Saturday, October 31, 2009


It was Halloween and do you know what that means? Bowls and bowls of candy, bags and boxes of the stuff covering the bottom of a closet. The first year we lived in Byron, in the southwest of London,
Ontario, we had 200 kids and we ran out of candy. We said never again but we meant running out of candy and not kids. I doubt that we got two dozen trick and treaters. Oh well, I got lots of candy and I didn't even have to leave home to get it.

(Our little Bat Woman is Fiona in a picture by mom. Earlier in the day Fiona was busy making a Thriller video for YouTube. Haven't heard if she has gone viral.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

If only Thunderbirds had wings...

The driver of this Ford Thunderbird may have wished his bird had wings. Unable to clear the railroad tracks over Waterloo Street at Pall Mall Street, and not quick enough with the shift into reverse, the soft-topped car was trapped by the heavy railway warning gate. Luckily the train passed without incident, unless you count the embarrassment endured by the driver.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Waiting in line for the H1N1 Vaccine

The H1N1 vaccine is now available in London, Ontario, and children make up a large number of those in line for the H1N1 vaccine. These children amuse themselves, while waiting three hours in the chilly fall air, by watching a movie on a small portable player. So many people turned out for the clinic, open only to high risk individuals, that the more than two hours before the clinic opened the parking lot was filled.

A story on the H1N1 situation was filed on Digital Journal.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hostas in the fall

My wife is not a fan of hostas. To her they are just a bunch of big leaves. She wants flowers. The little flowers blooming on tall stalks above the hosta foliage just don't cut it for her. Well, even my wife, after viewing my hosta pictures this year, is being pulled into the hosta camp. I didn't think London Daily Photo would feature hostas again this year but here they are - again. The shades of fall gold colour were just too beautiful not to shoot and share.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

H1N1 fight begins

Londoners turned out in the thousands Tuesday to get inoculated against the swine flu, H1N1. There were two special clinics in London, Ontario, and there will be more in the coming days. 

The first clinics are reserved for high risk individuals. Next week the clinics will be open to all.

Photojournalist Derek Ruttan, of The London Free Press, interviews Alex Middel, of London, bringing her son Fynn, 2, to the south London H1N1 vaccination clinic Tuesday.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blue and red mystery

I give up. While walking along Beaconsfield Avenue above Horton Street E., still called the Horton extension by some, I noticed these deep blue berries on bright red stems. What are they? Don't know, but they are neat.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Northern Walking Stick_Again

This is my second post featuring a Northern Walking Stick. This time I think I have the little critter facing the camera. I didn't realize it at the time but now I think I'm being rudely mooned in my first posted picture.

These are among the neatest insects in southwestern Ontario. Walking sticks are found around the world but mostly in tropical regions. Only one is native to Canada, the northern walking stick, and it occurs only in southern Ontario and Quebec.

Wednesday my wife spotted one on our garage door. Very agile, with both claws and sucker pads on their feet, it had no problem walking about the smooth, painted panels. I put out my hand, allowed it to climb on and then I carried it to a nearby shrub.

These insects are so well camouflaged, they look just like a short, thin twig. Kids capture them, put them in an aquarium filled with small branches and leaves, and then they promptly lose sight of their skinny pet.

It's best just to take the little insect's picture and leave them running free. Quite delicate, one can unintentionally injure a walking stick by handling them. Look but don't touch. (Note that I let it climb onto my hand. I didn't pick it up directly.)

Later, I'm going to write a little on Rockin' On: Photography about how this shot was done. It will be a little photography lesson.


To see my first walking stick post click on this link - LINK.

Sharon Creek Conservation Area (Friday Post)

The Sharon Creek Conservation Area is a small but very beautiful spot just minutes from my home in southwest London. To learn more click the link. I did and I learned that the pretty little pond is part of a larger than I expected conservation area. Taking a picture a day is a fine way to learn about the town that you thought you knew so well.


p.s. I am away for a few days and so I am posting in advance. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Balloon Chasing Three

Hot-air balloons almost always come down outside the city. That said, there have been times when the wind has died and stranded the balloons over the city. Out of fuel the pilots have landed in football fields, open stretches of residential roadway and even in large back yards.

The other night the balloons easily made it into the farm country. The problem with farms is that there may still be a crop in the field waiting to be harvested. Landing in the wrong field results in an angry farmer and a big expense to the hot-air balloon flight company.

