Monday, May 31, 2010

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

For Memorial Day 2010 I chose these pictures for you. I thought of Memorial Day when I took them. I know there's not a whole bunch of people out there that read this but this blog exists as much for me as it does for you. Today, I salute my fellow veteran's, those I've known, those I've never met. Those who gave their lives before my years of service and the young men and women who have since given that "last full measure of devotion". Freedom isn't free.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


This is a Killdeer. It is of the Plover family. Plovers are most often seen at the beach but this guy is more common to farmer's fields and parks. They are ground nesters and when hatching if danger comes close, even a human, they will walk away crying and dragging their wing as if injured. Once they have you clear of their nest they fly off. I thought about trying that with this one but it was behind five strands of electric fence. Gotta love the zoom lens. The name actually comes from their call, "kill DEEE, kill DEEE, kill DEEE". (As with all the pictures posted here on the Outskirts of Suburbia, if you click on it it gets really big and you can better see all the detail.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fireday Mascots

This week for Fireday Friday are some more of the fire department mascots you see on the sides of fire trucks and engines. These all came from last summer at the Pennsylvania Pump Primers show along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg. Most are self explanatory. But for the slow ones among us. 1. Allentown Fire Department. I don't know if it's the toughness of the bulldog or if it's a Mack Truck thing. 2. I don't know who's engine this is. But that's Hagar the Horrible on the hook. 3. Animal with the Palmyra Fire Department. 4. Taz with Wormleysburg Fire Company which is now part off the West Shore Bureau of Fire just across the river from Harrisburg. 5. This Yosemite Sam is another one I'm not too sure of. I know Steelton has a Yo' Sam on their apparatus but this may be Lemoyne's Citizens FC, the other part of the WSBF. 6. Last but not least is the only picture I took at Fire Expo last weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Storm Brewing

The cumulonimbus slowly moves to the east. Building. Brewing. Getting larger and larger. Until it is so large that the upper level winds are blowing the top off to give it that oh so menacing anvil shape. Growing larger and darker. Slowly spinning. Strong updrafts push from within. Take from the bottom, through itself, to the top. The electricity it generates inside repeatedly gets released to the outside. The moisture it keeps pushing up finally starts hitting earth in the form of hail. Golf ball size hail. Making vinyl sided houses look like they took on machine gun fire. Stripping leaves from the trees. Hammering cars and roofs. And rain. And more rain. Then it's over. And the blue sky returns as we survey the damage.
Happy SkyWatch. Icon. Right sidebar. Click it. See the world.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Martin Albert (PG 144)

While in NYC last February I took a bunch of these kind of Painted Gentleman pictures. With the harsh sun that Sunday afternoon, though, most are washed out beyond use. This might be the last of them. It is Martin Albert, Custom Decorator. Grand St. at Eldridge St. in... you guessed it Chinatown.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I do not like snakes. I've said it over and over. I don't hate them. I just don't like them. I have worked most of the last 23 years outside. In the mountains. In the swamps. Along interstate highways. On farms. Every time a day would be going along smooth and there it was slithering out from between your boots. A friggin' snake. Then you would spend the rest of the day looking for the next one. Three foot rattlers. Six foot black snakes. Red striped garter snakes. A den full of little six inches snakes all over the place. Been there done that. So when we walked around Wildwood Lake last weekend and my son said that one word, "Snake." I froze. Mid step. Balance. Look. It's OK he's over there. My son found this routine funny. Some habits are hard to break.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh, Snap!

Just one more of the critters I found while out and about at Wildwood Lake on Saturday morning. This was the second snapping turtle we saw crossing the trail. The other only gave me western views as he was headed east and we just don't need to see that here. This one we saw in the same vicinity as the other but got to him before he crossed the path. They were big but I've seen bigger. Right to left his shell was maybe ten inches.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Groomsman

I went to Harrisburg this morning and arrived plenty early. To pass the time we drove to Wildwood Lake and walked for a little while. It was surprisingly cool but we still managed to see lots of wildlife. When we first got there we saw what I think was a Green Heron flying over the lake and weren't quick enough for any pictures. After we turned around to head back to the truck this guy flew in. It was overcast and hazy and he was 60 yards across the pond but I managed several half decent pictures of him as he sat there grooming himself. This is the same pond I saw the Black Crowned Night Heron last spring. Different bird though, The bird last year had a bum leg if you recall.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fireday - Cumberland County Fire Stations 3

I trust everyone got these right this week...
1. Shiremanstown Fire Company. Company 22. This is probably the smallest station in the County. (this picture is from this past March)
2. Friendship Hose Company No. 1, Newville, Pa. Company 47. An old converted school they remodeled in 1979. (took this one last Sunday morning)
3. Upper Frankfurt Volunteer Fire Company, Bloserville, Pa. Company 48. By the lokks around their station they hold a yearly fair there. (taken last Sunday morning)
4. Monroe Fire Company, Churchtown, Pa. Company 25. (taken in March of 2009)
I think we could do this again next week. Y'all come back.

