Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013 WIldlife Calendars Still Available

My 2013 Wildlife Calendar is available for 20 bucks and free shipping to anywhere in the US.  All of the shots were taken in Northern Virginia.  These same shots are available on for enlargement.  However, you can get all of these photos shown here for just $20.00!

You can order them at while supplies last.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Empty Lake Accotink Creates Opportunities

Two Foxes Play-Fight at Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA
Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA has been empty for the last week or two due to work being done on the gate at the dam.  While this causes a great deal of hardship for the resident wildlife, it offers opportunities for others.  Foxes frequently are seen on park property but rarely in the open.  The dried lake bed is full of things that foxes like to explore and they can be seen frequently now crossing the lake bed.  Here two foxes are seen play fighting.  I'm not sure if they are a mated pair or just siblings.  They seem to be having a great time.  This shot and other photos in the series can be ordered at

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Equinox Harvest Moon Over Washington, DC

Moonrise at the Equinox

Twice a year, observers are able to witness this spectacle around the full moon closest to the equinox.  The Mason designers and architects of Washington, DC built the monuments directly east to west.  At the equinox, the moon rises directly east behind them.  Depending on weather and clouds you have a few days before or after to view it as well.  However it's best on the day of the Full moon when you can catch it rising often with a spectacular sunset.  Today, the clouds did not cooperate very well and we only got about 10 minutes before the moon was completely obstructed.

Prior to moonrise, I spotted a Bald Eagle circling above the Potomac River.  I waited for it to pass directly above the Washington Monument and took it's picture.

Bald Eagle Circles above the Potomac

Saturday, June 30, 2012

DC Area Storm Knocks Out Power to 1.5 mill

Lightning streaks over the house
 The strongest storm in some time just whacked the Washington DC area.  Winds around 75mph snapped and uprooted trees.  Several people were killed in the area from falling trees hitting cars and homes.  Power at our house was out for about 17 hours.  Considering the damage, Dominion has so far done a good job.  I can say that because I now have AC!  ;)  Others may think differently.

As the storm approached, I set up a camera on the front stoop and tried to get some pictures of the lightning.  This was the best shot. It shows the lightning coming from the west, down toward the house, looping back up and shooting off to the east.  The second shot shows the orange glow in the sky as a high voltage electrical tower burns near Lorton, VA killing power to much of our region.  More storms are predicted for tonight.
Electrical tower burns near lorton

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 2012 Eagles at Conowingo Dam, MD

For fathers day I treated myself to a trip to Conowingo Dam near Darlington, MD to photograph Bald Eagles. There is a constant food source available and the eagles are resident year round. Today I saw no less than 30 eagles along with hoards of other waterfowl. By lunch time quite a few "locals" had arrived to have picnics with their fathers. One adult Bald Eagle landed in a tree behind me and stayed for 6 hours. Visitors were pretty excited to see one fairly close when I pointed it out to them.

To order these or other Bald Eagle pictures, please visit my Eagle link at East Wind Photography

A juvenile perched in a tree behind me

A nest near the dam with a fledgling

This adult eagle stayed in the tree
 behind me for about 6 hours

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Venus Transit Across The Sun

I've been waiting for this day for months.  The weather was looking good all day.  Today was the transit of Venus across the Sun (black circular dot in the upper right of the picture).  At 6:04pm when the transit was supposed to start here on the east coast, thick clouds moved in and it looked like we were going to be skunked again!  Come ON!  I'm not waiting around for another 117 years to get another chance!  I waited an hour on my front door step and still no breaks in the clouds. I decided that I needed to move down the street.  Maybe there were less clouds there.  So I picked up my camera, solar filter, and tripod and moved down the street to a neighbor's house that had a 12" telescope set up.  I was going to go over to the lake where there was a decent horizon but it looked like maybe we would catch a break (literally) and I didn't think I would have time to hoof it all the way to the lake.  Sure enough the clouds parted around 7:08pm and we got about 13 minutes of viewing time before a larger cloud deck moved in.  I took a number of great shots, the best one is shown here.  I wasn't fast enough to capture the plane in the center of the disk but I'm happy with getting it at all.  The perspectives here are wild if you stop and think about what you are looking at and the distances involved.  Nearly all of the shots have some clouds in the view but each one is uniquely different.  First glance reminds me of the day Voyager sent back the first images of Neptune and Uranus...although I don't recall ever seeing an airplane in the view.  I was glued to the NASA channel for weeks!

Well the kids didn't seem too interested in seeing this but I'm glad I got a picture of it.  Hopefully in time they will understand that you need to take advantage of these opportunities and most importantly to be patient.  117 years is a long time to wait to see it again.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feeding Crows in Our Backyard

Two Crows visited our backyard yesterday to snack on some old bread.  These two just gazed in each others eyes for a really long time then preened each other.  I was able to get this shot by opening the kitchen window just enough to give me a clear shot without glass or a screen in the way.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Foxes at Lake Accotink

I stopped by Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA the other morning and found these two foxes playing near the lake.  I think they were young siblings.  I am seeing more foxes this spring than I did last year.  Most of the time foxes will see you and run away.  Some get used to people being around and dont mind you much.  But if you think it's acting strange, it's best to leave the area and call Animal Control.  However, just because you see a fox during the day doesnt mean it's rabid.  They are mostly nocturnal animals but they will roam during the day looking for food or mates.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Storm Wins Game #6 2 to 0

