January 2, 2013 [LINK / comment]
I have been fortunate to have visited a number of interesting and "photogenic" locales during the past year. You can see previews by rolling your mouse over the links below in the following summary paragraphs.
In February, I paid a brief visit to Washington, D.C. and saw the "Occupy D.C." movement up close. Later that month I took a group of students on a field trip to the state capitol in Richmond, a big success once again.
On April Fool's Day Jacqueline and I drove up to the Shenandoah National Park, and on the way back we stopped at Eagle's Nest Airport near Waynesboro, and saw some gliders landing. One month later we joined a Palm Sunday procession prior to church.
In late May, our area was hit by a plague of 13-year Periodical Cicadas, truly awesome little beasts. In June I was very busy observing the beauties of nature, joining members of the Augusta Bird Club on a trip to Reddish Knob. Throughout the month I photographed a lot of butterflies, including several at scenic Elkhorn Lake, on the northern edge of Augusta County.
On June 19 I attended a protest rally at the University of Virginia, expressing support for president Teresa Sullivan, who had been fired but was later returned to her post by the Board of Visitors. In late June I drove up to D.C., where my friend Dave Givens and I saw the Washington Nationals win a game, with Stephen Strasburg on the mound. On the way home the next day, I stopped at Great Falls in northern Virginia.
I spent a pleasant Fourth of July at celebrations here in Staunton, and ten days later hiked into St. Mary's Wilderness with Jacqueline. It was gorgeous scenery.
In late July I drove west and stopped in Chicago to see the Cubs beat the Miami Marlins at beautiful Wrigley Field. In South Dakota, some family members and I went to Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge and nearby Fort Randall Dam. I also spent some time exploring the town of Yankton. On the way back back east in early August, I visited the campus of Notre Dame, made a brief foray into Michigan, and saw the Cleveland Indians lose a heartbreaker to the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field.
I also saw games in Nationals Park on August 18, a sell-out in which the Mets won, September 8, when Jayson Werth hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning after a long rain delay, and September 22, when Gio Gonzalez got his 20th win as the Nationals were on the verge of clinching the National League East championship. Natitude!
I wasn't as active politically this campaign season as in years past, but I did manage to see GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan speaking at a campaign rally near Harrisonburg on September 14. And of course I attended the huge rally with Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and many other Republican politicians at nearby Fishersville on October 4. Spirits were high that day, but the campaign fizzled after that.
As we got ready for Christmas in December, we had a hard time keeping our canaries out of trouble, such as playing with the nutcrackers. Oh, that's right -- I need to do a long-overdue blog post about our canary population explosion. Stay tuned!
Updates to the Photo Gallery pages are forthcoming.