one family's adventures in the world
05.12.2013 - Áine being particularly cute!
03.16.2013 - Here are some of Aidan's Winter adventures!
02.20.2013 - The family Christmas pictures are finally up! We think the kids are looking cuter than ever this year, but we are contractually obligated to say this...
02.07.2013 - So far it's been an often cold Winter, though without much snow at home. Feeling the need for a "real" Winter experience, I drove out to Shenandoah NP in the waning days of last year. My plan was to do the memorable Old Rag Mountain hike in the snow and ice, and it was well worth it. The weather cooperated beautifully, as you can probably appreciate in these photos.
12.22.2012 - Wow, maintaining the pages for three kids seems like more than 50% extra work! I suppose it is partially due to the sorting of similar pictures into different groups. I'll be posting similar group photos for a while! At least we're having fun taking them...
This batch comprises a trip to beautiful Harpers Ferry last month, and a few photos from Halloween. It was amazing just how much sticky debris Aidan had stuck firmly to his Jedi robes!
12.09.2012 - Weekends and mornings are update time! Áine is semi-asleep upstairs, and our other kids are keeping us busy too - both in pictures and around the house! Today I'm sharing some Aidan and Fiona stuff from the past few months.
12.07.2012 - Baby Áine has been keeping us extraordinarily busy, and my backlog of pictures and events to post has been spiraling to daunting proportions. After much vain searching for time and energy, I've had to designate the brief time between taking Aidan to school and my own departure for work as "grimbert.net" time. This makes for slow but steady progress...
I've just finished the last touches on my log and photo set from a bike tour that I did in September. It was the most draining and yet most rewarding thing I've yet done on the bike. I think you'll find it to be pleasantly scenic. You can read about it here.
10.29.2012 - Baby Áine is here! She joined us 10 days ago and has brought a lot of joy and loss of sleep into our home. She is quite a lot of fun, of course, and is getting along with our suddenly very solicitous older kids. She has also been quite quiet today while the hurricane rages outside, which has given me ample time to work on getting her page up and running.
Want to know how to say our new baby's name? Despite the strange Irish spelling, say it "Awn-ya" and you'll be just about right. You can hear a well-known Irish author say it here - it helped us! And since I like the accent mark above the "Á" so much, I've memorized that it's typed with the code "Alt+0193" on a Windows keyboard...
07.23.2012 - Here's the first batch of the kids' Summer photos. I think we're getting around a fair amount despite the often stifling heat outside, though the temptation of hibernating indoors has been tough to fight this year.
06.19.2012 - The Don and I went on a Spring camping trip this year in Shenandoah NP. The weather was great, if quite cold overnight! Here are a few memorable additions to the VA Blue Ridge scenic gallery.
04.22.2012 - It's been a very fine Spring so far. On this rainy day I'm posting photos of the kids while they nap. Below you can see pics from their trip to the Atlantic and from their walk among the blooming cherry trees in DC.
04.11.2012 - Here's a follow-up from our Kent Island visit - a picture that might just end up on my wall someday. It was certainly one of the finest sunsets I've seen in quite some time! It is, of course, almost the same picture as in my last post, though without a Fiona. I think it deserves a position among my coastal Maryland photos nonetheless.
03.30.2012 - Spring has only just begun and I'm happy to say we've been to the beach twice! We like to go when it's still cooler outside for the reduced crowds and better ability to make photos. But now that the kids are getting older they really want to get into the surf! There's more to come, of course, but today I'm sharing our visit to Kent Island, Maryland, on the Chesapeake. I've posted one photo from this cool island already, but we saw an even more impressive sunset on this most recent vist.
03.22.2012 - Spring is really in full swing here, with budding leaves and flowers abounding. In the interest of catching up I'm posting what's probably my last Winter update. It came from a particularly good day - my birthday - and the only solid bit of snow I got to experience during the whole season. I was once again at my favorite spot in Michaux State Forest, along the banks of Tom's Run below Sunset Rocks. I set up my tripod low along the edge and kneeled in the fluffy few inches of snow to get this shot. It's kind of mellow and relaxing, don't you think?
