Sunday, April 19, 2015

Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms

My main reason for visiting our nation’s capitol last week was to photograph the cherry blossom trees. The goal was to capture their beauty from one of the iconic Tidal Basin vantage points.

In 1912, many of the trees were given as a gift to our country by the Japanese.

The blossoms bloom at their peak for only a short span of time during the spring, so I visited Washington, D.C. after the conclusion of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
U.S. Capitol Building in the distance

Cherry blossom trees with pink and
white blooms lining a pathway.

For various reasons, I was unable to photograph the trees with a view of the Tidal Basin. However, I snapped many photos at the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden next to the National Mall.
Beyond the cherry-blossom clusters is a view of
The Burghers of Calais sculpture in the Hirshhorn Museum garden.

Front view of The Burghers of Calais sculpture

I hope you enjoyed viewing these pictures as much as I did taking them. I'll leave you with a parting shot of the Washington Monument. Farewell for now, or as they say in Japanese, Sayonara. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Checked Off My Bucket List—Nantucket

I never paid any mind to the island of Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts. That is, not until 25 years ago.

Back then, I enjoyed watching Wings, a TV sitcom about two brothers who operated a small airline at the Nantucket airport. As I watched that weekly comedy, a dream took hold inside of me. I knew one day I would visit that seaport, which was once synonymous with the whaling industry of the early 1800s.
Arriving in port.
In the 1990s, as I laughed at the antics of the cast members of Wings, little did I know the island had long been a prominent playground for the rich and famous.

I’m not rich, and I’m not famous, yet I boarded a ferry to Nantucket this past week. You can’t help but notice the abundance of wealth there. With that said, the landscape of that little island gem sparkles with more splendor than any amount of gold.

So, my faithful companion Raleigh and I took in the sites together.
This photo was taken at one of the highest points on the island.
I know it looks like a Raleigh bike ad, but it's posted
because the Atlantic Ocean can be seen on the horizon.
On the north side, I visited a lighthouse and other structures near the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Brant Point.
Brant Point Lighthouse

A stone building near the lighthouse.

Hmm. Not all shellfish consumed on this island are caught in open seas.

Just a plain old dock.

The next photos were taken in the actual village of Nantucket. Most of the facades of the buildings are lined with gray clapboard shingles, but I did find a few brick structures, too.
I love the cobblestone streets in the center of the historic village.

One of the few buildings with a brick facade.

The typical facade of a Nantucket home lined with clapboard shingles.

One of the oldest windmills in the USA, built in 1746.

I took other pictures while biking on a trail that cuts through Rams Pasture and Sanford Farm in the center of the island.
This scenery in the middle of Nantucket reminds me
more of a heartland prairie than an island landscape.

I'm seeing "Little House on the Prairie" in this photo.

The ride was rough due to the sandy and rocky terrain, but the ocean view at the south end of the trail was well worth the effort.

I’m now able to check-off from my bucket list that dream of seeing Nantucket. And as of late, I always seem to add a photo of an entryway with my blog posts. Here's one with a porthole in the door. A perfect ending for a nautical daytrip.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mud Season In Maine

The much-anticipated spring thaw has finally arrived in New England. True-blue Mainers call it mud season. And as the name implies, it’s not the prettiest time of year, yet these photos of unique barns prove otherwise.

Maple-syrup buckets spotted along a country lane offered an excellent photo opportunity as well.

The owner of this colonial house tapped a few of his own maple trees in the front yard.

However, the home’s yellow door is what caught my eye in the first place.

Across the street, a donkey kept staring at me.

His long, matted coat was an odd site to behold.