Well…not quite daily recently…

Archive for December, 2009

Photo #412 – 12.31.09

Madison, Jada, Hannah and Noah say, “Goodbye 2009!”

Happy New Year’s Eve!  The kiddies got together to wish you a happy new year and say goodbye to 2009.  Actually, they were just posing for a picture on Christmas, but I’m sure they would like to wish you a happy new year anyway.

Here’s hoping 2010 is a great year for all!

Photo #411 – 12.30.09

Amy & Brian Pickin’ Apples

Apple picking is a great autumn activity!  You can stock up on 20 pounds of apples, try out a whole bunch of different apples and eat way too many apples to the point where your stomach starts to hurt.  Here are Amy and Brian on our apple picking adventure this past year, and we all got plenty of apples for applesauce and some other great apple concoctions.

Photo #410 – 12.29.09

Kayakin’ with Mom

Anytime is a good time to go out on a kayak, and one evening while we were on vacation in Vermont, my mom and I decided to paddle around for a bit as the sky was getting dark.  We didn’t stray too far, but we did get a good workout.

Photo #409 – 12.28.09

Curled Up Leggs

Leggs loves his bed…sometimes a little too much.  But most of the time, he likes to either curl up on it in a tight ball or suck on it until it’s nice and wet.  Here I caught him one early afternoon taking a little snooze in his tight ball, and he didn’t even move when I took the photo.

Photo #408 – 12.27.09

Lily of the Valley

The little white flowers of Lily of the Valley look like tiny, pretty bells amongst a forest of thick green leaves in the photo above.  These flowers are pretty recognizable in the Spring, and they are linked to a number of religious and legendary references.  Interestingly, Lily of the Valley is also the official flower of a number of fraternities and sororities…who knew they had official flowers?!?

Photo #407 – 12.26.09

Will Work For Worms at Dollywood

I’m sure Heather would love to work at Dollywood!  Even if she had to work with a couple of owls like these guys…

Photo #406 – 12.25.09

Merry Christmas!!

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas today!!

Photo #405 – 12.24.09

Santa and his Favorite Reindeer

Okay, so I’m not exactly Santa…and Heather isn’t exactly a reindeer…but we are wearing the right things on our heads!  Enjoy your Christmas Eve, and look for the two of us flying through the night sky tonight!

Photo #404 – 12.23.09

Kaleidoscope Christmas Tree

If you ever come upon a kaleidoscope lying near a Christmas tree, pick it up and point it at the wonderous shining lights.  You’ll be treated to a very colorful abstract like the photo above (it’s a little blurry, but I found it was a bit difficult to focus a digital camera through a kaleidoscope…).

Try it out!

Photo #403 – 12.22.09

Stockings Hung on the Staircase with Care

Yay for Christmas morning and stockings filled to the brim with all kinds of good stuff!  After ripping through all our presents, we headed downstairs to find out what goodies were waiting in our stockings.  I’m sure there was some good stuff, but it likely didn’t compare to our other presents that included: a basketball net, Micro Machines, and a cool VideoArt TV drawing thing for Michael; some Barbie Sensations dolls and a Garfield plush toy for Kristin; and some awesome toys like Zaks, LiteBrite sheets, a Play-Doh Fun Pack, a Hess Truck, and a Playskool PipeWorks building set for myself.

Christmas Morning 1988

Photo #402 – 12.21.09

Happy Winter Solstice!

On today, the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, here’s a nice photo of a very warm location in the Bahamas.  In fact, we were roasting on the beach there this past summer, but it sure did feel good.  Add to that some nice warm waters and wonderful powdered-sugar sand, and all in all, this beach on Half Moon Cay was a great place.  I even went for a beach run down to the end of the beach in the distance.

I myself am quite a fan of snow and cold, but this photo is for those of you looking ahead to warmer temperatures!

Photo #401 – 12.20.09

The Many Forms of Santa

How many figures/decorations/images of Santa can be found in my parents’ house during the Christmas season??

Quite a lot.  If you thought maybe 25, you’re really wrong…and anything less than 100, you’re still wrong.

There’s just something about Santa and the many, many forms he takes on throughout the house that makes it quite cool.  If you’ve got any guesses, let me know in the comment section below, and I’ll be sure to let you know once an official Santa Count has been performed (I did one a few years ago…but I think the results were lost).

Photo #400 – 12.19.09

Deep Snowpit in British Columbia, Canada

Deep snow is great, isn’t it?!  Today, we’re getting some snow here along the East Coast, but I doubt it will get as deep as this bit of snow in British Columbia just south of the Yukon.  The snowpit was for my research project and was about 1.5-2 meters deep (Shannon came along as a field assistant but was working on an entirely different project unrelated to snow and the Yukon…and I’m pretty sure she dug out about 95% of this pit).  We weren’t quite standing straight up in the pit, but we also hadn’t shoveled all the snow out (just enough along the one face to do our work).

