Apr 302013


Come one Come all!  This weekend John Milleker, Michelle Barkdoll, and I will be at the Civil War Reenactment at the Living History Museum in Westminister demonstrating Wet Plate Collodion Photography.  In the past we’ve gone to the reenactment to photograph the happenings (and I admit, my digital and film camera may be in attendance, to get a few pictures this year also).  Love watching the battle they do in the afternoon and walk around an talk to the reenactors.  It’s great fun and I encourage anyone who would consider it to come out!

Apr 182013

One year ago, on April 17, I embarked on an adventure into Washington, DC.  I had my camera in hand as I rode the Metro into the city, destination: The National Mall.  It was an amazing site when I got there.  People were lining the roof tops of federal buildings.  The National Mall was filled with people in business suites.  Not just tourists come to see the sites of the Nation’s Capital.  Everyone was watching the sky, watching for the Space Shuttle Discovery to arrive from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Discovery on 747

Discovery on 747

People lining the roof tops of the National Mall

People lining the roof tops of the National Mall

Discovery atop a specially designed 747, circled the National Mall 3 times

Discovery atop a specially designed 747, circled the National Mall 3 times



This was the second most memorable NASA event for me, the most memorable being 2 trips and almost 5 days down to Cape Canaveral the previous year to see Endeavour’s final flight to space, but that is a different story.  (See my previous posts for more details 1,2,3,4,5,6,7) Discovery, or at least what was left of her after NASA gutted her out for display in a museum, was arriving to her final resting spot, the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia.  The NASA 747 that carried her up the East Coast and to DC circled the National Mall several times before landing at Dulles National Airport, very near the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  On April 19 there was a ceremony April 19, where Discovery was put nose-to-nose with Enterprise, the previously displayed shuttle at the Smithsonian, who was getting ready for her trip to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, New York.  Alas, I didn’t make it down to Virginia that day, but it was a site to see!  I watched from home, all the news stations were showing at least some of it. My hope is that the shuttle program is soon replaced by other space craft that can take us back to the moon, then on to Mars, and then beyond.


Here is the Smithsonian’s video about the arrival of Discovery:

Space Shuttle Discovery Delivered to the Smithsonian



Nov 012012

I have got to tell you that my excitement to go visit the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, NJ was not unwarranted!  It was amazing to watch the majestic creatures that were there.  They have 4 different pens for the wolf packs.  They have had the misfortune to have had several of their wolves die this past year, but it was from old age as the majority of the wolves there are 10 years +, which is older then they would have lived in the wild.  There are a few younger wolves including 3 British Columbian Wolves that are black that are being kept in a smaller pen for now as they were spoiled a bit by the older wolf pack they were tried to be introduced to, which caused them to become a little over aggressive towards the older wolves, so they needed to be put in their own pen.  These pups were about 18 months old when we saw them I believe.

Each pack was unique and it was fun to see the different interactions between the members of the packs.  All I have to say is that it was an amazing experience and I have to strongly suggest visiting this preserve to any who have a love of wildlife and/or photography!  The extra for the photographer’s option is well worth the money.  If you aren’t interested in photography, visit the preserve just to see the wolves during their twice daily wolf watch.

I do have to let you know that right now the preserve is without power due to Hurricane Sandy as it is located in New Jersey, but the owners are working on cleaning up and keeping the wolves safe.  They  also plan to adopt a few new pups next spring to introduce to their packs, so younger wolves will soon be joining the ranks.


Sep 272012

Not from the preserve, but from Bombay Hook.

Have you ever been fascinated by wildlife?  Have you ever dreamed of getting close (as close as 3-4 feet!) from wild wolves?  Lakota Wolf Preserve is a great place for you then!  This facility in Columbia, NJ is home to 4 packs of wolves; including Timber, Tundra, and Arctic wolves along with Bobcats and foxes that live at the preserve.  The facility is owned by Jim Stein and Dan and Pam Bacon and allows visitors to watch the wolves in native and natural surroundings.


If you are just interested in visiting and learning more about the wolves the facility offers 2 1.5 hour wolf watch programs during which visitors can ask as many questions as they would like and talk to people who work with and may even have helped raise some of the wolves present.  Ask about their living structure and eating habits or just about the differences between the different types of wolves.  For those who are into photography, a private 2 hour photo tour can be set up for $300 per person (groups greater then 5 can call for special group prices) and get closer, behind the scenes views of the wolves without the obstruction of the chain link fence that is around the normal public viewing area.


Reservations are needed for groups, or during the week.  No reservations are needed for Saturdays or Sundays for families or individuals.  The preserve is closed on Mondays.


We are going this weekend for a photography tour along with spending some time at the Delaware Water Gap Saturday.  I look forward to sharing my pictures from the experience with you when we return!  For more information, visit: http://www.lakotawolf.com/

Not from the preserve, but my next ones will be!!


Aug 272012

This Spring I had the honor of discovering an new local attraction that I never new existed.  A friend heard about a Dam and Azalea Garden near Columbia, Maryland and we decided to check it out.  I have to say that it is a beautiful area and the Dam itself offers a nice habitat for geese and some other wild life to enjoy.  Fishermen can go there, although I do want to put out the reminder that this is an area shared by other people and other species, so please clean up after yourself and don’t leave fishing lines out where it can harm other wild life!



First we saw the beautiful picnic area down by the dam and then we went and walked around the Azalea Garden, which has Azaleas in many different colors and several different sizes.  It was fun to walk around, get some fresh air, and see and photograph these beautiful flowers and the local wildlife.  Definitely keeping this place in mind for next year to visit again!




Of note, there are also beautiful Dogwood trees in the Azalea Garden.  There is fun to be had here by people of all ages and even the family pet can go and have fun.  There is picnic tables, and even a pavilion for special events.