Memorial Day Parade in Essex Junction, Vt.

Essex Junction, VT celebrated Memorial Day on Saturday with the 25th annual parade. We were on hand to pay respect to those who served our country, and to represent my daughter’s elementary school and the schools playground fund raising project.

My wife Jennifer helping with the playground banner as one of our daughters lounges in the wagon!

You just have to love those Shriners!

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High in the sky

On Sunday, I photographed my 5th UVM College of Medicine Commencement at Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington. It was a beautiful day, probably the best I’ve seen. One of the things we do is to gather the 106 recently minted doctors on the steps of the chapel for a group photo, which requires that I use my loud voice and try to move 200-300 family members out of the way, and stand on top of this rickety ladder.  There is one nice gentleman holding the ladder, and also a guy standing right underneath! Obviously not superstitious. Thanks to Andy Duback for this photograph. Also, I hate heights. This made me more nervous than the Spartan race.

Raj on a ladder - UVM College of Medicine Commencement

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Rajan Chawla - July 21, 2010 - 6:35 am

Thanks Peter. Too funny about Jessie’s dad. He was great – really wanted to help out. How is Dr. Janowski?

Peter - June 10, 2010 - 3:54 pm

heck of a work day you put in there Raj, not easy conditions or crowd to shoot.

that was Jessie’s dad with the ladder btw, can’t stop them when there’s work to help with

Is your photographer a Spartan?

or – How I prepare for wedding season.

Last Sunday, I ran in the innaugural Spartan Race at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vt. The Spartan Race is a 5k with 12 great obstacles, like a fire jump, a barbed wire crawl, a vertical wall, a short swim, and what seemed like a 1/2 mile run uphill through a deep mud field. There were about 500 racers, a bunch of people in Spartan wear (seen 300?) a beer tent and band. This race is a qualifier for something called the Death Race – I’ve seen video, I’m not ready for that.

It was a beautiful spring day, I think the first we’ve had. If this had been a week earlier, it would have been snowing.

This guy has issues. He went easy on me, but others weren’t so lucky.

Emily McManamy at the Burlington Free Press took this photo of me making my first of two trips under the barbed wire. It really wasn’t that low.  Check out more of her photographs from the race.

I made it – I won’t share my time. It was more about finishing anyway. I did beat some friends and that’s all that really matters, right? 

Ryan, below, is the one who suggested that I run this race. Really, he made it so I couldn’t say no. You’d think he won the race with that smile on his face.

Andy Duback, another Vermont photographer, finished a bit ahead of me, but he’s taller and has a longer stride. That’s my excuse.

Did I mention the mud? 

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[…] On Sunday, I photographed my 5th UVM College of Medicine Commencement at Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington. It was a beautiful day, probably the best I’ve seen. One of the things we do is to gather the 106 recently minted doctors on the steps of the chapel for a group photo, which requires that I use my loud voice and try to move 200-300 family members out of the way, and stand on top of this rickety ladder.  There is one nice gentleman holding the ladder, and also a guy standing right underneath! Obviously not superstitious. Thanks to Andy Duback for this photograph. Also, I hate heights. This made me more nervous than the Spartan race. […]

A Vermont tradition – an April snowstorm

We had another spring snowstorm here in Vermont. It began early Tuesday morning and as of Wednesday morning, it’s still coming down hard. I have 6 inches at my house in Essex Junction, with up to 18 inches being reported around the area and in the mountains. I spent part of my day at UVM wandering the campus and trying to juxtapose the snow with signs of spring. To view more images, visit the Medical Photography website.

The Proctor Maple Research Center, UVM’s very own sugar house, sponsored a Sugar on Snow party on Tuesday in front of the Bailey Howe Library. A fitting spring event considering the weather!

Cherry blossoms and snow on UVM’s central campus.

Some sad news for my family. The heavy, wet snow collapsed 6 key limbs and the upper portion of the trunk on the pear tree in our front yard. This tree was planted about 4 years ago in memory of my wife’s mother, and we were thrilled this spring with how it has grown. I’m not sure how we will prune it and how it will regain it’s shape.

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Raj Chawla - May 3, 2010 - 8:45 pm

Hey guys, thanks for the nice comments. Such a shame about the trees, but spring is (finally) here now, though I heard something on Eye on the Sky about snow again Sunday????

daria bishop - May 2, 2010 - 1:32 pm

Those giant pink blossoms in snow are beautiful!If it wasn’t so damaging I would have enjoyed it more, but some of our favorite trees couldn’t handle the weight of the snow. 🙁 You did a nice job of capturing the UVM scene that day.

Andre de Saint Phalle - April 28, 2010 - 1:33 pm

Great photos Raj! I love all the flowers, so colorful! My wife took s few here in Johnson that have decidedly more wintry look and feel to them, after all, we got over a foot! The pear tree will come back in due course. We have a white birch in our yard that somehow ended up with twin trunks (about the height of your pear tree) and the larger one snapped off in the storm last night, leaving the thinner one all alone…