Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ferries on the prairie

Growing up, I knew that ferries took vehicles and people across water, typically to an island. I'd seen photos and movies of the hovercraft ferries between Dover and Calais. Pity I'll never get to ride one; I think it would have been cool. Like the Concorde, that time has passed.

We once took the ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth (on Manitoulin Island) on the way back to Calgary. We'd visited some of Linda's family that lived near Owen Sound. My thinking was why drive when we could snooze on a ferry? Well, as it turns out, that was an optimistic view of the situation. There was a stiff wind in the ferry terminal, and it got stronger as we got out on the open water. They told us it was going to be a rough ride, and that was an understatement. We started off the trip standing outside, but they soon herded the passengers inside. Shortly after that spray was coming over the bow, and then it got to be more than spray. The ferry rocked and rocked and rang like a bell. We were beginning to regret the big farm breakfast of eggs and bacon and potatoes and more. Then Linda regretted it a lot. The photos below are before all that.

Then on a vacation in Nova Scotia, we discovered cable ferries. We've been on several of them, but the LaHave is my favourite, mainly because some friends live nearby. (Hi guys!) And the bakery, of course. That too. 

Imagine my surprise on a drive in Alberta when I saw a sign that said "Bleriot Ferry".  At first I thought it was something like "Bow Island", which is an actual place but is not an island. Albertans being what they are, I imagined a town called "Bleriot Ferry" and that there was some reason for it.

Except it turns out the Bleriot ferry is an actual ferry across the Red Deer river. There are 5 other ferries in Alberta, and 12 in Saskatchewan. Who knew? Drive up, wait a few minutes, drive on, wait a few minutes, and drive off again. They're free, until Kenney hears about them and decides to privatize to a buddy. I'm not sure why they didn't put in a bridge. 

There has been some joking between my photo buddies about a long road trip to ride all the ferries in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Then again, maybe they're serious. It would be fun. Hmmm, that might even be a fun mapping question: what is the shortest route that crosses each ferry once. Which reminds me of a Randell Garret story where they are trying to figure out the route a murder victim took through a house, locking each of the doors behind him. (The Sixteen Keys.)

These are from the road trip to Oyen at Bleriot Ferry. 




4. I think this is from Finnegan Ferry. The light through the trees was lovely! The people are my road trip buddies. 




8. The film version of that last photo.

Of the Day



Film. The Bleriot Ferry

For the first time ever on this blog, you get an addendum. Thinking about ferries, and the exciting trip mentioned above, I remembered there were some point and shoot photos. I got the box of photos and sorted through them for the first time in many years. Just so you know, I'm covering my face for some of them.

In any case, here are some digital photos of the printed photo. Not aiming for ultimate quality here, since the photos themselves are a bit blurry. An indication of how much wind there was, before it got really windy.

Me. I'm having trouble dating this photo. If I had a beard it had to be either before May 1983, or after August 1990. Between those dates I worked for the City and wasn't allowed to grow a beard. I don't think it would grow out that much on a 2 week vacation.

I still have that wool jacket.

Shortly after this they made us go inside.

Friday, January 28, 2022

A mostly sunburst late afternoon walk

 Just for fun, and because I was jonesing for colour, and the sky looked promising, and I hadn't been to that part of Fish Creek for a while, and where was I going with this?

Oh yes. These photos from yesterday near bridge 10. It was a lovely afternoon, just above zero. In hindsight, I should have worn the traction aids I had in the car. Lots of the little paths beside the river were really icy, and of course, I was out on the ice on the river. As a spoiler, I didn't fall down, and didn't get my feet wet.

Also in hindsight, although I'd cleaned the lens a few days ago, I probably should have checked it again. It picked up some dust along the way, which is a problem when you're shooting into the sun.


2. The light in those leaves was really nice. I had to win an argument with a rose bush to find the composition.

3. The light was really nice on the ice, but the camera isn't seeing what I saw.

4. Yes, I'm out on the river ice for this, and it was worth it. One of the few cases where I visualized the shot, and managed to capture it. 


6. Bridge 10 in all it's sunset glory. There's a film shot similar to this (I hope) that will show up sooner or later.

7. Another case of where the camera doesn't see, or I couldn't make it see, what my eyes saw.

8. Darn that guy for being such a fast runner! I saw the shot just barely in time, and dialed the shutter speed button blind, and clicked. I could wish he was about 10 feet closer to me and thus in that patch of light. The next shot a second later he was out of sight, and then the light was gone. The moral of the story is to pay attention.

9. Coming back, I was really liking the sunset between the bridge girders.

10. I watched this for a little while, and then it started getting cold.

Of the Day
Driftwood. There was a reason I didn't remove that stalk of grass but for the life of me I can't imagine what it might be. I suppose I could digitally remove it, but that would  be tricky and probably look worse than the stalk.



A there I was shot near Oyen. Everybody wanted me to get back into the van. I was hoping to catch the baked white building against the blue sky. I suppose I could edit it to square it up, and crop to remove the truck on the left, and the intrusive bits on the right. But really, a few more steps to the left and a bit closer would have fixed that, but it isn't that interesting a shot.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Accoustic film followup

Back in October I blogged a bunch of photos from the Oyen trip here. The photo with the chair was the one I had hoped to replicate on film. Alas. 

