Well…not quite daily recently…

Archive for October, 2011

Photo #1078 – 10.28.11

Halloween Day, 1987

Look at those joyful, smiling faces…you can just tell we could not wait for the trick-or-treating on Halloween night.  Either that, or we were secretly getting into the candy stash and so we were already hyped up on sugary sweets.  Halloween is fast approaching, so make sure you get those pumpkins carved, costumes made, and candy dishes filled to prepare!

On a side note, I think the cool dog I’m holding was named Barley, although I must have forgotten his companion, Farfle, on this particular Halloween trip to our grandparents’ house.  They sure were awesome dogs.

Photo #1077 – 10.27.11

Fresh Accumulation of Snow in the Morning

Winter is quickly approaching here in northern New Jersey, and a scene like this (albeit a scene with many autumn leaves still on the trees…) may become a reality sooner than many may hope!  A winter storm may dump a few inches of snowfall this upcoming weekend, and even if somewhat warmer temperatures keep the snow from accumulating and sticking around much, it still might be a good dose of winter weather.

Photo #1076 – 10.26.11

Happy 25th Birthday, Lena!!

This past weekend, Heather and I joined friends and family at a surprise party to celebrate cousin Lena’s 25th birthday (even though the balloons in the photo above have switched places…).  She had no idea and was definitely surprised when she walked in!  She was pretty excited to see everyone, and we were glad to help celebrate with her.

Today is Lena’s birthday, so Happy 25th Birthday!

Photo #1075 – 10.25.11


I don’t come upon mantises very often…or maybe I do, but I just don’t notice them because they so cleverly blend into their surroundings.  This particular praying mantis must have been feeling lazy when I stumbled upon him on a recent hike, otherwise I’m sure he would have been positioned in the typical praying stance.  Mantises are pretty neat looking insects, and I never realized how cool their eyes are.  The two big compound eyes look like they have a pupil, but this is just a result of the facets within the compound eyes, and there are actually three simple eyes in a triangular shape in the middle of the head between the antennae.

Photo #1074 – 10.24.11

Snowflake-Capped Noah

It’s that wonderful time of year again when threats of frosty nighttime temperatures will soon give way to snow and other wintery goodness.  So right now is a good time to make sure your hats, gloves, and scarves are at the ready for this seasonal change.  Noah was keeping plenty warm in this photo with his cool snowflake cap (although this was a different seasonal change in March), although I think I caught him a little off guard with this shot…

Photo #1073 – 10.23.11

Pond Grass in Shades of Gray

What do you see in this photo?  If you see a dragon and a crocodile engaged in a deadly battle…then you have quite the imagination.  If you see bits of pond grass and their reflections against a bright sky on the surface of a still pond…then you are good at reading photo titles.

I thought this photo looked cool in color, but as a black & white photo, I like it even better as it looks more like an abstract ink drawing.

Photo #1072 – 10.22.11

Welcome to Dollywood!!

With more than 2.5 million guests annually, Dollywood has grown to be one of the most popular destinations to visit in the Smokies of Tennessee.  We certainly enjoyed our day there as we rode some cool coasters, ate some delicious treats, saw some nice shows, and checked out many other parts of the theme park.

Anyone want to take a roadtrip down to Tennessee??!

Photo #1071 – 10.21.11

Ken Didn’t Eat the Middle First…

Ken is quite the rebel, and this photo is proof of his rebellious nature.  Even though this nice package of cookies from the Real Canadian Superstore is called, in capital letters, “Eat the Middle First”, Ken decided to twist off the top and eat that first before the middle.  I’m guessing the President of “President’s Choice” wouldn’t be pleased to see this.

Good thing we were far from most civilization so he didn’t have to worry about getting caught.  I ended up taking the safer route and ate the cookie as the package told me to…and it was quite delicious.

Photo #1070 – 10.20.11

Uncountable Stars and the Milky Way

I really could not tell you how many stars were captured in this 2-minute exposure night sky photo…it might be possible to count the brightest starry streaks, but the fainter stars are just too numerous.  Not to mention all the stars within the portion of the Milky Way running through the center of the photo.