03.16.2012 - Last month I drove the family out to Shenandoah National Park without bothering to check the status of Skyline Drive. After two hours in the car, we learned that the road was closed. It's a bit frustrating that they close it when there's only the slightest snow, but we didn't despair. Nearby Massanutten mountain is still fun to drive around, both on the roads winding up to the gaps and through the narrow Fort Valley that lies within.
After a meandering tour, we stopped at a familiar place and went for a bit of a hike. Snow was on the ground but it was only enough to please the eye rather than hinder travel. We brought the stroller to push Fiona about, but she walked a good distance too. Aidan, of course, loved making snowballs and running far ahead. We had a grand time and finished our out-and-back walk with a campfire to roast hot dogs! The kids' photos are linked below.
03.09.2012 - Today I have a few photos from Fiona's birthday party. Sure, it's only opening presents, but I did record at least one Fiona-smile!
03.05.2012 - My friends and family know that I like to get out to the mountains to see fall foliage in all of its splendor. It's not always possible, of course, and our neighborhood can certainly show off on an Autumn morning. Thus, today I've posted three photos of our local lake (starting here). If only it were looking this fine these days! It's often a pleasure to look out the window at breakfast, especially during Autumn.
I was reviewing my photos today and got a bit carried away updating old ones. Many of the Virginia Blue Ridge photos are now available for sale, with links to the shopping page for each photo. This might be a great time to update your home's decor with some Appalachian scenery!
02.18.2012 - Christmas 2011 pictures, including the standard wild hair, screaming, and frantic gift unwrapping!
In case the relative frequency of recent posts hasn't made you guess it, I can simply say that I'm trying to get caught up to the present day with the site. I know I haven't been anywhere close for more than a year, but I'm nearly there now. We'll see how this goes...
02.13.2012 - This past Thanksgiving weekend the family and I took a short drive out to Gettysburg and walked about on the hills and among the boulders. Fortified by leftovers, we stayed out with the kids running for quite some time. Our last stop was Little Roundtop, just as the sun was going down. The castle structure atop the hill memorializing the 44th New York Infantry was swarming with people, but I waited until (almost) everyone was out of the frame to get this shot with the distant ridge of South Mountain framed by the arch.
02.06.2012 - Back in October I took a small vacation - camping in the Blue Ridge in Shenandoah National Park. Naturally I had my camera with me, and over the three days I took a number of photos that I'd like to share. There are nine new photos in this gallery starting here.
These are also included in the collage gallery, but some direct links are helpful too:
10.29.2011 - Back in August we went to Gettyburg's Land of Little Horses, a farm park that the wife fondly remembered from her childhood. The close encounters with animals had the kids quite entertained!
10.05.2011 - This past Spring I made my first-ever fully-loaded bike tour. I rode from our home in Alexandria to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. It was a grand experience and a great way to travel! I wrote the trip up based on my notes here.
09.07.2011 - Spring update Mk. III - Autumn color is nearly upon us. I see a few leaves changing here and there, including a few on a favorite tree just outside our kitchen window. Continuing with my historical updates, though, means that I have some Spring color to share today.
When I took these photos, I was struck by how beautiful each scene was as I stood before it. At the time, I was also happy with the captured images as I reviewed them on the camera. However, when editing the photos months later, I initially found them all to be too busy. For a bit I hesitated to post them, but I eventually felt that the colors and impressions they show make them worthwhile despite their clutter. I hope you agree!
04.13.2011 - I managed to recover a picture from an Alleghenies trip last April by removing a rather irksome blurry tree branch. This makes me really glad since the image now represents nearly what I expected when I first opened the shutter! See it here!
There are also a few cute and/or funny pictures from Halloween, depending on your interpretation...
