Oct 14 2009

An Afternoon At The Maryland Renaissance Festival

by posted in Trips

Kristina and I took a trip back in time when we visited the Maryland Renaissance Festival this past weekend. There were many sights and sounds to take in from the throngs of eager guests decked out in 15th century wear, to the numerous shops selling all kinds of hand made crafts.  The festival was littered with performers involved in plays, musical groups, and even a jousting match.

This jester was a hoot doing visual gags with his fingers.
Bugling Jester at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

We saw a glass blowing demonstration and these were some of the finished products hanging outside of his shop.
Hanging Glassware at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

The jousting match was the most exciting part of the event. One of the knights even fell off his horse during one of the routines.
Galloping Jousting Knight

This queen was one of the many different costumes we saw people wearing throughout the day.
Rennaissance Queen at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

The longest line at the Maryland Renaissance Festival was for the ATM though some shops accepted credit cards.
Lady Visa Sir Mastercard

Kristina sure had a fun time! I did too I just couldn’t get a picture of myself enjoying everything.
Kristina Smiling at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

I can’t believe how far some people get into the renaissance time period but it is fun to experience a bit of history for yourself. And we didn’t have to worry about fighting a dragon and crossing a moat to get back home!

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Jul 28 2009

Butterflies at Brookside Gardens

by posted in Trips

This past Sunday Kristina and I visited the Brookside Gardens in Glenmont, Maryland. The park is a mere mile from our apartment so we enjoyed a brisk walk there. The last time we visited was almost exactly one year ago but this time we decided to check out the Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit. I lugged my big macro lens around to get some close-up shots. I ended up taking close to 600 by the end of the day.

Stepping into the butterfly habitat was overwhelming as it was impossible to avoid groups of butterflies zig zagging all over. Some would even perch on your shoulder. Places like this are great to practice macro photography. Here are some of my shots.

Butterfly perched on a banana

Butterfly on red flower

Butterflies stuck on Russell

Water drops on a purple flower

After an hour of dodging various winged creatures (and packs of people for that matter) we decided to continue on outside. There was plenty of different wildlife hanging out around the pond. Like this family of turtles…

Three turtles on a rock

Kristina spotted this big, black, Rat Snake and while she wanted to run away as fast as she could, I wanted to take it’s picture.

Rat snake in the bushes at Brookside Gardens

We found a tree that was a caterpillar hotel. This one was chowing down on a green leaf.

Caterpillar eating a leaf at Brookside Gardens

The highlight of our day was spotting this Great Blue Heron up close. I stalked it for a long time and managed to snap 200 pictures just of this guy alone.

Great Blue Heron at Brookside Gardens

Of course we had to take a picture of just the two of us. In the background to the left is the Japanese Teahouse on the other side of the pond.

Russell and Kristina at Brookside Gardens

We had a great day visiting an exhibit we had never seen before, getting plenty of exercise in, and even enjoying our packed picnic lunch in the Japanese Teahouse that Kristina packed for us. It was just what we needed to get a break from the wedding planning.

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