Archive for the 'nature' Category

This awesome Web cam is in Hanover, PA. Two eggs were laid in mid-February, and based on average incubation periods that means they should be hatching any day now!

Even when they’re just hanging on their nest, bald eagles look totally badass.



Here’s an amazing time-lapse video of Yosemite. The nighttime shots are especially stunning.

I need to go out west again.



“Double rainbow all the way!”

First, watch this:


Now, watch this:


Double rainbow ATW. Awesomesauce.

(Nathan Fillion is insane, by the way.)

Look at all that pollen!


A picnic visitor

inchworm1.jpgTwo and two are fourFour and four are eightEight and eight are sixteenSixteen and sixteen are thirty-twoinchworm2.jpgInchworm, inchwormMeasuring the marigoldsYou and your arithmeticYou’ll probably go farinchworm3.jpgInchworm, inchwormMeasuring the marigoldsSeems to me you’d stop and seeHow beautiful they areinchworm4.jpg


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

During our get-together in Pigeon Forge, my friends and I focused mostly on hanging out together. We did some shopping, did a lot of eating, threw a surprise baby shower for one person (at which I gave her the recently completed baby cardigan), watched some movies, and talked a lot.park1.jpgIt was all great fun, but I couldn’t be so close to mountains and forests without going for a hike. So I spent a morning with one of the friends (the other three weren’t interested in getting up at 6 a.m. to catch the good light and beat the crowds) hiking in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.oark2.jpgBy arriving early, we managed to see some of the rising mist that gave the mountains their name.park3.jpgWe spent a few hours on the AT and met several volunteers who were working on the trails that day. One of them, Pete, looked to be in his sixties, and when he stopped to chat I realized that, in addition to the loaded pack on his back, he was wearing a full tool belt and carrying in his hands a pickaxe, a sledgehammer, and an axe–and he was cruising along at a good clip and barely out of breath. Wow.park4.jpgOn the trail, I always see lots of interesting things that I try to photograph…park5.jpg…but the pictures never seem to do them justice. I think you need to smell the air and hear the sounds around you, too, to get a good sense of the place.park6.jpgIn the visitor’s center, I kinneared this girl who was taking her Junior Ranger oath. I was struck by her seriousness about the whole thing. I wonder if, once she gets home, she’ll forget the interest in nature that motivated her to complete this program, or if she’ll grow up to be a tree hugger.park7.jpg


Wandering Winterthur

We spent the Friday before Easter at one of our favorite places, Winterthur. In early spring, it is even more amazing than usual.

Signs of spring are everywhere! I know I’ve posted lots of flower photos lately, but I just can’t help it: the arrival of spring is just so awesome!

We walked (or ran) the labyrinth…

…built a fairy house…

…looked at magnolia buds (and this is right about the time Sylvia decided to remove her shoes for the rest of the day)…

…marveled at the flowering trees and shrubs (that magnolia in the distance is at least 60 feet tall, by the way)…

…delighted in daffodils…

…and peeked at some fiddleheads.


Spring has sprung

Actually, I think we may have skipped spring and headed straight for summer: today’s high was 92 degrees. In the first week of April.

It’s been so warm and sunny the past two weeks that the trees and flowers are all freaking out. Instead of a springtime blossom show that rolls out over six weeks or so, everything is in flower right now. I’m happy to see spring flowers again, but a little bummed that we’re getting everything all at once. The dogwoods are just about ready to pop–about three weeks ahead of schedule.

Here’s the first crocus that appeared in my yard, on 10 March (not even one full month ago):

Ten days later, it had been joined by about 200 more:

Five days later, the first daffodil had opened up:

That was a week and a half ago. Today the hyacinths and daffodils are in full bloom, the forsythias are nearly spent, and the tulips are just about ready to step into the limelight. Usually the dogwoods and azaleas flower in early May. This year, we might start seeing their blooms next week.


Number 96 or so…

…of the 200+ crocuses currently blooming in my yard.

(Photo 365 | 2010: 20 March)


Back to butterflies

Last fall we participated in the butterfly tag-and-release day at one of our county parks (which just happens to be a 300+-year-old working farm). We had a great time then and were thrilled to be able to go to this year’s event, which was held last weekend. This time, I even managed to get a photo of Sylvia “letting a butterfly go.”




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