03.25.2011 - Spring is upon us in Alexandria, with flowering trees scenting the air everywhere. In my own personal photography, however, I'm going to share a few photos from Alexandria's last colorful season, this past Autumn. As for the Spring flowers - I hope to get some photos before they disappear!
02.17.2011 - The family hasn't been back to Shenandoah since last October, but that one trip still yields some beautiful things. Today I have a photo of frequently-photographed Dark Hollow Falls to share. Grand, eh?
11.17.2010 - We took a family trip out to beautiful Blackwater Falls again last month, which was decked out in splendid Autumn colors. I've picked one photo to share so far, but there should be more!
11.04.2010 - We've been to the PA Renaissance Faire a few times this year, but today's photos come from our last and best trip, where we caught the kids being, perhaps, even cuter than usual!
11.03.2010 - A collage gallery of our family trip to Dutch Wonderland this past September.
10.27.2010 - I'm finally getting around to the kids' Autumn pictures - we've been busy so far in our favorite season! These photos come from a fine September day spent driving and hiking in Shenandoah National Park.
10.15.2010 - I always enjoy a good sunset, and this site is certainly filled with evidence of that! Today, I have a single sunset photo to share. The wife, the kids, and I all journeyed to the Blue Ridge on a long June day for a picnic. We arrived just as the Western sky was beginning to change to bright, vivid shades of orange and pink. I set up my tripod to help stabilize the camera in the gusts coming out of the valley, while the wife chased Aidan around. The hazy conditions and fast-moving clouds resulted in the light being greatly diffused. I would say that we all had a grand time watching the sky light up that day!
10.09.2010 - Back in June, the kids and I took a roadtrip on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which had us past half the length of Virgina North to South. The great distance was worth the trip, though, since the unfamiliar mountains were often even more rugged and beautiful than those in Shenandoah.
We managed a number of outings:
09.17.2010 - Ahoy, I'm back from quite a long break! I suppose I just needed one. However, I do have quite the backlog of things to report on. Today, I'm sharing some photos from late Spring, when the kids and I drove to West Virginia to spend the day in the mountains.
Seeing the sun rise from Spruce Knob was a fantastic experience. I loved watching the light change as it slowly poured into the many narrow valleys below. Then, once the light was full, the kids and I were able to take a walk along some of the peak's paths.
After Spruce Knob, we drove a bit to visit the beautiful Snowshoe Ski Resort, which I had never seen without a thick covering of snow. The long, green views were simply spectacular, and the festive village feel was a real treat. We really met some splendid, friendly folks.
Finally, before beginning the long journey home, we drove further south to tour the Highland Scenic Highway, which showcased wild West Virginia quite well. It's a beautiful state to have for a neighbor!
08.10.2010 - More pictures from Aidan's birthday party! Thanks to all for the good times and the presents. He's going to have quite a good time playing with them!
08.05.2010 - Happy 2nd birthday, Aidan! We've got a few photos and videos of Aidan thinking about blowing out his candle and playing in a sprinkler. If we're lucky and don't get utterly rained out, we're going to take Aidan for a cruise on the Potomac today too! (of course, we were rained out!)
07.28.2010 - The wife, Fiona, Aidan, and I all went for a little hike in Ricketts Glen. The steep steps proved far too precarious for us to do the whole circuit, but we did see some magnificent falls on our brief visit. This was my favorite.
Today I have an image of a rather interesting place in Northern Pennsylvania, called Seven Tubs. These "tubs" are a series of large potholes carved by water action over endless years. What we get to see in modern times is a narrow, swift stream that plunges over a series of falls between the tubs. Its course is often ten or more feet below the eroded cliffs, though its banks can be reached safely above and below the tubs.
I was staying in a nearby hotel for a wedding, so I left my slumbering family before dawn for a quick visit to this little wonder. As soon as I had some natural light to work with I was walking about in the sodden woods. The smell of wet leaves was all about, as was the sound of rushing water. It was a real pleasure to make this image, and I hope you enjoy it!
