Longtime readers of my various blogs (from Bound by Gravity, to Of Teeth and Claws, to this current venture) are probably used to me dropping off the face of the Internet for months at a time, often with no warning – however I still wanted to poke my head in to let you know that I’m still here, although silent for the time being. This current blogging drought was brought on by a busy period at work:  these past two months have been the culmination of two years of work, and just last week we finally shipped the product that [... read the rest ...]

Centennial Ridges Trail

Over this past long weekend my wife and I went camping at Algonquin Park, our favorite natural getaway.  On the Saturday we packed a lunch, lots of water, and trail snacks and headed to Centennial Ridges Trail, which was one of the only hikes at the park that we had yet to try.  The trail is a 10.6km loop, with a recommended minimum time of six hours.  Along the way you climb up to the top of five different ridges and visit five distinct lakes. Right from the start, Centennial Ridges lets you know that it means business; the path [... read the rest ...]

Jun 112011
For the kids!

It’s a sunny and cool morning – there’s no better way to wake up.  I’ll be out at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament today, playing for the kids at CHEO.  Children’s hospitals hold a special place in my heart, because growing up my brother had to spend a lot of time at one while trying to deal with his leukemia. Putting on my hucking face Last year my team placed 3rd in the recreational pool of this tournament after losing on “universe point” in the semis.  This year I like our chances even better:  we have a strong core with some [... read the rest ...]

That summertime feeling

It’s that time of year again:  Ottawa has finally warmed up and is in the process of drying out.  As much as I love my video gaming hobby, there’s just something about the warm weather that makes it tough for me to glue myself in front of a screen for an hour or more.  As a result, my inside time plummets while my outside time goes through the roof.  Given the choice, I would much rather have the sun on my face than squint at a monitor, and especially after sitting inside for eight hours at my desk job. So [... read the rest ...]

The birds of Presqu'ile

I took a day trip to Presqu’ile Provincial Park yesterday, and managed to snap a bunch of fairly good shots of some of the birds that frequent this amazing little wildlife haven, which juts out into Lake Ontario between Kingston and Toronto.  It’s days like this that make me wish that I had a much nicer camera… I was really hurting for a good optical zoom. Click any image to see the full version. Great Egret Marsh Wren Mute Swan Dunlins (large) and Semipalmated Sandpipers (small) Bonaparte’s Gull Caspian Tern Killdeer (on her nest, in a parking lot) Killdeer eggs [... read the rest ...]

The fungus of Algonquin

I was camping at Algonquin Park over the Labour Day weekend and spent much of the time hiking the gorgeous trails.  In all we covered 18.6km – not as much as we’d have liked, but more than enough given the blustery cold and damp weather that harassed us for the entire long weekend. While the weather may not have been as nice as we usually get when we’re camping, it did seem to be perfect for all of the mushrooms and fungi that were on display throughout the park.  As a closet fungi freak, I was more than happy to [... read the rest ...]

Aug 022010
Up close and personal

Ever since I was young I’ve had a thing for nature walks.  Some of my earliest memories involve exploring the forest behind my Grandmother’s house, and going on hikes with her where she would teach me how to identify birds, plants, and other wildlife.  Thankfully my wife – a city girl through and through – was receptive to my love of the outdoors and so part of our August long weekend plans were to take a walk through Baxter Conservation Area, which is thirty minutes south of Ottawa. While the beach area was packed, the 2.5km main trail was absolutely [... read the rest ...]

Fishing is boring

I’ve been at a cottage all this week with my wife and her father, who are both love fishing and have done it all their lives.  Personally, fishing bores me to tears but I’ve had to be a good sport, and putter around Opinicon Lake in a motor boat while the pair fish themselves silly.  I guess I just don’t see the appeal of sitting around doing mostly nothing and hoping that you can reel in a fish, only to toss the majority of the little blighters back into the lake.  It’s not my thing. I did, however, bring my [... read the rest ...]

Flipping the switch

A couple of weeks ago I played a couple of interesting games of Ultimate Frisbee that finally gave me first hand insight into how important of the mental aspect of athletic endeavors can really be. The first game was with my Thursday team.  We were matched up against a lower ranked team that we were convinced that we could not only defeat, but administer a sound thrashing to.  The game started off with us taking a quick 6-2 lead, and we were cruising.  At that point we started to disrespect the other team’s talent:  we laid back, play with less [... read the rest ...]

Memories of June

Day breaks; the gloomy gray clouds portend a coming storm. Rain – a drizzle at first, but then a deluge – pronounced wetness permeating the mood of the wilderness. A maple leaf, torn from its tree overnight, collects droplets as it slowly returns to the earth. Later, a brilliant blue sky is punctuated by plush white clouds as birdsong returns, a vivacious melody. A gentle breeze, just enough to tickle the skin, reminds me of the vibrancy of life. — [Photo: A maple leaf on a gravel path.  Taken at Purdon Conservation Area, June 26 2010]

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