycles, hot and dusty after a long day of riding. We could almost see our hotel, but couldn’t get to it because it was on a parade route. A police officer asked us to pull over and park. That is how we came to be spectators at  the Annual Gay Pride Parade. That evening, after we had wined and dined at a local eatery, we realized that this was a perfect opportunity for people watching. There was a wedding reception in the hall near our hotel (downtown on Baker Street). Guests in fancy dress came and went from the venue, frequently upstaged by the eclectic garb of cross-dressers, marchers from the parade and bikers. The booze evidently flowed. It was an extremely entertaining evening. Nelson has many heritage buildings, but the finest, and most photographed, is the Court House. It was designed by a British architect, Francis Mawson Rattenbury. It was completed in 1909 at a cost of $109,145.88. Francis was also the architect of the province’s Parliament Buildings and …

Blanche Russell Rock Houses

A few years ago, after a visit to the Grand Canyon, we drove east on Hgw 64, then north on Hgws 89 and 89A. We crossed the Colorado River on the Navajo Bridge, and were on final approach to the Vermillion Cliffs when we were surprised to see some mushroom shaped rocks that looked like a group of Smurfs had built houses under them. We stopped to investigate  and quickly realized they really were ‘Tiny Houses’. A worn and badly damaged sign nearby told the story of  Blanche Russell  and her husband William (Bill), whose car broke down in the area in about 1927 (or maybe 1920)… The pair took shelter under the mushroom rocks over night. Blanche liked the area so much that she bought the property and built permanent structures. She lived there for about 10 years and operated a business. When I looked online for more information about the Blanche Russel Rock Houses, I found a number of  ‘folklore’ stories on several sites: “Around 1927, Blanch Russell’s car broke down as she traveled …

Looking at Bridges

Bamberg is an beautiful example of an early medieval town in central Europe. It has a large number of surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings. It is crisscrossed by many rivers, winding canals, and bridges. Some of the bridges are old and famous and some, like this one, are more modern, but don’t detract from the architecture of the surrounding buildings. Deception Pass Bridge is the common name for two, two-lane bridges that connect Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in the U.S. state of Washington. Pass Island lies between the two bridges.   Navajo Bridge – The original Navajo Bridge was completed and opened to traffic in January 1929. Prior to the building of the bridge, the only way to cross the Colorado River and its formidable gorge was at Lee’s Ferry a short distance upstream. Construction on a new, wider bridge began in May of 1993. The old bridge became a walking bridge.

Egret, great blue heron, black crowned night heron

Trios, Triplet, Thirds – Photos of Three Things

Trio, triple, thirds say three. As do triad, ternion and  trilogy, Triptych, trine and trichotomy, Triangle, treble and trinity. – Margy – This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Trio.  I had no problem finding photos to fit, as I often compose a shot to include three elements. The idea of the number ‘3’ is also an important part of a photograph’s composition. The Rule of Thirds is perhaps not instinctive, nor obvious, yet it can make a dramatic difference in a photograph. Of course, rules are often broken. I was thinking Rule of Thirds when I cropped the following photos, but wasn’t that successful! Cactus blooms  – Arizona Egret, Great Blue Heron and Black Crowned Night Heron – Sun Lakes Arizona Golden Barrel Cactus – Arizona Tall Grasses – my yard, Alberta, Canada Three word street sign – Carefree Arizona Building with Three arches – Jerome, Arizona Three spruce cones – my yard, Alberta, Canada Before I was married I had three theories about raising children. Now I have three children and no theories. – …

The Grand Canyon – Half and Half Vistas

Many of my photos of the Grand Canyon attempt to show the immense size and depth of this geological wonder.  The photos below, however, capture the half and half balance between rock and sky, or rock and trees. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about this aspect of composition when I took the photos. The WordPress Half and Half photo challenge made me go looking for photos, and this is what I found: Desert View Watchtower on the south rim of the Grand Canyon – this really is a half and half photo, isn’t it! Did you know that a woman, architect Mary Colter, designed this building? It was completed in 1932. Desert View Watchtower – really more of a thirds photo with sky, rock and trees. South rim of the Grand Canyon – the foreground is one half, and the background is the other. South rim of the Grand Canyon – a diagonal half and half split. When a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband but only half the income. – Chi …

