Galitz JE's

The Galitz Journal for friends and family

Sofia/Serdica, Bulgaria


St. George Rotunda Church is the most ancient Christian Temple in Sofia located in the City Centre and constructed during the 4th Century by Romans.


Ancient Serdica uncovered during building of Metro underground in Sofia


Serdica ruins


Serdica ruins.


Serdica ruins


Roman latrine


Roman plumbing


Synagogue, a block away from Mosque and Church.


Mosque near marketplace, bath house and synagogue and church.


Bath house in Sofia now a Museum covering the history of Sofia.


Tsar Ferdinand’s carriage


Upstairs in the “bath house”


Mineral springs. The reason Sofia was settled by the Thracians and Romans.


Bansko, Bulgaria


At the oldest pine tree in Bulgaria — Baikushev white fir. Approximate age of about 1,300 years, Baikushev’s pine is one of the oldest trees in the world and is a contemporary of Bulgaria’s founder, Khan Asparukh. It has a height of 26 m, is 2.2 m in diameter and 7.8m in circumference.





Oven put on the outside of the home.



At the second tallest mountain in the region. 1972 meter point.


Sign of Spring – Storks are back.



View outside my apartment in Bansko

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Outside St. Teodor of Dobarsko. No photos allowed inside. Famous for an icon which folks that have imagination say “Christ is riding a rocket ship”.


Saturday at Midnight for Orthodox Easter. Lighting candles. Folks greet each other with “Christ has risen” and walk around the church 3 times.




Eleshnitza, Bulgaria

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. kukeri14 kukeri13 kukeri12 kukeri11 kukeri10 kukeri09 kukeri08 kukeri07 kukeri06 Kukeri05 Kukeri04 Kukeri03 kukeri01

Havre de Grace, MD

Sussquehanna River

Sussquehanna River

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.





Spring Beauty


Virginia Bluebells in Profusion

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Dutchmen's Britches

Dutchmen’s Britches


Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells


Trout Lily

Trout Lily


Violets - lots of types

Violets – lots of types

Golden ragwort

Golden ragwort

Invasive Garlic Mustard (edible)

Invasive Garlic Mustard (edible)


1827 Lighthouse - Havre de Grace, MD

1827 Lighthouse – Havre de Grace, MD


Oldest building in Havre de Grace 1813 - Rodgers House

Oldest building in Havre de Grace 1813 – Rodgers House

White perch - this one goes back

White perch – this one goes back

Perch caught on the pier

Perch caught on the pier



Antietam, Hagerstown, and Shepardstown

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.



Springtime at Antietam National Battlefield

Springtime at Antietam National Battlefield


Musical Instruments - Butterfly Sculpture Theme - Hagerstown, MD

Musical Instruments – Butterfly Sculpture Theme – Hagerstown, MD


Little Heiskell (German Soldier) Weathervane, symbol of Hagerstown

Little Heiskell (German Soldier) Weathervane, symbol of Hagerstown


Columns on a Barn? Hagerstown

Columns on a Barn? Hagerstown


The Fishing Lesson - Art in the Park

The Fishing Lesson – Art in the Park


Elmwood Cemetary - Shepardstown, WV - 114 CSA burials from Antietam

Elmwood Cemetary – Shepardstown, WV – 114 CSA burials from Antietam





Tulip Magnolia survivors after the mixed rain and snow day

Tulip Magnolia survivors after the mixed rain and snow day


Bridge remnants from the 1936 flood - Potomac - state line WV & MD

Bridge remnants from the 1936 flood – Potomac – state line WV & MD


Old Market Place (now a Library) in the middle of the street with the Order of the Odd Fellows Symbol of the Seeing Eye, Shepardstown, WV

Old Market Place (now a Library) in the middle of the street with the Order of the Odd Fellows Symbol of the Seeing Eye, Shepardstown, WV

SummerKeys – Lubec, Maine

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.

Quoddy Head Lighthouse

Photo courtesy of Marilyn’s cell phone – Quoddy Head Lighthouse



























Smokehouse Museum


Dog Daze


Town Square Sculpture


Lighthouse & Lupines


Main Street


Artsy Shingles


Corn Flower & Bee

At Cello Camp

Photo courtesy of Jennifer – Posing for the photographers during group cello lesson



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