Golf at Midnight? Almost!

From our smart-phones, tablets, computers and other such devices, we can now see and read anybody’s posts from around the world in virtually real time, including this. My awareness of the shape and size of our global home has been enhanced with this very inexpensive and seemingly infinite media, as local times and seasons are so varied. 

Yesterday was the first day of Summer here in the US East Coast,  but of course the first day of Winter along  the Australian East Coast, where I follow several photo-bloggers. In Scandinavia, a few more whom I follow, are, or close to,  experiencing the midnight sun.

Just about this date, a few years back, we were almost giddy while playing golf at 11:00 PM, with native jack-rabbits watching on a wonderful course just outside Denali National Park, Alaska. Of course the beverage provided by the eager and smiling grounds keeper had nothing to do with that, but, the uniqueness of just being there; the snow-capped mountains, the pale natural lighting, and playing with great NJ friends near midnight… did!

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Yes, It’s New Jersey: Surfing Sea Gulls and Other Talent

Whenever I get the chance, I walk beaches looking for interesting shells, sand patterns, birds, … Last fall, just a week before Superstorm Sandy, I came across a number of Sea Gulls acting unusual.  They clearly were frolicking and playing with no abandonment, letting their guard down, unaware I was spying. They should have been seriously scavenging, or fishing or what-ever they’re supposed to be doing.

In particular, I saw two of these Herring Gulls – one surfing (waiting for the perfect wave,) and the other …shadow playing (like a care-free child!) To avoid embarrassing them, I did not reveal my presence. But, later I wondered  if they knew the big storm was on its way and, (expecting the end of the world,) figured…”what the hell!”

These 7 images are from New Jersey’s Awesome Island Beach State Park.

Click on the images for full resolution view

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Above:    Waiting for the perfect wave.

Image Above:   ” Whoooo! There it is, Kowabunga!” Image Above:     “Oh yeah! ready, ready…. here it comes…” Image Above:    “Awww,” (or is it “Cawww!”) “Give me a break! That was nothin’.” Image Above: (Gull # 2) “Doe de doe de doe, Look, I’m a Bald Eagle!” Image Above:   “And you thought the Aflac Duck was talented!”

Living High, atop the Eiffel Tower

Please click on the images for full size view       

While in Paris last fall I really enjoyed going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel is credited with overseeing the design, and building of this incredible, VERY open air structure, which literally stands as a testament to what late 19th century “modern engineering” could produce, and… in only about 26 months.

Conceived and presented as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, a visitor sees the wonderful engineering details… starting at the massive four supporting legs anchored deeply near the Seine River.  Above, is the beautiful, graceful lattice of 18,038 girders and connecting pieces joined together by some 2,500,000 rivets. The top observation level is 918 ft. (279 m) above the plaza and from there the very top of the tower is another 145 ft., or a total of 1063 ft. (324 m).

What intrigued me this time?  The apartment built by “Gus” on the top. Can you imagine asking a friend over for a drink at “my apartment… it has a nice view!”  NICE VIEW! I usually am not bothered by high places, but to most, hunkering down on the settee for an overnight in a small apartment perched atop a 1000 ft. tower would be ….worrisome! “How’s the weather?”  Make that drink a double, please!

ImageAbove:        From the Esplanade du Trocadero, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower

ImageAbove:       The first observations level, including “Le 58 Tour Eiffel”  restaurant

ImageAbove:                    From the plaza at the base of the “lattice” work

ImageAbove:    Pont Alexandre III, crossing the Seine,   as seen from the 2nd observation level

ImageAbove:                    The 3rd level (two decks) and top of the tower

ImageAbove:               Looking up at the very top, antenna’s, lights, beacons …

ImageAbove:                  Plaque telling of the apartment, on the upper deckImageAbove:       The original top of the Eiffel tower, showing the apartment, –  long since gone

ImageAbove:     The awesome view from the upper deck, 3rd and highest observation level