Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ducklings and Goslings, Oh My!

Another chunk of the ton of bird pictures I've amassed recently. First picture was taken at Dykeman's Spring last Saturday. The second is a small flock of Wood Ducklings, soon followed by momma (picture #3) then they headed off down stream (picture #4). And last is some Canada Geese and goslings and if you didn't notice (go back and look now, I'll wait) is a Barn Swallow flying above the Spring. Pictures 2-5 were taken along the Big Spring Sunday, a week ago.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

American Robin

I literally have a ton of bird pictures right now and you can expect to see a large portion of these every Saturday and Sunday. Today we feature the American Robin as seen in my back yard and the neighbor's front yard. The first two were some of a bunch I took of this little guy. He was bopping (or does a Robin bob?) around in the neighbors front gardens. The next two pictures show some foraging and gathering to feed some young ones in my back yard. The nest is located in this cedar (picture #5) and the last picture was the nest taken on Memorial Day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Nymphs of Italian Lake

These are the Nymphs I promised last Friday, dancing to the pipes of the satyrs hiding below. The fountain in in Italian Lake in Harrisburg, Pa. I did find out this about the sculpture... interesting, very interesting... "In the lower portion of the lake stands a fountain sculpture named "Dance of the Eternal Spring" and that has a story all its own. Created in 1909 by Philadelphia sculptor Giuseppe Donato, it was originally commissioned by Milton Hershey for his gardens. When the piece was completed the three nude dancing nymphs offended the conservative Hershey and he refused to accept it." Read more on this website and find out how it ended up in Harrisburg and what the Polyclinic graduates traditionally did with it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skywatch, the Harrisburg Senators & Life Lion

While preparing to enjoy my first baseball game of the year (I know it's 2 months into the season) and sitting in the new cheap seats we stood for the National Anthem. Followed by a fly over by Penn State Hershey Medical Center's Life Lion (I've posted Life Lion before here, here and here) It caught me a little off guard but I was able to fire off a few picture. The Harrisburg Senators (see them here, here and here) are the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals and play in what is now Metro Bank Park. MBP in located on City Island. City Island is just what it sounds like , an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. The park is undergoing much needed renovations and Friday marked the opening of the new Boardwalk that circles the outfield and includes seats under the new video board and the "Cheap Seats" in left field.
This is my Skywatch for the week. For everyone else's hit the icon on the right side of your screen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Shaw Building, Mars (PG 107)

This is the last of the Painted Gentlemen of Mars. It was my favorite. I have no idea what the Shaw Building is, it looked like a house to me. You can see the impending storm brewing in the background. I later got wet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Turtles Galore

Yes, I go there for the bird pictures but this spring it looks more like turtle central. I've known there were Eastern Painted Turtles here, you just have to know where they'll be and sneak in slow. They like sunning themselves on the rocks. Or you'll see them swimming around if you're lucky. Last week I saw a couple glimpses of Common Snapping Turtles but none as big as this ole boy. That shell had to be a foot long and trust me when I tried to slip around to get closer he was very quick to return to the pond. I think he was heading over to the wetland pond for the day. This is the same area I saw the Eastern Box Turtle swimming.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Sorry this post comes so late, I wasn't sure how to approach today's post. Should I post pictures of monuments? People I served with? But as the honey-do list was being whittled down I remembered how I posted last Veteran's Day. So, I went into town for the parade. I would have anyways, and I would have taken pictures. The parade was short but still longer that the Veteran's Day parade. There was a lot more people than the Veteran's Day parade, maybe because it's a holiday, a day off. But it was good to see the turnout. The second picture is a moving wall with the names of the war dead in the middle Atlantic states. Pennsylvania , I think has about 225.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Song Sparrow

What a morning! Started with a walk along the Big Spring. A little cloudy and cool but by the time I made it back to the truck it was clearing a little and warming up. Didn't see a lot to get pictures of but what I did get turned out pretty good. Of course, I can't resist snapping a shot of a bird on a sign. These are Song Sparrows. Very common. If you see a sparrow, it's probably a Song Sparrow.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Make A Wish 2009

