Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Friday, October 20, 2017

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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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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Update on the construction site across road - AUGERS OH MY!

I haven't had a lot of time over the last 3 months to do as much on Bitter Grounds as I want. That also included taking photographs around the city. Just not enough time in the day. Now with the sun setting so early, it's become a bit harder. But my schedule freed up dramatically as of last Friday. To celebrate, I wandered across the road to take photos of the construction site.

So, the old CHUM building is nothing more than a memory. All the rubble has been cleared away - that was a huge job in itself. The crew have now moved the big equipment in to start laying the foundations for the condo. I chatted with one of the workers and he was kind enough to explain what they are doing. Most of us think "dig a hole, throw in concrete, build that thing", but the technology behind doing it right is amazing.  Once they cleared away the old foundation, they moved the big toys in to do the drilling. Ever walk past a site and see these: Photo of a construction auger and cement truck

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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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Light effects on buildings - King St & Yonge

Just off Yonge St, south, west of King, you can find Commerce Court. Linger there, on a nice day and enjoy the sunshine and relative quiet in the downtown area. If it's a bright day, you'll be treated to one of the best special effects shows in town.  Wander around the courtyard and look up - you'll see a variety of visual effects going on.  Commerce Court is surrounded by shiney, reflective skyscrappers that offer up a variety of shots to capture. One of my favourite effects is the mirrored buildings:

Commerce Court reflections - downtown Toronto buildings

It's an impressive rippled mirror effect.  Like a living mural, constantly changing with the sun. Don't forget to look a little lower. Buildings to the north create a neat white patterned effect on the shorter concrete buildings.  Enjoy.

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

- Dorothea Lange

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