06.29.08

Twilight

Posted in photos at 2:07 pm by wingerz

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I’ve been meaning to spend more time with my tripod, so I headed out to Harvard Square around sunset a few weekends ago to see what I could find. Favorite subjects of the evening: a flock of geese and my beloved Dunster House.

06.28.08

Afternoon in Newport

Posted in photos at 10:36 pm by wingerz

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Jen’s parents were around for her graduation, so we took them to Newport. Jen’s mom in particular is a huge fan of interior design and nice houses so they spent the entire afternoon visiting four of the Newport mansions. Meanwhile I wandered around the downtown area, finding a lobster store and some amorous ladybugs along the way.

06.19.08

Africa Day 6: Descent into the Crater

Posted in africa 2008, personal, photos, travel at 11:37 pm by wingerz

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Day 6: March 20

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Our descent into the Ngorongoro Crater is down a very steep, rocky road. The views are absolutely breathtaking – the flat basin, occupying roughly a 10 mile x 12 mile area, is covered in green grass and teeming with wildlife. The main geographical features include a small hill which may have been the remains of a mountaintop that once stood higher than kilimanjaro, a saltwater lake, and a small forest. We stop at the bottom, a bit woozy from the bumpy ride. From the floor of the caldera, green hillsides slope up to the crater rim. Wildebeests and zebras coexist peacefully and are completely unafraid of people. Ngorongoro has been criticized for being a bit too Disneyland-like, but we’re all ready to see animals up close..

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Assorted sightings:

  • Hyenas walk into the road and settle in a muddy puddle. We spot another hyena eating a wildebeest skull; they are exceedingly good at extracting nutrients from every last bit of animal.
  • Lone male wildebeests space themselves out, staking out territory for the upcoming mating season
  • Young zebras are fluffy, brown and white; their stripes darken as they age. One playfully rolls around in the dust.
  • We get sick of seeing zebras – they are everywhere, including up ahead of us, blocking the road.
  • A huge, old elephant hangs out in the distance. It can’t afford to damage its tusks.
  • We’re also able to spot a black rhino – there are only about 13 left in the world, all here in the crater. Apparently there is also a baby rhino, but we miss seeing it.
  • One of the lakes is full of flamingos. Even with binoculars it can be hard to discern individuals.
  • On our way out of the park, we see two lions lounging in the grass near the highway. Apparently there is one lion for every square mile of the Ngorongoro region. They don’t even get up for us.
  • Other sightings: jackal, Thompson and Grant gazelles, elan, lots of birds, warthogs.

The crowding is not terrible – at our lunch spot there may have been about 20 jeeps, parked near a freshwater pond (with hippos). Most of the time we see other jeeps scooting around the park but they are, for the most part, confined to the dirt roads. The day passes quickly and before we know it we are driving through the forest, then up and on our way out of the crater. Not only is Ngorongoro fun to say, it’s also one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen. It’s a great place to end our safari experience.

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06.04.08

Kerry and Jon’s Wedding

Posted in personal, wedding at 11:29 pm by wingerz

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May was an absurdly busy month for me. Took four plane trips, the last of which was to North Carolina for Kerry and Jon’s wedding. It was a very short trip (about 26 hours in NC), but we spent all of it hanging out with close friends. The wedding was at the beautiful, lush Duke Gardens. A thunderstorm threatened to pour on us during the ceremony (outdoors), interjecting with loud, booming rumbles, but not a drop of rain fell from the sky. We had a great time, and of course Jon and Kerry could not have been any happier.

Jen and I have seen two of our best friends get married within a single month. Now if only we could see them on a more regular basis. I miss Kerry’s visits to Boston; she’d always bring good cheer and her humongous green backpack. One of my first (maybe the first) memory I have of her is taking a short break from a CS project to eat cookies with her and Jen. Her blocking group slowly adopted me towards the end of college, and I think any of the Jen-advice she gave me must have been good given where we are today.

(For those who can access my personal photo gallery, I’ve posted wedding photos from both May weddings.)