Happy 1st Birthday, Jada!!!
Believe it or not, my niece Jada is a full one year old today!! A year ago, Jada Aaltje arrived as a tiny 6 lb 15 oz baby, but she has certainly grown quite a lot since then! She is full of different expressions, and has definitely figured out how to stick her tongue out (like mother like daughter!).
I hope Miss Jada has a wonderful birthday today!!
Andy Wearing a Napkin Headdress
Why exactly did Andy fold up a dinner napkin and place it on his head in the photo above? We may never quite know, but I’m sure everyone would agree it is a good look for him.
Andy is celebrating his birthday today (at least, he better be celebrating!). I hope you have a great day! Oh, and if you want to see what a real 15th century headdress looks like, check out the painting below (circa 1445 by Rogier van der Weyden):
Lady Wearing a Gauze Headdress
1,000 Drips of Water
1,000 drips of water probably isn’t quite that accurate, but there was certainly a lot of water and a lot of little cascades all over this hillside. The name of this waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is ‘Place of 1,000 Drips’, and after a week of rain, it certainly lived up to its name. It was very pretty, and definitely worth standing in the rain to take it all in.
Snowy Trek Up Montana Mountain
On the first full day of doing winter fieldwork in the summer for grad school, we went for a hike up the lower slopes of Montana Mountain in the Yukon Territory. We started on the shores of Lake Bennett/Nares Lake (that patch of white ice in the middle of the photo) on a snowy morning that left a nice dusting on the trees all around, although by mid-day, the sun was peaking out from behind the clouds a bit. There were just some amazing views everywhere we looked.
It was a tough first day trek, but luckily, we were able to relax a bit that night in the amazing sauna back at our cabin!
It’s Kristin’s Birthday Today!!
Another year older, another year wiser…I think that’s a saying of some sort… Anyway, today is Kristin’s birthday, and so I decided to post a nice headshot that was taken a little over a month ago. I hope you have a great birthday!!
Actually, I’m sure Kristin would prefer I post some sort of funny photo showing one of her goofy faces…but I couldn’t choose just one, so check out the photostrip below! Happy Birthday, Kristin!! Make some funny faces today!
Lots O’ Bees!
Big beehives sure are interesting! This particular hive was in an abandoned shack in upstate New York near the Joaquin campground, and while it was a lot of bees on the outside, I can only imagine how many more were inside (the wall on the other side had no signs of bees, so they must have been entirely in the space between the inside and outside walls).
Luckily I was able to use my zoom lens for this photo, so I was far enough away to not get attacked. The hive sure was loud though, even from where I was, and I definitely would not have wanted to get any closer.
Bailey was a fun dog…a dopey dog, but a fun dog nonetheless. I believe he was being particularly dopey in the photo above as I was playing around with the camera and seeing how close I could get to his nose and still get a shot off.
He sure had a large nose!!
North Jersey Trails Map Set
It’s now officially Fall, and it is a perfect time to get outside for a nice hike as the summer heat dies down and the leaves begin to change color. The photo above is of a map set I revised and produced last year called, ‘North Jersey Trails’, and it basically covers most of northern Passaic and Bergen Counties. I never realized quite how many parks and miles of trails there were in this area of the state! Ringwood State Park and Wawayanda State Park are joined by a number of other parks, including Norvin Green State Forest, Ramapo Mountain State Forest and Ramapo Valley County Reservation.
So if you’re looking to do some hiking this fall and want to explore this vast area, check out these maps!! And feel free to ask me about any hike suggestions!
22 Degree Moon Halo
Autumn begins tonight (at 11:09pm to be precise) as the autumnal equinox turns summer into fall here in the northern hemisphere. Interestingly, there is also a full moon tonight, the ‘Harvest Moon’ of September. Even more interestingly, it is rather rare for there to be a full moon on the evening of an autumnal equinox, and so tonight’s moon is actually a ‘Super Harvest Moon’. Read more about this cool phenomenon (which won’t be visible again for 20 years) by clicking here.
The photo above shows a full moon surrounded by a really cool 22 degree halo. The thin cirrus clouds in the atmosphere contained a specific shape of ice crystals that caused the sunlight reflected from the moon to refract like a prism and create a colorful halo. The colors are a lot more faint in this halo than a typical halo around the sun due to the reduced intensity of the light. But it still makes for a large and impressive sight in the night sky!
It’s Jon & Kristin’s Anniversary!
Congratulations to Jon & Kristin on their 8 years of married bliss (and counting!). This photo was taken nearly 8 years ago as they posed in front of the tree for their first Christmas together. As an aside, I think Jon should wear his pants like that more often…
Have a happy anniversary!
Sunrise Mountain Hiking
The very short trek up to the top of Sunrise Mountain from the parking lot on Sunrise Mountain isn’t much of a challenge. But the views from up top are outstanding, especially during the fall with the changing leaves. Heather is walking along the Appalachian Trail in the photo above as we were heading back down from the pavilion on the summit. As you can see, it was a little later in the fall with most of the leaves on the ground, but the sights from this mountain in Stokes State Forest were still great, especially on a sunny October day.
