Month: December 2009

Pond Mountain

Pond Mountain

Kent, Connecticut. The Connecticut chapter of The Nature Concervency maintains this 800 acre preserve. This day it was 18 F out and the windchill was well below 0. In other words, it was seriously cold. David and I took the two hour hike just to get out and I wanted to see how hiking in extreme cold would be. Not too bad but taking gloves off to take pictures has to be planned carefully.

This is a beautiful spot and I hope to return to it in each season. It’s accessible enough so that photographers with long (and heavy) lenses would find it easy to hike in and set up on the shore to catch herons, egrets and the other water birds calling this lake home in warmer seasons.

Do new post-pantsbomber TSA security directives kill inflight WiFi?

Do new post-pantsbomber TSA security directives kill inflight WiFi?

I hope this settles out soon. Gary is flying on a United PS flight (WiFi) today I’ve not seen him online yet which might mean United took it offline. We’ll know when he gets to the other side.

The problem here is not what happens on the flight, it’s that the pants bomber got into the system in the first place. We need better security so people like this can’t get into the system. His US visa should have been revoked the minute his father called the US Embassy.

David, Loren, Gary, and Richard on Caleb’s Peak

David, Loren, Gary, and Richard on Caleb's Peak

On the Appalachian Trail between Kent and Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut. We’ve done this hike many times recently but it’s so good we decided to do it again to introduce Gary to it before he flies home to Oregon tomorrow. We had a great day, less ice than we thought, more mud but no problem and it was warm enough so we didn’t have to wear heavy clothing. We’ll all miss Gary but we know he’ll be back for more adventures in the summer.

First Congregational Church, Washington, Connecticut

First Congregational Church, Washington, Connecticut

Almost every town in New England has one of these traditional Congregational churches and while they look great in daylight they also look great lit up at night. The coldness of New England winter and the traditional white exterior offset the warmth of candle-lit windows.

I’m not a Christian nor do I belong to this church but churches like this one are like wormholes back through American history and as such, I’m both fascinated by them and feel moved when I’m inside them.

It’s been a tradition in our family to go to the late Christmas Eve service at this church to both sing and hear Reverend Cheryl Anderson deliver a "Christmas meditation" (better known as a sermon). If this church is a wormhole back through American history Cheryl acts as a tour guide or facilitator helping those of us who come on Christmas eve to understand the Christmas story in a larger context and connect it to everyday ideas. I almost always come away from her sermons thinking which is just what she wants. She’s quite an amazing person and my entire family hasn’t missed one of her Christmas eve sermons in over ten years.

Freezing on Bear Mountain

Freezing on Bear Mountain

Richard, David, Loren and Gary on Bear Mountain, Connecticut.

Our friend Gary is visiting for the Holidays and what better way to introduce him to hiking the AT than a quick jaunt in snow up Bear Mountain. The hike went very well but on top of Bear the wind was so strong that a 24 F day turned into a -10 F day. I had to weigh down the table top tripod with a rock to stop the camera from blowing away. We lasted maybe ten minutes up there, then retreated to an Appalachian trail lean-to down off the mountain for lunch.