I have also spent some time looking into how to perhaps make some profit from sharing my favorite images. I've found that a print is the preferred means of really appreciating a photograph, and I've found an easy way to make these available to anyone interested. I have set up a shop on a website called imagekind, which provides on-demand printing of images. This enables me to sell them without having to carry stock, and allows imagekind and I to share revenues. Custom framing services are also provided, and they look wonderful.
I don't have any delusions that this will make me rich! However, it may help to at least subsidize what has become one of my main diversions in life. I plan on adding my favorite grimbert.net gallery scenes to the shop eventually. I will also add new images going forward as appropriate.
Thanks for looking, and thanks for your support!
06.30.2010 - Summer is in full swing, and I haven't even gotten through my batch of Spring photos yet! Yes, I'm way behind, but I like to think of it as a good problem, since I have no lack of photos to share.
Last month we traveled North with much of our family to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for a beautiful wedding. The best photos I have concern our kids - we'll leave the shots of the wedding party to the hired professionals!
06.17.2010 - Last month I had a grand, albeit short camping and hiking trip in my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. I arrived just in time for a spectacular sunset, and the scenic trip stayed top-notch thereafter.
06.09.2010 - Aidan and I went for a bit of a hike while my mom gave Fiona a bottle in the car. We certainly didn't get far...
Today, I have two photos (starting here) from Maryland's splendid park in the Alleghenies, Swallow Falls State Park. The Youghiogheny River plunges a few times here, and a tributary also has a precipitous drop. All of this happens beside a fine old forest that is a real pleasure to stroll through.
I also brought the kids with me, pushing Aidan around in the stroller with Fiona strapped to my chest. Since the heights were too dangerous for Aidan to be running around, he stayed strapped in. Thus, Fiona got to pose with me in front of Muddy Creek Falls!
05.24.2010 - I normally post items in some semblance of chronological order, but I'm breaking my rule today. I have a waterfall photo from Shenandoah that I couldn't wait to share. Many falls in the higher parts of the Blue Ridge simply can't be too large, since they are often only a few hundred feet below the top of their small watersheds. Dark Hollow Falls isn't a huge waterfall, but it has an interesting shape and can be appreciated very intimately. It is perhaps the easiest one to get to in the park, and the hike down into its narrow gorge is a lot of fun.
05.14.2010 - The kids and I made a journey last month to Assateague Island, Maryland last month. This Atlantic barrier island is well-known for its population of feral horses that swim between it and the neighboring island of Chincoteague. The long, narrow isle also boasts pristine beaches and marsh forests along its back bay. I've posted a few of my favorite artistic photos in my Coastal Maryland gallery. Have a look!
And of course, I didn't waste the opportunity to take some photos of the kids at the beach! Aidan in particular had a good time running about on the breezy strand, but I did of course get a few self-portraits with Fiona added in.
This island is a very interesting place that I'm looking forward to revisiting. However, I've since learned that mosquitos effectively rule the place beginning in May until sometime in the Autumn, so we will return later in the year if we can.
05.11.2010 - Have you been looking forward to Fiona pictures? Well, if so, the wait is over, and she's as cute as ever!
05.10.2010 - The Southern reaches of Shenandoah National Park have some interesting geology, including steep slopes covered with fields of talus, composed of large broken rocks without vegetation. I've been inspired to hike through some of these parts recently. Last month, Aidan and I visited a favorite vista in the park to check things out, and he got to do some hiking of his own. After this, we stayed late enough for the light to reach a lovely golden hue, resulting in this picture. It's worth exploring these particular mountains some more!
Many thanks to my photo reviewers in helping me choose the most interesting photo from the many I took!
05.01.2010 - Aidan had a run around the lake today, which led to a goose-related encounter. Have a look!
