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Matt, Rachael & Nick Visit

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Nick, Rachael and Matt made it up to Ottawa for a few days in between freezing rainstorms and having to head back to their various schools.

Matt Nick Rachael


Julian, Elisabeth & Nigel Visit

On their way to Quebec City Nigel, Elisabeth & Julian stopped over night for a visit to Ottawa. We took a drive downtown to see the lights at Parliament Hill, the Prime Minister's and Governor General's residences.

Julian & Nigel Julian, Elisabeth & Nigel


Ski Season Starts

We got quite a lot of snow this past week and it is still coming down! That meant it was time to wax up the skis and go over to the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland for a ski. Conditions were pretty good and we put in about 7 km blazing the trails.

Ruth Adam


In Montréal Again

On Saturday we did a day trip to Montreal by train. Ruth had discovered that the Galileo Live show was being presented at the Montréal Planetarium and so on short notice we booked tickets and went. The train schedule meant that we had the whole day in Montreal and so we had croissants and walked down to the Old Port to visit the Montréal Science Centre. We both enjoyed the planetarium show, which included a bonus presentation on the fall night skies, but we thought the Science Centre was a waste of time. Like most Science Centres in Canada there is very little science presented and instead the facility is nothing more than very expensive babysitting in the form of a playground for kids to spend the day pressing buttons and hitting things. We didn't get many photos while we were there - our Panasonic DMZ-2 digital camera died in the middle of the trip. At least I got a photo of Ruth with her croissant!

Ruth Adam


The Carleton Butterfly Show

On we went with our friend Gwen to the Butterfly Show at Carleton University here in Ottawa. Every year the university releases hundreds of tropical butterflies into their two tropical plant greenhouses and invites the public to come and see them. The butterflies flit about, mostly ignoring the humans unless you have an orange slice to entice them with. They live out their three week lifespan in the greenhouses, free of predators and widely admired by thousands of visitors, including many school groups.

Butterfly show Butterfly show Butterfly show Butterfly show


Camping at Sandbanks

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We decided to go camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park this year - out fourth return to the park since . We picked the right time to go, as, after a very wet early summer, the end of August turned out to be very dry, with nothing more than dew to contend with. We did some hikes, read books on the beach, flew a kite and visited some of the local sights, including Lake on The Mountain Provincial Park and Picton. We also brought our small travelling telescope and set it up on the beach one evening. Although the seeing was not great, due to haze and the full moon, we did get some views of the moon itself and Jupiter.

Sign Our campsite Poison Ivy Corn Dunes Beach Adam & Ruth at Lake on the Mountain Adam & Ruth at Lake on the Mountain Lake on the Mountain Bay of Quinte from Lake on the Mountain Adam with our 80 mm refractor telescope Ruth flies Hawaiian Frigate bird kite Ruth at The Bean Counter Or else! Dunescape Sandbanks Sunset at Outlet Beach


Rachael's Visit

Rachael heads back to college soon, but she came to Ottawa for a short visit. We had a great couple of days together, did some swimming and even a short hike in the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland, which is a riot of wild flowers this year.

Rachael & Ruth


Mountain Biking in Gatineau Park

After a July that included record rainfall we finally had some dry weather in August. For some exercise we decided to take advantage of the hot dry weather and bike to The MacKenzie King Estate. It is actually about 27 km one-way from our house, so we cheated and started the trip off very early in the morning by putting our bikes on the O-Train and taking it to the south side of the Ottawa River. From there we pedalled the remaining 15 km up in the Gatineau Hills on paved and mountain bike trails to reach the estate. Surprisingly the biggest hazard turned out to be the mosquitoes - usually gone by this time of year they were present in large numbers. At the estate we managed to get some ice cream before heading home for lunch.

Ottawa River from the Quebec side Ruth Adam & Ruth at the MacKenzie King Estate Ruth & ice cream at MacKenzie King Estate Ruth


Scenes From Our Garden

This year we decided to plant some vegetables and we got some flowers from them and wild flowers as well! July was very wet and now August is proving drier, so hopefully our crops will look good in the fall.

