Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 244 - Beautiful old barn

Just a beautiful day in our part of the world. I went to photograph one of Frederick County's covered bridges and spotted this 1882 barn on the way home.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 243 - Butterflies are free . . .

but the flowers will cost you! I stopped by a local orchard today to buy more peaches. They also sell pick your own flowers. And the bees and butterflies are ever present.

I chased this one around for a few shots, including the one below as he flew away.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 242 - Black and silver

A closeup of my newer camera taken with my older camera.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 240 - Pasta, reflection and shadows

Some staples from our kitchen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 239 - Not still life

David McMahon of authorblog was challenged to photograph a flying butterfly. As it is still winter down under in Melbourne and the Aussie butterflies don't like cold, he has to wait awhile before undertaking the challenge. I have been watching one of these small (about an inch long), white creatures (possibly a moth?) flit around our yard for several weeks. It would follow the fence down one side, across the back and up the other side. I had never seen it land on anything. Today I got my camera and followed it as it went around the garage and landed briefly on the salvia, took a sip of nectar and was off again. For a more colorful butterfly in flight, see Quilly's post.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 238 - Still life?

Karin's theme for the week is "still life". For about 20 hours a day Zoey (above) and Buster qualify!

Day 237 - Morning shadows

Early Sunday morning shadows fall across our backyard and the farmer's filed of corn.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 236 - US Gold

Getting ready
Moving out
After the race
LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, David Neville and Jeremy Wariner set a new Olympic record 2:55.39 for the 4x400 relay.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day 235 - Swirling clouds

I was a beautiful day here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 234 - Another butterfly

Today I went to a local orchard to get some apples, peaches, bell peppers and cantaloupe. They also sell flowers and butterflies and bees were having a grand time on the blooms.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 233 - The froggy and the butterfly

As I was cutting the grass around the birdbath, this little creature (about 1 inch long) jumped out of the way. I got my camera and got a few shots before he disappeared in the tall grass. A little later, this butterfly was stretching his wings on the same birdbath.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 232 - Black and white - Blue and white

This scene made me wonder about what might be going on inside. Computers running amok? Shoplifting? Apparently, both drivers were just buying something.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 231 - Rear window view - still green

Another view from my home office window. Our grass is still green and the corn in the field is high - not a bad summer here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 230 - Colorful window boxes

Frederick has a number of these older, well kept homes. Colorful flowers and window boxes adorn these three.

Day 229 - Saying good-bye

Saturday we said good-bye to the grandsons at our usual meeting place just off I-81 in southwest Virginia. After lunch, Marianne and the boys, along with the boys' Mom and Dad, posed for a final picture before we departed in opposite directions. Last night was awfully quiet here and we will both take a few days to adjust to them not being here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 228 - Dropping gas prices

Forty-five cents less than I paid 4 weeks ago. This is the same price as May 1.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 227 - Water fall

Today I took the boys to Cunningham Falls State Park to see the falls for which the park is named. It is about a 20 minute drive and 20 minute hike to the falls from our house. We were disappointed in the water flow - the falls are more spectatular after Spring rains.

The forest in the park is second growth. Timber was harvested and the area was heavily farmed by the settlers in the 1700's and early 1800's. The park is spectacular in the fall when the leaves changed to red, yellow and orange.

Day 226 - Lights and reflections

As I was outside taking a few photos in the yard, I looked up and saw this scene. The dining room and kitchen lights were both on and the reflection of tree and sky was super imposed over the lights.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 225 - More than a smile

Mommaw has been beating the boys regularly at Wii bowling, but she struggles with Wii tennis. When she hit a winner tonight and let out a yell, the boys broke into contagious laughter.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 224 - The sun is smiling!

What's not to smile about? It's August, the sky is blue with some white fluffy clouds and this afternoon our backyard was like this:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 223 - High wire birds

On a run to Blockbuster for some movies, spotted these starlings hanging out nearby.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 222 - White puffs in a blue sky

Just a beautiful day here in our part of Maryland.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 221 - Misty morning

After yesterday's rain, a mist rose from the corn field this morning.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day 220 - Water on windshield

Storms passed through the DC area today leaving damage and power outages. We were on the edge and got a little rain, thunder and lightning, but no damage here. I took this picture of rain on the windshield as I was running an errand.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 219 - Small feathered friend

I finally got a few shots of Marianne's hummingbird this afternoon. Usually when she tells me it is on the flowers just outside the patio door, it is gone before I can retrieve my camera. Her second post of the little one is here.