04.30.2010 - Today I have a few photos from a waterfall hike in Shenandoah. This hike started me on a waterfall kick yet again, which has meant I've been driving all over the mountains on weekends for the past month, often with the kids! It's such a wonderful thing to see water coming down a mountain with all of its force. As always, I will have photos of these trips in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
04.27.2010 - About a month ago we drove far North to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for the wedding shower of the wife's cousin. Though Aidan and I didn't stay long at this event which was mostly for the women of the family, we did manage to snag a few tidbits of delicious pizza, and Aidan entertained with his antics.
After getting a few photos Aidan and I escaped to Ricketts Glen, which I mentioned a few weeks ago. It was so beautiful there that we're hoping to go back as a full family around the time of the actual wedding next month. We're looking forward to it!
04.24.2010 - I've been appreciating this Spring more than ever before, traveling from the mountains to the sea while everything has been blooming. However, some of the nicest flowers still come to the DC area. I didn't go into Washington to see the blossoms this year, but Alexandria also has more than its fair share of cherry trees. Here are two photos (click through to the next one)! These trees are only vivid for a few days before the flowers are obscured by the quick growth of leaves, and then the petals scatter. I think I got to these just before the leaves took over.
04.16.2010 - My friends and I are planning a camping trip this June to Shenandoah Park centered on the Loft Mountain campground. This Summer trip got me thinking about last year and all of the time that I spent in the mountains. I went back to my archived photos to see if my perceptions of anything had changed, and I did indeed find some gems that I think are worth sharing.
First is a photo of a twisted stair and tree at Timber Hollow Overlook. I had already posted a photo from this very same evening last year, but this photo has grown on me quite a bit since then! Not only is the park full of majestic vistas, but there is very rough and rustic stonework everywhere, often leftover from the park's earliest days.
Next I have a close-up photo of some pine cones and boughs that I came across on Massanutten mountain when hiking with Aidan. I had stopped to photograph some vultures, though I had no real luck in getting close enough to capture anything special. I then noticed the bright green cones nearby and just decided to take a picture. I've been debating posting this for months, but I think the bright simplicity of the photo makes for a pleasing image.
It's always entertaining to appreciate something you've overlooked in the past, especially when it pops up on your screensaver! I'm glad I finally got around to posting these.
04.15.2010 - Aidan enjoys helping me post stuff to the website. Sometimes the random button presses really get him somewhere! He usually runs for the computer with every chance he has!
04.09.2010 - Recently we made our way up to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for a wedding shower. I fully expected that Aidan and I would only be able to handle this for a little while, if at all, so when the boy started to get feisty we left the wife and Fiona at the party and took an hour's drive to Ricketts Glen State Park. This is a splendid park filled with over a score of substantial waterfalls.
However, it turned out that I stayed for too long at the party, since the wife called me just as I was arriving at the park, asking when I would be back. I only had time for a short walk and a few photos at Adams Falls (have a look!), but we will be sure to return. I had never even heard of this splendid place until I was looking for stuff to do during the shower, so it was a great surprise to find something so wonderfull nearby.
03.29.2010 - I've added some more photos showing us having a grand time in the snow that buried the Northeast this past Winter. Aidan in particular had fun! Next Winter I will be sure to get Fiona out in the snow herself.
03.17.2010 - Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've taken off work to celebrate today, but the family and I made sure to get a few photos yesterday in the evening light. The kids both got new green outfits in the mail from their great grandma, so a photo shoot was certainly in order! I brought our big chair out to the back patio, and we got to enjoy some comfortable, dry daylight weather, which seems to be quite a rarity these days...
I was wondering how to divide up the group photos between the two kids' pages, but the wife helped me out. "Aidan stole the show," she said, so he gets two pics. Finally, Fiona gets the big group shot. I hope you get a kick out of them. Sláinte!
