Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunsations (PG LXXXVII)

Of course this weeks Painted gentleman comes from the beach, our 3rd annual Christmas at the Beach trip (have I mention this trip yet?) This Sunsations is located on Maddox Boulevard at Deep Hole Road diagonally across from Chincoteague Beachwear. They also have a store downtown on Main Street.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve and an awesome New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday Morning Beach Walk Surprise

....a seal. That's right a flipping seal lying there on the beach like he owned it. We had decided to walk 'til 8:00 so we could get back for check out at the hotel and then agreed to 10 more minutes. Five minutes later we walked up on Seymour here snoozing in the fog. I think maybe it's an Atlantic Harbor Seal but that would just be a guess, I have never seen one in the wild and never would have expected to see one. I don't know what could have brought him up onto the beach, he didn't seem injured, he turned around when we got near him. I took some pictures said goodbye and left him. On the two miles back to the truck I kept an eye to the surf for others but no go. Every time I find something new I think that it can't be topped. And it does. That's some of what keeps me going out and exploring. The unknown.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas on the Islands

Yes, I know I didn't mention it beforehand but this past extended weekend was my 3rd Annual Christmas at the Beach. With Christmas day being Thursday we left early Friday morning and were there by lunchtime. Chincoteague was a little more bustling than past holidays, maybe it had to do with going after the holiday. We saw lots of surf fisherman and plenty of waterfowlers on the drive down. There were even more than a couple people on the beach, even some surfers and by the looks of all the cameras and big intimidating lens' there were lots of birders. The weather wasn't rainy like past trips, low 50's and breezy with lots of thick morning fog. Friday's sunset, Saturday's and Sunday's sunrise never happened, but Saturday's sunset was worth the wait. This pony was along the Wilderness Loop at the edge of Snow Goose Pool Saturday evening (here's the Saturday Live shot). She took her sweet time munching the grass along the road but finally lifted it's head for the crowd (me and another couple)
Not counting trips down when I was a kid, I've been down to Chincoteague four summers and now three Christmas's since 1999. In this time I couldn't guess how many early walks on the beach I've walked, picking up shells. I've seen dead rays (or maybe they were skates), I've seen jellyfish washed up, I've seen Horseshoe crab shells a plenty (they molt in the late fall early winter) and I've even seen parts of old shipwrecks washed up on the beach (for you dry land farm boys it reminds you of an old post and beam barn). But I've never seen and have never even considered what I saw Sunday morning. But right there on the beach was ..........

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I took this picture through the side window of the truck as we exited Interstate 70 in Effingham, Illinois. It reminded me pictures I've seen of the old sign graveyard in Las Vegas.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Evening at the Corner Coffee

After the Halloween parade I saw this from the sidewalk at the Corner Coffee here in Shippensburg. I'm no coffee drinker but I should have stopped in for a listen.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sir, That's No Partridge in That Tree

My Christmas afternoon walk yesterday was another attempt at some Blue Jay pictures. They were there but wanted no parts of me being nearby. I chased 5 around with just one blurry picture of his back. Other birds were more cooperative. First picture is a Red-Belled Woodpecker. Hey, I don't name them, I just identify them. I guess there was already a bird called the red-headed woodpecker. The second picture in a Mourning Dove. And the third is a Mockingbird, he sure blends in.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Again this year I am sharing with the Blog-O-Sphere my Christmas card. This was the picture from the cards sent out from the home offices of the Outskirts of Suburbia to my hunting buddies. This is the Cook Tent at elk camp, elevation 10,737 feet. I was out shooting the moon, I mean taking pictures of the moon and just minutes after sundown this is what I saw.
So have a Merry Merry, a Happy Happy and a wonderful wonderful and may your days be merry and bright. I hope the big guy brings everything you want down the chimney and your kids say, "Thank You". Because I say,"Thank You" for stopping by through the good posts and bad.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

He's Gonna Find Out Who's Naughty or Nice

THE Christmas party was this evening. The Christmas party that has happened on Christmas Eve ever since I was but a wee lad. Every year we pack more and more family into a hall we eat too much, we talk too much and we leave too early. But alas it is time to get the children all nestled in their beds, time for Mama to put on her 'kerchief and me to don my cap. And for all to get settled in for a long winter's nap. The food as usual was delicious and the desserts were divine. It was a time for the retelling of stories and the catching up with those who are only in town for the holidays. As for naughty or nice... the cousin's kid and my aunt pictured here... they got gifts. The big guy on the other side of the picture box... nothing.
...He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Call Me Claus

Continuing to struggle through posting Christmas pictures when I don't have time to take any. This guy I found hanging out on my parents porch. I remember as a kid expecting to see him there but never looking at the right time. Maybe he'll show up on my porch tomorrow night. And hopefully the sack ain't full of coal.

2 more days...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Operation: Decoration Reflection

O.K., I admit this is lame. Honestly if I had 10 free minutes I would do better. And I think I see maybe 6 free minutes available... next Monday.

