Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas at Longwood Gardens, Part I

The new green wall, below also has environmental bathroom facilities.

Christmas at Longwood Gardens, Part II

Christmas at a Nursing Home in Richmond

Outside, the winter solstice sun sets on the year.

Abandoned at a Copy Store

These images and words were found left by different customers at a copy shop in Richmond Virginia. They are from the past and the present, representing memories, fantasies, and dreams.

Poem found in the copy store:

"She's In the Winner's Circle"

In her first race; She started bare.
The field became stony, filled with dirt, sometimes muddy.
Opponents jointed her; friends came; crowds cheered. Then came moments of smiles and sunshine.
She kept running.
She tripped and fell by the wayside with scars and patches as proof.
She kept running.
Her master fed her, cleansed her to a shine.
She was His prize trophy whom He called Rebecca.
On her running turf of life; she won the race. Rebecca is number one!
She kept running.

Advertisement found in the copy store:

I would like to introduce myself. I have a degree in landscape design and horticulture. I have been in business for the past 13 years in Richmond and surrounding areas. I supervise up to 10-20 men who are usually Hispanic. I speak Spanish.

I do commercial as well as residential projects. Some of the services we offer are landscape design and installation, patio design, pool design, maintenance and grading, sod, variety of hardscapes such as rock walls, retaining walls, paths, etc.

I work for many builders. I create designs ranging from a small garden to the entire yard. Most of the projects I work on are in the high end clientele.

I am very proud of what we do and would like to share it with you. Most of my work is word of mouth.

I would like to set up a time to meet you so I can show you some of our work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Time to the Museum of Modern Art

The two young Nepali brothers below went to New York for the first time in November and visited the Museum of Modern Art. They enjoyed learning about cubism, surrealism, abstract expressionism and Picasso.

Two Brothers Visit New York for the First Time

Hari and Puru visit Central Park.

The Hudson River.
First time in New York, first time eating Chinese food, first time going under a river, first time to Times Square.

Around Cherokee Apartments

The view of a local outstanding fall garden above.
Below, the view while hanging upside down on the jungle gym of Chestnut Hill Academy and looking at the running track.

The jungle gym from below.

Wissahickon Park

The Wissahickon Creek part of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is one of the great urban parks. It incorporates the natural and build environments along Forbidden Drive carriage road above and with natural foot and bike trails, seen in the woods, below.

The Wissahickon Schist is visible along Wissahickon Creek below.

Wissahickon Park Challenges, II

Multi-use by different groups above.

Paved ("impervious") surface surrounds the park. It is a ravine that channels the water which flows off the roads and parking lots. The image above shows how stormwater has run off the parking lot, causing chunks of the streambank to cave in, along with part of the fence.
The natural stream channel below becomes greatly incised or deepened by the torrential flows

Increasing erosion above, and sedimentation, shown below at the mouth of feeder stream Cresheim Valley Creek.
A restoration project on the Cresheim Valley to rebuild pedestrian ways and repair erosion.

Wissahickon Park Challenges, II

The Wissahickon Creek part of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia has to negotiate with surrounding properties of those who have abutting homes, above, and a population of those without fixed homes, below.

Invasive introduced plants can be spotted easily in the late fall, as some lose leaves much later than the natives. Norway Maples sprouting along a fence above and Mock Orange shrubs below

Fall at Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Summer Trip; 15 July to 14 October, 2010

Alan and Cyane were in France, Switzerland, and Italy.

We biked from Champoly, Rhone-Alpes Region, France to Trieste, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Province, Italy with a total distance of about 1,500 kilometers.
About a third was in France, a third in Switzerland, and a third in Italy - each 500 kilometers.
We started at about 350 meters above sea level and ended at sea level.
In between, the highest passes in Switzerland went to 2,400 meters and even above.
The map below is the route we biked, with markers showing each day's stage.
Nights were spent at youth hostels, camping, or with friends.

View Alan and Cyane Hike Around Mt Blanc in a larger map

The second map above shows the hike around Mt Blanc, which was about 180 kilometers long, starting at Chamonix in France and proceeding counter-clockwise to Courmayeur in Italy and Champex in Switzerland. Total elevation gain and loss was about 10,000 meters or 10 kilometers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Saying Goodbye - to Venice, Italy, and Europe

Well, actually, our preparation for goodbye looked more like the scenes below rather than the scene above.

Last shots of Piazza San Marco and of Venice, along with its industrial port...