Well…not quite daily recently…

Archive for June, 2011

Photo #958 – 06.30.11

Nassau Straw Market

The Straw Market in Nassau, the capital city of the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, is one of the main tourist attractions for people coming off cruise ships…since it is located right near the port where you enter the city.  But unless you’re fond of walking through tight spaces, getting touch-feely with strangers, purchasing knock-off designer bags (or straw bags with a stiched-in elmo…), then the straw market doesn’t really have that much to offer.

Photo #957 – 06.29.11

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Ken & Lindsay!

Ken and Lindsay tied the knot three years ago today, so Happy Anniversary!  Hope you both have a great day!

Photo #956 – 06.28.11

Frost-Fringed Leaf

At first glance, the edge of this leaf may look like it is covered with white fuzz.  The entire leaf, however, is actually outlined by a fringe of very fine frost.  The leaf surface is also etched with icy frost, and all of this together produced a photo full of texture, especially when rendered in black and white.

Photo #955 – 06.27.11

Mysterious Yukon Crawling Log

While trekking about in the Yukon wilderness, it was not uncommon to come across various tracks in the dirt and mud…moose tracks, dog tracks, grouse tracks, and other unidentified prints.  But only once did we happen upon the tracks of a crawling log!  This log was actually located in a backwater section of a sand bar on the Pelly River, and while there wasn’t flowing water at the moment, there must have been enough of a rush of water through here recently to drag this log a good distance as it scraped across the silty ground.

So the title may be somewhat misleading…it wasn’t exactly mysterious…and it didn’t really crawl…but it was indeed a log in the Yukon!

Photo #954 – 06.26.11

Waterfall Along Going-to-the-Sun Road

Everywhere you look in Glacier National Park, there is a scene worthy of a photograph, and that was certainly the case when we took our family trip there back in 2002.  On our first full day at the park, we enjoyed an outstanding tour along the Going-to-the-Sun Road that winds its way through the heart of the park.  While stopped at one pull-off, Michael, Kristin and I posed for a photo in front of a cascading waterfall in the distance.  You can also spot a section of the road passing near the waterfall just above Michael’s head.

Photo #953 – 06.25.11

Icy Spruce Needles

Now that it is summer, hopefully you won’t see anything like the above photo!  This past February, after having a bit of an ice/freezing rain storm, I ventured out for some photos of the icy aftermath.  A couple of large spruce trees near our building were quite weighed down with ice, as you can see here with an example of how much ice was covering the green needles, and the icy accumulations on different surfaces looked pretty cool.

Photo #952 – 06.24.11

Mister Softee from 49 Floors Up

It’s not too hard to miss the Mister Softee trucks traveling through New York City, carting their yummy chilled delights.  They’re even easy to spot from 49 stories up!  Aside from not being able to actually get any ice cream, the worst part about seeing one from this high is that you cannot listen to the glorious Mister Softee song!

“The creamiest, dreamiest soft ice cream, you get from Mister Softee…do do do do do do dooo do doooo…..”

Photo #951 – 06.23.11

Mountain Laurel Flowers on Bear Mountain

Earlier this month while checking out the fantastic stonework along the Appalachian Trail on Bear Mountain {photo #932}, I passed by a number of large thickets of mountain laurel.  The mountain laurel typically blooms in May/June, and so there were plenty of beautiful flowers all over the shrubs, along with cool-looking buds that remind me of little fancy dollops of cake icing.  The little white flowers are really quite striking with the tiny bit of bright red and green near the middle.

Photo #950 – 06.22.11

Sittin’ in the Surf

It’s officially summer (unless, of course, you’re currently south of the equator…), so it is time to enjoy some campouts and barbecues, bake in the sun, go for a refreshing swim, and all kinds of fun-in-the-sun stuff.  Last year, Heather’s grandparents enjoyed some relaxation at the edge of the surf along the Jersey shore.  Don’t they look cute sitting there together?!?

Happy Summer!

Photo #949 – 06.21.11

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!!

