Going virtual by Lisa Tossey

A new grant related to my work with Delaware Sea Grant has provided an opportunity to delve into 360 imagery, virtual reality, and the use of Google Cardboard for education, which is exciting in many ways! Much more to come, but here are a couple of immersive examples from early tests with our new equipment to explore!

While setting up the 360 camera on a beach in South Africa, an unexpected guest came down the stairs to investigate the equipment! 

And here is a "behind the scenes" capture of a recent filming we did with Maryland Sea Grant along the waterfront in Baltimore's Inner Harbor!

Behind the scenes: Talking microbes and water quality with Maryland Sea Grant along the waterfront in downtown Baltimore - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Springtime in Berlin by Lisa Tossey

Deep Freeze in Delaware by Lisa Tossey

A few frigid days in Delaware leads to some unusual sights - from ice floes in the Delaware Bay at Cape Henlopen State Park to a sunset reflecting off a frozen Rehoboth Bay in Delaware Seashore State Park. It's a time when piers are becoming encased in ice, wildlife are moving further afield for food, and snow is blowing and blending with the sand. 

Only 27 days to go until Spring... 

Birds of Bombay Hook by Lisa Tossey

Just a few of the birds spotted at Bombay Hook this week

Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge is always a wonderful place to go looking for birds - especially during the shoulder season when so many are taking flight to move to different climes. A wide variety of feathered friends were out and about during quick trip to the refuge this week, from snowy egrets to lesser yellowlegs to terns to a northern harrier, as well as the first snow geese of the season, signaling that winter isn't too far away... 

Along the trail - Stormy Fair Hill - Mobile Pics by Lisa Tossey

With the Susquehanna Super Hike just a month away, vivid race reports and related forum posts have scared me into doing some prep work. Which mostly involves walking EVERYWHERE.

Tonight I hit some trails in Fair Hill after work, to both train on some rocky inclines, and see how I fared pace-wise on them. A significant thunderstorm hit while I was out (and at the furthest point from my car, natch), which added to the fun.

I always love a good summer storm, and tonight was no exception. I was deep in the woods for the worst of it, and the towering old trees provided a safe haven. The arching full rainbow and filtered golden light in the aftermath made the temporary dampness worthwhile. Gorgeous.

The hike:

Along the Urban Trail by Lisa Tossey

I am generally not a morning person - to drag myself up way before work to get in some exercise is rare. I'll take a good late night run, thank you.

But sometimes necessity forces a morning jaunt, and when I do get out there I am usually pleasantly surprised - by a glimpse of the sunrise, or critters I don't usually see - and vow to get out early more often.

Yesterday was one of those mornings. After finding that White Clay Creek State Park's gates don't open until 8 a.m.(!), I hit the random trails off Creek Road just north of Newark. The blend of urban graffiti and wildlife, gravel access roads and lush, dense trails that reminded me of the Pacific Northwest was an unexpected mix. Great fun :)

Longwood Gardens - Fountains & Fireworks - Mobile Photos by Lisa Tossey

Always enjoy visiting Longwood Gardens - from the Conservatory to the imaginative treehouses to the meandering trails lined with a kaleidoscope of color - it is a botanical masterpiece.

Last weekend was the first time I've experienced their fountains & fireworks show, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the 4th of July. Magical.

Along the Water Trail - Paddling Trap Pond by Lisa Tossey

Enjoyed an evening paddle yesterday with good friends on Trap Pond, another one of Delaware's hidden gems. The tranquil pond features the northern-most stand of baldcypress trees in the U.S., and paddling among them can feel otherworldly.

It is a perfect spot for wildlife watching as well. On our wanderings last night we spotted a bald eagle carrying away a struggling fish, a sleepy fawn curled up at water's edge, a not-so-busy beaver who slid into the water right next to us, a brightly-hued prothonotary warbler, and many ducks, frogs, and great blue herons.

Along the Trail - White Clay Creek Commute by Lisa Tossey

After a crazy spring of sickness and injuries, it felt great to return to my two-wheeled commute today. It's hard to beat as far as scenery - from the farm in Landenberg, I pass through open farmland, down to the White Clay Creek Preserve, and follow a trail along the creek all the way into campus in Newark.

It's a great way to wake up in the morn, and unwind in the afternoon.