Saturday, January 31, 2009

Icy Sunset

It's been cold and icy here lately. When life gives you lemons... make lemonade.

Friday, January 30, 2009

St. Pat's Dome Detail (City at Night)

St. Patrick's dome, a little closer. Another picture form my cold walk in Harrisburg. Here's the whole dome. The history of St. Patrick's in Harrisburg indicates that the church was originally built in the 1820's, the new cathedral was built between 1904 and 1907.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Training Day - Silo Rescue

Well, I finally bought a new scanner. I'm not too sure I like it yet. It's going to take some figuring out. I'm starting out with some throwback pictures. These are from a silo rescue training we sponsored back in March of 1988. These pictures were taken with my old reliable Canon AE1. I had and used this camera from 1987 through 2004 when I went digital with a 5.o mega pixel point and shoot Kodak. The hundreds and hundreds of rolls of film I burned through that camera is unimaginable. I will never miss shooting a whole roll of film waiting to get it developed and finding out I used a wrong setting and had to toss the whole pack. So, now with a new scanner, maybe I can start showing some of those good old pictures. Pictures from my two years in Europe, nine hunting trips to Colorado, vacations everywhere and just time spent wasting film. I almost forgot to mention that these pictures were actually taken with black and white film, Sure I tweaked them a little and added some texture to them but the black and white is original.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Red Mail Pouch - Through the Windshield (PGXCI)

The last of my "Through the Windshield" Painted Gentleman. This one, like the others, is along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Located near mile post 82, it is just 7 miles east of New Stanton, Pa. in Westmoreland County, north side of the pike. You don't often see red Mail Pouch barns, but, coincidentally there is another along the Turnpike closer to Harrisburg, south side, before you cross the Susquehanna River. Some day... Some day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Long Cold Ride

That's right, I don't know how the mountain men did it for months on end but this was one cold ass ride down off the mountain. No where to duck in out of the wind and blowing snow. No heater to crank up on high. Just pull the bandanna up a little higher and the Stetson down a little lower and tilt your head a into the wind. All this with the knowledge that a hot shower and pizza was waiting down below. The far off other side. That's John up front, he's the owner of the outfit and the number two mule behind him was loaded crooked on purpose. Number three mule did end up losing it's cinch going across a long open meadow and we stopped to tighten thing up a bit before heading back down. The biggest challenge of the pack out was taking pictures. Steadying the camera was a no-go. I simply brought it up one handed fired off three or four and hoped for the best. This is two of them, someday you may see the others.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Venue of Black Vultures

This venue of Black Vultures was hanging out in a marsh on the eastern side of Chincoteague Island last Christmas. We passed the time driving around the Island taking pictures and just enjoying being there. The night before while out looking at the Island Christmas lights I saw something I wanted to get some pictures of but Saturday afternoon I couldn't find it again. I guess the vultures weren't going to find anything to eat in the fog because (caution: useless fact dead ahead) unlike turkey vultures (the ones with red heads) black vultures can not locate carrion by smell, they rely on vision to find food.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Moon Rise

This was taken Thursday morning. I stepped outside to start the truck and saw this. So, I grabbed the tripod and camera and headed right out off the porch and snapped a few pictures. I love the orange glow of the coming sunrise off to the east.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Harrisburg Panorama (City at Night)

OK, it's Saturday, and I took this picture last Saturday, so it ain't really Saturday Live, I know. But actually this was five pictures I took last Saturday from along a street in Lemoyne, Pa. overlooking Harrisburg. This afternoon I spent two hours at the computer stitching the different pictures together and assembling this "Gallery Poster" from the Scott Kelby/Matt Kloskowski Photoshop Elements book using their cookbook recipe for this kind of thing. I was happy with it and happy to have had two uninterrupted hours to play with Photoshop.
You have GOT TO click on the panorama picture to check out the detail.
Also, last night I took picture number 8,000 with my Rebel. Which figures to 500 pictures a month since I got it 16 months ago.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Just one word to explain this picture: Cold. This is the Dykeman's Mansion at Indian Head Springs, located on the south side of Shippensburg, Pa. It was 9 degrees when I shot this and the fog coming off the pond is because the pond is spring fed and the water surfaces at 50 degrees. I though t it looked eerie right at sunrise.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

