Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Animals’

On the Edge

Posted by Ben on July 28, 2010

This past weekend included a trip out to Crater Lake National Park.  It was quite a drive, about 3 1/2 hours each way, but it was definitely worth it.  For the most part, the weather was nice, and the view of the lake was amazing.  The water was incredibly blue.

Even though the chipmunk in the picture is not entirely in focus, I really like the way this one turned out.  I was able to frame it fairly well between the two rock faces.  I tried again almost immediately after this shot, but the chipmunk ran away.  The blue color of the lake also came out really nicely.


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Posted by Ben on June 21, 2010

Saturday morning, I rose early and headed even further to the northwest from Olympia, eventually making my way to the northern section of Olympic National Park.  Once inside the park, I followed another twisty mountain road to the top of Hurricane Ridge.  The road eventually ascended into the clouds, but gave a beautiful view of the neighboring ridge line of the Olympic Mountains, still covered in snow, as well as clouds.  On the other side of the ridge I was on, you could see all the way down to the coast.  It was kind of a strange image, with the cloud-shrouded snowy peaks in the foreground, but looking down the valley to the blue water as well.  Outside of the lodge at the top of the ridge, a group of three deer were wandering around, and this was one of the best shots that I got of them.

Eventually, I made my way back down from the mountains and took a ferry across the sound to the mainland a little north of Seattle.  I spent the night with some friends in Redmond and left this morning for my final destination: Corvallis, Oregon.  The drive today was not that exciting, and was full of rainy weather for the most part.

I’m now mostly settled in my new dorm room, which is a lot smaller than the one I’m used to back at Tech, but I’m sure it will be fine for the next couple of weeks.  Nine of us who are here for the math REU all went out for dinner together tonight, and it was a lot of fun to meet everyone.  The program officially starts tomorrow morning, and while I’m sad that the road trip is over now, I’m definitely ready to get started.  Now I just need to find some places to dance around here in the summer and I’ll be set.


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Going Up

Posted by Ben on June 15, 2010

So, after spending the last couple of days driving across the middle of the country, I finally made it to the Rocky Mountains.  My first view came after driving west from Fort Morgan for about an hour.  From there, I followed highway 287 north alongside the mountains.  Right before the Wyoming state line, there was a rest stop with a big natural area beside it.  I walked around a little to stretch my legs, and as I was getting back into the car, I noticed a chipmunk behind one of the tables.  The 20x zoom on the Powershot let me get a pretty good picture without having to get too close.  I also got pictures of a few prairie dogs that were in the same field.

Once I got into Wyoming, I got on I-80, heading west again through the mountains.  It was a very windy stretch of road, and the scenery was great.  From one of the rest stops along the highway, I had an awesome view of Elk Mountain, though the top of the mountain was covered in clouds

After a while, I turned back on highway 287, heading northwest across Wyoming.  There were some more snow-covered peaks along the way, but for the most part, it was a flat, straight road that took me all the way to Lander, Wy.

Tomorrow I head up through Yellowstone, so hopefully the weather will be nice.


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Posted by Ben on March 11, 2010

Another zoo shot.  This one is a tiny little hummingbird from the Sonora desert exhibit.  I had the camera shooting continuously for a good thirty seconds hoping to get it in flight, but no luck there.  I love the bright pink colors around its neck in this shot.

I spoke briefly last time about the unknowns in my life at the moment.  Well…I’ve got another one to toss onto that pile for a few days: my plans for the summer.  I was ecstatic last week to find out that I had been accepted to mathematics summer internship with the National Security Agency.  I mean, I thought the interviews had gone well, but I didn’t think my chances of getting into a program that only takes twelve students each summer were very good.  At that point I thought I was set for the summer.  I wasn’t really excited about the Lockheed internship I interviewed for (which is good since I didn’t end up getting that one).  However, I found out earlier tonight that I was accepted to the mathematics REU at Oregon State University for this summer.  I knew going into this that that was a highly competitive and selective program.  In fact, I had pretty much been waiting for the last few weeks for an email from them politely informing me that I had not been selected.

So, now I find myself forced to choose between two very attractive programs.  On the one hand is the NSA.  First, I would be making considerably more money through this program.  I would also be much closer to home (Baltimore, Maryland vs Corvallis, Oregon).  It would also give me a glimpse into what a mathematics major might actually do in the real world.  On the other hand, the REU program would give me a better glimpse into what math grad school would be like.  I would basically be working on a research project for the majority of the summer there.  From what I’ve heard, it is also a very nice thing to be able to include on a grad school application.  This program is also a month shorter than the NSA one, giving me a little bit of a summer break to enjoy.  It is also located in what seems like a beautiful part of the country (though I’ve never actually been there before).  A downside to this is that I’d be on the other side of the country from most of my friends.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot to think about for this one…


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Posted by Ben on March 9, 2010

This is another picture from our day at the zoo this past weekend.  I think this is definitely one of the best animal shots that I ended up with.  I was really surprised to see how clear this one turned out when I got home and transferred all of the pictures back to the computer.  This picture was taken through a fairly thick glass wall that went around the front of the bobcat exhibit.  You can see a little bit of reflection in the top right corner, but it’s not that noticeable unless you are specifically looking for it.  Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything…

Spring break is going well so far.  It has been very relaxing to be home and away from most of the school work that I normally have to deal with.  There are always things and people that I miss while I’m home, and they always seem to change each time I come back.  Sometimes it doesn’t set in until a few weeks into the break, but this time it only took a few days.  I guess maybe it has to do with how the semester has been going for me.  Looking back at this one, things have been going well for the most part.  There are very few things that I can complain about, and most of them are my own fault anyway.  There are still a good number of unknowns in my life at the moment, weighing down my mind late at night, but I’m hoping to clear some of those up once I get back next week, and for once I have a feeling that things might go my way.


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