Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Birding - American Kestrel

“The hawk with talent hides its talons”

American Kestrel - While birding the last several days I have seen several American Kestrels.   The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America.  Most Kestrels breeding in Canada and in the Northern United States migrate south for the winter, but some are year long residents and do not migrate.  

Friday, December 18, 2009

Backyard Butterfly Photography - Butterfly House

"If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies" - Unknown

While I won't be able to photography butterflies this winter, I will be able to provide habitat to attract more butterflies this spring.   I am working on a couple of butterfly houses that I will post pictures of soon.   Garden Gate Magazine offers plans for the butterfly house on their website.  The house gives butterflies a resting place or protection if a storm passed through.  I stained my boxes, but many people believe that by painting them a bright yellow, pink, red, etc that more butterflies will be attracted.   You also need to install bark to the inside so the butterfly feels like it is resting on a log.

Humor for the day - Requesting a three day pass

An Israeli soldier who just enlisted asked the Commanding Officer for a 3-day pass.
The CO says "Are you crazy? You just join the Israeli army, and you already want a 3-day pass? You must do something spectacular for that recognition!"
So the soldier comes back a day later in an Arab tank!
The CO was so impressed, he asked "How did you do it?"
"Well, I jumped in a tank, and went toward the border with the Arabs. I approached the border, and saw an Arab tank. I put my white flag up, the Arab tank put his white flag up. I said to the Arab soldier, "Do you want to get a three-day pass? So we exchanged tanks!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Gift Ideas - Gifts for Photographers

Great Gift Ideas for Photographers - I plan to continue my tradition of supplying a list of gift ideas for photographers.  This list is put together mainly of items I use, have friends that use, or items that I want to use.  I hope this list helps to put a smile on the face of the photographer in your family.  If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to email me.

1.  Panasonic FZ35 Camera. ($310-$325) -  I bought a FZ28 to supplement my SLR in January and now I seem to use it as much as my SLR.  The FZ35 is the newest version and is receiving rave reviews.  There are

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birding - Screech Owl Nest Box Installed

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” - Maya Angelou

A few days ago I posted a blog about plans for a DIY project to build a screech owl house and wanted to give an update.  I built three owl nest boxes over the last couple of days with the help of my uncle and the use of his wood shop.  I installed the first one today and will install the other two in the next few days.  

I did make a few couple of improvements to the plans.  First on the back I angled the top of the board at 45 degrees to shed rainfall.  I also "etched" the inside of the box under the opening to roughen it up a bit.  This will make it easier for owlets to climb to the opening (if using rough lumber this will not be required).  

I stained the outside of the box with a light color stain to keep the home cooler in the summer and installed about 2 inches of wood chips in the bottom of the box to keep the eggs from rolling around (installing wood chips is recommended for cavity nestor's). 

Humor for the day - A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver's license.
First, of course, he had to take an eyesight test. The optician showed him a card with the letters:
'C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.'
"Can you read this?" the optician asked.
"Read it?" the Polish guy replied, "I know the guy."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Birds and Birding- Great Blue Heron

“When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be -- I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” - Wendell Berry

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm a Coot, not a Duck - American Coot

“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.” - Michael Caine
Click here to read more

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wild Hogs of Ferral Hogs and their impact on Wildlife

(This Photo Taken at Cades Cove in GSMNP)
“An ungrateful man is like a hog under a tree eating acorns, but never looking up to see where they come from” - Timothy Dexter

The first true Pigs were brought to the United States by Hernando de Sota to the Atlantic Coast of Florida in 1539.  The First "Pure Russian" wild boars were brought into the US by Austin Corbin. They were released into a 20,000 acre enclosure in Sullivan County New Hampshire in 1890. Wile Hogs or Feral Pigs are now estimated to have a population in the Unites States of about 4,000,000 with 2,000,000 living in Texas.  They are found in 39 States and 4 Canadian Providences.  A sow reaches breeding age at about 7 or 8 months and can be responsible for about 1000 piglets in a five year period.  (Assuming 1/4 the piglets are breeding sows).  

Wild of Feral Hogs compete with deer, turkey, and other wildlife for food and habitat.   They have also been known to spread diseases and parasites to wildlife and farm animals.  They have also fouled water sources for wildlife and humans and cause their rooting causes excess erosion.  Studies are currently underway to quantify the damage to crops and wildlife in several states in the southeast.   National Parks such as the Great Smoky Mountain National Park have hired wildlife technicians to trap and shoot wild hogs.  While hiking the Appalachian Trail this past year I saw half a dozen traps, primarily in the southern half of the trail.  

A great blog with information on Wild Hogs can be found here.

