Category Archives: Neighborhoods

Signs of Spring

This past Friday was unseasonable warm for this time of year in the Washington DC area, so I took advantage of the opportunity to go out and do some shooting in the neighborhood. For these captures, I used a Panasonic GF-3 ILC camera with a Leica 45mm F2.8 macro lens.

Here is a photo of the fruits of the maple tree. The immature fruits are still attached to the branches. Their reproductive structures have completed their purpose in life, and are seen desiccated, hanging to the tops of the petiole. The winged fruits are beginning to ripen and will soon mature, as which point they will be blown off the stems of the tree to sail away to begin a new journey of their own.

Maples are endemic to Asia, Europe, and the United States. Although the genus, Acer, to which the maples belong, consists also of shrubs, we are most familiar with the tree form. Most maples are deciduous, loosing all leaves during their winter hibernation. Flowers appear during late winter and early spring. In the above example, the flowers have appeared before the leaves. The winged fruits will have begun to drop with the first appearance of leaves. As the fruits mature, they will turn from the above pink color to a light green, then to a deep green at maturity.

Here is an image of forsythia. Their bright yellow petals are clearly visible, as they imbue the bush with a golden glow. The common name, forsythia, is the same as its genus name, Forsythia. These shrubs are native to Asia, though many can now be found throughout the world as ornamental plants in gardens, yards, and along city streets.

Forsythias are deciduous shrubs, which flowers in early spring before the onset of leaves. The flowers are generally yellow, with four petals, joined at the base. After pollination and fertilization, the mature fruit is a dry capsule containing a number of winged seeds.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

A chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeno, used primarily in Mexican or Mexican-inspired cuisine. It is also part of the name of a well-known chain of “fast-casual” restaurants in the northern Virginia region, specializing in burritos and tacos. The restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill, can also be found throughout major metropolitan areas in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Sampling its menu, I have come to appreciate the restaurant chain’s fresh ingredients of rice, chicken, pork, steak, beans, vegetables, and salsas. In addition, service is very quick, despite the long queue, especially during the mid-day or evening meal times. The picture above was taken during a recent visit for a quick meal. It’s located at the corner of Duke St. and N. Jordan St. in Alexandria, VA. It was shot with the Nikon s8200 (f/8.8 @ 1/1000 sec; ISO 800).

My favorite menu item is the Burrito Bowl… all of the freshness, heartiness, and robust ingredients of a burrito, but without the messiness from the drippings of the tasty ingredients all over one’s hands. Enjoy!

Autumn in the City

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Now that we are transitioning into the new year, I thought I’d recap some of the autumnal scenery in and around the Washington DC and Northern VA areas. It’s been a colorful and, at times, rainy autumnal season. There were many opportunities to photograph the fall foliage, in all their colorful splendor.

Autumnal

With the onset of cooler, shorter, and darker days, the signs of Autumn have reached the Washington, DC area.

Samsung SH100

1/80 sec @f/4.2   ISO: 80

Gray Skies

A dreary, rainy day as I head home at the end of a workday.

Samsung SH100

1/45 sec @ f/3.5   ISO: 160

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