Friday, October 24, 2008

Great Falls - Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Maryland

October 24, 2008

I got there Friday morning around 6:30AM and set up. The temperature was in the low 40s but there was mist near the larger falls. As time went on, the fog come down off the hills and filled in the gorge. That's when I headed off to the canal for some other shots.
The above shot is one of the hundres of little falls now visable with the low water levels.
Here is a shot of the churnng water between falls:
Last but least, here is a shot of the Great Falls Tavern and the adjaceent canal:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great Falls National Park - Virginia side

October 19, 2008

Great Falls water level is really low this fall which again changes the way the river and the falls look. I got their Sunday morning around 6:30AM and set up. The temperature was in the 30s but fortunately there was no breeze so I was nice and toasty. Here are two shots - enjoy!

National Zoo - Washington DC

October 13, 2008

The National Zoo in Washington DC is always a fun place to go and see the animals - four legged and two legged - you never know what you are going to see. The Cheetah and the Flamingo were animals that I have not seen in recent trips. Also, they are doing major construction for the elephants and it should interesting to see what the final exhibit looks like.


Another famous, aren't they all, Yosemite view is of Half Dome. This is a shot from Glacier Point showing how Half Dome rises 4,735 feet above the valley floor.

Yosemite has many tributeries which show the results of glacial transformations upon the rocks. This quiet, secluded are is a gem to behold.

And lastly for this trip, a photo of Half Dome from Olmsted Point.


Shooting at Yosemite meant getting up from 4:00AM to 5:00AM to get to the location for sunrise shots and then getting back for supper around 7:30PM and then heading to bed. We arrived at Yosemite just as a storm was rolling through. It provided for some nice cloud formations for the view of El Capita from Tunnel View.

Another famous view is looking up Yosemite Valley with El Capitan on the left and Cathedral Rocks on the right with the Merced River.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yosemite October 4-11 2008

Yosemite Curry Village was not the place to be last week. I was in a group of 6 photographers waiting to leave at 7:00 AM in the dark when we heard a clap of thunder and then the rain of granite began to fall. We were never allowed back to our cabin as it was in the danger zone. Tom Trujillo was my cabin mate and several of his photos were picked up by the AP just a couple of hours later. This news was in the newspapers worldwide - the below article is from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Yosemite National Park rock slide destroys cabins
By TRACIE CONE, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
(10-08) 21:10 PDT Yosemite National Park, Calif. (AP) --
Chunks of granite crashed to the Yosemite Valley floor in a cloud of dust Wednesday, injuring at least three people and destroying several cabins and trees at one of the park's most popular lodging areas, officials said.

The rock slide was the second in two days in the area called Curry Village, a lodging and retail area defined by dramatic, sheer cliffs. "We were awakened at 7 to what sounded like thunder and what felt like the Earth crumbling apart," said Deanne Maschmeyer, 41, of Monterey, who was staying in a nearby cabin with her two children. "People were stampeding everywhere and running, running like crazy. I felt like I was running ahead of a tsunami."

The slide destroyed five cabins and partially damaged at least three others, according to a park statement. Three visitors were treated for minor injuries.

The volume of rocks cascading from the granite face was estimated at about 1,800 cubic yards, or about 180 truck loads, said Vickie Mates, a park spokeswoman. There was another, smaller rock slide in the same area Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured then. In 1996, a rock slide in the same area sent as much as 162,000 tons of rock plummeting more than 2,000 feet, killing one visitor and felling 500 trees. A slide in 1999 killed one climber and injured three others while narrowly missing the popular campground.

Tom Trujillo, of New Milford, Conn., who was with a group of amateur photographers, saw Wednesday's rock slide and ran toward it. "Trees were crushed all over the place," Trujillo said over the sound of a hovering helicopter. "A couple of kids, fifth or sixth-graders, were stumbling out of the area. I tried to pick them up, tried to get them out as fast as I could." Trujillo said he helped one boy, who had blood on his forehead and down his back, get out and find his mother. "It was a really big mess," Trujillo said. "Tents were crushed, trees were knocked down, hard cabins were moved out of their positions, with boulders blocking their doorway."
Another photographer, Rena McClain, a nurse from Dover, Del., told The Associated Press that she had her back to the granite face when she heard what sounded like a thunderclap. She whipped around and saw a giant cloud of rock and dust coming down. "People were starting to yell, 'Run, run,' and kids started to scream," McClain said.

As the dust settled, shaken teachers and chaperones gathered groups of high school students and tried to get head counts. "The kids were crying," said McClain. "I tried to comfort them. I'm a nurse; my immediate response was, 'What can I try to do to help?'"

