Wet Leaves and the Time Change

Oh the joy of it all, the bad weather season, and the time change. We only have two seasons here in Fort Langley: summer and winter. Summer, it is so nice and dry out, while winter, it is cold and damp, literally raining none stop, or at least it feels like that. We either have it good, or it is just the endless grey days of none stop ugliness, the type of weather were you would just want to stay in doors and close all the window binds so you do not have to look at it. Coupled with this onset of misery is the biannual changing of the clocks. Just a few years ago, the government and clock-keepers, with their infinite wisdom decided that we should shift the dates of Day Light Savings time so that it becomes longer, saving more money for both industry and businesses alike as they would see more daylight hours in the Northern latitudes. Today we shift back into normal time, as it should be. I guess I am just grumpy about this changing back and forth becuase it seems to affect me more than others.

The air is moist and cold, the ground is saturated with water, and the trees blend in with the grey Sunless sky. Asking for light to shoot with my camera has fallen on deaf ears–Mother Nature is sometimes so cruel. Still, this is the best that I can do with the tools that I have.

I did not want this post to sound all Doom and Gloom, but as I type, the rain started to let loose for the multiple time today. It is like a roar of drops up on top of the roof, the sound that will make you talk a little bit louder to be heard. It is really hard to block that out of your consciousness when focusing on something. Sometimes I wonder what i would if the roof started leaking–would I go outside and fix it, or just wait out the storm and listen to the drops land in a bucket? Scary.

And just as fast as the rain came, it has slowed down to the normal constant drizzle. There was a little bit of a wind storm too… And what follows of course is the raking of the leaves after they have fallen.

Well, that is it for today’s diatribe on weather and time shifting from Daylight Savings. I cannot guarantee that will not type out reams of text on the topics of my discontent again, but sometimes crying about those little annoyances soothes the irritations enough to make it bearable to live with. Maybe it is just the lack of sunshine, you know, not getting enough vitamin D, or something like that?

Nothing Worse Than Being Cranky

I am a little grumpy. OK, I am a lot grumpy, but I am happy, doing alright at the same time kind of mood, all rolled up into an all-in-one package kind of deal. The last week was one of those periods of time when I can honestly say that I shrugged it off, like water down a duck’s back, and just moved on. So much had happened, but with contingency plans in place, and back up reserves saved up, the whole experience just came, and then went, like a bad dream.

First the Pathfinder, the start of the whole adventure, when it left me high and dry on a trip to the grocery store last Sunday. I spent three days bumming rides; having to take public transit, doing a lot of walking, all of this taking time from work, sleep and commitments in my daily life. The reliance on having this mode of transportation is incredible. The time savings is probably the biggest benefit with the automobile. Now having dealt with the alternatives, saving time is such a big deal as the public transportation is nothing close to convenient—I do not want my Pathfinder to break down like this again.

Fixing the Pathfinder was something that was totally unexpected. I originally wanted it in to go in for the regular scheduled tune-up—oddly this breakdown was Two days ahead of that appointment. It was going into the shop anyways, so my mechanic was ready for it, just not so soon. But having the starter malfunction was a bit over the top so close to a tune-up. It was a huge wiring problem that started a chain reaction that led to the starter not properly stopping once the engine started to turn over. Catching the problem when I did save me a whole pile of costs that otherwise would have added up into the thousands of dollars. I was also fortunate to have a vast stockpile of parts to use for days like this—a huge boon for those who operate older vehicles like me.

Then there was the flu. Yes, flu season is upon us, and I fell victim to it as it knocked me on my butt last week. I am lucky as the flu left as fast as it came. I still fear a future outbreak – I do not want the flu back!

The busy season for work is also upon us. My work is getting busier, and with it is the call to work more overtime. The question is do I benefit from the extra time, equalling more money per pay cheque, or does the “MAN” as in, those punitive burdens my country places on me when the deductions come off?