Humor for the day - Ol' Fred had been a religious man who was in the hospital, near death. The family called their preacher to stand with them. As the preacher stood next to the bed, Ol' Fred's condition appeared to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on.
The pastor lovingly handed him a pen and a piece of paper, and Ol' Fred used his last bit of energy to scribble a note, then he died. The preacher thought it best not to look at the note at that time, so he placed it in his jacket pocket.
At the funeral, as he was finishing the message, he realised that he was wearing the same jacket that he was wearing when Ol' Fred died.
He said, "You know, Ol' Fred handed me a note just before he died. I haven't looked at it, but knowing Fred, I'm sure there's a word of inspiration there for us all."
He opened the note, and read out loud, "Hey, you're standing on my oxygen tube?"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mushroom and Rotten Log

(This Photo taken along the Appalachian Trail)
"You must grow like a tree, not like a mushroom”- Janet Stuart

Mushroom identification can be tricky because there are so many types of mushrooms.  I have a field guide that I use to try and identify mushrooms but you have to constantly practice.  I also use this website from time to time.  I started studying wild mushrooms about a year ago but with the drought locating mushrooms was tough.  This year they seem to be just about everywhere.   If you are interested in viewing more mushrooms, you can visit this flickr group.

Todays Humor - A Ole Miss Student called her boyfriend and said, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure it out or how to get it started." Her boyfriend asked, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?" The student said, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger." Her boyfriend decided to go over and help with the puzzle. She let him in and showed him where she had the puzzle spread all over the table. He studied the pieces for a moment, looked at the box, then turned to her and said, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger." He took her hand and said, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of hot chocolate and then............," he sighed, ..... "Let's put all of these frosted flakes back into the box."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Owl Nest Box and Habitat - Easy Project

A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?

Screech Owls are my favorite bird to photography, but are difficult to spot.   I am in the process of building a couple of Screech Owl Nest Boxes and Barred Owl Nest Boxes.  I do not plan to bother the owls during their nesting process, but I do hope to attract more owls to the area. 

While hiking just under 2200 miles on the Appalachian Trail this year I only saw a few owls and never had the opportunity to photography them.   I imagine I probably walked right by several without even knowing they were there.  I am getting better at spotting owls, but it takes time to train your eyes to look for them.   

We have a few rainy days ahead so I thought I would use this time to work on the project.  I want to build a couple of owl nesting boxes.   I am going to start with building a Screech Owl Box and wanted to share the link for the construction plans of the screech owl box.  I will make a post in a few days on the status and hope to give updates over the next year on the status of the box.

For more information on Screech Owls as well as other species please check out these links.
1.   Owl Box Blog - Great entertaining blog on Screech Owls and Backyard Birds
2.  The Owl Pages - Page with numerous links to information on owls as well as links to sites that sell owl boxes if you are interested in purchasing a box.
3.  Owl Cam Video - This blogger installed a cam in the owl box and posted a "best of" video at the end of the 2008-2009 season.
4.  Screech Owl Vocals.   Call 1    Call 2

Humor for the day - There was a family that had a parrot that was always embarrassing them by cussing and other stuff like that.
So one day the boy took the parrot and stuck him in the freezer.Two hours later the squawking stopped.
The kid checked the freezer and the parrot said, "Okay I'll stop cussing, but I have one question".
The boy said, "What"?
The Parrot asks, "What did the turkey do"???

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Appalachian Trail in Virginia

“You cannot be wimpy out there on the dream-seeking trail. Dare to break through barriers, to find your own path.” - Les Brown

The Appalachian Trail in Virginia is challenging both physically and mentally.  Around 560 miles of the Appalachian Trail traverses Virginia.  Grayson Highlands in Southwest Virginia is considered to be one of the top three day hikes on the Appalachian Trail.

Humor for the day - Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other man pulls out his phone and calls emergency services.

He gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator in a calm, soothing voice replies: "Take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

Back on the phone, the hunter says, "Ok, now what?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Outer Banks North Carollina

“Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover”

The islands around Cape Lookout are known to have bothersome raccoons so I thought I would outsmart them by camping on Shackelford Banks which has no trees, therefore, no raccoons.    My plan would have worked to perfection if it wasn't for the lightening storms that frequented me all three nights.  Shackelford Banks does have some scrub bushes, but they are essentially no taller than me so I tried to stay hunkered down most of the time.   The storms on the third night were as intense as anything I have ever encountered and actually turned my 5 day trip into a 4 day trip.  This was the view I woke to the final morning.   I had to pack up quick in order to kayak the three miles with the tide.  

Humor of the day - A noted heart surgeon was having a formal party. Shortly before the guests were to begin arriving he was told that all the bathrooms were backed up and not flushing. Quickly he called a 24 hour plumber listed in the phone book. The plumber arrived quickly and within 15 minutes told the surgeon that all was well. He gave his bill to the heart surgeon and the surgeon exclaimed, "$900! You were only here 15 minutes! I'm a heart surgeon and even I can't charge that much"! The plumber quietly replied, “Neither could I when I was a heart surgeon".

