Pow Pow Power Wheels
Check out Greta on her awesome Dora power wheels! It did not take too long for her to figure out that pressing the little button on the handle makes it go, although she had a tough time actually keeping her finger on the button…so instead of cruising around the yard, it was more of a stuttered crawl since she wouldn’t keep the button down, but rather kept pressing it as she bobbed back and forth (it’s hard to explain just how funny it looked!). But I’m sure she’ll master this all-terrain vehicle in no time.
The Structure of Yukon Snowpack
For my two years of graduate school research, I spent a lot of time studying snow. Specifically, I explored the ability to use information from satellites to detect when large areas of snow-covered terrain in the Yukon were melting. The study also required us to collect information about the snow on the ground so that we could basically match the ground data with the satellite data. And so I went to the Yukon two separate times to dig snowpits and analyze the snow…who knew that all those years of building snowforts as a kid would actually come in handy!?!
I took the above photo of a fellow graduate student after she had excavated a snowpit to reveal the many different layers of snow crystals. As the snow within a snowpack melts and refreezes, it forms various crystal sizes and snowpack densities, and we were basically describing all of the different layers in each snowpit to help us better understand how the snow was melting/refreezing. It might just look like snow from above, but there are all kinds of interesting things going on below the surface!
Union Square Holiday Market
If you are ever looking for something to do in New York City on a nice late November/early December day, head on down to the Union Square Holiday Market for a neat selection of vendors selling their wares. Heather and I went to the market last year and were pretty impressed with the wide selection of offerings. From handmade crafts to artwork, jewelry to chocolate, there was plenty to check out, and we eventually found a cute handmade gift for our niece Greta. So if you are in the neighborhood before Christmas, go check it out: http://urbanspacenyc.com/union-square-holiday-market
A Few Leaves in the Backyard…
Having a home in the woods with tall trees on and around the property is really great. Really, really great…at least, that is what I tried telling myself as the fallen leaves piled up everywhere this autumn. The photo above shows a small portion of our backyard with not only a nice covering of fallen leaves, but also a fairly full canopy of leaves that haven’t even fallen yet! Luckily, I was able to get the assistance of my brother-in-law, Brian, and after a couple of long days of raking and blowing leaves, I think we have been able to rid our yard and gardens of most of the leaves.
So for now, I would say it’s still great living in the woods, even if it means a few days of aching shoulders and backs…however, we definitely want to cut down a couple trees sooner rather than later, so maybe we’ll have a few less leaves to deal with come this time next year!
Rutherford Falls Ice
I love experiencing waterfalls after a good rain. But sometimes, I also enjoy waterfalls after a good cold spell! This ice-encrusted waterfall just below the outlet of Lake Rutherford in High Point State Park still had a bit of water flowing beneath an icy shell on this particular January day. I did not stick around in the cold too long, but certainly long enough to take a few photos and relax a bit to the sights and sounds of the icy falls.
Ocean Grove Pier…Before Sandy
This past summer, we spent a crazy weather day down at Ocean Grove on the Jersey shore. I had been to the town before, but hadn’t been on the beach until now, and it was a great beach! Heather and I enjoyed about a hour of sun and fun in the waves…until the storm clouds rolled in out of nowhere and the rain started. A light rain turned into downpours with thunder and lightning, so while our beach day was pretty much over, we still had a fun day with family going out to eat and wandering around town.
I took this photo of the main pier at Ocean Beach while it was still nice and sunny. Unfortunately, the power of superstorm Sandy did quite a number on this pier and pretty much destroyed half of it, including the building. Here are a couple photos that show the pier during the storm and after the storm (in the after photo, notice the jetty rocks on the right side, which are the rocks in the before photo above behind the pier…):
Well, we have experienced a few warmer days here in northern New Jersey this week, but the cold nights still remind us that we have a long, cold winter to get through before spring. So even though it is going to be a little while, here are a few purple flowers to keep you thinking about the warmth and growth of spring.