Sunday, February 25, 2007

Central Market - York, Pennsylvania

Several times a year I get to go home to York, Pennsylvania to visit my friends and family. However, before I see anyone my family and I always stop at the Central Market located on the corner of Philadelphia and Beaver Streets. The market, which was built in 1888, still serves the community after 119 years. You can learn more at

Enjoying a hearty breakfast at The Country Cafe.

Typical stand.


Weighing our shallots, one of the two things I always buy when I can go to market.

In York, going to market is a multi-generational event. Market is the place where you would go to see and be seen.

This stand features nothing but whole grain and organic goodies.

Another of the many varied eating establishments.

This is my other favorite stand, where I get beef sticks.

Market patron.

Myers Salads, a Mennonite stall.

These customers pick up plenty of fresh vegetables for the coming week's meals.

Some of Pennsylvania's finest apples.

Beans, nuts, grains, you name it they've got it.

Roof of the 1888 market.

Last stop before heading out the door.

This statue sits outside the Beaver Street entrance to the Central Market. The sculpture was done by Lorann Jacobs of Dallastown, PA.

Gaily painted parking meters like this one outside of the market dot the downtown area of York, PA.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Great Outdoors

The Great Backyard Bird Count has come and gone. We finally had two days where the temperature got into the 40s and the sun was shining. Hope your week was as good as ours.

Carolina Wren - I know I showed this bird last week, but this picture is so much better than the one I used then.

Most of the bird pictures in this week's issue were done during the Great Backyard Bird Count, this past weekend. One of the birds that are here all year round are the doves. I got this one just as it jumped off the top of the feeder. The picture was done as a watercolor using PhotoShop.

These photographs are all the result of timing, hand-eye coordination and just plain dumb luck. A Female Downy Woodpecker sets up for her landing on the suet feeder.

Red Squirrel -- Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Our first red squirrel of the year. These squirrels, the smallest of the tree squirrels, seldom come down this close to the house.

Getting the composition is the easiest part of taking bird pictures, especially the ones that show action. Once I have the shot setup as I want it, I sit and wait for the birds to come into the box. This picture took about twenty minutes to get. Much like being in the Marine Corps, hurry up and wait.

Of all the pictures that I shot during the GBBC, this one of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, is probably my favorite. If you look at the leg/foot in the foreground, you can see that the bird just released it's grip on the feeder, has it wings in motion and is about to take off with it's beak full of suet.

Two of the nine doves that we counted sit in a tree about ten feet off the ground.

Diving straight down off of it's perch, this male Northern Cardinal, heads for the feeder, eight feet below. Having a hunter's background helps when it comes to getting the best action shots of moving birds and animals. Remember, you've got to lead your target.

Here is a bird of a different sort. This one works for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and does windows.

The black and white aspects of this photograph make the Chest Creek at Patton look a bit ominous on a cold winter morning.

A barn sitting along the road leading to Prince Gallitzin State Park.

Logs at the G. W. Long Sawmill, outside of Patton on the road to Glendale Lake, wait for their turn at the debarker before heading into the sawyer. Rough finished boards lay in the foreground.

In almost thirty years of going to Glendale Lake, this is the first photograph I've taken of this barn. The barn, and the house next to it, are inside the park limits and provide housing for the State Park Rangers.

Tree stumps nestled together to make a fence line.

Tall Pines.

Standing out against the blue sky is this line of pines on Headache Hill, Prince Gallitzin State Park.

Look close, there are over forty deer in this picture. I'm about 1/2 mile away using a 300 mm lens. There are about 15 to 20 more deer in this picture that can't be seen.

An old wrecked wrecker rusting away on Route 36 near St. Boniface.

Trying to get one more sun flower seed out of the feeder is a Black-Capped Chickadee. I'm six feet from the bird with a 200 mm lens.

The green is Spanish Yucca, the white is snow. The form is a bird. This week's blog is at an end.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Winter Scenes

Mother Nature is really starting to come into her own this winter with bone chilling winds and a whole lot of snow. The cat is in and the Great Backyard Bird Count is about to begin. This weekend (Feb 16-19, 2007) is the four day GBBC event. To participate go to for all the information you will need. Hopefully you can find 15 minutes in your day, just to chill out, look out the window, observe nature and count all the birds that you see... Zen and the Art of Bird Counting.

Split rain fence in the snow.

Right about now I guess we all feel like this.

Joe O's giant front yard icicle. For several years now Joe has been running a hose up the tree and creating this giant icicle.

After a good snow storm it always becomes easier to follow a set of tracks but I'm pretty sure a train hasn't been along here in several years.

I don't think this old frosty is going to melt anytime soon.

Tufted Titmouse coming in for a landing on a little sunflower feeder.

Mostly a ground feeder, the Cardinals seem to be the first birds at a sunflower feeder in the morning, and along with the Black-capped Chickadees, the last ones feeding at dusk.

This shot of a Tufted Titmouse getting a drink from an icicle takes forever to capture and requires a whole lot of patience.

Seen here perched on a twenty-five year old tree stump against a snowy background is a Carolina Wren - Thryothorus ludovicianus.

6' 5" Dave plays with his new snow blower with it's three foot high handle bars. His shirt says it all "Whatever it takes!".

Surviving yet another snow storm is this old abandoned barn along Double Dam Road.

Snow Angel.

For the last four years, our daughter's cat Parker has been a strictly outdoor critter. Recent cold weather has converted him to a "mostly" indoor critter, with his own cat box and sleeping place.