Galitz JE's

The Galitz Journal for friends and family


Stamp show for Earl.

Stop at Milwaukee Art Museum.

LibertyRoosterPicasso Freedom Roosters was amusing.  Nearly didn’t get there because of a Komen walk blocking everything.


Stop at Milwaukee Public Museum. 3D Film about Pandas being reintroduced to the wild. Saw what the earthquake did to the center we had visited back in 2000.  Found Earl’s muskrat diorama which captured his imagination 25 years ago being the first one in the US.

MuskratDioramaHad a chance to visit relatives in Ohio on the way to Milwaukee. Friends on the way back to Maryland.



St. Augustine


Just a neat plant we saw in St. Augustine Beach.  The American Marsh Pennywort. Umbelliferae family





Pine Warbler

Soldiers Delight State Park, Owings Mills, MD

Pine Warbler

These birds have white bellies, white wing bars, dark legs and thin, relatively long pointed bills; they have yellowish lines over their eyes. Adult males have olive upper parts and bright yellow throats and breasts; females and immatures display upper parts which are olive-brown. Their throats and breasts are paler. The song of this bird is a musical trill. Their calls are slurred chips. Their breeding habitats are open pine woods in eastern North America. These birds are permanent residents in southern Florida. Some of them, however, migrate to northeastern Mexico and islands in the Caribbean. They forage slowly on tree trunks and branches by poking their bill into pine cones. These birds also find food by searching for it on the ground. These birds mainly eat insects, seeds and berries. Their nests are deep, open cups, which are placed near the end of a tree branch. Pine Warblers prefer to nest in pine trees, hence their names.

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Young female pine warbler

Pine Warbler
Adult male
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae
Genus: Setophaga
Species: S. pinus
Binomial name
Setophaga pinus
(Wilson, 1811)
Breeding-only (yellow), all-year (green), wintering (blue) ranges in North America
Dendroica vigorsii
Dendroica pinus

Lined Shore Crab

P1010914 (1)

Spotted San Francisco Bay, April 2013

Pachygrapsus crassipes Randall, 1839
Phylum Arthropoda, Subph. Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Subcl. Eumalacostraca, Superorder Eucarida, Order Decapoda,  Infraorder Brachyura, Family Grapsidae

Lined shore crab; carapace trapezoidal with 2 antero-lateral teeth on each side; dark green-black with red or purple highlights on appendages; broken transverse lines across top of carapace, 40-45 mm across.

Abundant, but fast, cryptic & pugnacious; high to mid-intertidal zone, exposed & protected outer coast; feeds on algal films & scavenges.

Geogr. Range: central Oregon to Baja

Trip Down Memory Lane aka Loop Road

Had an extra day off so we took a ride down Tamiami Trail to Loop Road. We haven’t been down Loop Road for at least ten years. Loop Road had been closed for renovations for several years.  It is now mostly paved except for the last 10 miles.  The gravel road is much better, no big pot holes anymore.

Here’s some pics from the day.  The deer was pretty far away so the image was taken from a digital zoom.

Packing for a two month trip to Asia

For anyone who’s interested, this is what I plan on taking for my trip to Korea, China and Mongolia.

One medium backpack (a GoLite jam – lightweight bought for Grand Canyon hike back in 2006).
3/4 inch thermarest. small sleeping bag and silk sleeping sack.
Nalgene container and water purification tablets.
eyeshade, earplugs, inflatable pillow

Nylon waterproof zip trousers. leggings, cargos that convert to shorts.
tank top, ss shirt, ls shirt, poly blend ss dress. 4 pairs of socks and undies.
hiking boots, flip flops. bandana, hat, sweater, windbreaker, scarf
swimsuit, smock, vest of many pockets.
sunglasses, spare pair of eyeglasses

3 phrasebooks (korean, chinese, mongolian). Lonely planet guide for Mongolia.

Netbook, cell phone, ebook reader.
binoculars, little camera, big camera

Misc. drugs for travel ailments, antibiotics, vitamins, etc.
Comb, hairnet, towels, wash cloth, baby shampoo, dental floss, toothpaste/brush.
sewing kit, tweezers, scissors, scotch tape, stretchy clothesline and clothespins
compass, whistle. notebook, pencils, pen, postcards, name cards, and map of the world.

cloth bag, plastic trash bag, handbag, poncho.
flashlight, alarm clock, batteries
moneybelt, passport and printout of lodgings, airlines, etc.

and one bivy tent, a gift – thanks to my sister-in-law.

A Trip Along Tamiami Trail

We had a guest from out of town  so decided to take a day ride across Tamiami Trail and play tourist.  We figured we’d make little stops along the way and finish at Fakahatchee Strand, about the 80 miles point.

Completed in 1928, Tamiami Trail stretches across the State of Florida from Miami to Naples. Many funky attractions rose and fell over the years. Some of our favorites are long gone such as Frog City. Nowadays, shiny billboards rather than homemade signs grace the highway along with fancy tourist attractions and Indian villages.