Monday, November 30, 2009

View from Katahdin on the Appalachian Trail, Maine

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.” - Dr. Seuss

While my thru hike of the Appalachian Trail was technically over, I still had 5 miles back down the mountain to reach the parking area.   The clouds never moved out, but they did a few "openings" to allow for a sneak peak of the valleys below.  I look forward to visiting this area again in the future.  Maybe even next fall season if things workout.

Humor for the day - On a rural road a state trooper pulled this farmer over and said: "Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of the car several miles back?"

To which the farmer replied: "Thank God, I thought I had gone deaf!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Lights Lighthouse, Maine

“Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.” - Charles Simic

This is one of two "twin" lighthouses in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  It was originally built in 1828.  In 1924 the Lighthouse Service ruled that all twin lights must be converted to single beacons.   The lighthouse is located on private property but easily photographed from the street. 

Humor for the day - A group of girlfriends is on vacation when they see a 5-story hotel with a sign that reads: "For Women Only." Since they are without their boyfriends and husbands, they decide to go in.

The bouncer, a very attractive guy, explains to them how it works. "We have 5 floors. Go up floor by floor, and once you find what you are looking for, you can stay there. It's easy to decide since each floor has a sign telling you what's inside."

So they start going up and on the first floor the sign reads: "All the men on this floor are short and plain." The friends laugh and without hesitation move on to the next floor.

The sign on the second floor reads: "All the men here are short and handsome." Still, this isn't good enough, so the friends continue on up.

They reach the third floor and the sign reads: "All the men here are tall and plain."

They still want to do better, and so, knowing there are still two floors left, they continued on up.

On the fourth floor, the sign is perfect: "All the men here are tall and handsome." The women get all excited and are going in when they realize that there is still one floor left. Wondering what they are missing, they head on up to the fifth floor.

There they find a sign that reads: "There are no men here. This floor was built only to prove that there is no way to please a woman."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Old and New

"Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him. A new friend is a new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.”

I love this quote.   I crossed this bridge driving from Portland Maine to Bar Harbor and loved the old vs new comparison.   Each of the cables on the new bridge had an "uplight" with each cable, but I never had the opportunity to photograph it at night.   It would have been a beautiful structure alone, the old bridge only brings more character to it.

Jokes for the day - An elderly couple had been experiencing declining memories, so they decided to take a power memory class where one is taught to remember things by association.
A few days after the class, the old man was outside talking with his neighbor about how much the class helped him.
"What was the name of the Instructor?" asked the neighbor.
"Oh, ummmm, let's see," the old man pondered. "You know that flower, you know, the one that smells really nice but has those prickly thorns, what's that flower's name?"
"A rose?" asked the neighbor.
"Yes, that's it," replied the old man. He then turned toward his house and shouted, "Hey, Rose, what's the name of the Instructor we took the memory class from?"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

“Give the children an opportunity to make garden. Let them grow what they will. It matters less that they grow good plants than that they try for themselves.” - Liberty Bailey

I thought twice about going to a botanical garden in Maine during October but was assured by members of the visitors center that I would get my moneys worth.. and that I did.   With over 200 acres and miles of trails it was nice to be walking through the gardens at a leisurely pace.  While I am sure it would have been better during the spring and summer, there were still many flowers and plants I had not seen before.  The park also did a fantastic job adding sculptures to their displays, something I had not expected but was glad to see.  It was a very windy day so photographing flowers was difficult, but I was able to add a handful of shots to my gallery.  If you get a chance to visit make sure you walk to the rhododendron gardens.  It is well worth the walk.  More information on the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens at  

Humor for the day - Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day. One remarked to the other, 'Windy, isn't it? 'No,' the second man replied, 'it's Thursday.' The third man chimed in, 'So am I. Let's have a beer.'

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sailboat in Bar Harbor - Maine Coast

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day". ~Vincent Van Gogh

Bar Harbor was New England’s premier summer resort in the 19th century. It was home to the largest hotel in North America and summer estates owned by America’s most powerful families—Rockefeller, Ford, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Astor and Morgan, to name a few.   Bar Harbor is adjacent to Acadia National Park and is a popular resort destination due to it being one of the most majestic coastal communities in Maine.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Completion of the Appalachian Trail - Mount Katahdin in Maine

I have been asked buy a couple of people for a photography at Katahdin.  I had posted one on facebook, but with the weather conditions that were present, it was not conducive to photography so I had not posted it here.  After a few request, I decided to do so.

Katahdin is the terminus of the Appalachian Trail and truly is an appropriate mountain for the terminus.  I was unable to get the full view, but about halfway down their was a gap in the clouds that allowed us  to get a peak of some of the views.   The rain and wind made most of the hike "uncomfortable", but it did not take away the sense of accomplishment.   I guess in some ways it was only right for there to be rain at the end of my hike since so much of this years hike seemed to take place under the same conditions.  

