Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New family member

We welcomed a new family member into our home this past Saturday. This is Buddy our new dog. He is a 10 month old Beagle Labrador mix. He was rescued from a kill shelter and we suspect had suffered some abuse by a previous owner. The physical scars will heel and he doesn’t seem to have any emotional scars. He has found a family that will treat him as a family member should be treated.

He is still getting used to his new surroundings and is a very well mannered dog. The girls love him. They look forward to playing with him and walking him. I’m glad that I’m not the only male in the house anymore.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall color at the Morton Arboretum

I have lived in the Chicago area most of my life and have only been to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle a couple times. I made it a goal this year to get over there this fall and practice some nature photography. I took the day off from work since it is my birthday and decided it would be a perfect day for it. The rain that was forecast for today was pushed off until tomorrow and the sun was out.

I grabbed my Nikon D50 and only my Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens. I wanted to constrain myself to this lens since it is a sharp lens and I wanted to see what I could do with it. My wife and youngest daughter joined me on the trip. The arboretum has a great children garden area with plenty to keep them entertained. With the expectation of spending more time there we signed up for the family membership so now we can go anytime without paying the entry fee.

It was a fantastic day for exploring. The sun was out, it was 65 degrees and a cool breeze. The trees are showing their fall colors. We stayed on the East side. I hiked one of the loop trails and then all of us drove the entire East loop.

Here is a link to the photo set on Flickr.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Flight Log: Birthday Flight

I took my daughter for a flight in the Cessna today. It’s her 8th birthday today and my 38th birthday on Tuesday. So this was a combined birthday flight. It was an unusually warm day for October in Chicago. It was 80+ degrees on the ground so nature’s air conditioning at 5500’ felt good. We flew to Whiteside County airport (KSQI) just because I haven’t been there before and it qualifies for cross country time. We saw the trees changing colors from above and the progression of clean energy in the way of many wind turbines. I made a picture perfect landing on the mains and held the nose wheel off as long as possible.

When we parked at Whiteside Co. airport I noticed cars speeding around the tarmac. It turns out there was an SCCA race going on. They had orange cones outlining a track and members were doing time trials with their everyday cars. There were Miatas, Mustangs, Nissan Zs, and others. There was a lot of tire shredding going on with the tight turns.

On the way back to our home airport we were just below the lightly scattered clouds. It was almost like you could reach out and touch them. It was another good flight and always nice to get some practice in. Hopefully I won’t get into a drought this winter.