Friday, September 17, 2021

Finding beauty in unlikely places


My grandchildren know I try and take a picture a day. They haven't been able to come for a visit for almost a week. Heading off on a search for the beautiful urban image was not on their to-do list for the day. They found me a leaf and gave me instructions to find the beauty, to find the art. The leaf had texture, a warm colour and the soft light accented the flow of the shape. There might be something here.

It is not a picture that captures an urban moment. But when my youngest granddaughter asks, "Are you glad we found the leaf?" I have to answer, "Yes." 

Tomorrow it is back to urban images.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

North Branch path

The Thames River is not much of a river but looks can be deceiving. Londoners have died when the rather small, shallow river has overflowed its banks inundating homes built on flood plain land. 

Londoners love their little river. This should come as no surprise as many urban areas worldwide are built on rivers both big and small. The one constant is that the folk living in the area are drawn to their river. Londoners are no exception.

The paved path along the east side of the North Branch of the Thames River has the kilometres posted for runners,walkers and cyclists. For some reason, the blue and white posts make the path seem friendlier, more inviting to the hundreds of people who use it every day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Signs of fall


Flowers, like this large hibiscus, are signalling that the end of summer is nie. Large seed pods are taking the place of the once bright flowers and soon leaves will be falling and many plants will be bare.

But look closely, seed pods are quite beautiful in their own way. These seed pods are a fitting replacement for the hibiscus flowers they replaced.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Watermain cathodic protection installation


A city's infrastructure is expensive to build and to maintain. Cathodic protection of aging watermains is claimed to add about 15 years of life to the system. Watermains corrode, crack, pit and scale and eventually fail. 

To slow this progression, crews have fanned out across the city to connect sacrificial anodes to aging ductile iron watermains. The attached anodes will corrode rather than the watermains to which they are attached.

The huge tube between the men on the right and the truck contains a drill that is creating a deep hole to access the watermain and to hold the sacrificial anode equipment.

Monday, September 13, 2021

A garage sale find: a bright, blue tent


Garage sales can be an adventure, especially for a child. When this little girl spotted the tent among the stuff for sale, she knew she had to have it. No more blankets tossed over chairs upended in the living room. This tent does not need stakes. It can be erected anywhere, even in a living room.

The kid got the tent. Then she got an invitation to go camping. Outside. Not in the living room. And so, within days of becoming the proud owner of a small, two child tent, she spent a night with a friend in her bright blue garage-sale-tent.

Life can be grand.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Southampton hit by one heck of a storm

Southampton is known mostly for its beach on Lake Huron. But a week ago it made the news for something else: a truly spectacular storm. This storm brought high winds, the threat of tornadoes and a  massive amount of rain to the usually quiet, little Ontario town.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

When downtown London truly was a destination


This old postcard from, I believe, the '40s shows Dundas Street in downtown London at a time when the core easily attracted workers, shoppers and folk just out for a night on the town. Note the two large cinemas on the left side of the street. 

Today there is a lot of talk, and action, about how to make the core more attractive, more pedestrian-friendly. To this end one section even has had the sidewalk area merged almost seamlessly with the roadway. The city planners call this approach a flex-street.

My wife and I used to live downtown. My mother lived downtown with me and even in her 80s she would walk the few blocks from my home to the core to do her shopping. She would not do that today as the stores she liked are all gone. Closed.

I believe my mother would tell the city planners that she was happy walking on a sidewalk beside a traffic-carrying street. What interested her were the shops. No shops, no cinemas, no reason to visit.