The Galitz Journal for friends and family
My friends took me to see the colorful traditions in Eleshnitza, Bulgaria for 1st of May. Most of these photos were taken by my friend who is over 6 ft tall and therefore can take photos over the heads of the crowds. This place was located about two hours south of Sofia near Bansko Ski Resort and the Pirin Mountains. Notice the hairy Kukeri with the 4 foot tall hats. Kukeri are costumes to scare away the evil spirits. Other costumes usually involve priests, demons, and an old man for comic relief. For the festivities there is also folk dancing and songs.
Spent the day in Havre de Grace, Maryland, about an hour’s drive from where I live. There was a walk sponsored by the local audubon club, “Warblers and Wildflowers” at the Sussquehanna State Park at 8:30am. The featured wildflower was the Virginia Bluebell which is in bloom for about two weeks. There are supposedly many acres of this plant in this park. Mostly blue, there are some pink and white varieties. Saw the local osprey in his tree, swallows and bald eagles flying overhead. Heard the calls of the pixelated woodpecker, cardinal, titmouse, and various migratory warblers. Picked some of the invasive mustard plant. The day was sunny and went up to the high 60’s. Afterwards I went on a 5k AVA trail that took me along the boardwalk, lighthouse and downtown Havre de Grace. Had a tasty crabcake for lunch at the Promenade grill by the bay. Went up the lighthouse (only 3 people allowed at a time), watched the fishermen on the boardwalk and took in some ice cream at Bomboy’s candy store. There was an impromptu high school jazz concert that took place in front of the fire station. Also saw a couple of weddings and a moving sale. It was my first time visiting this town and it was very pleasant. I understand HdG gets really busy in the summer.
Something new. Found the walking club – American Volkssporting Association and decided to go to their Biennial event in Maryland.
Received 3 pins for walking Antietam (12k), Hagerstown (10k) and Shepardstown (5k). Nice group of people where walking is done at your own pace, no set times to start or to finish.
Went to my first week long music camp in Lubec, Maine – the easternmost city in the USA, right next to Canada. Didn’t have much time to take photographs but here are a few.
Stamp show for Earl.
Stop at Milwaukee Art Museum.
Picasso 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.
Had a chance to visit relatives in Ohio on the way to Milwaukee. Friends on the way back to Maryland.
Soldiers Delight State Park, Owings Mills, MD
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.
Young female pine warbler
|Breeding-only (yellow), all-year (green), wintering (blue) ranges in North America|
|Spotted San Francisco Bay, April 2013
Pachygrapsus crassipes Randall, 1839
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
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.
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.