Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Rolling through PA

I-80 cuts clear across Pennsylvania, 311 miles of pavement connecting the gently rolling Pocono mountains to the flat prairies of Nebraska and eventually on to the Sierra Nevada range in California.  Pat and I drove nearly all of the PA portion a few weekends ago to join my family for my Nana’s memorial service.  Spring was definitely creeping through the many valleys we passed though.  Some were vibrantly green while others still held on to winter gray.

Spring arriving

As we headed north out of Philadelphia we spotted huge storm clouds ahead. The radio station we were tuned into issued tornado warnings for the county we had just left.  Luckily the storm seemed to pass over without too much adverse effect.

A powerful storm

Driving toward clearer skies

By the time we got hungry for lunch the skies were nearly blue again.  We took a little detour to the Bald Eagle State Park.  It was really nice– lots of benches, a little lake with beach and clean bathrooms.  Sadly no bald eagles were sighted 😦

Tall trees

We had a picnic, snapped a few pictures and then got back on the road.

Us by the lake

The forest smelled really good

It even had a babbling brook!

With many more miles to put behind us Pat set the cruise, I kept the jelly beans flowing and amused myself by taking out-the-car-window pictures.  I can’t wait until we’re touring on our bikes so I can get closer to the beautiful world around me.

Pretty farms

One bright green tree

Fatty cloud

I hung my head out the car window to take this tunnel shot… camera strap on, of course!

zooming down the tunnel

Rocky PA


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I can’t believe how remiss I’ve been in my journal!  Nothing much exciting was going on and then I was sick for a week and did nothing but lay on the couch (and go to work, so stupid).  But last week I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the “Science of Art” conference hosted by the National Museum of American History in D.C.  The museum paid for my first night and then after the conference was over Patrick and I made a little holiday of it and stayed an extra day and a half. 

Washington Monument and swirly cloud by Patrick

The conference was actually really interesting and I always enjoy meeting colleagues from other museums.  I liked brainstorming with the other attendees and thinking of ways we can better the leaders of tomorrow.  I was also able to incorporate the enthusiasm for arts-based teaching I gained into a family workshop today at work– very cool!  I did a reprise of my fresco painting class, condensed to 45 minutes.  Everyone had a blast 🙂

Anyway, back to D.C.  Pat wandered around on his lonesome while I soaked up all the art and science goodness.  He took some fabulous photos and is now the house expert at the “shutter priority” setting on our camera.  I was especially impressed with some of his museum shots.

Dancing with the planes @ Air and Space


Black and white composition


Air and Space

After the conference ended we did a TON of sight-seeing.  One of my co-workers used to live in D.C. so she had a ton of insider tips for us (like how to get the Zoo without walking up the huge hill from the Metro- yessss!).  It was so good to be out of  Philly for a few days, to explore a new city together and to just relax.  I am also very excited that we stayed exactly on our pre-planned budget.  My favorite splurge was definitely our yummy lunch at some Mexican place by the Zoo.  Nothing like a pitcher of sangria to put you in “vacation” mode!

Not as awesome when you're on the bus for 4 hours after...

D.C. is a really interesting town.  We were both surprised by the lack of tall buildings (is there some kind of building code?), but it certainly made it easier to orient yourself to the Capitol!  They seem to have a pretty extensive bicycle lane infrastructure– here’s an example of a “bike boulevard”, so classy.

Bike commuter paradise

There are also racks of bikes all over the city that you can rent by the hour and then return to any other rack station in the city.  Seems like a pretty nifty idea and a good way to encourage people to leave their cars in the suburbs.  We did notice a lot of pedestrians using the bike lanes as their own personal extension of the sidewalk though, so I guess this system is still getting some kinks worked out.

Tidal basin Cherry Trees

We spotted an alarming number of bow ties, many potential undercover agents and the usual kinda crazy/kinda funny bums.  It’s really true, no matter where you go… people are pretty much the same! 

Very wise!

On Friday we trekked to the National Cathedral.  Very beautiful art, amazing stained glass and just a wonderful feeling of immensity.  But beyond that we agreed that it didn’t really feel like a hallowed space.  I wonder if it was the hoards of tourists or the fact that this space really does serve a non-religious purpose at times?  I’m interested to see how this experience compares to centuries-old churches we’ll visit in Europe.

