ARCTIC TERN

 A small, slender white bird, the Arctic Tern is well known for its long yearly migration. Its travel from its Arctic breeding grounds to its wintering grounds off of Antarctica may cover perhaps 40,000 km (25,000 mi), and is the farthest yearly journey of any bird.

arctic tern poseARCTIC TERN

ARCTIC TERN HOVER POSE

ARCTIC TERN BALANCING ACT BALANCING ACT

arctic tern nestARCTIC TERN ON NEST

ARCTIC TERN CHICKARCTIC TERN SWALLOWING FISH

Posted in BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY, NATURE, TOURING | Comments Off

KING EIDER

One of the primary purposes of my recent trip to Alaska was to photograph the King Eider in spectacular breeding plumage.

KING EIDER HEADMALE KING EIDER 

KING EIDER RESTINGKING EIDER AT REST 

 

KING EIDER PAIRKING EIDER PAIR ON NESTING GROUNDS, BARROW, ALASKA 

FEMALE KING EIDERFEMALE KING EIDER 

KING EIDER FLIGHTKING EIDER TAKES FLIGHT, BARROW, ALASKA 

Posted in BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY, TOURING | Comments Off

NORTH TO ALASKA!

denaliDENALI PARK

I’ve just returned from a remarkable two week trip to Alaska. Stay tuned for more images.

Posted in BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY, NATURE, TOURING | Comments Off

MANCHESTER

LONDON (1 of 1)NOT NOW!  NOT EVER!!

 

Posted in PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off

WEASEL ON THE HUNT

WEASEL PROFILE (1 of 1)

 

WEASEL 1 (1 of 1)

 

WEASEL 2 (1 of 1)

Posted in NATURE | Comments Off

ST. GEORGE’S DAY

To all my friends back in England, a very happy St. Georges’s Day!

PALL MALL ST. GEORGE'S DAY (1 of 1)ST. GEORGE’S DAY, PALL MALL

Turning the camera around 180 degrees from this location gives a magnificent view of Buckingham Palace, which reminds me that I forgot to give a shout out to Queen Elizabeth on her 91st birthday this week. Happy birthday, ma’am!

queen (1 of 1)

 

Her majesty did me the great honour of sitting beside me at the official opening of  the London City Airport back in the day ……on my birthday no less!!!

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, PALL MALL, LONDON

Today, April 12, is the Duke of Edinburgh’s  President’s Council Forum to be held at Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London.

Marlborough House is almost 300 years old and has the status of a Royal Palace. It has been occupied over the years by some five Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough, three Dowager Queens of the United Kingdom, three Princes of Wales who later became Kings of the United Kingdom and Prince Leopold, who became King of the Belgians.

Sir Christopher Wren, the Surveyor of the Queen’s Work was commissioned in 1709 to draw up the plans for Marlborough House, which was completed in 1711.

Marlborough House is today the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

MARLBOROUGH HOUSE-3MARLBOROUGH HOUSE IN THE MORNING

The Duke of Edinburgh’s President’s Council Forum organizer’s have decided to use the above image for  their conference brochure.

MARLBOROUGH HOUSE

Congrats to all lucky attendees. Hope you have a great conference!

Posted in HISTORICAL, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off

LONDON TERROR ATTACK

Sad news out of London this morning as a terrorist attack has been carried out on Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster.  Oddly enough I woke up last night and read a couple of chapters of Ben Judah’s raw, no holds barred book, “This is London” at about the same time as the attack occurred.  “This is London”  examines the rapid demographic changes within London of the last decade. 

LONDON EYE (1 of 1)LONDON EYE, FROM WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

A vehicle has run down bridge pedestrians at the exact spot where I spent a good hour capturing images last November. An injured woman has been pulled from the Thames alive. God be thanked! Several dead and others have suffered catastrophic injuries. Thoughts and prayers go out to all. 

QUEEN BOADICEA (1 of 1)QUEEN BOADICEA STATUE, WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

Ironically, the lastest Bond film “Spectre” ends with a scene of total chaos on Westminster Bridge. Real life emulating fiction??

WESTMINSTER (1 of 1)WESTMINSTER PALACE

One policeman stabbed and the intruder shot dead at Westminster. Hard to score this anything but a victory for the terrorists.  Glad I got my images back then, won’t be going anywhere near there soon. 

Posted in HISTORICAL, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off

EVENING AT ROSELAWN

I have been accepted as a participating artist in the “EVENING AT ROSELAWN” put on by the Friends of the Roselawn in Port Colborne, Ontario on 6 April. Looking forward to the opportunity of seeing old friends and meeting new ones. If you’re in the area, check it out!!  See you there!

roselawn jpg

I will be exhibiting the following tableaux printed on metallic substrate.

Boreal Owl with Vole (1 of 1)BOREAL OWL WITH VOLE  (16 in x 24 in)

WHITE SQUALL (1 of 1)WHITE SQUALL, POINT ABINO   (30 in x 20 in)

This is the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Point Abino lighthouse. It never ceases to amaze me that a nation bogged down in a World War that would claim 80,000 Canadian lives could at the same time build such a neoclassical icon of the Great Lakes. Residents on Point Abino denied access to their private road and the federal government had to construct the lighthouse from lighters on the lake!!