Sunday, November 1, 2009

First Snow of the Season

“The future lies before you, like paths of pure white snow. Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.” - Unknown

No matter the amount of accumulation, the first snow of the season is always a treat.   We were fortunate enough to get a "dusting" of snow while in North Carolina a few weeks ago.  

Humor for the day - Once a captain on his ship was disturbed by his assistant telling him, "Sir! Sir! There are 5 enemy ships on the horizon."

The captain tells the man," Get my red coat and prepare for battle!"

The assistant runs without question to get the captains red coat and prepares for battle. After their victory the assistant asks the captain why he wanted his red coat.

The captain tells the assistant "If I was shot you would not be able to tell I'm bleeding and you would keep fighting."

The assistant thought this was a great idea. The next day the assistant came to the captain, "Sir! Sir! There are twenty enemy ships on the horizon!"

The captain was stunned. He looked at the assistant and told him "Get me my brown pants!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cadillac Mountain - Acadia National Park - First Sunrise

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is unique in that guest there are the first people within the continental United States to see the sunrise.  

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness” - Unknown

Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine is the oldest park east of the Mississippi River and has been drawing guest to the beautiful rugged long before it was designated a park because of its diversity and beautiful rugged coast.   Acadia National Park is home to more than 2 million visitors each year and offers  The park features a 27 mile loop and more than 40 miles of carriage roads making it a ideal destination for cyclist.   If you would like more information on Acadia National Forest, please visit their website at

Humor for the day - The politician was sitting at his campaign headquarters when the phone rang. He listened intently, and after a moment his face brightened. When he hung up, he immediately phoned his mother to tell her the good news.

"Ma!!!," he shouted, "the results are in. I won the election!!!"

"Honestly?", his mother replied.

The politician's smiled faded. "Aw well, ma, why bring that up at a time like this?"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Portland Maine

“A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef”
Marking the the entrance into the Portland Harbor, the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse was first constructed to mark a dangerous ledge. Numerous ships had struck the ledge and local ship owners had petitioned the Lighthouse Board for many years before funds were made available for construction by congress in 1895.  The lighthouse was completed in March 1987 and the lens was lit if May of 1897 where it has serves as a nautical aid every since.  

Humor of the day - A man walking along a road in the countryside comes across a shepherd and a huge flock of sheep.

Stopping to rest, he tells the shepherd, "I will bet you $100 against one of your sheep that I can tell you the exact number in this flock."

The shepherd thinks it over.

It's a big flock, so he takes the bet.The man looks around and answers, "869."

The shepherd is astonished, because that is exactly right.The shepherd says, "Okay, I'm a man of my word, take an animal."

The man picks one up and begins to walk away."

Wait," cries the shepherd, "let me have a chance to get even.

Double or nothing that I can guess your exact occupation."

The man agrees."

You are an accountant for the government," says the shepherd."


responds the man.

"You are exactly right"

But tell me, how did you deduce that?"

"Well," says the shepherd, "put down my dog and I will tell you."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Colors in Maine on Appalachian Trail

Fall Colors on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.

“But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees” - C.S. Lewis

Fall colors and crystal clear lakes.  The only thing that could have made it better is warmer weather so we could enjoy swimming in a few of the many lakes that line the Appalachian Trail in Maine.   The fall colors, the clear water, the clean air, the sound of loons in the morning, the signs of moose all around, all led to this being the most enjoyable section of the Appalachian Trail for me.

Humor of the day - Two men were digging a ditch on a very hot day. One said to the other, "Why are we down in this hole digging a ditch when our boss is standing up there in the shade of a tree?" "I don't know," responded the other. "I'll ask him."

So he climbed out of the hole and went to his boss. "Why are we digging in the hot sun and you're standing in the shade?" "Intelligence," the boss said. "What do you mean, ‘intelligence'?"
The boss said, "Well, I'll show you. I'll put my hand on this tree and I want you to hit it with your fist as hard as you can." The ditch digger took a mighty swing and tried to hit the boss' hand. The boss removed his hand and the ditch digger hit the tree. The boss said, "That's intelligence!"
The ditch digger went back to his hole. His friend asked, "What did he say?" "He said we are down here because of intelligence." "What's intelligence?" said the friend. The ditch digger put his hand on his face and said, "Take your shovel and hit my hand."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Colors in Maine, Appalachian Trail

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.

For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."
- Edwin Way Teale

Usually when hiking we would wake up, eat, and take our time packing up and try to get on the trail by around 7:30-8:00.   This time it was different, I am not sure if it was the colors or just that I was so excited to be in Maine, but I was usually up right after daybreak and on the trail within 20 minutes.   I would hike to the first water source or overlook and usually have breakfast.  It made for some long days, but I was able to experience some of the most amazing landscape on the trail and the best time of the year.   One day I will go back to the 100 mile wilderness, but next time I am going to have a fly rod with me. 

