Don’t mess with us when we’re camping. And don’t make fun of us for hiking up our pants…they’re comfortable like that.
We’re not quite the couple in the “American Gothic” painting, but hey, it’s close enough.
Carpet of Purple Flowers
These little purple flowers have taken over this section of my parents’ flower/rock garden. They started as just a tiny bunch of flowers many years ago but have spread out over time, creating a lush carpet of purple flowers each spring. It’ll only be a matter of time before they overtake the large rock.
Pop Quiz — Is my mom:
a) demonstrating how to do the ‘C’ in the YMCA dance?
b) pretending to wear a sombrero with a very large brim?
c) acting like a malfunctioning robot?
d) just being plain silly?
Evening Campfire at the Joaquin Campground
A crackling fire is something to behold. For some reason, it’s hard to look away from a fire like this one, dancing all about. Most everyone seated around the fire is staring right into the hot center of the firepit. This is definitely one of my favorite camping rituals.
We’ll be headed up to the Joaquin Campground over Labor Day weekend this year, and everyone is really looking forward to getting back up here. Plus, we’ve even got a beautiful outhouse that Todd, Bucky, Brian and I put up a couple weekends ago (if anyone ever asks you to help dig a 3 feet wide x 3 feet long x 5 feet deep hole in dense clay and rock…run away as fast as you can).
Wavin’ in the Ocean at Half Moon Cay
What a great cruise! We spent 9 days cruisin’ around the Bahamas, soakin’ up the sun and really relaxing. This photo was taken at Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s private island in the Bahamas, where the sand was like powdered sugar and the blue waters were wonderfully refreshing. Amy, Heather, Brian and Jodie waved (well, Heather’s waving for Brian in this photo) as I took some photos from the beach with our ship in the background.
Check out all the great photos from the cruise by clicking here! I’ve got a brand new photo site at japgar.smugmug.com (my Zoto.com site shut down!), and it’s even better than my last one. I’ll be creating some great albums and putting up some old scanned photos soon, so check back often. There’s also a Map feature, so on the top right of a gallery page, click on the ‘Map This’ button to see where the photos were taken (I’ll try to post the map link with my daily photographs as well, like I did above). Enjoy!
McDonald Creek Cascades
The cold, bluish-green waters of McDonald Creek cascade down some neat rocks a little upstream from Lake McDonald here in Glacier National Park. The awesome color of the water results from really fine clay-sized particles called glacial flour that are produced by glaciers up in the mountains.
High Point Monument from Steenykill Lake
Right off of Rt. 23 on the Montague side of High Point State Park, Steenykill Lake is a pretty picturesque place. There is a nice little parking area, boat launch, and a wide grassy picnic area, and the trailhead for the Steeny Kill Trail is located here. After walking along the lake and some cool wetlands for a while, the trail enters some sparse forest and then climbs up the ridge to meet up with the Monument Trail right at a nice waterfall.
I’d definitely recommend checking out Steenykill Lake sometime if you’re looking for someplace new to explore!
Crackers and Gull
I’m not quite sure why this gull isn’t gobbling down this plate of crackers…especially since a flock of a few dozen is right behind him ready to take it all away in a matter of seconds! I guess he could just be inspecting them, making sure they’re not toooo stale…I’m sure the gulls aren’t huge fans of super stale crackers, but of course they’ll eat them if they’re there.
And they’ll definitely eat them if you hold it in your hand above your head for them to grab!
Happy 1st Anniversary, Heather!
Photo by Dennis Becker
Wow, it has already been one full year since that eventful day! It’s hard to believe, but time can certainly fly by sometimes. So happy anniversary, my darling Heather! Love you!!
While venturing out to Tillman’s Ravine one early March day, I found some shallow pools of water with all kinds of neat ice formations. The ice itself was extremely thin and would readily snap with just the slightest touch.
Maggie is a sweet cat…for the most part. She likes to curl up next to you, sometimes playfully bite you, and follow you around for attention. She doesn’t meow, but instead makes a weird hissing sound. And although she is an inside cat, she always tries to make a dash for the outside if a door is open too long. In the photo above, Maggie was eyeing up a spot on the table to lay in the full sun streaming through the dining room windows.
Madison and Her New Glasses
This is Madison just recently at the New Jersey State Fair Sussex County Farm and Horse Show showing off her cool new glasses! They’re pink and they’ve got tiny seashells on them, and she calls them her Ariel glasses. Aren’t they cool??
Today Madison had surgery for an umbilical hernia, and apparently she was a big girl and didn’t even cry once! So best wishes for a speedy recovery, Madison!
