Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Too much mud ... a job I couldn't do

Yes, my favourite topic - the construction site across the road. They're almost done with the augers and looked like one was packing up. I spoke to one of the workers and he said they have just the north side left to drill. I'll try to get some more video before they go. But .... this picture is why I don't think I could ever do construction work:

Photo of construction worker surrounded by mudWay - too - much - mud! Holy smokes it was like a mud bath over the weekend. Swimming in pools of water.  When I took the photo this morning, most of the water had drained away. Still a lot of muck about. All those metal girders sticking out of the mud are the reason for all the drilling. The augers drilled holes for each one. When the steel thingy was dropped into the hole, it was filled in with concrete.  The site is ringed with them.

Not sure I'd be able to handle being up to my eyebrows in mud. I have problems when there's mud on the floor, can't even imagine working with this much mud and dirt. They are made of sterner stuff than I, across the road.  

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They're going to need someone to take care of that! - wasp nest

Prior to Christmas, I spotted this hanging over the sidewalk. Hell of a big wasp nest dangling over the path, just past the Davisville subway.  Photo of a large wasp nest in Davisville, Toronto

Not sure but it looks like a paper wasp nest. It's a work of art in it's own right.    

 

 

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Little dirty birds - don't forget to look down

A companion piece to yesterday's "look up" instructions. Don't forget to look down too:

Photo of a sparrow taking a dirt bath

I look for little indents in the dirt - sure way of telling birds are using the spot for dirt baths. I'll lurk a few feet away and wait for them to return and then try to catch them in full bath mode. It's not as easy as it sounds. With the exception of this photo, all the rest are little grey and brown blurs. He at least looks fluffed up.

Then again, you can turn a corner and find yourself eye to beak with someone:

Photo of a sparrow sitting atop a bushHe didn't move, just sat there giving me the eye. Nice of him to pose for me.

 

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A little something for my construction fans - VIDEO of an auger in action

At one point last week, I realised not many of my readers will have actually stopped and watched the big augers in action.  So, I went out just before Christmas and stood in the COLD taking a couple of short videos. You're welcome. I loaded them up on Youtube Christmas day but was too tired to do anything with them.

The company doing the work is Rumble Foundations out of Mississauga. That's all they do - foundations for big builds. I was poking around their website and figured they are putting caissons in. If I'm wrong, please correct me. I'd be happy to be educated on the process. They've done a lot of the big jobs here in Toronto, but this is the first time I've paid attention to what they are doing. I have to say, I really expected this work to be far noisier. I'm sure it will get pretty loud at one point during the build, but the augers themselves are surprisingly muted.

Here's the first one:

This one is better - they were drilling near the entrance and I was able to catch a great video of them dumping the dirt off the auger itself.

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Read more: A little something for my construction fans - VIDEO of an auger in action

Never know what you'll see when you look up - a little winter tree pruning

I was in the Davisville area yesterday, heading over to setup a new computer for a customer. I usually cut through a park and hit the Beltline trail then hike up a small embankment to get to her place. It’s a short walk and quite scenic. Yesterday I heard a lot of sawing and trees creaking so I looked up and spotted this:

Up a tree - photo of worker in a tree cutting branches

I watched for a few minutes as he hiked his helmet up a bit and then thought “oh hell, the camera”. I lug it around a lot now but forget I have it. I was able to grab a couple of snaps before I realized I was going to be late, otherwise I’d have stood there most of the day watching.

I think I like taking photos of people doing work I could/would never consider doing. I admire them and consider some of my photos an homage to them. No way in hell I’d clamber up a tree, in the winter, cutting off tree branches. I've set this photo aside (and a couple companion pieces) to use on the Motion Project. Haven't figured out how I'm going to deal with it, but you'll know when you see it.

I found one drawback with my nice Canon camera – it doesn’t geolocate. I relied on it heavily to remind me where I’d taken the photos. I’ve resorted to carrying a small notepad in my pocket to jot down locations. It’s the only way I could save my sanity. Sometimes old school is the only method available.

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"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

- Dorothea Lange

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