That’s a lot of stars.

Photo #1069 – 10.19.11

Rising Yellow Orb

While I have witnessed a handful of sunrises out on the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, none of them has been free of cloud cover of some sort.  This particular sunrise is the closest to the ocean horizon I have seen the rising sun, and this photo was taken aboard the Disney Wonder as we were cruising near the Bahamas.  For a short while, the sky was such a brilliant orange/yellow color, it was great.

Just a couple days ago, I was out walking Leggs just before the sun popped above the distant hills, and due to cloud cover everywhere else in the sky except where the sun was rising, the entire sky was a deep red.  By the time I went inside to get my camera, the sun had risen and the red tint had disappeared…oh well, it was still a great sunrise!

Photo #1068 – 10.18.11

Autumn Rapids Above Dunkley Falls, Adirondack Park

This past weekend, Heather and I enjoyed a little getaway in the Adirondacks.  While the pouring rain didn’t quite make it easy to enjoy the great outdoors, we were still able to see some eye-popping fall foliage, check out some unique Adirondack exhibits, and talk with some interesting people (and their dogs!).

This photo captures a bit of the range of leaf colors that we saw in the southeastern section of the Adirondack Park.  It is a long exposure of Mill Creek just above Dunkley Falls, a rather small (~10 foot drop) but cool waterfall that was really rushing as a result of the recent rains.

Photo #1067 – 10.17.11

Kansas Grassland Pasture

Did you know there are over a dozen types of ‘pastures’?  From grasslands, like this pasture on the farm where my mom grew up, to other classifications around the world like prairie, moorland, veld, steppe, and heathland, there are quite a number of different pasture habitats.  This particular pasture is full of grasses, tumbleweeds, some scattered trees, and a graveyard of cool old cars (just outside of the frame of this photo).

Photo #1066 – 10.16.11

Sisters, Brother, Cousins

It isn’t always easy to get 4 kids to sit together for a cute group shot…so when Jada & Madison and Noah & Hannah sat together on this swing last April, this photo was about the best we could manage.  But hey, they’re all so cute, and nobody is crying or making a fuss, so I guess it wasn’t too bad after all (Noah just didn’t want to look at any cameras…).

Photo #1065 – 10.15.11

Hanging By a Thread

I seem to run into these little guys quite often {photo #64}, which is fine by me as long as I don’t actually run into them.  Along with the rocks, waterfalls, and scenic vistas from the hike I took the other day, I also came upon this marbled orb weaver spider building his web.  He was kind enough to pause for a second as he was spinning his web, and it looks in the photo like the spider is just hanging on to his very tiny thread.  Luckily, he didn’t mind my camera getting super close, and he decided to not poison me…so all in all, I’d say it was a nice encounter.

If you’re not a fan of spiders, don’t worry, I don’t have many more photos to share of the creepy crawlers.

Photo #1064 – 10.14.11

The Appalachian Trail Above Sawmill Lake in October

After enjoying the waterfalls mentioned in yesterday’s photo, I continued my hike in High Point State Park by climbing along the Appalachian Trail.  This stretch of the Appalachian Trail is quite rocky, but it offers some fantastic views all around.  This particular view looks westward over Sawmill Lake and High Point State Park to the Poconos of Pennsylvania in the distance.  Under some brilliant blue skies, there was a really nice mix of fall colors throughout the forest below.

Photo #1063 – 10.13.11

Tiny Cascade Through the Rocks

The leaves are quickly changing and falling to the ground as more autumn-like weather rolls in to New Jersey.  With the rain we have had over the past month, it’s no surprise that streams are still rushing in some areas.  On a recent hike in High Point State Park, I encountered some gushing waterfalls surrounded by a mostly-yellow canopy of leaves fluttering in the bright sunlight above.  This photo shows one small part of a larger waterfall that looked particularly cool with its mix of flowing water, angular dark rocks, and smattering of fallen leaves.

