This may not quite look like an airplane taking off, but that’s just what it was. I was on a back road in Pennsylvania near my college trying to take some long exposure night photos, and I set up a shot here. I wanted to get the speed limit sign with streaks of stars behind (if you look really closely, you see some short diagonal star trails). So I opened the shutter, flashed the sign to make it show up, and then noticed a plane was taking off. I wasn’t quite sure how it would come out, but when I developed the film and made some prints in the darkroom a few days later, I thought it came out pretty well!
Although, I think the plane was going faster than 25mph…
Dogs sure do have long tongues! I usually don’t pay too much attention to the length of their tongues, but I happened to catch Hailey here as she was licking the top of her nose…don’t you wish you could do that! Hailey is one of the dogs I have dogsat over the past few years, and she was a pretty cute boxer. Sure, she is kind of allergic to grass and some other things…but she loves playing with tons of toys and eating her food in huge gulps.
Anyone need a dogsitter??
I’m not quite sure what Hannah got into this day…but all of a sudden, everything she touched started glowing. Her sunglasses started pulsing purple, a squishy ball full of little balls and some type of gel was blinking all kinds of colors, and a stick on some string was glowing bright red.
Hopefully she didn’t eat the yogurt in the fridge that was 2 years old…..
Glowing NYC Skyline
This was a spectacular sunset I experienced 49 stories above the streets of New York City. As the sun dipped behind the clouds on the horizon, the sunlight slipped through the clouds and lit up the underside of the clouds over the city, creating a warm orange-red glow. With the tall skyscrapers all around (we were only 5 blocks from the 102-story Empire State Building), it was a pretty cool sunset to see from up above.
I would definitely recommend skyscraper sunsets.
Funny Face Dad
This photo is a great illustration of how my dad is often funny without trying at all, and he can definitely be the life of the party. In this case, the party was Michael & Robyn’s wedding almost 5 years ago, and I would say my dad had a great time.
This photo also proves that my dad and Charles Bronson are not actually the same person, as many people think when they meet him (regardless of the fact that Charles Bronson died in 2003)…even though they’ve got similar hair and some other facial features, Charles Bronson would never wear a necktie like that!
Yukon Mountain in Summer
Yukon Mountain in Winter
As I previously showed with my favorite outhouse, I tried to take a lot of repeat photos during my winter Yukon trips to compare with photos I had taken during my summer trip. I brought along some printouts of a bunch of summer photos so I could try to capture them from the same locations and get some great comparisons, and for the most part, it worked out really well.
These photos are of a rocky mountain in the Yukon on a lake called Windy Arm. This is along the Klondike Highway that connects Whitehorse to Skagway, Alaska, which is a RV- and bus-filled highway during the summer due to the number of tourists & cruise ships that go to Skagway. In the winter though, you can drive for 15 minutes without seeing another car. The photos were taken at a small pull-off, and it is almost like the sky and lake surface switched colors between the two seasons.
Which one do you prefer – the summer view with lush green forests and teal-colored water, or the winter view with a clear blue sky, ice-covered lake, and snow-dusted mountain?
This is probably the best known castle in Germany, and it was pretty impressive. We took a little tour through some of the completed parts (it was never finished), and this photo was taken from a bridge high above a raging waterfall with the Bavarian Alps towering up behind. So it was a pretty picturesque location.
I had to put another Germany photo up because we had a great time last night in NYC at a German bar called Zum Schneider. We were celebrating John and Ken’s birthday, and I think they definitely enjoyed their 1 liter mugs of ‘bier’.
Note: As the comment from my dad below suggests, this castle has played a central role in a long-running joke among my dad, mom, and I. It’s amazing how many laughs you can get from a little toothpick holder and a name like ‘Konigschloss Neuschwanstein’!
Meet Willie. White-Eyed Willie. Along with Ralph the Bear, White-Eyed Willie was one of our frequent spring/summer visitors this past year. Although he was more like a resident of our backyard, not a visitor. He was the courageous and wise squirrel that all the others looked up to. He had no fear eating from the cat food bowl when our cat, Jake, was only a couple feet away. He learned to walk along the clothesline to the birdfeeder like he was a trained acrobat. He was a super squirrel. And the only reason we could tell it was Willie every time was because of his one glazed-over left eye.
Every time I grabbed my camera to take his picture, he turned his head the other way to hide his white-eye. I finally captured the above photo after our other cat, Maggie, had escaped from our kitchen and chased Willie up a nearby tree.
I wonder if he’ll be around this year…
Yep, I’m a fast runner. Usually when I run, you can hardly see me go by…as you can tell from this photo above.
I’m just a whirl of shape and color, flying like the wind.
