Category Archives: Nature

Alaska 2001 Part 2

alaska-092Concluding a selection of my favorite pictures from our Alaska trip slideshow, recently reconstructed on my laptop. Denali and central Alaska this time. From the final stop on the cruise in Juneau, we flew to Fairbanks, where we took a train to the entrance to Denali National Park. From there, we rode on this bus to the foot of the mountain. Continue reading

Alaska 2001 Part 1


In June of 2001 Ellen and I went on a two week trip to Alaska, a group tour with Lindblad. The first week we were cruising the inland waterway on Alaska’s lower coast aboard the ship Sea Lion, above. The second week we were in interior Alaska mainly around Denali. In 2003 I put together a slide show with captioned pictures, about 160 of them, to show on my first laptop. In the years since, that show has become jumbled and some pictures went missing. The last few days I’ve been restoring it, and since the pictures are now back in order, thought I’d put some of my favorites up here. This post covers the first week, the second week will be in part 2.

Lindblad is a tour company that focuses on nature, and their small 62-passenger ships in Alaska are perfect for that. You get much closer to nature in a small ship, they have many expert guides and naturalists aboard, and we loved our experience with them. They’re very expensive, but we felt well worth it. Continue reading

Weekend Getaway Photos

roeblinginnThis past weekend we did spent two nights on the upper Delaware River in northeastern Pennsylvania, staying at the 1870 Roebling Inn, above, a very fine bed and breakfast. The weather was not great, cloudy and with some rain, but we had fun anyway.

bridgefrombankThe inn has property right next to the river, and from there you can see the aqueduct bridge built in the 1840s by John A. Roebling, most famous for his design of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the oldest Roebling bridge still standing, in Lackawaxen, PA.

bridgeviewA closer look at the bridge showing the stone abutments intended to fend off ice in the winter and some of the wood beams holding the roadway.

toddellenbridgeEllen and I on the walkway, a composite of two photos that don’t quite line up.

bridgeroadThe most interesting thing about the bridge is that it was built for canal boats, and was originally filled with water and part of a canal system following the Delaware and other rivers connecting the coal mines of Pennsylvania and navigable parts of the Delaware further south. It’s now open as a one-lane car bridge from PA to New York State. The original woven wire cables made by Roebling are still supporting the weight of the bridge. We enjoyed walking across and back and reading all the informational signs.

eaglesBack at the Roebling Inn, this pair of Bald Eagles were our neighbors the first day we were there, sitting on a dead tree not far from the Inn. This area supports many Bald Eagles in the winter, where they can catch fish in the river unless it freezes over.

zanegreyhouseJust down the street on the river is the Zane Grey Museum, which we enjoyed touring, also an information center for the Upper Delaware preserve. I read a few Zane Grey novels as a teenager, and enjoyed them, but was never a big western fan. It was interesting to learn that Grey, like many successful creators, was obsessed with his work, often writing around the clock in his study to finish one of his many novels. He was also quite a good artist. Illustrations he did for his first book (not a western) were on display. Grey was also a worldwide traveler-explorer, fisherman and travel writer, as well as the initial author of the newspaper strip “King of the Royal Mounted” based on one of his books. Comic book versions of the feature were on display. Grey only lived here a few years, but owned the house all his life and is buried here.

bethelwoodsmuseumAbout a half hour drive north is the Museum at Bethel Woods, site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, with lots of great exhibits and video clips about the festival, its creators, the musicians who played, and the 1960s in general.

toddwoodstockForty-seven years later, I finally made it to Woodstock! Where is everybody? In the summer of 1969 I had just graduated from high school and was preparing for my first year of art school. I had a summer job that was needed to provide money for school, and I didn’t know anyone who was going to Woodstock. When I saw the film a few years later, I felt like I’d missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but looking back at it now, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have had such a great time if I did get there between the crowds, lack of food and facilities, torrential rain, and other hazards, but I still kind of envy those who were present.

After our sightseeing we spent some time visiting Ellen’s family near Wilkes-Barre, PA, and stayed overnight with her sister Ann’s family in Newton, NJ, where I’m writing this. We’ll be home and back to work tomorrow after our fun and too-brief getaway.

A Cape May Morning

sunrisehigbeeThis morning I was able to spend some time in Cape May, one of my favorite natural places. I began with an early morning walk at the Highbee Beach Wildlife Management Area. I was looking for birds, but not expecting many migrating ones, as the winds had been from the east for a few days, not conducive to migration here. Still, it was a beautiful morning for a walk. Continue reading

Our Backyard Zoo

TurkeyTreeImages © Todd Klein.

This time of year animals are roaming, either looking for mates, or new food sources and territory. We get a good variety of birds coming to our bird feeders, but this one was a surprise, a lone hen Turkey! She looked over the yard carefully, watching the other birds at the feeders…

TurkeyLawn…then came into the back yard. If you’ve ever wondered where the dinosaurs went, watch one of these guys for a few minutes!

TurkeyFeederSoon she was pecking up sunflower seeds on the grass around the feeder.

TiggerTurkeyThe cats were not on the porch when the Turkey appeared, but before long, Tigger had spotted her. He seemed startled and a little afraid as they eyed each other. No wonder, the Turkey is much larger than Tigger!

LeoTiggerTurkeySoon Leo had joined him, and the Turkey now began to make short nervous sounds. She circled the yard and then headed off into the woods. Perhaps she’ll be back, but Turkeys have a large territory, and usually travel in flocks, so I don’t know what this single was was doing here.

TurtleWalkingThat was yesterday, today on a rainy Memorial Day there was a Box Turtle walking across the back yard in the rain. The cats and I watched it, too. It’s a regular zoo around here lately!