Sunday, January 31, 2010
Check yesterday's blog for some info on Len's Mill; Today I'm posting a second cool picture from the store. Today's is similar to yesterday's but it is different fabric. Just what does one do with fabrics like these? Sew an evening gown? Make a costume of some kind? I know what I do with the stuff; I make pictures.
Friday, January 29, 2010
If you need a big chunk of foam, a winter hat, some pancake syrup, maybe a Royal Doulton place setting and at a really fine price, or even some colourful fabric, Len's Mill is your store. Jeans? They got 'em. Habitat pea soup? Yup! How about a five-foot long church pew? If you move fast, the answer is yes!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
My wife saw a flock of wild turkeys in the field beside Bostwick Road in the southend of London Ontario. But it was so cold that I couldn't make the long walk into the field; My face immediately began to enter frostbite territory. I saw the tree and the corn rows and saw a picture. I took out my camera but the battery quit from the cold. I slipped off my glove to switch batteries and my fingers were numb by the time I had the new battery installed.
East and southeast of London the weather was even worse. Just as cold but higher winds accompanied by some falling snow resulting in white-outs making driving dangerous.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Before I shot this picture, I got some white, hard flour for making bread and some light yellow semolina for making pasta. It's good flour but the best thing about it is that it's not flour from a giant conglomerate.
I was surprised to learn recently that Robin Hood Mills is owned by Horizon Milling GP, which is owned by the giant Cargill Corporation out of the States. (This is not to knock the Robin Hood product. I have used their bread machine flour in the past. I just like buying from smaller companies. It's a personal thing.)
The Arva Flour Mill is on the northern edge of London Ontario and is still in operation. I like to buy my flour there. It's good flour and I believe the mill is locally owned.
I didn't dare get too close for this picture as the duck hissed a loud warning. It sounded serious.
Later, I learned the brightly coloured male is all hiss. One of the white ducks in the background is another matter. One of those ducks is quick to deliver a fierce pecking attack if you get too close.
Tomorrow we'll have a picture of the mill itself.
Monday, January 25, 2010
For all the talk of society facing an obesity crisis, there are certainly enough walkers and joggers filling the pedestrian pathways around London. The yellow line delineates the area of the roadway dedicated to those on foot.
Many London roadways now sport separate bike lanes. I can walk or bike from my home in southwest London all the way to the city centre and hardly ever share the pavement with a car.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
For instance, there is the London PhotoWalk group. They post their planned walks on the Net and get a dozen or so photographers out to document some area of London. Saturday they toured Springbank Park.
I was lucky enough to catch one of their regular shooters, James Wilkinson, at a weekend seminar a couple of months ago. Listening to his talk and viewing his slides, I learned that he is one fine shooter. (Wilkinson is not the shooter shown stalking the Springbank Park geese.)
In the coming week I'm going to keep an eye on the PhotoWalk Flickr site and see what is submitted from the day's shoot. There should be a good mix of work as the site's administrator, Kevin van Lierop, is working to ensure that everyone has a chance to post their best images.
Rockinon - more pictures from Saturday's shoot to run in the next couple of days.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
If you pay attention, you will see that kids still clearly enjoy the colourful characters such as Humpty Dumpty. I believe there is some talk of bringing back more of the storybook characters. Done correctly, it could be a fine idea.
Years ago when we were all making the switch from fishermen to fishers, from mailmen to mail carriers, from manhole cover to access cover, I handed a picture of a snowman in to the desk at The London Free Press. An argument ensued over what to call the snowman in the paper. Should he, it, be referred to as a snowperson?
I got snowman into the paper by assuring the desk that the snowperson pictured was truly a snowman. With today's picture, I am not so sure of sex, I'm not sure who wears the pants in snowperson culture, and so I am going with snowperson. I don't wan London Daily Photo to be a sexist blog.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
You don't even have to own your own skates; There are rental hockey and figure skates available in the Storybook castle.
Note: Children under 5 years-of-age must wear a helmet. No hockey sticks, pucks or balls are permitted on the skate trail, nor are sleds or toboggans. Strollers and wheelchairs are permitted but people are asked to clean the wheels of any debris before heading onto the ice.
According to the park's Website, if you come by the park any day at 2:00 p.m., you’ll find the staff feeding the seals their favourite dinner: Fish.
The site also states that the harbour seals Loki, Cricri and all the others were born in captivity and can’t live in the wild. They want their dinner hand delivered. Maybe it's a good life; I don't know.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Hooded mergansers are short distance migrants and winter in the United States and southern Ontario wherever winter temperatures allow for ice free conditions on ponds, lakes and rivers.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
As promised, here is the exterior of the Dominion Public Building.
