solar farm near MIDLAND, ONTARIO, CANADA


arge solar panel installation to the south of Midland, Ontario – three shot panorama just placed next to each other without any stitching software

when you approach this from the south, you see it from high ground and today I could not figure out what it was, it looked like an ice covered small lake surrounded by trees. This combo 3 shot pano is a little deceiving, it was shot from the side and does not really show how incredibly wide this panels array truly is. Very large installation.

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rained out photo jaunt


my camera icon

The rain stopped after overnight steadiness and I headed off along Highway 12 for the Fall Fair at Orillia but soon after I began the monsoon avalanched heavy rain.  So I stopped partway to Orillia and had lunch at Tiffany’s Restaurant in Coldwater, Ontario.

I ended up in conversation with a senior couple and their daughter.  He is 88 years old and was a truck driver for Canadian Ordnance Corps in Northeast Europe.  He described meeting a school buddy in Ghent who was too embarassed to admit he that he was shot in the buttocks during the Battle of the Hochwald Forest (Operation Veritable and Operation Blockbuster).

from the wikipedia article “After the war, General Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, commented this “was some of the fiercest fighting of the whole war” and “a bitter slugging match in which the enemy had to be forced back yard by yard”.”

This gentleman weighed 140 lbs when he went in the Army and weighs that today. It was a great pleasure and privilege to speak with a World War Two veteran.  This gentleman has a razor sharp memory.  We talked about lake levels in the Great Lakes and fierce local weather. He has an avid interest in weather and runs his own home weather station.  He remarked on the extreme low pressure that followed a harsh storm that blew through on Friday, barometric pressure was as low as that experienced with hurricanes.

Tiffany’s Restaurant, Coldwater, Ontario
wood detail of store front in Coldwater, Ontario
old signs on side of store front in Coldwater, Ontario

folding reflector, great for portrait lighting and archaeology too


Making light work for you is the photograher’s struggle and there is a tool that more people should try out. A number of manufacturers make a folding light reflector that might be of considerable help in getting more light on to your photographic subject, both sunlight and bouncing electronic flash light.  Certainly for field work enough gear is already on archaeologists’s backs but this folding reflector is small when folded and light in weight.  The model shown in the following photos is very useful and quite large when unfolded.  The biggest hurdle is learning the slight trick to refold it and get it back into its case.  The circular reflector has a wire in the perimeter.  I bought mine a few years ago for about $40.  One side is silver and the reverse is white.

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two shots of me – you can see which one had the reflector balancing out the light

pens – Parker and Cross


close up of red Parker T-Ball Jotter ball point pen and Cross Ball Point Pen

The future of handwriting is in question these days.  With some schools embracing computers, penmanship has disappeared from the curriculum.  I learned a long time ago with a cheap Sheaffer cartridge fed, plastic barreled fountain pen.  A “nice” pen set used to be a standard graduation gift.  For a time it was a fountain pen, then a fountain and ball point pen pair, then came ball point and pencil sets.  Roller balls came next and other developments.  Then the tidal wave of computers and now tablets.

I like pens, and I like writing by hand.  Depending on my mood, I may want a blue ink ball point or perhaps the hard decisiveness of a medium nib black rollerball.  With my eyesight going funky, I don’t often use a pencil anymore.  I also have to watch when I am picking which pen to bring to dialysis.  I don’t want something that is hard to uncap with just one hand.  With my fistula in my left forearm, my left arm is busy and unavailable for four and a half hours three afternoons each week.

I have too many pens, I like buying pens and using them. I will never run out of pens Here are some of my finer pens:

Top photo:my T-ball Jotters from Parker Pens (design came out in 1954)

Bottom photo: my Cross ball point pens

photos made with Sony H50