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Midway through

October 15, 2009

Back from the Obama front, and to more local matters. With pictures!

This weeks mark the middle of October (and of Canadian autumn – we’re probably going to get an early winter this year), the middle of the class term (with the mid-terms this imply), the midway point of my law certificate (three classes down, four underway and at the midway point, three left to go), and the middle of the time period I had allocated myself to get around to editing my NaNoWriMo story from last year (so I could tackle a new one)

The last is a complete failure, I’m afraid. I’ve had so much on my plate lately (exams, one paper to write, and various other projects), (massive) editing just has taken a far backseat – I got about half of chapter 1 done midway through the month I thought would suffice (yay optimism gone wrong!). I may skip NaNo altogether this year, depending on whether I can finally figure out a new idea that doesn’t require my original idea to be reasonably completed and edited. (Hopefully that won’t be the case. Hopefully).

On the other hand, can’t complain much about the rest. Classes are holding together (I believe. I’ll know once I get my grades), I’m holding together, and the autumn is magnificent as usual – cool, crisp air and a bright yet cold light that smells of the coming winter, combined with the new colors of the trees, makes for really cool pictures.  (Also the fall of leaves is a significant setback for my photographic arch-enemy, the Man who planted Trees).

Autumn is slowly coming to Mont Saint-Hilaire...

Autumn is slowly coming to Mont Saint-Hilaire...

Yes, I know, not much red on that picture. So sue me, we’re not getting so much red this year, apparently. Not sure why. Individual trees have gone red aplenty, but many have gone right past red into yellows and browns.

Red trees. They *do* exist.

Red trees. We has them.

Autumns is also the great migration time for birds, and great flights of geese, ducks and other feathery critters have been criss-crossing the sky. (The birds of prey are still out in full force around the mountain, too), but I don’t really like my pictures there.

It’s also a time of sudden weather changes, from bright sky to rain to bright sky in moments. Which can also make for wonderful scenery.

Taken on the bus to Montreal, after a rainstorm. Note the droplets still flying from a passing car.

Taken on the bus to Montreal, after a rainstorm. Note the droplets still flying from a passing car.

Of course, I’ve had only so much time for pictures. I wanted to go visit the Eastern Townships again (part of Québec that’s on the western slopes of the Appalachians), but unfortunately time just hasn’t been there, between major home improvements projects (repainting and getting the floor polished for the living room, dining room and two bedrooms), classes and all. Ah, well. There’s always next year (particularly given certain plans I have with regard to next year…but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there).

On the flip side, classes have afforded me many opportunities for awesome pictures. This has been particularly true these past few weeks: there definitely are upsides to evening classes. Such as the fact that here and now, in the middle of autumn, I generally arrive in class just in time for sunset.

Did I mention the Université de Montréal campus is built on the slopes of Mt Royal, facing largely west-by-north-west? There are definitely upsides to being there at sunset.

The campus of the Université de Montréal at sunset, with its tower (aka the...well, you know) clearly visible

Université de Montréal at sunset, with its tower (aka the...well, you know) visible

It also means I get to see the University campus after sunset, and one has to admit there’s something impressive about the campus at night. Particularly the aforesaid tower, which (being that it’s the only one on campus; refer to my commentary on Yale – the problem wasn’t that they had tower, it was that they had a horde of towers!) looms over everything else (it’s the symbol of the university). At night, it just dominates verything else, brightly lit from below by powerful floodlights (being that it’s quite alone, it has to be very visible for plane), and frankly that gives it a downright ominous feel.

(I know the below picture is not perfect. Still trying for a better one, we’ll see what gives)

(EDIT: Replaced earlier picture with the one now below.

University of Montreal Tower at night. Still want to photoshop ShinRa banners on it.

University of Montreal Tower at night. Still want to photoshop ShinRa banners on it.

Night is also when all sort of interesting critters come out to play on the campus. And I mean the actual animal life, thank you very much!

…you know, I think this is the first time I actually use my flash for taking a picture posted on this blog.

Pretty sure you're not a student. (NOTE: this picture is zoomed in. I wasn't nearly that close!)

Pretty sure you're not a student. (NOTE: this picture is zoomed in. I wasn't nearly that close!)

And that’s all for today!

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