More About Skiing

A typical view of the TCT near Salmon River Lake

A few days ago Olivia (youngest daughter) and I went skiing. My current agenda is to try going to places I have not skied before which is a change from my usual impulse to ski on Donahue Lake. Olivia was not interested in dealing with hills so the safest bet was a section of the Trans Canada Trail.

Brook running beside the TCT

We drove to Salmon River Lake, parked (safely) on the side of the road where we could easily access the trail. As we were getting our gear out of the car three snowmobiles went past. They had come from Guysborough Intervale – a route made possible once several lakes freeze. It was nice to see others out enjoying the afternoon, and nicer still when the noise of their machines faded away.

Olivia skiing near Salmon River Lake

Once we were clamped into our skis and moving on the trail another consequence of the snowmobiles quickly made itself known: slushy crud. Each of us ended up with gobs of ice on our skis. This rendered our forward progress painstakingly slow. I didn’t even realize the cause of this poor performance right away. I thought it seemed odd that we were not able to glide when conditions were so favorable. When I finally clued in I used my wax scraper to clear both pairs of skis. Olivia had clumps like small fists on both skis.


The section of trail we were on ended up not being especially flat. We encountered several inclines that were tricky to descend. I thought this added nice variety while Olivia would have preferred the trail to remain flat. The trail is closely lined by trees on each side. Unfortunately we ran out of time and had to turn just as we came to an interesting area where the trail borders a few lakes.


Tanker on Chedabucto Bay, Half Island Cove

One of the most difficult things I phaced, oops, faced last Saturday when I spent the afternoon out driving around was being content with where I was. The theory of being present and the practice of it can have some serious divergences.

Old House, Peas Brook

As you can see in most of the shots it was a cloudy day and what often happens on days like this in winter is the clouds eventually grow heavier and heavier until they blot the sky out completely. Early on in the afternoon I wasn’t especially pleased with the scenes I was finding. Internal pressure mounted quickly as the little voice in my head insistently criticized me. It reminded me over and over that the quality of the sky and light would soon disappear. Versions of the grass being greener (whiter) elsewhere played like a jukebox.

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Snow is falling as I write. An hour ago the flakes were tiny and hesitant, now they are big and coming sideways at the window. They hang for a few seconds then begin to melt. Some bits streak straight downward while other remnants cling or wriggle slowly. An hour from now this snow will give way to rain.

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I have been busy though this hasn’t translated into posts. I have been feverishly processing photos from the weekend. I’ve been out on my skis, my bicycle and believe it or not, my motorcycle. Rain is forecast for tomorrow so I’m planning to stay in to catch up but right now I am heading out, once again, to enjoy the afternoon.

Half Island Cove (very lightly applied bleach bypass)

So, yet again, I abandoned my database chores without getting far: I made it to October. I came across some shots from Half Island Cove as I finished September and thought I could play with them for a little while then get back to the drudgery of entering keywords. I picked a few. Some had noticeable glow from HDR processing, others seemed too saturated or too dark or too something. When attempting to improve shots I go right back to the originally captured images, run them through the HDR software to generate 32-bit files which then get tonemapped, re-imported, stitched then adjusted before finally being exported and uploaded here.  Continue Reading »

Shed, Charlos Cove

Hindsight is, of course, always 20/20 and in hindsight I really wish I had added keywords incrementally as I added new photos to the database. I am only good for short bursts when I attempt to do this work. I have progressed from April to being part way through the images taken in September. My worst problem is seeing photos I originally ignored but now seem worthy of attention. When I give in to the impulse to work on something the whole business of keywording once again gets pushed aside and left undone. Today I’m presenting one image with variations. Several of the variations derive from ‘recipes’ I’ve created using a combination of individual filters, while several are presets supplied with the software which I apply and then tweak. I feel it is almost always possible to interpret/present a photograph in more than one way.

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I was nosing around on the Rivendell Bicycle site and came across a video describing the value of daily exercise. I strongly encourage everyone to check it out by clicking the link above. There are some impressive statistics along with general recommendations for improving your health. I like that he labels television as a chronic disease.