Author Topic: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++  (Read 3329 times)

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2019, 09:14:46 AM »
The result, tho', was that he rode betw September and March (!!??) .

Probable advantage is that you avoid the midges.

There are no midges in Ireland! -- A message from the Tourist Board

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2019, 09:48:45 AM »
Early fall sunshine and foliage...

Each year, I think, "Maybe this year it'll be peaceful and serene..."  Each year, it ain't.  But, as a rule the park roads are closed to traffic after Thanksgiving w.e. (i.e., Tuesday next), and with luck, we'll have a few weeks of empty roads and the tag end of the colours. .

That's where Canada, from the viewpoint of a cyclist, went wrong, having roads, fabulous as they may be, and large landholdings. Here in Ireland the strictly local cycling and small scale touring is much enhanced by historically small, scattered landholdings, and the lanes to and between them, just wide enough for an oxcart. With a good survey map (under ten euro each from the local stationers though you may need several, which you build up over time if you live here) or GPS either dedicated or on your phone or a tablet, you can cruise the leisurely lanes for a fortnight and never be more than sixty miles from home as the crow flies, though in the lanes and small roads it could take you a couple of days or three to reach home again. Not recommended for people who want to brag of high mileages or high average speed, of course.

Super photographs, as always, John. Did you notice that snake's eye doing it's Nietsche on you: "When you look into the soul of the snake, the snake looks into your soul alzo." A pretty thing perfectly scaled by the dead leaf beside it. Your camera is the true genius. I hope you don't mind that I lifted No. 1, the sumacs, for my file of photos to paint when I'm out of ideas, for the wonderful impact of all those vertical lines. It's the sort of techno-artistic detail that gives a watercolour distinction, and I have just the tools for it  (a collection of worn toothbrushes, some artificially worn uneven against a rotating brass brush in my lathe, but don't tell the other painters -- they'll paint regular straight lines painstakingly with a gnat's-eye brush, taking days or weeks over it, and still get it wrong).

Don't leave your camera behind on your last rides of the year -- may they be many. The northwest corner of your continent is truly blessed in the Autumn.

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2019, 10:21:10 PM »
Thanks, Andre.  Glad you liked and can use the photo of the sumacs.  They're lovely to look at--I've always liked them, not least for their reliable bright autumn colours.  Someone told me that the variety/ies we have here are different from those in France.  (I've never heard, for example, of anyone here using the sumac seeds for cooking--I understand that they're commonly used in French cooking.) 

The cluster of bushes in this photo is on the northern shore of the Ottawa River--the camera and I are looking eastwards, downstream.  Only after downloading the photo onto my computer did I realize that there were only a few of the dark reddish-brown conical seed clusters in the photo.  Not sure why that's so: an oddity peculiar to these bushes, perhaps?  Other sumacs seem to have a heavy harvest of seed clusters.

BTW, the photo here is fairly lo-res, only about 480 kb.  The original is 3.9 MB.  Happy to send you that by PM if you like--let me know. 

Your point about Canada's roads is well-taken. Many, even in the eastern part of Canada, the area with the most dense population, were laid down in the 20th century, hence were shaped by the automobile.  Even those tracks dating from an earlier time were substantially reworked during the 20th century, again principally to satisfy the needs/hegemony of motor traffic.  Then, there's our awkward geography & geology, especially in those large swathes of the country which were glaciated during the last ice age. There, on the Canadian Shield, lakes are everywhere (the figure usually cited for Ontario is 400,000--but who counts 'em?) the rivers are wiggly, and obdurate hills of ancient granite defy railway- and road-builders as well as cyclists.

I was tickled to see the snake--we don't normally see many.  As it was, the retaining wall for Champlain Lookout, my usual stop at the summit, whence we have splendid views NW along the escarpment and over the Ottawa River into Ontario, is being repaired after accumulated frost-and-ice damage.  (This is appropriate:  there's a big info plaque at the lookout, informing  reader that the spot where they're standing was under a mile of ice 12,000 years ago.)  So, I plunked myself down atop the wall beside a narrow grassy verge, looked over the edge of the wall, and there was the snake, utterly unconcerned.

These photos, BTW, were taken with my Motorola phone.  I normally don't have much luck with that--prefer my Panasonic ZS40--but these worked out well.

Another BTW:  Have attached a photo taken ten days ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of San Miguel, the oldest church in the US, dating from ~1620.  (This has very little to do with cycling 'cept for the fact that the church is on the Turquoise Trail, which once ran from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and beyond, and when we drove that section, now New Mexico Rte 14, I thought, "Wow!  Mountains and semi-arid plains!  What a cycling route this would be.")

Nice brilliant blue sky, eh?  The air is soooo dry, it could be Botswana, Namibia or the Karroo.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 10:26:31 PM by John Saxby »

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2019, 10:53:26 AM »
BTW, the photo here is fairly lo-res, only about 480 kb.  The original is 3.9 MB.  Happy to send you that by PM if you like--let me know.

(I reply here rather than by PM because there's a member whose wife is an artist and may be interested.) Thanks for the offer, John. I'll remember. But I've had a look at the photo and it is such an obvious candidate for egg tempera (technically tempera grassa) that the resolution will do me fine, and anyway, my software is tuned to put all photos up fullscreen on my 26in screen. In addition, there are many instances where a low res photo is an advantage exactly because enlargement without interposition will pixelate it. Egg tempera, by its nature, is a medium for very small paintings (except for fewer than a handful of artists worldwide willing to work on a single larger painting for a year or two, and able to charge accordingly), so my biggest suitable boards, so-called "Claybord" made by a specialist in the States, are 6x6in, with more representative work being done on 4x4in.


Andre Jute The Lady in the Stone Egg Tempera 2018 6x6in

My chief hillwalking and cycling chum in days gone by, Jim Buckley, was known in pubs all over the southern part of Ireland for his dramatic (not to say tear-jerking!) singing and reciting voice, and his memory for apt poems for every occasion. There's a particular spot where a minor country road passes through a cut of two looming, overhanging rocks. Here, whether we were cycling or driving to a hill walk, he'd recite The Deer in the Gap in Irish to ring off the rock faces. The painting above is a mix of memories of the Deer at the Gap and the Lady of the Lake in Lancelot Speed's fine illustration. Apologies for the quality of the photo but the technique of photographing reflecting gold in egg emulsion is beyond my patience. I've already gone on too long off-topic, so anyone who wants to know more will find it on another forum starting here:
http://www.thesketchingforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2516&p=23328#p23054
and reading down to the third part of a three-part report.