AERO GATINEAU-OTTAWA

I attended the AERO Gatineau-Ottawa Airshow on Saturday, September 15. Great event to photograph iconic aircraft from the last two world wars.

CANADIAN ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD ON HAND TO MEET THE PUBLIC

Re-enactor Jean Phillipe welcomes you to the airshow in front of a Supermarine Spitfire.

Airshow starts with sky divers

HARVARD TRAINER

Harvard aircraft with Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield in the rear seat.

CORSAIR

TAKE OFF OF A P-51 MUSTANG

SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE

WORLD WAR TWO FLY BY OF A CORSAIR, SPITFIRE AND P-51 MUSTANG

GREAT WAR DOG FIGHT

The Red Baron is pursued by a Nieuport!!

SOPWITH CAMEL

FAIREY SWORDFISH

The lowly Fairey Swordfish struck a fatal blow to the BISMARK by damaging her rudder with a torpedo which condemned the German raider to the artillery of the Royal Navy.

 

 

Posted in AVIATION, HISTORICAL | Comments Off on AERO GATINEAU-OTTAWA

TO BEE….

…or not to be? That is the question! 

 Shakespeare in the back garden!!.

The acquisition of the new Nikon D850 has rekindled my interest in macro photography. Amazing what life and death struggles are going on in my   own garden!! Who needs to go to Africa??

CRAB SPIDER

The eponymous Crab Spider. Note the perfect colour match  of the chamelion like body stripe with my patio rose-coloured Mandevilla.

CRAB SPIDER WITH HONEY BEE

Crab spiders are a formidable predator relying on patience and stealth to take down much larger victims without the aid of a web. Prey are quickly  dispatched with venom. 

SPIDER ENTOMBS FLY

FLYING ANT

HEMARIS THYSBE

Almost the size of a small  hummingbird, I spotted this creature while visiting a friend’s garden tour. I have seen them before in southern Ontario, but this was the first I had seen in the Ottawa area. 

 

 

Posted in NATURE | Comments Off on TO BEE….

RUBY THROATED HUMMINGBIRD

A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird has a nest in Mud Lake, Ottawa.

HUMMING BIRD NEST

There are two chicks in the nest. Here, one has its beek pointed skyward.

TWO CHICKS PEER OUT

MOM’S ARRIVAL

FEEDING TIME

Chicks are fed every 15-20 minutes.

JUNIOR TRIES HIS WINGS

HOME SWEET HOME

Posted in BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY | Comments Off on RUBY THROATED HUMMINGBIRD

ISRAELI BIRDS

While far from a birding trip per se, I did manage to snap a few photos of some birds seen along the way. 

SPUR-WINGED PLOVER

This handsome fellow with the glaring red eye was snapped on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

LAUGHING DOVE

Photographed at Tiberias.

TRISTAM’S STARLING

A specialty of the desert area around the ancient hill fort of Masada. 

HOODED CROW

This species can be seen just about everywhere in Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY, NATURE, TOURING, WILDLIFE | Comments Off on ISRAELI BIRDS

DOWNED PILOT EXTRACTION

As part of the airshow, the Israeli Air Force put on an impressive demonstration of a downed pilot rescue mission. 

FIREWALL

A firewall is placed between the downed pilot and the “unfriendlies”.

ARRIVAL OF TWO AH-64 ATTACK HELICOPTERS

 

COVERING FIRE

The attack helicopters provide covering fire for the rescue operaton. NB: Note the smoke and falling spent casings of the heavy machine gun.

BLACKHAWK RESCUE HELICOPTER

Finally, a Blackhawk helicopter complete with SWAT team swoops in to retrieve the downed pilot. 

 

Posted in AVIATION, TOURING | Comments Off on DOWNED PILOT EXTRACTION

STATIC DISPLAY

Prior to the air show we availed ourselves of the opportunity to peruse the impressive static display featuring both operational and historic aircraft. 

STATIC DISPLAY

ATTACK HELICOPTER

C-130 MILITARY TRANSPORT

C-130 IMPROVED VERSION

IRON DOME MISSILE POD

SPITFIRE AND ALPHA JET

A-4 SKYHAWK

BLACKHAWK HELICOPTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in AVIATION, TOURING | Comments Off on STATIC DISPLAY

ISRAELI AIR SHOW

As part of the Air Force Graduation ceremony, the IDF put on a spectacular airshow for the visitors.

BLACKHAWK HELICOPTERS

Blackhawk helicopters start the show with a flypast of the flag of Israel and the flag of the Israel Defence Forces. 

 

STEARMAN AIRCRAFT

NORTH AMERICAN HARVARD TRAINING AIRCRAFT

The Harvard was the standard fighter training aircraft for Allied Forces in WWII. As a result of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada, abandoned yellow Harvards could be seen on many a rural Canadian farm property in the decades immediately after the war. 

HARVARD HIGH SPEED TURN

AH-64 ATTACK HELICOPTER

C-130 PREPARES FOR AN AIR DROP

C-130 AIR DROP

UP, UP AND AWAY!

An F-15 roars into the sky.

F-15 IN HIGH SPEED PASS

ACROBATIC TEAM

KC-135 REFUELING F-16s

F-35

To the enthusiastic response of the audience an F-35 stealth fighter roars above the crowd in a grand finale. Israel claims to be the first nation to have flown the F-35 in anger. Most probably took part in the destruction of an Iranian weapons dump in south Lebanon a couple of weeks ago. 

