Tuesday, August 31, 2021

About my vintage, but at least I'm doing better

During the recent road trip we stopped for a great lunch in Scandia. The Coffee Barrel, if you're interested. Across the road is a line up of old farm equipment, including this. It's almost exactly as old as I am, though considerably more decrepit. At least I'm up and around and moving.

This actually the first time I've seen one, at least that I have any memory of. This is one ugly car. No wonder it didn't sell. It's hard to express how big this thing is. It's almost 5.5 m long and 2 m wide. Most of it is hood and trunk. 

For a short while I drove a car only slightly less old than this. Bench seat, open steel dashboard, and essentially no safety equipment to speak of. By today's standards this car, even fully restored, would be considered a death trap. Some cars of this vintage are elegant and stylish, and people notice when they drive by. I don't think the Edsel would be noticed in a good way. 

The other thing that really hit the memory banks is this.

Anyone care to take a guess? (Not you, mom, I know you know what it is.)

It's a milk can. A farmer would milk the cows, some of it would go into these cans, which would be taken out and put on a stand beside the road. A truck would come and take them away and leave empties. Or maybe they dumped the milk into a bigger tank on the truck. I don't know, I never saw that part in action.  Then, while I was still a child, big stainless steel tanks were installed in the dairy, and a truck came to pump it out. That's progress.

Eventually, of course, those farms ceased to exist. There's two that I clearly recall. One is now crop fields, with the house, barn, and outbuildings completely removed. Except I just looked at Google Maps and there is now a very swanky home there. The other has a big swanky home where the barn used to be, though the driving (drive in?) shed is still there. Presumably someone came to take away the big steel tank and it was recycled or repurposed.

In another part of the operation, a driver would drop off milk at some homes, presumably the ones who had paid for it. It came in glass bottles with a little cardboard cap,  and sometimes if the weather was just right, it would freeze into a column of milk above the glass, and that had to be carefully handled. Some homes even had a little special box built into the house for those bottles. Times change, though what with COVID, food delivery is making a comeback.

I'm not one of those people that thinks older is better. In many ways progress is good. We're doing many things better than we used to. The downside is the lack of the personal touch. Somehow, an AI, or a person following a script isn't the same. 

And then there's all the leftover stuff. Like the row of old farm equipment in Scandia. Slowly rusting away, paint fading, tires deflating. 

Of the Day




Garden (and Linda)



Sunday, August 29, 2021

So, since the trip, I hear you asking

There I was, home Monday evening, with 2500 or so road trip photos. You got a blog with some of those photos last Tuesday. A Wednesday WCA event added another 150 or so. Then Thursday was a big day with another kid circus camp and 2200 photos. I'm past 11,000 photos for August.

As I explained to one of the camp kids, taking the photos is the easy part. Looking at them later, holding several of them in your head to decide which, if any, of a particular set should be edited, is the hard part. Once you have the final set to be edited identified, the actual editing is straightforward. It still took a couple days. 

Now I'm back to the last day of the road trip where we went to the Birds of Prey facility in Coaldale. Lets just say there's many close up photos of eagles and owls and I can't say no. I think I'll add them to the Of the Day feature.

Other than that, I have no idea where to start the blog today. Normally I wander along, doing my thing, and the blog almost writes itself. I'm wondering if I want to go into more detail about each day, in order. The problem there is that reading about someone else's road trip isn't the same as being there, especially when you don't share the primary focus of the trip and don't know the people involved. hmmmm. Just so you know, as I write, I just finished doing the flying eagle shots. On to owls after lunch.

Or not. I think I'll pound out the blog, then I have to take some books back to the library, one of which I'll be talking about a bit later. The photo for it is buried in the post-circus photos along with some lilies, construction, and who knows what else?

So I'll start with the road trip, for at least a bit. There's a lot of this.

For these particular road trips there are both planned and unplanned stops. I am moderately famous for looking the other way at any of the stops. Usually I can get in, get my shot of whatever it is, then I'll be looking around for other photos, often of my fellow travellers.

Of the Day






Garden from June 26

Bee? I think I'm out of bee photos now, unless the bee activity on the dahlias pick up while I'm around.



Owl (not quite there yet, stay tuned.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

That was a trip

 Readers that have been following along know I'm on a 3 night 4 day road trip with the famous Neil Zeller and a few other friends. In van order they are, Monica, Trudy, Cec, Ann, Heather, (me), Bart, and Neil. In short form, we took the scenic route to Lethbridge, ending with moonrise at Cottonwood Park. Next day out to Writing on Stone. Then up really really early for moonset/sunrise , some stunning photos of Chief Mountain, Waterton park, sunset with the windmills, and moonrise. Up early again for sunrise over the railway bridge. Then a scenic trip home. Scroll down for the details.

There are a great many photos involved, and I deleted some missed shots from the camera along the way. Now I get to look at all of them again to decide what to edit. What you get here is almost a random selection to give you a little taste. There will be more photos, with stories, later. But even better than the photos was the fun times riding along with neat people, corny road jokes, critter stops, unexpected discoveries, and all the other patented great stuff (that I can't talk about here) involved in a Zeller trip.

