Well…not quite daily recently…

Archive for May, 2011

Photo #928 – 05.31.11

Heather in the Gentle Morning Surf

Last July, Heather and I spent a few days down in Ocean Beach and enjoyed some really great beach weather, plenty of relaxation, and fun times with family and friends.  In the above photo, Heather was wading out into the morning surf as we were walking the beach looking for shells, hermit crabs, and various things tossed ashore during the night.

Anyone planning a beach vacation this summer??

Photo #927 – 05.30.11

Memorial Day Parade, 1999

12 years ago today, I marched along the streets of Branchville, NJ in a Memorial Day Parade as a member of the High Point Marching Band.  I was a sophomore at the time, and yes, I’m the short one with the trumpet on the left.  I’m not quite sure, but I believe this was the year that the temperatures were quite hot, and with our heavy outfits, a few members of the band passed out in the nearby park…I myself was pretty lightheaded at one point.

Here’s to Memorial Day, however you might observe this day of remembrance.

Photo #926 – 05.29.11

Sittin’ on a 4-Wheeler…in a Downpour

One day while camping on Fourth of July weekend, my parents went out for a 4-wheeler ride around the park with Tom and Jodie…they rode through mud, up and down hills, and checked out a cool cabin in the woods.  As soon as they got back to the camp, a sudden downpour rolled through and quickly drenched everything in sight…including mom and dad as they posed on the 4-wheeler.  They did soon run for cover and helped hold down one of the larger tents as a strong storm came and went.  In the end, most of us were either a little wet or really wet, and only one of the tents had been flipped on its side.

All a part of a fun camping experience!!

Photo #925 – 05.28.11

Yin Yang Kitties

I’m not sure why, but Ashes and Jasper enjoyed laying/sleeping like this pretty often.  And while gray Ashes isn’t a complete contrast from the black of Jasper, they do look a little like a yin yang symbol.  These two were quite the interesting brothers.

Photo #924 – 05.27.11

January Sunrise

At the moment, I would say it’s a pretty safe bet that we in New Jersey won’t be seeing any of this snow-stuff until the fall…especially with the 80-90 degree temperatures forecast for this upcoming week!  Still, a nice snowfall can be a lovely sight, such as the snowfall we received in mid-January captured in the photo above.  The orange glow of the rising sun colored the snow and even made some of the snow crystals seem to shimmer along the ground.

Photo #923 – 05.26.11

Lilypads at Lake Aeroflex

This morning, I did a little hiking around Kittatinny Valley State Park in Andover, NJ.  It was the first time I’ve been at this park (aside from a quick trip in graduate school when we took some lake sediment cores for one of our classes), and I had a great hike!  One particular stretch of trail goes right along the edge of Lake Aeroflex (also known as New Wawayanda Lake).  This lake is actually the deepest natural lake in New Jersey (about 110 feet at its deepest), and in one area, I found a large concentration of lilypads that seemed to be a nice opportunity for some photos.

Photo #922 – 05.25.11

Kayakin’ Robyn on Bald Hill Pond

Located in northeastern Vermont, Bald Hill Pond is a scenic lake surrounded mostly by forest and low mountains, with only a handful of summer houses dotting a short section of shoreline.  We had a fun family vacation there a few years ago, and in the photo above, Robyn enjoyed some kayak paddling on the lake while there was a break in the weather.  Aside from some threatening clouds here and there, she was surrounded by some beautiful scenery out on the lake.

Photo #921 – 05.24.11

Palenville Swinging Pedestrian Bridge

Palenville is a small hamlet located at the base of the Catskill Mountains of New York, and apparently about 100 years ago, the people of the town erected this swinging pedestrian bridge across Kaaterskill Creek.  It’s a nice bridge that certainly has a bit of swing to it, and it crosses a cool stretch of the Kaaterskill.  After a quick (but exhausting!) hike along the Long Path in the Catskills last August, I took a short detour to visit this bridge and was glad I checked it out.

