Category Archives: Nature

Spring Creek, Covered Bridge

Today was tennis! The tennis courts are in Spring Creek Park which has, wouldn’t you know it, a creek running through it. The weather today was again gorgeous and the chance to wade, toss stones, and take a few pictures was not to be missed.



To the top of Mount Nittany: Dinner, bees, lamb’s ear, and a wonderful view

We had a beautiful evening last night, dining at the Mount Nittany Inn, overlooking Penns Valley.



Freiburg Germany

I am very fortunate to be able to travel for Penn State this summer. I was recently named as chair of Freiburg “Faculty Implementation Committee,” or “FIT.” Last spring a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between PSU and the University of Freiburg. This is a university-wide agreement and we already have decades of collaboration between our two universities from philosophy to forestry and now energy and honors. In a few weeks over a dozen of my colleagues in the Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment will be arriving in Freiburg to meet with their counterparts here and we will reciprocate by hosting the Freuiburgers next year in Happy Valley. In addition to representing the university as a whole, I am also going to be working with their new University College Freiburg to establish an exchange program. I am very excited about that and more details are to come…

The trip here was fairly uneventful, although delayed by two hours. We pushed back from the gate at Dulles and they realized there was a brake problem. We returned, they fixed it, and an hour later we were on our way. Somehow we then lost another 50 minutes en route (with a tail wind, go figure). It was not a big deal for me since I simply took the train from Frankfurter Flughafen to Freiburg and walked two blocks to my hotel.

The Best Western “Hotel Victoria” bills itself as the greenest hotel in the world and I believe it. They have solar cells on the roof, wood pellet heaters for the water, and wind power from the city. (Freiburg is one of Germany’s foremost “Green Cities.”) After dinner at a local Italian café (and watching Spain-Italy tie in Euro 2012) I took a walk around town. Here a few pictures of my walk.

Continue reading Freiburg Germany

Summer Flowers & the Last Day of School

Today was the last day of school for our kiddos. For the boy it was a half day and for the girl they had a pool party. (A bit brisk apparently.) After a few pictures of the kids getting on the bus I snapped one or two of my wife’s flowers already blooming brightly up the front path.

These were taken with my new (early Father’s Day present) lens the Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3. I know that pros eschew the “super zoom” but this replaces the 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses and so far I see no loss in quality but all the benefits of have a single lens (and longer focal length). Obviously I would love a faster lens at longer length for all those indoor soccer games but until I win the lottery, this will do very nicely for trips and every day shooting.

Venus Transit

I simply used my Nikon D7000 with 55-200mm lens at 200mm with an ND filter. 

Bird, man, of Alcatraz

Sometimes you just get lucky. I was snappy shots of the island when this gull came across and the focus locked in on it. The Rock is a fascinating place to visit and shoot.

Pink Dogwood

The blooms have now faded, but this spring the dogwoods by Atherton Hall were gorgeous.

Pacific Surf

This was taken on a trip with students to San Francisco and the coast. Beautiful day with brunch at the famous Cliff House.

Sea Fortress of Helsinki

This is another one of my favorites and Sally gives it a vote for the office wall. What I like about an image like this or the image below are the simple, geometric shapes. You have to look at them for a minute to realize what it is you are seeing.

Moss & Siding

Rain on leaves

I am mostly testing out sharing from flickr to WordPress [doesn’t work with the Minimatica theme I am using now, well it does, but then I do not get the image on the home page], but I also quite like this shot. My son is particularly fascinated by the way the water beads up on the hosta leaves.

By the way, if you are looking to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog with flickr sharing, this post is particularly helpful. The pertinent comment:

read Flickr FAQ: Which blogging services does Flickr support??

This bit specifically

**If you use a WordPress self-hosted blog, in your WordPress dashboard under Settings > Writing > Remote Publishing be sure to check both Atom Publishing Protocol and XML-RPC. Then, in your settings on Flickr for that blog, enter your WordPress API Endpoint; for example:

…and it still doesn’t work?

Welcome to my PhotoBlog

If you follow Targuman then you know that I love to take pictures and often post them there. I likely will continue to do so, but this week I saw a lovely WordPress theme called “AutoFocus.” I thought it would be great for showcasing images on the blog, but it didn’t work well for my text entries. Then it occurred to me, why not create a separate blog, just for photos. So I have! Let me know what you think (I am open to other themes as well, so feel free to make recommendations on that as well.)

I am still debating about what image to post in my office, but this one is a favorite of mine and I think it would look great in large format. (It also works well as my first post on Targuman’s PhotoBlog!)