Keep Out! Declarations of Personal Privacy

I’m at that age where the memories of my youth are not even remotely fresh, yet there is one that is still as vivid as if it happened yesterday. It was the day I got my very own bedroom. I vacated the room I shared with my sister and took all my worldly goods (which probably fit in a couple of 2 cube  boxes) and moved down the hall – to a room that was just mine. At the time, I didn’t realize that my belongings were external place holders for my memories, relationships and travels in the bigger world. I didn’t understand that I was an introvert, and that I needed long stretches of alone time in order to recharge. I did know, however, that I had been given the right to close a door and by doing so, no one else would enter my space. It was the same right to privacy that had always existed within the walls of my parent’s bedroom – a room that I only ever entered if invited …

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Camera – Zoom

I got a new camera a few days ago.  It is the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. I’ll skip right to the photos I took this morning so that you can see why I am very happy with this camera. This was the view from my back door this morning. The neighbour’s farm buildings are near the centre of the photo (you can barely see the red barn), and the moon was in the sky above them. The sun was just coming up. The PowerShot has a 50X optical zoom lens with Image Stabilizer. In layman terms, a zoom lens makes far away things look closer. This is the red barn when I zoomed in on it. This is the moon when I zoomed in on it. The camera was set to AUTO mode, and I did not use a tripod. I think that bears repeating – I hand held the camera, and used the full AUTO mode. Point – shoot! This camera does not come with a memory card, so we bought a SanDisk Extreme …

The Journey Starts and Ends at Kingswood Station, England

We lived in Kingswood, Surrey, England for two years. Many of our journeys began with the walk down to this building, the Kingswood Train Station. When I say down, I mean it was a 10 minute downhill walk that felt like a 15 minute uphill battle on the trip home at the end of the day.  When it was raining, it became a 20 minute skin drenching, umbrella breaking endurance run. The Kingswood Station was the third last stop on the line, so the only direction we ever went was into London. What a wonderful city it is! And how could it not be so when we started our journey from such a beautiful looking little train station!

Contrast – New and Old in Doha Qatar

They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody? – Princess Diana – The country of Qatar, in the Middle East, has the highest per capita income in the world – for the people who are Qatari. Large numbers of workers from other countries voluntarily migrate to Qatar as low-skilled laborers and domestic servants, and some subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude. This creates a land of immense Contrast. In the harbour along the Corniche, fishermen tie up their wooden Dhows. On the others side of the harbour – large yachts! Local merchants keep shop in concrete buildings. Office towers such as this, the Barzan Tower, are a beautiful blend of old world and new world architecture.

I Regret I Didn’t Take More Photos

Don’t regret growing old. It’s a privilege denied to many. – 60 minutes – I had difficulty finding photos of the emotion Regret. Times that I’ve felt sorry or distressed – no photos.  Times of mourning – no photos. Even regret as the polite refusal to an invitation – still no photos. Disappointment – now that is a form of regret that I could find dozens of photos of, and it all relates to the fact that digital photography for the masses is a relatively recent development. In 1999 and 2000, when The Car Guy and I were spending all our spare time touring southern England, we were taking photos with film cameras. Now, I realize that some of the most wonderful photographs in the world come from film, but not my most wonderful photos!  The ancient cemetery above – I took one picture and I was disappointed in it.The Manor in Avebury – again, just a single photo. I was stingy with film, but with digital, I’m absolutely extravagant!

Fairmont Hot Springs – Old Barn

An old friend once told me that if you were given a barn full of manure to shovel out, it was a tremendous idea to keep in mind that a pony had to be in there somewhere. – Peter Jensen – Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia, is located at the headwaters of the Columbia River. A thriving resort community continues to grow in the area, though we would be happy if it would stop growing. This old barn stands, year after year, watching and wondering what the future holds in store for it.