Spring and Cherry Blossoms

April 06, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

More photos from Acadia

February 12, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Low Clouds Over Jordan PondLow Clouds Over Jordan PondLow autumn clouds hang over Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Last year, I made two trips to Acadia National Park in Maine. The first one was in August, which I wrote in a blog post about visiting Maine in the summer and the second in October, which I mentioned in my cautionary tale about hiking for sunsets. The photos in this blog post are from that second trip in October. The leaves were just starting to turn, the sky was overcast, and everything was very wet.

[Above: Overcast skies above Jordan Pond. Below: Red tree roots with moss and Cobblestone Bridge along Jordan Stream Path.]

Red Tree Roots and MossRed Tree Roots and MossRed tree roots and moss along the Jordan Stream Path in Acadia National Park, Maine.

The Jordan Stream Path through the Cobblestone Bridge in Acadia National Park, Maine.The Jordan Stream Path through the Cobblestone Bridge in Acadia National Park, Maine.

It was quite stormy while I was there, which made the seashore even more interesting than usual. Thunder Hole (below) was closed off to visitors due to safety concerns. The following photos are all taken from along Ocean Path Trail after a recent storm.

Crashing Water at Thunder HoleCrashing Water at Thunder HoleHigh tide and crashing waves at Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Rocks, Autumn Leaves, and the SeashoreRocks, Autumn Leaves, and the SeashoreWaves crash against the rocky short in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Watching the Waves in AcadiaWatching the Waves in AcadiaOnlookers admire waves crashing against the rocky seashore in Acadia National Park, Maine.

After the Storm in AcadiaAfter the Storm in AcadiaWaves crash against the rocky seashore in Acadia National Park, Maine, after a big storm.

Acadia National Park is wonderful and I hope to go back again soon.


Snow at the Capitol

January 17, 2024  •  1 Comment

Winter Dawn at the CapitolWinter Dawn at the CapitolEarly on a cold, winter morning, snow covers the grounds of the west front of the United States Capitol.

Winter hit us here in Washington, D.C., and on Monday and Tuesday it actually snowed! I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I got up well before dawn and visited the Capitol. Because of the overcast skies, I didn't get much of a sunrise, but in the early dawn, I did get some brief color.

Snow and traffic lights at the CapitolSnow and traffic lights at the CapitolSnow covered streets lead up to the United States Capitol on a cold winter morning in Washington, D.C.

I spent some time taking photos of the area around the Capitol. Unfortunately, I had to cut things short because of freezing rain. While I didn't get to spend as much time shooting as I would have liked, I did get this pretty photo of the National Mall:

Snow covered trees on the National MallSnow covered trees on the National MallSnow blankets the National Mall on a cold winter morning in Washington, D.C.

I think the following photo gives you an idea of just how early I was out there shooting. It was awfully cold.

Clearing snow for CongressClearing snow for CongressEarly in the morning, an employee of the Architect of the Capitol clears snow from the grounds of the United States Capitol using a small tractor/snowplow.

Hopefully we get some more snow this season. I have some other locations I'd like to shoot as well.


Happy holidays!

December 17, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

2023 United States Capitol Christmas Tree2023 United States Capitol Christmas TreeThe 2023 United States Capitol Christmas Tree is a 63-foot Norway spruce from the Greenbrier Ranger District in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.

Happy holidays everyone!

Above is the United States Capitol and the 2023 United States Capitol Christmas Tree. The tree is a 63-foot Norway spruce from the Greenbrier Ranger District in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.

Below is Union Station in Washington, D.C. Each year, Union Station features giant holiday wreaths above the entrance.

Festive Wreaths at Union StationFestive Wreaths at Union StationFestive wreaths adorn Union Station in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the holiday season.


A cautionary tale about hiking for sunsets

December 13, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Autumn Twilight at Jordan PondAutumn Twilight at Jordan PondThe view of Jordan Pond in Acadia National Mark in Maine at dusk from atop Bubble Rock.

I made a second trip this year to visit Acadia National Park in Maine. The first trip was in August. I had gone there with my family and we had so much fun, we decided to return in the fall to see what it was like with the leaves turning. It was fabulous. I'll share some photos from that trip in a subsequent blog post. But for the moment, I'll share a little cautionary tale.

For this trip, I wanted to see if I could get a nice sunset or twilight photo overlooking Jordan Pond. The Bubbles Divide Trail leads to the tops of The Bubbles, which are small mountains overlooking the pond. I'd never done the hike before, but from the maps, the trail looked promising.

I left in full daylight by myself, as my family was off having dinner. It was my intention to arrive at the top of the mountain well before sunset. I made sure to pack a map and a flashlight, because I knew that sticking around for the sunset would mean hiking back in the dark.

The trail wasn't especially long or especially difficult, though it had recently rained, which made things quite slick and muddy.

The trail deposited me near the summit of one of The Bubbles. Unfortunately, there's no actual view of Jordan Pond from the summit. So I had to do some searching around to find an actual vista. As you can see from the photo above, I found one. It was the top of a cliff overlooking the pond.

When I got to the top of the cliff, it occurred to me that I wasn't certain of the way back to the trail. I didn't see a clear or marked path to the trail. Now I figured it wouldn't be especially hard to retrace my steps and find the trail. There were also quite a few other people around I could simply ask. However, from previous experience hiking, I knew two things. First, everyone would likely leave right after the sun dipped below the horizon, when there's still some remaining light. However, I normally want to stick until it gets dark. And second, everything looks very different in the dark, especially unfamiliar trails and landmarks.

So, before I settled down and unpacked my gear to shoot the sunset, I retraced my steps back to where the trail emptied out onto the summit and I committed it all to memory. I did not want to find myself a couple of hours later alone and lost on the top of the mountain.

I returned to my spot atop the cliff and settled down to wait for the sunset. Lots of other hikers came and went. And then just as I predicted, everyone left shortly after the sun dipped below the horizon. I stuck around a while longer to see if the sky might turn interesting colors and I prayed that some of the distant clouds might move in closer (they didn't).

When I finally decided to pack up and leave, it was cold, very windy, and almost completely dark. Everyone had already left except for one other group, which consisted of about five people. They saw me get up and asked if I would come over and take a group photo for them. So I obliged them and they seemed very grateful. And then, with some embarrassment, they asked me if I knew how to get off the mountain. They explained that they had been wandering around the mountaintop for a while looking for the way down. When they saw me, they figured they would wait for me to leave and follow me down. I told them I'd be happy to lead them down the mountain and they all let out visible sighs of relief.

I lead this group of fellow hikers back along the route that I had memorized. On our way to the trail, we ran into another group of hikers who were heading right towards the area we just came from. One of the new hikers pointed over my shoulder to the place we had just come from and asked if that was the way down the mountain. I said no, it actually leads to a cliff. At that point, the new hiker looked very confused and pulled up his map. After fumbling with his map for a moment, he confessed he had no idea how to get down. They also had been wandering around in the dark trying to find the trail. So I invited this second group of hikers to join us.

And that is how I ended up leading two groups of hikers in the dark down a mountain I had never climbed before. I was so glad that I had taken time earlier to familiarize myself with the way back. It really pays to plan ahead and take into account that everything looks different in the dark.

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