Published – The Skipjack, Wilma Lee

The skipjack, Wilma Lee – Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

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.

In the publication – Annapolis, Maryland

Photo info:
The Chesapeake skipjack, Wilma Lee
Ocracoke docks
Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
January 2014
Apple iPhone 5S

Not This Year

The Mt. Washburn fire lookout tower – Canyon Junction, Wyoming

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.

The National Park Service

We hope to hike this trail again in the future, but it’ll have to wait until road access is reopened.


Photo info:
The view from the fire lookout tower
Mt. Washburn, Canyon Junction
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
September 2014
Voigtländer Heliar 15/4.5 ASPH lens
Sony NEX-5N digital camera

Berserker Dogs

Nighttime at the docks – Crescent City, California

I know they aren’t visible to the naked eye, but there really are berserker dogs in this image. They are in the parked vehicle in the left hand section of the frame. My family and I had arrived in Crescent City earlier in the afternoon, eaten an early dinner, and were taking a chilly November stroll on the dock before heading off to bed – all the while enjoying the evening lights and the neat atmospheric conditions. As we slowly wandered and sauntered around pier, dithering this way and that, we passed next to the parked vehicle…

And that’s when all hell broke loose.

Unknown to us at the time, there were two large guard dogs lurking in the car – contained only by the closed doors and windows – and when we got too close, they went absolutely apeshit and proceeded to completely rip the interior of the car to pieces in their anger at not being able to do the same to us. The dogs – backlit and in silhouette – were raging, the car was violently rocking, and we could see large chunks of upholstery being tossed around in the interior like an F2 tornado was loose in it.

Once we got over our initial shock, we found the slapstick scene to be hilarious and guffawed to the point where we could hardly walk, with the dogs continuing to go berserk at the sight of us. We ended up beating a hasty retreat, though we continued to belly laugh all the way to our hotel rooms some distance away. We never saw anyone come out and check on the dogs, and wondered what they would think of the destruction when they finally did.


Photo info:
November night on the dock
Harbor District
Crescent City, California
November 2012
Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH lens
Sony NEX-5N digital camera