Today was the 7th annual Franklin County Truck Convoy for the Make A Wish Foundation. Again this year it formed at Cressler Trucking in Shippensburg. Following a picnic and small games the convoy left Cresslers for the ride through Franklin County. I didn't count the trucks (I did catch hell, apparently I was suppose to) but I would guess 50 more or less. Including Tractor Trailers, Flatbeds, Implement rollbacks, Cement Trucks, Recycle trucks, Fire Trucks and Dump Trucks. All washed up with their wheels all shiny and with banners and balloons. Lights, sirens and horns. They took off at 11:30 am and I heard the horns again on the return about 2:45 pm. A nice ride for those deserving and those volunteering to help raise some money for a good cause. The police escort was followed by the Fire Chief's Buggy from the Vigilant Hose Company and Engine Tanker 5 from Mont Alto (Pa.) Fire Department.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Satyr

This guy is one of three perpetually playing the pipes beneath some dancing nymphs on the fountain in Italian Lake on the north side of Harrisburg. A satyr, of course, is a half goat and half man of Greek mythology. Satyrs often played the pipes and loved to dance with nymphs. If you're really nice I'll introduce you to the nymphs next week.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

I told you all last week I was going to replenish my bird picture stockpile, so before heading over to Fire Expo Saturday morning we spent an hour at the feeders at Wildwood Lake. It was a bit different than last March when I was there, with the tree leaves all out you don't see the birds hanging out in the trees branches. So you will see some bird pictures at the feeders. While watching and waiting this Hummingbird zipped by and I realized I was standing next to the feeder, so I backed off turned the camera on the tripod focused on the feeder and set it to manual focus. Then it was a waiting game. She came in two or three times and all I had to do was hit the shutter release. Most of what I got were good, these were some of the better. This is a female ruby Throated Hummingbird. That's why there is no ruby throat. These are the most abundant hummingbird in this area. More bird picture this weekend. I couldn't wait until the weekend to show you this one though.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Foodland, Mars (PG 106)

Foodland grocery store is the third of four Painted Gentlemen in Mars, Pa. Not only did they paint up the store logo all nice and pretty but they included scenes from an earlier Mars. Click on the panorama and check out the history in a nut shell.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fire Expo 2009

Yes, last weekend was the annual Lancaster County Fire Expo at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg. Unlike most years I didn't see a whole lot of cartoon mascots. The frog and Life Lion were the only ones I saw inside. The other two I found in the parking lots. The show did include it's share of whackers. I kept passing some Chief in uniform. From New York State. I'll bet he parked the Chief's buggy where he could get to it quick in case his pager went off. Lights and sirens five hours to the call.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Camp Curtin Fire Department No. 13, Harrisburg

The Camp Curtin Fire Company No. 13 began its existence in January of 1906 and formally incorporating in April of that year. It would be another two years until the were recognised by the city and become part of the Harrisburg Fire Department. It is named for the area it is located, Camp Curtin was were thousands of Pennsylvania boys left from to fight in the Civil War. The original station was an old frame blacksmith's shop at 6th and Ross Streets. This building, at 2504 N 6th Street, was built sometime around 1910. The city continued to run apparatus out of this station until 1980 when Camp Curtin, along with the Hope and Reily stations moved into the new Uptown Fire Station No. 1. The building, like the Hope's, lives on as a restaurant, the Camp Curtin Bar-B-Que Station. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 (#81000541).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Barn Swallow

While on another quick lap around the pond Saturday evening I noticed a swallow zipping back and forth, back and forth. Yes, I tried a few flight shots but that just wasn't working. Then to my surprise it landed on the bank of the pond a little far for an off hand shot but it was all I had. I snapped maybe six pictures the first picture here is the last one I got before it flew off. It looked like it was gathering grass for a nest. The second picture I went ahead and posted to show you the wing tips and tail.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Father Duck

Last evening the wife and I took a short walk along one of my favorite loops. There was lots of chirping but all the birds seemed to be hanging to the dark. I walked up on these mallards on the way back to the truck. I liked how you can see all the different feather patterns in the first picture. I'll try to reload my avian picture stock this morning. Plus some other highlights as long as the weather holds out.