Total Eclipse 2024

Photos taken before, during and after the Total Eclipse of 2024 from Freeport beach near North East, Pennsylvania, in the Erie region.

Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park near Trenton, NJ. It was founded by John Seward Johnson II, the grandson of Robert Wood Johnson, who in turn was the founder of Johnson & Johnson. The park is a great place to walk around and see sculptures from Seward Johnson and others. It is nicely landscaped and you can spend hours on the grounds looking at different areas and be surprised by hidden sculptures.

Below some of the photos from our visit.

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4th of July Celebrations

4th of July, American Independence day, is a big summer holiday in the United States commemorating the declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4th, 1776. The holiday is celebrated in many different ways, but fireworks are pretty much always part of the celebrations.

This year, we had an opportunity to celebrate the holiday by visiting the “Living History Day” at Washington Crossing historic park in Pennsylvania. Washington Crossing is a very appropriate location as it is where George Washington crossed the Delaware River on the night of December 25-26, 1776 in the American revolutionary war. This led to victory at the Battle of Trenton and is considered one of the turning points in the war for independence. The “Living History Day” celebrated Independence day at this historic site by reenactments, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the shooting of a cannon and living historians demonstrating crafts. In the evening, we had an opportunity to go to Quakertown, PA, to see the fireworks.

You can find some photos of the Washington crossing celebrations and the fireworks below:

Experience the shooting of the cannon by visiting this 360 panorama here:

You can also look at the wide version of the panorama here:

We also took a few videos of some of the activities, including the music, the shooting of the cannon and the reading of the declaration of independence. Have a look at the video to experience attending the event:

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4th of July celebrations 2021

Photos of the 4th of July celebrations in 2021 in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania

Fall panoramas in Pennsylvania

Fall panoramas in Pennsylvania

October has arrived, which is beautiful time of the year in Pennsylvania. The trees change color resulting in some of the most beautiful displays of color in the USA. I have previously posted fall pictures. I wanted to complement this with a number of 360s I have taken over the last year in October.

The first one is of Lumberville footbridge. Lumberville is a small town along the Delaware in Pennsylvania. There is footbridge connecting Lumberville with Bull’s island, a beautiful park along the Delaware in New Jersey. This picture was taken from relatively high above the bridge and gives you a good view of the bridge, the river and the trees changing colors.

Lumberville Footbridge

You can explore the panorama interactively here:

The second panorama is along the Delaware canal path, a beautiful hiking path between the Delaware and a disused canal. On this specific panorama you can see a ruin, the canal as well as the trees changing colors.

Ruin and fall colors along the Delaware Canal Path

Again, you can explore the panorama interactively here:

Finally, this panorama is taken in the woods along the Delaware and gives you a good sense for some of the color display in the trees.

Fall colors in woods along the Delaware river

You can explore the panorama interactively here:

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Between Stockton and New Hope

The weather got a bit cooler and we had an opportunity to make a walk from Stockton to New Hope along the Delaware river, up on the New Jersey site and back on the Pennsylvania site, a walk of about 7.2 miles/11.6 km. It was beautiful walk and below some of the photos.

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Delaware River Walk August 2020

Photos taken along the Deleaware River between Stockton and New Hope during an August walk

South African National Arts Festival … virtually

One of our highlights when we lived in South Africa, now more than 10 years ago, was to attend the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, which has now been renamed to Makhanda. The arts festival is an 11 day celebration of performing and visual arts with some amazing music, theater, comedy and dance. As South Africa is such a diverse country with many different cultures and attracts international talent, there were always many amazing performances to see. We attended the festival for five days in 2006 and attended the full 11 days the following year.

Although we love attending the festival, we have not been able to return since we moved away from South Africa as it was a very long trip. This year however, the world around us has changed significantly due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and South Africa is no exception. Due to the pandemic, for the first time in its 46-year history, the National Arts Festival was held entirely online from 25 June to 5 July 2020.

Although it is not the same as attending in person, we did take the opportunity to attend the festival virtually this year from our home in the US. We saw some great music (especially Jazz), a variety of different African dances, some interesting plays and participated in some great virtual digital experiences.

For example, Digital Rise brought a performance called Mechanical Souls which involved all the participants being onboarded in a fictitious human droid company. As part of our “onboarding” , we were invited to watch a VR movie of a wedding including some droids the company made. However there is a twist in that every participant sees a different version of the movie. We then jointly discovered the full story by discussing what we saw as a group. It was a great, interactive, performance and a great use of different digital media.

Another example of a digital experience was “Human Study #1 from a distance” which was brought by a Belgian Artist, Patrick Tresset who built a performative installation using robotic agents drawing participants, similar to an artist looking at their subject and drawing it. The experience involved posing for 20 minutes in a Zoom session while the robots made their drawings using different algorthims. You can find some of the photos of the experience as well as the final drawings below.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience and it was great to be able to attend this unique arts festival virtually. Attending in person is obviously a much better experience, but it was impressive what the festival managed to achieve in a virtual environment and we appreciated being able to attend this amazing event in these unprecedented times

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New Orleans

We had an opportunity to visit New Orleans over the New Years break, including celebrating the 2019 New Year celebrations in the city. The weather wasn’t great with rain and grey weather every day, but regardless we enjoyed our stay at this very unique city.  New Orleans is a great place to walk around and experience the atmosphere. It also has a great music scene with live Jazz, and other styles of music, in many bars and restaurants across the city.  People are friendly and accessible regardless of race or background and there is a great tram system with historical trams across the city.

In 2018, New Orleans existed 300 years. Amongst others, the occasion was celebrated with four different fireworks across the city on December 31st.

We also visited a nearby swamp, which was another great experience. Due to the colder weather, there was less wildlife than usual, but we did manage to see an alligator, wild pigs, raccoons, snakes and birds.

As usual, we took a bunch of photos, which you can find by clicking on the album below:

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New Orleans

Photos from our trip to New Orleans for New Years 2019. The weather was not great, with rain every day, but regardless New Orleans is a great place to visit.