Hurray, the Sun Came Back

After a week of constant rains the sun has returned here.  I went to nearby Great Falls to check out the Potomac River there.  The water falls have disappeared and we now have Great Rapids until the water goes back to normal.  The good news is that the sun came back.

Formerly Great Falls now Great Rapids

Rain, Rain and Some More Rain

Tuesday we had rain.  It rained on Wednesday.  Thursday was a rainy day.  Right now it is raining.  The forecast for tomorrow is rain.  Sunday only a 50% chance of rain.  

Here is photo during the rain.

Gray day outside

Perhaps we need some color.

This time a little color in the rain;.

Great Falls in Black and White

I usually process my pictures in color but I decided to create some images of Great Falls in black and white.  It's fun to look at the photos in a new way.

Great Falls

 

Great Falls

Great Falls B&W-4.jpg

Street Scenes in New York

Each day in New York I would walk around 10 miles.  During that time you are able to experience of lot of New York street life and atmosphere.  Here are a few of my shots from my hike around the city.

The view from Madison Square Park.

Flatiron Building

 

The cherry blossoms in Central Park.

Manhattan at Night

This time in New York I decided to spend some time in Jersey City.  I had a great time and highly recommend it.  It is very modern and offers great views of Manhattan.

Jersey City Ferry dock with the World Trade Center.

Mid-town Manhattan during the blue hour.

Manhattan at night.

For Led Zeppelin Fans

I was in New York last week and checked out some new sites for me.  Check your old Led Zeppelin albums and look for Physical Graffiti.  Here it is 43 years later.

Physical Graffiti Album cover

Arrival of Spring

Its been 80 degrees the past couple of days here so I think I can say winter is over and spring has arrived.  We are looking forward to it.  Here is a field of daffodils.

Spring Break in Chicago

A lot of people head to warm weather locations for a spring holiday.  This year I decided to avoid the crowds and sunburn.  I went to Chicago instead and only suffered minor wind burn.  No frost bite though.

Chicago is a wonderful city and always a delight to visit even if it is a bit on the chilly side.

 The Chicago skyline as seen from Adler Planetarium.  Man enters the Cosmos sundial is in the foreground.

The Chicago skyline as seen from Adler Planetarium.  Man enters the Cosmos sundial is in the foreground.

This is the bean at Millennium Park.

Union Station in Chicago

Wabash Avenue with the El in the background

Celebrating the First Day of Spring

What a perfect first day of spring.  I'm undecided if I should walk through fields of wild flowers, go see the cherry blossoms are maybe just have a picnic in the backyard.  So many choices today.  Well first we have to get the snow blower going then decide later.

Daffodil on the first day of spring.

Vietnam Memorial

Today I took the chance to go into DC.  There were the usual demonstrations but I decided to take a chance and go into town anyways.  Fortunately the crowds were a distance from where I wanted to visit.

I have gone to the Vietnam Memorial previously but had not spent any time at the 2 statues on the edge of the Wall Memorial.  The statues are quite well done and inspiring.

The Women's Memorial at the Vietnam Memorial.

 

The Three Soldiers at the Vietnam Memorial

 

Travels to Maryland

It's just a quick trip across the Potomac to get to Maryland.  It's about 20 minutes from our house but somehow a trip to Maryland seems like a big journey.  I made the "major" event yesterday and went to Great Falls in Maryland.  Here is one view from the other side.

Great Falls in Maryland

View from the Backyard

The weather was pleasant the other day and I enjoyed the late afternoon in the backyard.  Our yard has become a center of bird activity.  Here are a couple of recent visitors.

Here is a Nuthatch.

Downy Woodpecker

The Eagles at Riverbend

The past couple of days have been wonderful here in Washington DC.  I'm speaking of the weather, of course.  It has been in the low 80's and I have enjoyed getting out in my local area.   I am very close to Riverbend Park on the Potomac and I went to the eagle nest to look for activity.

The eagles from last year have returned and have an active nest.  It is not sure if there are eggs in the nest yet but some witnesses have reported that there were adult actions witnessed a couple of weeks ago.  Enough gossip I did see 2 eagles taking turns sitting in the nest.  Here is one heading out for a needed break.

I need a break.

A Little Snow

We had a couple of hours of snow on Saturday afternoon.  It came down hard for a couple of hours but quickly stopped.  It was beautiful snowfall.  The best part of it was that it all melted on Sunday afternoon.  We're expecting 75 tomorrow.

Saturday snow

It's Valentines Day

You have to send flowers on Valentines Day, right?  So I'm sending you flowers today.

Happy Valentines Day.

Valley Forge National Historic Park

A few weeks ago when I was in Philadelphia I stopped at Valley Forge National Historic Park.  Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army.  It was a bitter cold winter and 2,500 American soldiers died from the cold conditions and disease.  

I was there the day after a snowfall and can attest to the cold.  It was a relief to be able to return to a warm hotel.

Here is a canon overlooking the valley.

Here is a cabin which is what the soldiers stayed in. 

Winter scene at Valley Forge

Good Night

Although it's probably morning as you read this blog, it is now night.  As the geese gazed out to the sea I, too, bid you good night.

A Trip to Blackwater Wildlife Refuge

I have the opportunity to travel to Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Maryland this past week.  It was a great experience even though it was a little chilly.  The refuge is about a 2 hour drive from Washington DC.

Before going to the refuge I telephoned the ranger to learn if the snow geese were still at the refuge or had traveled to their winter location already.  She informed me that the Blackwater is their winter home and will stay until March when they had back to their summer home.  I would have chosen an alternative winter location but I was happy that the geese had selected Blackwater.

As we arrived we quickly found the geese and observed their calm behavior just sitting out on the water-ice.  Nice but not really exciting.  Just click on any of the pictures for a larger image.

Occasional movement but just enjoying the sunshine.

Suddenly we heard a great commotion as the geese began to feverishly honk.  The noise was loud.  Just as suddenly they all took off.

A wall of snow geese suddenly filled the sky.

It was amazing to watch the geese fly.  They were like a school of fish darting through the water.

I was able to isolate a few of the geese as they swung towards us.

Just as quickly as they had taken off they returned to the same general area and resumed enjoying their winter home. 

What Do You Do on a Rainy Sunday?

I was confronted with a rainy Sunday morning today which developed into a rainy Sunday.  What do you do on a rainy Sunday?  I decided to take my photo assistant for her normal morning walk and then hunker down into my studio.  Well, after an hour of hunkering I decided to take advantage of the rain and fog and go get some pictures at Great Falls.  My photo assistant, a golden retriever born with a rain coat, completely agreed.  We headed out for our long 10 minute drive.

Much to my surprise the park was not totally empty.  I was not the only one a bit off.  None the less, I believe it was worth the effort and the expense of the rain gear.  (for my camera gear not me.  I just got a little soggy).  Click on the picture for a full size view.

A rainy day Sunday at Great Falls

Backyard Exploring

Our bird feeder has turned our backyard into a center for bird activity.  I've been this little guy for a few weeks and finally managed to get a picture of him in the sun.   I thought it was red headed woodpecker but discovered that it's a red bellied woodpecker.  This one is shy about his belly.

click on the picture for a larger image.