Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer in the Laurel Highlands 2008

Welcome to Summer 2008, in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. A new crop of baby birds is alive and well, summer festivals are gearing up, I'm looking forward to Thunder in the Valley (which will be next week's blog) and the weather is beautiful.

Our first ever Chestnut-sided Warbler -- Dendroica pensylvanica -- arrived this past week. He spent his first 4-5 days attacking his reflection in the bedroom mirror.

The warbler seems to like our rhododendron.

Now that the weather has started to settle down, the birds have gotten down to breeding and raising their young.

Father and son Downy Woodpeckers.
The male only spent a day or so showing his offspring how to use the suet feeder.

A female Red-bellied Woodpecker at the suet feeder. Although we've had the males here all year around, this is the first time a female has come into the yard.

New male juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker.
For some reason, the Red-bellied Woodpecker tends to feed the young for a lot longer than some of the other birds we have been shooting. I've started to call this guy "Baby Huey" after the cartoon character.

Our first daylily of the year.

Meet Hoss, disguised as a long haired German Shepherd. Hoss works for the Cambria County Sheriff's Department as a drug sniffer and attack dog.

Last week I got this Rose-breasted Grosbeak after it flew into the window. Ten minutes later it flew off, no worse for the wear.



Michael Long using a chain saw to carve a bear.

While covering the Coalport, Pennsylvania 125th birthday celebration I met Marsha from Sweden while she was signing this large birthday card.

Mary Seymore at 81 is the oldest native citizen living in Coalport.

Coming out of the past, and into the future.
Hope Fire Company of Philipsburg brought their 1937 Buffalo to town for the birthday parade.

On the way home from Coalport the wife and I stopped at Glendale Lake to watch the sailboats for a few minutes.

A Jesse James creation, this motorcycle with all its attributes including the autograph of Jesse and his wife Sara Bullock plus those of other swells of TV and movies is said to be worth 250,000 large.

The second annual Antique Fire Truck Muster and Chicken BBQ was held by Spangler Fire Company Station 58 over the weekend also.

Belonging to the Company Vice President is this 1936 American LaFrance pumper.

1950 Ford F-150.

My last four shots for this week were shot in Cresson, PA. The first 3 were shot from the public observation deck next to the Norfolk Southern mainline.

Corman 3805. GP-38
I'm not sure what make this engine is but I know someone will email me with the info.

Stopping for service at the Cresson Plaza is this SD40-2.

Dash 940-CW, SD70M, SD60
Heading West on the Mainline at Cresson, Pennsylvania.

Cresson Volunteer Fire Company, Station 70.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Air Show

Even though this week's work was shot on several different days, I've divided the photographs into two groups. The first and largest group was shot at The Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival held in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Started in the 1960s as a fly-in, the festival continues to this day and is free to the public. The Avenger and the Skytrain flew in from American Airpower Museum.

Vietnam Era Bell Huey doing practice dust offs at the Ebensburg Airport earlier in the week. Okay, so this picture wasn't taken at the Jimmy Stewart Airport, but it certainly fits with this week's theme.

As always, the stars of the air show fly into the airport on Friday afternoon. This year the all weather aircraft came in during a rain storm.

First to land was this Grumman TBN Avenger. The TBN was an operational aircraft from January 1942 until June of 1954. A three man crew had access to two wing guns, a top turret gun and a belly gun.

Following the TBM was this restored Douglas C-47 Skytrain. The C-47 started life as a civilian passenger plane known as the DC-3 in 1936 with American Airlines. Many Vietnam vets will remember this aircraft as the AC-47, also known as Spooky and Puff the Magic Dragon.

TBMs were designated as carrier based torpedo bombers.

During World War II at least 5 of the Douglas Skytrains were outfitted with seafloats and designated as VC-47C Gooney Birds to be used as air to sea rescue in the Pacific theatre. Skytrains are still flying commercially around the world, even though it's over 70 years old.

I grabbed this shot of the C-47 at 0715 on Saturday morning while the sun was still shining. Around 0830 the clouds rolled in and by 1200 it was raining.

Cockpit of the C-47.

1941 Aeronco 65 CA
With it's 65 horsepower Continental engine the 65 CA had a cruising speed of just 85 mph.

The US Army Bell Apache attack helicopter is based in Johnstown, PA.

Belonging to the Civil Air Patrol squadron based at the Jimmy Stewart Airport, is this 2006 Cessna 182T four seater powered by a Lycoming 10-540 engine.

Control panel in the 182T.

On Saturday this 1966 Piper PA25 Pawnee crop duster was the only plane to put on a demonstration due to the inclement weather.

Built in 1944 as a two seat civilian Stinson 105 Voyager this Army Air Force Stinson L-5G Sentinal saw military service as a spotter, air ambulance and resupplier. During WWII the AAF had over 3500 of these airplanes in service. The L-5 was unarmed and was capable of flying in and out of areas with very short runways.

In its air ambulance configuration the second seat would be folded down and a full sized stretcher could be loaded to fly a wounded soldier out of the bush.

Control panel of the L-5.

World War II Reenactors.
In front is a woman from the French resistance and a German soldier. Shown in the back, from left to right, are two Americans, and a British soldier flanked on either side by two more Germans.

The last picture from the air show is this 1973 Reliant three wheeler with its' 700 cc motorcycle engine and four on the floor. I think that if I could find one of these in really good condition, I might have to sell my motorcycle and buy it to use as my company car.

Catbird on a suet feeder.

Crab Spider -- misumena vatia inside of a purple iris, with dew.

A Gold-backed Snipe Fly provides a snack for the Crab Spider.

Gold-backed Snipe Fly -- Chrysopilus thoracicus

Silver-spotted skipper -- Epargyreus clarus

Spring Azure -- Celastrina ladon

Yellow-throated warbler -- Dendroica dominica
A new visitor to our yard.

Lake Glendale.