Thursday, March 30, 2006

Things of Spring

I have no idea how old this garage is, but I'm pretty sure it's been standing for no less than 75 years.

Crocus - the first flowers of spring.

Close-up of a crocus

A bunny rabbit, natural camouflage

Male Cardinal -- Richmondena cardinalis -- This is the first time that this male cardinal sat on a rock all winter long.

We were extremely lucky on Sunday morning to get this picture of a Pileated Woodpecker -- Dryocopus pileatus. A wary bird, it is uncommon and very local to extensive deciduous forests. The largest woodpecker in Pennsylvania, the Pileated Woodpecker stands 15 inches tall.

I have no idea what this bird is, as I only had one shot at it before it took off. I have a feeling it is a female Grosbeak.

Driving along Tower Road, seeing what is, what was and what will be at 1/320th of a second.

Taken at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, 26Mar06 a storm passes to the east, clear skies to the west.

In hindsight, maybe I was right after all.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's All About Carrolltown

Quick action by the Carrolltown Fire Department, assisted by Patton Fire Department, averted a catastrophe in Carrolltown early Sunday morning.

This helicopter and tank are located in the American Legion Park in Carrolltown and can be seen from the roadway as you travel on Route 219 North.

AH-1F Cobra helicopter is a two-bladed tandem seat attack helicopter. Most of them come with a 20mm turreted cannon and four external wing pods that can fire 2.75"/5.0" rockets and a whole bunch of other goodies. In use for over 30 years, they came into wide-spread use in Vietnam in the early 60s. It was a close air-support helicopter.

This is an M60 Patton series tank. It was the main battle tank of Egypt, Saudia Arabia and the U.S.A. Today it is primarily found in U.S. Army Reserves.

An early Spring Sunrise

I've always been taken by the symetrics of the building and the trees in this picture. One of these days, the property owner will be home and I'll be able to find out the history of the building. The building is in Carrolltown.

Robins have returned in time for the first day of Spring and are busy finding food.

On Monday, I was the guest speaker for two classes of History students at Saint Francis University. I talked to the 50+ students (in each of the classes) about my time in U.S.M.C. and my tour of Vietnam.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Paddy's Day!

The flowers of the Shamrock Plant (Oxalis) bloom in time for St. Patricks' Day.

Driving down Route 36 thru beautiful downtown Chest Springs, I spotted this rather tall leprechaun securely tied to a antique Singer sewing machine, due to the high winds we've had here recently.

The following four pictures are from an accident along Tower Road in Elder Township.

The MedSTAR 2 life-flight helicopter passes over the wreckage of a Chevy Blazer before landing on Tower Road. The driver of the vehicle completely missed a curve, ran off the road, went through a very small pond, tore out a power pole guide line, flipping over and rolling for several hundred feet.

The pilot cautiously lands his ship on the blacktop.

Firemen of Hastings Station 55 and a member of the Hastings Area EMS team, carefully move the crash victim towards the rear of MedSTAR 2.

After loading and securing the crash victim inside the helicopter the pilot lifts the craft off the ground, heading into the afternoon sun, just feet over my head. Flashback to Vietnam.

A shot of a coal mine just on the outskirts of Portage, PA.

The soft Bituminous coal is brought out of the mine and put onto these huge piles, awaiting coal trains that come in several times a week.

Returning from his winter vacation to who knows where, this male Downy Woodpecker, returns home in our yard for the summer.

I've had this three inch medal for 22 years and never took a picture of it. The medal was established by an act of Congress to honor Vietnam Veterans in 1984.

This says it all. It is 2:30 on a Thursday afternooon, and I just can't wait for the weekend.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Eleven Days to Spring

Dr. Lawrence Wess, Superintendent of CHSD, reads a story to children during the National Read Across America Day.

Patton Beverage, of Patton, celebrates their 60th year in business. Shown here are the owners, the Hudak family, and local state representative Gary Haluksa.

The Patton office for the 73rd District state representative, Gary Haluska.

Rebuilt a few years ago, this pedestrian bridge crosses the eight foot wide West Branch of the Susquehanna River, just behind the Giant Eagle building in Northern Cambria.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair." Okay, so it's not Rapunzel's castle. This is the old water tower for the town of Loretto and Saint Francis University. The water system was originally installed by Charles Schwab in the early 1900s.

The Schwab building on the campus of Saint Francis University. The building was built as a tribute to Charles Schwab and his contribution to the area and the University.

Southern Allegheny Museum of Art, on the campus of Saint Francis University. This building was at one time Doyle Hall, a gymnasium where Maurice Stokes played basketball.

Gallitzin Tunnel, located just west of the world famous Horseshoe Curve, is over 3600 feet long, built at a cost of $125 a linear foot and actually played a part in WWII.

Gallitzin Tunnel Welcome Center. This caboose, originally built in June 1942, is staffed by volunteer railroad enthusiasts.

A variety of road names travel through the Gallitzin Tunnels.

Atheist Station established several years ago by local free thinkers, much to the dismay of the community, shows the diversity of the community.

Chest Creek feeling the arrival of spring.

Located in West Carroll Township, the Weber Brothers Farm has a long history. The barn, built in the 1800s, was built at a cost of $60. The farm house itself was built well before the barn.

This picture, showing the contrail of a jet plane passing by the moon, was shot just seconds after the previous barn picture, with my backup camera.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


My first national exposure -- This photograph, taken in July 2004 at the Bike Show and swap meet in Carlisle, PA, was recently chosen as the cover photograph on the early spring 2006 catalog from Shade Tree Powersports , a motorcycle clothing and accessory store in Ohio.

Red Christmas Cactus flower shot with available light, using a black t-shirt as a background.

This White Christmas Cactus flower was shot with a bare 100 watt bulb. Again, the background is a black t-shirt.

Parker, The Cat - on the outside looking in.

One of Elias' old wreckers that probably hasn't seen the road in 30 years.

A Christmas Present.

Stained Glass.

Mourning Dove, cleaning up thistle on the ground below the feeder.

East Side of Hastings.

This is a view of the Hastings Community Park showing the pool, baseball fields, roller hockey rink, tennis courts and pavilions...A real community asset.

I have always said that you can buy a house around here with a little bit of property for less than the cost of a new car. This place kinda proves that. This seven room house and it's four acres of land, bought as a retirement home by a friend of mine, cost less than the MSRP of a Dodge Magnum.