3 more days.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Room at the Inn

Just four more days. This is the nativity set up at Grace United Church of Christ at the intersection of East Orange and South Prince Street in Shippensburg, Pa. I was going to walk up the street last night to shoot this but it had been turned off for the night. So I stopped by earlier tonight. Besides it was too warm last night and I had to wait until the wind chill hit single digits before I could go out at night and walk around taking pictures.
This is the same church with the Last Supper window.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Firehouse Christmas

Here is the Vigilant Hose Company No. 1 (VHC, get it?) in Shippensburg, Pa. celebrating a long and illustrious history of decorating for the Holidays. The building you see here was built in 1928 and a tree was added in 1934. That tree came down in 2001 and was replaced by this tree. Remember us decorating last month? Check out this blogpost, on the Shippensburg Fire Department Blog, for the whole and complete story of this tree.

I'm also doing something I don't normally do and add a picture from someone else. I believe this was taken by the legendary Photographer Clyde Laughlin in 1940 and is a piece from the VHC archives. This will explain why we decorated like we do.

Merry Christmas... 5 days to go.

Friday, December 19, 2008

6 Hundred

POST NUMBER SIX HUNDRED. Pardon me for shouting but, obviously, this is post number 600. I still have a backlog of Colorado hunting/camping adventure to post. Other miscellaneous stuff from here and there. Some fun things lined up for the next week or so. My Painted Gentleman supply is running low, so I made need a road trip to somewhere I ain't been yet. But until then, thank you loyal blog surfers for stopping by and giving me a reason to stare into the abyss of the blog-o-sphere. Coming up this week, starting tomorrow, I'll try to make it a week of Christmas related posts, since all I've devoted to the cause so far is the tree farm. Thank you, again for stopping by. Come again real soon.
This train was sitting at the station along Seventh Street in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, last month. That is the Grand Avenue bridge it is sitting under with the Colorado River behind it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Wind Mill

Taken out near the State Game Lands northeast of Newburg, Pennsylvania, on Thanksgiving morning 2008.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sign of the Bulldog (PG LXXXVI)

Huntingdon Motor Company sits along Route 22 south of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. I've passed this place many, many, many times and I've always liked the hand painted bulldog up there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This guy stopped in to see if I had any food. I shared my sunflower seeds with him. He is a Grey Jay aka Camp Robber. I will call him Willis.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Shooting Gallery

And then there was the Shooting Gallery. This is where I wandered Sunday afternoon. This is where I started Monday morning (see second picture). A little overnight snow and sitting with my back to the trees and the trees between me and the rising sun, the drop in temperature hit me hard. I didn't last long here. This day quickly turned in to a day of exploration and adventure.
The first picture is from my Thursday afternoon walkabout and is probably very near to where Spike spent his week. The deceiving thing about the Shooting Gallery was distance. You could see forever. I sat and watched an open park Monday morning and the thought I had was what would I do if I saw an elk come out of that tree line? That tree line was, minimum, 400 yards away. That's a hold over of a half an elk shot. But even by Monday an elk 400 yards away would have been an accomplishment. The Shooting Gallery was a long and wide park, or meadow, surrounded by the dark timber. The lower end had fields of the red brush you see in the first picture. And it went on for a mile and a half with off shoots here and there It was awesome. By the way the second picture is right near the 11,000 foot mark. The air was getting thinner and thinner.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Red Stix

Had nothing for you today. Took this one Thanksgiving morning out along Burd Run. Played around with it in Photoshop. Enjoy. Gonna run, Survivor is on.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice and Fire

Today was the last day of deer season here in Pennsylvania. I guess there is a late season muzzleloader and a late season archery starting after Christmas, but for normal everyday gun hunters today was the final hoorah for the year. The day started cold, maybe 22 degrees, sure not the 12 from last Saturday. By afternoon it was a comfortable 30 degrees. Well the season continued where the Colorado hunt left off. Skunked. Again. We did see a deer this morning. In the dark. In someones back yard. So there are still some deer around. Saw a couple more turkeys this morning also.
The first picture was taken up near the Ridge Road and shows that the rain we had down here in the valley was snow and ice up on top. the second picture shows the setting sun as we were leaving our stand after a quiet afternoon. Very quiet. We'll get them next, we will.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Dark Timber

This is what you would call Dark Timber. It's where the lodgepole pines grow so thick that they block out the sun and trees fall onto each other so tangled that in some cases you could walk around on fallen logs and be 3 or 4 feet above ground. This is just a mild case of it. The dark timber is also where elk go when it's too warm and a place you should only go when you have a compass or GPS. Sunday afternoon, 11-2-2008, I walked around this area, staying towards the edge I could still see across the drainage and keep my bearings. Again, I saw nothing during this walkabout, but the main purpose of this afternoon was to find a place to sit before sunset and know where to be come morning. And the next day, not to do all the climbing I'd done for the past three mornings, would be a relief.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Aspen Forest

