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Posts tagged “celebration

It Was a Good Party

Out of a lot of choices for Canada Day celebrations, I chose the activities at the Alberta legislature since I could ride my bicycle  and meet my friends there.

My friend Nolan liked splashing in the pools, as did his mom and I,  and got some wicked splashes in though because of the camera couldn’t indulge more fully.We listened to some music at two different stages.One stage was beside the legislative building where we could sit in the shade of some trees, and get up and dance, a beautiful spot for a concert.

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Nolan checking out the waterfall that goes under the bridge.

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Booming Tree Taiko

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In the shade listening to The Royal Foundry

We filled our water bottles at my favourite fountain that had three heights, one for filling bottles, one for kids  and adults and one a few inches off the ground for dogs. What a great idea!Whenever I saw people with thirsty dogs, I told them about it.

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I felt very grateful for our freedom to gather in this space designed to be public-friendly, for the presence of the police who keep us safe, and the openess of the government that allows for the public to swim in the pools, walk the grounds and celebrate out country’s birthday.

We were hot and tired so all went home after some good fun, then after my nap (yes, I had a nap) I went down to the river valley above the golf course to watch the fireworks. I don’t have a phone so couldn’t listen to the music that accompanied the lighting of the bridge but will say it was a great display of pulsating and running lights of all colours.I enjoyed the fireworks too, happy with my photos but slightly disappointed in my focus. I put the camera in Manual setting,same with the focus, and set the shutter on bulb for longer exposures, f18-22 for larger depth of field and ISO was 800 and 400 respectively. A bonus that I wasn’t expecting was  the full moon! Live and learn!

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Out Celebrating

The weather is “iffy” today but just will take a raincoat to celebrate “Canada Day” the 148th birthday of our country. There is entertainment at the legislature grounds and city hall to mention just two of many places.

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“Asani” singers and drummers

Then the fireworks tonight and a musical visual show of the lights on the High Level Bridge with “Oh Canada” sung by Asani, a native and Metis group of women that sing in English , French and Cree. Asani is a Cree word for “rock.” You can listen to them on You tube singing “Oh Canada.” Beautiful! Looking forward to that!

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Fireworks for Canada Day 2014

I was so excited this year, I looked up articles for taking fireworks and scouted spots ahead of time. When the evening came, I arrived 1 hour ahead of time to find that my first couple of spots were already taken but found p”plan c” and planted myself in position, checking the lens, set to manual focus and battery. I held down the shutter release in some cases as long as 19 seconds, periodically covering the lens opening with the cap to get multiple images in one shot. Sometimes it was blown out but got a good effect in a few.
The nice thing about a shutter release cable is that I could watch the fireworks live. It was fun and I got a kick out of the line-up of photographers dotted around the hill at different levels. The people next to me were newcomers to Canada and we hugged each other and I welcomed them. meanwhile they were recording and sending texts or emails back to their relatives.

I discovered a new feature here in WordPress. I put the photos into a” gallery”. if you click on one, a slideshow opens AND you can see the exposure settings.
So here are a few from last night:

Canada – 147 Years Old

Happy Birthday Canada! It was a great Day.

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First Blush of Spring

It is refreshing to see the grass turning green and the leaves unfurling from the buds. The temperature is warm and hearts are light.It seems like spring is late but photos from a couple of years ago tell me that the ice was on the pond until the end of April. Perhaps it seemed like such a long winter because it always is here in Central Alberta with six months of snow.

Today is a celebration of spring. The birds are mating, including a pair of red-necked Grebes  and during an early morning walk at the pond I heard my first warbler and saw it too, although way high up in the trees.My heart sang to hear the call of the Yellow-Rumped Warbler, though this was a “Myrtle rather than the usual Audobon’s variety.




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It’s Spring! Ya-hooo!

I  have to change my tag from winter to spring and do not mind at all. I admit I forgot that it is the first day of Spring today but I was thinking how nice and warm and sunny it is, despite the snow. On the streets it is melting, however another snowstorm is expected tonight. I went skiing in the park and x-country conditions are excellent! The squirrels, which were hiding a few days ago, are very busy running about and chasing each other and I  saw my first Canada Goose but couldn’t capture a shot. Life is good!

Edge of the Woods


©Jane Chesebrough

Silver Skate Festival 2013

This festival takes place during the long weekend in February. The Monday was named “Family Day” by a previous premier of Alberta, Don Getty, and it is a great time for festival when the winter seems like it has been around for a long time and it is good to get outdoors and enjoy the season.There are so many things to do in winter and with the family and I really like this festival. There is speed-skating and snow-showing,cross-country skiing, and all the supplies are here for free for people to try. I brought my own skies one day and went around the park-it was good to get the exercise and fresh air tinted by the smell of the smoke, horses and food.

