Back in mid-January of 2014, Cindy and I made a mad dash for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to see a rare irruption of snowy owls all the way down on Ocracoke Island. While we were successful in that venture, we saw other things of note there as well – including a rare Chesapeake Bay skipjack, the Wilma Lee. You can read all about Chesapeake skipjacks here, but most of the remaining examples of them are on static displays at museums – not actually floating in the water or even able to sail anymore.
Within a few weeks after I had published my image on my old blog, I received a commercial use inquiry from an Annapolis-based sailing publication, Spinsheet. We negotiated terms, came to an agreement, and within a month my photo was used as the title image for their article on the Wilma Lee – which was being used at the time as a tourboat for visitors and as a floating classroom for school children. The Wilma Lee was severely damaged by Hurricane Arthur some six months after I took my photo of her, and she has since changed hands again and is now berthed at the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park in Maryland.
Photo info: The Chesapeake skipjack, Wilma Lee Ocracoke docks Ocracoke Island, North Carolina January 2014 Apple iPhone 5S
It doesn’t seem possible that as much time has flown by as it has, but here we are. While exploring Yellowstone National Park, Cindy and I hiked up to the Mount Washburn fire lookout tower back in 2014 (2014!!! Jeez, it seems like yesterday!), and had a marvelous time doing so. As hikes go, it’s not terrible – unless you’re out-of-shape flatlanders, which we were at the time. The views from the trail are beautiful both on the way up and down, there are lot of critters to view both up close and through binoculars, not a lot of fellow hikers on the trail, wonderfully crisp air, and an absolutely spectacular 360° panorama at the top.
However, the Mt. Washburn trail is closed this entire year, due to the following road construction:
Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction
Improvements: This segment of road remains largely unchanged since the last improvements in the 1930s. This construction project will widen the road and provide additional/improved pullouts; create a larger, safer parking area at Tower Fall General Store; and improve the trail and overlook for Tower Fall. To fund this project, the park received a grant through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands Program and will match it with fee dollars collected in the park.
Access: The road between Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Junction will be completely closed for the 2021 season, which includes Tower Fall Campground and Tower Fall General Store. There will be no access to hiking trails in the closure, including Mount Washburn, Calcite Springs Overlook, and Tower Fall. From early November through March, Tower Fall and trails in the vicinity will be open for skis and snowshoes, snow-permitting (follow all closure signage posted at Tower-Roosevelt). The anticipated completion date for this project is May 2022.
Like many scores of other people during the early spring – when the DC cherry blossoms have burst into spectacular bloom – this couple had scheduled a series of early morning wedding portraits with their photographer. And – you guessed it – on this particularly chilly April morning, there were hundreds of other couples and families getting similar portraits taken for their upcoming weddings, engagement announcements, annual Easter festivities, family reunions, multi-generation gatherings, etc. Counting all of the involved parties, their support groups, and the pro photographers they hired – plus all of the non-involved individuals (like myself) that were just there to enjoy the spectacle – there were literally thousands of people tightly milling about in all of the prime photo locations.
I don’t think that the bride-and-groom-to-be had any idea that it would be such a zoo, and they tried to make the best of it since they were already committed to the event. I took photos of them because I was already standing there when they showed up and just thrust themselves into my framing, without so much as an apology.
Photo info: Wedding subjects prepping for their portrait The Tidal Basin on the National Mall Washington, DC April 2015 Kodak Portra 400 Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH lens Leica M3 35mm film camera