No, Spidey is not one of them, but I just finished watching the miniseries “Sisi” and couldn’t get this show out of my mind. It’s about Empress Elizabeth of Austria (Sisi, 1837 – 1898 ) who was married to Emperor Franz Joseph of the Habsburg Austria-Hungary empire. Sisi was one of the most beautiful and famous women of 19th century Europe and was known for her struggles with royal life and her sympathy towards the democratic aspirations of the people of her nation. Watching this reminded me of Princess Di.

There have been many books about her, but I first heard of her when we cycled the Danube River and stayed in Wallsee, Austria, where a Habsburg castle is located.

The real reason this show stuck in my head was because my ancestors were from the Austria-Hungary empire. They lived in the Duchy of Bukovina, which was inhabited by many cultures and peoples, lying between Moldova and Transylvania. Today, it’s divided between Ukraine and Romania. My grandparents and great-grandparents would have been living around the time time of Sisi. As the royal carriages passed through the forests and over the beautiful landscape, I couldn’t help but think that they were subjugated by these royals in these times. They weren’t wealthy landowners, but they must have had something. No credit cards back then. No Aeroplan Miles, no jet planes. Only oceam liners and cash. My grandparents travelled back and forth across the ocean twice before settling in Cape Breton, so they weren’t poor peasants.

Social media and TV have bad reputations and can even be addictive, but I think it’s great when it gives you an insight towards something to think or write about.

Following  are a recent batch of my posts to 52frames, my weekly photo challenge, with a few others thrown in.

[Click on any photo for the slideshow. Please leave comments at the bottom of the page]


Habsburg castle at Wallsee, Austria

Band at the Habsburg castle at Wallsee








Week 31. ( Water )


Lots of water where I live, but how do you tell a story with water? There’s a pier on the bay that kids are always jumping off and going for a swim. I had to go there several times and finally met up with some adults that were getting ready to jump. I set my camera for burst mode and there you have it.


No TV?

Week 32. ( Night )

I had problems this week because of late night partying and some bad weather, but still managed to get out a few times at night. This photo was made while we were camping at Lake Huron. Originally considered this as just a backup photo, but by the end of the week, it rose to a 3-star.


Week 33. ( Black and White Minimalism )

On The Trail

Riding my bike
Through a tunnel of corn
Like sentries they stand
Awaiting the horn

A crow flies above
Cawing and scolding me
Tires crunching gravel
Feels so carefree

Mid-summer heat
Dog-days are here
Cycling my way through
Destination beer


Week 34. ( Upside Down )

Town Clock Tower

I had a few ideas for this week but nothing really stirring. When it rained I went out.

And then I saw the puddle.





Downtown Collingwood

Upside Down

Sunset Point













The King of Spades

Week 35. (Edited by Someone Else )

You have the sun, you have the moon, you have the air that you breathe – and you have the Rolling Stones! …Keith Richards

I like doing thought-provoking selfies, so when I see one online, I often save it for later copying. In my mind, Keith Richards is one of the most fascinating rock stars, especially after reading his book “Life”. Keith, you are the real king.

I found Magdalena Szeptycka on the 52Frames volunteer signup sheet and had no idea what she would end up with. So when I received this image I just thought it was so creative and kool. Thanks very much Magdalena, for the fabulous edit and for aligning me with Keith.



Week 36. ( Triangular Composition )


Following the waves
Flowing and ebbing
Catching the rhythm
Resonating with her breath

The lake is cool but tempting
The sand is warm and soft
The wind is blowing gently
She anticipates the thought
















Week 37. ( Backlit )

At the Last Run Tavern

Really rushed this week because of planning and packing for our big trip to Europe. But I managed to get the model away from her preparations for a few moments to get this shot.







Week 38. ( Wabi Sabi )

Change is Inevitable

I was climbing an ancient staircase in Porto, Portugal when I noticed these flowers struggling out of the decaying concrete. I thought of how the change in nature always wins in the end.

Then I thought of all the forest fires, the floods, the hurricanes and the extreme and unusual weather.


Week 39. ( Red )

Condition Red

Big waves crashing on the beach
Sound of thunder
2 meters plus breakers
No swimming today

Bordeira Beach, Portugal



Week 40. ( Dappled Light )

Dapple dapple
How I love that word
The light shows through
And not so blurred

I set my timer
For a 10 second lapse
But when I sit down
The light has passed

So I try to speed up
And set a 2 second pace
Then I push the shutter
And have to race


Week 41. ( Street Photography )

Street Photography in a Small Town

Two weeks ago
I was in Lisbon
Two weeks from now
I’ll be in Toronto
Now I’m back
In a small town
Why does everything seem so




Creemore Brewery

Blue Mountain Village

Spidey showing it off