Snake and Fly

Wildlife spotted around the neighborhood this weekend: a little Eastern garter snake and a big robber fly.

Little Snake

Jones Point

We took a walk around Jones Point Park last weekend, once the southern tip of the District of Columbia’s boundaries when it still included Alexandria, VA. Ezra came along of course.

Amy and Ezra at Jones Point #throughglass

By the old lighthouse there still sits the District’s southernmost boundary marker stone, below ground level and darkly viewable under a glass shield.

Jones Point Lighthouse #throughglass
Old DC Boundary Stone #throughglass

Underside of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge also made for some interesting views, along with the archaeological display of a wooden rudder found on the Potomac River bed.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge #throughglass
Old Wood Ship Rudder #throughglass

Jones Point is along the Mount Vernon Trail between DC and George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. There are decent facilities if you need a nice place to bring kids near Old Town Alexandria.

Ten Years, One Year

Two significant anniversaries as of this month: Amy and I have been married 10 years, and our son Ezra is 1 year old! Every day of the last decade and the last year, my wife and son have been visible signs to me of the good Lord’s grace and love.

Ten years ago, one year ago, and last weekend:

RRS_1573 Baby Ezra, 29 hours old Ezra's first trip to National Harbor, MD

(That was Ezra’s first trip to National Harbor. He got happier when he learned how sunglasses work.)

Ezra's first trip to National Harbor, MD

More: Photos of our wedding and photos of our son.

Old Town Piece of Rainbow

Old Town Rainbow Segment

Spotted this short segment of rainbow to the east while my train was stopped at King Street Metro in Old Town Alexandria VA.

Fisheye Forest Shots

Some late afternoon photos of the forest near home, casually shot with my GoPro on the walk home from Metro. The wide-angle view adds a moody looming distortion effect, curved tree trunks appearing to subtly frame the scene.

Forest Forest Fisheye Forest

Cherry Blossoms 2017

Cherry Blossoms

End of March was the earliest we’ve seen cherry blossom peak bloom come, owing to an especially warm winter. Baby Life didn’t leave us much time or energy to brave tourist crowds for cherry blossom viewing, but I was able to take a weekday lunch break to run down to the Tidal Basin and snap a few photos with my NEX3N and VCLECF1 fisheye lens.

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

Also nice that some of the streets in our neighborhood were lined with cherry trees so even if we couldn’t make it to DC there were blossoms right around the block, which our infant son got to see on a sick day, too.

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

More 2017 cherry blossom photos here, and my collection of DC cherry blossom photosets going back to 2004.

Baby Ezra Update: 10 Months

At 10 months of age, Ezra has mastered the arts of the commando crawl, multi-syllable babbling, and eating various pureed and soft foods.

He can understand a simple “yes” or “no”, identify a cat (“GAH”), and operate a light switch. He can sit upright independently, and even pull himself up to a standing position and maintain it with support.

He’s a smart and cheerful baby but not too fond of crib napping, prone to occasional bouts of separation anxiety and squirmy struggling. Still, he generally sleeps through the night, which is the greatest baby blessing of all. Sometimes he’s a little joker and given a sheet or a shirt, likes to play peek-a-boo back at us. He’s got all four front teeth now.

Baby Ezra, 10 months

In other words, he’s a mostly normal 10 month old baby. Except Ezra is extra cute.

Tunnels and Trains

One nice perk of new job: access to the system of tunnels under the US Capitol. Hours are limited when House and Senate are recessed, but if I get out early enough it’s still a good way to get to Union Station when weather is less than optimal for a walk outside.

Tunnel, Capitol to Cannon House Office Building

Cannon House Office Tunnel is lined with art from constituents in every Congressperson’s district, and connects to the Capitol Basement. Down there I still keep getting lost in a maze of nondescript and very un-Capitol-like passages while trying to get to here:

Senate Subway, Capitol to Russell Senate Office Building

…the Senate Subway that connects the Capitol to the Senate Office Buildings. There are also walkways between the tracks; at least once walking has been faster than waiting for the train cars.

After a long walk through a brick basement hallway under the Russell Senate Office Building, I emerge right near Union Station.

Washington DC Union Station

Of course, if we still lived in our old apartment on E St NW I’d be practically home by now, but today there’s one more train to ride.

Washington DC Union Station

And miles to go before I sleep.

(If short VRE commuter train rides recorded with a GoPro are your thing, I’ve been collecting them in this Trains Playlist.)

Late Ice

It’s been a fairly warm winter without much snow, so even just the few hours of frozen precipitation we got in March was cause enough for some late weather excitement.

Snowy Marsh

More ice rather than snow, so a smooth slippery crust formed over every surface.

Frosty Rocks

Local forest trail became especially perilous after some refreezing, as I learned the hard way the next evening.

Snowy Trail

Since it was very icy and packed, the snow/ice mix lasted a while. A week later, this sad remnant was still left outside Library of Congress.

Remnant of Winter

The late and sudden cold caused a bit of a cherry blossom scare but the trees appear to have survived nicely.