03.16.2010 - Almost two weeks ago I left Alexandria well before dawn for a day of hiking in Shenandoah National Park. The main drive was closed, but parking was still available at an entrance station. So, just as the sun was rising, I set off along the Appalachian Trail, bound for Mary's Rock. I still hadn't woken up early enough to experience the sunrise from the peak, but the morning light was fresh as I walked along the trail. The snow was fairly packed on this route, but still gave way in many places, and was coated by a few fresh inches as well. It was treacherous, but I made it to a stunning panoramic vista at the top, as long as I held on tight, for the wind was blowing out of the valley at an alarming speed. I had to shelter behind the broken boulders at the top of the mountain to stay warm between pictures.
This was a spectacular end to a record-setting Winter in the Mid-Atlantic region. It's also been a boost to my urge for Winter forest adventures.
03.10.2010 - I've got some more cute pictures of Fiona to share. She's getting quite a bit stronger! And, she's helped me with this post, since she's passed out on me while I'm writing it up!
03.09.2010 - Here are Aidan's mountain pictures from last week, as promised! I'm really happy this Winter delivered enough snow for such fantastic photographic opportunities - I will have so many pictures to show the kids when they're older! Now, as all but the largest piles of plowed snow have melted from Alexandria, I'm looking forward to the green of Spring and the next round of seasonal exploration with the little ones. Of course, I do still have some Winter photos to share, but probably no more to take...
03.05.2010 - I got some exciting photos on a Virginia roadtrip the other day, and I wrote quite a bit about the trip. If you just want to see the pictures, the set of four begins here.
This past weekend, I was home alone with the kids while the wife took a well-deserved mini-vacation. I really wanted to get out of the house, and, since the kids usually enjoy car trips, I decided to take them out to the Blue Ridge. I was hoping to see the snow-covered mountains, but I had to drive quite a bit to get to a pleasing vista.
First we made our way to Shenandoah National Park. I knew Skyline Drive was closed, but I wanted to see the state of the place for myself, and I fully expected the route over the mountains, US 211, to be open. To my great surprise, at the Thornton Gap park entrance, I was told that although Skyline Drive was indeed closed, the Panorama parking area was open, and quite a few folks were using it as a starting point for snowshoeing, hiking, and cross country skiing. I learned that this is usually the case, at least at this entrance, when the drive is closed. It's good information that I plan to use (and did use, see end) in the future, since the park's peaks are much more accessible in Winter with this option, rather than hiking in from a much lower point.
The kids and I rested up here a bit and had some lunch, and then we were heading off, down 211 on the mountain's Western slope. We explored the Jewell Hollow area that I've photographed so much from above, but I learned that it's not nearly as impressive when you're actually in the hollow itself. However, as we got back onto 211 and continued West, the majestic sight of the whole range we had just crossed opened behind us. I really wanted a photo of this, but I would have to work for it!
We crossed Page Valley and then passed through Massanutten Mountain at New Market Gap. Soon I found myself driving on US 11, which happens to pass through my home town as its main street. Eventually we were in the town of Mount Jackson, and I pulled over to give Fiona a bottle. It turned out that I had parked in front of a beautiful mansion on Route 11, with the Western side of Massanutten looming behind it. After finishing up here, I got this photo before continuing North.
Soon we were in Edinburg, which was somewhat familiar after my brief visit for a hike in July of the past year. I turned right onto VA 675, which wound its way through a portion of the enormous George Washington National Forest, and into the isolated, rural Fort Valley, nestled between ridges of Massanutten. I followed 675 past a number of snow-melt fueled waterfalls, but the road was far too narrow to pull over for a photo. I was bound for the very same parking area that I had used for my hike. I remembered a roadside vista there, although in Summer it was quite overgrown, and the valley had been full of haze. However, when we came to this point, I was stunned by the sheer magnitude of the view. The snow-clad valley was spread out before us, and the crisp, cool air afforded a beautiful clarity to everything. We stopped here to admire the vista, and I think these photos (Normal - Panorama 1 - Panorama 2) really show just how fantastic it was. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River glittered in the late afternoon sunlight, and the mountains themselves looked splendid in their blue-white garments. I could pick out some of my favorite spots in the park's central district - Jewell Hollow, Stony Man, and Skyland.