State Street, Harrisburg (City at Night)

OK, I can't really decide which one I like the best. I like the colors in the first one but I'm not sure if the red traffic lights add to or distract from the picture. That is solved with the black and white version. The b+w treatment kind of emphasizes just how the cold night was. I like the star effect with the street lights, too. What do you think?
This is the Pennsylvania State Capital Building in Harrisburg. The first building on the left edge of the picture is St. Patrick's Cathedral. I was set up on the grass median on State Street, no more than 100 feet off of Front Street, so the Susquehanna River is within 100 yards behind me. And now this is where I pretend I know what I was doing; I used my new 50mm lens for this one, my first shot (not shown here) was at ISO 100, f/1.8 and 1/5 of a second exposure. I didn't like it, it was too dark on the outside of the picture. So I adjusted to f/11 and used a 13 second exposure, so you see car light trails along the bottom. And of course I was using my tripod and timer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kough's Quarry (PG XC)

Another one that I've driven past for years and years. Finally, I was nearby working, had the camera with me and had a little daylight left. I'm not sure if the Kough's still deal much in coal and stone but during the winter if you're anywhere near Newville, Pa. you will more than likely see them out and about delivering home heating oil. This shed, probably an old scale house, sits along Route 641 right on the west side of Newville.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Frank and the Pack Train

It looks like Frank. Frank is one of the co-owners of the outfit, he didn't ride up with us though, he was a little under the weather last week. Frank is a quiet hard working man who got straight down to business. Originally from Vermont, Frank broke the news to us about the election. This was the third straight presidential election we spend on the mountain. Our ballots posted weeks ago.

The Packers are in Camp

He's pretty bundled up against the wind and blowing snow. We'll be heading down the hill soon. Who is that in the lead? I'll know BEFORE LONG who it is.

I Think I See Them Coming

Here they are. Who is that in the lead? Hope they got enough mules. I'll wait until THEY GET CLOSER.

Waiting on the Packers

The outfitter should be on his way to pack us out. They should be here any minute. Everything is packed. Everything is ready. I'll have to CHECK BACK LATER.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Speed Limit 15

Assateague Island Beach, Christmas weekend 2008. My son said, "When I saw him sitting there, I knew you'd take a picture of it."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Dome (City at Night)

This is another from my night shots in Harrisburg, Pa. last night. This is the dome to the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick on State Street just a short walk from the State Capital Building. Yes, you've seen this before, it's been over a year since my last good walk in the city.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

City at Night

Saturday Live here again this week. This is also the start of a series of pictures I took this evening in, around and of the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Just a guy, his camera and his tripod wandering from here to there hoping some of these pictures weren't screwed up. This is the Market Street Bridge from City Island on the Susquehanna River. It's been cold here, take notice to the ice flow (or non-flow) of the river. And remember that it is 18 degrees outside at this time. It was about 4 this morning. That is the same difference it is from 85 degrees and 99 degrees. After this morning's 4, tonight's 18 ain't that bad. Keep an eye out I'll post more from this evenings walk later.

