Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
No, not that I am better than Galileo! But, my camera does have more magnification at 300mm than Galileo did in 1609-1610 when he first turned his eyes to Jupiter. And at a complete surprise to me, on a clear fall night in NY I was able to capture this picture of Jupiter with my camera...and yup, those are the Galilean moons surrounding it. COOL!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
OK, so I really should be grading student papers right now, but I think I will avoid it a bit longer by blogging! :) A couple weeks ago Courtney and I had the chance to head up to near Salt Point, NY to visit with some family (new family for me!) and go to their home winery bottling party! More on the party is here. Fall was starting in up north and we got to see some great foliage. This little guy was just outside one of our friends' house and I fell in love with it. No idea what type of plant it is but I love the way the leaves changes in stripes! Most Cool Fall!!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The various plants that hand onto trees in the Jungle are just cool. No soil, and all the water they need form the air. Nifty! And not just small little plants, but, like this one, the tree dwellers can get really darned big!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Arenal, Costa Rica. This is the view from our hotel! I guess that many people visit Arenal and never get the chance to see top of the volcano so we were very lucky. We were in Arenal for 4 nights and saw the mountain top every single day. WooHoo! We did not, alas, get a chance to see the actual lava flow, but the continual steam form the eruption was pretty impressive!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Throughout Costa Rica we found many a leaf-cutter ant. There fascinating little guys building highways through the undergrowth and carying leaves someitmes great distances back to their nests. As it turn out, the soldier type ants int he colony are very strong. In Arenal we visited a hanging bridges tour and out guide demonstrated the strength of the ants as shown in the picture. If you zoom in you will see that he is holding the ant and that the ant is holding that huge leaf! Wowzers!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
OK, it has officially been WAY too long since I posted here! It has been a crazy and wonderful summer getting married in May, going on a honeymoon to Costa Rica, teaching summer session 2, and then getting ready for the new school year. Tomorrow is the first day of classes and I think I might actually be ready. So, here is a picture to start things off again. Courtney and I had a fantastic time in Costa Rica and I will post several pictures here over the next little while. Courtney has a great set of blog posts describing the trip if you'd like to check them out here, here, here, here, here, and here. The first place we visited, Lapa Rios was one of my favorites! It is a great resort near the Corcovado National Park and there is an incredible amount of wildlife there. One the last night I went on a night hike and say lots of nifty things. Now, most were spiders and other creepy crawlies, but I did get to see one of these Red-eyed Tree Frog (or Gaudy Leaf Frog) hanging around on a branch. I was very happy to be able to find one of these in the wild--most cool! He is a little guy--only a couple inches long but nifty!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
A couple of weekends ago I joined Courtney and Kate for tour of chicken coops in Oakhurst...yup, you read that correctly :) If you want to see a post on the coops then check out Courtney's post where you will also get to read about my Peep experiments! :) At one of the stops, the one with the baby ducks, there was the incredible Luna moth sitting on one of the coops. I don't remember ever having seen one before and was amazed. he is pretty big--3-4 inches across. and was just sitting there for the many photographers to come by and have a ball taking pictures. A truly beautiful animal!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Another travel blog:
Today was a day for a walking tour of the old town (Staré Mésto) of Prague—we headed out the apartment into the old town—only a couple blocks away. Our first stop was the Old-New Synagogue (Staranová synagóga). This is the oldest practicing synagogue in Europe (begun 1270) and was very interesting to see—it is fairly plain inside, but there is a lot of history for the Prague Jewish quarter and much of it is reflected here. There is a very old banner, red, with the Star of David on it that was given to them by one of the past kings. It is carried by 8 members of the congregation on the occasions of a royal visit to the Jewish Ghetto (no pictures allowed). They also have a great clock tower that counts time backwards in honor of the fact that Hebrew is read right to left. We then headed over to the old Jewish Cemetery (Starỳ Židovskỳ Hřbitov). For a period of a couple hundred (439-1787) years the Jewish inhabitants of the city were not allowed to bury bodies outside of the city and were only allowed to use the small space within—the result is a very small cemetery, say a couple hundred feet on a side that has a couple thousand tombstones and then under each one can be up to 12 bodies—it is believed that there may be as many as 80,000 people who were buried there. It was fascinating to visit. Also attached to the cemetery is a converted synagogue (Pinkas Synagogue—Pinkasova synagóga) that lists on the walls the names of all of the Polish Jews killed during WWII. It is a very humbling thing to see.