This balloon is skimming over a field of beans, I believe. The pilot brought the balloon out of the field and landed it beside the barn where the pick-up vehicle was already waiting. No damage, no expense, no angry farmer. We might of even had a quite happy farmer, if the pilot and his passengers shared their champagne. (Champagne to celebrate a successful landing is a ballooning tradition.)

Boalloon Chasing

Monday, October 19, 2009

Balloon Chasing: One

Saturday I was on my way to Westmount Mall for jeans when I saw a couple of hot-air balloons over the southwest end of the city. I pulled over, and ran about looking for an angle. Remember, I have only a simple, six-year-old camera, lacking a zoom lens. This apartment building on Wonderland Road just north of Springbank Drive provided an interesting angle.

Liking my first picture, I decided to chase the balloons. They were floating out of the city. With sunset approaching, I thought I might get a fine shot of hot-air balloons against a crimson sky.

With sunset nearing, the pilot of the hot-air balloon began scouting a suitable landing site bringing the balloon down low over the open farm fields. I jumped from my car and headed into the field where I got this picture.

Comeback tomorrow to see how this all ended. (Or just go to Rockin'on: the blog or Rockin' On: Photography.)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

My wife's favourite turkey...

Last Monday was Thanksgiving Day, but we're celebrating the holiday almost a week late. This morning my wife and I picked up our turkey from the Oegema Turkey Farm on highway 4 just north of Talbotville. My wife insists on a fresh, never frozen, bird.

This isn't the best idea. Fresh birds, unlike frozen, can be bruised in shipping. Oegema raises the turkeys right there. Place your order by phone and the bird is waiting for you. It's perfect . . . well, almost. After my wife has roasted it, it's perfect.

See what is in the works on Digital Journal. This should link to some images taken yesterday in London.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's snowing!

"It's snowing! It's snowing!" My wife was like a little kid last night. The sight of the first snowfall does that to her; she reverts to childhood. You would think she was about to head for the front yard and make a snowman. But, she is old enough to be retired and visions of snowmen don't dance in her head for long. Soon, her thoughts turn to shovelling, and snow tiresor lack of snow tiresand piles and piles of brown, wet slush.

Me? I'm a photographer. "It's snowing! It's snowing!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

. . . in a pear tree

I have to give my wife credit for spotting today's picture. She saw the pear tree, burdened with fruit but almost devoid of leaves, as we travelled south on Colonel Talbot Road toward Lambeth. From a distance the ripe pears hanging on the bare limbs looked like decorative Christmas ornaments.

The little fox was a blur.

It's not the best picture of a little red fox. I could have done better if I'd had a longer lens. But, I'm still pretty happy with the image. I think my little watch-pocket-sized camera performed admirably.

I live in a suburb of London, Ontario, almost at the southwestern edge of the city. I say almost as there has been development since moving here. Near my home there is a large open field which may never be built on; reportedly, it once was a garbage dump. At one end of the field there are methane vents lending credence to the dump story.

The field attracts mice. The mice attract hawks and foxes. Now, to get a picture of a hawk. (First, I will have to buy a new camera. To learn what two camera have my eye check my Rockin' On: Photography blog.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's hard to shed a tear, but we should.

I knew it was coming down and I got a picture before it was demolished. It stood for about 150 years and for many of those years it was in decline. It lingered on the corner of Wellington Street and Horton Street long after the rest of the historic streetscape had disappeared and faded from memory.

No one saw it as an important historic building, and maybe it wasn't. Reportedly, it did have a few of its original wooden doors and a little of the original woodwork remained. It was a victim of urban building abuse and has now succumbed to the multitude of nasty blows inflicted on its once clean, elegant Georgian architecture.

Good-bye! We never really knew you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's Thanksgiving Day in Canada!

I shot this carefully stacked pile of Coke cartons back in June; it was stacked to celebrate Canada Day in one of the giant Loblaws grocery stores, possibly the one on Wonderland Rd. at Southdale Rd. I didn't have a chance to run it back then, but I think it is perfect for today.

Have a good Thanksgiving,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

From Red-tailed Hawks to Fuzzy Bears

Two red-tailed hawks were riding the up drafts, hovering over the weed covered field in southwest London, Ontario, but when the camera appeared, the two hawks dove, banked and disappeared.

