Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year from The Doll Haus to your house. We sincerely hope that the next year will be better than the one we've just been through.

The sun shining through this laser cut mobile casts a reflection on the exterior wall of our house. The low angle of the sun at this time of the year provided the opportunity to get this shot.

A male Cardinal flying to the sunflower seed feeder.

Always around but seldom seen are the female Red-bellied Woodpeckers. This one showed up a few days after Christmas and spent about three hours hanging around the yard and the feeders and then it disappeared.

The female Red-bellied Woodpecker visited the Christmas wreath suet feeder before it was taken down for the season.

A Mourning Dove takes off from the top of the sunflower seed feeder. This should give you a pretty good idea of the response time needed from the time I know the bird is about to take off until I can get the shot.

About nine months ago I ran a short series of photographs using a bottle of water, the macro lens on my point and shoot camera, and whatever background was handy. Here are two shots I took over the holiday that show this process again. This time the background is a multi-colored blanket with the sun shining through the window at the right angle for me to place the water bottle between the sunlight and the blanket.

A frozen run-off pond along Route 219 and Route 422 is covered in a blanket of snow.

Looking west across Cambria County from Theatre Road in Richland Township, PA.

Nuthatch sitting in a tree.

It took about twenty minutes of finessing in PhotoShop to get to this final print of a Red-bellied Woodpecker taking off from the seed feeder.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

To all of the weekly visitors to the blog, our friends, and family we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!

While I was looking at the suet feeders in the snow last week, it occurred to me that it wouldn't take much to make the scene look a bit more like Christmas. So I ask my wife to pick up a wreath for me while she was out shopping. We then took the wreath, wired the suet feeder into it, added a bow and a few red balls. Then the goal was to just get one photograph of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker on the wreath feeder. Seems this is easier said than done.

Most of the birds just ignored the change. However, it took four days before the Red-bellied Woodpeckers got used to the addition. Many of the birds tried to eat the giant "red berries" they found surrounding their suet feeder.

This Downy Woodpecker sits on the branch above the feeder deciding on his next move.

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker takes a nice piece of suet from the feeder.

Downy Woodpecker.

A perfect Christmas card!

I happened to catch this vole near the rocks under the bird feeders. During the winter we can see where the voles travel by the slightly raised snow from the tunnels they create while traveling to and from their borrows.

All of the birds like that we have a heated bird bath during the winter months, but the Mourning Doves are probably the most frequent visitors.

We actually had two of the Pileated Woodpeckers close enough to the house during the recent snows for us to enjoy more than a few minutes of watching them feed. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture them both in a good photograph.

When the snow is flying and the temperatures drop, the birds get a little more aggressive at the feeders.

One bird enters, one bird leaves.

If you are from around this part of Pennsylvania, you are probably familiar with these three names. WJAC, the local TV station shows three old time videos around the Holidays. One titled The Three Little Dwarfs inspired the caption on this photograph of three Mourning Doves surveying the feeders.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker.


Nuthatch approaching the Christmas suet feeder.

Nuthatch leaving the Christmas suet feeder.

It's not too often I get a shot of two Nuthatches, or any two birds, aligned like these two.

Santa Claus relies on the local farmers to help him complete his rounds.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Down Home Christmas Celebration

The Christmas season celebrations continued in Northern Cambria on Saturday with a parade in the Spangler area.

This store owner picked a good day to have the Grand Opening with folks in town to attend the festivities.

After filling up with petrol this hot rodder is heading over to the Bi-Lo parking lot for the parade line-up.

Miss Delaware, Heather Lehman. Her grandmother lives in Northern Cambria, PA.

Two of the beauty queens and Little Miss Merry Christmas who were at the parade.

Riding on this float is the Northern Cambria High School Ladies Volleyball team, State Champs again this year!

Northern Cambria High School Marching Band.

Daisy Girl Scout Troop 40767 from Nicktown, PA saluted How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Merry Grinchmas!

2009 Cambria County Fair Queen, Janelle Wills, from Dysart, PA waves to her favorite photographer.

Baby's first Christmas parade.

Students from a local dance school get ready to perform for the judges.

The Girl Scouts from Nicktown Troop 718 were Santa's helpers preparing toys for all the good little boys and girls.

This girl portrayed the Virgin Mary carrying Baby Jesus. Joseph is on the other side, which explains the pink boot and third hand you see in this shot.

Riding in this snazzy coach is Miss Delaware, Heather Lehman, along with a young fan and another princess. Originally from Cambria County, Heather came back to participate in the annual Christmas parade at the request of her friend, Ron Weaver, one of the parade organizers.

Apprenticeship, on-the-job training.

Santa's Elves.

This is P. J. Maierhofer, Penn State's head baton twirller, known as Blue Sapphire.

The Miss Merry Christmas pageant was held on Friday night at the Northern Cambria Middle School. The contestants enjoyed a ride on this fire truck as they waved to the crowd.

This finely turned-out 1954 Ford custom panel truck belongs to Campbell Salvage who are members of the Rusted Nuts Car Club.

Charlie in a Box, from the Island of Mis-fit Toys, sponsored by Bobik's Hardware.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrived in town in style, in spite of the lack of snow on the street.