Humor for the day - A traffic cop on patrol one night, watching a 35mph zone on the edge of town, suddenly saw a car come blazing by his hideout. Quickly grabbing at his radar gun, he clocked the fast moving vehicle at 87mph!

The officer took off after the speeder and soon had the car pulled over on the side of the road. Expecting trouble with such a reckless driver, the patrolman approached cautiously.
To his surprise the driver of the offending vehicle was a little old lady, barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel.
“Ma’am,” the officer began. “Do you know how fast you were going?”
“I was just getting her up around 90, I believe, officer,” the old lady answered calmly, peering up at him through her bifocals. “Why, what seems to be the problem?”
Shocked, the officer returned her comment, “What seems to be the problem? Why, this is a 35mph zone! That’s the problem. Didn’t you see the sign?”
“Oh sure,” the old lady returned, “That’s why I’m driving so fast. I’m just trying to follow it’s instruction.”
Dumbfounded, the officer was momentarily speechless.
“Just what sign are you talking about, Ma’am?” he asked, when he finally recovered.
Smiling up at the officer, the old lady placed a gentle hand on his wrist and said, “Why, the one that said ‘Speed Zone Ahead’, of course!”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Appalachian Trail in Maine

How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude! ~Emily Dickinson

I don't think I would ever grow tired of the beauty of Maine.   The Appalachian Trail does a good job of taking you by most of the lakes and overlooks in the area.   It was pretty windy and chilly on the mountain  tops and you always wanted to spend some time there, but at the same time you always knew you had something else to look forward to coming up.   I had camped on the shores of the lake, but had an early start so arrived at this spot fairly early in the morning.  

Humor for the day - Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

“I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes” replies Watson.

“And what do you deduce from that?”

Watson ponders for a minute. “Well,

Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.

Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe.

But what does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes is silent for a moment.
“Watson, you idiot!” he says. “Someone has stolen our tent!”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Appalachian Trail - Maine

While the Appalachian Trail in Maine is challenging, you are constantly rewarded with mountain top views and crystal clear lakes and rivers.   I would often sleep near these lakes and fall asleep to the sounds of loons during the night.   It was cool enough to keep mosquitoes away, which meant it was also to cold for me to swim, but I can only imagine how bad it must have been for some of my friends who finished their journey earlier in the summer.

“The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness” -John Muir

Humor for the day - These bear hunters were sitting around the cabin the night before the hunt bragging about their pass hunts.

The cabin boy was listening and went over and said "you guys make it seam pretty hard on capturing a bear".

They all laughed and said "it is hard; do you think you could bag one"?

"I can go out and bag you 2 if you will skin them, and I will bet each of you $100.00.

They agreed and off he went out into the night.

Soon he spotted a big grizzly; he waved his arm and started hollering the big bear started after him and he started running for the shack. When he got close to the shack he started yelling. "Open the door he yelled".

They looked out and saw the bear chasing the boy. Just as he got to the door they opened it and he stepped aside and the bear went in. He slammed the door and locked it and shouted. "OK skin him I'll go and get the other one".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall in North Carolina

I was able to get back to Boone, North Carolina the last couple of days and was able to enjoy the brisk temperatures and the fall colors.   We had a busy schedule, so while I did not get to spend alot of time doing photography, I had a blast catching up with old friends and making new ones.  

“A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den” - Chinese Proverb

Humor for the day - A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party.

Their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice.
After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, "What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you're out of the office?"
"I give it to them," replied the lawyer, "and then I send them a bill."
The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try.
The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills.
When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

White Blazes

The long trails in the United States are marked by "White Blazes"   The white blazes are typically 2 inches wide and 6 inches long.  The way the system works is pretty simple, a single blaze is used along the trail to mark the location of the trail and are usually marked every 100 feet or closer.   A double blaze (as shown above) are two blazes with one directly on top of the other and represents an intersection.  It can be a road crossing, the intersection of another trail, a river, etc.   A left turn or right turn is also marked by a double blaze with the top blaze offset either to the right or left.  A blaze to the right of the lower blaze means a right turn and vice versa. 

In addition to white blazes, most trail systems have side trails that are usually marked with a blue blaze.  These can be to water, overlooks, side trails into towns, etc. 

“I find the great thing in this world is, not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Humor for the day - One day there was a rabbit and a snake who were both growing old and could not remember what animal they were.
"OK I'll describe you and then see if you can guess what you are." said the snake.
"That's a good idea." said the rabbit.
"You are white, fluffy, and you have big ears and feet." said the snake.
"Oh good, I'm a rabbit! So the rabbit says, "You are long, slim, and have a forked tongue."
"Oh NO, I'm a lawyer!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kennebec River

The Kennebec River in Maine is the larges and most formidable unbridged river along the Appalachian Trail.  The river is approximately 210 feet wide and the water levels are controlled by a hydro facility upstream.   Water levels and currents rise faster than a hiker can ford the river which resulted in a thru hiker drowning in 1985.   As a result, a canoe ferry system was created and operates from late May to early October.   

