Don't Drain the Swamp

I’ve heard about this swamp just outside of Washington DC in Alexandria but had not visited it until yesterday. It was a great place to explore and the best swamp in the DC area. It’s definitely not the one to drain.

Green Heron

Green Heron

Green Heron with a starter dish of crayfish.

Green Heron with a starter dish of crayfish.

The main course tonight is fish.

Take me Out to the Ballpark

It’s summer and hot. Perfect weather for baseball. After all these years in DC I finally made a trip to National’s Park to see the Nats play. It was a hot night and the Nationals won. Perfect time at the old ball park.

A view of the park as the game begins.

A view of the park as the game begins.

The scoreboard, now a central part of all games.

The scoreboard, now a central part of all games.

A little bit of drama, baseball style.

A little bit of drama, baseball style.

See you next year.

See you next year.

Back to the Woods

After a few weeks of therapy I finally ventured into the woods again. It was a perfect day to get back on the trails of the forest near my house. Here are a couple of shots from my recent walk. Enjoy.

Seneca Woods

Here is a little stream flowing towards the Potomac River.

Backyard Photography

What can you do when you’re recovering from knee surgery? You have been banned from the forest and you are not allowed to explored to any cities as your driving privileges have been suspended by family authorities. You hobble out to the back yard and find a nice spot while keeping an ice bag on your knee.

Here is a Downy Woodpecker.

Happily Married.

Father and son

Hummingbird Season

Each year the hummingbirds return to our area from their winter home in the Caribbean and Central America. I find it amazing that these little birds (about 3-5 inches) fly over 30 MPH and have wing beats between 15 and beats per second. They’re also fun to watch as they buzz around gardens.

Requesting permission for landing.

Afternoon delight

Enjoying the sunset after a busy day.

Butterfly Season

The forecast for yesterday was warm. Today it calls for warmer. Tomorrow Hot. The following day …. It is, without a doubt, summer. That means the butterflies are fluttering about. Great fun to chase them in the warm summer sun.

Not sure what it is but it is blue.

Zebra Swallowtail


New York Public Library

Located adjacent to Bryant Park is the New York Public Library. The library building was officially opened in 1911 at a cost of about $9 million dollars which was about triple the anticipated cost. Seems like a deal at today’s prices. The building has been a national historic landmark since 1965. It’s an impressive book and worth the stop. Next time I go to New York I want to explore the interior.

The main entrance to the library guarded by the ever vigilant lion. Don’t forget to return your books.

The back side of the library facing Bryant Park.

New York Sunsets

I love experiencing the sunsets in New York city. They can be amazing and are far less painful than sunrises. This past week I was able to capture a couple of pictures that revealed the wonder of sunsets in New York City.

Sunset over Midtown. The Empire State building is behind the buildings on the East River shoreline.

The last light of the day over midtown Manhattan.

My New Favorite New York Park

Even though I have never lived in New York I am getting I know the place and have favorite places to visit. In the past I have just walked past Bryant Park but this time I stopped and explored the park. It is a fantastic place to visit and just hang out for a while. Here are a couple of my photos from the evening after a rain shower.

Bryant Park at night.

Bryant Park, after the people have left.

A Quick Trip to Milwaukee

This past week I made a quick trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I waited until May because I thought the weather would be warm by then. Not a perfect plan but it didn’t snow. I had 3 days of rain and fog with high temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s. Maybe too early in the year.

Despite the circumstances I managed to get a few photos of the city.

The Milwaukee Art Museum designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. This is cold cloudy morning.

The Milwaukee War Memorial.

This is Port Washington just north of Milwaukee. Did I mention it was foggy?

Milwaukee City Hall Tower with the Pabst Theater in the foreground.

A New York Black and White Day

Sometimes you don’t wake up in time to catch the sunrise and somedays are cloudy. What do you do then? It’s too late for the colors of dawn and the day time light is terrible. It’s a perfect black and white day. Here are a couple of shots from one of those days in New York.

The skybridge at Chelsea Market

The Woolworth Building in New York

Another day, Another Sunrise

Sunrise in Washington DC is the best time to visit the nation’s Capitol. It is quiet and not very crowded. It is also the best time to photograph many of our landmarks. Here is a photo of the Capitol building at sunrise.