Photo #920 – 05.23.11

Colorful Kabobs

Who knew that something as simple as meat and vegetables on some sticks could look and taste so good!  With the right mix of seasoning and veggies with different flavors, kabobs can be a delicious treat and are a great summer selection.  Complete with crispy grill marks, these colorful shish kabobs were grilled up by Heather last Fourth of July and were a big hit.

Photo #919 – 05.22.11

Buried in Leaves

Honestly, what’s more fun than being buried in a gigantic pile of raked-up leaves?!?  Roscoe seemed to be enjoying it in this photo (look, he’s smiling!).  Even though only a portion of my face is visible beneath the mass of dead leaves, I’m pretty sure I’m kind of smiling for the camera, too.

Photo #918 – 05.21.11

Continental Divide at Logan Pass

Logan Pass is a pretty popular destination in Glacier National Park since it is the highest elevation along the main Going-To-The-Sun Road in the park (just above 6600 feet), has a great visitor center, and is also a great place to start a variety of hikes.  The views from the Pass are outstanding, and this view looking north shows the continuation of the Continental Divide along the Garden Wall ridge line.  Mt. Gould is the highest summit along the Garden Wall at over 9500 feet, and is the highest point along the long, steep section right of center.  Also obvious in this photo is the rest of the Going-To-The-Sun Road that cuts through the landscape as it winds its way up to Logan Pass.

Photo #917 – 05.20.11

Lipstick Plant

The entrance to my grad school apartment was probably my favorite part of my apartment, since it was a bright, open sunroom with tons of windows.  It was a perfect place for plants to thrive (it was also a great place for my rock garden to thrive!), and one of my favorite plants was this Lipstick Plant that my mom had picked up for me when I first moved in.  It’s easy to see how this hanging plant gets its popular name, with all the red tubular flowers shooting out everywhere, and it added some color and fragrance throughout the year.

If you’re ever looking for an indoor hanging plant, pick up one of these Lipstick Plants if you see one around!

Photo #916 – 05.19.11


The Wieskirche (pronounced “veese-keer-khuh”…or Wies Church) was built in the mid-1700s in the Bavarian area of Germany, and from the outside, it seems like a beautiful church, but rather simple when compared to nearby castles {photo #72} and other elaborate structures.  One step inside, though, and you’ll find a fantastically ornate interior that is quite awe-inspiring.  I wasn’t able to take a photo at the time with my disposable camera (No Flash Photography Inside!), but check out the inside by clicking here.

Photo #915 – 05.18.11

Black & White Smokies

I miss this view from the cabin Heather and I stayed in while vacationing in Tennessee…from scenes like this of fog and low-lying clouds blanketing the mountains, to great sunrises and even a brilliant rainbow one day, we were treated to some great views of the Smoky Mountains.

Photo #914 – 05.17.11

Backyard Water Slide

It often does not take too much to make keep a kid happy and occupied…such was the case last June when Madison and Hannah had fun on their very own water slide.  They had been playing in a kiddie pool and must have gotten the great idea to fill up their buckets, run up to the slide on the top of the hill, toss the water down the slide and zoom down the slick surface.  I’m not quite sure how many times they did this, but it was enough to make me feel tired by how many times they went running down the hill to fetch a pail of water (I guess it isn’t necessary to go up a hill for water…).  But hey, they had a great time!

Photo #913 – 05.16.11

Yukon’s Best Kept Secret: The Town of Faro

The tiny town of Faro, Yukon is probably not on many people’s “Must Visit” list…but that’s because, according to the sign at the town’s entrance, it is apparently the best kept secret in the Yukon!  The town is pretty far off the beaten path (well, not according to Yukon standards, but certainly according to most other standards), and it boasts of about 400 residents nestled along the Pelly River and surrounding mountains.  It’s actually an old mining town that saw its boom about 30 years ago (maximum population of about 2,100), but it has been trying to portray itself as a great tourist destination.

After spending a few days camping here in the summer and a week staying here in early spring, I’d say the town and surrounding area is quite beautiful, although likely not THE best kept secret in the Yukon.  With amazing views, starry nighttime skies (with glimpses of aurora borealis!), cool wildlife, and friendly/interesting townspeople, I’d say I enjoyed my visits to Faro very much.