"The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it." - Chinese Philosopher

Humor for the day - Who Reads Newspapers?

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

–The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.

–The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought to run the country.

–USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t understand The Washington Post.

–The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time.

–The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

–The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country.

–The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country, as long as they do something scandalous.

–The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country, or that a country is a good idea in the first place.

–The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country.

–The Chicago Tribune is read by people who live in the Midwest, which readers of the other newspapers don’t think is part of the country.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eastern Chipmunks

Chipmunks were probably the most seen animal on the trail this year.  They are very timid and would run away at first site, but occasionally you would run into a brave soul near a shelter or campsite. 

Chipmunks belong to the genus Tamias which means "storer" and refers to the animals' habit of collecting and storing food for winter.   The Eastern Chipmunk raises 2 litters a year with each consisting of 4 or 5 babies.  They have a expansive burrows of 12-15 feet and usually with several well concealed entrances.   They keep their sleeping quarters very clean and store their feces and shells from nuts in refuse tunnels.   Their habit of hoarding and hiding seeds and nuts is beneficial in seeding of new trees and plants.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." Lou Holtz

Humor for the day - Funny one liners.
I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
Honk if you love peace and quiet.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can't.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Appalachian Trail Boreal Forest

"“Some men go through a forest and see no firewood” - English Proverb

One of my favorite parts of the Appalachian Trail are the Boreal Forest in the Northeastern United States.  They are located in formerly glaciated areas with severe winters with up to six months of temperatures averaging below freezing and relatively short summers.   Vegetation consist mainly of needleleaf, coniferous, trees consisting mainly of species of fur and spruce. 

Humor for the day - Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were walking along the beach. Suddenly, Justin says, "Aww, Britney, look at the dead birdie."

Britney looks up at the sky and says, "Where?!"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Grouse on Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire

This grouse was sitting in the middle of the Appalachian Trail just before I reached Franconia Ridge.   I had seen several grouse while hiking on the trail, but within the last mile I saw two that did not seem to mind the hikers.

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fontana Dam on the Appalachian Trail in the Smoky Mountain National Park

This photo was taken standing on Fontana Dam.  The mountains in the background are part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Monday, October 5, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sheer Determination

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Amazing.... Take a closer look at this photo.  There is a large boulder underneath this tree.  And I mean all the way under the tree.  The roots grew around the rock to penetrate the ground below.  I sat here and pondered how this tree grew. Did it start on top of the rock, did it start beside it and overtime roots grew over the rock, etc.  To make it more interesting, this tree was near the top of a ridge where it is not protected from winds and the harsh climate.   I am still in awwe of this tree.

Humor for the day - This is the true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things.

He immediately phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" and George said no and explained the situation. Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available.

George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I've just shot them all."

Then he hung up. Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sunset in the Great Smoky Mountains

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”- Crowfoot

It was a cold afternoon on the top of the mountain and I was heading down to camp in the valley below.   This photo was taken near Newfound Gap in the Smoky Mountains.

Humor for the day - A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the family car.

His father said to him,

"I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little, and get your hair cut, we will talk about it."

A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said, "Son, I'm real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your bible diligently, but you didn't get a hair cut!"

The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know dad, I've been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair."

His father replied, "Yes son, and they walked everywhere they went!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunset near the Skyline Drive

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.”  - Elbert Hubbard

This photo was taken about 6 miles south of Big Meadows on the Appalachian Trail.  I could see the opening and walked down to the Skyline Drive for a better view.

Humor of the day - A Really Bad Day

There was this guy at a bar, just looking at his drink. He stays like that for half of an hour.

Then, this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, takes the drink from the guy, and just drinks it all down. The poor man starts crying. The truck driver says, "Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I'll buy you another drink. I just can't stand to see a man cry."

"No, it's not that. This day is the worst of my life. First, I fall asleep, and I go late to my office. My boss, outrageous, fires me. When I leave the building, to my car, I found out it was stolen. The police said that they can do nothing. I get a cab to return home, and when I leave it, I remember I left my wallet and credit cards there. The cab driver just drives away."

"I go home, and when I get there, I find my wife in bed with the gardener. I leave home, and come to this bar. And just when I was thinking about putting an end to my life, you show up and drink my poison."

Magic of a Summer Shower

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”

I love photos of water drops on spider webs, pine needles, etc.   I usually have my camera in my backpack while it is raining and unfortunately, I did not take it out soon enough after most rain showers to captures these images. 

Humor for the day - At a recent COMDEX, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated that:

"If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got1,000 miles to the gallon."