On the People Mover at Disney World
Okay, so this may be the slowest moving ride at Disney World, or at least in the Magic Kingdom, but it is probably our favorite ride of the whole park. Why? We’re not even quite sure. To get to the ‘Tomorrowland Transit Authority’ (the official name), you ride up some escalators and hop in these always-moving blue cars, and then you slowly travel above park-goers, into some various buildings, through Space Mountain (you go right through the attraction and see/hear the riders), and then through this cool Buzz Lightyear attraction. All in all, the ride is almost 10 minutes long, rarely has a line to get on it, and is just a great way to sit down and take it easy after doing too much elsewhere in the park. The photo above was probably taken when we started into Space Mountain in the dark.
Plus, it’s a great place to watch fireworks at night! I guess those are a few of the reasons why we love it.
Full Video of People Mover Ride!
Wantage from Sunrise Mountain
Up on Sunrise Mountain in Stokes State Forest, there is a nice little pavilion, a survey monument thing, and a great 360 degree view of northwestern New Jersey on one side of the ridge and northeastern Pennsylvania on the other side. This photo was taken atop the survey monument and is directed toward the heart of Wantage. In the distance, farm pastures and houses break up the forest cover. In the foreground, the Appalachian Trail snakes around the pavilion.
This place is easy to get to and gets pretty busy during peak foliage time in the fall as well as clear, spring/summer weekends. It’s also a great place to watch the sunrise! A large group of us took a class trip there one chilly morning in 7th or 8th grade, and while sitting on one of those large rocks in the photo above, the sun crept above the distant ridge. It was a pretty cool experience, and most kids were applauding the arrival of the sun…mostly because it meant they could go back on the bus and get warm, and then go eat breakfast and drink SunCup orange/apple juice back at school.
SunCup orange juice was pretty good.
Happy Birthday John & Ken!!!!!
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!!! John and Ken were born on the same day 26 years ago today…that’s pretty cool! Hopefully they celebrate their birthdays and the inauguration in style.
This photo was taken in the quaint town of Oberammergau in Germany back in April of 2001 when we were on a school trip to Germany/Austira/Switzerland. We visited a lot of great places over the course of 10 days, experienced a bumpin’ Disco, cruised down the Rhine River, and had a great time overall. Deutschland ist ausgezeichnet! (Germany is excellent!)
Coolest Dog Eyes Ever
Tatra’s eyes are quite special, with one blue eye and one 7/8ths brown eye. That little 1/8th of blue in her left eye is pretty cool. She was also a very photogenic dog…as long as you threw a stick or snowball right after taking the picture. Tatra’s owners, Brett and Eva, were our hosts at the Wheaton River cabin, and she often greeted us in the morning as well as in the afternoon when we got back to the cabin.
Tatra was a lot of fun, and should definitely be in the running for coolest dog eyes.
Many Colors of Glacier National Park
Obviously, Kristin is staring off in the distance, bewildered at the sight of a blue sky with puffy white clouds, a turquoise lake colored by glacial flour, green evergreens blanketing the landscape, and a brilliant reddish-purple ridgetop dotted with tiny areas of snow. Or maybe she was just posing for this photo…but I’m pretty sure it was the first suggestion.
This is St. Mary Lake in the eastern park of Glacier National Park, and the red ridge in the background is Red Eagle Mountain. We took a boat ride on the lake and enjoyed a nice hike to a couple of beautiful waterfalls. It was a good day!
Marbled Orb Weaver Spider
I was out for a hike in Stokes State Forest this past October, walking along a narrow path in the woods, when all of a sudden I spotted a bright orange blip right in front of my face. Good thing I wasn’t looking to my side, or else this would have ended up right in my face. This guy is a marbled orb weaver spider, and he had a pretty impressive and big web spanning across the trail…I had to manuever around some brush to get around it… Apparently, they are a little bit poisonous, as in they could bite and be somewhat painful, but not deadly or anything like that.
I’d prefer not to have one of these guys crawling on my face…but they’re still pretty cool!
Sleddin’ Downhill with Grandma
Last March, Madison was at our house and wanted to go play in the snow, and while she didn’t feel like pulling any of us through the snow…we had no problem with pulling her around! So Grandma, Grandpa, and I took turns going all over the yard, and then Grandma took Madison up our little hill for a huuuuuge ride. As you can tell, they both thought it was a lot of fun!
Of course, after one more ride down the hill, Madison was tired of the snow and cold, so she went inside and ate some macaroni and cheese…mmm mmm good.
