Well…not quite daily recently…

Archive for January, 2011

Photo #808 – 01.31.11

Batavia Kill Trail, Catskill Forest Preserve

The yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail is located in the Windham Blackhead Range Wildnerness in the northern Catskills.  It is a short (1-mile) trail that provides a possible route up to the summit of Blackhead Mountain {photo #364}, and there is a small shelter on the trail that many hikers take advantage of on overnight trips.  This photo was taken at the lower end of the trail where it starts at Black Dome Range Trail and immediately crosses the Batavia Kill.  I didn’t actually travel along this trail…but it sure looks like it would have been a pleasant stroll on a cool, autumn day!


Photo #807 – 01.30.11

Crazy Clock in the Woods

Have you ever been walking through the woods on a cool, autumn day and stumbled upon a cooky clock/sculpture like the one in the above photo??  If you have walked on the grounds of Luna Parc in Montague, NJ, then it is possible you have seen such a clock in the woods.  Luna Parc is a private residence that is one gigantic piece of art…an always-changing landscape of sculpture and wacky designs.  The owner/artist holds an open house during the spring and fall, and it is a pretty cool place to walk around for an afternoon.  Check it out sometime!


Photo #806 – 01.29.11

Burgers & Cupcakes!

When you think of great food combinations, burgers and cupcakes likely aren’t high on the list…or on the list at all.  But believe it or not, they make quite a tasty duo!  This particular “burgers & cupcakes” was located on 9th Ave in New York City, and the cheeseburger and follow-up cupcake were delicious.

I’m a bit hungry now just thinking about the display of different flavored cupcakes…


Photo #805 – 01.28.11

Little Dancing Princesses

Hannah and Madison sure do enjoy dressing up in their princess dresses…in fact, I think I’ve seen them in their various dresses more often than in non-princess attire!  And everyone knows that any activity is even more fun when wearing a princess dress, including dancing with the Wii!  These two were following the dance moves on screen pretty well, which should come as no surprise since they both love to dance around.


Photo #804 – 01.27.11

Mount Clements, Glacier National Park

Rising up along the Continental Divide here in Glacier National Park, Mount Clements is a pretty cool looking mountain.  Just like its nearby neighbor, Reynolds Mountain {photo #603}, this glacial horn was shaped by multiple glaciers in the past to give it some pretty steep cliff faces.  It is accessible from the visitor’s center at Logan Pass, and you can see a number of people hiking toward it (including a line of tiny dots in the distant snow as people climb up toward the mountain…there are some spectacular views on the other side of this ridge, so that is where most of the people are going).  It might seem a little weird that people are wearing shorts and there is a bunch of snow on the ground…but it was mid-July and fairly hot out!


Photo #803 – 01.26.11

Smokey Bear and His Forest Fire Truck

Look!  It’s everyone’s favorite fire-preventing bear, Smokey Bear!  He’s decked out in his cool forest ranger hat and wearing his signature blue jeans while riding atop this cool forest fire truck from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.  You know you’re at a good parade when Smokey goes truckin’ by.

Don’t forget, only you can prevent wildfires (it used to be ‘forest fires’ before it changed in 2001 to the more-encompassing ‘wildfires’).


Photo #802 – 01.25.11

Sunrise in the Valley

With our cabin in the Yukon being located within the Wheaton River valley, sunrise often came a bit late in the morning since the Grey Ridge to the east blocked the rising sun for a good amount of time.  It was always nice to start the day off with a bit of sun, and with all the snow, it sure was a bright way to start the day.


Photo #801 – 01.24.11

Beach Day!

Anyone up for a trip to somewhere sunny and hot with sandy beaches?  With the cold and snow we’ve been having, maybe this photo will warm you up a lil’ bit in the middle of winter.  This particular beach photo was taken down on Ocean Beach at the Jersey Shore this past summer, and while the water certainly was refreshing on those hot July days…I’m fairly certain I don’t want to be anywhere near that water right now…


Photo #800 – 01.23.11

High Point Gargoyle

If you’ve ever been to High Point Monument {photo #191}, the highest point in New Jersey, you might not remember seeing any gargoyles jutting out from the tall stone obelisk.  That’s probably because this gargoyle (technically a grotesque…gargoyles are more accurately figures that have a water spout in the mouth to send water away from the side of the structure) was a new addition just this year, and it was certainly scary enough to fend off evil spirits.  Mysteriously, the gargoyle is no longer sitting on High Point Monument, so be on the lookout for this crazed beast roaming the forests of northern Sussex County…


Photo #799 – 01.22.11

Jada and Uncle Jer

Isn’t Jada just as a cute as a button?  Actually, I’d say she’s much cuter than a button, but then again, I’m Uncle Jer, so of course I think she’s adorable.  Heather took this photo of us last month while my parents were babysitting Jada and Madison for the night.  Soon after this, Jada got to watch her big sister Madison put makeup on Aunt Heather’s face…at least she kept most of the lipstick on the lips!


Photo #798 – 01.21.11

Winter Berries: In and Out of Focus

Isn’t snow pretty?  We’ve been getting a bunch of little snowfalls recently and spring is still far away, but a nice snowfall can leave the landscape looking quite nice.  A couple of weeks ago, I was out in the morning taking photos of fresh-fallen snow lit by the bright morning sun, and these plump berries covered by lumps of snow and individual flakes of snow made for some great shots.


Photo #797 – 01.20.11

Whoa, Double Birthday – John & Ken!

Today is the 20th day of January, and do you know what that means?!?  It means that today we have a double birthday to celebrate since John and Ken were born on the same day back January 20th of the year 1983!

So John and Ken, have a Happy Birthday.   Grab yourself some glowstick necklaces/headbands and chomp down on some campfire-roasted wieners to celebrate!