Fireday - Name that Station 3

Here we are for week three. Four more this week These were taken on three different days. Again this week all are Cumberland County. Good luck. See you back here at noon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Postcards from Gettysburg, SkyWatch Edition

Welcome, I think I will try SkyWatch again today. Last week I must have disappointed, only two comments. This week, though, I hope to please. These postcards show the Soldiers' National Monument in the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg. The monument, dedicated July 1st, 1869, stands 60 feet tall and is 25 feet square at the base. Standing atop is the Genius of Liberty. Around the base were four statues depicting War, History, Peace and Plenty. If you recall I highlighted the Statue of War on Tuesday. If you are just stopping by for SkyWatch scroll back and see the other postcards I made this week from an afternoon on the Gettysburg Battlefield. If you don't know about SkyWatch click on the icon on the right sidebar and see the world. A little known fact is that I, for a while, collected Gettysburg postcards. Many have numbers so my goal was to get complete sets. I don't recall if I every got a complete set or not. I do know I got a lot of postcards. What I should do is take those old postcards and try to recreate them.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Postcards from Gettysburg

More from the battlefield. The first postcard is Major General Oliver Otis Howard of Maine. His statue sits on east Cemetery Hill which he defended through most of the three days in Gettysburg. General Howard received the Congressional Medal of Honor and went on to fight in the Indian wars. He fought against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce. He also is credited with founding Howard University. Next postcard is a view of Culps Hill on the extreme Union right. The last one for today is Brigadier General John White Geary. Do you know him? Do you know what he did before the Civil War? How about after the Civil War? He was a busy man. Born in western Pennsylvania, he was appointed the first Mayor of San Francisco in the new state of California in 1850. After that he declined the Governorship of the Utah Territory. But from 1856 through 1857 he held the position as the third Governor of the Kansas Territory. After leading the 28th PA Infantry in Gettysburg, General Geary was elected to two terms as the 16th Governor in his home state of Pennsylvania. Governor Geary died just three weeks after leaving office. He was 53.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Postcards from Gettysburg

I mentioned yesterday that I spent some picture taking time on Saturday night. Well I spent a couple of hours in Gettysburg on Saturday night while the girls were shopping. A drive around Culps Hill and Spangler's Spring. Back into the town, then out Taneytown Road to the National Cemetery where I walked alone for over an hour. I barely scratched the surface of this place. This old soldier sits upon the base of the Soldiers Monument at the Cemetery. It is where President Lincoln gave his speak in November 1863.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May Flowers

Flowers? Roadside weeds? You be the judge. Late post today to make up for yesterday's really late post. These are all from this weekend. Some from Saturday, some from Sunday. I took a lot of pictures this weekend, I hope to use them soon. Saturday evening found me somewhere I hadn't been since last fall, places I don't think I've ever been and places I could have stayed longer. It might be a good week.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jacobs Field, Cleveland

Here we are, another Sunday, another day at the ball park. This week we go back in time. Back to 2002. The place Cleveland, Ohio. The park, Jacobs Field. The home team, the Indians. I had to go back into the old boxes and find these. Believe it or not... first box. Anyways, I want you to look at these pictures and notice two important things. Number one, the sign says, "Jacobs Field" This was before they sold out to some insurance company and renamed it Progressive Field. Wasn't Flo enough? Number two, take a look at that infield. It's black. Don't know what it was but the infield at Jacob's Field was darker than anywhere else and I liked that. And that last picture with the little man... quick who is the Indians Mascot? We saw him from across the field and ran t o catch him as he was sliding out of the upper deck.
OK, the game. Saturday August 10th, 2002. A rare afternoon game. Just me and my son, the girls were off doing something that interested them. The opponent, the Texas Rangers, with their highly overpaid shortstop E-Rod. This day the 'W' goes to the Tribe, 4 to 3. Texas had tied it up in the top of the 8th but bottom of the ninth it proved to be Cleveland's game. Winning pitcher was Ryan Drese for starter Bob Wickman. Losing pitcher was Dan Kolb for starter Rob Bell, who left the game losing after 6 innings. Ellis Burks knocked in the only homer of the game for the Indians. Other notable players for Cleveland were Jim Thome at first, Milton Bradley in center and Omar Vizquel at short. The list for the Rangers starts with Alex Rodriguez at shortstop, Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez behind the plate, Raffy Palmeiro as DH, Carl Everett in right field and as always Michael Young at second base. And finally the Indians mascot? Slider.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Birdwalk 5/15/2010

This mornings bird walk was a quick one. And again this week I was without my monopod so all pictures are hand held, so please excuse the quality. Besides the sparrow, red-winged blackbird and the oriole I also saw grackles, robins, catbirds, mallards and a flicker. Wildlife-wise there were turtles, rabbits, squirrels and a muskrat who didn't want to be around me and my camera. Weather today is suppose to be awesome so lets hope I get somewhere worthwhile.