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First Ski of the Season

It is still late in the fall here, but already we have had a lot of snow. After lots of shovelling we decided to see if we could go XC skiing at the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland, not because it is an amazing ski area, but because it is only two blocks from where we live. We took our skis and hiked up there this afternoon. The snow was pretty deep and had an ice crust about 3 inches down. We did the entire length of the park and broke trails for a 4.5 km track. It was hard work, but will hopefully be worth it as we can now ski locally.

Adam Ruth

Matt & Katia Visit

Matt and Katia came to visit in November on a day trip from Montreal. We all went up to Gatineau Park and hiked to the ruins of "Carbide" Wilson's mill on the Meech Creek.

Adam, Matt & Katia Katia & Matt Matt & Katia Ruth, Matt & Katia

Snowfall on 29 October

On October 29th we had a very early snowfall. Forecasts indicated that we could expect 20-30 cm, but in the end we got 11 cm. This is about six weeks ahead of when we would normally expect this kind of weather in Ottawa.

Early snowfall Early snowfall

Hiking to Meech Lake

We took advantage of a great day of autumn weather and the kind offer of a ride to P16 with Jane and Alan to hike to Meech Lake. The falls colours were mostly gone, but the day was bright and clear and the temperatures perfect for walking. We all lingered at the lake enjoying the sunshine.

Alan, Jane & Ruth Meech Lake and the hills Canoeing on Meech Lake Adam, Ruth and Jane - photo by Alan

The Carleton University Live Butterfly Show

Each autumn Carleton University in Ottawa releases 1000 tropical butterflies into the two Nesbitt biology building greenhouses. The butterflies only live for about three weeks, but it gives the public a chance to come and see them flying in a forest of tropical plants!

Live Butterfly Show Live Butterfly Show Live Butterfly Show Live Butterfly Show Live Butterfly Show

Photos from Derek & Wendy's Trip To Scandinavia

In September Derek and Wendy took a tour through Denmark, Sweden and Norway. They sent us some photos from the trip.

Derek & Wendy in Norway Norway Derek & Wendy in Norway

Hike to Pink Lake

This fall we decided to take the bus up to Gatineau Park and do the hike to Pink Lake, hoping to the see some fall colours. The colours weren't all that much in evidence yet, but we had an enjoyable 13.6 km hike to Pink Lake, including the trail around the lake and a visit to the mica mines. Yes that is poison ivy.

Adam & Ruth at Pink Lake Adam Maple leaves Pink Lake Ruth with maple leaf Yes that is poison ivy

Camping at Sandbanks


We haven't camped at Sandbanks since 2003. We always had such a great time there that we decided to go back this year. We picked the right week as we had no rain at all! We toured Picton, did a couple of hikes, stargazing with our 80 mm refractor telescope and ate lots of corn. The corn was amazing this year and we brought quite a bit home with us.

Adam with the 80 mm refractor telescope Glenora Ferry Geting corn at Hagerman's Farms Morning Glory Main Street, Picton Ruth with sorbet cone Ears of corn Sandbanks Beach Our campsite Sandbanks Beach Dunes Beach Viceroy butterfly Ringbill gull

Rachael & Sam's August Visit


Rachael & Sam came back for another visit to Ottawa in August. They had both just turned 18 and so we baked them a cake!

Rachael & Sam's 18th Birthday Cake Rachael & Sam's 18th Birthday Cake Rachael & Sam

A Hike Downtown

We actually had a rain-free day today and so decided to enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures with a hike downtown. We took the bus to Lees station and then walked to the Old Ottawa East Main Street, along the Queen Elisabeth Drive to the Byward Market. After buying some bagels we hiked to the Rideau River and south to Hurdman station to catch the bus home, a total of about 9 km of walking.

Adam at Old Ottawa East Town Hall Ruth at Main Street Old Ottawa East Wild Rose on the Rideau Canal Rideau Canal looking north to the Chateau Laurier

Our Back Garden in July

Ruth takes care of our back garden plants and this year she has done quite well. Here in mid-summer we have quite a number of Icelandic Poppies, Nasturtiums and Hostas, along with some other wild flowers all in bloom at the same time. With our Honey Locust tree now big enough to give some shade, it is very pleasant to lie on the swing and read in the afternoons with all the colourful flowers around.