As mentioned in the comment section on Tuesday I continued hunting the Sang until about lunch time. At which time I packed up and headed back to camp for some breakfast. My half hour walk down would be more than an hour back up to camp. Probably a mile and a half to two miles and 600 feet of elevation climb along the pack trail. At times it was a push to make 100 steps before stopping to breathe, another 100 and breathe. Back at camp strip my shirts off to dry, fill my water bottle back up and eat some lunch. A short nap and then on to another area for the afternoon and to find somewhere to sit on Monday.
The biggest regret of going this late in the year is the quakies have dropped their leaves already. I miss the first season hunts we did when we would be out there in mid-October. The golden patches of aspen with the autumn wind rustling the leaves while you were hunting. Hunting warm, I might add. My next vacation out will be during this time, whenever that will be.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smith's Barber Shop, Cleveland (PG LXXXV)

Smith's Barber Shop is closed today. Has been for a while now. Here's another Honest Scrap Tobacco ad from Cleveland, Ohio. This one is on East 103rd Street at Cedar Avenue. Some of what I can make out on here is (somebody) Bros, Shoes of Quality. Fine Shoe Repairing. See the boot there just above and to the right of the three windows? And Kirk's Flake. Kirk's Flake was a soap known as "That Wonderful White Soap" in ads of the early 1900's. And of course Honest Scrap Tobacco.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Snag

This is the infamous Snag. This is where I saw a few sunrises and a sunset. I saw the jays and the magpies. I saw the big buck before the season started on the ridge there in picture three and listened to the coyotes sing just below hill in picture one. There was a ridge line just behind me that I would step back and check every 15 minutes or so. That is where I saw the bucks opening morning. The blind itself has been here for years, probably grew over time. There was evidence of small fires lit to keep warm and empty casings that were proof that deer and elk passed through here from time to time. This was, in fact, a crossing that the game would use to get from one drainage to another without having to climb the steeper hills. I would sit and listen. Sit and watch. Check over the ridge. Nap. Listen. Watch. I was, you know, in Colorado hunting. Perfect.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sunrise Second Morning

I know what you're thinking, "Another Sunrise/Sunset picture." Well it my blog so here it goes. This story takes us back to Colorado, pre dawn on the second day of hunting. New strategy today, I'm going to start the day down on the other side of the aspen so when the deer come out... There I am. As always it was another beautiful Colorado sunrise and I was in Colorado to see it. As the meadows and trees come into view and the warm winds were blowing in my face I see movement. Down in the trees. What is that? Bring up the binoculars. It's.. it looks like... it's those two %&#$@ morons who screwed my day and chance at that buck yesterday. And their tying off they're %&#$@ horses. It's no %&#$@ wonder I didn't see anything else yesterday and I'm pretty sure that'll be my luck today. Three choices. 1. Head back to the Snag and hope my new best friends push something my way. 2. Head back to camp and waste the long hike down here. Or, 3... well... horses don't make good bologna... so, never mind number three. Yep, back to the Snag and wait.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Farm at Sunrise

Is it just me or is everybody running non-stop these days? I know I haven't had time to catch up with where I need to be. It seems I go from one thing right into the next. The tree is up, the lights are up, the stockings are hung by the basement stairs with care, now when do I get a break? HO HO HO

The farm is out Three Square Hollow Road north of Newburg, PA (it is probably located on a side road off of 3SH Rd) and the beautiful morning sun had everything lit with a pink tinge. And besides I know Barry likes pictures of barns.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tree Quest

Today was the day we went to cut our Christmas tree. As usual we drove out to our regular favorite tree farm to pick one out. When I asked the lady where the Douglas firs were she told me, "Right across the road". No, I'm sorry, that would be too convenient and quick, "Don't you have some on the other side of the farm?" So we take a hay wagon ride to the other side of the farm to the far off Doug-patch. Three steps from the tractor the wife says, "That's the one!" No, I'm sorry that would be too convenient and quick, "Aren't there others far back in?" What? Is she afraid of a little snow shower? Besides 26 degrees is the perfect temperature to cut a Christmas tree in, "Let's look around some, the tractor guy won't be back for a while." Well, we found one, not her short and skinny, not my tall and fat, not a Charlie Brown. It's ours and we'll somehow make it work. There'll be so many ornament on it, it won't matter. Gotta love this time of year, fa la la la la.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday's Sunset

This was this evening's sunset. As I was driving home the sun was a big orange ball and until I got home and got my camera it had set and some of the colors had started to fade already.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hiding in the Bushes

From my walk along Burd Run, Thanksgiving morning.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mail Pouch through the Windshield (PG LXXXIV)

On our way back from Colorado I snapped three Mail Pouch barns from the truck... through the windshield. For some reason the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission frown upon folks stopping on the shoulder of the Turnpike to take pictures of barns. When we drove through Wheeling, West Virginia I could see the Mail Pouch factory in the distance, I'll need to put that on my list of places to go. This barn sits on the north side of the Turnpike near milepost 132.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Oak Forest

Another day just like the other day. I saw twice as many deer today as I did yesterday, now I just got to figure out what I'm going to do tomorrow. This is what I looked at all day. Oak.