Friday, January 16, 2009

the alley 10:19 pm

Another cold late night shot with the tripod and timer. This alley was actually a lot darker than it appears. This was a long exposure. Locals, I'm sure, will know where this is at.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Final Day in Elk Camp

After Tuesday morning's near blizzard snow fall, I did do some hunting late in the afternoon as the snow continued to fall at a pretty good rate. I walked slowly for a while then I would stop and watch. I made my way up towards the Crow's Nest but I had left my camera in camp so there will be no pictures of that area behind camp. Then it was back to camp for our final supper. We talked about the week, we talked of what we saw and what we didn't see. We played cards, we fed the fire, we made plans for the next trip and one by one we headed to the sleep tent and crawled into our sleeping bags. Throughout Wednesday morning we occupied ourselves with packing our gear, not knowing just when the outfitter was coming, it was hard to commit to any far off hunting. As morning dragged towards mid-day we ate a little lunch. We knew that the outfitter's plan was to tear down this camp, we would be the last hunters for this year, so we tore down the cots, and fed the fires in order to thaw out the frozen tents. I'm sure by this time horses and mules were climbing up the pack trails with lots of empty panyards. Our time on the mountain was getting shorter.
The tent to the right was the sleep tent, the left tent in the pines was the cook tent.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wolf's Head Champion (PG LXXXIX)

Painted Gentleman number 89 was found on my Saturday walk through downtown Chambersburg. I spotted this while walking in the alley behind the NAPA Auto Parts store at 214 South Main Street. If you look close the Wolf's Head motor oil sign was once a Champion spark plug ad. Add another first to the Painted Gentleman list.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Egret and the Heron

Here are a couple more birds that I saw while at the beach. These were both over on Assateague Island. I have other shots of both Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons and will share them on another day. The egret was along the beach road in Black Duck Marsh and the heron was on the Wildlife Loop in Snow Goose Pool.
In other news, I just took delivery of a 50mm, f1.8, lens today. It's like Christmas all over again. Stay tuned to the developments this will bring.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Fly-By

Old of many pictures taken from the hotel balcony. This was when I was practicing following the birds in flight. This is also an example of the foggy mornings in Chincoteague. Through the fog you can see where they are building the new bridge onto the island. This bridge will tie into Maddox Boulevard to the right of where I was standing. This will give vacationers a straight shot to the beach without having to wind their boats across the drawbridge and through downtown.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Old Main on an Icy Night

This is Old Main on the campus of Shippensburg University. While the college punks were still on break I slipped up on one icy night last week with my tripod and warm hat (note: next time take warm gloves). Just as I was pulling into a campus parking lot the SU Police passed by. Luckily the just passed by. I took a bunch of pictures from different angles but this one was by far the best. Unfortunately you can't see just how icy it was but I managed to stay on my my feet long enough to get back to the truck.
From the SU website,"Shippensburg University was established in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. The school received official approval by the state on February 21, 1873, and admitted its first class of 217 students on April 15, 1873. In 1917 the school was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." Ship was the first of PA's Normal Schools to become a State Teachers College in 1926. Old main was one of the original buildings of the old Normal School.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Waffle Shop

OK, here's a Saturday Live for everybody. This morning found me in downtown Chambersburg, Pa. A cold and raw day to say the least. I walked South Main Street from the square to Catherine Street, back the alley to the east to King Street, over to the alley to the north and back to where the truck was parked. I got more than this one picture. I got a few interesting signs and some other things that caught my eye and discovered a new Painted Gentleman you'll have to wait 'til Wednesday to see.
This here is the Molly Pitcher Waffle Shop, home of their famous chicken and waffles. Sounds awesome. Now it is just called Molly's Restaurant and I didn't stop in. I also saw a Mexican shop just down the street selling the "Boomingest Tacos", I should have stopped in there, though.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I'm Mister Icicle

Well I got an opportunity to take a walk this morning before all the ice melted. Destination... Burd Run. Here are some of the pictures I got. the berries (I know this is almost a repeat of last year), the Red Sticks (An icy version of these), Oak leaves (No where near these) and a bluebird I chased around (he didn't cooperate). I also saw a female cardinal and a couple blue jays.

I'm Mister White Christmas, I'm Mister Snow.
I'm Mister Icicle, I'm Mister Ten Below.
Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch...
turns to snow in my clutch...I'm too much!
I never want to know a day that's over forty degrees!
I'd rather have it thirty, twenty, ten, five,
and let it freeze!