And while Fiona was asleep in the car, I let Aidan run around for a little bit. If I didn't say so, you might think that I had taken him to a ski resort, no? Pictures coming soon!
I was sorely tempted to stay for the sunset light, since it would have been falling on the mountains from the right, and would surely have looked glorious. However, there was simply no chance that the kids would stay entertained for another hour or more, and Fiona had just woken up and started to cry. Thus, with a bit of regret, we retraced our steps back into Fort Valley, and followed VA 678 Northwest through the valley's length. I enjoyed the countryside, but didn't really see a photo I liked, so we kept driving. The devastation that the Winter's storms had wrought on the local trees was highly evident, as felled trees lined the road. The path was clear, though, so it was obvious that much labor had gone into clearing it.
Soon the road was running along and above Passage Creek, a deep greenish torrent that had cut itself a narrow gap at the Northern side of the valley. The treacherous road had almost no shoulders, so that even though I wanted to admire the creek as I drove, I had to keep my attention fully on driving. Though the sun was lighting up the sky in a lovely way behind us, I was glad to be out of the valley. After this, it was a short and easy drive to Front Royal, where we picked up I-66 and drove home.
This was a great little road trip! In fact, I was so impressed with my first time in this area during snow that I made sure to come back. I moved around some vacation and took off work yesterday just for a bit of hiking - it was wonderful! To be continued...
03.01.2010 - Fiona was baptized last week, and I have a bunch of photos posted from the event. As I've said already, and quoting Fr. Kleinmann, we have two little saints in the house!
02.26.2010 - Aidan has his long-awaited first haircut and bears it with great courage. See this and more here!
02.23.2010 - The wife and I went to Gettysburg and the site of our wedding reception for Valentine's Day this year. The food at the Herr Tavern is always great, and Gettysburg is fun any time of the year!
While we were in the area, I made sure to get into the woods to see the aftermath of the blizzard in an undisturbed area - my favorite campsite near Pine Grove Furnace. I saw a few footsteps marking the passage of hikers in the deep snow on the Appalachian Trail, but there was otherwise no evidence of human traffic in days. Using my wading boots, I crossed the icy stream and set up my tripod on some rocks for this photo. I hope you enjoy it, but I know I can do better. I was trying to use a very dark filter, which means that I must take a very long exposure in order for the photo to be bright enough. This means that all of the motion of the water over this time will be recorded, which leads to a very soft and smooth effect. However, the bright snow and the manual nature of this resulted in mistakes on my part, so these photos are not really presentable. Thus the photo I've actually shared was taken with only a simple fliter to dim the upper half of the frame, since the early morning light was falling there, and it would have made for a poorly exposed photo. The effect of the very dark filter on water is a beautiful one, and it is evidenced here and here - I think it is always worth trying for, even if I don't get it right!
I plan to go back to this place many times in the future, and in all seasons. I'm sure we'll get snow just as intense as that of the "Blizzard of 2010" again!
02.16.2010 - The DC region is still under a deep blanket of snow, although the streets are clear enough! I have yet another photo to share from when the snow was still fresh. I hope you enjoy this scene on one of Alexandria's oldest cobbled streets.
I also have a slideshow of various scenes I've captured during all of the recent snowfall. You may have seen some of these already, but there are a few unpublished shots as well. I for one am enjoying this Winter quite a bit - bring on the snow!
02.12.2010 - Little Fiona may not be getting outside to play in the snow, but we've been letting Aidan take full advantage! Starting here are four photos of Aidan in a Winter Wonderland.
