Archive for the ‘Great Outdoors’ Category



March 24, 2013

Over spring break, Rachel and I spent a few days canoeing in the Everglades National Park, about an hour from where my Mom lives in Naples, Florida. We were revisiting portions of last year’s epic adventure, learning once again that the wind and waves can be a real test. This year’s takeaway: Next time, give up on the old metal camp canoe and rent some kayaks.


Commuting on the Anacostia

February 5, 2012

This guy is cool.


Thank you Rachel, who pointed out this post to a local DC blog.


Everglades Adventure

January 3, 2012

Long fall, but Rachel and I are just back from a two weeks canoeing and camping in the Florida Everglades National Park. As the photo suggests there were restful moments. This is our campsite on Turkey Key, where we were stranded an extra day by stormy weather. In between, we canoed perhaps 80 miles through mangroves and (much to our chagrin) some surprisingly rough gulf waters. Lots of birds, fish, alligators, and LOTS of bugs – I encountered the first scorpion I have ever seen while building a fire not far from where I’m resting in the photo above. I also learned a lot about the tumultuous political history of the Everglades from Michael Grunwald’s excellent book The Swamp, which I picked up at the National Park Service book shop as we were setting out. What a trip!


Great Outdoors

September 6, 2011

Rachel and I are back from a long weekend camping at Big Bend campground in Monongahela National Forest. Depicted above, Rachel prepares a Girshick-family tradition – Krusteasz pancakes.

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July 24, 2011


Why is this macaque smiling?

July 9, 2011

From a remarkable series of “self-portraits” in the Daily Mail (via Andrew Sullivan):

Visiting a national park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, award-winning photographer Mr Slater left his camera unattended for a while.

It soon attracted the attention of an inquisitive female from a local group of crested black macaque monkeys, known for their intelligence and dexterity.

Fascinated by her reflection in the lens, she then somehow managed to start the camera. The upshot: A splendid self-portrait.

Apparently that’s not a smile, but rather a grimace directed at its reflection.


South Branch

July 6, 2011

We celebrated Rachel’s birthday over the holiday weekend with a trip to West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest (a name I still can’t pronounce). Rachel’s colleague suggested we camp at Big Bend Campground near Petersburg, WV, which sits on a big bend in the South Branch of the Potomac River. We hiked and swam, I fished. We had a positively splendid couple days in an otherwise busy summer.