 

POSTSCRIPT:

The Times of Israel published the following image of an F-35 flying with complete indifference and impunity  over Beirut a couple of days ago.

A Russian Sukhoi jet from Syria flew into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights  today and was shot down by a Patriot missile.

 

 

 

 

Posted in AVIATION, TOURING | Comments Off on ISRAELI AIR SHOW

ISRAEL AIR FORCE GRADUATION CEREMONY

One of the highlights of my trip was the visit to the Israel Air Force Centre for the graduation ceremony for new pilots of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Air Force. In a country of compulsory National Service, this is a day of national celebration and televised throughout the nation. The Israel Air Force Centre is located in the Negev desert, near the biblical city of Beersheba.

HEAVY SECURITY AT THE ENTRANCE

P-51 MUSTANG

P-51 Mustang, one of the iconic aircraft of WWII, on permanent display at the Centre’s entrance.

FRENCH VAUTOUR BOMBER

 

SIKORSKY HELICOPTER

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu arrives from his offices in Jerusalem.

ARRIVAL OF HONOUR GUARD

 

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU ADDRESSES THE GRADUATING CLASS

 

DRUZE

Although dwarfed by other, larger communities, the Druze community played an important role in shaping the history of the Levant, and continues to play a large political role there. As a religious Arab minority in every country they live in, they have frequently experienced persecution, except in Lebanon and Israel where Druze judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, and doctors occupy the highest echelons of society. Male members of the Druze community, complete with their traditional over-sized mustaches, are here to witness the graduation of one of their own into the ranks of the Israeli Air Force. 

GIRL POWER

A young flight cadet graduates top of her class and receives her cherished wings directly from the Defence Minister.  (Note: I have blacked out the faces of the pilots for reasons of  security).

PROUD FAMILY MEMBERS

The audience of several thousand is made up largely of boisterous and enthusiastic family members who come prepared  with signs and posters to cheer on their heroes as each is called forward individually  to receive their wings. Above, a tearful family member, overcome by the moment,  nearly collapses in a paroxysm  of pride and emotion. As Netanyahu said in his address” We’re not just pining wings on you today,  but also on your families who have brought you to this point of your lives, the cream of Israeli society”. 

 

INSTRUCTOR FLYPAST

Former instructors give a final salute to their young charges in a crowd pleasing fly past of the aircraft types on which they have qualified. 

 

HAT TOSS

Official ceremonies over, the  newly minted pilots race forward to participate in the traditional hat toss.

 

PM SECURITY DETAIL

PM’s security detail waits patiently for  departure as Bibi Netanyahu is mobbed by the new graduates for photo ops. 

A MOTHER’S LOVE

Show is over and the graduates flock to the grandstand where they are almost literally swallowed up in the adulation of their adoring friends and families.

 

POSTSCRIPT: Our guide, a gnarly veteran of the 6 day war and fellow University of Toronto graduate, was in tears throughout this prestigious and moving ceremony. How he got us into this event remains a mystery but I remain eternally grateful for the opportunity and am left with heart felt thanks and gratitude.

 

Posted in AVIATION, HISTORICAL, TOURING | Comments Off on ISRAEL AIR FORCE GRADUATION CEREMONY

SDEROT

Welcome to Sderot,  a western Negev city and former development town in the Southern District of Israel. In 2016 it had a population of 24,016. The city centre of Sderot is about 2 kilometres  from the Gaza border. Residents of Sderot live under a 15 second warning of the threat of incoming Katyusha rockets which have landed by the hundreds over the last several weeks. 

ALON DAVIDI, MAYOR OF SDEROT

A somewhat bemused and quizzical Alon Davidi, mayor of Sderot,  wondered what our group was doing in what he described as a war zone but was nevertheless grateful for the support. 

APARTMENT ROCKET SHELTER

Each house or apartment in Sderot is required by law to have a hardened shelter.

BURNT CROP LANDS

Incendiary balloons and fire kites have been launched from Gaza to set thousands of acres of  Israeli crops alight.

 SDEROT BUS SECURITY SHELTER

BUS SECURITY SHELTER

IRON DOME ANTI-ROCKET MISSILE BATTERY

Iron Dome  is an Israeli mobile all-weather air defence system.  The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometres  to 70 kilometres  away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area

IRON DOME ANTI-ROCKET MISSILE POD

Business end of the Iron Dome system.

HARDENED INDOOR PLAYGROUND

The playground was funded by the Jewish National Fund.

CLIMBING WALL

The climbing wall inside the JNF playground is of limited height so that a child at the top can make it down and into a shelter in less than 15 seconds. 

POSTSCRIPT: Since our visit, an Israeli soldier has been assassinated by a Gaza sniper and the IDF have carried out reprisal raids on Hamas targets in the Strip.

 

 

 

Posted in TOURING | Comments Off on SDEROT

JERUSALEM HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial is set on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance on the edge of Jerusalem 

CATTLE CAR

Photography with the museum is forbidden so I concentrated on the open air exhibits. What caught my attention the most was the iconic “Cattle Car”  railway wagon perched precipitously at the very end of the line.  A symbolic and emotional moment.

END OF THE LINE

The entire world class museum was made possible through the generous support of Canadians Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman.  A must see if you’re visiting Jerusalem.

 

Posted in HISTORICAL, TOURING | Comments Off on JERUSALEM HOLOCAUST MUSEUM