My photographic juxtaposition of church/state

My favorite sculpture

Central nave

We took over 800 pictures yowser!  I can’t post them all here so I put a bunch on my flickr site click here.  I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites:

Panda butt

By Patrick

Botanic Garden

1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Fun trip!

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I rode 100 miles this week!  Impressive… except that I’m going to have to compress that distance into ONE DAY by the end of September.  Yikes!  But considering I usually ride about 45-50 miles a week, this is a good step (pedal stroke?) forward.  Now that we get an extra hour of daylight I know this is something I can easily keep up with.  My work is 2 blocks from the Schuylkill Drive trail and one loop on that is 8 miles.  Do that 3 days a week, add in my daily commute and one long-haul on the weekends and there’s my 100 miles.  I’m getting a little tired just thinking about it…  Today my body is sore, especially my hips and back.  I found this nifty website that has a little animated dude showing you how to do stretches.  Neat!

Pat had to work all weekend so I rode out to Forbidden Drive by myself yesterday.  I took the telephoto lens and got a few good shots of geese and ducks:


Lift, I need lift!

I like his red eye... a lil freaky though

After riding around for a while I decided to lock my bike up at Valley Green, a random restaurant on Forbidden Drive, and check out a staircase I had seen earlier.  It led down to a little dam that you could walk out on and, after seeing a couple of 6 year-olds tromp out there, I decided I’d take the risk for some interesting photos:

View from the dam

Stairs leading to the creek


More stairs, I love the color of the moss

Hello, green bug!

Monochromatic creek

It was nice to get some fresh, non-exhaust-laden air and to spend some quality time in nature.  My ride home from Forbidden Drive was slow, slow, slow.  Not only was I a little tired but the feng shui of my bike shorts/saddle was NOT working out… let’s hope that doesn’t happen on our one-day century!  My partner-in-crime has to work again this weekend (boo!!) so we’ll see where my solo long-haul takes me.  I have a feeling Plymouth Meeting is in the cards, how can I resist a pit-stop for an Ikea ice cream cone?  Answer: I can’t 🙂

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Hello, real winter

Last week I spent 48 hours in Madison, WI for a work conference on how to create programs for teaching nanotechnology.  Needless to say, a very small amount of that time was spent doing anything non-conference related.  I did get a chance to stroll around one evening and got up early the next day to walk around a little.  I felt like I was in the Wisconsin version of Ann Arbor most of the time– college kids, funky little shops (saw my new favorite t-shirt slogan, “With Great Mustache Comes Great Responsibility”, ha!), friendly vibe and, of course, protesters! 

I kinda wanted to stand up there to take a picture...

On the first night I was there I saw about 200 people just milling about the Capitol, holding signs, chanting and occasionally blowing vuvuzelas at politicians inside the building:

The guy in the front was just chanting "shame!" the whole time

On the next night about 1,000 people marched around the building and had a rally at the entrance.  I guess later that night they found out that the Capitol has to be open during business hours.  Too bad it didn’t reopen until today, it looked really pretty inside!

The building is only 3 feet shorter than our nation's Capitol!

I left the rally early because the conference was buying us dinner at The Great Dane, a pretty yummy brew-pub.  I would definitely recommend the “cheese curds”, basically mini mozzerella sticks dipped in ranch.  Trust me when I say I ate more cheese in 48 hours than is probably recommended.  But what else am I to do in Madison in winter?  I brought home some delicious samples from FromagInation, my new, cheesy heaven on Earth.  Three words: onion-garlic-gouda. 

The diary in WI is definitely solid.

The conference was hosted by University of Wisconsin and we met in their new Engineering Centers building.  I did some poking around the campus before the day started, also reminded me of U of M.  I would love to see this city in springtime.

Old school...

... meet the new school.

Lots of interesting architecture

The Descendant's Fountain

I found this link for the fountain above.  When I saw it in person I just thought it had a really cool design and liked the name.  Now I want to go back when it’s running!  Here are a few more pictures from my trip:

Leaving the gov'na love notes (not)

Yeah dairy state!