Dad and the Rainbow Slinky
Someone should tell my dad to grow up and stop playing with toys meant for little kids…but that someone isn’t going to be me, because I like playing with toys just as much as he does!
Guess he’ll just always be a Toys “Я” Us Kid.
Pink and Orange
The mottled pink and white petals of this flower are quite pretty, especially when combined with the bright orange stamens in the center.
Michael in a ‘Gopher Tunnel’
You may wonder what exactly Michael is doing in this photo…but it should be obvious that he is at a gopher tunnel intersection and is trying to figure out which way to go. Up at the Great Vermont Corn Maze, when you get tired of walking through corn or playing with goats, you can crawl through an underground maze of these big ‘gopher tunnels’. Madison and Hannah had a blast…as did the older (much older) kids among us…
Fortunately, Michael did manage choose the right direction and make his way out of the tunnels.
The Mighty Susquehanna
The Susquehanna River is quite a wide river, and it’s also the largest river on the East Coast. It eventually provides over half of the water in the Chesapeake Bay as it drains almost half of Pennsylvania and portions of New York and Maryland. This photo is looking downstream from Selinsgrove, home of Susquehanna University. It can definitely be a beautiful river at times, and it’s certainly fun to kayak down!
Hannah Montana, the Tie-Dyed Fairy Princess
Hannah certainly has a wild imagination! Last week, Hannah turned 5 years old (wow!!), and a bunch of family and friends celebrated with her at a big ole’ birthday party, complete with a BBQ, Pinata, and of course, ice cream cake (and other delicious things). The party ended with a bunch of the girls playing dress up, and Hannah was quick to try out some of the gifts she had just received. It was a beautiful day, and I’m pretty sure she had a great party!
Of course, I think Noah was probably just as happy when everyone left so he could finally have some peace and quiet.
This photo was taken during the ‘Old Man’ stage of Roscoe’s long life. He started having trouble moving around earlier this year, and would start hobbling a bit if he did too much activity. Of course, at other times, he would run around and act like nothing was wrong at all.
Aren’t dogs the best?
Aren’t lilypads fun?? Especially when they kind of look like little Pac-Mans chasing each other. Unfortunately, there were no frogs sitting on these lilypads, but there was a pretty cool insect of some sort – it’s on the one lilypad in the upper left corner.
Congratulations to Heather’s cousin Ashley, her fiancé Ian, and big sister Emma on the birth of Lillian Lenore last night!! She weighed in at 8 lbs, 6 oz, measured just under 21 inches, and arrived with a nice head of hair. She is really quite adorable! Heather took these photos when we visited Lillian today, and she even opened her eyes for us.
The Perseid Meteor Shower
Check out the night sky tonight! It’s the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, and if the skies are clear tonight (it’s not looking too great here in northern NJ!), you might spot a bunch. The above photo was taken during last year’s Perseid meteor shower, and I managed to catch a small meteor just above the tree tops. I believe I saw over 25 meteors that night (only caught two on camera), so not too bad at all!
For more information about this meteor shower, check out this article!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, it was too cloudy (and started getting too bright from the moon) last night, and after sitting outside with Leggs for about 20 minutes, we didn’t see anything…hopefully we’ll have clear skies for the next meteor shower!
UPDATE #2: Two nights later, and the skies are perfectly clear! I did spot a bright meteor directly overhead while out with Leggs tonight, so at least I saw something.
John, Ken and the Timber Fireman
You may ask yourself, “Why are John and Ken hugging the legs of a large, slightly dilapidated statue of a fireman made out of wood in the middle of a grassy field??”
Unfortunately, I have no answers for you. It’s just one of those great mysteries of life.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
While wandering through the wonderful streets of Salzburg, Austria, I made my way into a gift shop near the birthplace of Mozart (Mozart’s Geburtshaus). As I looked around at the various gifts, toys, and candies, I had a hard time deciding what I should get to best remember my pleasant experience in Salzburg…but then I saw it…a 4-inch chocolate coin with Mozart’s bust in relief. I had seen chocolate coins before, but none as large and as shiny as this one…so I grabbed two of them and rushed to the cashier with an outstretched hand full of Deutschmarks.
8 years later, and these coins are still as shiny as the day I got them…anyone want some chocolate??
Here in a remote part of the Yukon (not remote by Yukon standards, but remote by any other standards!), the bluish-green waters of the Lapie River rush through the forests and rocks. This portion of the river is just prior to its entrance into the beautiful Lapie Canyon. Luckily, we got to experience this portion of the Yukon for a few days since this was our campsite for a bit as we ventured around the Yukon to do research.