This fall Tracy and I traveled to Orlando Florida for vacation with Craig and Heather. We had a really good time. Monday we went to Discovery Cove, nd all inclusive resort where we swam in a huge artificial reef complete with rays and a variety of fish, we visited the bird aviary and fed many friendly tropical birds, we floated around the lazy river, and swam with the dolphins in the cove. It was a lot of fun, and included admission to Sea World, which we visited on Thursday. There are, of course, a bunch of photos in my flickr gallery.
A trip to my parent’s house on Mother’s Day gave me a chance to take some shots of their birds. They’ve got a good number of feeders and usually attract a good variety of birds. Got some good shots of a white crowned sparrow and some gold finches on the feeder. I hope to get some woodpecker and oriole shots this summer.
There are more birds and outdoor photos in my flickr gallery.
After going to the indy race on July 4th, the next weekend it was time to go to Geneseo for the Geneseo Air Show. I hadn’t been to this air show in years, and its a pretty unique air show because of the historic old planes you get to see. There is far less acrobatics, and a lot more older planes to see. Again it was really HOT. But a perfect sunny day. Highlights of the show included a replica B-17 Memphis Belle, the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, and the Soaring of Manfred Radius. He put on an amazing show in his glider, from about 5,000 feet he spiraled down to the crowd doing loops and turns to the tune of classical music. Then at ground level he flew upside down and cut a rope with the tail of his plane, before turning back over and landing. It was really great, and made you feel like you were back in older times. I posted a few photos here, and more of them are in my flickr gallery.
Many more images of many more planes are available in my flickr gallery.
Spring got here almost a full month early, and the plants and flowers are all blooming way early because of it. I took a chance to get out of work early on a beautiful day to head to Highland Park to look at the lilacs. They are in peak bloom despite the fact that the Rochester Lilac Festival isn’t until May 14-23rd. These photos were taken May 3rd, 2010. In 2008 I visited Highland Park on May 24th, and the Lilacs were in peak bloom, so there is quite a wide range of time for the flowers to bloom depending on the spring weather. Learn more about the lilacs at the the Lilac Festival Home Page.
This year we had a really early spring, and the majority of the plants and trees are at least 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule for blooming. I took this early opportunity to drive to Highland Park in Rochester, NY to look at all the varieties of lilacs while they are in peak bloom. The Lilac Festival itself isn’t until May 14-23. I am not sure there will be many left blooming at those times. The park is really amazing, and boasts one of the largest collections in the world.
“Today, over 500 varieties of lilacs cover 22 of Highland Park’s 155 acres. Rochester’s famous Lilac Festival is a lavish array of flowers, attractions, and special events that signal the arrival of spring. The 1,200-plus lilac bushes in Highland Park create a floral rainbow ranging from the deepest of purples to the purest of whites.” – About Highland Park Lilacs
View my lilac gallery here.
Sunday 11/15/2009 Day 3: Florida Institute of Technology and Cocoa Beach
On Sunday we took a break from our traveling to relax before the shuttle launch. We did go south to Melbourne and the Florida Institute of Technology to walk through their botanical gardens which was nice. There were lots of varieties of palms, bamboo, and lizards too. A lot of the trees had giant pathos plants growing all over them, but the leaves were huge compared to how large they get indoors in Rochester.
For me, it was fun to see lizards everywhere, but I have a hunch they are like squirrels down there to Floridians. I took the opportunity to take some infrared photos while we walked through the gardens, as the palm plants make really stunning pictures.
After we walked through the gardens, we went back to the hotel to spend the day at the beach. There were strong rip tides because of the remnants of Hurricane Ida that went up the coast, but we still did some wading. It was a very rough surf, and you really got pushed around by the waves and currents. But you gotta go in the ocean when you go on vacation, so we did.
As always, larger pictures of our full trip to Florida are available from my Flickr photo gallery. Day 4 includes our photos of the shuttle launch.
Saturday 11/14/2009 Day 2: Daytona 500 Experience
On Saturday we traveled up Interstate 95 to Daytona to tour Daytona International Speedway and the museum. When we arrived we were able to hop onto a tour tram and get onto a tour of the infield. I was surprised that the speedway actually seemed smaller than I thought it was. Seemed like if you were watching a race that you would easily be able to see all the action around the track. It is a large track, don’t get me wrong, but I was pleasantly surprised at the sight lines.
The tour took us into the infield through one of the tunnels under turn 4. The tour guide told us that the Italian Auto Club currently had track time, and we were treated to a steady stream of Ferraris, Mustangs, and other sports cars zooming around the track. Pretty much EVERYONE on the tour was more excited to see the cars racing by than look at the row of garages or grandstands and safety fences.
The banking of the track is REALLY steep, at 30 degrees in the corners. The tour stopped near the new winners circle for us all to get photos there, and view the VIP suites high above the speedway. Still, most people were trying to get views of the sports cars on the track.
After touring the speedway we went into the museum. There were multiple interactive racing simulators (some cost money), lots of cars on display, and lots of Richard Petty memorabilia. Matt Kenseth’s 2009 Daytona 500 winning car was on display right out of the winners circle. There were lots of bugs and gunk on it, and the fenders, front and back, were bashed in from the bump drafting. Really cool.
We watched an IMAX movie in 3D which was pretty good, and then went out to the track to watch some more auto club racing from the turn 4 grandstands. The cars were fast, and you could tell the grandstands were huge.
Overall it was a really nice day, and we spent about 4 1/2 hours at the museum before heading back to Coca Beach.
As always, larger pictures of our full trip to Florida are available from my Flickr photo gallery. Day 3 includes our trip to see the gardens at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne and the beach.
I’m still having fun with our new camera, and I saw this grasshopper on the way out the door the other morning. So what better way to test out the extreme zoom than to try this…
We went to Winterthur Gardens and Mansion this Spring as part of the Celebration of Life for Jay Powell. It was a beautiful day, and the gardens were spectacular. The Azaleas were in full bloom, and the grounds around the estate were beautiful. It was a wonderful day, a fitting way to remember Jay, and a day I hope not to forget.
For those of you that enjoyed my earlier IR photographs of tanks, here are a few more I scared up from 2008.
Well, I hope you enjoyed these photos of how some military vehicles appear in the IR spectrum.
I am always on the look out for interesting things to photograph in infrared. Here are a couple interesting effects that I noticed after taking a few photos this weekend. One was expected, the other was a bit of a surprise. The color photos were taken with a Canon Powershot SD850 IS, and the Infrared photos were taken with a Kodak EasyShare V550 with the infrared blocking filter removed and a new filter put in place to block visible light.
I knew the tank would appear as neat as it does from my knowledge of military history and a paper I wrote long ago on camouflage techniques, but the infrared glass on the car was a bit of a surprise. I didn’t expect it to appear as “visible” as it did.