Dolphins

During an August visit I made five trips to the west end of Kiawah Island to watch the bottlenose dolphins and their “strand-feeding” behavior. I got lucky on two days, with repeated displays of this behavior, in which a pod of dolphins herd fish toward shore and then, in a burst of activity, leap on shore to eat the captive fish. The pelicans are aware of this behavior too, and eagerly await an opportunity to snatch the jumping fish. One pelican, in this sequence of images, had trouble swallowing his catch!

See the photo gallery.

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Saddleback-Sugarloaf backpack

Andy and I backpacked the Appalachian Trail in Maine, picking up eight 4000-foot peaks along the way.

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Andy heads north from Saddleback Mountain toward The Horn.

The guidebook describes this route as the “most difficult along the A.T. [Appalachian Trail] in Maine”, and after hiking this section, I can certainly see why.  It is incredibly rugged and steep – and we managed to avoid the tough conditions that might have come with rain: slipping down wet trails, and fording high-water streams.

Andy and I set out to backpack the A.T. from Route 4 (near Rangeley) to Route 27 (near Stratton), bagging eight four-thousand-footer peaks along the way.  It was an ambitious five-day, four-night plan, part of my goal to complete the NE111. We had a great time, good weather, nice views, and I succeeded in bagging all eight peaks – but with a twist at the end. Read on, and be sure to check out the photo gallery.

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Costa Rica workshop

A week-long wildlife-photography workshop in Costa Rica.

I had the great pleasure of spending a week on in southwest Costa Rica, participating in a wildlife-photography workshop run by Steve & Rose Perry of BackcountryGallery.com.  Anyone who follows Steve’s blog, or YouTube channel, or has read his excellent books knows that he is an incredibly knowledgeable teacher of photography and, specifically, of Nikon camera techniques. For me, it was a great opportunity to focus intensively on photography, surrounded by other photo enthusiasts and accompanied by a master photographer and deeply experienced wildlife guides. Read on, and check out the photo galleries!

Central American squirrel monkey, drinking from a puddle in the knot of a tree branch.
Central American squirrel monkey, drinking from a puddle in the knot of a tree branch.

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Yosemite

We took a brief family vacation in Yosemite Park, late June 2018. The first day we walked the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees and visited the Glacier Point overlook. The second day we hiked a loop up to Lower Yosemite Falls, then up to Vernal Falls via the Mist Trail. The third day we walked from Glacier Point down the Panorama Trail, past Illilouette Falls, Nevada Falls, and Vernal Falls; later we caught sunset from Tunnel View point. The final morning I snapped sunrise at Valley View, and later we visited Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Chapel, Sentinel Bridge, and Valley View, before driving back to San Francisco. Hot and crowded, but beautiful!

Just back from a brief family vacation in Yosemite National Park. Somehow, I’d never managed to visit this gem of the park system, and have long been eager to do so.  John is interning in silicon valley this summer so it provided the perfect excuse for the rest of us to hop out there to spend three days in the park.  We were fortunate to have clear, sunny weather throughout – though it was hot (over 90° every day) and crowded.  It was nonetheless a great place for me to test a new batch of camera gear. Read on for the full story – and photos!2018-06-23-47044-2.jpg Continue reading “Yosemite”

Mount Washington

A beautiful hike up Mount Washington, near the summer solstice.

David on the summit of Mount Washington. After a busy spring term at Dartmouth I decided to take advantage of clear skies and a clear calendar to hike Mount Washington.  As I drove to the mountains, I could see that every mountain in New Hampshire was in the clear… except one.  A persistent cloud snuggled the summit of Mount Washington.  I headed up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail at 7:15am, and intermittent views ahead confirmed this cloud was stuck on the summit. Still, the trail passes many beautiful waterfalls and rocky formations, and I saw only one other hiker in the early morning chill.  I reached Lakes of the Clouds, and the AMC hut, in brilliant morning sunshine.

Fortunately, as I scrambled up into the cloud, it dissipated, and I reached the summit at 10am under sunny skies.  After exploring there for a while, I headed toward the northern Presies (Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison), to each of which still clung small patches of snow.  I hopped over the Cog Railway tracks, skirted Clay to the west, and dropped down the Jewell Trail to my starting point.  [It’s amazing how pleasant the Jewell Trail can be in good conditions – i.e., when it’s not dark, 30 degrees and raining, postholing through an ice crust; but that’s another story.]

See more photos.

climb: 4.5mi; 2h40 including stopover at hut; 3800’ gain

descent: 5.0mi; 2h08. 

route

Winter hikes

I managed to get in one fantastic hike every month.

It was a great winter – once it got started, there was deep snow and many days with outstanding conditions.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to get out and enjoy it.  Still, I managed to get in one fantastic hike every month.

Dennis and Cory and Saiah enjoy the view of the Jobildunc headwall.
January: Bushwhacking a ravine on Mount Moosilauke

The summit of Moosilauke on a rather cloudy winter's day.
February: a blustery, cloudy day on Moosilauke [more photos
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March: a blue-sky day with deep snow on Moosilauke [more photos]
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April: fresh powder in the Franconia Range, on Mount Liberty [more photos]

Zion from sunrise to sunset

I had the great pleasure of spending 24 hours in Zion National Park, as a quick respite from the hustle and bustle of work life and a conference in Las Vegas.  (After a brief visit to Zion in 2014, I knew I needed to come back for more!)  I arrived at sunset on Monday and left at sunset on Tuesday, with the aim of doing several hikes and making the best of this photographer’s paradise.  It had snowed over the weekend, so the high cliffs were dusted white, but the weather for my visit portended clear blue skies, a frigid morning, and a warm sunny afternoon.  Read on, and check out the photo gallery. The photos are much more beautiful there!

David at Canyon Overlook, soon after sunrise.
David at Canyon Overlook, soon after sunrise.

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