(click here for a larger version of this image)

Guess what happened 60 years ago in St. Francis, Kansas at 9:30PM on a Thursday night?  As the title and image above likely give away, that is when my mom was born (5 pounds, 3 ounces with dark brown hair and blue eyes).  While it was a little tough to find one close-up face shot for every year to make the collage above, it certainly was not difficult to find photos of my mom smiling and/or laughing.  Through many different styles of hair, glasses, and even skin color (see 1986…), my mom’s smile has remained pretty constant, and that smile has definitely rubbed off on me over the years.

So Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!  Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Be sure to click on the image above (or the link below it) for a larger version of this collage.

Photo #948 – 06.20.11

Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums

This colorful group of mostly young men (there’s at least one young lady) make up the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums.  They march down the main street in the colonial town daily, and they sounded pretty good as they paraded in front of Heather and I during our visit.  Back in the 1700s, boys aged 10-18 were the typical fifers and drummers, and they served right alongside enlisted men in the Virginia State Garrison Regiment.

Photo #947 – 06.19.11

To All Awesome Dads…Happy Father’s Day!

Hey, Dad!  You’re a great dad, with or without a beard, and you’ve always been great at making me laugh and smile.  So thanks for being an awesome dad!

Happy Father’s Day to all the other awesome dads out there!

Photo #946 – 06.18.11

22º Circular Sun Halo

This past December as I was heading back to New Jersey from Albany after a map-printing press check, I noticed an excellent halo around the late afternoon sun.  I was able to pull off the road in an area that had a pretty clear view of the halo, and some clouds even helped to obscure the sun a little in the photo above.  This is probably one of the more complete 22º halos I have seen circling the sun (although I did see a similar one around the moon {photo #677} a couple years ago), since I usually just see portions of the halo.

These halos are often much more faint than regular rainbows, and their appearance doesn’t really have anything to do with rain, but rather ice crystals in very high cirrus clouds.  So if you see these thin/hazy cirrus clouds, be on the lookout for a colorful halo.

Photo #945 – 06.17.11

Heather and Her Pup, Leggs

Five summers ago (wow, Leggs is getting old!), Heather was trying to get a nice photo with Leggs.  We attempted to bribe him with treats, tried a few different locations around the yard, and out of a bunch of shots, there were a handful that came out great.  This one shows the big, happy smile of Leggs (and Heather) that we were able to capture in a moment of calmness.

Photo #944 – 06.16.11

Milky Tillman’s Ravine

Tillman’s Ravine is located in Stokes State Forest right near the boundary with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  From multiple elementary/high school field trips, to going to summer camp right down the road, to going for day hikes with friends and family, it’s an area that I have enjoyed walking through many times through the years.  This is one of the cascades just above the main waterfall in the ravine, and the water really rushes through this narrow chute in the bedrock.  I was able to capture a few longer exposures of the cascade, and to me, the flow and brightness/color of the water in this photo reminds me a bit of milk…what do you think?!?

Photo #943 – 06.15.11

Gather ‘Round the Campfire

There are many things I like about campfires, but one of my favorite parts is when it’s just starting to get dark, the fire is lit (or in this case, the tower of logs is lit…), and everyone settles in for the evening.  Everyone gets their seat in just the right spot (although it may move toward or away from the fire depending on the temperature), has their drink of choice, and prepares themselves for the ensuing stories/laughter/campfire treats/blank stares at glowing flames.  I’m especially good at the ‘blank stares at glowing flames’ part…

Campfires are great.

Photo #942 – 06.14.11

Monarch on the Trail

A few weeks ago, I took a hike through the nearby Kittatinny Valley State Park on some trails I hadn’t been on before.  One section of trail was pretty cool as it snaked through the forest alongside the edge of Lake Aeroflex, the deepest natural lake in New Jersey (more than 110 feet deep at the deepest).  As I reached an area of open water, about 5 or 6 butterflies (a mix of monarchs and some type of black/blue swallowtails) were flitting about, and I just stood in the middle of them for a little while.  One of the monarchs took a rest on the trail so that I was able to quickly snap the photo above, but then it soon joined the others and slowly moved away from the trail.

