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The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Old Rag Mountain: August, 2018

Lately I’ve been slowly working my way through unedited personal sets in my photo library. This week’s offering is from last Summer, when I finally got to hike Old Rag once again. After my Spring, 2017 knee mishap which led to surgery and a long recovery in PT, this was my first time hiking Old Rag since making a full recovery.

My friend Patrick, who you may recognize from many of my car posts, and I hit the trail on a steamy August mid-morning. I’d come to find out later that day there were other people I know on the mountain at the same time we were, but we simply never crossed paths; funny how that works sometimes.

Old Rag is the tallest peak in Shenandoah National Park, and naturally provides some of the most incredible panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley. It is known for its extensive granite rock scrambles along the trail with some locations along the trail and at the summit offering opportunities for bouldering or full-on rock climbing for those feeling more daring.

All photos in this post are available for print here.

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If you’re unfamiliar, parts of the trail run through and under the massive granite boulders; here, the trail proceeds up a natural staircase inside the opening between the rocks, in the center of the frame below. As you ascend and eventually descend the mountain, you can changes in foliage, ground composition, and wildlife.

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Smithsonian National Zoological Park: August, 2016

Continuing with my focus on closing out personal projects from 2016, here are photos from a trip to the National Zoo.  This was only the second time I've been to DC's Zoo (I've been to the St. Louis Zoo many times), and I actually barely remember my first time, which was in middle school. The only thing I remember from that field trip was we had to do some lame scavenger hunt, and we finished at the prairie dogs before getting back onto the bus.  This trip was much more enjoyable, however I STILL have not seen a panda, and this trip was on Bao Bao, Bei Bei, and Tian Tian's birthday; I saw the cake but not the pandas!  Same goes for the elephants; the exhibit was completely open, but the elephants were nowhere to be found.

I thought the most fascinating birds were the Roseate spoonbills, which apparently are very common in Central America, and into parts of the US' Gulf Coast.  These guys were not very intimidated and would freely walk close by.