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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

Мерры Чристмас !

Or for those who cannot read Russian Cyrillic –

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 10:03 pm.

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Wright Brother Makes Aviation History …

September 17, 1908, Summerall Field, Fort Myer, Virginia – 1LT Thomas E. Selfridge accompanied Orville Wright on a trial flight of the Wright Brothers’ “aeroplane” that resulted in another milestone in history and a first in military aviation.

Trials at Ft. Myer began on 3d September 1908 and on the 17th, the trial ended in a crash of the machine as one of the propellers hit a guy wire forcing a nose down contact. Orville suffered a few broken ribs, a broken leg. LT Selfridge was thrown against one of the uprights and had a fractured skull. Unfortunately, he passed.

The photo below shows the aeroplane & Orville Wright & 1LT Selfridge before takeoff

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A graduate of West Point, LT Selfridge is laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
If he had been wearing protective headgear, he may have survived the crash.
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Posted 9 years, 2 months ago at 10:27 pm.

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Screwpile Lighthouses and the US Army Corps of Engineers.


For a long time I’ve admired the distinct construction of lighthouses, but it’s the ones that have “Screwpile lighthouses construction” that I’ve found most interesting.

The first one that I saw was the one at Solomons Island at the Calvert Marine Museum… the Drum Point Light that stood in the waters of the Patuxent River since 1883 … showed the way for nearly 80 years until it was deactivated in 1962. It’s been moved and refurbished as you can see in a photo that I took on a trip down to the museum…

Peeling back the onion as they say (how cliche…)— the Screwpile construction was invented by Alexander Mitchell, but it was the US Army, a then Major Hartman Bache, a distinguished engineer of the Army Corps of Topological Engineers, who began construction of a lighthouse in the year 1848 – finished in 1850 at Brandywine Shoal, Delaware Bay. Construction cost was about $53,000.00

The Tangier Light shown below was built in 1890 for about $25,000.00 The light guided water traffic around the Tangier Sound until 1961 when it was removed and a replacement put in its stead.

Tangier Sound Light Built in 1890

Tangier Sound Light
Built in 1890

 

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Posted 9 years, 9 months ago at 10:59 pm.

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Signs of SPRING at Arlington National Cemetery

I was fulfilling some of my volunteer work for Find A Grave at Arlington National Cemetery and taking photos of headstones in Section 7 and lo and behold (how cliche!) here were the first signs that SPRING is on its way… these flowers were the first of many that I came across in that Section.
Other signs that SPRING is just around the corner as the flowering bulbs in many of the flower beds around the cemetery are poking out of the earth… MORE Flowers soon!
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Posted 9 years, 9 months ago at 8:57 pm.

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Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Slideshow

If you haven’t seen them, I’ve got a growing album of the waterlilies and lotus that I’ve captured over the past four years at this gem in the crown of the National Park Service System in the United States.

Please enjoy —

I have created greeting cards – Notecards and Print enlargements are available for purchase. Please contact me for further details if you’d like to purchase any of what you see.

Thank you.

 

 

 

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Posted 10 years, 1 month ago at 4:22 pm.

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Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in October

A day off – I have been following the prescription of my girlfriend, and decided it was time for some R&R – After a week of editing, cropping and posting photos, I decided it was time for a bit of a change. I needed to recharge the batteries and my eyes were strained. The weather here in the Washington, DC area has been just wonderful. Last week seemed more like summer than October with temperatures in the high 80s and into the 90s. So finally with a sunny day and cool temperatures, it was off to see one of my favorite places — that gem of the National Park Service – Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens located in Southeast Washington DC. There are 14 acres of ponds that one can stroll among and take in the natural beauty of the park as tended to by the friendly staff of the park.

This day is also a milestone in that it was 4 years ago this weekend that I first visited the park — as a result of a somewhat of a bittersweet situation.

Autumn has reached the gardens with the ponds mostly bare of the colors that summer brings. The ponds that were teaming with color during the summer are now getting ready for their winter rest. The lily ponds were nearly just smatterings of lily pads with only a few “last lilies of summer” poking their colors out into the bright sun. The ponds where the lotus have grown have been “sheared” of the vegetation and looked as if they had been drained. A few flatbottom boats were in the mud — I wondered where the vegetation went, since only a month ago the same pond had been stuffed full with 3 – 4 foot high plants with the seed pods hanging bearing the hard shelled lotus seeds.

In the pond nearest the park buildings, a flock of Canada geese had taken up temporary residence and were feeding — often disappearing down into the water — they appeared “headless”. They eyed me warily as I stood and watched them disappear beneath the surface only to snap a few photos of these now headless fowl.


As I meandered to the back ponds on a quest to get photos of the Victoria waterlilies — the ones that have lily pads that are HUGE — 3 to 4 feet in diameter, I came across a rather novel scene of lily buds poking their way through the a lily pad (shown to the right) Seems that this sight bears another trip back to the gardens in a day or so to catch this rare sight in photo form as the buds open finally into color.

I encountered a husband and wife couple who were visiting from Michigan and we spoke a while. It seems that she had been in the US Army in the 1960s and was stationed at Fort Myer – South Post in what she referred to as the “WAC Shacks” — At that time, Fort Myer had a section called “South Post” before Arlington National Cemetery absorbed that land to lay to rest the United States’s military heroes. I shared with them some of the work I’ve done at ANC photographing the final honors of the military. I’ve been blessed to have the privilege of doing this work – “The Old Guard” executes their missions within those hallowed grounds in such a spectacular way.

The pond with the Victoria had two blooms. I learned from one of the rangers that the flower lasts only two days, and that the colors change during those days. Sadly I had missed the peak bloom of these two. Beneath the surface and poking their tips up above the water were several more buds that looked as if they would burst into bloom within the next two days. So a second reason to return.

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Posted 10 years, 2 months ago at 7:00 pm.

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Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

One of the hidden gems in the National Park System and in the Washington DC area — it’s over 100 years old and one of my favorite places to photograph and explore and relax — it’s away from the crowds and the 14 plus acres of ponds are filled with the work of nature (with a little help from the park rangers) — known for the waterlilies that grace the ponds, there are also lotus that are rather majestic.

It was begun by a Federal officer returning from the US Civil War. The park has a rather interesting background — if you check out my website, you’ll find a small selection of the numerous photographs I’ve collected there since 2003. Many people who are lifetime residents of the Washington, DC area have never visited this wonderful place.

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Posted 10 years, 3 months ago at 12:02 pm.

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