Photo #1062 – 10.12.11

Tutshi Lake

Driving in the Yukon Territory can be very hazardous at times…roads might be muddy or not well maintained, a moose might rumble across the road, or, sometimes most dangerous of all, there is amazing scenery all around you that tempts your eyes from the road.  This scenic view of a frozen Tutshi Lake in the southern Yukon was one such area where it was hard to keep your eyes entirely on the road ahead, so stopping at a scenic overlook ended up being a safe way to take in the views.

Photo #1061 – 10.11.11

Greta Loves Apples

Why are we walking up and down this hilly land picking red and green balls from trees?  Why is my daddy holding me in this tree?  Why do I have to wear this cute apple hat?  Why is it so hot out?  Why am I crying?

These may have been a few of the questions on Greta’s mind this past weekend when we joined Amy, Brian and Greta on an apple-picking expedition.  It was an unseasonably-hot autumn day, which was likely the root of Greta’s discomfort (as well as our own discomfort), but we were able to grab a bunch of tasty apples that we are still trying to use up…anyone have any suggestions?!?

Photo #1060 – 10.10.11

Listening to a Rainbow

While most rainbows don’t necessarily make a sound…the ones in the sky are usually just light interacting with droplets of water…these vibrantly-colored cds certainly do make some pleasing sounds.  This photo was taken when there was some strong light coming in through the window, which produced very saturated colors in the cds (the vertical lines fanning out from the center of each cd are actually the vertical blinds from the window).

When I see a rainbow, I hear the sound of gold coins clanking in a big ol’ pot…although I’m pretty sure this is only in my head…

Photo #1059 – 10.09.11

Madison’s Pink Double Bobble Hat

Sure, it was about 80 degrees today here in New Jersey…but before we know it, we’ll be treated to plenty of cold temperatures and snow.  For a kid like Madison, who was just a bit older than 2 at the time of this photo, snow means sledding down hills and getting covered in the white stuff, among other things.

That’s just what she did on this day as she rode down a hill with grandma, was pulled all around by grandpa, and was photographed by me…all while wearing her cute double bobble hat.  I’m not sure if the second bobble served any purpose (actually, do the pom-pom bobbles serve any sort of purpose?!), but hey, Madison sure looked cut in her pink snow outfit!

Photo #1058 – 10.08.11

Bend in the Yukon

The mighty Yukon River is a big river as it makes its way through the Yukon Territory, but it grows to a much more massive river as it continues through Alaska to empty into the Bering Sea.  This photo was taken at a bend in the Yukon closer to the beginning of its 1,980 mile trek to the sea amid some lush forests that seem to just go on and on, blanketing the hills and mountains as far as the eye can see.

Photo #1057 – 10.07.11

Kyle and the CCM Titans

Soccer is great.  While it would be fun to get back into playing soccer myself, just watching a good game is quite enjoyable.  This fall season, Heather’s cousin Kyle has been playing with the Titans of the County College of Morris (CCM), and I’ve had a chance to catch a couple of his games (he’s #21 in the white jersey).  He’s been playing Forward position and has had quite a few good shots on the goal.  His team looked like they were playing well together when I saw them, and with a number of recent wins (including both games I’ve been to so far), they are currently in 4th place in their Division with only a week and a half of regular games to go.

Keep up the great playin’, Kyle!

Photo #1056 – 10.06.11

Mom, Dad,…and a Bear?!

There’s no doubt about it — my parents love to laugh together.  So when they spotted this tame bear a few months ago, they just had to have their photo taken with it.  And while they could have just stood next to the bear and smiled nice for the camera, they instead opted for a cute “put your heads close together” group shot…which resulted in both of them enjoying a good laugh.

Today, my mom and dad are celebrating 39 years of magical, wedded bliss.  So Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!

Photo #1055 – 10.05.11

Morning Web

I’ll admit that I can certainly jump when surprised by spiders or other things that like to crawl about.  But at the same time, they are fantastic little creatures, and they definitely know how to spin a nice web!  One morning while taking photos in a meadow, I came across dozens of these orb webs stretched across the high grasses, and with the rising sun lighting up the slightly-dew-covered silky threads, they really looked wonderful.  I tried my best to maneuver around the webs to take some shots in the meadow, like this one showcasing a patient spider in the middle of his morning masterpiece.

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it was time for a nice spider photo!