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  1. Downes

    Nation River

    March 29, 2023. This is the Nation River near the 417, seen on a quick noon-hour bike ride (taking advantage of a few warm hours while we had them). Up early this morning, did a bunch of work on the tech barriers, then a meeting, then more work, and fi...
  2. Downes


    March 28, 2023. This is the Bridgehead at Rideau Centre - we stopped there on the way to the hospital, where it was my turn to see the doctor (I'm still dealing with this awful itch). The star of this photo is the little yellow duck on the coffee machi...
  3. Downes


    March 26, 2023. I was up bright and early this morning - early enough to catch the sunrise - and this is what it looked like as reflected on my computer screen from the east-facing window behind me. I spent more time on my tech barriers project today, ...
  4. Downes

    So Tired of Snow

    March 25, 2023. I actually made a couple of TikToks on the subject. This is my front yard, still covered with snow, on March 25. No wonder we don't have flowers! I also show some video of a woodpecker in a snowstorm. On March 25! I spent a full day wor...
  5. Downes

    Northern Lights

    March 24, 2023. I went out several times to look for the northern lights, and maybe I saw them, very faintly, or maybe it was clouds. This was one last look out the window on a Friday night looking for them, and not seeing anything. A full day on the t...
  6. Downes

    A Train in the Fog

    March 23, 2023. It was above zero and rainy today, which produced a fog as the snow sublimated. In the distance I could hear a train coming. But because of the dim light and the motion and all, I wasn't able to get a good shot as it went by, so you hav...
  7. Downes

    Bug Jacket

    March 22, 2023. I tried on the bug jacket I picked up on Sunday to make sure it would fit. As you can see, it does. The bug jacket may be essential when I'm cycling in La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve this summer (I'm hoping that by waiting until August I...
  8. Downes

    Mourning Dove

    March 21, 2023. A mourning dove soaks in the late afternoon sun in our back yard. The birds are all returning, and are not pleased to find the ground still covered with snow. Thank goodness for our feeder! Today was a day of three meetings and I even g...
  9. Downes

    My New Horse

    March 20, 2023. I took my bike out for a longer ride for the first time today (where 'longer' means 8km - still building up slowly). Pretty happy with the ride, though I'll need a new saddle. It takes more effort to pedal than my previous gravel bike, ...
  10. Downes

    My Luggage

    March 18, 2023. This is my luggage, finally returned after almost three weeks. It could have been worse, I suppose. The tags tell a story of a much-travelled piece of luggage (it certainly went places I didn't, like Heathrow). This was otherwise a prod...
  11. Downes

    Woodpecker in the Apple Tree

    March 17, 2023. This is one of our regular woodpeckers hiding out in the crabapple tree in the back yard. Today was a day of meetings and productivity. The itch is trying to make a comeback but I'm fighting it off with medication. Oh, I can't wait for ...
  12. Downes

    The Great Hunter

    March 16, 2023. This is Emma chasing a bug (probably one of the many Asian lady beetles that spend the winter in the house). I had a much more productive day today and got a bunch of things off the 'to-do' list. Still a lot stacked up. But it's nice to...
  13. Downes

    Happy Birds

    March 15, 2023. It was a lot nicer and warmer today and the birds were happy hanging out by the feeder. I am happier too. Not only am I feeling stronger and healthier, I got a phone call from Iberia saying they were sending me my luggage; it should arr...
  14. Downes

    Sad Birds

    March 14, 2023. There was a long of something from the sky - now? sleet? slush? - along with a lot of wind and the birds were not happy. But they were still willing to flock to the feeder. I began today to actually feel like I'm recovering from everyth...
  15. Downes

    Basement Window

    March 13, 2023. Julia thinks she's fooling me, but I can see that she's watching my reflection in the basement window, just in case I make any sudden moves (like, say, to pet her). Still sick. Still no luggage.
  16. Downes

    The Petting Zone

    March 11, 2023. This is Charlemagne in the 'petting zone', which as you can see is the space at the cat is basically level with the human, making it easy to reach between the rails and offer a nice safe petting. The cardboard was there to prevent them ...
  17. Downes


    March 9, 2023. This is the Nordstrom at Rideau Centre in Ottawa. I had never been to a Nordstrom, and with news that the chain is now closing in Canada, I thought I'd peer in before they disappear. So today I had a doctor's appointment in the morning (...
  18. Downes

    Blue Jay Feeding

    March 8, 2023. Back home again. Still no luggage. This is one of our local blue jays in the back yard. Called it a sick day today as the itching is quite bad, though I managed to get a minimal newsletter out.
  19. Downes


    March 7, 2023. This is some art inside Munich's international departure area. I had a fairly relaxed noon flight from Madrid with a short stop in Munich en route to Montreal. Except for the itching it was pretty relaxed, and I was even upgraded to busi...
  20. Downes

    Saint Teresa

    March 6, 2023. This is a statue of The monument of Saint Teresa de Jesus by Toledo sculptor Luis Pablo Gómez Vidales.It's in a little parklet next to a convent on the northern wall of Toledo. I spent the day in the city, still enjoying the hotel room, ...
  21. Downes


    March 5, 2023. This is the Alcázar in Toledo, Spain, as seen from the spire of a nearby church (131 steps up inside the Iglesia de los Jesuitas (San Ildefonso)). Toledo is maybe a half-hour ride in the high-speed train from Madrid, which I took in the ...
  22. Downes


    March 4, 2023. The view from the conference stage. Not a good day. I woke up feeling ill and this combined with the itchiness and the lost luggage just made it miserable. I was at the conference most of the day.
  23. Downes

    Plaza de Castilla

    March 3, 2023. The moon lights the sky beside one of the two leaning towers at Plaza de Castilla in Madrid. It was presentation day today and I spent most of the day at the conference; this was taken after the day on my way home. Presentation went OK w...
  24. Downes

    El Corte Inglés

    March 2, 2023. This is the small cafe at the heart of El Corte Inglés at the New Ministries in Madrid, Spain. I started my day by spending several hours there trying on clothes and gradually replacing what I needed as my luggage never arrived from Mont...
  25. Downes


    February 28, 2023. This is a huge painting hanging high on the wall in a far corner or Brussels airport. I landed late orning, was instantly transferred to a flight to Madrid, flew there, waited for my lost luggage, took a taxi to the hotel, and settle...
  26. Downes


    February 27, 2023. This is the moose at the airport in Montreal. I was supposed to leave tomorrow, but with a storm warning on the way, it seemed prudent to depart a day earlier. So I started an extra-early morning with a trip into Ottawa for medical t...

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