NYC from the Hudson River – Exceptional Lighting

Back last year, while returning by ferry from a day-trip to Manhattan, the lighting was awesome. Being the busy Christmas season of 2016, these images were saved in my computer until… now! Storms to the north and the late afternoon sun brightly shinning in the south-west accentuated the stunning view.

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments and questions are always welcome.   M 🙂

Perspectives: A Jersey View of the Always Dynamic Big Apple!

This post contains ten images from “President’s Day” last week, underscoring the dynamics of a magnificently changing Manhattan skyline, driven by decades long, mind-blowing construction.  

dsc_0361 dsc_0370-version-2 dsc_0417 dsc_0477 dsc_0343 dsc_0380 dsc_0383 dsc_0502 dsc_0500 dsc_0442  As Robert Plant once sang: “Ohh, …it makes me wonder…”

Thanks for viewing. Click on or “finger stretch” for a closer look –  and comments are certainly welcome. M 🙂

9/11: Fifteen Years Later… We’ll Never Forget

Shortly after the first plane struck the North Tower, my daughter called to ask if I had heard the news that a small plane had crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, tower #1. Her ‘heads up’ was early and sketchy, and not too alarming, …as these things happen, rarely, but occasionally. Soon however, I was enveloped in what seemed like a nightmare fantasy – grappling with my emotions and becoming increasingly stressed and overwhelmed as reports and images from the TV were now almost too surreal to comprehend.

Below are some photos captured from that day and a week later, as the impact and aftermath  of 9/11/01 changed our world forever.

I recall practically gasping for air as I watched it all unfold on the TV.  Commentators themselves were grasping for threads of understanding,  reporting on near simultaneous events in Washington DC and Pennsylvania. As the onslaught continued I thought: When will it end? Where is this all going?  And “What’s that? A truck filled with explosives heading for the George Washington Bridge????” No, that unfounded report was NOT  true….but what was next? 
Later afternoon, from an vantage point in New Jersey, about 20 miles NE, the panic and fear was giving way to quiet disbelief and sorrow.
Returning from the overlook, the quiet was palatable –  the communities slowely absorbing the magnitude of this insidious act of terror.  Contemplative silence underscored the juxtaposition of this otherwise beautifully clear day. 
9/18/01, 11:31 PM a week later, …a consoling couple silently contemplates the aftermath as the searching for victims continues, as seen from Jersey City across the Hudson River.
The skeletal remains of Tower #2 is seen fragilely standing, surrounded by dark shattered buildings, cranes, and hundreds of the tireless first and second responders in the rubble below.


Summer, 2016

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂


A Few Favorite images

A few previously unpublished images from the archives – or – what to publish when you are a.) too busy, or b.) at wit’s end (end of wits?) to create anything else!

Sandy Paws guarding the remote – Northern N.J. 5/4/15
Tyler guarding the goal, N.J. – 4/25/15
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Gull scrounging for food, Seaside Heights boardwalk, NJ – 5/23/15
Grazing around at the Senior Equine Retirement Farm, near ATCO, NJ – 5/23/15
Home for the birds and the buzzin’ bees, Jersey Shore – 5/19/15
Clouds blowing by the moon on a windy night, Jersey Shore – 2/23/15
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West side of Hudson River, Tompkins Cove, NY – 5/29/15
Optimism by the Hudson River, Tompkins Cove, N.Y. – 5/29/15

Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂


Right of Way – In The Summertime

A beginner’s guide to who has the right of way on the waterways.

This educational (?) post contains 10 images. Click on for more details. 

1.) The sailboat on the right HAD the right of way, but somebody here didn’t care!

2.) Hand powered vessels have the right of way, unless…
3.) … a bigger boat doesn’t see it that same way
4.) Sailboats, and the remains thereof, have the right of way.
Ditto, against 10,000 ton barge.
6.) “Norwegian Breakaway” has right of way to breakaway sailboats who think they have right of way.
7.) Refer to Number 6, above.
8.) Naked, or near naked women have right of way under all circumstances.
9.) See No. 8 above –  for passing paddle boarders. Caution should be observed.
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Captains with the most beer have the right of way, or so they believe.