The Year Without a Santa Claus , 1974

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Non-Sunset

The day after Christmas in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. From the hotel balcony while we were celebrating Boxing Day. What is Boxing Day anyway? With a lack of a sun to make sunset complete I tripodded up my camera and shot some twilight pictures of the drawbridge on the Chincoteague Channel.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

More Through the Windshield (PG LXXXVIII)

This is another Mail Pouch barn along the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Bedford, Pa. This one is only a few miles east of the other one, located on the north side of mile post 138. And to avoid Police brutality (and Bradley's afore mentioned cavity search) I opted to shoot this one at 70 MPH. I mean 65 MPH. If you've from around these parts you may recall that our illustrious Governor tried to sell, I mean lease, the Turnpike. A foreign company sent engineers to study the existing conditions of the road and it's structures. Someone turned these two suspicious characters, who were taking pictures of the bridges, into the Police as terrorists. Way to go Ed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Scattered Flurries

Tuesday morning, November 4th, found me back at the old familiar Snag. The wind sure knew how to blow up through the creek drainage and seemed to be aimed right where I sat. Early Tuesday morning the snows started and combined with the wind this picture pretty much sums up my morning. The elk would've had to run over me before I'd see them. My perch at the Snag only lasted until 10 AM. It was time to sit this one out and thaw out the moustache.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Peaks That Shall Remain Nameless

These two prominent peaks were my reward for my Monday morning walkabout while on my Colorado hunt last November. Located at the top end of the shooting gallery and over 11,000 feet in elevation this meadow turned and seemed to keep going. I walked more, kind of to the center left of picture three and watched another vast open meadow until near noon. Nothing. Just some jays and a squirrel. Remember by this point seeing an elk at 800 yards would have been a successful trip. We later found out there is one crevice you can use to get to the top of the flat peak. Good thing I didn't know this at the time or you'd be looking at picture from the top.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Cormorant

This, I believe, is a Cormorant. A Double Crested Cormorant to guess more precise. Any real birders out there be sure to correct me on this, or any of the birds that show up here. This cormorant spent the whole weekend right here. Perched on this fallen tree. The first picture is from Friday evening, the second is from Saturday. Sunday morning? He was right here. Well I'm not a birder, just a picture taker, and birds seem to sit still long enough for me to snap off a couple shots. The names are normally Googled or from The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. Interesting useless fact... Notice his posture in the second picture? Well it turns out that Cormorants lack oil glands to preen their feathers with so they sit with their wings spread out to dry. Useless fact number two... the name is a French word taken from Latin that means Sea Crow. Thus endeth the lesson.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Privy

Hey, look, I found another one. Where? Right out in the open. Not too far off the main road. Right beside the back road. This here privy is the lone survivor of urban renewal. Expansion. We all know we need another shopping center. Obviously it has seen better days. The seat was gone and boarded up. Probably served as a tool shed in it's final years. And lets not forget to mention the lean. I'm sure the old farmer would never have guessed that the barn would burn down, the farm would sit empty, the house would be demolished and any hint of the life he lived would be erased. And the only evidence would be the old #$%*house.
Taking the road less traveled... Good Idea
Spotting and recognising the obscure... Brilliant
My daughters expression when I hit the brakes
and she realized the camera was in the car... Priceless!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Don't Let the Sun Go Down

This was the view from the balcony of my hotel Saturday evening. We were coming back over from Assateague Island as the sun was sinking and I stopped on the bridge between the Islands to get a picture and... dead battery. The only sunset or sunrise I would see all weekend and I've got a dead battery. We hurried back to the hotel and plugged the battery in while I set the tripod on the balcony then I loaded the battery and got my pictures. Otherwise I'd have gotten a bigger sun on some of these. The only sun all weekend and these picture were totally worth the trip.