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Once again, it is time to look up at and see what is above you! While touring Eastern Europe we ended up in Prague which is a wonderful city to visit--though a bit hard to drive around in! I found this ceiling in the castle--I like the patterns and the seeming randomness of the types of stone--it has been repaired several times over the years and they used whatever local stone they found each time. It makes for a great patchwork of color and lines.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Spain, 2005. I have had the chance to photograph many beautiful churches around the work and the cathedral in Barcelona was no exception. However, the pictures can start to look the same after a while so I start to experiment with points of view and perspective. I was particularly happy with this one--this was taken from behind the altar looking up. I like the flow of the picture and the altered point of view.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
And back to The Netherlands again today :)
Though I was pretty sure that I was past the time, I headed down to Haarlem (ever wonder where that NY neighborhood got its name?!?! ) to see the bulb fields. And I say a lot of fields, but no blooms. Darn it. I think that I missed it by about 3-4 weeks. Ah well, a reason to come back someday. Which I will, I really like it here. I did find 3 or 4 very small plots in bloom and of course took pictures Iris and Alliums.
I drove around looking at the country side for a while then headed up to the town of Spaarndam mentioned in my green guidebook and this was a great find. It is a little tiny town perched along one of the dikes. It also has a small number of houses on one side, but much is perched right up along top. Also three locks in town and on the third is a statue to the little boy who put his finger in a hole in the dyke all night too keep it from flooding! The town was a lot of fun though and I am really glad that I headed up there. They are also having some sort of a festival in the not too distant future (after I leave unfortunately) but several sail boats had shown up and had blocked in one of the locks—the one around the town square. People were out on the boats just talking and enjoying the company. I actually had to wait while the pedestrian draw bridge was raised to get a couple of the boats in.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Here is another lunch time vacation...a bit of my travel blog from the summer of 2005
Cheese anyone? Lots and lots of it? I went up to Alkmaar this morning to get to the cheese market that happens there every Friday morning during the summer—and has for a long time! They have records of their being a scale there since 1352! 650 years of cheese markets—we just don’t have any traditions like that at home. It was fun to see it and realize that it has been going on so long! And it wasn’t just a standard market. The cheese makers lay out their wares—28,000 kg this time though in the middle ages it was close to 300,000 kg! Anyway, so the cheese is laid out in long lines (we are talking 20 kg wheels and 10 kg balls here) by gentlemen in blue shirts, part of a guild in the market square, or Waagplein. The buyers and maker reps then sample the cheese and finally agree on a price per kg by slapping hands. But, each wheel weights slightly different so it all needs to be weighed. In comes another guild, the cheese carriers. There are 4 teams of 7 men who carry the cheese. They are dressed in shirts with straw hats brimmed in one of 4 colors so that they can be identified in their group. The guys in blue load up these cart/sled things (not sure how to describe it—it has no wheels, is completely carried) with up to 8 wheels of cheese and two of the carriers attached ropes on harnesses they wear to the sled and carry it to massive scales. The carts weigh 150-200 kg total when loaded. After weighing, overseen by another guild, the carriers then take the cheese over to another area where another guild, dressed in brown, load them on to carts and nowadays then into truck though it used to be onto boats. In all, it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to sell all the cheese now though it used to take until midnight in old times. Needless to say it is a colorful spectacle and they carriers seems to have a great time, and constantly play some with the crowd—taking some people around on the sleds and one cart I saw go by had 8 wheels of cheese and a 4-5 year old girl on it—I assume they took her off before weighing and didn’t charge the buyer for her weight as well! :)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Visited a military museum in Germany when I was traveling around with my parents. Not usually my cup of tea, but dad wanted to go and it was interesting. This is set of old pikes on display and I liked the shadows. However, if you look closely at them you can see that they are well used. Yuck! ;)