Thursday, October 28, 2010

A no frills is a suburban frill

The old fashioned, neighbourhood grocery store is coming to what originally promised to be London's first new urbanist experiment. Just pushing your leg; The store will be a giant no frills store, the budget grocery arm of Canada's giant Loblaws chain.

Along with acres and acres of black asphalt there will also be a Tim Hortons coffee shop closer to the intersection of Southdale and Col. Talbot Roads. There are rumours that a chain pizzeria is also going to be part of the new neighbourhood mall.

I live just a short walk from here. This means I now have five grocery stores within walking distance of my suburban home ---  two are actually quite close. When I lived downtown, there wasn't one large grocery store in the area. Not a one! Having a no frills so close to my home is just another frill of living in the suburbs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Looking for the right scent

Fiona loves to do the same stuff as those around her. If I'm reading the paper, Fiona is going to read the paper. She loves books, especially pictures. Hmmm. She's just like me! (I've never understood why editors insist on messing up so many good pages with all those words. They could have simply filled the space with more pictures.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Watching the "Weather Bomb"

I called this watching the "weather bomb" but in truth Fiona was watching my wife and I get the lawn furniture put away in the garage and the bird feeders taken down, as we prepared for the massive storm forecast for London. CBC and others were referring to it as a "weather bomb."

Although it did manage to flip a truck on its side near Chatham and take down a tower in Sarnia, the storm pretty well bombed out in London. Some streets flooded but mainly because of the fall leaves plugging the storm sewer grates.

If you are interested in  knowing more about the "weather bomb" and the havoc it wrecked elsewhere, check out my article on the Digital Journal.


Monday, October 25, 2010

She's a trooper!

"Hey grandpa! Would you like to read a book together?"
Miss Baby took a tumble today - a bad one. She struck her head and it left a bit of a bump. Her forehead grew red from the blow. She cried some but she really got into a sobbing roll when the doctor in emerg began poking and prodding her.

When he brought out a light to look into her eyes, it was her eyes that really lit up and not his little flashlight. He would move the light to left and her eyes would follow. No matter where he moved that light, she didn't take her eyes off that weird brightly lit thing. It was clear that she had never seen anything quite like it. It had captured her interest. And her steady, unflinching interest told the doctor that she was fine.

From the hospital she went straight to grandma and grandpa's rather than returning home. She may have gotten the all clear from emerg but she was still under mom and dad's and grandma and grandpa's close observation.

The moment I carried her into the kitchen, she spotted the banana on the counter and held out her hand. I let her grab it. We got a bowl, a fork, her spoon and sat down together at the table. Sitting on my knee, she helped me peel the banana. She took her spoon and helped pulverize the sweet, white fruit; With only one tooth it is still best to squish food before eating. And then she settled in to eat her half of the banana.

She always shares her prize with me; We each get half. She sits on my knee and smiles and laughs. She enjoys the obvious camaraderie of the moment.

We're buddies. And I cannot convey to you how very happy and relieved I am that my little buddy is just fine. Her head is a little bruised but she's not complaining. She's a real trooper!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dogs always make winning pictures

Last weekend was our family's Thanksgiving. We were a week late but there were good reasons. My wife always gets her turkeys from a small turkey operation south of London. While there picking up our bird, I saw this dog waiting patiently for its owner who was also picking up a fresh turkey.

I figure you can't go wrong with a picture of a cute dog.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The red of fall is almost gone.

Most of the bright red and screaming yellow of fall have come and gone. The ground is littered with colourful leaves but many of the tree branches are now bare. When I saw this little patch of colour I thought, "Grab a shot now. You won't have many more chances."

And so I did.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Early Morning Mist

I didn't have to travel far for today's picture of early morning mist over the Thames River valley in London, Ontario. I simply walked across the court on which I live and shot the scene below.

The neighbourhood in which I live is nice but I've always thought that a great architect could have designed a wonderful hillside community where regular suburban housing now stands. I envision something Habitat like with covered walkways up and across the slope, all intertwined. It could have been really cool and everyone would have had a view.

Oh well, a No Frills grocery story is being going up within an easy walk of my home. I've must look on the bright side. My neighbourhood is getting more and more like a new urbanist community without the silly laneways and boring grid pattern streets.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Starting them early

When I retired from the local paper, I started blogging. London Daily Photo gave me a reason to get out and get some exercise taking pictures. If you have wondered why LDP hasn't been so daily lately, there are two reasons: My health and my granddaughter.

I no longer have the pressing need to chase about taking pictures to get exercise. I have Fiona.

Our family is deep into newspapers. I get the local paper, The London Free Press, every day and my daughters like to buy a Toronto paper on the weekend. I believe the newly designed Globe and Mail is getting rave reviews.

Fiona may be only a year old but she already likes to flip through the paper. And Fiona enjoys the ads as much as the news pages. She's the kind of reader all newspapers want.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mallard duck at Springbank Park

Ah, the common mallard duck, so common and so beautiful. When I saw this bird, head back and bill tucked into its warm feathers, I saw a picture. When the colourful leaves floated by, I saw a picture worth posting.

London, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ah, to be young again!

When I spotted these two young women, they were bobbing up and down doing a stretching exercise and using the park bench for support. They proceeded to do quite a number of unique exercises all taking advantage of the bench. This stepping exercise was one of the simpler routines. The others were really cool to watch but they just didn't make a picture. Maybe I'll get a second chance someday.

Uh, that's a second chance at getting a picture. We never get a second chance at being young.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tar spots on maple leaves

Today's blog is a reprint of a post that first appeared on Rockinon: the blog. Lately, I've been noticing these tar spots on fallen maple leaves in London and so I thought a reprint was in order.

A lot of the information came directly from a report from Guelph University by W.A. Attwater. I think it is best to ensure accuracy and so I am leaving this report essentially untouched.

Whenever I saw round, black dots on maple leaves, I used to wonder what the black dots were and what measures should we be taking to protect our trees. If you have thought the same thing, read on.

These distinctive round to irregular black, spots on infected maple leaves are known as tar spots. Not noticeable until late summer, tar  spots are caused by two species of Rhytisma fungus.

The first, Rhytisma acerinum, produces black, tar-like spots about 1.25 cm or more in diameter on the upper surface of infected leaves. The second species, R. punctatum, produces patches of small, 1mm wide spots and is often called speckled tar spot.

The thickened black spots are fungal tissue called stroma. Red, silver, Norway (including the varieties with red leaves) sugar and Manitoba maples as well as others are affected.

Both fungi survive between seasons on the fallen diseased leaves. In the spring, spores are produced within the black stroma and are carried by air currents to young maple leaves where they start new infections. Unlike many other foliar diseases, Rhytisma spp. do not continue to cause new infections throughout the summer.

Infections first show up as yellow or pale green spots on the leaf surface in the early spring or summer. The black, raised tar-like spots develop within these spots in mid to late summer. Severely infected leaves may be shed.

Although tar spots are conspicuous, they are seldom so injurious in home gardens to justify spraying with a fungicide. As the strong visual appearance develops late in the growing season, the overall health of trees is rarely affected.

To reduce the amount of disease overwintering, rake up fallen leaves in the autumn and destroy or remove them from the yard.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Walk in the bog

The boardwalk running through the wettest part of the Sifton bog protects the bog while allowing folk to walk deep into the woods to view the central pond.

This would make a great picture if taken at time when the early morning mist was thick.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is pot as harmless as most of us think?

"Is pot really harmless?" This is the question posed by Dr. Elizabeth Osuch. For her answer check out my linked post: Pot.

Today's picture was taken of Osuch as she delivered her lecture in Wolf Hall in the London Central Library.