Monday, May 15, 2017

Broken safe washed ashore

Yesterday while visiting some of the James River plantations in Virginia, we spotted some unusual items washed ashore. One that caught my eye was half of a safe washed onto the grounds of the Berkeley Plantation (Harrison family). As I looked at it my mind began wondering how it got there? Who did it belong to? What caused it to end up in the water and why was only half of the safe there?  How far did it travel?
(These safes I would think would sink rather than be moved along).

Then I began thinking about the power of Mother Nature...these are a few shots I took of the probably not abandoned safe.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Macro on Monday: Feeling nutty!

A couple of weeks ago we visited Montpelier, the home of the 4th U.S. President, James Madison. This was our second time to visit Montpelier and we decided to take a stroll through the historic woods that remain a part of the property. Along the way I took several shots and this nut, for whatever reason, stood out to me.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nice to see the robins return after the winter

Seeing robins, a sure sign of spring. Over the past 4 to 6 weeks we've been seeing a lot more of them. I took these photos back in March.

This robin was squawking and sparring with another robin. They were moving too quick and I couldn't catch them both (I really need to work on my movement shots) but I did take a pic of this one when it paused for a minute.
Spotted this robin looking for its next meal

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spring comes alive in the Shenandoah Valley (2017)

On Easter Sunday we spent the day in Orange and Charlottesville and decided to take the much longer way home via Skyline Drive. We entered the Shenandoah National Park at Charlottesville and drove a while until the rain continued became more steady. It was getting late anyway so we exited at Swift Run Gap (Route 33). 

Along Skyline Drive we stopped several times to see spring coming alive in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A reprieve of the rain even gave us a double rainbow, which faded quickly but the single rainbow lasted for a long time (we watched it along the roads after we left the park).

Double rainbow before it faded completely

Single rainbow

The colors of spring are emerging

The sun sure was trying to peek out during sunset but there was a thick cloud cover between storms

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blue jay digging for lunch

It's rare I can capture a blue jay photo. The ones that live in my neighborhood are too fast. Downtown in D.C. though, they are easier to spot and, for whatever reason, tend to stay put. 

I watched this fella dig around for a few minutes until he found what he was looking for between the District of Columbia WWI monument and the reflecting pool.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Feather floating in the Tidal Basin (Washington DC)

Last month while downtown seeing D.C.'s gorgeous cherry blossoms I spotted this single feather floating around the Tidal Basin. So I snapped a few shots. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ducks enjoying the spring weather

I took these photos of ducks in March just as the temperatures were beginning to warm back up. They were hanging out around the Tidal Basin.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sea gull reflections (Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.)

Around the Tidal Basin there is a section that tends to flood over by the Jefferson Memorial. While walking by during a recent visit, I spotted a bunch of gulls hanging our around the edge of the basin and I noticed the reflections so stopped and took a few shots.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Cherry blossom peaks 2017 in Washington, D.C.

This is more or less a part two of my last post, more photos from the peak cherry blossom season of 2017.  I took these photos between March 25 and March 27. It was nice to see so many of the blossoms survive those unusually cold March temps we had after the blossoms were about ready to peak.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Getting close up and personal with the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. (2017)

This year we had a beautifully and unseasonably warm February and it confused nature, especially when March brought on freezing temperatures. Fortunately, even though some of the cherry blossoms down in Washington, D.C. were damaged, a good percentage of them did survive.

During this photo outing, I started playing with my camera settings. Not being really tech-y with the camera, I'm not really sure how to use many of them (I use a Sony Cybershot, I'm a point and shoot kind of gal). However, I did discover some settings that affect the lighting. I'll have to learn more about how to use them, it was interesting to compare the shots.

Here are some closeups I took:

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bird bath at the Jefferson Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

Now that spring has arrived, the birds are back. It's nice to hear them chirping in the early morning hours and see them throughout the day. Today's post is of a few birds I spotted taking a bath in the puddles near the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Birds of North Redington Beach, Florida

In January 2017 we traveled to Florida and spent an evening on North Redington Beach in Florida. These were taken in the early morning hours as the sun was coming up before we headed back to Orlando. The birds here were all waiting for breakfast. As you can see one of the gulls we saw was already dining on his catch :).

Monday, March 20, 2017

A morning walk on North Redington Beach, Florida

In January we took 4-day trip to Florida and did a lot of jumping around between Orlando and Tampa for the time we were there. On day two we spent the night at a hotel on the beach in North Redington. We didn't really have much time here, but we did spent an hour or two on the beach in the early morning hours. It was really pretty and the weather was gorgeous.

This is a pic I took as the sun was rising. Being on the Gulf of Mexico, the sunrise was over land but it gave off a nice reflection in the clouds and on the water.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Birds of Madeira Beach, Florida

As I mentioned in my last post, we drove down to Madeira Beach the morning after we arrived in Florida. There are so many interesting birds that aren't really too shy about hanging around where people are. Here are a few we saw. I'm afraid I don't know my birds too well, I believe there is a crane in here, but can't say for sure. The last two are photos of pelicans. If anyone can identify these birds, please let me know. Thanks so much!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Scenes on Madeira Beach, Florida

During our January trip to Florida, we did a lot of hopping around after landing in Orlando. On day one we drove down to Madeira Beach (past Tampa and on the coast of Gulf of Mexico) and had lunch at John's Pass. It had been several years since I last visited, yet some things looked just the same. The beach was as gorgeous as ever.

Here we got a close up view of these pelicans gathered along a fence on the boardwalk at John's Pass.

Here a pelican dives down to catch his lunch.
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Monday, February 6, 2017

Animal encounters at Mount Vernon (Virginia)

Mount Vernon is the majestic home of General George and Martha Washington. We usually visit at least two to three times a year as there are typically events going on and you see different things during each season. 

Today's photos highlights a couple of animal encounters we've had during visits to Mount Vernon. The horse photo was taken back in 2005 during what may have been the first visit to the property since moving to Virginia (I went once before on an 8th grade trip). The second and third photos are of Aladdin, the camel that comes to visit every November until January. Aladdin's visit commemorates the time George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to entertain his guests over the Christmas holiday in 1787. He's such a lovable and friendly fella!

Monday, January 30, 2017

'Cool Globes' exhibit in Battery Park (July 2016)

Last July we took a trip to New York City to climb the stairs of the Statue of Liberty. While in Battery Park we spotted a number of large globes and stopped for a few moments to admire the artwork. I'd previously seen photos of them online streamed on a social media site, but I had no idea where they were in New York or what the significance of the globes were. I certainly had no idea we'd literally bump into them on our way to the boats.

I turned to my friend Google to inquire and found out it is a traveling exhibit called "Cool Globes" that is designed to bring awareness to climate change. The exhibit was in New York for several months and then moved on in November. 

One row of globes. There were numerous ones, but I wasn't able to get them all in one shot

Another row of globes with One World Trade Center in the background.

Close-up shot of one of the globes

Taken from another angle