The answer is it seems that I do not. As I work harder, doing longer hours, I get thrust into a higher tax bracket, and thus I pay more per annum. When the busy season ends, and my regular time is tallied, I seem to fall back into getting little of that extra money back during the tax audit time. Last year I found that I paid Eight percent more than I should have based on my annual net income. The government said that it is taking the money because the increments between tax brackets are wider/larger – so the lower middle class are paying more. It was done by design. This is comparing it to my 2010 taxes. Thank you Harper Government, and the British Columbian Liberals – you do not have my vote in the next election.

Evil Bay – I love you, and I hate you, all at the same time. There are some awesome sellers. I have so much respect for the nice, honest, respectful sellers because they make the EBay experience a wonderful one. But those awful sellers, the ones who lie on the shipping times, or embellish the item’s description or quality of their product, I hope you really read into the negative points and criticism I gave you guys.  So there!

Well, anyway that is all for now. I am feeling better, and my Pathfinder is working, I have no flu! I was lucky that I saved for those little emergencies that pop up from time to time, and I was able to fight off the flu bug. Having that reserve of money is the best lifesaver that anyone can have, and if I spend it, it is spent; I do not have a debt hanging over my head afterwards had I borrowed it from a money lender. So best of all, everything is back to normal.

An Unexpected Chink in my Armor

My gallant Pathfinder is undergoing some repairs from an unexpected seizure it had when the ignition system went bizerk on it last night. It left me stranded in Walnut Grove Sunday night, stuck in the parking lot, when I was going to do some shopping at the Buy-Low store. I pulled into the parking lot, only to be held up when a lady, driving a huge SUV needed room to pull out. When I went to start my vehicle, the starter went, turned over the engine for about Five seconds, then the engine quit, but the starter kept on going. I had to get out and pull the wire off from the battery to stop the starter from turning.

I went back in the store to ask for a phone the clerk garbed his cell phone started to tap away on it. The clerk there was so nice – he Googled a tow truck company on his iPhone, and then phoned them for me, to pick up my dead vehicle. That was so cool!
An hour later the tow truck arrived.

Sadly, the tow was just over $80.00, for a less than 20 kilometer trip back to home. What can you do when you need a tow—they have you hanging, literally?

One of my Twitter friends said I should have BCAA, a kind of driving emergency insurance for days like this. I think she is right! Sign me up.

Post Script:

I took the bus into work today. That is another post!

Shooting Underneath the Mushrooms

Shooting underneath the mushrooms is something different, especially when this time of year yields some hefty size mushrooms, but you still need a good macro lens for the shots. This shot gives a good perspective of what Alice would have seen if she where a real person who shrank to a tiny 6CM tall girl from the story, (Alice and Wonderland). Using a 30mm Macro lens, I opened the f stop down to 2.8 to get as much Bokeh in the background as possible – kind of a psychedelic effect with all the colours merged and blurred out together.

The mushroom only stands a 10CM tall with a cap about 6CM in diameter. I placed the camera near to the ground, and using the display to line up the shot, I was able to adjust my focus get the narrow field of view to the right spot I wanted. So, if Alice were walking through the grass towards the mushroom forest, then this is what she would see.

Finally Got Out of the House for a Walk

I feel a lot better today. Having dragged my butt off to work when I should have been in bed has probably prolonged this flu bug, but at least I can say I am on the mend. I did a short walk down to the river, maybe a little over Three Kilometers, just enough to break a sweat and snap some cool fall photos. The other factor was the Sun made a brief appearance too–that was nice, and made for good shots.

There are still many trees that are hanging on to their green leaves, refusing to change into fall. Of course the Maples are halfway through their change, dropping leaves at a fast rate, so they kind of stick out in the forest.

The weather has taken on the normal West Coast format: rain, cool and wet. It is in stark contrast from just over a week ago when we had almost a full month period of sunny summer like weather. Oh, those were the days.

So, the colour is what makes the shot. You cannot beat the maple trees when they go from Green to Orange, to Red, to Brown. Even in low light these shot look great!