There was a blacksmith demonstrating how he did his craft of forging, story telling  by actors in costume, dog-sledding, drumming by first nations peoples in a tipi,  hay rides, a marathon skate, a triathlon and bannock and hot chocolate and other goodies.The main feature was skating both by athletes and for all members of the family.

Hawrelak Pond

I watched the figure skating demonstrations  by a local club. That was a challenge to get action shots without people walking or skating into the line of view.

Flexible Skater

Then I went to the Story Village and met Red Riding Hood.

Red Riding Hood

Then I saw this crooked old house with chicken feet made out of snow.

Witches House

I walked around the corner and met a woman who was telling a boy that he would make a good meatball. he looked at me with big round eyes and told me what she said.We joked a bit and he stayed close to his mother at least for a while. I didn’t think to ask but wondered if she was the witch from the  Hansel and Gretel story.

The Witch

Next is the forger. This is a dying art and good to see someone taking it on. I looked through his albums and he does some good work. I was attracted to the fire with all the pinchers and things needed for the trade.

The Forger

Forging Tools

And dogs and horses follow.

Dog sleddingHay Rides

It was a popular event-about 43,000 people showed up for the fun. I will do another post tomorrow and feature a few of the snow sculptures. Have a good day!

Happy New Year to All!

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Wishing all a happy prosperous and peace-filled New Year!

Strolling along Candy Cane Lane

Oh,  I thought, I have seen Candy Cane Lane so many times. But, maybe there is something new or a change in the usual.

I am glad that I went because there were new things to see and changes that made it better than last year. It was fun to run into friends and I enjoyed the music, some from the houses and some from live singers. It was cold and my thighs were frozen after eight blocks , even with “long johns”  on, but it was worth the trip and the wonder of it all warmed my heart.

I am going out for a walk right after this blog because the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day though somewhat cold and because we are, according to the weather reports,  heading for colder weather ( a ten degree drop) and more snow.

So enjoy the tour and blessings of the season to all…

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First Sunday of Advent -Hope

The lighting of Advent candles is a tradition that I decided that I want to follow although I am happy with all white candles because they came in a pack and were on sale.Different churches use different colours, I think the most popular are 3 purple and one pink one then the Christ candle in the centre is white and lit on Christmas day. This helps me to take the time and be still and reflect on the spirit of the season rather than getting all humbug over the sales rush.

Today’s candle is for hope, as in the hope for the coming of the Christ child. I just happen to have a rock with the word “hope’ on it. I enjoyed a walk after church then spent the afternoon putting up the Christmas tree and putting out the candles. and table cloths. Other years I have gone natural with wooden garlands but this year decided on the sparkles of the tinsel garlands and icicles.  I just love to sit in the living room with most lights out except the tree lights. it is very relaxing. So greetings of the season, for me, as Bing Crosby sings, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough


This Year's Christmas Tree


© Jane Chesebrough

Using my Toolkit

I am recovering and feel better today. In retrospect I got busy.Real busy. Then I stopped using one of the most important tools in my kit. The daily practise of quiet time, prayer, meditation, sitting in the silence, whatever I choose to call it. The name is not important but the practise is. It is the difference between practising the problem or practising the solution.

©Jane Chesebrough

Sometimes the size of my tool kit overwhelms me and I get stuck with indecision – the paralysis of analysis. This is the time to ” just pick one. ” “Use it.”  Everything turns around from there. My  best tool is the  “take the time” tool. Next is the  “gratitude” tool. invaluable but totally useless if I don’t use them. Have a great day!

©Jane Chesebrough

Dances with Energy and Beauty

This Indian woman took my breath away with the passion and expression of her dance. She wore a stunning  costume and danced so energetically, making eye contact with her audience and using  the intricate hand gestures that Indian dancers do. At one time she jumped so high she was halfway out of the viewfinder-I blew that shot!

