Springing to Life in Arlington

A beautiful morning to go to the wildlife refuge and look (and photograph) birds and other wildlife was in the offing on the last day of March, 2018.  Unfortunately, errands must be run (life is not all for the birds after all).  With camera in hand, the trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles was at least uninteresting.  April, here we come.

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Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum

One of the many places in the Washington D.C. area that I have never visited in the decades that I have lived in the area is the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington D.C.  I don’t really have a reason why I have never set foot on this place.  I enjoy leisurely walks.  I enjoy taking pictures of flowers and gardens.  I enjoy taking pictures of birds.  Apparently, the Arboretum has no shortage of the things that make for a great day outdoors but somehow, I never stepped inside its grounds.  That oversight was corrected, somewhat, by a short trip to the National Arboretum in mid February.

Yes, it was winter.  There were few birds flying about.  The flowers are still weeks from coming out.  The gardens were in a state of hiatus.  Still, the landmark that many people come to see in the Arboretum are the Capitol Columns.  These columns used to be part of the Capitol Building.  When the Capitol was renovated, the columns were replaced by new, improved, more ornate cylindrical blocks.  What to do with the old columns?  Well, why not put them in a garden?  And so, eventually, the columns made their way to the National Arboretum.

It was a relatively mild winter afternoon.  The recent rains filled the reflecting pool with water and made for even more interesting photographs.  People were enjoying themselves in the warmth of the February sun.  A beautiful afternoon that surely will not be the last spent visiting this wonderful place.

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Frozen

With most of the United States in deep freeze, why not venture out on the first day of the year and feel that cold, crisp air?  Why not.  Unfortunately, my favorite museum was closed for the day.

DSC05251_sStill, a little cold weather did not deter this man, nor did the weather deter his drinking companions.

DSC05255_sBut on this cold January day, the first day of the year, the afternoon light made this short trip to the Mall worthwhile.

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Buildings of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton

Nova Scotia and Cape Breton are wonderful places to explore.  Some of the highest tide height differentials in the planet.  For the wild, moody coastlines.  For the mountains, the ocean views, the forests and the waterfalls.  And then there are the buildings that add color and uniqueness to this beautiful Canadian province.

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The East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

This is one of the most interesting architectural landmarks in a city full of architectural landmarks.  The East Building of the National Gallery of Art was designed by I.M. Pei and first opened to the public in 1978.  In the second decade of the twenty first century, the museum underwent renovations and reopened to the public in 2016.  The museum is home to the larges Calder mobile in the world.  It a building awash in light and open spaces.  Walk up and down staircases of marble.  Take a seat by the trees in the sun  atrium.  Go to the roof, where you can take in a beautiful view of Pennsylvania Avenue and the Capitol and take a selfie with a giant blue rooster.  And did I mention the Picassos, the Rothkos, the Dali by the elevator?   A truly magnificent place to visit and explore.  And photograph.

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