Starting out at 9:30am our first stop as we left the sprawling metropolis that is Miami was “Palacios de los Jugos” for some mamey, sour sop, and passion fruit juice. We checked out “Dade Corners” which used to be the last stop for gasoline between Miami and Naples.  However, too many of the souvenirs there now are made in China.  To our left, we passed by the “Pit BBQ” which burned down years ago and was rebuilt to less funky standards.  When we were last there, the menu had changed to a more hispanic flavor.  We also passed by the old defunct shooting range whose entrance was graced by huge concrete arches.
Reaffirmed that the Miccosukee Indian Visitor Center was not a useful stop.  Expensive and not very educational. It was hosting an Art Show but the $15 price tag just struck us as too steep. They were also offering Aztec dances. What were Aztecs doing in South Florida?
We had a pleasant visit at  Clyde Butcher’s Photo Gallery at mile marker 54.5. Surrounded by Big Cypress National Reserve, it is perched in a scenic region. The large format photographs are easy on the eye as well.
It’s time for lunch so we stop in Everglades City at Camilla’s Grill.
Palm Frond Masks decor Camilla’s
Honeybee outside Camilla’s
Earl decided to do some exploring so we went to Choloskee Island. At the southern point there is an old store museum which is a slice of the early 1900’s.


They stopped making Postum in 2007.

Canoe under Smallwood Store Museum
Choloskee Island
 Young Ibis at Fakahatchee Strand.  They turn white once they mature.  We made it to Fakahatchee Strand Boardwalk by 4pm. Very crowded with tourists but happily, not with mosquitoes. However, the chances of seeing the red tail hawk with all the tourists was greatly diminished. All one could see were the nests. The shop at the center was reasonably priced and our guest had a chance to buy some souvenirs.
Blue Heron

River of Grass. Driving back, the sun was setting, the white birds were illuminated as they were doing their final flights to their roosting grounds. Backlit with a rainbow this was a stunning sight. It all happened too fast to get a photograph. We just had to be satisfied with having the experience.


River of Grass

We stopped to look at some of the roosting birds -- ibises, wood cranes, egrets, and blue herons. They arranged themselves like little white ornaments on the trees. There was a hopeful alligator hanging out nearby. A moor hen paddled by nonchalantly.

Roosting Birds

Final stop, Shark Valley, its dark now so we get out the flashlights and head out on the trail. Spotted the leopard frogs, a green tree frog, a gecko and quite a few toads. Our visitor got a little frightened by the proximity of the red glowing alligator eyes. We've seen alligators lying on the road or sidewalk at this park before. We spooked a few birds in the trees and called it a night.

Dinner was dim sum (still on the trail but back in the city). Made it home by 9:30pm. So, in total, our tourist adventure consisted of ten stops and twelve hours.

Billy Goat Trail – Great Falls, Maryland

Nina has been wanting to do the Billy Goat Trail since 1997. Figured it was time to make the attempt. We started the trail around 1pm and by 2:30pm got to the 40 foot cliff climb. Looked at it and said “nyaah”, turned around and did the fun bouldering part over again. We also visited the overlook of the Great Falls on the Potomac. Very beautiful and interesting hike. Saw a blue heron, mallard ducks, the ubiquitous white tail deers, and lots of colorful trees. Finished up around 5pm which was perfect – just in time for beltway traffic on the way home.

Blue Heron

Scenery along the trail

Don't step on the fragile plants!

Intrepid Billy Goat

Great Falls on the Potomac

Reflections on the C&O Canal

Soldier’s Delight Natural Environment Area

We joined Volunteer Ranger and mining historian Johnny Johnsson on a two mile Mining History Hike to the historic Choate chromium mine. The history of mining in Soldiers Delight was supplemented by demonstration of various mining artifacts.  There was an opportunity to pan chrome sands in a restored buddle (kind of like panning for gold).  

We were treated to the origin of the words “Jackhammer” and “yellow cab”. Stories about “Soldier’s Delight”, murderous plots and other interesting historic tidbits. The tour lasted over 2.5 hours. It was lots of fun.  

The trails were a bit wet because of yesterday’s unseasonable early snowfall but it did make for some pretty scenery on this clear sunny day.

Demonstration of three types of headlamps -- the candle, oil lamp and propane.

Panning for chromium ore.

Chromium Ore

Serpentine Rock

Autumn Leaves

Leftover from Yesterday's Early Snow

Photo of Old Mine

Winter is Coming

Oregon Ridge Park Trails, Maryland

Went with Nina on a hike today. Beautiful weather. Lovely autumn colors.  Saw a blue heron and a green wren.  We were going to hike a couple of hours but it turned into 3.5 hours.  Treated ourselves to Maryland Crab Soup and steamed jumbo shrimp afterwards.