San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur is know for its pristine crescent shaped beach and spectacular sunsets. I arrived at about 1PM and was surprised to find the beach absolutely vacant. A short stroll in the sand and I realized that it was simply too hot for anyone in their right mind to be out.I followed suit and decided to visit the 25m tall Cristo de la Misericordia statue which overlooks the bay.

Before departing Ometepe I had about an hour to spare and put the time to good use in a nature reserve near the ferry “terminal.” I managed to capture this pair of butterflies (it took no less than 100 exposures to get one keeper) and a Howler monkey (with baby) which made for a pretty nice way to pass the time.

The town comes alive when the sun goes down and cool breezes blow in from the ocean



Pictured above is my lodging for the two nights I am spending on Ometepe. It is a horse ranch located at the base of the Maderas Volcano in the town of Merida.  I got an early start on a hike to the San Ramon waterfalls and managed to arrive 40 minutes before anyone else.  This gave me plenty of time for photography before the place was overrun by hikers eager to bask in the cool spring fed waters.  Flying the drone for the aerial shots proved to be something of a challenge as the winds were very strong and the area available to land was very small. On the hike I encountered both Howler and Capuchin monkeys and an amazing variety of birds and butterflies.

The little fellow below is actually one of two parrots that reside at the finca where I am staying.  Each greets me every time I enter the dining area with very polite “holas.” Their wings are clipped so they never leave this tree except to come in for the evening.  They are joined by half a dozen Chihuahuas, three large dogs, several cats, and more than a dozen horses who share the farm with the guests.


My destination for this evening was Ometepe, an island in Lake Cocibolca which was created by two volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas. To say it was a challenging travel day would be an understatement.  My 2:30PM ferry reservation was bumped (the ferry company said they needed to send one of their own cars to the island).  This forced me onto a later one which did not arrive until the sun was just setting. While this afforded me nice light for the photo above, it also meant that I would make the one hour drive to my lodging in Merida at night.  It should be noted that there are no street lights, no reflectors or lights on bicycles, unmarked speed bumps and all manner of animals on the road (small pigs and dogs are the hardest to see but dark haired horses area a close second.) When I arrived, the electricity lasted just long enough for the friendly staff to make me a fresh fruit smoothie which I enjoyed more than I can say.

Mayasa & Granada

For only the second time in my life, I had a chance to photograph molten lava.  The first time was in Costa Rica on Mount Arenal and that photograph leaves much to be desired. Today I visited the Mayasa Volcano. Once early in the morning to scout the best shooting position and again at dusk when the molten lake within its crater would appear the most dramatic. Even more impressive than the sights and smells was the sound. Attempts to describe it with words fail me.  Definitely left me with great respect for the forces of nature which continue to shape our planet.

I spent the rest of the day driving around the area including a lunch stop at a restaurant with a perfect view of Laguana Apoyo, a volcanic crater lake.

I made heavy use of my drone despite high winds virtually everywhere I went. When I photographed the Cathedral of Granada from the air I learned an important lesson.  I launched from Parque Central and immediately drew the attention of about a dozen children who wanted to watch my screen as I took photographs and drove around. When it was time to land they all wanted to “catch it” which would not have ended well for anyone.  Fortunately, I was able to persuade them to step back and everything turned out fine. Drones are still something of a novelty here. Oddly, the only place I have not been able to use it was at the Mayasa Volcano.

Nicaragua Bound

With a third Nor’easter forecasted to dump a foot or more of snow on Concord today, my plans for a quick travel adventure could not have been better timed.  I left this afternoon for a 9 day visit to Nicaragua, flying by way of Miami (pictured above).  I arrived in Managua after dark and managed to clear customs, gather my rental car, and secure local currency in record time.  Driving here is like the rest of Central and South America, not for the feint hearted.  I took it extra slow as I adapted to the new car, local traffic “customs,” and night time navigation.  I arrived at my hotel without incident, if not thoroughly exhausted and soggy from the 97 degree temperature.  Meanwhile, Kyle is headed to Minneapolis for a visit  with his cousin Rory leaving Jeanine alone with Nala to cope with the snow.  I know this sounds bad but neither of us could have anticipated the storm and I did offer to take Jeanine to Hawaii instead but her work obligations and the duration of travel made that impractical.