So the details. Come on, I know you're dying to know what happens on these trips. Some of you might even be considering going along on one of them. Trust me, it's a great time, and you'll even learn more about how to use your camera.

Day 1
Drop off, pack and get settled in the van. 

Zoom! Clear lake. The canoeist was more interesting to me than the bazillion ducks.

Carmangay and the railway bridge. We saw this bridge again from the highway on the way home, with a train, even, but getting to the actual bridge is a bit tricky.

Windmills near someplace along the way. This is a different one than posted on Facebook. There are others I like just as much. Maybe I'll do a series.

Sundial Medicine Wheel east of Carmangay. 

Lunch and old equipment in Scandia. I found an Edsel that is almost exactly my age.

The Vauxhall spuds and some ribald commentary about them. 

Pizza and moonrise over Lethbridge from Cottonwood park. 

There was beer and chat in the bar once back to the hotel.

Day 4
We started with a train, totally by accident. Elevator row in Warner. 

Weir bridge over the Oldman river. Writing on Stone. We had two tours, one was public to some of the writing, the other was just for us, getting the rest of the writing. We eventually got our guide to relax and chat. We saw, and took photos of a critter with wire or some barbed wire wrapped around it's antlers and head. Our guide called the fish and wildlife guys. They showed up but we don't know how that story turned out. 

We wandered around the hoodoos for a bit, and could have done so for much longer. It's a great place for a herd of preteens to play hide and seek, especially if the adult doesn't count carefully after. There was an awesome abandoned farm along the scenic route to Milk River for Chinese at Yummy Inn. 

The food was good, but the star of the show is the 10 year old who seems to be running the place. 

Days 5 through 22
This was the long day. We were out of the hotel at 20 to ungodly, as the saying goes. The idea was to catch moonset over St Mary reservoir, except not. As often happens, the clouds played party pooper. Sunrise over the valley on the other side of the dam was sure nice. 

Then a very fast tour of Cardston. Then down to Police Outpost campground to get a great view of Chief Mountain. 

A nice breakfast/lunch in Mountain view. Then to several areas in Waterton park, plus the townsite itself. 

Then up to Pincher Creek to catch sunset over more windmills, and scope out a possible site near the Oldman dam.  

We ate in Pincher Creek, and while the staff were friendly, we had been looking forward to the Mexican place in Twin Butte. Along the way home we paused to catch moonrise, but that didn't work out either. Darn those pesky clouds near the horizon! We were a little punch drunk by this time. 

Day 23
Up early again. Over to the other side of the coulee to wait for sunrise. It wasn't the sky on fire variety, but after a while the light in the coulee was extraordinary. And we got a train. 

The crew hard at work.

Back to the hotel for a nap. Lunch at the Havana cafe. Birds of Prey center is awesome. I got to hold a great horned owl, and we watched an eagle fly, close enough to take good photos. 

Then towards home via the scenic route, with another train and the usual scenery. Full disclosure, at this point we were only stopping for shots that were 11 out of 10, out of consideration for the people waiting for us, so this was shot through the window at highway speed.

Throughout there were lots of stops for critters in the fields. Some of the tour people have amazingly sharp eyes. 

Just looking at the photos in the camera along the way, and during the import process tells me selecting for editing is going to take a while. I might add owl and eagle to the other Of the Day suspects. Plus I still haven't edited the last circus camp photos, and there's another circus camp on Thursday.

There are lots more trip photos to come. These are just a sampler. The regular of the day suspects are still on vacation, but will return.

Friday, August 20, 2021

A semi-frantic Flowery Friday

 Full disclosure here. As I start this, it's Thursday morning.  The presentation went really well, aside from the projector being fussy. One of Linda's sisters is in town for a brief visit, so the device recharging table had to be moved downstairs. There was community association stuff. More blur. 

I'm all prepped and ready to go for another day of circus kid camp photography today (today as I write, yesterday as you read), and tonight I'll need to prep for a several day photo excursion with buddies to explore Southern Alberta, from Writing on Stone to Waterton. It'll be fun! 

It's a safe bet that Thursday evening the computer will be churning away, doing the initial processing of somewhere between 1500 and 2000 kid camp photos. As it turns out, I took more than 3000. This was a great batch of kids! One of the kids was a repeat from an earlier camp,  so she was a total pro. Plus she brought two buddies that were on a cheerleading team with her. They put on quite a show, leading to what is going to be a very tough selection process. There are many shots of two of them trying to do cartwheels while twirling the weighted silk thingies, and I'll have to boil it down to one or two shots.

I won't get the selection done before leaving on the photo trip, which itself could generate anywhere between 50 and 5000 photos, depending on the weather. Let's just say sleep is not the highest item on the agenda on these trips. I'm pretty sure it's not even in the top 5.

But I know my readers need their flower fix. Let's see. Today we start with June 20 to 23, which gets us into the start of the peony show.

1. You get the start of the peonies.

2. And the start of the poppies.








10. And the star of the show!

I think what I'll do here is let the peonies and lilies show up one at a time in Of the Day, and let the other flowers have the Flowery Friday stage.

Of the Day
Driftwood. I love it when there's rocks involved in the driftwood shot.

One of the new roses, and a serendipity lily.


Bee, but first a serendipity sunrise from October 2017.