Saturday, May 26, 2012
Clearly it does not take much of a green thumb to grow radishes, because I do not have one and still harvested these beauties from my Goshen Farm sharing garden plot. The only problem is I don't know how to eat them all. If I ate salad every night, I still could not stay ahead of them.
If anyone would care for some fresh grown radishes or arugula, email your Cape address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will drop some by.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Full disclosure - yesterday's picture of the day was a last minute grab from some photos I took last year of the flowers in my yard. I had been meaning to get some pictures of my oak leaf hydrangea, but I needed something before midnight last night, so I reached back in the archives.
To make things right, I went out this AM and got some pictures with the Nikon. This one is not perfectly in focus, but the colors and detail are still much better quality than the ones taken with my Droid last year. Here are a few other shots of the flowers (don't mind Laika's butt in the first one...):
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I attended the Herndon Monument climb at the US Naval Academy yesterday afternoon. It marks the end of the plebe year for the newest class of midshipmen. They simply, as a group, have to make it to the peak of a lard covered obelisk and replace the dixie cup plebe hat sitting atop it with an officer's hat.
Except there's nothing simple about it. It's like the most god-awful 3D game of Twister you ever saw. The middies have to create a human pyramid of sorts while using what they can of their attire to clear grease off the monument. Just as the prize is in reach, the whole structure collapses, and they have to start again. All the while, they are being hosed down with water (I'm not sure if that is to increase the challenge or to keep them cool - maybe both). It's a testament to persistence and teamwork befitting a class of our future warriors.
A canon fires every half hour from the start of the climb, and we were startled by that canon four times before the class of 2015 finally reached their goal. After a lot of failed attempts, suddenly it all inexplicably came together at about the 2 hour 20 minute mark, and a midshipman was at the top switching out the hats. Legend has it he will be the first of his class to achieve the rank of admiral.
Congratulations to the USNA Class of 2015 - plebes no more. They have completed a freshman year of higher education like no other in the world. I know their families are proud as are all of us here in Annapolis and the Cape. A special shout out to our two sponsor midshipmen - George Strickland and Griffin Burke. It's been a joy to do what we could to get them through this year in one piece. Well done, guys!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
OK, I'm cheating again today. This is not my photo, or even a Cape St. Claire photo, but it IS a Cape photo. In this case Cape Canaveral. This was the view of the Space X Falcon 9 rocket as it successfully launched from Florida early this morning, posted on the Space X Facebook page.
This is a test mission for the first commercial space transportation capsule ever. The unmanned Dragon cargo capsule will rendezvous with the International Space Station and perform some test maneuvers before docking and delivering supplies and science experiments to the resident astronauts. The reusable Dragon capsule with then return to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific. Eventually, astronauts will be ferried to the space station in this capsule, as well (hence the importance of the returning to Earth component).
This is an important day for America's space presence. We once again have the capacity to deliver goods to the space station, and hopefully within a few years, astronauts as well. Congratulations to Space X and their NASA partners for pulling off a fine launch.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Today's photo is another amazing image of the heavens, although those of us in Maryland were not treated to this event. Yesterday evening, the western and central parts of the nation had the opportunity to view an annular or "ring of fire" eclipse of the sun. As opposed to a total eclipse, a small ring of the sun is left exposed around the edges of the shadow of the moon, resulting in a spectacular glowing halo. My brother and nephew hopped a plane from Atlanta to Phoenix and road tripped to the Grand Canyon to get a front row seat for this one. This picture was taken with my brother's telescope at the peak.
I recall the excitement of the 1979 total eclipse that was viewable from California. I was a 7th grader at Willis Jepson Junior High. The eclipse occurred during school hours, so no school work got done that day, but it was as good a science lesson as any of us ever had. We all made our pinhole cameras the day before and had a variety of instruments to view the event. As much as we were warned not to look directly at it, I think most of us did at some point. It was just too hard to resist. I don't know of any classmates that went blind from it, although it may be responsible for the glasses I wear today.
The next annular eclipse viewable from the US will not be until 2023. In 2017, however, we should get a nice view of a total eclipse. It will probably just be partial from Maryland, but if you road trip to Kentucky or Tennessee or somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will get a prime view of totality. It should exit the US through South Carolina. My Dad will have to get me the money shots of that one from his SC farm.
Thanks to my brother Greg and nephew Percy for making the pilgrimage and being the eyes for the George family out west. I'm so happy they got a look down at the wonder of the Grand Canyon and a look up at the wonder of the heavens. Very big memories can be packed into very short journeys.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
This picture was taken not from the Cape but from the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville at daybreak following the 2012 American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I camped out with my daughter's team of relayers as they made good on their promise to walk a track all night in support of cancer research. As a team, they raised over $2500 toward this cause, and the event as a whole raised over $220K.
The dawn that greeted us after a long night was as inspiring as the cancer survivors that we heard from and walked with throughout the night. It was an emotional roller coaster of fun and intensely solemn moments. I hope the money that was raised will result in many more dawns like this one for loved ones facing a cancer diagnosis.