May 2-4 Weekend
The first official long weekend of Canadian summer
The Victoria Day long weekend, more colloquially known as the May 2-4 (pronounced, May two four) weekend, marks the official start of summer in Canada. And while we've been at the cottage since the beginning of the month, it's kind of the official start to cottage season, too.

Historically, in Canada, the holiday celebrates the birth of Queen Victoria, which was May 24. The holiday falls on the weekend that most closely lines up with her birthday. That said, it's also humorously referred to as "May 2-4 weekend" because apparently, Canadians love their beer, which comes in cases of - you guessed it - 24. While there will be no photos of beer in this project, you might see a couple other beverages pop up.
We arrived at the cottage early Thursday evening, and I made a beeline to the fourth hole, the tee nearest our cottage. It also sports a wonderful water hazard, which makes for some great sunset photos.

I also had plenty of opportunities to photograph nesting red-winged blackbirds!

The sunset also gave me an opportunity to utilize the Live Graduated ND Filter that is a computational photography feature of my OM1 Mark II. In situations like this, where elements may be moving in the breeze (the reeds) the technology that creates the blended raw image allows me to retain detail in both the bright sky and the dark foreground, but also results in some motion blur, as each frame in the capture freezes the moving objects at a different spot in the frame. I don't mind it in these examples, but I'm definitely had issues using LiveGND with fast moving water.
Let the Long Weekend Commence!
Friday's sunset was just as spectacular and even provided a full rainbow! Later that evening, the moon was so bright, I was able to capture night landscapes. There was enough detail in the night shots that I could have processed them to appear like daylight images, but I chose to remain mostly faithful to the scene in front of me.
On the Saturday (also my wife's birthday) we took the backroads into Hastings and then Campbellford,  where we were treated to a carpet of Trilliums, many fading to pink in their last gasps of regality.
Here Comes the Sun
I only rose with sun on one day, but oh, what a day! I caught the tail end of the sunrise at the lake and then headed up to County Road 2 to see how the light would play off the new growing wheat fields.  I was not disappointed! The cool night air, mixed with the warming sun, created an ephemeral ground mist across the farm fields and low-lying areas. I spent a good 40 minutes in one general area outside of Keene, capturing these beautiful images.

This was also another opportunity for me to test out the Live Graduated ND filter, again. In situations like this, where nothing is moving, or moving very little, the technology that creates the blended raw image work out very well, allowing me to retain detail in both the bright sky and the dark foreground.

I made one final stop at the Asphodel Centennial Park, hoping to catch my heron at work, but I think the water in the Ouse River is moving too fast for his liking. I did, however, spy a lone deer, and got off one shot before he really spied me.
Warkworth, Ontario
Our last outing on the long weekend was to Warkworth, a picturesque arts and crafts focused community. Each year on the last weekend of May, they town holds its annual Lilac Festival. It takes place on the Millennium Lilac Trail and attracts a multitude of visitors to the Millennium Lilac Trail and to Warkworth from all over the province.  Many rare and beautiful lilacs of unique varieties are planted in  visually strategic beds along the trail, turning it into a showcase of lilacs. The sights and smells are very memorable. During the festival, various vendors, makers and artisans are dotted along the 2.5 km paved and accessible path. 

We cheated this year and went a week early. It's much easier to get photographs that way!
Wrap Up
And that's how we spent a majority of our first long weekend at the #fortressofModerateSolitude. I hope you've enjoyed this little excursion. There will be more to come!

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