Friday, July 31, 2009

Reading the Nikon Manual

Fun Foto Friday

I've been having a grand time photographing my camera buddies. Here is Scout, he is a Webkinz Cocker Spaniel and the very first toy I started using as a model.

In this picture he is reviewing the Nikon D40 Guide to Photography, pointing out the use of manual settings to improve my pictures.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I've been meaning to get a shot of this fountain for quite some time and tonight on the ride home from the office I took advantage of the red light!

One of the things I've noticed since I started following some other blogs is surburbia is far less interesting than either city or country. It lacks the character of the city and the charm of country, or maybe I'm just bored...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Darth Vader Peeks...

Friday was the media launch of the 27th Annual Quick Chek NJ Festival of Ballooning. This event was open to the media and photographers and began at 6:30 am. The day was not the greatest (seems to be the case quite a bit this summer :p), it was cloudy and humid. But I did get a couple of shots in. My favorite was Darth Vader, although he was a bit shy...

(click to enlarge)

I'm looking forward to attending another Balloon Festival, perhaps when the weather is better!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Road Trip - Part 4

The Hollingsworth Family Settlement was just the beginning, Old Town Winchester was a real treat. We left the Shenandoah Tourism Center armed with a "Brand New" Self Guided Walking Tour pamphlet. Please click on the photos to enlarge.

(My photo buddy Rosie at the Daily Grind)

The walking tour was comprised of 29 locations, some of my favorites are what I've added to this page to share.

George Washington's Office Museum, built around 1748 and presently operated by the Winchester-Fredrick Ccounty Historical Society served as Colonel George Washington's headquarters from 1755 t0 1756 during the French and Indian attacks.

The canon above was used by George Washington to protect Fort Loudoun in 1756.

Washington's political career also began in Winchester. At the age of 23 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses where he represented Fredick County for two terms. According to the tour guide his career began at Old Fredick County Courthouse on July 24, 1756.

Old Town also has a Pedestrian Mall on Loudoun Street, with many shops and buildings with historical architecture highlights.

We were entertained by local artists and musicians as we enjoyed coffee at the Daily Grind.

Needless to say we a great time, there are tons more sites to see and I'm hoping we can make another trip in the fall when the leaves are changing color and the apples are being harvested!

Until next time - Live, Love, Laugh

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Road Trip - Part 3

Shenandoah University's History and Tourism Center is a great place to get acquainted with the history of the area and find some points of interest. The center is located on the land of one of the first settlers in the Shenandoan Valley, Abraham Hollingsworth. The Hollingsworth Family Settlement consists of Abram's Delight, built in 1754 it is the oldest house in Winchester.

The house was built by Abraham Hollingsworth's son Issac near the stream that Abraham is said to have commented was "a delight to behold". The stream is the main reason Abraham purchased the land for his family home.

Abraham's great-grandson built the stone mill building on the grounds in 1833. This building replaced an earlier mill that was worked by the Hollingsworth family since the mid eighteenth century.

The nearby pond looks like a nice place for ducks to enjoy the surroundings too.

Until next time - Live, Love, Laugh

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Road Trip - Part 2

On day 2 of our jaunt we made a short trip through Front Royal to the north entrance of the Shenandoah Nation Park

One of the highlights of this area is the Skyline Drive (those AAA Guide are very useful!), a 105 mile highway that runs the entire length of the park along the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are many overlooks on both the South and North bond sides, we stopped at overlooks on the South bound side between the North Entrance and Thorton Gap which is the first exit point at about 32 miles. The highest point we reached was about 3,385 ft. , the highest point in the park is Hawksbill, 4,051 ft located off the drive to the west at about 46 miles. The day was like the majority of June, overcast and rainy.

Our first glimpse of the Shenandoah Valley

I must admit, I did not like this over look point because that was some drop! Not the best time to remember you're afraid of height! :-0

A tiny break in the clouds gives a bit better view of the valley

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Road Trip - Part 1

Now the 4th is behind us and I've been thinking it's time to share what's been going on over the last few weeks. I've shared that we took a short 4 day road trip in June and I'll be posting pictures from the trip over the next several posts.

Steve and I had a great time. It was nice to just get away from the routine of the day to day and spend some time together, despite the weather that covered the entire Eastern US over a very long period. Including during our trip.

Our first stop on the journey was Charles Town, WV (more like the main event). Great place, they have a HUGH casino along with the racetrack. Seems like everyone is competing with Atlantic City these days and adding slots to the racetrack. Anyway, the night was fun but pretty wet as you can see from these photos.

A shot of the track from the field level

The horses were beautiful and ran their races despite the muddy track. (I thought they were pretty sloppy, but Steve said "No, just muddy.")

The casino was also where we had dinner. They had many places to choose from but we just went to the buffet. We enjoyed!

Until next time - Live, Love, Laugh

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Edison put on a very nice fireworks display this year. While the event was a bit toned down compared to the last three years, no concerts or other activities, the display was very good. It's wonderful we still had the opportunity to continue this annual event while other towns cancelled due to the economic times.

I also had an opportunity to take some photos while watching the fireworks. It's the first time I've done that, so while their not a great photographic display I'm pretty happy with how they came out. I've made a mosaic with some of my faves from the night.

Until next time Live, Love, Laugh

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July!

Rosie - Holiday Ready

The History Channel has a video of the History of July 4th, if you missed the skinny in school or just want a quick reminder check out the video.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Has Summer Arrived?

Just one day before the fireworks, finally some blue can be seen in the sky!

Summer Clouds
Steve saw this cloud formation and came in to get me to take a picture, I'm glad he did. Maybe the gray cloud cover that seems like it's been here since mid-May is finally leaving and letting the summer sky been seen.
While in the field, I really had the feeling that summer had finally decided to make an entrance. The rain we've had over the last month has certainly done wonders for the landscape of the township field.
31/365 Summer Field
The green of the grass and the trees was spectacular, and Maddox was loving every minute of his brief spin around field.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

July, but where's summer?

Already the July 4th holiday is looming around the corner, but it sure hasn't felt much like summer yet. The weather report seems to be a consistent "Mostly cloudy, Showers, and below normal temperature". Just make it seem more like the 4th has snuck up us!

However, Sunday at the beach gave a brief encounter with the season!

26/365 Beach_20090628-11

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