Photo #941 – 06.13.11

Bad to the Sousaphone

My apologies for a somewhat-lame play on the ‘Bad to the Bone’ phrase for the title…but you’ve got to admit that this sousaphone/tuba player looks like he should ditch the instrument and grab a Harley.  Still, he didn’t sound that bad at all, and he was part of the Bloomingdale Cornet Band that marched in a firemen’s parade last October.  This particular band is New Jersey’s oldest continuously-active marching/concert band (the band debuted in May of 1884).

Photo #940 – 06.12.11

Rakin’ Leaves with a Big Girl Rake

Madison REALLY wanted us to finish making a pile of leaves this past autumn to jump and play in…so much so, that she picked up a big rake herself and started making the pile bigger.  As you can see in the photo above, the rake was about twice as tall as Madison, but that didn’t stop her from trying to build the pile.  Luckily, we were able to quickly build up a big pile of leaves to run and jump into, and every time the pile got a bit scattered, she grabbed the rake to put it back together.

Note to Grandma and Grandpa: Get a Madison-sized rake next Fall!

Photo #939 – 06.11.11

Scenic Fish Lake Mountain Slide

So you’ve just trudged up a snowy mountain in the Yukon and you’re looking to take the easiest route back down…why not sit down and slide right down!  Luckily for Ken and I, the snow on this mountain near Fish Lake had a somewhat icy crust that fully supported our sliding…well, until we reached a spot lower down where we just sank in waist deep snow.  Even with our snowshoes, we still had a pretty tough time making our way over to a more-established path, but in the end, the scenic slide down the mountain was a lot of fun.

Photo #938 – 06.10.11

A Wedding Cake for Todd & Patti

Back in March, this wedding cake was devoured by tons of people at Todd & Patti’s wedding {photo #867}.  But before it was sliced up (and before a bit of cake was smashed in both bride and groom’s faces…), it was a quite lovely cake, especially when situated next to some real bridesmaids flowers.  Luckily, the cake was also pretty tasty!

Photo #937 – 06.09.11

Majestic Going-to-the-Sun Mountain

Dramatic landscapes abound in Glacier National Park, and this mountain rising up from the valley floor is no exception.  This photo of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain was taken near Logan Pass along Going-to-the-Sun Road (the mountain was named first…with the road being named later), and this nearly-10,000 feet above sea level mountain really was quite a sight.

Photo #936 – 06.08.11

Pelly River at Pelly Crossing, Yukon Territory

(For the full resolution of this panorama, click here!)

On the 6th day of my last trip to the Yukon, we did a lot of driving (around 8 hours), and on one section of highway, we saw about 2 other cars over the course of 2 hours.  On the Alaska Highway, we took a little detour (2 out of the 8 driving hours) north to the super tiny town of Pelly Crossing (population less than 300), which is located, perhaps unsurprisingly, where the Pelly River crosses the Alaska Highway.  We dug a snowpit, did some science, and then enjoyed a tasty lunch while sitting on the banks of a great bend in the frozen Pelly River, as seen in the panoramic shot above.  This photo has the distinction of being taken not only at the furthest North I’ve ever been (62° 50′ N), but also the furthest West I’ve ever been (136° 34′ W).

Since this panorama is quite expansive, it’s hard to appreciate it at the width allowed here, so click here to check out a much larger version!

Photo #935 – 06.07.11

Preparing a Delicious Campfire Meal

I must say, when the Joaquins go camping, no one goes hungry!  Whether it’s a turkey dinner {photo #449} or more typical fare like hotdogs and hamburgers, there’s something for everyone when we get together for a campout.  In the photo above, Heather and Amy are joined by cousins Nicole and Lena as they look over the burgers, homemade fries, beans, and foil packet meals (I wonder what tasty things are inside them!?!) cooking over the fire.