Heartsease - Viola tricolor Hostas Nasturtiums

Urban Bike Trip

The hot and humid weather that we have had since July started abated today with the passing of a cold front. We took this opportunity to put our bikes on the O-Train and do a 31 km trip starting from Bayview Station on the Ottawa River. The route took us west along the Ottawa River and down the Pinecrest Creek and then through the Experimental Farm, across Hartwell's Lock, Hog's Back, a picnic lunch at Mooney's Bay and back home. It was a beautiful ride!

Bikes on the O-train Ruth at Westboro Beach Adam Abandoned train bridge Farming downtown at the Central Experimental Farm Crossing Hartwell's Lock Ruth Henry Hudson rose in bloom at our house

Climate Change

Today was Canada Day and that means things are a bit nutty downtown on Parliament Hill. We decided to do something else and go for a hike instead. So we took the bus to the western part of town to hike trail 28 in the greenbelt there. It was a short hike. Usually at this time of year the trails are dry and the bugs mostly gone. Due to climate change we have had a lot of rain in the past two months, however and so the mosquitoes were thick. We had to wear our bug shirts, which we had the foresight to bring along. Then we discovered that the trails were flooded and impassable. We settled for an "urban 10 km hike" instead.

Ruth Adam Bruce Pit Lake Flowers Flooded trails Adam & Ruth in bug shirts A tiny frog about 1/4 inch long

Rachael & Sam Visit


In the end of June, after high school graduation was done, Rachael and her friend Sam came up to Ottawa for a visit.

Rachael & Sam Rachael & Sam

Ruth's Henry Kelsey Roses

Historically Ruth has had a hard time growing roses. Last year she decided to try the ultra-hardy explorer series and got a Henry Kelsey rose bush. It did pretty well last year and sat under the mountains of snow this past winter. Ruth was worried if it would bloom again. Just this week it exploded into dozens of blooms. Ruth is amazed!

Henry Kelsey rose Henry Kelsey rose Henry Kelsey roses

Hiking the Ottawa River Trail

This past weekend it rained - more than 2 inches fell. Today we had a break from the rain and a really nice sunny day, so we decided to do the 12.2 km hike from the Aviation Museum at Rockcliffe, along the Ottawa River Trail to Place d'Orleans.

Ottawa River Trail Adam and Ruth Ottawa River Trail Ruth Adam At the Green's Creek Bridge Ardeth Wood Memorial Roller Skiing

Scenes from the Net Neutrality Rally on Parliament Hill

There was a very successful rally for internet neutrality held on . Adam was there along with about 500 other people, including NDP MP Charlie Angus and Liberal MP The Honourable Mauril Bélanger, who both spoke in support. The Conservatives were noticeably absent, although CBC covered the event.

Net Neutrality Rally NDP MP Charlie Angus Meera Karunananthan, Council of Canadians Net Neutrality Rally Net Neutrality Rally Rocky Gaudrault, chief executive officer of TekSavvy Solutions Net Neutrality Rally Phillipa Lawson, director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), University of Ottawa Net Neutrality Rally NCF's Executive Director, John Selwyn Net Neutrality Rally Net Neutrality Rally Net Neutrality Rally Liberal MP The Honourable Mauril Bélanger Net Neutrality Rally

Photos from Derek & Wendy's Garden and Cruise

Adam's father and his wife, Wendy, sent us some photos from their recent cruise and also from their garden. The garden looks pretty green and lush.

Derek & Wendy Tilley Garden Garden

Bicycling to Kars Airport

Finally, after a week of rain and wind, we had a beautiful weekend. We decided to make a bike trip to the airport at Kars, south of Ottawa to watch the gliders at the Rideau Valley Soaring Club fly. So we packed a picnic lunch and biked down there. The whole trip was 71.7 km on the GPS, but it was good exercise! The bikes performed well until Adam got a flat tire just 100m from home!

Adam Ruth Sod farm Sheep Rideau River Schweizer SGS 2-33 Grob 103 Citabria towplane with Pzl-Bielsko SZD-50-3 Puchacz Check out on a Schweizer SGS 1-34 Schleicher ASW 24 with winglets Glaser-Dirks DG-400 motorglider Grob 103 Ruth gets ice cream Bakker's General Store

The Main Street Farmers' Market

This Saturday we went out to a new farmer's market on Old Ottawa East's Main Street at St. Paul University. This one just started up last year and is fairly small. The variety of goods was pretty good, but some of the prices were outrageous. We priced bags of salad greens against the grocery store prices and the farmers are ten to twenty times the price per unit volume. It worked out to $44.00 per kg compared to $5.49 at the grocery store! It seems to me that with low transportation costs and almost no overhead that Farmer's Markets should be cheaper than the grocery store. They seem to think that they are "boutiques".