Images 1-8, Hudson River, NY Harbor, 8/9/15

Images 9-10, Barnegat Bay N.J. 8/16/15

No offense is meant by these fun images, only educational enlightenment.

Hope you are having a safe and happy summer. As usual, thanks for viewing, and comments are always welcome M 🙂

Step Up, Step Down, and Round They Go – The Dance of the Electrons

Part One: Pondering while Eating Toast:  Bread Crumbs to Utility Pole.

This journey traces our electrical power to its source – in three parts.


 How does the ubiquitous energy that we take for granted come to our homes? Where does it start? How does it happen? What’s all that stuff up there on the “utility” poles? In my case a 35 mile (56 km) drive up to Tomkins Cove, NY, reveals these two enormous 475 foot (148 m) towers supporting 12 fist size cables across the Hudson River – freshly energized with something like 500,000 volts. 

No Time? Just view the images, which will appear in higher resolution when clicked.  The captions tell the story. 

Walking Sandy Paws, the dog, most mornings, I find myself looking up at the utility poles with their strings of wires overhead, – everywhere – seemingly not much different than 120 years ago in the big cities. What’s up? So I grabbed my camera and did some investigating, starting with my morning toast.

When the toaster is turned on, a circuit is complete across the heating elements which literally become “red” hot, and my bread is toasted. Yum!  Technically –> Current is now flowing from the narrower (hot) slot of  the wall outlet above [which is connected to one of two 120 volt wires entering the house’s service panel] to the “neutral” (wide slot in the outlet,) where, after effectively drained of voltage by the toaster’s elements, it dissipates residual to the earth. Painfully –>If YOU grabbed the hot and neutral wire, YOU would be toast! 
Wall outlets (for example) are wired to circuit breakers in the service panel which, in turn are connected to either one of two 120 volt lines entering the house… and the ground wire. Seen here, those three wires enter via the yellow painted sheath above the panel, one of the 120 volt lines is seen (in brown fabric covering) inside the panel, coursing down and left above the white neutral (ground) wires. A similiar (black fabric covered) wire is to its right. (Click and enlarge for detail.) The bare ground wire from the yellow sheath is solidly attached to the panel itself, the neutral side of circuits, and in turn to the water pipes as an additional ground assurance. As long as either of the two feed wires and the ground wire are NOT connected, (from power plant to toaster) virtually no current flows.
Painted yellow inside the house, here are the sheathed three wires, entering the foundation.
Attached to the side of the house, two insulated 120 volt lines and one bare ground wire enter the sheath together, coming from the pole on our street.
The three wires, twisted together, join (connect directly) with those of three other houses, and come from the pole’s transformer. Just to make it really confusing, all the wires are a mess up there on our pole but at least you can see a connector wire coming down from a single 7,200 volt line above into the top of the transformer. The windings in the can step the voltage down to two identical 120 volt lines, which along with the supporting ground cable, go to the house. See clearer image below.
In this view of an almost identical single phase transformer, the two 120 volt feed wires and one ground wire clearly come out of the upper side of the can and twist at the bottom right towards the house. (Image from Wikipedia)  (The device above the can is an overload circuit breaker on the feed wire.)

…So, right outside our home, a pole supports a 7,200 volt feed wire (it may be as high as 13,200 volts,) and transformer which steps voltage down to 120 volts and connects directly to our house. 

The journey continues in Part Two, next week.  <–Click 

Disclaimer: Not being an electrical engineer or public utility employee, some values and circumstances may be slightly different than stated, but should give a general idea of the actual grid. Any system or statistical corrections will be most appreciated.

As usual, thanks for visiting, and comments are always welcome. M 🙂