But, if you stay alert, there is always a picture to be made. And fuzzy bears hang around a lot longer posing for their picture than silly old hawks.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Soho charmer

This is another home in the SoHo, South of Horton, area of London, Ontario. This home is on the southern edge of the city core near the Thames River. As I have revealed in days past, there are homes in this area going back 130 or more years and a few still look quite good. Sadly, many of the homes have been demolished or so modified over the years that they have lost all their charmbut not this place. This home, surrounded with greenery, is a real charmer. I've posted more about this neighbourhood on Rockin' On: the Blog.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going, going, Georgian heritage soon to be gone

For years I have admired the white, vinyl-sided, building at the corner of Wellington Street and Horton Street in downtown London, Ontario. Much of the building was often empty and it was clear for years that one day it would be demolished. Well, that day is at hand.

I may be one of the only people in London to mourn its loss. I am just guessing, but I think this Georgian style building may have been originally a hotel serving the railroad trade back in the 1860s. Before it was sided with plastic and divided up at street level into stores, this building had a simple elegance.

 I understand that a recent inspection of the interior showed that over the years substantial renovations have been done. Some of the original wood trim, a number of the solid wood doors, some flooring and even heritage windows remain but all has deteriorated. Its landmark status has been lost as the street scape in the immediate vicinity evolved, or devolved, over the years.

The folk who bought the property and who are going to demolish this heritage building are the very people who build the new, and oh-so-bland, Salvation Army shelter at the opposite end of the block. If I had my druthers on which building should go and which one should stay, I'd be hard pressed to make a decision.


Tall grasses are everywhere. Many are not native to Canada and cannot live through our harsh winters. This grass was sighted at the Loblaws gas bar on Southdale Road at Wonderland Road. This grass easily stood seven feet tall and waved with grace in the wind.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A home with warmth

This is another home in a forgotten part of  the London core. This home is in the far western edge of SoHo, South of Horton, near the Thames River. There are homes in this area going back 130 or more years and a few still look quite good. Sadly, many of the homes have been demolished or so modified over the years that they have lost their charm. I'm try to learn a bit more about this neighbourhood and will post my findings on Rockin' On: the Blog.

Only in a photo

Is photography art? I asked this question the other day. For my answer see Rockin' On: the Blog.

Everyday thousands pass this, the last remaining structure on a piece of land which was once a gas bar. I don't imagine a one of them sees it and thinks "picture." I know I didn't until the other night, on the way to pick up my wife downtown. It was then that I realized the clover in front of the purple painted doors could be used in a composition to make a picture.

The view presented here is one that for almost everyone, is a view that only exists in a picture — unless, of course, you have been known to crawl about in the weeds of this abandoned site flat on your belly.

Monday, October 5, 2009


One always reads how autumn means colour, red and yellow foliage and more. Well, if you've been following this blog, one thing you'd know is that every season has its own claim to colour. That said, the red berries in the holly bushes are a fall treat; they're the more.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Horton Street approaching Springbank Drive

After getting the shot in the park (see yesterday's post), I returned to Horton Street to await the return of my wife with the car. There was a street sign beside the roadway that I could use as an improvised monopod. With my little camera it is best to refrain from shooting at the high ISO settings, the images get grainy or noisy. I prefer to support the camera, accept the motion blur, and shoot at the usual 50 ISO. It works for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I've got to stop the car!

My wife and I were heading home along Horton St. W. where Horton changes into Springbank Dr. and I could see deep into Greenway Park. There was a fog forming, the sun was setting and the light was magic. "I've got to stop the car!"

"We're in traffic!" my wife protested. I pulled over and my wife and I both jumped out of the car. She ran around to the driver's side and drove off. I ran into the park.

I say a Canon ELPH is a great camera because you always have it with you. What do you think? Was the moment captured worth stopping the car? My wife didn't think so. She admits that she quietly, and not so quietly, cursed that ever present little camera.


Friday, October 2, 2009

The original London Daily Photo

Recently I had a comment from a chap known as Ham. He has the original London Daily Photo site from the other London, the one across the pond.

Check his site out, and note how he is raising money with his blog to fight breast cancer. What a great idea.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lovely Home in a Forgotten Part of London

This home is in a forgotten part of  the London coreon the southern edge near the Thames River. There are homes in this area going back 130 or more years and a few still look quite good. Sadly, many of the homes have been demolished or so modified over the years that they have lost all their charm. I'm try to learn a bit more about this neighbourhood and will post my findings on Rockin' On: the Blog.