CANAL DAYS (1 of 1)CANAL DAYS EARLY MORNING, PORT COLBORNE  (30 in x 20 in)

Canal Days is one of the highlights of the Niagara summer season.

 

 

 

 

Posted in LANDSCAPE IMAGES, NATURE, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off

HMCS ATHABASKAN FAREWELL

From a recent report in the National Post.

ATHABASKAn

I spent a couple of winters in the Davie Shipyard as a civilian Combat Systems Engineer putting Athabaskan and her sister ship Algonquin together  down in dim, cold grimy spaces below decks prior to their commissioning. The following are some old legacy photos of the Athabaskan taken from yesteryear.

DAVIE SHIPYARD LEVIS QUEBEC (1 of 1)DAVIE SHIPYARD, LAUZON, QUEBEC

Most significant memory of the Davie Shipyard for me was the day the labour force went on an impromptu strike. The Principal Naval Overseerer  (PNO) came running on board the Athabaskan shouting and screaming for all Navy and contractor personnel to essentially abandon ship. We all hastily scrambled across the gangplank and climbed into the back of an empty dump truck. I could see that throughout the yard, cars were being overturned, fires were being lit, and the baseball bats were coming out.  A young corporal with a raised pistol stood up while the rest of us kept our heads down as we ploughed through the picket line to safety as rocks pinged off the sides of our protective dumptruck.  Quebec labour relations, you gotta love them!!ATHABASKAN AND ALGONQUIN AT DOCK (1 of 1)

ATHABASKAN AND ALGONQUIN AT DAVIE DOCK

ATHABASKAN DAVIE (1 of 1)ATHABASKAN PRIOR TO COMMISSIONING

After “Basin Trials” we took the ships up and down the St. Lawrence to perfom the critical “Sea Trials” of all systems prior to acceptance by the navy.

Iroquois trois river (1 of 1)SISTER SHIP  IROQUOIS PASSES UNDER TROIS RIVIERES BRIDGE

Iroquois undergoing sea trails on the St. Lawrence while still under the ownership of the yard. The above image is a dicey moment as we hope the naval architects have read their tide charts correctly as our mast has only a few feet to spare. Sea trials were mostly relaxed and easy going as can be seen from the informal dress of civilian contractor personnel on board.  I say mostly, because along the way sudden stressful incidents can pop out of nowhere.  I was responsible of the steering control system. During a high speed turn trial we lost complete control of the helm, nearly cutting a small wood transport in half. The badly shaken civilian captain laid me out in lavender with unrepeatable curses in front of 20 odd individuals on the bridge as I frantically tried to ascertain the problem. My electronic steering console seemed to be perfectly normal.  With curses still ringing in my ears,  I abandoned the Bridge in complete humiliation and ran the length of the ship and down three decks to the “Black Hole of Calcutta” which was the steering gear department. Covered in oil, it was truly black as a main swash plate had given way producing a complete hydraulic failure and spraying oil everywhere. I was “steering control” not “steering gear hydraulics.” This was a plumbing problem, not a control problem. Call in the mechanicals!! (who were sunbathing on the flight deck!)

I neither expected nor received an apology for the misdirected abuse I suffered that day, the memory of which still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

 “If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing        theirs……and blaming it on you!!”

That phrase has come in handy more times than I care to remember throughout my career. I seem to grow fonder of Kipling with each passing day.

HELICOPTER SHIP (1 of 1)HELICOPTER APPROACH TO A STABILIZED HORIZON BAR,  HMCS ATHABASKAN

After commissioning, I was responsible for prototype testing of an illuminated bar of light stabilized to follow the horizon despite the rolling of the ship. During night operations, this gave the helicopter pilot an “out of cockpit” horizontal  flight reference  during the critical landing procedure on the cramped confines of the deck. The above image was taken during testing of our first production model at some risk.  Without the aid of harness or a safety line which of course would be mandatory today, I nearly slid off the hangar roof on several occasions during heavy rolling manoeuvres. Next stop Davy Jones’ Locker!!

As a civilian on board a naval ship, even though I was accorded officer status and had wardroom privileges, you still had to fight for respect. Since my systems were neither “guns” nor “engines” I was always seated at the far end of the wardroom table for evening meals, far from the Captain and his Executive Officer. Helicopter flying aids, main ship steering gear control and gyro compasses (in the age before GPS!), all essential to the successful operation of an anti-submarine destroyer, just didn’t seem to cut it with the senior officer staff and I was often left to my own devices for long periods at sea. Lots of time to read up on Kipling.

uss JARRET (1 of 1)USS JARRETT HELICOPTER HANGAR

The Horizon Bar  flying aid proved such a stunning success that it is still in use by many navies around the world today. Above is a picture I snapped of one of my horizon bars below the Gatling gun on top of the USS Jarrett’s hangar during her port visit to Perth, Australia in 1991.

“He who laughs last, laughs best!!”

Farewell to an old friend, the Athabaskan. Thanks for the memories.

Posted in HISTORICAL, TOURING | Comments Off