Day 218 - Beginnings of independence

Yesterday we took a trip up to Philadelphia to visit some of the places where our founding Fathers began this nation. Our main goals were the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and a Philly cheese steak sub. We also took an unplanned tour across the Ben Franklin bridge to New Jersey when I ended up in the wrong lane getting off I-95. Back in Philly, we found parking ($16 for the day), and after a short walk and we were at the Independence National Historic Park Visitor Center. There we got tickets (free) for Independence Hall and the boys got a couple of souvenirs.

The Liberty Bell is now housed in its own building across Market Street from the Visitor Center. It also has several rooms of information about the history of the bell. See Marianne's post for more photos of the bell.

Across Chestnut St. from the Bell is Independence Hall. We took some photos and went to see Franklin Court, where his house and printing shop once were (they were not preserved). There is an underground museum with history, artifacts and a short movie about his life and contributions to the founding of our country. He was quite an extraordinary man for his time. We returned to Independence Hall for our appointed tour time. One of the Park rangers gave a brief history of the building and the work of the founding fathers that occurred in the building.

We returned to the car by way of Ben Franklin's burial place and started looking for a place to sample the famous Philly cheese steak. We stopped at a sidewalk cafe on Market St. near the river. We were a little disappointed in the cheese steaks (Michael loved his chicken club sandwich). All in all, a very interesting and enjoyable day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 217 - Water and bikes

Today we took the boys to another park with more space for biking. There are about 2 miles of paths winding around the baseball, soccer, and football fields. Our outing ended on a sour note when Michael took a spill; only injuries were a scrape on his elbow and his ego (see Marianne's blog also).

Karen guessed my mystery photo with her theme for this week. This is the Monocacy Aqueduct which carried the C&O canal over the Monocacy River. This picture was taken standing in the bed of the old canal as it approached the aqueduct.

George Washington first proposed making the Potomac River navigable in the 1750's. The River has falls that make travel by boat impossible. Just upstream from Washington, DC the river drops 75 feet in about one-half mile. Initially, the plan was to construct five canals around the impassable spots. This helped, but was not adequate, so plans were made for a canal paralleling the river all the way to the Ohio valley. Construction of the canal began in DC in 1828 and reached Cumberland in 1850. Eleven aqueducts were built, with this one the longest, at 438 feet. Steel braces were installed to stabilize the structure after the flooding caused by hurricane Agnes. In the 1990's an effort began to restore the aqueduct. A partnership was formed to raise awareness and funds for the restoration. The restoration was completed in 2005.

The C&O canal is a National Historic Park stretching from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD. Parts of the canal still hold water, the towpath is open for bikers, hikers and runners, and there are scenic vistas and picnic areas. There are a lot of web sites with further information. See the National Park Service or McMullans sites for example.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 216 - What is this?

We visited one of the historical sites in Maryland today. This structure was completed in 1833 and used until 1924. George Washington is associated with the project, but died long before it was finished. What is it?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 215 - Storm leaving, no mystery here

After a week of hot and hazy days, the skies rumbled and grumbled and flashed and dropped lots of water and a little hail on us today. It started before dawn, jolting Marianne and the boys (I slept right through it). This afternoon, I took Chris up to do some practice driving in the school parking lot and as we were finishing another storm came through. I then went to get a propane refill for our outdoor grill, thinking we would have a cookout today. The storm pictured above was leaving town, but when I got home the next one was arriving, so we cooked our steaks inside. I took only a few pics, all of the sky.

The mystery number is 7! Gas had dropped to $3.89 earlier in the week and when I went to fill up yesterday it was $3.79. That is an amazing 24 cents in two weeks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 214 - Another guess for you

Gas prices have been in the news a lot this year and the oil companies just announced record profits. Can you guess the missing digit on the price I paid today? (I took a different approach today and give you the full picture with one part photoshopped out. )

Boubou and big "e" nailed Thursday's mystery.