Storm played an awesome game last Saturday.  Players showed great team spirit and worked very well as a team.  Strategic improvements allowed them to win 2 to 0.  For the rest of the game shots follow this link:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Silver Medal in Long Jump
The girls competed in the 2012 Chinese Schools Field Day in Maryland yesterday.  Events were Long Jump, Tug of War, 400 meter, and Relay.  My daughter won a silver medal in the Long Jump.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Storm Loses Game 5 During Brutal Back and Forth Play

Carina looking for someone to pass to
The girls played very good today against a team they are tied with. The goals on both sides left our hearts pounding as each team did their best to take back the lead several times. We are seeing some really good teamwork which led to goals or at least goal opportunities. Keep the pressure on girls.

You can see the rest of the game pictures here:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Storm Wins Game #4 Against the Ravens

Add caption
Storm took game 4 today with 1-0 win over the Ravens.  The girls played very hard against a team very good at stealing the ball.  Elizabeth scored the winning goal.  Way to go Storm!

To see the rest of this weeks team pictures go here:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Enterprise Takes Off from Dulles Airport Today

Space Shuttle Enterprise Lifts Off Once More at Dulles IAD
This morning I went to Dulles Airport to watch the Enterprise take off for it's journey to NY.  When we arrived many people were already there including the press.  We took a chance and picked Garage 2 and we got lucky.  IAD decided to take off using runway 30 which was visible only from Garage 2.  20 some years ago I watched Enterprise come to the DC area and was able to see it up close at the Air and Space Museum Annex, now the Udvar-Hazy Center.  I bid it farewell and gave it a wave as it headed off to NY for display at Intrepid.

I spoke with a number of people and the predominant topic was why NASA ended the shuttle program without a replacement ready to go?  While we all feel a great sense of pride to see these orbiters paraded before us, it is with mixed feelings knowing there is nothing to replace them.  Our hopes ride on the prospects of commercial enterprises picking up the pieces to provide the services and the pride these orbiters gave us...yet we know in the back of our minds that nothing this great can be created "for a profit".  The future of space travel will not be written alongside large investment checks.  It will be because we resolve to do it for the sake of science, education, and humanity.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weather Grounds Enterprise Until Wednesday

Enterprise is now sitting on the tarmac at Dulles International Airport waiting for the weather to improve. Officials are planning for a flyout possibly on Wed morning. I took this today at the airport on top of the garage.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Great Weather for Soccer Last Saturday

The girls have started spring soccer. Last Saturday was their third game. They lost 2 to 1 but not before my daughter scored the only goal of the game. I'm also trying to get caught up on pictures. Here is the link to last Saturday's game. I'll post games 1 and 2 later.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery Towed into Display Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Museum

Today, a coworker and I decided to visit Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Museum in Chantilly, VA. The shuttle was being exchanged with the Enterprise which will be flown to New York next week. When we arrived, the shuttles were parked nose to nose out on the tarmac what was an awesome sight to see. No where have I seen two shuttles together like that. After a few hours of taking pictures, they began the process of towing Discovery into the display hangar of the museum. The highlight of this trip though was getting two of my Discovery flyover pictures autographed by Astronaut Curtis Brown who flew 6 missions and was the Discovery Commander and Pilot on three of them, STS-85, STS-95, and STS-103.

Here is Curt Brown autographing two of my pictures

Here is Discovery being towed into the display with the press looking on

Enterprise and Discovery nose to nose for the world to view

Here is Discovery being manuevered into position for display

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery Fly Over

Today I packed the family and dog and went to Chantilly, VA to watch the Space Shuttle Discovery fly into Dulles Airport. We were told that the Target parking lot on route 50 was the best spot to be. It was indeed! We were pleased to be able see and photograph 3 low fly overs before landing at the airport. The 1st flyover was so low I swear I could feel the heat from the jet engines. The picture above was the 3rd flyover just before it landed. Next up is the transfer ceremony at the Udvar-Hazy museum where it will replace the shuttle Enterprise in the display hangar.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

NASA Finally Launches 5 Rockets Off the Coast of Virginia

Gas Cloud from NASA Atrex Experiment

Rocket decends over the ocean during NASA Atrex Experiment

My daughter and I got up very early on the morning of March 27th to watch NASA launch 5 rockets from Wallops Island, VA which is just off the east coast. The rockets went very high, about 65 to 90 miles and were visible to much of the east coast. I made a time lapse video and will try to post it later. It would not upload to YouTube for some reason. The rockets released a cloud into the upper atmosphere so scientists could study the upper level jet stream near the edge of space. They hope that such information may allow them to better understand our changing weather patterns as well as the flow of charged particles that surround the earth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

National Harbor

Went to National Harbor saturday for dinner but ended up with peeps instead. Fantastic sunset though. Soccer starts soon so stay tuned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

11 Bald Eagles Spotted at Lake Mercer in Fairfax VA

I just got back from Lake Mercer in Fairfax Virginia and spotted no less than 11 Bald Eagles. 5 adults were seen and a number of juveniles. I would bet there were more but I could only see 11 from my vantage point. This is very unusual. I bet it has something to do with the climate right now. This shot was taken a couple of days ago of one of the adults at the lake. NOW is the time to get out and do some eagle watching.