Sculling on the Rideau River Ruth at the market Herbs on sale Farmers Market at St Paul University Vegetable vendor Ruth Adam Cherry tree on Lees Avenue

Our Garden in May

This past winter lasted a little longer than most around here do. As a result our garden has been a little slower growing than other years. Here are a few photos of how it looks so far.

Daffodil Icelandic Poppy Some flowers Tulip Tulip

At the Canadian Tulip Festival

Ruth's birthday always falls in the middle of the Tulip Festival here in Ottawa. We decided to celebrate with a trip to go and see the masses of tulips at Commissioner's Park near Dows Lake. We went a day ahead of Ruth's birthday because today was so warm and sunny, whereas her actual birthday is forecast to be rainy.

Ruth with tulips Adam with tulips Dows Lake Tulips Tulips Tulips Tulips Tulips Tulips Lots of people at the Tulip Festival Still more tulips Way more tulips

Cycling to Rideau Falls

Since the Colonel By Drive closings to motorized traffic don't start until next weekend, for a Sunday out we decided to go biking to Rideau Falls, in downtown Ottawa. The day was beautiful and 20C. We brought a picnic lunch and covered the 36 km in about three hours. Aside from the falls, one of the highlights was seeing the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion Memorial, honouring Canadian volunteers who fought with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War

Ruth Adam Ruth Old City Hall 111 Sussex Drive Rideau Falls and old Canada Pavillion Cherry trees Why we cycle, besides the exercise, oh yes and the fresh air Daffodils MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion Memorial, Spanish Civil War

Ottawa Farmers' Market

Sunday May the 4th was a bit cool and rainy, but we hiked the 14 km to Landsdowne Park and back to see the first version of the Ottawa Farmers' Market for . There wasn't much in the way of fruits or vegetables at this time of year, of course, but there was lots of maple syrup, honey and bread on sale there.

Ruth Clydesdales Bread Stand Bread Stand Farmers' market Honey Stand Organ Grinder Farmers' market

Cycling to the Byward Market

Sunday April 27th was a brilliantly sunny day, so we decided to bicycle north along the Rideau Canal to the Byward Market downtown for lunch. It is a distance of 32 km, so it took most of the middle part of the day. The canal itself is still in a "drained" state, not yet ready for the boating season.

Adam Ruth Our front garden Rideau Canal in a drained state Rideau Canal in a drained state Dows Lake Street people Church Armenian Embassy Wang's Noodle House Byward Market Fire Juggler Street Chamber Music Ruth's Coffee Jelly Beans Daffodils Daffodils on the Colonel By Drive Adam Ruth Tulips so red that they hurt the eyes Tulips Tulips Tulips

Simon's Visit


Simon came to Ottawa for a meeting and stayed with us. We did lots of fun things like going to the Canada Aviation Museum and Quebec, too.

Adam & Simon with Canadair CL-84 Dynavert Ruth & Simon with Canadair CL-84 Dynavert Bell CH-135 Twin Huey that Adam once flew, now relegated to museum Canadair CL-84 Dynavert Avro Arrow RL-206 nose section

Simon's photos:

Adam with Avro Arrow RL-206 nose section Adam & Ruth with a Twin Huey Adam once flew Link Trainer Wakefield Bakery with Toyota Prius Adam Parliament Hill on a sodden day

Nick & Rachael's Easter Visit


Long story short...Rachael and Nick made it here for Easter.

Ruth shows the effects Rachael Nick Adam Dim Sum Dim Sum Going Skating Adam, Ruth & Rachael skating Rachael not skating Adam, Ruth & Rachael skating Ruth & Nick Family group Rachael, Ruth & Nick

Monster Killer Death Snowstorm


They said we would get a 36 hour snowstorm. They were right! We officially got 56 centimetres of the stuff.

Our backyard swing before the storm Our backyard swing during the storm Our backyard swing after the storm Mid-storm Victory over snowbanks! Adam satisfied with his work

Lunar Eclipse

On 20 February we had clear skies for a beautiful lunar eclipse.

Getting there Fully eclipsed


Since we took a day off skiing on 17 February we decided to go downtown and check out the ice sculptures, Beavertails and the Rideau Canal at Winterlude, Ottawa's annual winter festival.

Adam with NDHQ in the background The original Byward market Beavertail store Albertosaurus ice sculpture Skating on the Rideau Canal Ruth with parliament in the background