Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowy night

Caboose on W&OD Trail, Vienna, VA

So far it's not been a very wintry winter here in the DC area. On the one hand, as a bicycle shop owner, that's a good thing, as it's kept business livelier than it's been in years when we've had a serious winter. On the other hand, I LIKE SNOW!

Well, last night we got some. Nothing like two years ago, when we had the famous Snowmageddon (DC loves hyperbole), but enough to look and feel like winter, finally. I went for a walk around the town, and took some pictures and just enjoyed the snow. Very pretty night, and I think I got a few good pictures. I was very glad to have the "fast" fixed focal length lens that I bought when my "kit" lens got damaged... it's really nice in low light situations. It also helps that downtown Vienna really has a remarkable amount of ambient light from streetlights!

This morning it seems to be devolving into freezing rain, which is a lot less appealing than snow, so I'm glad I got out for a short walk last night.

More pictures can be seen at: Snowfall in Vienna, 1/20 - 1/21/2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Morning Ride

Well, I got out for a short ride this morning, and it was lovely. Gorgeous blue skies, no wind to speak of... chilly, in the mid-30s, but with the promise of a wamer day ahead of us. And that certainly has come true - we're having a glorious, warm, sunny afternoon here in Northern Virginia! A real contrast to Tuesday, when it barely climbed past freezing. Yeah, I know you folks in the midwest or Rocky Mountain states are thinking "Ha! That's not winter!"... and you're right. But this is the mid-Atlantic, where we're spoiled by often having mild days mid-winter, like today.

Out there on the trail this morning, it was not very busy, despite the sunny day and forecast.  I guess it was still too chilly and folks were planning to wait til it warmed up. Honestly, that's one thing I really like about riding in winter... you get the trails largely to yourself! The only folks I saw were on foot, aside from a few riders who looked like they were on their way to work.  I was out on a Tour Easy recumbent, so it was a nice, comfortable ride. I'm more typically a "wedgie" (upright bike) rider, but this morning I was in the mood for the 'bent. A fun ride, and every time I ride the Tour Easy I'm reminded why it's been such a classic, enduring design. Since sometime in the 70s, the basic design has remained the same, and it's a smooth riding, comfortable, and fun.

One other thing I tried today was a new piece of headgear I'd never tried... it's called a "Buff", and it's meant to be a multi-use item... a neck gaiter, ear warmer, or hat, depending on exactly how you arrange it. One ride isn't really much of a test, but so far I like it, and can see where it might come in handy in "borderline" weather. The ability to re-arrange it as needed could be a nice feature.

Took a few pictures while I was out too... too pretty a day to pass it up. I am mostly drawn to natural subjects in my photos, but sometimes something man-made will really catch my eye. Today it was this combination of an electical line tower and a pair of jet contrails, against the blue sky that drew my attention. Kinda striking, no?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Strange combination of messages

I was driving down the road the other day, when I noticed what I think is a strange combination of "messages" on the back of the vehicle in front of me. The first thing that caught my eye was the bumper sticker, shown below:

 Now, that's not the first time I've seen or heard that sentiment expressed, so it wasn't particularly surprising.  But then I noticed the license plate...  Virginia, like many states, has special plates that allow you to voice your support for a particular cause or organization or whatever, and some portion of the fee paid goes toward that cause. Right next to the bumper sticker, there was a "Friend of the Chesapeake" license plate, a combination that struck me as just a little odd, given that the general impression one gets of the "Drill" folks is not one friendly to an environmental cause. 

Obviously, nothing is ever as simplistic as it seems, and there are many shadings and subtleties of stance on both environmental causes and energy policy.  But this is a somewhat unexpected mix of messages, no?