For Sale

When Maya left for college, Jeanine and I started to think about down sizing.  Our current home of 15 years has served us extremely well while there were five of us under the same roof.  Now that we are empty nesters, we are starting to think about a next home that is better sized for this new phase of our lives.  We had talked about putting the house up for sale this spring but decided to postpone by a year when I failed at retirement and found myself in the fast lane again. All this was until Jeanine learned of a potentially interested buyer who came to look at the house today.  They appear interested and it certainly would be convenient to sell the house after one showing and without a realtor commission.  It remains to be seen if we will be able to agree on a price or if their interest wanes but it has us seriously thinking about the possibility.

Noah Grove

This evening I enjoyed watching the US Paralympic Sled Hockey team as they racked up an impressive 10-0 win over Japan.  The youngest member of the team, Noah Grove (22), is also a member of the US National Amputee Soccer Team.  A truly wonderful young man and incredible athlete, I was thrilled to watch as he scored his first Paralympic goal late in the first period.  I was tempted to call Nico to see if he was watching the game but thought the better of it given the late hour.  I think team USA has a good chance of medalling and have set the DVR to record all of their matches.

1,000,000 Km

Today riders of the Copenhagen Wheel surpassed an aggregate total of one million kilometers.  For our very young company it was a momentous milestone and cause for celebration.  With spring weather around the corner, I am gearing up to add to this total on my own CW bike.

Near Miss

We received about 6 inches of heavy wet snow last night. The weight of it brought down tree limbs all over town. The Audi was spared damage by a matter of a few feet. I cleared the driveway before sunrise so I could capture first light. Many roads were completely blocked by fallen trees or downed power lines which prevented me from reaching my favorite winterscapes.

I did manage to launch my drone over Walden Pond, a panoramic view of which is shown below.

As I continued to witness huge limbs falling left and right, I wisely opted to curtail my photography before the law of averages caught up with me. My final image is of the Concord Country Club.

Torque Tester

At the suggestion of a colleague, I have started to photograph the many test fixtures we use at Superpedestrian to validate our designs. This one applies forward and then reverse torque to the wheel so we can determine if the spoke pattern we will be using on a future product will stand up to the rigors of heavy acceleration and braking. In this case, we saw no issues after 50,000 cycles.

Nursery School Hands

Jeanine and I set aside some time this evening to organize our bedroom and walk-in closet.  Ready to throw away a plaster cast of her hands she made at age four (1967), I felt compelled to capture an image of it for posterity. It was a gift to her mother which she delivered in block printed gift wrap that she made herself in nursery school.

Turkey v. Traffic

I have previously published turkey sightings in Cambridge. Today, however, these seemingly fearless birds were responsible for a traffic jam as they confronted cars in pursuit of an apple.  The one pictured below would not give ground even though the car kept inching forward with its horn blaring. The video of this standoff is very funny and I hope to add it to this post at some point.

Winter Pond

I pass this scene everyday on my way to work.  This morning the cloud diffused dawn light and slight dusting of snow just added to the serenity.  As much as I hate my commute, I must admit that portions of it are quite beautiful.

Making Tracks

After dropping off a small package at the Lincoln post office, I noticed that I had left a nice set of tracks in the virgin snow.  I liked the pattern as well as the single lit window and decided it was worth pausing for a quick photograph.


I took the time today to write a letter to the CEO and members of the Board of Directors of Dick’s Sporting Goods regarding their decision to no longer sell assault style rifles, high capacity magazines or firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.

As leaders within your organization, I am sure the decision to change your policy on gun sales was a difficult one. No doubt you struggled with the potential negative impact on your business as a result of those who would seek financial retaliation as a means to intimidate others from following in your footsteps. I for one will go out of my way to shop at your stores as a way of showing solidarity with your brave and common sense decision to help limit the carnage caused by assault style weapons. No one can say with certainty whether your decision will save a single life. I believe it will and I am writing to thank you on behalf of the parents who will never have to grieve over the death of a child at the hands of another.

When your own time on Earth comes to an end, despite all other success you may have enjoyed, I believe you will be most proud of this moment in your careers. Thank you for standing up. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your true leadership.

This website is dedicated to sharing, with family and friends, the day-to-day adventures of the Calabria family.