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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Another Snow Day

Yesterday we did back-to-back snow adventures.  First we went to Lake Gertrude with the dogs to XC ski.  At 4:30 Friday evening the whole lake had been covered with snow and I knew the ice was safe because I went skating on it Thursday night.  But by Saturday morning half the lake had turned to grey ice.  I guess it stayed pretty warm Friday evening a little too long before it froze up hard.

Still the South end of the lake had a thin layer of well adhered snow on the ice and the skate skiing was pretty good.  Albeit there was not a lot of room for exploration!  Stuey flew around on his skate skis and I towed him around a few times.  But the classic XC skiing had not been good enough to keep Nora on the lake very long.

So for the afternoon we sojourned to the golf course for our second ski adventure.  Friday's wet snow had frozen up hard and the skiing was VERY fast.  Stuey and a friend went sledding and climbed trees.  I did a little classic but quickly switched to skate skis and did laps.  Nora practiced her downhill speed in the classic tracks.  She'd XC ski up the long hill and then rip down in the track whooping.

Later at home we watched the Women's Nordic relay at the Olympics.  The women were flying and Nora could relate.  Both Nora and Stuey puffed up my head big time when they agreed that when I ski my technique and pace looks very much like that of the women in the relay race.  Thank you guys! Patrick

I asked them, 'pretend you just won the halfpipe gold at the Olympics' - that's Nora coming down the hill in the distance on the right

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Snow Day

Yesterday I woke up to 4-5 inches of snow and then it cleared off without ending in rain.  Hallelujah! When I went in to work it was snowing, but by the time I quit it was sunny.  Back home the kids had the day off and were already happily skiing, sledding and building snowmen with friends on the front lawn.  So I took off and got in a quick ski on Pyramid.

The snow on the spruce trees was beautiful! And there was a little bit of powder skiing.  But it was blown off on high and I fear that today it will be a zoo of cars at the Pyramid parking lot and there is very little parking.  I think I am going XC skiing with the kids!

Powder snow on the ground in town is a GREAT way to start the weekend!


Evening walk with the dogs in Abercrombie - snow under the trees!

Friday, February 16, 2018


Yesterday the same changing light conditions that messed up my 3X-landscape-cross-country-ski selfie (see below) also made for some incredibly scenic view scapes.  The clouds and light were amazing.  I quit trying to take a picture of myself in the scenery and just took lots of pictures.  So many pictures I had a hard time deciding which ones I like best!

The clouds in the pictures are the harbinger of a storm.  By the time I got home it was completely overcast.  I got home and took the dogs with me for a walk in Abercrombie, and found beautiful black ice on the lake.  This is a typical occurrence before it snows!  So I got my skates and skated with the dogs, and am glad I did because I just looked out the window and it snowed!  Now I can take the kids and dogs skiing on the lake.  Patrick

View back towards town near the start of the ski

I bombed down into this bowl and skied to the far side

After the ski landscapes I forgot to change the focus setting back from infinity to auto - oh well fuzzy doggies!

XC Ski Selfies

A couple of days ago on my ski I took a small tripod for my camera and tried to take pictures of myself.  It was very funny.  Since my camera is waterproof and made for using underwater with gloves it has very simple controls and not a lot of menus.  I actually kind of like simple over complicated.  But it also means I could not set the camera to take a burst of pictures on the timer.  I did figure out that if I use the 'exposure bracketing' feature it will take 3 pictures at 3 different exposures.  So I set the timer for 12 seconds and the bracketing at 1/3 of an f stop, and away I went.

I had to ski away and count '1, 2, 3, 4' and then be at just the right place at 12 seconds.  12 seconds is actually longer than I thought, and for my first couple of tries I got some super close up of a headless Patrick.  I also got a lot of tongues sticking out in concentration, the tripod tipped over a few times - it was funny.

So I got the XC ski selfie to work and it got me thinking.  My landscape pans need people, but no one ever goes skiing with me.  I'll put myself in the landscapes!  And that was really hilarious. I had all sorts of technical difficulties. Changing light conditions - a cloud came over and made the middle image dark.  But the hardest part was that I had to tilt the camera vertical to get the pan.  The camera tipped over a lot.  In the end I did not get a good landscape but a comic image - still I think the idea holds promise and will try it again.  Patrick

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Flat Light

Yesterday I went skate skiing in the alpine for the first time all year.  It was pretty exhilarating!  Only issue was that the light was flat and I had a hard time seeing the snow 'topography'. So I'd unexpectedly encounter big holes, drifts, small cornices etc.  Even more exhilarating!  But it meant that I had to temper the speed quite a bit when I was in terrain I did not know very well.  From skate skiing up there in years past I actually know where the hazards generally set up year after year.

Anyway, it was flat light and not very good for photography either.  But the clouds were pretty cool.  And the grey skies set a sombre mood that I liked.  Patrick

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Black and White

I took these panoramic pictures yesterday during my afternoon ski.  At first I did not like them, but I played with the colors and turned them almost into Black and White images.  Then I liked them much better. They still have a little bit of color but I lowered the saturation to practically nothing.  I think it makes them looked like toned black and white prints.

I also tried something new with the huge panoramic picture below.  I intentionally created a shape. Rather than create a great big rectangle, I wanted to put a vertical picture at each end so that when stitched all together it would be sort of a great big oval.  However the vertical for the left side would not stitch with the rest, and I had to exclude it.  Still I like how the shape of the picture adds something to the whole.  I think I will play around some more with this idea.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tree Trunks

This time of year you can see a long way through the trees at Abercrombie State Park.  All of the bushes have lost their leaves.  But it is still bright green because of the moss that clings to everything.  The view is dominated by spruce tree trunks.

Yesterday during the afternoon doggie walk I tried to take pictures of the tree trunks.  I do not think I did very well.  But I got some idea on how to capture the green of the moss and the silhouettes of the tree trunks.  I'll do better next time.  Patrick