Sandwiched between my Saratoga trips was the family vacation to the Adirondacks. I got a few hikes in, one an ill advised 3.5 miler in 85 degree heat with a banana and a beer for lunch, had a great time with my family, and had a relaxing time over all. The weather was just beautiful, and very warm. Swam in the lake every day. Just a great year at the lake. Posted a few photos on flickr, and of course here’s a few on the blog.
On one of my business trips to Washington, I took the time to visit The Mall and view the monuments and museums in the Capital. I hadn’t been there since I was young. The mall was really long, but I walked up and down it. Saw the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Capitol Building, White House and more. It was hot, but I had a good time walking around and taking photos. Unfortunately, The Mall was all torn up as they were doing drainage work this year (thanks to Federal Stimulus money). On a later trip I would visit the air and space museum as well. As always there are additional photos in my flickr gallery, and a few here as well.
And because everything looks better in Infrared, you will be sure to find plenty of IR photos in my Washington DC gallery on flickr.
When my parent’s invited us over for dinner on Memorial Day, I knew it was time to bring the camera for some bird shots. I got a funny one of a male cardinal all kinda puffed up, and we were treated to some baby bunnies that were’nt that shy at all. My outdoor bird and wildlife photography can be seen in my outdoor gallery on flickr. Here’s a few shots from Memorial Day here.
After our visit to the air show we had some time to visit the Penn State Arboretum. Although only a small part of the massive grounds have been completed it was still fun to go see. If I know one thing about arboretum’s its that they are great for Infrared Photography. Here’s some photos from my visit there. There are more photos in my Infrared Image Gallery on Flickr.
Because of the freakishly warm spring this year (in Rochester, March was our warmest on record, and the average temperature was higher than the April average), this year the lilac festival peaked a whole week earlier than the festival (May 10-19). On a beautiful sunny Sunday I went to Highland Park to view the lilacs early, and then home for the Kentucky Derby.
The lilacs were pretty much in peak bloom. Even the lilacs in our yard were blooming. This year the Rochester area also saw a massive influx of Red Admiral butterflies. There were tons of them. I’ve never seen anything like it, they were flying everywhere like flies. Anyway, took lots of photos of the lilacs, and butterflies on lilacs. The majority of the lilac photos are in my lilac flickr gallery.
After my walk through Highland Park, I went downtown to High Falls, and walked across the Pont de Rennes bridge to the baseball stadium and back. Here’s a few photos from that walk. I have a lot more photos of the falls in infrared on my infrared flickr page.
A couple weeks ago I decided to buy my own “Nifty Fifty”, Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 lens that is highly regarded as one of the best values for its price. I had resisted purchasing this lens, as I didn’t do a lot of portrait photography, but decided to give it a shot after seeing some nice landscape photos, and reading about how well it does in low light situations. My test subjects were our cats, and so far I am really excited about the potential of this lens. The details in optimal situations are just spectacular. Here’s a few photos of Tigger and Monkey.
Its definitely going to take some time to get good with this lens, but the good news is that electrons are free, so I will be clicking away. I will be posting more photos of the cats soon in my flickr cat gallery.
On Tuesday we visited Universal Studios Orlando, and went to Islands of Adventure to visit the amusement park rides. We did the new harry Potter coasters, Jurassic Park ride, Flume Ride, Spiderman, and Incredible Hulk Coaster. We also did the ET Ride, Simpson’s, Jaws, The Mummy Returns, and Twister.
Wednesday we traveled to Crystal River Wildlife reservation to do a manatee tour with Fun2Dive. It was really great. We snorkeled around in the many coves of the reservation and saw many manatee. We also visited a few of the natural springs that feed the area. Tracy spotted a crab on the bottom. We saw many fish, and were visited by still more manatee. Heather brought her underwater camera, and we were able to get some really neat photos.
If you are in the Orlando, Florida area, and want to swim with the Manatees, we highly recommend Fun2Dive. They specialize in small group (1-6 people), all day excursions to view manatees in a non-threatening natural environment. More photos in the Florida flickr gallery.
The day after our first snowfall here in Rochester, I snapped this photo of what I think is an Eastern Bluebird in the tree near our house. The bluebird is actually the state bird of New York and Missouri. This is the first bluebird that I can remember seeing in New York State. I saw one last summer in Pennsylvania. There were a couple at the house, but I never saw them get any seed from our feeder. I hope they came back and were fed.
I snapped these photos of a helper we have for keeping the bushes at the back of our lot in check. There are actually 2 of these little guys, and their mom. We’ve seen them a few times this summer. One time the two young ones took turns running through the neighbors swing set. They were dodging back and forth through the swings. Most of the bushes in back are nothing special, but we keep an eye on our lilac bushes, they’ve been fine so far. I really like the stripe down its neck.
Tracy’s mom has some huge butterfly bushes this year, and they were just covered with tiger swallowtails this year. I brought along my flaky Infrared Digital camera to try and take some shots to see how they look in IR. It was pretty tough, those butterflies would not stay still, and it was difficult to get really close because they just fly away. I was persistent though, and got a few neat shots.