This photo was taken near this location in British Columbia, and you might notice the snowshoes nearby…we definitely needed those to walk around here!  I believe there was a very thin ice layer on top that wasn’t thick enough to support much weight, so without the snowshoes, we just sank to our thighs.

Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and find this much snow outside…

Photo #399 – 12.18.09

Heather and the Quad

Heather does enjoy driving things that go fast, and the four-wheeler above certainly was no exception.  With a great route through the state forest as well as other meandering trails on and around the property, driving these quads around while on our camping trip sure is a lot of fun.

If I were Nikki in the back, I probably would be holding on a little bit tighter…

Photo #398 – 12.17.09

Snowy Winter Berries

The first good accumulation of snow this December ended up being a bit more than the forecasters originally thought would fall, although it seems there were mostly scattered pockets of higher accumulations amongst smaller amounts.  The fairly wet snow really stuck to the trees, and on the following not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day, the winter landscape looked beautiful.  For instance, these bright red winter berries just outside our back door looked really neat with the topping of snow and brilliant blue sky above.

Yay for snow!

Photo #397 – 12.16.09

Blackjack Winnings!

Playing Blackjack in the middle of the ocean is quite fun…especially when you are winning every hand!  On one of the last day’s of the cruise, I sat down at a blackjack table full of interesting people and played for about 20 minutes or so.  They were a lively bunch, and maybe that helped me walk away with over 3 times as much in chips as when I started.

It was a fun time, but I definitely could not find myself practically living in the casino like some people that I saw there allll week.

Photo #396 – 12.15.09

Tom’s Santa Hat

I’m not quite sure where the bright red Santa hat came from, but for as long as I knew Tom, it was on his head during the Christmas season.  You could always spot him in a crowd, and he certainly took good care of the hat for it to last as many years as it did and still look like new!

Santa Hat in Lancaster

Photo #395 – 12.14.09

Geminid Meteor Shower

You have to really look closely in the above photo to find the meteor streak, but it’s there!  Last night, the annual Geminid meteor shower peaked, and in certain really dark-sky locations, upwards of 200 meteors could be seen every hour!  I ended up spotting about 13 in 40 minutes or so, which isn’t too bad considering I was only able to see about a quarter of the sky and some parts were getting a bit cloudy.  And although I took over 100 photos (15-second exposures), I only manage to capture two faint meteors in this patch of sky.

Overall, it was a good show for me as I saw a couple of really bright meteors, and it wasn’t bitterly cold out either.  I definitely lucked out with some clear skies after all the rain yesterday, too.  And although it would have been nice to see more meteors, I did see a lot of airplanes…like the one below that flew through one of my exposures:

Photo #394 – 12.13.09


Strawberries are probably one of my favorite fruits…although I think I have a lot of favorite fruits.  But these strawberries just look so sweet and delicious, I could really go for a few right about now.

Photo #393 – 12.12.09


Caribou are cool!  Especially when about a dozen of them are crossing the road and a few of them have a great set of antlers.  Ken and I had to slam on the brakes here on the Klondike Highway to allow the caribou to cross (and to take some pictures of course), and we were extremely happy to see our first Big animals after 13 days in the Yukon.

Photo #392 – 12.11.09

Cottonball Santa

Why would a grown man put cottonballs on his face the form of a mustache and beard in an attempt to look like Santa Claus??  I’m not quite sure, and I’m not sure my dad knows why either.  But I’m pretty certain we all got a good laugh out of it, so I guess that is reason enough.

Photo #391 – 12.10.09

Silver Cloud

This is a perfectly browned silver cloud fresh out of the campfire, complete with gooey marshmallow oozing out of the sides.  I cannot remember whether this particular one had plain chocolate inside or a Reese’s peanut butter cup, but they are both really good.  Heather has some great ‘campfire treats’ knowledge, and this is just one treat of many.

While most commonly referred to as a silver cloud, Ken K. prefers “silver star shining moon delight treats for your mouth”.  John had this description to offer:  “If you took deliciousness and wrapped it in heavenly goodness, put it in tin foil and threw it in the fire, you would get a silver cloud.”

Well said, John, well said.

Photo #390 – 12.09.09

O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)

We may both have degrees in Environmental Science, but that doesn’t mean we’re always tree-huggers…we cut down a living tree from time to time!  This Norway spruce was transported to our living room for the Christmas season this past weekend.  The accumulated snow and beautiful, sunny day made for a fun time at the Jolly Holly Christmas Tree Farm in Blairstown, NJ.

Photo #389 – 12.08.09

Sun Over the Smokies

I loved the view from our Tennessee cabin overlooking these mountains of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Throughout the day, they always looked just a little different, and the foggy appearance was always changing as well.