Bruce Peninsula

14 Oct

A damp start leaving Midland with Larry. By the time we said hi to Wiarton Willie the sun came out.
Lunch at Rachel’s Bakery, in Lion’s Head, was great. Afterwards, we followed the coastline as far as we could towards Cabot Head Lighthouse; unfortunately closed for this summer. DSCF0690ew Cabot Head

We rode as far as we could, to the closed barrier, but couldn’t get to the light house or the basin. Very remote, beautiful gravel road along the water’s edge. Well worth the dead eblnder. Bummer; I was last there in about 1974 by sailboat from Parry Sound.

Now we’re in the Blue Anchor Motel in Tobermory for the night, with an early morning ferry reservation.

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More Fun with my Fuji

25 Aug

Billi sees her reflection and finally stopped barking.

DSCF4264w Osprey 135I’ve been playing with the X-T1 body and my Fuji 18-135 lens. OMG there are lots of settings to experiment with, so this photography activity may keep me occupied for a long time. I’ve taken a few pictures to learn about the zooming capabilities and quality of images. Looking from the deck at the cottage 250 metres partway across Buck Lake to Twin Island we sometimes see an osprey nesting, or possibly just perched and searching for a fish meal. I’ve used the deck railing to steady the camera, the image stabilizer is on and the ISO is 400.  Because it’s a small bodied mirrorless camera the lens mathematics of the Fuji 18-135 has an angle of view of 76.5° – 12° and the zoom is equivalent to most DSLR camera zoom 27-209mm lenses or about the same as an average pair of 7X 35° binoculars. I took two pictures to show the capabilities. My Fuji setup has excellent image quality and is certainly adequate for me to edit and crop to be able to get more magnification of wildlife. If the osprey had been any further away I wouldn’t even have noticed it; I needed binoculars to help me setup for the pictures.      

I’ve attempted some night photography with interesting first attempt results and discovered that my Photoshop Elements 10 software won’t open the raw Fiji files that I created. So with some trial and error and internet sleuthing, I’m now using RawTherapee program. Wow, now even more fun with my Fuji.

RawTherapee ( copied from Wikipedia)  is a cross-platform raw image processing program, released under the GNU General Public License Version 3. It was originally written by Gábor Horváth of Budapest, Hungary, before being re-licensed as free and open-source software in January 2010. It is written in C++, using a GTK+ front-end and a patched version of dcraw for reading raw files. It is notable for the advanced control it gives the user over the demosaicing and developing process. The name used to stand for “The Experimental Raw Photo Editor”; however that acronym has been dropped, and RawTherapee is now a full name in itself. RawTherapee comprises a subset of image editing operations specifically aimed at non-destructive raw photo post-production and is primarily focused on improving a photographer’s workflow by facilitating the handling of large numbers of images.

I’ve just installed the Fujifilm app on my phone so can operate the camera remotely. Setting it up to work was straight forward and simple; although my dog seems a bit perplexed by the operation.

Last night at the cottage I captured a night sky picture that thrills me. I’ve only seen the Andromeda galaxy with binoculars a few times in my life; it’s about 2.5million light years away. It looks like a fuzzy gob, not twinkly like star. The key to finding the location is the constellation Cassiopeia.  In my picture it’s in the upper right sweet spot. 

Fuji X-T1

15 Aug

WooHoo. I’ve got some new toys to play with. An weather proof X-T1 with an 18-135 zoom lens. It’s a huge jump in photo quality compared to my reliable well used Fuji X10. I’ve always been thrilled with the Fuji durability and these mirrorless cameras can’t be beat for their compact size and sophisticated controls. The old X10 had a very steep learning curve because of the complex nested menus but so far the new X-T1 already seems friendly and familiar.

I expect that some of the new features, like the ability to send pics directly from new the camera to my blog using WiFi, will challenge my brain. I purchased a whole kit of toys to play and lean; complete with a spare battery, polarizer filter, Fuji EF-42 flash, and 2 high speed 32GB Lexar SD cards rated at 95MB/s just in case I get interested in the video capabilities. Camera Kingston is the local store where I’ve purchased all my Fuji products. The staff is awesomely knowledgeable and have always been happy to answer all my questions.​

The mirrorless Fuji X camera bodies are very compactin comparison to a DSLR body and with my equivalent 27-209 zoom lens I don’t need to carry extra lenses so the while kit is easy to carry and keep handy.​

The switch from my X10 to the new XT-1 isn’t very difficult.

I’m getting excited now

2 Aug

Later this evening 3 riding buddies are coming to Kingston to join me. We will leave together early in the morning to go to the NEVA rally in Pennsylvania.​

We made it safely to the campground, via two ferry crossing and a nice route planned by Phil, of many miles of paved twisties.​
 I met Yuval in the camp office and got the first shirt right our of the box.​

Calabogie

31 Jul

I had a great ride today with Kristin, her first time riding with me. She’s a great sport, we rode some gravel, and had to bail on Swamp road because it became impassable. Go figure, it’s appropriately named. Love all the twisties in the highlands and occasionally get a long distance vista view. Great lunch at the Redneck Bistro in Calabogie. We crossed over the historic rail bed of the K&P in a couple of locations today, at one point riding on the old bed to what is now a dead end at the long gone causeway crossing Calabogie Lake. Want to know more history, follow this link: https://kickandpushca.wordpress.com/history-2/the-kingston-and-pembroke-railway/ I’ve had a personal connection with Calabogie for about 45 years and I was flooded today with many great memories.


I found some old crests that would have been on my ski jacket in about 1974. Calabogie crest

Fall River Road

14 Jul

I rode twisted backroads from Kingston in the rain to Long Lake and visited with family at a Long Lake cottage. I met up with another biker ( Greg) at the Maples Restaurant in Sharbot Lake and helped him reroute himself to Algonquin Park via some if my favorite roads. I hope he doesn’t get terribly lost and I look forward to a email from him in a week or so. I explored some dirt/gravel and saw some cedar rail fences and an old log home that deserved some pictures.​

Tiny Ticks

5 Jul

Luckily my young Toller is trusting and allowed my to remove this very tiny black legged tick from her upper right eyelid. I know because I brushed het yesterday in the late afternoon that it hadn’t been there for long; and it wasn’t engorged. Although even a short time came sufficientl for the bacteia to infect her.​

This morning I found another tick. http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/30/heres-what-happens-when-a-tick-bites-you/
This one even smaller and on her left lower eyelid. What a difficulty to remove! The tick key didn’t work so I had to use tweezers. It was so well attached that I did pull out some of Billi’s hair before finally getting the tick. Both my wife and I worked on her for about 15 minutes and Billi was incredibly calm and well behaved. I doubt that we could have done this to a person.


Later this afternoon I removed a very small tick on my own leg. It could only have been attached for less than two hours. I’ve taken the suggested dosage of 200mg of doxycycline as a precaution.​
Today, July 15th I just removed another small tick from Billi’s upper left eyelid. Just her eyes, I’ve never seen a tick anywhere else on her, even unattached in her fur! July 17 another tick on her eyelid, and had only been attached for possibly 3 hours or less. I’ve made a removal tool from a plastic drinkit straw by cutting a small “V” shaped notch in the tip. Using the straw is the least likely way to hurt her eye and this method doesn’t squeeze the tick.​It certainly helps if your dog is calm ans well behaved. This time Billi actually jumped up onto the picnic table that we have been using for each removal procedure. She always gets a well deserved treat. I can’t imagine but I think we’ve trained her how to do this as her “tick removal trick.”