Photo #912 – 05.15.11

Falls Along the Van Campens Glen Trail

Located in a somewhat obscure interior area of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Van Campens Glen is a beautiful spot full of rushing streams, a few waterfalls, and all sorts of great ‘nature’ stuff.  This photo shows one of the smaller cascades among moss-covered ledges that is along the yellow-blazed Van Campens Glen Trail.  This hike is particularly nice on an otherwise hot day, since the temperatures within the ravine-like environment are noticeably cooler.

Photo #911 – 05.14.11

Roses for a Bride

This bouquet of lovely roses was carried by a bridesmaid at Amy & Brian’s wedding last September, since Amy carried a bouquet of all pink roses {photo #700}.  So I guess these were ‘roses for a bride’ in an indirect sort of way…  Either way, it was a beautiful bouquet that Heather and Amy’s Aunt Gert arranged for the special day.

Photo #910 – 05.13.11

Hedwig, the Snowy Owl

I’m not sure why, but “Hedwig” just sounds like a good owl name…and it doesn’t seem to work well with other animals (Hedwig the Monkey?  Hedwig the Manatee?  Hedwig the Giraffe?…actually, I could see a giraffe with that name…).  Hedwig is a snowy owl at the Bronx Zoo (notice the out-of-focus vertical cage bars in the photo above), and while he didn’t see to want to keep his eyes open for a photo, he was still a beautiful owl.

Photo #909 – 05.12.11

Flag Bat

This patriotic bat looks quite cute all curled up and hanging to this flag outside my parents’ house, but it was quite a surprise to find him hanging there.  He had been tucked away in the folds of the non-flapping flag, and was only discovered when someone (I believe my Dad) was attempting to unwrap the flag after it had been twisted around the flagpole a bit.  The bat didn’t seem to mind our discovery, though, and we just left him alone to continue enjoying his slumber.

Photo #908 – 05.11.11

250 Rainbow Discs

One day this past winter, I was de-cluttering my desk and ended up with about 250 CDs to get rid of (guess I did a lot of CD-burning in college…).  Before throwing them out, I thought to myself, “I should toss these CDs on the ground in a haphazard way and take some photos of the different interference colors reflecting from the sunlight!”…so I tossed the 250 discs on the ground and had fun with my camera.  The above photo captures most of the 250 CDs, including a bunch of different kinds of CDs showing very colorful interference patterns.

Who knew old CDs could be so much fun!?!  Click here to read more about the educational topic of light interference!

Photo #907 – 05.10.11

Cannonball Lake at Camp Yaw Paw

Nestled within the rolling terrain of the Ramapo Mountains in western Bergen County, New Jersey, Cannonball Lake is a relatively small but picturesque lake, especially on a clear, autumn day.  The lake is located within a scout camp, Camp Yaw Paw, and this photo was taken when I was helping out at the Trail Conference’s annual meeting (complete with tons of pancakes!) back in October, 2008.  I didn’t have an opportunity to explore the surrounding trails, and even though it was a rather chilly autumn morning, I’m sure the hikers that did get on the trails were treated to some great sights.

Photo #906 – 05.09.11

Dug Out Snowpit

What’s more fun than trekking around the snowy Yukon, digging snowpits, and conducting some exciting science?!?  I’d say that’s about a pinnacle of fun…just look at the smile on my face, even as I’m surrounded by lots of snow.  This photo was taken by Ken as we were working at a snowpit in the Upper Wheaton River Valley, and the snow right here was only about 2.5 feet deep (I’m probably kneeling).  Next to the pit are our trusty snowshoes, which we definitely needed for certain areas, as well as our scientific instruments (under some towels and bags) like a scale and various-sized snow scoops.

Photo #905 – 05.08.11

Happy Mom’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to an awesome mom!  In this photo from back in the 90s (I think 1993), Michael, Kristin and I joined my mom for a picture among the sunflowers near her Kansas home.

Happy Mom’s Day to all the excellent mothers out there, including my great mom-in-law Jodie, my grandma Cook (she’ll be surrounded by these sunflowers in Kansas soon enough!), and of course Kristin and Robyn.  Have a wonderful day!