Madison’s Mac & Cheese
A Lil’ Bit of Ice
As a tribute to today’s icy cold temperatures, here is a cool photo of ice. This photo was taken a year ago down on Sandy Hook at the northern tip of the Jersey shore. The temperatures were below freezing at the time, and the high tide from the night before combined with an ocean spray from crashing waves created a thick accumulation of ice on the rocks. The icicles that formed were huge…there was a lot of ice on those rocks. You could spot the high tide mark up on the beach where the ice stopped.
I don’t think many people enjoy being on the beach when there is this much ice…but I thought it was pretty cool and was out there for quite a while! Here’s another ice-covered rock on the beach:
Icy Beach Rock
Bridge Over the River Susquehanna
This is a pretty cool railroad bridge. It’s the Selinsgrove Bridge, and it is about 3/4 mile long and crosses over a couple islands…I once ran across it (and back) on an adventurous run with some buddies, so that’s the only reason why I know that. This is the Selinsgrove side of the river looking toward the eastern shore. And it’s tough to make out, but the river is actually flooded and flowing really fast only about 10 feet below the bridge. This major flood in September 2004 was the result of heavy rains associated with Hurricane Ivan (and remnants of Hurricane Frances), and the area of over 400 houses near this bridge was evacuated as the river rose about 30 feet and flooded all the streets (and basements of course).
This photo was one of my favorites that I took for my photography course at Susquehanna University, especially the way it the bridge seemingly goes on and on…
New Jersey…In the Yukon??
On one sunshine-filled April day in 2007, we found New Jersey smack in the middle of the Yukon. Ken had to get rid of some extra snow to uncover the majestic state, but there it was, carved out of an icy snowpack (in this particular area, you could walk carefully and not fall through the snow…it was pretty icy). This photo was taken by Ken, and he has definitely developed a knack for finding New Jersey in the most unexpected places. Of course…while he was working on this, my professor and I were doing actual fieldwork…but hey, it was in the name of New Jersey, so that’s okay in my book.
Ken’s New Jersey
My Two Dads
These are my two dads, Tom (my father-in-law) and Bob…although I typically call him Dad. Tom is the cool one wearing his cap to the side…he lost a bet involving the emptying of a porta-potty and had to wear it like that all day. This photo is from the Joaquin property up in New York where we have had some great family campouts over the past few years…including some great fire-spittin’. I think they were watching some shotgun & clay bird action here as the sun was starting to dip behind the hills.
Today is Tom’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Dad!
Butchie in the Grass
This is Butch, aka Butchie, aka Monkey…the list of names that Amy, my sister-in-law, calls him goes on and on. This long-haired chihuahua is pretty tiny…as you can probably tell by comparing him with the grass and dandelions in this photo. He does act more like a cat than a dog, but he is very lovable too…when you’re able to get your hands on him!
I had taken him outside last spring and had some fun taking photos of him frollicking in the grass. Although it had recently been cut, it still probably felt pretty high to him. After a while, he laid down to soak up some sunshine, and that’s when I took this photo.
The View from Apgar Mountain
I’m really glad that I share my last name with a mountain that has an incredible view like this. Near the southern tip of Glacier National Park, Apgar Mountain towers over Lake McDonald and the town of Apgar, and this view to the north is looking into the heart of Glacier National Park. The summit of this mountain also has a cool fire lookout tower that Michael, Kristin and I checked out when we hiked up the mountain back in the summer of 2002.
If you click on this link anytime during the day, you can check out a live webcam of the view from this same place (just with a slightly different view). I try to check it at least once a day while at work.
Noah – 4 Days Old
Heather and I went to visit Noah tonight and he is quite the cute baby! Although I made him start crying (he just needed his diaper changed!), he seemed to like Heather a lot. He opened his beautiful eyes for us, and in this photo, he was kind of cracking a smile for his mommy. Later on, he went for a little ride in the swing, and he seemed to really like it! He was looking all around and wasn’t fussing at all. Hannah wanted to push Noah in the swing…but when daddy told her it wasn’t like the swings she is used to, she was just as happy watching him from nearby.
Noah in the Swing
Introducing Noah Kingston Apgar!!!
Born just 3 days ago on January 5th, Noah Kingston Apgar is Michael and Robyn’s first son. He arrived weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces (I’m sure Robyn was happy to get him out of there!), and he measured in at 21 inches. His APGAR score was 8 out of 10 at 1-minute, and 9 out of 10 at 5-minutes, so he’s nice and healthy! Michael sounded like both he and Robyn were beaming with joy when I talked with him about Noah…well, except for the whole ‘gross tar poop’ thing…but Heather and I are very happy for Michael and Robyn as their family continues to grow! And it looks like Hannah is happy about having a baby brother!
Feel free to leave any congratulations or other well-wishes for Michael and Robyn here, and I’ll be sure to pass them along!
If you would like to pass this news along to others through e-mail, just copy the following link and paste it in your e-mail: