All posts by Jeff Haltrecht

Thanks for wanting to know more... I believe in ownership, drive, and mutual support. I like people who are humble, hungry, and smart. Teams perform better than individual supper stars. You have the capability to do the impossible. Photographs tell a story. People love stories.

Tourists sunbathing on the rocks in 16th Century Dubrovnik, Croatia back in 2015

16th century dubrovnik croatia on the rocks
Remember life before COVID-19? Tourists sunbathing on the rocks in Dubrovnik, Croatia back in 2015.

We are traveling virtually again this post back to 2015 visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia. A well preserved 16th century city on the Adriatic in the southern end of Croatia, Dubrovnik is an incredible step back in time. It was almost destroyed (1667 earthquake), controlled by the French, then Italians, Austrians, and finally Yugoslavia. In 1991 the city endured considerable shelling as Yugoslavia came apart. When walking the streets and alleys within the walled city you will read stories on the walls of what shelling occurred and what business or cultural place was sadly hit. Here we have a wonderful rest spot outside the fortress walls on the rocks by the Adriatic. Looking at this today while in COVID-19 lockdown is surreal, yet its also a glimpse into what we have to look forward to.

crowds of tourists at the louvre pyramid counting its 673 panes of glass!

crowds of tourists at the louvre pyramid 673 panes of glass pei
673 panes of glass make up the Louvre Pyramid, surely being counted by these tourists 🙂

Architect I.M. Pei designed the Louvre Pyramid to contrast the new and old, bringing a very modern feel to the museum’s entrance. Courtesy of Google we know there are 673 panes of glass and these people are trying to count them all. This picture of the Louvre was taken summer 2015 which explains the crowd, lack of social distancing and no masks (Do you believe we used to congregate like this?). That’s what makes this picture so special right now while parts of where we live are in COVID lockdown. Enjoy your travels via the internet this holiday season! And remember to wear your mask 😉

Twilight across the lake

twilight time of day on the cottage life lake
Twilight

This COVID thing is changing the pictures I’m getting. There are less trips out and about or abroad and more images from the home, immediate community or lake front. Being home so much has also allowed the family to appreciate the smaller things that were previously overlooked. And there is more time to go back over earlier pictures and remember certain things or special celebrations. So while there is snow outside now (brrrr!), I can share this earlier picture taken at twilight looking across the lake and remember how hot that evening was and how silent the air was.

You are being watched by the resident broad-winged hawk

broad-winged hawk
Broad-winged Hawk

This hawk is very impressive to be around. Starting with it’s awareness, it knows where I am all the time and tracks my movement continuously. To a certain degree it finds me curiously entertaining and I would say definitely not a threat. It visits each year for roughly 3 weeks bridging end July and beginning August. Sometimes its by itself (like this year) while others years there are two of them… adult and juvenile. Here its perched high atop a 75ft dead Birch watching me with the camera.

A good size Eastern Ribbonsnake checking you out

eastern ribbonsnake thamnophis sauritus muskoka snakes
Eastern Ribbonsnake in Muskoka

We are fortunate to have a wide variety of wildlife living among us. This year alone I have seen this Eastern Ribbonsnake, a Northern Ring-necked Snake, a broad winged hawk (which I may post next!), a pair of fresh water otters, a beaver, a coyote, a red tailed fox, and sadly too many skunks (why are there so many skunks this year?). I have seen this Eastern Ribbonsnake for 3 consecutive years now. Each spring it gives birth to a few baby snakes, one of which I saw eat a juvenile frog. That is how life roles…

son and his dad sharing moment at the waterfall, arrowhead provincial park

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Those moments where so much is said when nothing is said at all. A son and his dad having their time together will be the highlight of their camping trip this past summer.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3 Passing By Earth

comet neowise c-2020 f3 passing by earth
Comet NEOWISE on July 24, 2020 at around 11pm over the cottages

Comet NEOWISE was discovered only in March of this year using the Neowise space telescope.  Astronomers have determined its route brings it back to Earth in roughly 7,000 more years – really???  Here we are July 24, one day after it’s closest position to our planet, with a perfectly clear sky and no moon.  I’m outside at 10pm  scanning the sky with binoculars to find this comet and for the first half nothing…  I had read it will appear below the Big Dipper and still nothing.  More time passes and now its really dark and then BAM!! There it is and I can see it with the naked eye and with the binoculars…  holy smoke that’s cool!

Homemade bread bakery style from a red Dutch Oven

homemade bread bakery style from a red dutch oven
Highlight of the week! First time making homemade bread bakery style from a red Dutch Oven.

Flour, yeast, salt, water… and a Dutch Oven.  That’s it.  And the taste?  Incredible!  Take The Keg’s original bread (before they dumbed it down) and amp it by 4x, its that good.  Tracy ordered a red Dutch Oven on-line and this week made her first bakery style bread at home, and it was the highlight of the week for the family.  It’s obvious many of us are baking more because it sure is hard to find flour.  Took three tries until we found what was needed at The Monastery.  Comfort food for our new life!

Canadian Forces Snowbirds #OperationInspiration Cross Canada Tour

canadian forces snowbirds #operationinspiration cross canada tour
Royal Canadian Air Force’s @CFSnowbirds performing a mother’s day fly-by over Oakville-Trafalgar hospital.

Our much loved @CFSnowbirds performing a fly-by over Oakville-Trafalgar hospital this afternoon at 1:07pm as part of #operationinspiration.  A cross Canada tour to lift our spirits as we wait out the worst of COVID-19, while paying tribute to all front line employees who are working right now.  It absolutely is motivating to watch the squadron approach and do a loop around the hospital with wings tipped.  We got this!

Vancouver Sea Village Featuring Houseboat Homes Along False Creek

vancouver sea village houseboat homes false creek
People’s houseboat homes along Vancouver’s False Creek

Time to begin virtually traveling the world while we all take a pause and self-hibernate (sometimes I do feel like a bear hanging out in his den waiting for spring!) First stop is beautiful Vancouver and a look at Sea Village, a lifestyle community of houseboat homes along False Creek. These folks have the best of both worlds… living in the city and on the water. I gather keeping 6ft apart while walking on the dock to get groceries is difficult, however picture sitting at the end of the dock in front of your place watching life slowly pass by!