Click on the photo for a full screen view.

Tip Toe Through the Tulips and a Couple of Bluebells, Too

Two weeks ago it was still, seemingly, winter. Suddenly everything turned green and we were in spring. I was able to get out a couple of times and photo some local flowers; the tulips and bluebells. So inspired by the outdoor scene I took some tulips indoors and photographed them in the studio. Enjoy.

Bluebells at Riverbend Park here in Great Falls.

Tulips after an early morning rain.

Tulips in my studio.

It's spring in Washington DC, so It's Cherry Blossom Season

It’s that time of the year again. The cherry blossoms are blooming. The Washington Post said the peak of the blossoms this year would be April 1. Not sure if that’s a joke or the truth so I decided to go into DC on the 2nd.

Cherry Blossom time in DC is always an adventure. Even during the balance of the year you are never sure which roads might be closed or where the next demonstration will be. Driving and PARKING are always challenging. Cherry Blossom season is challenge on steroids.

This year I decided to go to the Washington Monument to photograph the blossoms. Not as famous as the Tidal Basin but still worthwhile. I found parking without problem and arrived at my location for the sunrise. All the grass was fenced off. It seemed impossible to get to the trees and still see the Monument. As I was walking down the fenced in walk way I found an opening. What do you call a break in the fence? A gate. I entered into the grasslands and was able to get these shots.

The sun is just beginning to appear as the moon is still present the Washington Monument.

The sun rising on the National Mall.

Another view of the cherry blossoms.

The Lincoln Memorial at the Spring Solstice

The Lincoln Memorial catches unique lightning each year at the time of the spring solstice. It is only for a couple of days that the sun’s rays are in perfect alignment with the statue of Lincoln inside the Memorial. The rest of the year the statue is always shaded.

You must be at the Memorial at sunrise to capture this scene. The Lincoln statue is illuminated for a few moments and then the sun is too high in the sky. In addition to precise timing you need clear skies. Everything worked this year and I was finally able to capture the golden moment.

I took a photo of Lincoln prior to sunrise.

The scene is set with clear skies as I look out onto the National Mall from between the columns at the Lincoln Memorial. The sun is beginning to rise and it is looking good.

Suddenly the sun reaches the perfect spot and the memorial is illuminated. Notice the shadows of the front pillars behind Lincoln. A successful morning.

Sunrise at the Capitol

The morning I took this photograph I was running to cross the street and catch the sunrise over the Supreme Court building. As I was sprinting across the plaza I spotted the reflection of the US Capitol building in the early morning sun. People had not yet started their day so I stopped and took this photo.

The reflection captured my eye.

Ben's Chili Bowl

I’m continuing my exploration of Washington DC. I still visit the monuments but am expanding my travels to some iconic Washington DC locations. Ben’s Chili Bowl is top of the list.

Ben’s has been seen in many movies and has been visited by dozens of celebrities and politicians. It’s not fancy but maintains an original atmosphere. The food tastes good too.

Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.

The Fun Continues: Another Snow Day

Yes our winter fun rolls on another day. Who said we didn’t have enough snow? Another day of school closings and fun, fun ,fun. Isn’t winter wonderful????

My backyard today. Jealous? Take a good look as it will be 50 degrees on Friday and just a spring wonderland.

Around Town

Usually I feature photographs of the various monuments and landmark buildings on the National Mall in Washington DC. There are many other local landmarks in and around town that are local iconic locations here in DC. I’m trying to visit some of them during the next few weeks. The big challenges getting these pictures are parking and the traffic but it will be fun. Here are a couple of pictures from this past week.

Here is Kramer Books and cafe near Dupont Circle.

The fountain at Dupont Circle. During the winter the fountains are never running.

It's Been Cold. Real Cold

As you can tell from the headline, it's been cold here. Not Chicago cold but no one is going for a swim these days. Our backyard has been busy these past few days with many visitors stopping for a few seeds and other refreshments. Here are a couple of our visitors.

Good morning to you as well.

I should have gone to Florida.