General Motors has issued a press release stating:

1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you
would just accept this, restart and drive on.

4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn, would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "Car XP" or "Car 2000". But then you would have to buy more seats.

6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive, but would only work on 5% of the roads.

7. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning light would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.

9. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.

10. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grab hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the justice dept.

12. Every time GM introduced a new model, car buyers would have to learn to
drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13. You would press the "start " button to shut off the engine.

Abstract Photo, Appalachian Trail

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Romance often begins by a splashing waterfall and ends over a leaky sink”  

Maine is known not only for its forest, but also for the many waterfalls.  I am taking my graduated density filter with me which allows me to let less light in so that I can do longer exposures, therefore causing motion blur in my waterfalls.  I am looking forward to having my SLR on this section of the trip.

Humor for the day - Smartest Man in the World

A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble.

In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining.

The doctor grabbed one and said "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live," and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, "I'm a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live."

He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, "My son, I've lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace."

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, "Not to worry, Father. The 'smartest man in the world' just took off with my back pack."

Green Leaf in he Stream

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Water which is too pure has no fish”

The next couple of pictures are more abstract than anything.  I just liked the color or uniqueness of the situation.

Humor for the day - Joe grew up in a small town, then moved away to attend college and law school. He decided to come back to the small town because he could be a big man in this small town. He really wanted to impress everyone. He opened his new law office, but business was very slow at first. One day, he saw a man coming up the sidewalk. He decided to make a big impression on this new client when he arrived.

As the man came to the door, Joe picked up the phone. He motioned the man in, all the while talking..
"No. Absolutely not. You tell those clowns in New York that I won't settle this case for less than one million.."
"Yes. The Appeals Court has agreed to hear that case next week. I'll be handling the primary argument and the other members of my team will provide support.."
"Okay. Tell the DA that I'll meet with him next week to discuss the details.."
This sort of thing went on for almost 5 minutes. All the while the man sat patiently as Joe rattled instructions. Finally, Joe put down the phone and turned to the man. "I'm sorry for the delay, but as you can see, I'm very busy.

What can I do for you?"

The man replied "I'm from the phone company..I came to hook up your phone."

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”  - Chanakya quotes

On the first sunny day after several days of rain there were always two things you could expect: that you would have a great day in the sun, and that you would see snakes out sunning on the rocks.  I saw my first snake on Beech Gap just outside of Georgia and continued to see them through Vermont.  Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania seemed to be where I saw most of the snakes, especially the rattle snakes.   I saw the snake in the photo crossing a gravel road and went to take a picture of it.  On the way I saw a rattle snake and another black snake all within 50 yards of each other and all sunning on the old forest road.
Humor of the day -
A airline captain was breaking in Southbound Hiker that had just become a stewardess. The route they were flying had a layover in another city. Upon their arrival, the captain showed the stewardess the best place for airline personnel to eat, shop and stay overnight.
The next morning, as the pilot was preparing the crew for the day's route, he noticed the new stewardess was missing. He knew which room she was in at the hotel and called her up wondering what happened. She answered the phone, crying, and said she couldn't get out of her room. "You can't get out of your room?" the captain asked, "Why not?"

The stewardess replied: "There are only three doors in here," she sobbed, "one is the bathroom, one is the closet, and one has a sign on it that says 'Do Not Disturb'!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Whitetail Deer on the Appalachian Trail

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“A wounded deer leaps the highest.” - Emily Dickinson
I was hiking with Leon and his dog Halifax in the Shenandoah National Park when all of a sudden this deer ran up to us staring at the dog.  The dog was ahead of us and the deer ran around us as if it wanted to get a better look at the dog.  The dog was laissez-faire and did not pay the deer any attention, but the deer acted curious, as if it had never seen a dog before.  

Humor for the day - As a drunk guy staggers out of the bar one Friday evening, a fire engine races past, siren wailing and lights flashing.

Immediately, the drunk starts chasing the engine, running as fast as he can until eventually he collapses, gasping for breath.

In a last act of desperation he shouts after the fire engine, "If that's the way you want it, you can keep your bloody ice cream!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lizards and Salamanders

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“I have never been in a natural place and felt that it was a waste of time.  And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.”- Viggo Mortensen

I was always amazed at the number of lizards and salamanders I would find on the trail.  It took a while to train your eye to spot them, but after you had been in the woods for a while and ran across a few sunning on rocks and hidden under logs, you learn to know where to look and what to look for.   People have asked me what animal did I see the most of on the trail, I can say without hesitation it was the chipmunk.  They were everywhere.

Humor for the day - A teacher asks her class if anyone can use the word fascinate in a sentence. Brian raises his hand and says, "The sky is fascinating."

The teacher says, "No that's fascinating."

Jennifer raises her hand and says, "When I saw the tigers at the zoo I was fascinated."

The teacher says, "No that's fascinated."