Mates said the rocks fell across an area that used to be traversed by a trail no longer maintained because of heavy rock falls. The beauty of the sheer granite face towering above the camp helps make Curry Village one of park's most popular lodging options. In recent years, geologists have published studies describing a series of cracks along the cliff's face and hypothesizing that pressure from water flowing beneath the surface may be one trigger of the slides. Researchers also say that tree roots growing down into cracks can sometimes wedge apart sheets of rock, sending sections of cliff tumbling.

Curry Village, founded in 1899 in south-central Yosemite, has 610 canvas and wood cabins in rows among huge boulders, which geologists say are there because of prehistoric rock falls. Those who saw Wednesday's slide wondered about the safety of the camp. "With the village right below the rock face, there is definitely a safety issue," said Trujillo, pointing out that the cabins could be moved farther away from the granite cliff, into the parking lot area. To McClain, on her visit to the park, the rock slide was an eye-opener. "Nature here is unbelievable, but until you see what can happen, don't realize the danger that can result," McClain said. "I would return to Yosemite. But would I stay in Curry Village? I don't know that I would. I'm pretty shaken up."

Below trees and granite smash wooden and tent cabins:

Below a granite boulder smashes a wooden cabin - ends up under the roof:

Granite boulders toppled trees, which were pushed into and on top of cabins:

From Glacier Point, above Curry Village, the rock slide and dust is captured:

Here is a map showing details of the second rock slide:

Here is a link to the yahoo news article:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maryland Renaissance Festival

September 21, 2008

Summer is not complete without a trip to a renaissance festival. This year took us to Crownsville, Maryland to Revel Grove. The highlight of the trip was the jousting tournament with the knights, horses and all the other things that could maim or just outright kill you. Fortunately these are skilled horsemen who know what they are doing and there was very little blood letting this day. The crowds were rowdy, the horses were galloping and the costumes were, well, I have not been able to post those picture where most people say: 'How do they do that?'

Next year we look forward to another renaissance festival, perhaps in Pennsylvania or another location nearby.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Great Falls NPS - Virginia

September 26, 2008

Great Falls continues to offer ever changing opportunities with changes in landscape colors and the level and flow of the Potomac River. This was an early morning capture.

Vegas & Hoover Dam

September 11, 2008 – 9/11

When you visit Las Vegas you really need to visit Hoover Dam. It is one of the modern wonders of the world. When it was it built it was the largest concrete structure in the world. Words can not describe it. There is current construction on building a by-pass so that the interstate does not go over the dam itself. Immediately below the dam is a new bridge being built. The roadway up to the bridge on either side is already complete. I would like to go back in the spring to document to progress of the bridge.

The night-lights of Las Vegas truly bring the city to life and the fact the temperature drops quite a bit does not hurt either. ‘Dry’ heat is a term that must have been created in Vegas – sorry, it’s still HOT even when the sun goes down. The Excalibur Casino and the Paris Casino offer wonderful views in the evening.

Lancaster County Pa

August 23, 2008

This summer has been very busy visiting many places in the mid-Atlantic region. A favorite place to visit in Lancaster County. These shots are from a museum opened in 1925 with am emphasis on the local buildings used by the Amish and Mennonite.

Another favorite place to visit is Strasburg RailRoad with the obligatory ride on the steam locomotive drive train. This is one of the longest running railroads in the United States.
More photos can be viewed at my site:

Mount Vernon

August 22, 2008

Mount Vernon. Home to our first President. By the mid 1800s the plantation was purchased from the family by the Ladies of Mount Vernon and has been preserved since. Mount Vernon sits on the banks of the Potomac River offer views from river boats and those from Maryland. A new museum and interactive learning center have recently been added and the mill and whiskey distillery are now open.

Knoebels Amusement at night

August 19, 2008

Summer is the time to visit the amusement parks. These are night shots from Knoebels Amusement park in Pennsylvanian close to Bloomsburg. Night shots always appear to be more dramatic with all of the lights working.

American Bald Eagle

August 18, 2008

Everyone knows the American Bald Eagle is the national system. But, many people have not had the chance to see on up close. Here is a shot from one that I caught in Pennsylvania.

Railroad Bridges Between Easton, Pa., and Phillipsburg, NJ

August 9, 2008

Due to many railroads traveling between New Jersey and Pennsylvania there were several RR bridges across the Delaware River. Here, three bridges still stand. The fourth bridge is open for public traffic.