According to Canada's Historic Places, the DPB is classified as a Federal Heritage Building erected under the Public Works Construction Act of 1934. In an effort to alleviate the worst effects of the Great Depression the Federal Government allocated 40 million dollars to public works, generating employment and stimulating the economy. The Dominion Public Building is one of the more prominent of the 26 buildings erected under this Act.
An excellent example of modern classicism, a variant of the Art Deco style, the reinforced concrete building is both functional and beautiful.
The original ornate brass doors at the two front entries are gone; I was told they were too difficult to keep shiny, too labour intensive. As I said yesterday, the large art deco lamps inside are now replicas, with the original lamps being lost in storage. Some 1930s decorations are still in place, and the brass elevator doors are wonderful and probably irreplaceable today.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
It seems that at one point in this building's life, it was decided to remove the original art deco ceiling lights. They were sent to Ottawa for storage. Years later it was decided to restore a bit of the building, bringing it back to its original elegance. Word went out to have the removed ceiling lights returned. But, the valuable lights were nowhere to be found.
The replicas are not bad but up close they look like what they are - replicas. As for the rest of the aging restoration, much of it has been allowed to deteriorate. The post office is gone, the counters removed and the space crudely divided and dedicated to other uses.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
It is a gorgeous film - beautifully shot and it does justice to the famous resort, to the classic gardens and to Seyrig. She went on to work with many famous directors such as François Truffaut and Luis Buñuel. Sadly, she was only 58-years-old when she died in Paris in 1990.
The Marienbad Restaurant in downtown London takes its name from the Czech spa made world famous for many by the award winning film.
Vrabec's work appears in a number of locations in downtown London. In the windows of Garlic's on Richmond Street, at Bloomers in the Covent Garden Market and of course the chimney sweep above the Marienbad. (This links to some views of the restaurant - inside and out.)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
It could have been a neat building. Actually, I have to admit that I still find it kind of neat. The three tower structures support the roof. This keeps the inside of the structure open, free of columns. Should be cool, right?
Click here and have a 360-degree view of the inside. O.K. I admit it. Inside, it's boring. Such a neat idea and when you get inside - nothing. Oh, there a rink and a track and all so practical.
I bet there is still time to make this visually stunning. Come on UWO, turn some of your imaginative students loose on this problem. Maybe the fine arts students could come up with something creative and yet affordable.
The balls in your court.
Monday, January 11, 2010
A lot of people like to argue that the heart of London is the downtown. But for me, the heart of my community is Springbank Park. This large park, with a history going back well over a hundred years, is a beautiful place in every season.
As can be seen from the footprints in the snow, I am not alone. Actually, the city often has plowed the road through the park before they plowing my residential street. I guess joggers and walkers come first and I can't argue with their reasoning; I'm a walker (with a hint of jogger thrown in.) I appreciate the cleared roadways in the park.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The cold snap goes on.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
It is not uncommon for there to be rain during the winter in Canada. One year I recall skiing in the Eastern Townships of Quebec after a particularly severe ice storm. The ice on the slopes was almost an inch thick. I didn't think I'd be skiing that day; I thought I would have been better off with skates.
But the ski hill was prepared with giant grooming machines that chewed up the ice and left behind snow-like, skiable flakes of ice in slope-long, deep rows.
The ice storm that passed through London earlier in the week wasn't that bad but even today lots of trees are still sporting a sparkling coating of ice.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Below is a silly picture shot quickly through the windshield of my car. It shows a van moving by a home with a few Christmas lights. The circles are camera movement. I'm not as steady as I once was.
Let's call this one art.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The corridor is one of two spans linking the two halves of the giant development. At one time there was a Koala Blue store in the other span and one could look down on King Street from the store's large window. Today only a few recall Koala Blue, the dream of Olivia Newton-John. And few remember Galleria London was the dream of Canadian developer Robert Campeau. Both dreams are now badly faded.
Nice corridor, though . . .
Monday, January 4, 2010
The second decade of the century is now almost through the fourth day. The storm that dumped 50 cm of snow on my home has wrapped it up but it left some really cold temperatures. The kids at the school where my wife works didn't go outside today - too cold.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The storm is expected to continue off and on through Sunday depending upon the strength of the lake effect snow squalls.
Hwy 402 west of London was closed because of white outs Saturday afternoon, as was the Bluewater Highway south of Bayfield. Strong snow streamers coming from both Lake Huron and Georgian Bay brought snow squalls, and winds gusting from 50 to 60 km/h, to large swathes of Southwestern Ontario.
And the trees, if you are not from a country with heavy snowfalls, are wrapped in burlap to protect them from snow damage. A heavy fall of the winter white stuff can bend and even break tree limbs.