Monday, September 17, 2007

And we are off - Shoot Out here we come!!!

Skippy arrived Friday. We have been to McBain Camera twice, and Vistek once. We have been to Mountain Equipment Coop and to Costco. We are pretty much set for tomorrow. Nick and Christina get here at 1 p.m. We will collect them from the airport and drive to Jasper! WooooHooooo! Two weeks immersed in photography and fellowship. I am looking forward to all aspects of this trip, except perhaps leaving the family behind for two weeks. The preshoot will be great, with the four of us and the scenery that I know to expect. The shootout is going to be great for scenery, and to see the others returning from last year.

Skippy and I also spent yesterday shooting, first at Beaverhill Lake, or the remnants thereof. Beaverhill Lake was a large migration spot but it is no more than a small slough now. We found lots of insect species, but couldn't get anywhere close to the millions of geese that we could hear.

We then travelled to Elk Island Park, did a very pleasant 2.6 km hike and had an enjoyable afternoon. Leaving the park we came across the bison herd, and were able to get many good shots of them. The number of bison in the park is really impressive now, and great to see. No other large mammals were encountered, nor were any small animals. As we hiked the second half of the trail we came across a bison pattie about every ten feet - mostly quite fresh in appearance. All of a sudden skippy turned to me with the realization that we might just come across one of these creatures face to face! Shortly after that, a family of grouse flew out of the shrubbery, making one heck of a racket.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Last weekend was spent putting new storage systems into Alex and Katie's rooms. We cut the front walls of their closets off, built Ikea wardrobes and put them into the closet space. This is a really functional idea that I've copied from my dad. The Ikea wardrobes fit into a standard closet really well, and are much more functional and store much more stuff. Alex's mess has been removed from his floor and dresser top, and both he and Katie have managed to store everything of theirs into the wardrobes, allowing them both to get rid of their dressers and cabinets.

This weekend, I've begun to put the drywall mud onto the new drywall in the office. We bought trim and D has trimmed out the kids wardrobes, and the closet and door frame in the office. These reno tasks are frustrating because overcoming the inertia is often more taxing than actually finishing the tasks. I should be able to finish the office (perhaps not paint) by the end of the week, and this will allow me to buy and set up the iMac.

Colin is still in Germany and has an offer to stay for the season with VFL-Leverkusen. He has decided that he wants to stay until end of first semester, for sure. This is a really cool experience for him.

Next week, I am off on my grand adventure - a week touring the Canadian Rockies with 3 fellow dgrinners on our way to the shootout in Glacier. Trying to get some last minute details finalized for that trip right now - like wondering if I'll need winter clothes. It absolutely poured today, then the next cloud brought hail. Most trees have not yet turned color, so that looks hopeful for our trip.