Steam Locomotive - Phillipsburg, NJ

August 9, 2008

There is a steam train in Phillipsburg, New Jersey which is across of Easton, Pennsylvania. The train runs down the Delaware River and then returns. This is the only running steam locomotive in the state of New Jersey. Easton and Phillipsburg were once host to: Central New jersey (CNJ) and Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W), the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), Lehigh Valley (LVRR) and Lehigh and Hudson River Railway (L&HR).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

West Virginia Skyline


Virginia is not the only place that can lay claim to Blue Ridge Mountains. West Virginia hosts many interesting sunset skylines during the hazy months of summer.
More photos can be viewed at my site:

Summer Flowers

JULY 2008

The summer would not be complete without several examples of flowers. Although it was a dry summer, bright colors appeared in gardens through out the region.

Encampment of Battery B, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery in Vienna, Virginia

JULY 2008

Vienna was host to a Civil War encampment and demonstration this summer. The life of a soldier, doctor and artillery outfit was explained. The question of 'What are those hands and feet doing under the table?' was accurately explained by the doctor who emphasized the true tragedy of war on the human body.

More photos can be viewed at my site:

Great Falls National Park, Virginia side

JULY 2008

Great Falls is such a great place to visit, again, and again, and again. The view is constantly changing.

Lotus at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens - National Park Service

JULY 2008

The lotus arrived early this year by approximately 2 weeks. A blog is too short of a presentation media to show the true beauty of the lotus a Kenilworth. Here are two examples of what this park has to offer.

West Thumb Thermals - Yellowstone

JUNE 2008

Located on Lake Yellowstone, West Thumb Basin is a concentration of paint pots, springs/pools/ and geysers. Paint pots have a temperature of 187-199.8F with dimensions of 30 feet diameter. They were originally names Mud Puffs by the 1878 Hayden Survey. Springs have a temperature of 172-193F depending on the spring. Geysers have temperatures up to 201F. Black Pool is 40x75 feet and was a temperature of 132F when it was black caused by the transparent blue water and the orange algae lining the pool. The pool had frequent boiling eruptions on August 15th, 1991, with water doming to 3 feet causing heavy runoff. The temperature increase killed the bacteria allowing Black Pool to now be blue.

Seismograph Pool is located in West Thumb Geyser Basin. Currently has a temperature of 167F. Previously known as the 'Blue Pool'. Renamed to Seismograph pool after the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake, which measured 7.5 on the Richter Scale.

Geysers and Thermal Pools at Yellowstone

JUNE 2008

Grand Geyser Group or Complex consists of three geysers: Vent Geyser on the left, Turban in the center and Grand on the right. Grand erupts on the average every 7 hours within a 3-hour window up to 200 feet last up to 12 minutes. Vent Geyser is usually has steamy eruptions and usually erupts along and afterwards Grand's eruption. Vent may begin erupting up to 75 feet and then subside to 20-40 feet. Most of the time it is hidden during Grand's eruption. Grand is a fountain geyser. Turban Geyser erupts every 20 minutes, lasts 5 minutes and may be 5-10 feet tall.

Abyss Pool located in West Thumb Basin on Lake Yellowstone. West Thumb Basin is a concentration of paint pots, springs/pools/ and geysers. Abyss Pool descends to 53 feet is 30x57 feet and is normally 172F. Abyss is the deepest pool known in Yellowstone. It varies from turquoise to emerald green to various shades of brown.

Grand Canyon and Yellowstone

JUNE 2008

Yellowstone have numerous waterfalls. This is Undine falls which is 110 feet in two parts located on Lava Creek. It is located about 4 miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs.

Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone has a 308 foot drop .

Mammoth Hot Springs - Yellowstone National Park

JUNE 2008

Mammoth Hot Springs is a large hot spring complex in the northwest corner of the park near Fort Yellowstone. Mammoth is a large hill of travertine created over thousands of years as hot water deposited calcium carbonate. Hot wat from Norris Geyser Basin travels underground via a fault line that runs through limestone which feeds Mammoth. Water is generally about 170F. Algea lives in the warm pools which tints the travertine shades of brown, orange, red and green. Elk, bison and other animals visit during winter taking advantage of the warm springs.

Palette Spring is created by flowing water and heat-loving bacteria growing on the Lower Terraces.

Canary Spring and Terrace in the Upper Terrace of Mammoth Hot Springs. Temp[erature 160F which includes Blue, Jupiter, Naiad and Main Springs. The name canary was in reference to the yellow filamentous algae growing along the edge of the spring. Canary Spring is now known for its ultramarine-colored pool. The water flows down the face of the terrace creating multi-colored bands of algae and cyanobacteria.