Lots of peaceful protesters

Watching the action


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Good thing I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution about writing in my blog regularly…  Ah well, life is too short to regret not posting to your online journal often enough.  Nay?

ghost tree

Check out some night photography Pat and I did the other day.  It did not turn out the way we expected, but it isn’t bad either.  We didn’t use a flash so the tripod Pat gave me for Christmas really came in handy. 

Christmas is OVER already!

This is from a walk through University of Penn’s campus.  They must run on steam for heat or electricity (or both) because they have these vents all over the place.  My college had them too but they were disguised as kiosks for hanging posters on.  I stood on this one for a few minutes, hoping Pat would get a cool picture, but then it got too sweaty and gross. 


Beam me up, Chem Lab!

My husband truly loves art

In other news, my parents, Pat and I ate at PYT in Northern Liberties today.  They have some crazy burgers there!  I selected one with a fried egg and hollandaise sauce on an English muffin, very odd but okay.  I think my dad’s was the best– burger topped with cheese steak, Wiz and onions on a soft pretzel bun.  NOM NOM NOM!

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Forbidden Drive and dirty lens

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
–   George Eliot

This was our first free weekend since what felt like forever.  We rode out of the city to Forbidden Drive on Friday.  Breakfast stop at the Manayunk Diner (oh so delicious).  I got a flat on the way home but somehow, mysteriously, my tube retained a lot of air so I was able to ride (slowly) all the way back– hurrah!  I need new tires though before winter comes, the “standard” my bike came with is pretty well-worn down.

Of course the camera came out for a spin, too:


Geese and Philly


Clark Park

I have so much free time now, I almost don’t know what to do with myself.  We did make a very sizeable dent in our massive laundry pile.  All that remains is towels and sheets– a victory in my eyes.  Patrick and I consumed much monkey bread in celebration.  I’m trying to focus on my writing, both here and at examiner.com Thanks to everyone who clicks on my various articles, it helps!  I’m also getting excited for the holidays. Looking forward to a much-needed trip home later this month and then a hectic month at work.

Our trip is becoming more and more real in my mind each day.  Today we took another look at the map (upon the guidance of my friend Emily, who is living in Europe) and are considering an alternative route, which gives us a potential departure of June, 2012.  19 months away??  Maybe! I’m glad winter is so boring here, it helps us save money 🙂

He's a model, on the cat walk, the cat walk

More soon!

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Hanauma Bay- waiting for The Bus to Waikiki

I have really been wanting to write about our Hawaii trip but working at the haunt sucks up all my energy and time.  I can’t post any more pictures on here or Facebook, new media rules don’t allow.  But I assure you we still look as gruesome as ever.  But on to one of my favorite places in Hawaii: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

Caity and Paul (our friends getting married in HI) dropped us off at Hanauma Bay after a morning tide pool hike.  We were starving so we had snack bar food at the entrance to the park– not very good but there were nice places to sit if you had a picnic.  There was a really nice education center with friendly educators.  One guide gave us a tip on where the sea turtles could be spotted, we later saw one!

A sea turtle blends into the rocks

Hanuauma Bay was “rescued” in 1990 when the practice of allowing 10,00+ people a day onto the beach was stopped.  Now it focuses on conservation and marine education.  I really liked the education kiosk they had on the beach.  You could check out posters to name the fish you saw or talk to more expert guides.  I would love to manage that volunteer program– office on the beach? Yes please!

Clear blue water

We rented snorkels and fins and swam from one end of the bay to the other.  I felt like a gigantic fish as we skimmed above the reef.  We saw sea cucumbers, urchins and schools of the most colorful fish I’ve ever seen.  They seemed pretty unfazed by all the snorkelers and kept busy feeding on reef.  Worn out after a day in the sun we took a short walk to the far end of the beach and then headed toward The Bus which would take us back to Waikiki.  On the way out of the park we saw a crazy sight– a couple of chickens just roving around!


Of course I had to get nice and close for a photo-op, who doesn’t love a few wild chickens?  (Actually I just found this blog, apparently flightless birds aren’t as fun when you live on an island) 

bawk bawk!

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