In addition to the school, there's an old church. We had permission to go inside and found many photo opportunities. You can see them in the link above. Some of us sang, enjoying the wonderful acoustics. This is the front of the church on film, very lightly edited in Lightroom. I spent a bunch of time trying to find the right spot to shoot from, and get the settings right. 

Yes, the front door is screwed shut, we went in through a back door. Carefully. This is in a worse state than the school The foundations are cracked, and there's a big steel rod helping stabalize things. I'm pretty sure that unless someone puts a lot of money into the building soon, it's going to have to be torn down or fenced off for safety reasons. 

Out of the 36 shots on that roll, this one and the driftwood are the ones I'm most pleased with. 

We finished off season 1 of Veronica Mars last night, 18 years after the rest of you. Part of the problem in talking about TV and movies is the context of the current day. What's groundbreaking one year is passe the next. Some things age well, others don't. Think about 2 day old reheated fish and chips, and that's teen drama at it's best. It's downhill from there, and I have little patience for it in real life, and less on screen. Good thing I don't have kids.

Still, there are some witty bits, and Kristen Bell is fun to watch, and the overall mystery arc was mostly fun to track. That kept me going, though an overdose of unreliable narrator nearly did me in. I'm not rushing out to buy the boxed set. 

I was hoping to see a bit more thought put into plot continuity. There are several instances of bugs being planted, and yet nothing comes of what is heard. I think more effort was put into writing the various high school episodes, than the overall season arc mystery. Seeing some more fencing between Veronica and Clarence would have been good. Maybe it's next season. 

Next up, Mad Men. That started in 2007, so we're only 15 years behind. It finally arrived from the library, nearly a year after I put it on hold. I'll be going to pick it up a bit later today. 

One advantage of watching old shows is that you know how many episodes you're getting into, though you have to be careful about spoilering (is that a word?) yourself.

Of the Day



The link above has another view of these sheds.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Book disappointment

 I had high hopes for this one.

Nothing much to see here. Move along. Move along. Lots of flabby writing to say little that is new. I seriously wonder if he was getting paid by the word, or assembled lots of smaller articles without an editing pass. The whole thing is just under 500 pages, with footnotes and index taking up 100 of that. 

The money shot is on page 401, and I skipped a lot of pages getting there. You get these slightly paraphrased nuggets of wisdom.

Do meaningful work, whatever that means to you. Don't retire to sit and watch TV.
Look forward to the coming days and make plans.
Regular exercise.
Maintain an active social circle, especially with younger people.
Regular doctor visits.
Don't think of yourself as old. (Most days, myself, I think I'm in my mid 30's.)
Keep your brain working with new things. 

Oh, and a couple from me, go with the peer reviewed science, not anecdote or charlatans trying to sell vitamin supplements or a fad diet. Eat a wide variety of foods, and probably less meat than you eat now.

There, how hard is that? See you at my 100th birthday party. 

And this one is just out and out a waste of time. All he did was show some photos, and explain the exact steps he used, as in, move this slider to x, and tweak the tone curve this way. Nothing about why it was done that way. To my taste all the photos look over baked. 

Of the Day
I love it when the driftwood has other things on it. Often it's stones, which can make for an interesting contrast in texture. As a reminder, these are as found. In some cases the stone is pounded into the wood by forces beyond human abilities, and other times it's clear I came along shortly after someone had fun with the stones. 


Lily, but first a sunrise serendipity from 2106.

I felt kind of sad going through this old school. Built in 1930, it was probably planned during the late 20's when times were good and the future of the prairies looked bright. I suspect it was thought of as a good investment, to attract families to the town and growing the local businesses. Nobody knew they were heading into the dirty thirties and a global depression, then a global war, and coming out the other side to a totally different world. If they had known, they probably would not have built this. 

It's a handsome building. The bones seem sound in spite of being closed in 1966, and open to the weather for decades. Of course, there could be problems a short visit wouldn't discover. I've little doubt there's been many discussions over the years about what to do with the building. In other places it would have been repurposed, perhaps being made into a big home. I suppose that could be done here if you brought lots of money. But then, you'd be living in Hoosier, SK. It's a 45 minute drive to Kindersley, a town of 5000 people. Or you could saddle up the ponies for the 2.5 hr drive to Medicine Hat.

There were a couple film photos from inside that turned out to be disappointments because of my poor focussing skills. It's a good subject, and I wouldn't mind another crack at it, but I'm not going to drive 4 hours just for that.

Stay tuned for another building very near this one.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The promised reflections

 These are from a weekend walk near Glennfield Day Use area in Fish Creek. I went past the clothing optional area, but as expected, everybody was dressed. Lots of people out and about, including several guys riding bikes on the creek ice. 

So far walking on the ice is mostly worry free, even where water is running on top. We had lots of really cold weather so the ice is really thick. There are thin spots, however, just to keep you alert. I saw one set of foot prints leading to a big wet spot. I didn't go there.

This is Mark. Chatted briefly with him. He had ridden from Shannon Terrace almost to the Bow River, and was on his way back.

A serendipity from 2017.

Someone went to the time and trouble to build an ice inukshuk. 

Of the Day
Driftwood, though I suppose it could be called artsy, or B&W.



We had just got off a ferry and were exploring this lovely bit of woods. Yes, there are ferries between here and Oyen.