©Jane Chesebrough

Heritage Days Festival

I thought that I would not post again until the weekend is over but was so excited about the Heritage Festival that well, I couldn’t resist. This is one of the festivals that Edmonton is known for, and it takes place in Hawrelak Park. This year there are 62 pavilions celebrating 85 cultures. You can buy food with purchased food tickets, donations  can be made to the food bank at the gates, there is park and ride on Edmonton Transit or bicycle parking for those who pedal.It is noisy, it is crowded and it is hot so it is not for everyone but THOUSANDS show up because it is fun. I used my Canon70-300mm zoom lens and was surprised that I needed to have my ISO up as high as 400 so I could use the shutter speed that I wanted and still have some light.Some cropping has been done.There was some heavy clouds at the end which I will share here and the place was even evacuated in the evening because of severe storm warnings. Come and enjoy the festivities with me.

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough


©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

Listen to Your Heart; It knows Where it is Going

©Jane Chesebrough

This quote is  on a plaque that I received on my birthday. I thought that it speaks for so many of us as we look  at the world around us and see what  is there and even more than what is there.(I suggest that you visit Dianne’s site “life as i see it” ) That really says it for me and it is a journey for me that will never end. When I listen to my heart the guidance is always there-that is the reason for my title “Heartsong.” I made a decision to be true to my heart’s calling and be active on  my creative journey. This is why so many of us follow each other’s blogs. We “see”. We “get it.” And we inspire each other as we share what we see.So this is dedicated to the next photo, the next moment of inspiration.Or maybe it is not what is next, but what is everything in the “now”.This  mandala is one from a  series that I did  while exploring my inner world…some irony that it is a photo of a drawing  and  a rather poor photo. It is special to me. I am going to follow my heart now and go out, and I am taking my camera with me.  Happy shooting!


Christmas Past

©Jane Chesebrough

 I went on an outing to Fort Edmonton Park called Christmas Reflections. I took this photo indoors and Father Christmas was moving so he was blurred but I thought that this was appropriate as I was going to a historical site and everything was from the past so why not leave in the ghost-like image?


It is Looking Like Christmas

©Jane Chesebrough

I like getting out to my favourite seasonal celebrations with my friends or alone with my camera.This was taken at a fundraiser for a children’s hospital. I deliberately shot this at a larger aperture to get a narrow depth of field and throw the background out of focus.Actually the whole thing is out of focus but I like the effect. I used a zoom lens which meant that people did not notice that I was taking a photo and were always walking in front of me.   When the crowds started to annoy me, (getting bumped was occuring more often) I decided to pack it in before totally losing my Christmas cheer, went home, turned on some quiet music and my tree lights and relaxed with an eggnog and coffee. Ah-h-h- so nice.

Maisie’s House

©Jane Chesebrough

This house on the corner of 144 Av and 97 Street happened to still be displaying its lights this week when I happened to pass by. Apparently it was done as a labour of love in memory of the man’s deceased mother(whose name was Maisie) and is supported by Home Hardware store in the northeast of the city.

Alberta Legislature at Sunset

©Jane Chesebrough

After hearing that the best time to take pictures of Christmas lights is around sunset, I ventured over to the legislature grounds from 3:30 to 5:30 and took this at  5:08 p.m. I used shutter priority at 1/20 second, aperture of 4 and  set WB at cloudy to get more golden tones. I don’t have a lot of detail on the building but was going for the colour in the sky and the lights and am pleased with the result.  It helped that a couple wandered into view for perspective. There are still some shots I took earlier while it was still daylight and thought afterward, “Now why didn’t I get that point of view when it was darker and the lights were on?” I will get my chance when I go on a shoot with the Edmonton Meet Up Photography club next week, weather permitting. I am playing with different settings and using horizontal and vertical layouts for landscapes with interesting results.

Something a little less traditional….

©Jane Chesebrough

and definitely more abstract….

©Jane Chesebrough

Happy and Prosperous New Year!

©Jane Chesebrough

Because I was working throughout the holidays I decided rather late in the year to go to the New Year’s Eve  celebrations in downtown Edmonton. Enjoyed the indoor entertainment at CBC radio and at city hall. The last hour outdoors was minus sixteen celsius but felt warmer with the crowd of thousands; the music from Soulijah Fyah  helped us stay warm, too. Sometimes having a conversation with a friend while you are both taking photos is almost impossible. Every time I turned to say something to my friend she was clicking away at something and I am sure I did that to her too. But glad I had the camera for the crowd shots and fireworks. For the latter I just set my camera to night scene mode and fired away, sometimes had to wait for the the camera to catch up before I could shoot-annoying being in a crowd and people are pushing you to get by when you are trying to line up a shot-being short has it’s disadvantages at times as well. Ha Ha got a few “head shots” when I was taking photos of the fireworks.Helps to be patient and not take myself too seriously.

I do wish all a happy, prosperous New Year of good will and the heart to follow your dreams.