The Texas Adventure…Texas State Aquarium!

In my post last week, I showed pictures from the two weeks I spent in Maryland training for my assignment with FEMA. I was assigned to the Corpus Christi Branch Field Office. Corpus Christi suffered wind damage, but nothing like Padre and Mustang Islands and the coastal areas to the north and inland areas to the northwest.

On my first weekend (and day off) in Corpus Christi, I visited the Texas State Aquarium. This is a beautiful facility and well worth the entry fee.

The walk from the parking lot. The former engineer in me loves that bridge on the right!

As is my habit, I started my tour on high ground. This atrium houses the tropical birds and other fun stuff!

Lots of Flamingos. You’d think they would be easy to photograph because they move so slow, but they move enough to screw up any bracketed exposures.

This guy was coy, but enjoyed having his picture taken.

And then there was this guy. I caught him still sleeping, but shooting up and into the light was a bit challenging. I’m told that Sloths have a green tint because they move so slowly that algae can grow in their fur. I haven’t confirmed it, however.

The displays are great, but pictures of fish in tanks have always been a stretch for me.

I tried anyway and made this image.

I enjoyed the Dolphin Show! They were very entertaining, but it was a very hot day and it got a little uncomfortable sitting in the stands.

When I made the decision to take the PowerShot camera, I knew I would be limited in my compositions. With that in mind, I wanted to work on my ‘eye’ to see landscapes. This is a view of the Gulf of Mexico from one of the observation platforms.

The USS Lexington is on display as a floating museum. Here she is, as seen from the Aquarium.

I also enjoyed the 4D Shark Show and picked up a nice t-shirt while I was there. All in all, the Texas State Aquarium gets a big thumbs up as a place to visit!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

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It’s been too long…

…since my last post. I’m very aware of it. In my defense, I took a job supporting FEMA’s hurricane recovery operations and I’ve been away from home for a while. While on the road, I limited myself to my Canon PowerShot point and shoot camera. I challenged myself to push its limitations and make good images.

On October 1, I boarded a plane and headed to the National Emergency Training Center in Emmittsburg MD. The NETC is home to the Emergency Management Institute and the National Fire Academy. The campus was a girl’s school before it assumed its present duties. Many of the buildings are historical and they are all beautiful. The campus is also home to the National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial.

This is one of my interpretations of the Firefighter’s Memorial. The view is from the right side and includes one of the stunning sunrises we experienced during the 2 weeks there.

I made this image of the Memorial with my mobile phone the first evening I was there. I had to check in and get my credentials late in the evening and was crossing campus when I saw this. I loved the light on the Memorial.

This is one of the administration buildings, typical of the architectural style on campus. I posted pictures of other buildings on campus in my ‘view from the office’ series on Facebook.

Some of my friends and I took a drive to Hershey PA and the Gettysburg National Battlefield on our one free weekend. Hershey was busy with the Antique Auto Club of America show, but we were able to tour the chocolate factory and take a bus tour around the town. I visited Gettysburg in 1982 when my father was on a tour of duty at the Pentagon. This visit was more rewarding after reading several books on the Civil War in recent years.

If you haven’t been to Gettysburg, you really should go. The locals started preserving the battlefield immediately after the battle, so unit locations and gun emplacements are accurately documented.

The Robert E. Lee Memorial. I pray that all these beautiful memorials and the history they represent are preserved forever.

This is my only fall color picture for this year. The trees in MD and PA had just started turning, but this scene, near the Wheat Field, gave me a little color for the year.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

PS Challenge – September 24, 2017

Today’s PS Challenge image comes from Sonora Pass, a little over 9,000 feet elevation. My friend, Larry Burton, and I drove CA 108 to check on the fall colors the day before the snow flew and closed the road. We were amazed by the number of waterfalls still flowing and how green the vegetation still was. We also found flowers a little higher in elevation!

I like this color version of the image…

…but I was feeling my inner Ansel Adams as I was editing…

This Stemless Goldenweed is under several feet of snow now. I’m glad we got there when we did!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

How I Spent My Summer Vacation! Volume 3…

After we drove by Mt. Rainier and up the Olympic Peninsula, my lovely bride and I arrived at Port Angeles WA to prepare for our adventure to Canada. We rode the MV Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia, for a fun day trip. I carried my Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II since we were going to be walking everywhere. You may have seen some of my Victoria images in my PS Challenge series.

The MV Coho in Victoria Harbor.

As the Coho entered Victoria Harbor, we were greeted by the beautiful Empress Hotel.

What a gorgeous building. I’d love to photograph it at night!

The Empress grounds were gorgeous and very well maintained. In this image, my lovely bride and frequent model stands near a pink Hydrangea at one of the corner gates.

We found an intimate little garden with these blue Hydrangeas. Hint – she loves Hydrangeas.

We walked around Victoria all morning. One stop was a knitting/yarn store Susan wanted to find. We found it, spent a little green (love the exchange rate!), and found a great place for lunch – Romeo’s! Great food! Here’s a few images from our walk.

This beautiful Totem Pole sits in front of the Parliament Building.

And here is the Parliament Building.

We came across this statue of an old sailor in front of a picture of Victoria Harbor circa 1905.

We saw several churches on our walk, one that had a wonderful cemetery with headstones that were very old. After walking 7 miles, we were both a little tired so we hopped a ride in one of the horse drawn carriages for a tour of the Victorian homes in the area.

Our driver took this picture for us. The horse’s name was Max and he did a great job. The driver explained the various commands she used and described the care of the horse, carriage and harnesses. The Parliament Building is in the background.

This is one of the many Victorian housed we passed on the tour. Owners can get government assistance in maintaining the exterior of these historic structures as long as they maintain the original appearance. Owners are free to do whatever they want to the interiors, but must maintain the integrity of the exterior. Max wouldn’t stop for pictures, so I shot this on the fly.

The carriage ride was only 30 minutes long, but the rest was welcome. We decided to rest a little more by taking a water taxi ride to Fisherman’s Wharf.

We saw many things that we don’t see here in Nevada…

…and we enjoyed sharing the Harbor with many Scenic tour float planes taking off and landing. Victoria Harbor is a very busy airport!

This image was featured in my PS challenge series. One of the many gorgeous views at Fisherman’s Wharf!

We saw very unusual sights among the house boats. My lovely bride thought it would be fun to live in one for a while.

Probably my most favorite image from the day. The MV Coho passing Fisherman’s Wharf on its way to Port Angeles.

We had a very fun day and saw so many beautiful things. We stopped by a visitor’s center and gathered information for our next trip. We’ve already picked a whale watching tour by boat with a trip to Buttchart Gardens!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

PS Challenge – September 7, 2017

Round Top, above Winnemmucca Lake as seen from near Frog Lake, on the trail from Carson Pass.

I shot this image using bracketed exposure, merged in Adobe Camera Raw, processed further in PhotoShop with a filter from On1 Photo RAW.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

PS Challenge – August 27, 2017

I’m slowly working my way through my images from Yosemite National Park. I tackled some of the images from our trip on the Tioga Pass Road, crossing the Tuolumne Meadows, last Saturday. There weren’t as many people in that part of the Park compared to the Yosemite Valley, but the road had plenty of traffic and parking was a bit of a challenge. The smoke was much less, too.

This image is Lembert Dome, and I made the image looking northeast in the early afternoon. I blended the zero exposure and underexposed RAW format images in Adobe Camera Raw to bring out the sky, and applied a filter in Nik ColorEfex.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR