Thursday, December 31, 2009

SkyWatch Sun Dog

Welcome SkyWatchers. I took pictures of one of these a year or so ago and had no idea what it was called. I've since seen it referred to as a Sun Dog. A Sun Dog or Parhalion (meaning: Behind the Sun) is the halo you may see around the sun usually at dusk. If you Google it you'll see that it can be a full circle. The ones I've seen have never been that big but I've seen bigger than this one. I impatiently waited for this one, it kept fading in and out and cars kept passing me, but this is probably the best it got while I watched. They are formed by light reflecting off of ice crystals.
As always click on the icon on the right side to see the sky everyone else is watching.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

John Rice Distributor (PG 130)

John Rice Distributor
Beer - Ale - Soft Drinks
By the Case - Drive In
Alder and North Centre Street (Rt 322)
Philipsburg, Pa.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beasts From the Flames

A simple study in fire. You can play the cloud game with these. The first one I see a dragon headed phoenix rising from the flames. the second if you look in the upper right corner at the dim flames I see a bears head. And the third is the dragon headed phoenix again, you know, with an eagles beak. Or maybe I'm just losing it. No comments on the last sentence please, just comment on if you too see the beasts from the flames.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eagles in the Trees

Some more of the eagles I saw down at Conowingo Dam in late November. When the pumps aren't running and the birds aren't fishing they lounge in the trees west of the parking lots. Sometimes by themselves, sometimes in a group. The group in the first picture is only six of the seven that were in that one single tree. We attempted to go down to the dam two Sundays ago but more than a foot of snow put the kibosh on that plan. Time for a new plan.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Birdwalk 12/27/09

Today may have been my final bird walk for the year. This morning broke clear and cold but warming fast. Except where the sun wasn't. I parked in my usual spot and started out around 9:20. I saw several Great Blue Herons along the spring on my way in and several more on my walk. Along with the herons there were House Finches and two Belted Kingfishers. Birds seen and not captured include crows, cardinals and what I think was a hawk but could have been an owl. It flew from a barn across the road and maybe 100 to 150 yards behind me. The road, as I mentioned, was a little icy. When I turned around at the bridge I stepped off the road as a small car was crossing the bridge, I checked traffic in the opposite direction and when I looked back the car was sliding sideways at about 15 yards. As I began evasive maneuvers she regained control and continued on her route. Who know bird watching was a hazardous pastime?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Foggy and 45

Well, I guess we had our White Christmas. Christmas is over, now say goodbye to the white. Rain, fog drizzle and fog, did I say fog? What will the rest of winter bring? More wet? More white? More sub-brrrrrr temps? Welcome to winter.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...

Merry Christmas from all the folks here at the Outskirts of Suburbia to all of you guys out there in bloggerland. Hope you all have been spending your time on Santa's Nice List and woke up this morning to lots of toys and goodies. Things here are a little hectic. I should be back with new pictures tomorrow. Until then enjoy the day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Decorations of Red, On a Green Christmas Tree...

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Are you the tinsel kind? Do you just throw it on or do you place each strand? White lights? Blue lights? Colored lights? Do you do the same thing every year or do you pick a new theme every Christmas? Me? Same stuff generally each year. Stuff we pick up on vacation (there is five or six different crabs). Mementos from our favorite sports teams. Some decorations I picked up in Germany and an airplane for every year I was away in the Air Force that my sister painted. Lots of fire department related things. Santas. Sea shell garland we found in Chincoteague. Hand blown balls we made in Corning, NY. And, of course, the blown glass pickle I've told you about before. Merry Christmas, how ever you tree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

...And May All Your Christmases Be White

Oh, yes, the Dykeman House. Sitting overlooking Indian Head Spring. I remember when I took this picture it was back in '09, it was snowing like it was nobody's business. I just stopped in the middle of the road and took these from inside my warm and semi-dry truck. Thank goodness for four wheel drive, that means I can go take pictures when all of you car people are sitting at home afraid to leave the house 'cause the weatherman said so. I used to be one remember and besides since when did you ever start believing what the weatherman says?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All the Noise, Noise, Noise...

Bokah. The best way for me to describe it is to tell you it's the blurry stuff in the background of your pictures. It requires a shallow depth of field, which means that very little is in focus. A face, but not too much more behind it. These pictures of some Christmas trees are from last year and I was screwing around with the concept. For the second picture I had a black piece of paper with a star cut out of it in front of the lens. Not perfect by any means. Hey, not all of Edison's light bulbs lit up the first time either.

Monday, December 21, 2009

He'll say, "Are You Married?", We'll say, " No Man."...

But you can do the job when you're in town. (I wrote that because I know that is what went through you head when you read the post title.) Again this year I will try to keep it Christmasy all week. I may need to take a drive.

Oh, and happy winter! Just inc case you didn't get nearly a foot of snow this weekend like some of us.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks...

O.K., not very city, not very busy, but it is decked in holiday style. And you know, this could almost pass as a guess the alley shot. Too easy though.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Whatever I Touch, Turns to Snow in My Clutch... I'm Too Much

Had other ideas for today but then the snow came. And then the snow came. And then the snow came. As I look out I see ten and a half inches. And it's still snowing. Here are some of my Christmas decorations I have outside.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening?

This is the final installment of my Christmas at Shippensburg's Emergency Services since the Scrooges at the Medic Unit don't decorate their facility. The is the Shippensburg Area EMS offices, the ambulances are parked out back (I'll explain more on this later). I keep driving by and this car always seems to be there so tonight was the last possible night to get this picture and post it so you get to see this awesome classic automobile. Would it help if the car had a bumper sticker that read "My Other Car is Pulled by Reindeer"?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Conodoguinet SkyWatch

"The Conodoguinet Creek or 'Connie' as some call it — winds its way through very diverse land use areas of Cumberland County, including agricultural lands, forested lands and finally through very suburban areas where it reaches its confluence with the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg. Describing it as a winding waterway is pretty accurate because the name Conodoguinet is an Indian word that means, 'a long way with many bends.' " (By Kelly Meinhart)

While getting this post together I was looking for information on the creek. I found it. And I couldn't have said it better myself so I'll post this from the Green Treks Network website. Me? I've walked along the Conodoguinet, I've surveyed it, crossed it, photographed it, hunted along side it and years ago I'm sure I fished it. And today, for SkyWatch, I posted it.

For a look see at everyone else's view of their sky click on the SkyWatch icon on the right side of the screen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Allison Hill Conversations (PG 129)

This mural was painted on the side of this building, follow the privacy fence around to the right and that's where the funky frog was painted on the side of a garage. This is the last of the Painted gentleman we found on our tour of Harrisburg last March. It is near the corner of Kittatinny and Derry Streets in the Allison Hill section of Harrisburg. Remember, if you click on the picture it gets bigger and you can actually read what it says.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Helicopter Summer

Just cleaning up some pictures I haven't posted yet. When I start scrolling through my files patterns start to show themselves. This past summer was unofficially the summer of the helicopter. First is PSP, Pennsylvania State Police, looking for someone who jumped house arrest. Second is Life Lion out of Penn State Medical Center, Hershey. It was flying over Dykeman's Pond one morning. Third is the Baltimore Police Department passing over Camden Yards, if you zoom in the pilot is watching the game. And third is Stat MedEvac landing at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Passavant in Cranberry Township.
Police helicopter shot the sky
Police helicopter landin' on my eye
Police helicopter takes a nose-dive
Police helicopter, he ain't shy
Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1984

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shadows of the Past

A view of the fields that saw General Pickett's charge on that July so many years ago. While driving past the old Cyclorama building the sun cast this soldier's shadow against an old barn.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Hotel Lawson

Just messing around. It was a lazy Sunday for me, the freezing rain cancelled any shopping plans that may have been it the works. I ended up not doing too much off anything. Not everyone was happy about that. I did spend some time playing around with some pictures I took last winter. Found this old run down boarded up hotel somewhere between downtown Harrisburg and the Farm Show complex.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day, this day, the end of the rifle deer season here in PA and I have nothing but memories to show for the past two weeks. Two weeks, 12 hunting days. I saw the sunrise on five days and the sunset on six. Forty-four hours afield. Eleven trips to the field. I saw three deer on two separate occasions. I spent all but a day and a half of this with my son. Not a bad trade off. We'll get'm next time Buzz.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dressed in Holiday Style

This week it is the West End Fire and Rescue, here in Shippensburg, that's all decked out for the holidays. Not the greatest of pictures, though, they sit on Lurgan Avenue so things aren't as lit up as they are out on King Street. Lurgan Avenue is a side street but I was having a deal of a time getting a 20 or 30 second exposure without getting tail lights streaking through. I may have to try this again, maybe next time I'll get the fellas to turn on the engine bay lights.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Close Encounters

Do you remember that I went up to Elk County, PA to see and hear the elk during the rut? Do you remember that I met up with Bradley over at Brad Myers Photo Blog? Do you remember that we mentioned getting close to the elk? Really close? Well, here it is. It was almost the end of the morning (9:20 AM) and it was down to one bull. The herd bull. We had ourselves hidden along an old haul road inside the treeline and we had been there for a while watching everything. Including the big fight. This bull made his way left to right and out about 100, maybe 125, yards. He'd stop and bugle. Move some and bugle again. He then turned towards us and bugled a couple more times. Slowly moving our way. 75 yards. Bugle. 50 yards. Bugle again. All this time I'm clicking away with the camera. Down onto the road. Click. Click. Across the road, still towards us. Click. Click. (my 70-300 zoom is set to 75 mm by now. I can't zoom back anymore) As he approached the edge of the woods he veered to my left. Bradley cowered, Oh, I mean slid in behind me and out of his way. I did have the cover of the tree you see here, it was about 3 inches in diameter. The bull continued to walk on by within 5 yards. He never looked over to us. I think he knew that we knew who the king of the forest really was. It wasn't the guys with the cameras, that's who.