Dr. B’s Camera Challenge #9: Kitchen “Stuff”

Oh, my goodness. Pick something from our kitchen? Our kitchen is full of stuff: pots and pans, labour-saving devices (both electric and manual), thing-a-ma-bobs, gadgets, do-dads, whachamacallits, things we use all the time, things we rarely use, things we never use but keep because, well, just because. Do I make it a “Guess what, folks?” or simply a “Show and Tell.”

I decided to do both. First, the “Show and Tell”

Something I use all the time — my beloved bec d’oiseau paring knife, beautiful sharp-as-a-razor carbon steel blade. Won’t trade it for anything!
Something we never use, but it’s so cute!

And now for the “Guess what, folks?”

Very few people recognize what this “thing” is used for. Here are some hints:

  • It is made of cast aluminum
  • It is about 70 years old (it was an “accessory” included with a set of WearEver cast aluminum pots and pans my mother had)
  • Of all the tools intended to do what this “thing” does — this is the best design ever (in my opinion).

#CameraChallenge9 #KitchenMystery #WhatIsIt #FavouriteKitchenTool #MargaretGHanna

P.S. An addendum to Dr. B’s Camera Challenge #7: Bridges — I finally found my photograph of the concrete bridge over Pinto Creek that flowed (when there was water in it) on the south side of my home town, Meyronne. The bridge was built in 1929 just before the Depression and the Dirty Thirties blew in. Eventually, farm machinery grew too huge to cross the bridge so it was torn down and replaced by a boring steel bridge over not-so-mighty Pinto Creek.

I have the dubious distinction of having walked on the concrete arch when I was about ten. Apparently, the boys were daring each other to do so and, while they were dithering about, I said, “Oh for heaven’s sakes” (or words to that effect) and walked it. The boys were impressed. My father was not.

Dr. B’s Camera Challenge #8: Sports

Sports? I don’t do sports! I don’t attend sporting events so how can I photograph them? Oh wait, I guess I do. Sometimes.


My husband used to throw himself out of planes. He called it fun. I called it suicidal. I asked, “Why do you throw yourself out of perfectly good airplanes?” He said, “Because they’re not perfectly good airplanes.”

Every summer (COVID years excepted), we join our Montana friends for their annual skydive weekend. After hanging out with them (pun intended) for several years and hearing them rave about the thrills of sky-diving, I decided I had to try it.

Yep! I harnessed myself to a tandem master and threw myself out (actually, he threw US out) of a not-so-perfectly-good Twin Otter at 13,000 feet. Fifty-five seconds of free fall, plummeting earthward at 200 miles per hour. Five minutes under canopy, floating feather-like before touching terra firma. My conclusion: Been there, done that, don’t need to do it again. But it certainly got the adrenaline pumping.

Winter Olympics 2010, Vancouver BC:

We hadn’t planned on going to the Olympics. We were perfectly content to stay home and watch everything on TV. After watching the first night, we said, “That looks like fun! Let’s go!” We called a friend, “Dust off the hide-a-bed.” The next day we drove to Vancouver. Absolutely no regrets. Everyone was there to have fun. Except for the athletes, they were there to win.

Lots of other things to do at the Olympics, like see the exhibits of ancient sports equipment (try using these!):

Clockwise from bottom right: Ancient curling rock, ca. 16th century (Scotland, surprised?); speed skate blades, ca. 1780 (Holland); speed skate blades, an 1852 copy of 1452 original; bone skate blades, reputed to be 2000 years old (found in London, England); iron skate blades, 1780 (Holland)

#CameraChallenge #Sports #Skydiving #Curling #IceDance #WinterOlympics #AntiqueSportsEquipment #MargaretGHanna

Dr. B.’s Camera Challenge #7: Bridges

I don’t normally photograph bridges because usually we’re driving somewhere and suddenly we’re onto and over the bridge before I even have a chance to pull out the camera. But occasionally, we’re walking, looking, just “being there,” and if a bridge happens to be part of the landscape, if there’s something about it that catches my eye, if it is different from the hundreds of other bridges we’ve driven over, well, then I get the camera going.

