Al's Photography Blog

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

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Veronica The Hamster

My daughter's other hamster is Veronica and she has a very different personality from Betty; I was surprised how different they are. Whereas Betty is more friendly and enjoys being picked up, Veronica is more independent and even aggressive at times; she can be quite funny.
She can almost climb out of her playpen and has to be watched carefully when she's out of her cage.
Betty and Veronica seem like good, relatively low-maintenance pets.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DC - Jefferson Memorial

After visiting the Washington Monument, we walked around to many of the other memorials on or near the National Mall. The Jefferson Memorial feels very substantial, an appropriate memorial for a remarkable man.

Inside is a huge statue under a domed roof.

And four famous quotations are inscribed on the walls - here's one that any American should recognize.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Crags

On the back side of Pikes Peak is a trail called The Crags. Unfortunately my camera had a speck of dust on the sensor, which is visible on some of these pictures.

The trail leads off from a parking lot in a campground. It leads through a mixture of meadows and forest.

Eventually it climbs up to a ridge line, and up to a peak where there are some spectacular views. You can see broken granite cliffs.
And you can see forever in three directions (the other direction has Pikes Peak blocking the way).

Along the way are assorted trees, ranging from aspen in the forest... individual scrub-like trees nearer the top... dead trees still standing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

DC - Washington Monument

Back to our Washington DC trip, one of the highlights was the Washington Monument, in the middle of the mall. It's 555 feet tall, and offers the best views in the city.
Here's a view of the Monument from the Lincoln Memorial.
We were lucky enough to go to the top during the daytime - you need to get tickets (which are free but normally get taken very early in the day), and there were some available when we got there shortly before noon. At the top are several small windows, which are not completely clear, explaining why the next few shots are a little blurred.

Here's a view of the Ellipse and the White House from the top of the Monument.
Here's the Capitol building.
Here's a view looking towards the Lincoln Memorial, with the World War II Memorial in the foreground.
Here's a view inside the top of the Monument - as you can see, there's not a lot of space. The central area (on the left in this picture) is taken up by the elevator.
In the elevator on the way down, you get a chance to see through the glass walls into the interior, where there are several stones gifted by various states and cities. Here's the one from the City of New York.
This is one of the must-do things in DC, and it's well worth the effort to get the tickets and come back at your appointed time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Night-time Lightning

Here are a couple more lightning shots from summer storms.

The first one captures lightning striking behind one of the houses in my neighborhood.
The second one isn't a great shot and it's trimmed a lot from the original photo, but I thought it was unusual how the lightning appears to make a circle.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Betty The Hamster

My daughter just got two miniature hamsters. This one is Betty. The other one is Veronica, but she isn't as friendly so I don't have any good pictures of her yet.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

DC - National Aquarium

One morning we spent a few minutes at the National Aquarium, just off the National Mall. This isn't to be confused with the much better aquarium in Baltimore - the one in DC is small, and is one of the few attractions near the Mall to charge money. Considering the quality of all the other attractions, we thought it was a disappointment. But nevertheless, here are a few pictures.

A crocodile (or alligator, I don't remember which).
A couple of fish.

And a turtle.
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