Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Trip Through History - Civil War and Presidential History in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia

Black Hawk Helicopters flying over Gettysburg National Park
Gun emplacement at Gettysburg
Memorial at Antietam
Looking down from the Observation Tower at Antietam National Battlefield
Burnside Bridge at Antietam.
Belle Grove plantation; focal point of the last major battle in Shenandoah Valley.
Dark Hollow Falls at Shenandoah National Park.
The night sky from Skyland Resort in Shenandoah NP.
Overexposed and light pollution from Luray in Shenandoah NP.
Luray Caverns.
Thomas Jefferson's masterpiece at Monticello.
Ash-Highland (James Monroe's residence, the original bit of which is the building on the left).
James Madison's Montpelier, which is undergoing ongoing archeological restoration and work to reveal slave quarters on the south side of the building.
Partial rainbow over Manassas (Bull Run).
Dramatic sky over Manassas.
Old Stone Bridge at Manassas.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Colorful Open To Late Winter: NY Botanical Garden's Orchid Show

The New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx puts on a fabulous orchid show every late winter/early spring, and this year was no different. While the weather outside was nearly frightful (coming just days after a substantial snowstorm) and still colder than normal, the Haupt Conservatory was filled to the brim with amazing and colorful orchids from the world over. Every color and shape was represented as seen by the photos below.

One thing I did manage to learn from the orchid show is that the orchids I've been trying to maintain over the past couple of years aren't really tolerant of the temperatures I leave the house with during the day. There are cold tolerant varieties that do much better against overnight low temps down into the 50s and low 60s, but those aren't nearly as common as the ones you'll find at most garden centers.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Great Falls on Ice

The Great Falls of Paterson, New Jersey have been a national park for only a short time, but their power and size has been a draw since before the Revolutionary War. Alexander Hamilton saw the promise of the falls, and it became a generator for business making Paterson an industrial hub for decades to come.

Paterson may have fallen on hard times, but the Falls endure. The Falls are now part of a National Historical Park, and I can only hope that people get to experience the falls up close to enjoy the wonder and the important role they played in our nation's development. There's also a move to include the nearby Hinchliffe Stadium into the national park for its role as host to Negro Leagues games. It is one of the few remaining stadiums from that era to still exist.

The Great Falls iced over. The building on the left is a hydropower turbine room, which still produces power today.
The snow was beginning to fall as we were out taking pictures.
A closeup of the falls from the bridge seen in the photo above.
Looking across the national park.
Iced over.
You can't tell from the photos, but you could see the water flowing in behind the ice.


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