Some are incredible feats of engineering:

And some are just, well . . . different:

#ChallengeYourCamera #Bridges #EngineeringFeats #MargaretGHanna

Dr. B’s Challenge your Camera #6: Color Splash

This was a challenge for a couple of reasons:

  • I had to find and download the program and then figure out how to use it (that wasn’t too hard).
  • I had to find suitable photographs. Sometimes, what I thought would be a suitable image, just didn’t look “right” when I had finished playing with it.

Here are my “color splashed” images from both close to home and far away:

#ChallengeYourCamera #ColorSplash #MargaretGHanna

Dr. B.’s Challenge Your Camera #5: Stairs and Steps

Three of the nine staircases that contestants must run up in the annual 4.5 mile-long “Bisbee 1000 — the Great Stair Climb”

Sometimes the steps are “Walk at your own risk” (Coronado Cave, Coronado National Monument, AZ)

#ChallengeYourCamera #StairsAndSteps #MargaretGHanna

Challenge Your Camera #2: Red

The Province of Saskatchewan advertises itself as “Land of Living Skies,” but other skies can be just as dramatic, to wit:

Sunset, Tucson Arizona
Sunset, Tucson Arizona
Sunset, Sedona Arizona

And now, for something completely different (but still red):

Cochise Council Rocks, Coronado National Forest, Arizona

#ChallengeYourCamera #Sunsets #Pictographs #Arizona #Red #MargaretGHanna

Prairie Architecture: The Barn

(Written in response to Challenge Your Camera)

Every farm has one. They may be of different sizes and configurations, they might be build of different materials, but they all have the same function – a place to shelter livestock during inclement weather, a place where cows/sows/ewes/horses give birth, and a place to keep their fodder and bedding.

This is the barn I grew up with. My grandfather, Abraham Hanna, had it built in the summer of 1917, the year he moved the entire farmstead one mile, from the east side of Sec. 25 clear across to the west side, just north of the village of Meyronne, Saskatchewan. It was built under the direction of local carpenters, Norman Hisey and R. Leadley, who built to last – huge old-growth fir posts, beams, joists and rafters are the “bones” of the barn. Mr. Leadley had the misfortune of falling off the roof and, as my grandfather recorded in his diary, “was badly injured.” When the barn was finished, Mr. Hisey painted “Cloverdale Farm” on the roof.

It no longer houses livestock – the last horse died about 1949 and my father sold the last of the cattle about 1968 – but I remember it as a place filled with the aroma of manure and straw and chop and cattle. Those aromas seeped into the concrete floor and the fir beams, never to leave. Three milk cows – two Jerseys and a Guernsey – stood in the stanchions to be milked, their tails constantly switching back and forth, threatening to swat the unwary milker. The bull filled one of the box stalls both physically and psychologically (I was terrified of the monster). Two other box stalls were well-used come March and April as “birthing” rooms; I remember Dad coming in from the barn and announcing, “We’ve got a calf!” The barn cats ruled, semi-wild creatures that birthed in the mangers or the hay loft, that sallied forth to hunt mice and rats and gophers, that vanished in a trice when we walked in and peered suspiciously at us from their hidey-holes. The former horse stalls housed equipment or were boarded up to hold grain.

The loft housed the straw pile and the chop bin and flocks of pigeons and barn swallows and sparrows. The straw pile was our “mountain;” my brother and I trekked up and down it, rolled in it, threw handsful of straw at each other, and then spent an eternity picking straw and chaff out of our hair, our ears, our clothes. The chop bin – “chop” being oats chopped into a coarse, flour-like feed – was the bane of our chores. It always clogged in the chute, forcing us to hammer at it with the shovel until it dislodged and came thundering down, covering us from head to toe in an itchy cloud. We spat it out, dug it out of our ears, tousled it from our hair, slapped it off our clothes and then carted 5-gallon pails of it in our little red wagon the 100 yards or so to the chicken coop.

Hisey and Leadley built well – the barn is as straight and solid as it was 103 years ago. The neighbour who bought our farm respected the barn’s antiquity – he painted it and reshingled the roof. It now looks almost like new, although the roof no longer proclaims “Cloverdale Farm.”

ChallengeYourCamera #PrairieBarns #PrairieArchitecture #HannaFamilyHistory #ChildhoodMemories #MargaretGHanna