Johnny Jump-ups Stone Buddha Spaghetti squash Butternut squash flower


Hiking in Gatineau Park with Jane

On Sunday July 5th it actually didn't rain, an event that is becoming quite rare this summer! We went with Jane up to Gatineau Park and hiked to the most remote lookout on the Eardley Escarpment. Due to the recent rain the trails were muddy in places, but we made it to the top of the escarpment for a picnic lunch. After making it back we celebrated with coffee at Les Saisons in Old Chelsea.

Adam & Ruth The view from the lookout Jane Ruth & Jane


Canada Day

Canada Day is a big deal in Ottawa. Here it is the biggest event of the year and lots of people come to the city to celebrate the nation's birthday. We decided to catch a bus to Rockcliffe Airport for the fly-in, only to discover that just six aircraft had braved the showery weather to attend. Then we walked the Ottawa River trail to get some ice cream at Rockcliffe Park, before going onto Rideau Hall to see the rose gardens there. After that we went downtown and joined the enormous crowds there.

Ruth with Cessna, the Rockcliffe Flying Club cat Cessna 172 lands at Rockcliffe Robinson R44 gives rides at Rockcliffe Adam at Rideau Hall Relief of the sentries at Rideau Hall Ruth at Rideau Hall Wild roses at Rideau Hall Sign at the Kuwaiti Embassy


Sailing on Scotfree

On John Quarterman invited us to sail with him on his boat Scotfree on the Ottawa River. It was Ruth's first time on a real sailing voyage and she enjoyed it a lot. The weather was perfect, with 5-10 knots of wind and no rain.

Scotfree Ruth Doug & John Quarterman


Richard Stallman Visit to Ottawa

On Richard Stallman the founder of the Gnu Project and president of the Free Software Foundation spoke on the steps of the Parliament in Ottawa to a crowd of two dozen people.

Richard Stallman Richard Stallman & Ruth


Canadian Tulip Festival

Every year, just as the weather warms up, Ottawa is home to the Canadian Tulip Festival. This event celebrates the ties between Canada and the Netherlands, forged in the Second World War when the Ottawa hosted the exiled Dutch Royal Family and also liberated the Netherlands from the German occupation. On Tuesday 12 May we went to Commissioner's Park to enjoy the warm weather and the tulips.

Adam Ruth Tulips Tulips


Our Trip to Montréal

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At the beginning of May we took a long weekend trip to Montréal via train to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We visited the Redpath Museum, climbed the mountain, walked some 35 km around the city, rented a quadracycle in Old Montréal, ate some bagels, explored the underground city, visited the gardens and, of course, went to the planetarium.

Adam Black Watch pipers Cat graffiti Chinese Garden Ruth at the Dow Planetarium Fairmount Bagel Montreal Metro Ruth with a rental Quadricycle International Quad-3 Albertosaurus at the Redpath Museum Ruth with a wolf (stuffed) Tulips


More Skiing at the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland

After lots of snow and blazing trails in the deep snow numerous times, we finally got in a good ski at the wetlands on a really nice day - 7 km skied.

Ruth Ruth The bill for the SCCW


Bad Taste in Advertising Comes to Ottawa

Yup 2009 is going to be quite a year by the looks of it. One of our city rock radio stations, 106.9 "The Bear" is now "Virgin Radio 1069 - The Gods of Rock". Their new advertising campaign for the launch, as shown on this billboard in our neighbourhood, seems to suggest that these deities forgot their condoms. Sigh. Press Release.

Billboard at Hunt Club and Bank Street 22 Jan 09


Skiing the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland

In January we got out several times to XC ski the wetlands, like this trip on . The wetlands may not be the perfect ski area, but we have blazed out 4.5 km of trails and it is only a short walk from our house.

Ruth Adam Adam


Nick & Rachael's Visit

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For New Year's Nick & Rachael came to Ottawa to enjoy the cold weather and the bus strike! Witold & Vicki made it to our house, too for a visit!

Rachael Rachael Viki & Witold Nick Nick, Ruth & Rachael Nick, Rachael & Vicki