Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Pikes Peak As Seen From Our House

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Local Retention Dam

Near where we live (they are common along the whole front range) is a small dam, with a retention pond behind it that's almost always empty. These are designed to hold back water in the huge thunderstorms that we get in the summer, to prevent flooding downstream.
On the upstream side where the water collects there's usually a pipe sticking out of the ground, so that the water can flow in a controlled manner. Obviously these pictures were taken when it was dry.
I found this log a little downstream of the dam.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

U.S. Naval Academy & Annapolis

About an hour outside of Washington DC, in Annapolis, Maryland, is the United States Naval Academy. It was very close to the beach so we stopped by on the way back to the hotel in DC. As you can see, the campus is very beautiful, and it was very peaceful when we were there since it was not in session at the time.

One interesting thing to see is their impressive collection of very detailed model sailing ships.
This next ship is almost five feet tall.
The town of Annapolis is also attractive.
It made for a nice detour on the way home, and it would be easy to spend a whole day there. I wish we'd had more time to look around the academy and the town.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mount Cutler Hike

I've got plenty more pictures of the DC area for future posts, but it's time for a return to Colorado for some pictures from a recent hike.

One of the city parks near the mountains is North Cheyenne Canyon, the same park in which I took the waterfall pictures back in May. Another hike in this park is Mount Cutler, which provides some excellent views. It's a short hike at about a mile each way, plus some extra hiking to get the best views.

The trail was very green due to all the thunderstorms we've had recently.

This footbridge is new since I was there - apparently part of the trail washed away so this was built.
There are some pretty rock formations along the trail.

I found the trees with their roots exposed picturesque. I wonder how some of them hold on, as the trail runs up the side of a steep canyon.

This view shows the eventual destination of the trail, on top of the cliff to the right, after it climbs behind it to get there.
Here's a section of the trail, showing how it's carved into the hillside with a sharp drop on the right hand side.
From an overlook you can see the plains and the city of Colorado Springs.
Here's a closeup of the famous Broadmoor Hotel from that same overlook.
From the top of the cliff I photographed earlier, here's a view of the trail, looking towards where I took the picture of the cliff.
And finally, a view taken from the ridge towards Seven Falls, which is one canyon over.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sandy Point State Park, MD

By this point everybody was ready for a relaxed day, so we took a trip out to Sandy Point State Park in Maryland to relax at the beach. It's on the Chesapeake Bay, close to the Bay Bridge, and made a nice getaway.
I did a little hiking around the park and found this area of woods.
One of the trails had this little bridge over a marshy area.
Further along I found this ruined building.
Here is a pond that connects to the bay.
And of course, the obligatory seagull picture.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great Falls, VA

Near Washington DC, along the Potomac River as it separates Maryland from Virginia, is a park called Great Falls. It may not rival the great waterfalls of the world but it's still a very attractive place to spend some time. All these pictures were taken from the Virginia side. The first one is a wide view of the falls.
This post shows how high the water has risen in various floods.
Here's a close-up from down by the river.
This bird may be a heron, coming in for a landing. If somebody is certain of what type of bird it is I'd love to find out.
They don't go over the falls, but kayakers do paddle in the rough water right below the falls.
This is one of those spots that you might not think about when you're in the nation's capital city, but if you like natural beauty and have a little extra time it's worth the short trip to see it.
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