Even the white roses are fading away.

I think the above photo is the berries from a Dogwood tree? I could be wrong, but they sure look weird!

Anyway, I am feeling a lot better now. I am hoping to get out more often and get myself back into better shape. I have been staying inside for the last week, so getting out feels great, but I am cautious about getting too worked up outside and getting a double take of this illness.

Fall Photos of Maple Trees in the Langleys

I got up extra early, way before most on this Thanksgiving long weekend Monday, and went to a spot that I scouted out last week that has maple trees. The maple trees are about the only trees so far this season that are really showing off their fall colours. This spot is located right on Glover Road and the railway tracks in an area called Milner.

The only thing I did not anticipate were all the power lines that dotted the sky in my view of these trees from the road. It is private land on each side of the road, except for the small turn-a-round viewing area by the creek/pond–so my shots were limited. Anyway, the trees are awesome to shoot.

 

I posted Seventeen shots on my photo gallery: Click Here to see them. Have a look and let me know what you think. I value feedback. Happy Thanksgiving!

Yarn Bombing the Library in Fort Langley

I was walking over to a friend’s place this morning, having to cut through the library behind the Fort Langley Community Centre, when I noticed what I thought was someone’s sweater sleeve on the signpost. When I turned the corner, towards the entrance of the library, there were more yarn sleeves along the rails, posts and trees. The bike rack, tree and benches were hit too.

“What the heck is this” I thought to myself.

When I got to my friend’s place, and showed her the photos on my camera, she said that this is called “Yarn Bombing.” When a group of people who have nothing better to do, lots of spare yarn with them, and lots of time on their hands, go out and cover everything with their knitting. When I thought about this, I came to the assumption that one would want to cover something with knitted yarn to help keep it warm, so perhaps these yarn bombers thought that the bike rack, bench and tree were getting cold?

I am not sure if the tree is happy?

So there you have it, you heard it here first, the Fort Langley Library got yarn bombed.

Street Photography – Cranberry Fest in Fort Langley BC

Just like the festivals from years before, the streets were packed with vendors and people, not to mention the buckets and buckets of cranberries everywhere, but this year was  even bigger and better. The town of Fort Langley was packed. I arrived around high-noon with camera in hand, and a good set of shoes on for all the walking I had to do. The streets were so contested with people that it took me about Twenty minutes to walk just Two blocks. It was fabulous, a photographer’s dream, with a Sun filled sky, and lots of colours. I squeezed off about One Hundred and Fifty shots before I called it quits.

The above shot is my iconic cranberry shot.

Above – you do not need to be a rocket scientist to know this shot is of a wine vendor. Wine making is a really big industry here in the Fraser Valley.

If you are big on pure, natural Salts and Sugars, then the above image is of a vendor who seem to go all out on the stuff.

Above – Yes, tons of veggies to buy too! Harvest time means awesome street photography of colourful veggies.

Above – I am going to say, Apple flowers? They look pretty.

Above – Monkey Socks Dolls!

Above – No, I did photoshop this image! This is the way the flower is: bright, loud and fiery. This vendor had many flower arrangements full of these bad boys. Below – The iconic pumpkin shot. Hey, this is the symbol of October and fall around here.

I will post about Sixty of all the shots I did today in my Gallery Page, and link it on my next post. I have many shots of people (crowd) shots, plus many more street shots of vendors with their wares. Until then!

The Derby Reach Hike Part 2

I decided to go with a sideshow to cover just Thirty-Two of the Sixty photos that I took just on the hike alone. I did not include the photos from when I shot at locations around Langley City. You can also see see larger versions of each photo from this hike on my “Photo Gallery” tab at the top of the web page (at the time of this blog style); each photo there is 1200 x 800 px in size.

 

Give me feedback. Tell me what you like, and why. I would love to know what people think of these photos, and perhaps some constructive suggestions.

A sample photo from the hike.