Friday, April 4, 2008

Cherry Blossoms and Tidal Basin, Washington, DC, March 28, 2008

I was able to drive down to the Tidal Basin on Friday, the 28th of March. I arrived around 8:15am and parked at Memorial Lot B, visible from the I-395 northbound HOV lanes, down and to the right.

This was the view of the sky en-route to the Tidal Basin. For this trip, it was cloudy most of the time as well as windy. Occasionally, the sun came out and illuminated the blooming cherry blossoms.

This is map of the whole Tidal Basin. I decided to take a different approach to walking and taking pictures: walk the whole Tidal Basin in a counter-clockwise fashion. I also took in a lot of the unusual objects along the way.

The TV crew from Channel 9 took some footage for later broadcast.

The Washington Monument, with a reflection in the Basin.

A nice reflection, with the Monument and Cherry Blossoms over the water.

Close-up of a set of blossoms
I like the combination of the calm Tidal Basin, Washington Monument, and the drooping Cherry Blossoms
Looking toward some federal office buildings
Another view of the Washington Monument

Jefferson Memorial in the background

View from about half way around the Tidal Basin
The Jefferson Memorial again.
Looking back at the Jefferson Memorial

Gorgeous view from over half the way around the Tidal Basin

Cherry Blossoms and buds

Sunlight brightening a set of blossoms

A rogue blossom growing out of a break in the bark

Sweeping view of the Tidal Basin

A near and far view of the Cherry Blossoms

Even the older, gnarled trees are blooming

The paddle boats are ready for use on the Tidal Basin

For the first time, I got to see the WW-II Memorial

A view of the Washington Monument from near the FDR Memorial

From near the FDR Memorial

This view is taken from the bridge across the Tidal Basin entrance from the George Mason Memorial

Waterfall from the FDR Memorial

A second waterfall at FDR

A view of a Japanese stone object at the entrance to the FDR Memorial

Another unknown object half way around the Tidal Basin

This is an unusual object seen on the stone bridge to the Tidal Basin

The Stone Bridge also had some openings to the Tidal Basin

Looking out along the Potomac River, heading back to the parking area

At the base of the parking lot, there was a "Cuban Friendship Urn", noting the Maine Battleship disaster in Havana harbor

Friday, March 14, 2008

December 29, 2007 Skyline Drive North--Sunset Chasing

The purpose of this trip was to drive up to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park and watch and take pictures of a sunset. We chose the Northern section, beginning at Thornton Gap and driving north. At this time of year, we are very close to the winter solstice, so sunsets come very early--~5pm or earlier, depending on access to the horizon.

We discovered that Skyline Drive closes at 5pm, and everyone is expected to be off [or at least heading to an exit] the Drive due to rampant deer hunting around the Park. However, the rangers want visitors to take sunset pictures, so we were OK.

Unfortunately, we didn't gauge our time and locations well. In hindsight, Pass Mountain overlook would have a great place to observe--but we kept going. Around Jeremy's Run Overlook, the sun was getting low, but the sun was dropping behind a mountain at the end of the Overlook. So, we continued on towards Gooney River Overlook--our final place to take pictures. After Jeremy's Run, we found the not yet set as we descended to Gooney River.

Finally, I experimented with the black and white settings for several locations--and I like the effects,

Pass Mountain Overlook, looking west to New Market Gap (left of center)

Pass Mountain
Just north of Pass Mountain
Continuing north from Pass Mountain
On or about Jeremy's Run Overlook
Looking into valley below, towards Signal Knob

Jeremy's Run
Nice sun burst developing

Valley below, again
Dramatic Front coming through

Finally, Gooney Run Overlook

Dramatic in B& W

Valley in the foreground

Looking west

Some red appearing in the sky