Amazing Yukon Sauna in Summer
This is probably one of the best saunas I’ve ever experienced. During my trip in the summer, it was about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and my fellow researcher Ben and I stayed inside for a little over 45 minutes, taking quick trips outside to gulp tons of water. Afterwards, I walked to the nearby Wheaton River and submerged myself in the glacially-fed waters…it was a bit cold!
In the winter, though, I was in here when the temperature was about 185 degrees Fahrenheit! I couldn’t last much longer than 10 minutes, but wow, was that relaxing. To cool down, I walked around barefoot in the snow for a bit while huge snowflakes were falling from the sky. I was out in the snow for about 15 minutes with just my swim trunks on…don’t think I’ll be doing that again any time soon!
Amazing Yukon Sauna in Winter
Hannah and her Pop-Pop making smushy faces together…aren’t they cute??
Mini Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes
These were some tasty Christmas cupcakes! Full of chocolate cake, cream cheese and mini chocolate chips, these kinds of little cupcakes are easy to keep eating. This photo shows the orderly arrangement of the cupcakes on a serving plate prior to multiple hands reaching in for some deliciousness.
Welcome to Kennebunkport, Maine
I think this is a pretty cool town sign for a pretty cool little town. Kennebunkport is right along the coast of southern Maine and has some nice rocky beaches, a little harbor filled with tons of boats, a variety of shops along the streets and a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop…what more could you ask for?
Former Ross River, Yukon Territory
The community of Ross River in the Yukon only has a population of just over 300, and it is situated in the opposite direction of this photo on the other side (south side) of the Pelly River (it is called Ross River because the Ross River spills into the larger Pelly River here). Between 1900 and 1960, the community was located on this north side of the river, and this small cabin is the only remaining structure from this small town.
Dash for Dad 2010 – September 26th, Alexandria, VA
This photo was not taken from the future, but rather shows Team Tommy J after the 2009 race. Almost 400 runners and many other walkers/joggers completed the course last year, and both Heather and Elysia completed their first races ever in great times! Team Tommy J will be bigger and better than ever in 2010, ready to tackle the 6.2 mile course in the Dash for Dad put on by ZERO, the Project to End Prostate Cancer…and the race is in less than two weeks!!
Heather has set up a website where you can make a donation to Team Tommy J 2010 (click on the photo above or click here: http://www.active.com/donate/dashfordad2010DC/HApgar2010). Proceeds go to ZERO for free prostate cancer screenings, prostate cancer research and general education and awareness about prostate cancer.
We thank everyone that has contributed so far in Tom’s memory, and every little bit of support is appreciated. Heather was one of the top fundraisers last year, so hopefully we’ll raise even more than we did last year! Feel free to pass this along to other family and friends.
And of course, there are plenty of spots on Team Tommy J 2010 for anyone interested in running or walking with us! And I’ll be sure to post an update following the race, so be sure to stay tuned!
It’s Jodie’s Birthday Today!!
Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law, Jodie!! This photo was taken just a couple days ago on Amy & Brian’s wedding day (stay tuned for more photos!)…doesn’t she look gorgeous?
I hope you enjoyed your birthday!
Leggs and Lake Mohawk
A few weeks ago, I went out with Leggs on a short hike in Sparta Glen to a cool overlook of Lake Mohawk and the surrounding region of Sparta. While it was short distance-wise, it was rather steep at times, requiring some scrambling up rock ledges. Of course, Leggs just bounded right up the rocks and was actually a pretty good hike leader! Once at the top, he enjoyed sitting and looking out into the distance (of course, he turned to look at me when I called his name).
Amy & Brian Are Getting Married Today!!
In case you were wondering, Amy and Brian already act like a married couple…Also, in case you were wondering, neither Brian nor Amy were injured in this vicious attack.
It should be a great day for a wedding! I’ll be sure to post some photos soon of the festivities! Congratulations to Amy and Brian!
Heather and the New Yankee Stadium
This past weekend, I took Heather to a Yankees game at the new Yankee Stadium. This was actually my first time at a Yankees game (I saw a Mets game about 15 years ago), and it was Heather’s first time at the new stadium. While the team didn’t play all that great (they ended up losing and snapping an 8-game winning streak…), we were able to walk all around the stadium and check out a lot of the sights.
This was a great sunrise. I certainly enjoy a good sunrise, although it has been a little while since I’ve experienced one. But this particular sunrise on the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park is pretty much my ‘gold standard’ that all other sunrises are compared to.
This little spruce bud was just opening up into the world when this photo was taken. Head-on, the arrangement of bunched up needles looks pretty cool and is reminiscent of the center of a sunflower.
I enjoy powerwashing, and I enjoy the ocean…so I think I would enjoy the job of powerwashing lifeboats while cruising through the ocean…
Sure it might be a bit slippery, and one wrong move could send you into the ocean below (it sure is a pretty blue color!)…but you’re at least attached to some sort of safety harness.