Photo #796 – 01.19.11

Two Thumbs Up for Dolly

In case you cannot tell from the photo above, Heather really likes Dolly Parton.  And we definitely both give Dollywood two thumbs up for cool rides, excellent food, friendly people and an overall fun atmosphere.  Although the sign says, “We’re glad you’re here!”, this photo was actually taken as we were leaving, and we were sad to leave.

Heather let me know that today is Dolly’s 65th birthday, so Happy Birthday Dolly!  She shares her birthday with some other interesting people, like butter-chef Paula Deen, soulful singer Janis Joplin, writer Edgar Allan Poe, and Full House’s Jodie Sweetin.


Photo #795 – 01.18.11

Leggs and Logan: Best Buddies

Leggs and Logan sure enjoy walks on the leash, and on this particular Spring day, they both got to go for a fun walk together.  I was visiting with my parents and had brought Leggs along, and while he was a little annoyed by Logan at first, they eventually got along just fine.  By the time my Mom took them for a walk around the neighborhood (after which she noted that Leggs sure is strong!), they were best buddies, trotting side-by-side back down the driveway.


Photo #794 – 01.17.11

Pretty Fungi?

Well, maybe ‘pretty’ isn’t the best word to describe this mass of fungi…but the color gradient of this fungi from yellow to orange to red is certainly cool!  I came upon this fungi glob while hiking around Buttermilk Falls {photo #659} a few years ago, and I was glad I didn’t step on this fungi.

Crazy fungi.  I just like saying ‘fungi’…and if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably said ‘fungi’ in your head (or aloud if you read this out loud) about 8 times.  It’s a fun word to say, right??


Photo #793 – 01.16.11

Time to Gather ‘Round the Fireplace!

Pull up a rickety chair and warm yourself in front of the fire, or if you’re tired, why not curl up in a cozy yet luxurious bed right next to the fireplace?  This 100-year-old cabin at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the North Carolina Smokies {photo #532} provided a little glimpse into turn-of-the-century living in the Smokies, and this cabin and other various farm buildings were pretty cool to explore on a drizzly, foggy day.


Photo #792 – 01.15.11

Pop Rocks!

It’s everyone’s favorite “crazy-candy-that-pops-in-your-mouth”, Pop Rocks!  What’s not to love about that really weird feeling on your tongue when you put a handful of Pop Rocks in your mouth?!  Just look how happy Heather is with her pack of cherry-flavored popping fun!

My Aunt Barbie had gotten a bunch of awesome ‘retro’ candy for my Uncle Ralph’s 60th birthday party {photo #650}, and we certainly had a fun time going through some great ones.  Yay Pop Rocks!


Photo #791 – 01.14.11

Frosty Dew

Morning dew becomes a lot more interesting after a cold autumn night!  This past November, I was out at sunrise with Leggs and I came upon a bunch of leaves that were covered with a variety of cool ice patterns.  I thought this close-up came out pretty well, although I’m not sure if I prefer it in color or black & white (see below)…which do you prefer?


Photo #790 – 01.13.11

Michael and Kristin at Upper McDonald Creek Falls

While this photo only captures a portion of the cascades along this section of McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park, you can still see some clear bluish-green water and neat rockforms, including some rocks jutting out into the river that Michael and Kristin were standing on.  There was a nice wooden observation deck, but they decided to be a bit more adventuresome!


Photo #789 – 01.12.11

Happy Birthday to Tom

I could have put up an embarrassing photo for Tom’s birthday today, but his big smile in this older photo was a lot better than any jacuzzi-bathing or bra-wearing photos…although I’m sure he’d enjoy them too, after a tiny bit of grumbling.

So Happy Birthday Tom, I definitely miss that smile and cannot soon forget your laugh.


Photo #788 – 01.11.11

Lots O’ Conifers in the Wheaton River Valley

On this particular overcast and snowing-off-and-on day in the Yukon Territory, Ken and I were collecting snowpit data in the area right around the cabin we were staying in.  This involved hiking with our snowshoes along some rudimentary trails to a variety of locations that provided a mix of different landscapes (covered by thick forest, open areas, etc.), and part of that hiking led us atop a little ridge that offered some expansive views of the surrounding valley.  The view in the photo above shows a vast boreal forest with some mountains that slope upward and disappear into the thick cloud cover above.

This place is just plain beautiful!


Photo #787 – 01.10.11

40 Servings of Cream Cheese on a Plate

Mmm, cream cheese…from bagel spreads to cheesecake and even to crab rangoons, cream cheese sure is tasty in a variety of different forms.  And in case you’ve ever wondered how a pile of 40 servings of cream cheese would look, here is a photo showing just that.  I’m not quite sure what my mom made with these 5 bricks of cream cheese, although I’m guessing a cheesecake of sorts (since it looks like most recipes call for 4 or 5 of these 8 ounce bricks).  Whatever it was, I’m sure it was delicious!


Photo #786 – 01.09.11

Morning on Bald Hill Pond

Just before the rising sun made it up above the horizon, this lake, Bald Hill Pond up in northern Vermont, looked really neat with a bit of an orange glow covering everything.  The lake was pretty still, and I enjoyed a morning sunrise kayak trip around part of the lake.

I wouldn’t mind living on the edge of a lake like this!


Photo #785 – 01.08.11

Gatsby’s Garden

Most cruise ships are full of little nooks and crannies where, if you want to get away from the regular crowds (and kids), you can find a bit of quiet.  On the one cruise we went on aboard the Carnival Miracle, a small section near the front of the ship was one such place.  Gatsby’s Garden was mostly just a long hallway with large windows and small tables, and it looped around to a matching hallway on the other side of the ship.  Since it didn’t really lead anywhere all that exciting, it was a perfect place to relax for a bit, do some reading, and watch some rolling waves.