So finally Little Johnny raises his hand and says, "My mom bought a new blouse with 12 pearl buttons, but her chest's so big she could only fasten eight!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grayson Highlands State Park - Virginia

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

"It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall." ~Mexican Proverb

If you were to ask a thru hiker there three favorite places on the Appalachian Trail, you would probably hear Grayson Highlands State Park.  This has been one of my favorite places for years and it did not let me down again this year.   The park is known for the wild ponies and are often seen grazing through the meadows and open areas.   The park is located in Southwest Virginia near I81. 

Humor for the day - A defendant in a lawsuit involving large sums of money was talking to his lawyer. "If I lose this case, I'll be ruined!"

"It's in the judge's hands now," said the lawyer.

"Would it help if I sent the judge a box of cigars?"

"No! The judge is a stickler on ethical behavior. A stunt like that would prejudice him against you. He might even hold you in contempt of court."

Within the course of time, the judge rendered a decision in favor of the defendant. As the defendant left the courthouse, he said to his lawyer, "Thanks for the tip about the cigars. It really worked!"

Confidently the lawyer responded, "I'm sure we would have lost the case if you'd sent them."

"But I did send them.", replied the man.
"What?" shouted the lawyer.
"I sure did, that's how we won the case... good thing I remembered to enclose the plaintiff's business card."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just another one of my Hiking Partners

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“When an elephant is in trouble, even a frog will kick him” - Hindu Proverb 

I have to say it is better looking than some of my hiking partners, (Sneaks, Sota, etc).  People always ask me if I went to the trail alone.  I may be alone at times, but even if people are not around, there were always the occasional bird, lizard, frog, etc to keep you company.  The next couple of days I am going to share a few photographs of these creatures.  

Humor for the day - "How was your golf game, dear?" asked Jack's wife.

"Well I was hitting pretty well, but my eyesight's gotten so bad I couldn't see where the ball went."
"Well you're 75 years old now, Jack, why don't you take my brother Scott along?" suggested his wife.
"But he's 85 and doesn't even play golf anymore," protested Jack.
"But he's got perfect eyesight. He could watch your ball," his wife pointed out.
The next day Jack teed off with Scott looking on. Jack swung, and the ball disappeared down the middle of the fairway. "Do you see it?" asked Jack.
"Yup," Scott answered.
"Well, where is it?" yelled Jack, peering off into the distance.
"I forgot."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pedestrain Bridge on Appalachian Trail

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Always keep an eye out for the politician that would build bridges where there are no rivers.”

In this section of Maine there are no bridges so I am going to have to get used to fording rivers.   I thought I should keep the bride "theme" going for another day.  This bridge was located prior to reaching Dismal Falls. 

Questions that have Confused humankind!!
a.. Who was the first person to say \"See that chicken there....I\'m gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it\'s butt.\"
a.. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a
horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
a.. Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
a.. Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?
a.. If the professor on Gilligan\'s Island can make a radio out of coconut, why can\'t he fix a hole in a boat?
a.. What do you call male ballerinas?
a.. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
a.. Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog\'s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he can\'t wait to stick his head out the window into the wind?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pedestrian Bridge over James River

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”- Anonymous

The above photo is the Appalachian Trail Pedestrian Bridge over the James River.  We passed through this area Memorial Day weekend and I was surprised there were not more people on the water.  There were only a handful of kayakers, one of which offered me a ride into town for resupplies.

Humor for the day - An investment advisor decided to go out on her own. She was shrewd and diligent, so business kept coming in, and pretty soon she realized that she needed an in-house counsel. The investment banker began to interview young lawyers.
"As I'm sure you can understand," she started off with one of the first applicants, "in a business like this, our personal integrity must be beyond question." She leaned forward. "Mr. Mayberry, are you an honest lawyer?"
"Honest?" replied the job prospect. "Let me tell you something about honest. Why, I'm so honest that my father lent me $15,000 for my education, and I paid back every penny the minute I tried my very first case."
"Impressive. And what sort of case was that?" asked the investment advisor.
The lawyer squirmed in his seat and admitted, "He sued me for the money."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Harpers Ferry

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike.  I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail.  Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Theme: Bridges
Located at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River is the historical town of Harper's Ferry.  Much of it's history, both good and bad, is due to the two rivers it borders. From the bridges being burned during the Civil War to the floods it has encountered, Harper's Ferry remains an icon in American Civilization proving that obstacles can be overcome by determination.

Humor for today - There are 4 guys in a car, 1 from Iowa,1 from Wisconsin, 1 from Florida, and 1 from Illinois. The guy from Florida says "I'm tired of seeing oranges everyday" so he throws some oranges out the window. So then the guy from Iowa says "I'm tired of seeing Corn everyday" so he throws some corn out the window. The guy from Wisconsin is very inspired so he opens the door and pushs the guy from Illinois out of the car!