02.10.2010 - All of this snow is really giving me a lot of time to mess around on the computer. Thus, I have a favorite photo from "Round 1" of the Blizzard of 2010 to share. This picture was taken the day after the snow ended, in Alexandria's Old Town. I was wandering around the old graveyard behind the Presbyterian Church, and this house over the wall just looked perfect with the heaps of snow and the clear blue sky.
02.09.2010 - Aidan is just as busy as ever, and very interested in his new baby sister. I've posted a couple of new pictures starting here.
02.08.2010 - Fiona's pictures are finally available! Have a look here. Isn't she beautiful?
02.05.2010 - You know, I think I'm actually a bit daunted by the task before me - choosing, editing, and posting my favorite pictures of new baby Fiona from the last week or so since her birth. Still, it's a happy problem to be confronted with.
I also think it's ironic that my "birthday post" for Fiona was a goofy picture of a pastry (she being a metaphorical bun-in-the-oven at that point), but I really didn't know that she was going to pop in on that particular day. I hope to remind her of this in a few years!
Anyway, what I'm sharing today is another photo from a hike that the wife, Aidan and I took just three days before Fiona's birth, so of course she was along too. Have a look here - I'm sure you'll agree with me that the wife really is sure-footed!
01.26.2010 - We're having a bake-off today at work (yes, I'm up far too late), and I've made an apple strudel for it with the wife's recipe. In fact, I had quite a bit of help, since it turns out that I'm terrible with a rolling pin...
I also broke out the oldest bottle of beer I had, Thomas Hardy's barleywine, brewed in 2004. I have previously learned that this sort of beer goes especially well with the wife's strudel. Since I've been carrying this bottle around through many moves, I thought that it was worth documenting the result of years of aging. The beer and strudel were an excellent match, so I posed them in this photo. Perhaps you think this odd? I definitely agree, but I still wanted to share!
01.23.2010 - Today the family and I went for a short hike in Shenandoah, which really helped to relieve my cabin fever a bit. It seems to be a tradition of ours, since we went for a few woodland walks just days before Aidan was born. Fiona should be here any day now, but until then, you can enjoy a few pictures from Aidan's hike!
01.15.2010 - The wife's pregnancy is at last very near its end, and we will soon be meeting our daughter face-to-face! For the last two months, I've wanted to stay close to home in case I'm needed. Thus, I haven't been traveling much, so I have only a dwindling cache of non-baby pictures to share. Still, I think there are some gems to post, including this photo of Penn State's Old Main at dawn. This was taken on a cold morning in early November, after PSU's heartbreaking loss to Ohio State. Walking about the campus on the beautiful morning after helped to cheer me up!
01.03.2010 - Happy New Year! I'm using this long, cold weekend to catch up on some photos from warmer, more colorful times. Today I have a nice Autumn picture on the Potomac River. I'd love to hear what you think! This is also a fantastic place to hike, FYI.
12.31.2009 - Christmas pictures are here! I've put up three new ones today.
12.29.2009 - Christmas is past, and we're back home from Pennsylvania. Those pictures aren't ready yet, but I've posted another, final batch of blizzard pictures on Flickr (just scroll to the end for the new ones). What a wild time!
12.19.2009 - Wow, along with much of the East Coast, we're snowed in! I managed to venture out last night before the snow got too deep, and I saw a few abandoned cars and a taxi stuck on a hill. In Alexandria, folks were walking down the center of the street and engaging in wild, slippery snowball fights!
Today, we're baking and lounging, and occasionally I'm going out to preemptively shovel as the snow piles up.
I have a bunch of new stuff today that I just couldn't wait to post. First is a shot of Aidan assisting in decor shopping. Next, I have a photo of Aidan lounging in the warmth inside. Finally, I'm using a slideshow link on Flickr to keep up with the excitement of this storm! I'm planning on adding photos throughout the day.
The newest ten pictures start here. I hope you enjoy them! The first two are from a particularly beautiful (and painful!) hike up Old Rag Mountain that Ickes and I undertook two weeks ago. I've got more Autumn photos on the way, too!
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