It is my space, but better than myspace


A Green Giant


Grasshopper in foliage

The grasshopper stood like a giant among trees as I brought myself down to it's level.



July 4th Surprises

The day held a couple surprises but the two that I snapped a pic of were the local Magnolia tree with a couple late blooms and my poor neglected gardenia plant decided to flower. What a nice surprise!



Field Treasure



Park Rangers, Defenders of Society and Nature

Would you expect to see a National Park Service ranger in New York? Probably not, but then there are other less likely sights that make the extraordinary into the ordinary so seeing a park ranger is totally plausible. It made me laugh to realize that a park ranger is always a park ranger regardless if you're in the natural wild or the urban wild.

While people watching in Union Square my attention was drawn to a large circle of people clapping. A group of street performers were rallying the crowd before doing their performance.  With the crowd's energy raised and on their side they broke into a couple light break dance routines before taking a break and attempting a more daring stunt.

The lead performer pulled a volunteer from the crowd to stand in the middle of the circle with instructions to stand still, very still.  The performer's goal was to JUMP over the volunteer. Since the volunteer and the performer were almost the same height this would prove to be interesting.

With more ovation from the crowd, and a little lot of distance from the target volunteer, the performer made a dash and flipped over the volunteer who was standing erect. To me, it looked like he jumped over her shoulder but the flip made it hard to see. After taking in the applause he pulled a couple more volunteers from the audience and was about the out do his first feat when trouble broke out.

The trouble looked just like a park ranger, stepping in for the public's safety. She came in and broke up the gathering.

It grinned as I reminisced about my own experiences with NPS (National Park Service) rangers. During a cross country road trip years ago my friend and I stopped to camp at several national parks. No matter what we did we were always getting warnings. Being an outdoors person and a law abiding citizen I found the various warnings at each national park to be disconcerting. It wasn't like were were going to deface Mt Rushmore or feed Yogi Bear. Regardless, the incidents of my youth have catalyzed my opinion of NPS rangers as zealous protectors of their domain.

Watching the park ranger unexpectedly appear from the fringes of the crowd and breakup the performance for the sake of public safety was a lot like seeing Superman appear from a phone booth.


Lunar Eclipse Pictures from Northern New Jersey

It was a beautifully clear night in Bergen County New Jersey and it would be such a waste not to share such a celestial sight. The first picture was taken about 2:15 AM EST and the second about 30 minutes later. Both were captured using a standard dSLR camera with 200mm lens and remote shutter.

Before the eclipse started there was enough light outside to easily move around and see the dials on the camera. By the time the second picture was taken the light was gone and it was almost pitch black. The moon was a dark red color as it passed into the Earth's shadow.