TandemHearts

Tri-ing Again

March 13th, 2015

A few weeks ago I received an email from Rev 3, the folks who put on the triathlon we did in Maine in 2012.  They have joined forces with another company – Challenge – and they were going to have a 70.3 event in Rancho Cordova in October.  I deleted the email, thinking my triathlon days are over, but the thought of doing another tri kept returning to my head.   My job has gotten  rather stressful this year, and training is a good outlet for that.  After talking it over with Thom, who’s always super supportive, I signed up for the triathlon two weeks ago.

Today I met with my new coach for the first time. I am really excited to be working  with a coach for this race.  I am the “coach” all day long in my job.  It’s mentally exhausting and trying to figure out what to do for my own training every day often previously led to days when I did nothing.  In addition, just after an hour of working with him, I feel better about my run.  Thirty-one weeks until race day.  🙂

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Piano Up Close

November 11th, 2014

I’m always amazed at how complex the interior of a piano is. Over 6,000 parts come together to form one instrument.

Pin Block
The pin block.

 

Hammers
Hammers

 

Strings and Things
Strings and things.

 

Fish eye
A fishy view.

 

the complete picture
The complete picture.

Dragons in flight!

September 20th, 2014

Today’s trip to the reservoir wasn’t going great. It was already warm when I got there, so the dragonflies were very active – not inclined to stop for a picture. I saw mostly Black Saddlebags (lots of mating activity), with a few Green Darners and one lonely small Blue Dasher. He was siting nicely but was too far away to get a shot of. As I wandered around admiring different fliers, I was disappointed that they were mostly out of range and moving too fast. After an hour of no shots – not even bad ones- I decided to work my way back to the car. That’s when I found these two. A Green Darner had established a territory and a Black Saddlebags was trying to muscle in. They wore each other out enough that I finally got some very nice in-flight shots.

 

Dragonflies of the Rain forest

August 31st, 2014

On our way to the Galapagos Islands, we spent a few days at a lodge in the rain forest. We’ll have more about that in the next post, “real soon”.  This location, in a swamp, gave me a great chance to observe dragonflies. For me the most interesting species was an Amber wing. These are so small, less than 2 inches long, that at first I didn’t recognize them as dragonflies. Fortunately, they perched in a spot that made it possible to get a shot. I am a little disappointed that there were two species that I could not identify, but it was great to branch out and see some things that completely different from my norm.

A couple of the insects had visible parasites. Dragonfly larvae can have parasites that transfer to the just hatched adult after metamorphosis.  A red mite is visible in the head on image of the yellow Erythrodiplax andagoya.

 

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Galapagos Islands

August 24th, 2014

This year’s Big Trip was a 2 week trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  The best way to see the Galapagos is to take a cruise so that you can see the widest variety of islands. Our cruise was 7 days aboard La Pinta, one of the larger ships that ply these waters.  Tourism in the islands is strictly regulated by the Ecuadorian government, so I doubt there is a bad cruise ship out there. By regulation, shore groups max out at 16 people per guide, so our ship split the passengers into 3 groups for each landing. This keeps the experience from feeling crowded. The advantages of a larger boat are more facilities (treadmill!) and more comfort. La Pinta was simply exquisite. The cabins were good sized and comfortable and the food was spectacular. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and were able to answer every question asked.  Most days had a morning landing, an afternoon landing and an aquatic activity like snorkeling or a zodiac ride close along the shore. Every evening there was a natural history presentation in the lounge so that anyone who didn’t do obsessive research (like we did), would know what to expect the next day.

(more…)

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