Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Slow Times

With eighteen days of rain out of 23 and the rising price of gas, I haven't been out and about much in the last several weeks. With the way the economy is going and newspapers cutting back on the use of free-lance photographers while they slowly reduce the size of the daily editions, I'm not selling too much. I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to keep this blog going.

Anyway, here is this week's blog.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar -- Malacosoma Americanum

This shot of a Tree Swallow and the next one of her young in a nest box were shot over in Huntington County at the Juniata College Field Center on the shore of Raystown Lake.

Eastern Box Turtle
Known to reach 80 years in age, the box turtle matures at 5 years and aren't fully grown until they are about 20 years old.

Juniata College Grove Farm

White-tailed Rabbit

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Here is a one minute video of the Grosbeak.

I know I've used pictures of the Red Bellied Woodpecker before but each one is different so I just keep shooting them when I can. Besides, there is a lot of greenery now instead of flying snow and this years chicks are stating to come to the feeders on their own

Here is the woodpecker video.

Bumblebee feeding on a Petunia.

Barn Cat at Blue Goose Farms, Nicktown, PA.
We get our fresh veggies through their CSA program all summer long.


The bumblebee wasn't the only insect I found feeding around the petunias. I'm pretty sure this is a Spotted Camel Cricket -- Ceuthophilus Maculatus

Catbird doing its best to land on a suet feeder.

The last of this week's pictures shows the aftermath of two solid days of rain that dropped more than few inches of rain over this part of Cambria County, PA. This is the basement of the Old Cambria Heights Middle School Gym, also known as the Memorial Building. There are two different levels to the basement, with a couple feet difference between them. Several feet of water was in the basement covering both levels by the time the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department Station 55 got the call for assistance to help the Memorial Building's sump pumps.

Since the borough of Hastings was given the old building by the school district, a lot of money has been put into it. It now serves the community in several different ways. During the school year it is used by some of the local school districts as an alternative school, a small church group uses it for services on Sunday and local organizations use it for all kinds of activities. The community will be hard-pressed to replace the exercise equipment that was recently installed in the basement.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jimmy Stewart Airport

The Indiana County airport is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the naming and dedication of the Jimmy Stewart Airport which made this year's Airport Festival a little more special. The Jimmy Stewart Museum also participated in the festivities by hosting activities in downtown Indiana as well as showing several of Jimmy Stewart's movies, including Winning Your Wing, a promotional film he made for the Air Force.

Between Friday afternoon and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, I shot more than 1700 pictures of the festivities, plus about 15 minutes of video. If you're ever looking for something cool and a little different to do for Father's Day, take him to a local airport and I'll bet you'll find someone to take your Dad flying for a half hour or so for the price of a good steak dinner and a few drafts.

Friday -- 12 June 2009

Not long after I got to the airport, this 1999 Cessna 500B Citation landed, and parked himself right in front of the terminal. I couldn't set the shot up any easier.

World War II pilot jacket in 2009.

With light air traffic during the day, the Army's Apache pilots use the airport to make a few passes and practice a few maneuvers.

I always show up on Friday so I can get shots of the festival stars landing. It also gives me a chance to shoot other airplanes like this 1979 Piper Archer II used for flight training.

The airport festival this year was featuring several WWII aircraft but I was all hoppped up to see two of them. The first to land at JSA on Friday afternoon was this British Spitfire Supermarine. Built in 1944, the Spitfire can do over 400 mph with it's Rolls Royce Merlin 61 V12 liquid cooled engine.

Spitfire Super Marine Mark IX Serial MK912 at Jimmy Stewart Airport, Indiana, PA.

Spitfire Pilot Rick Volker.

The Spitfire has an original RR Merlin 70 engine and has over 75% of the original parts with a few high tech radio and navigation electronics added.

Cockpit of the British Spitfire Supermarine.

Next to land for the Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival was a North American T6 Harvard Trainer showing it's U.S.Navy SNJ5 Trainer colors.

Taxing at JSA.

Pilot of the SNJ5, Don Stamp.

Joining the SNJ5 on it's flight into Indiana County was this Boeing Stearman PT-17.

Floating to earth.

Boeing built this PT 17 in May 1942 for the 67th Flying Detachment of the USAAF.

Cockpit of the PT 17.

Saturday -- 13 June 2009

0638 Saturday morning a PT17 sits on the grass at the Jimmy Stewart Airport, it's engine and cockpit protected from the morning dew.

Ditto for the SNJ5.

After a good breakfast of pancakes and sausage with the cadets of the Civil Air Patrol, I went out to see what was going on around the military re-enactors area.

The first person I ran into was this German officer with his first cup of coffee for the day. Seems the Germans had a fondness for the french coffee press.

German Nurse

German field office.

Inside a good sized tent I shot this picture of the USAAF office personnel area.

Army Jeep used by the re-enactors to escort military aircraft during the airport festival.

Around 0820, the Canadians opened the hangar where they stored the Spitfire overnight.

The Spitfire had it's own ground support team drive to the airport from Canada. The 3-man crew plus the pilot took the next hour or so to check the plane's mechanics and make it all spiffy before it was towed back to the flight line for display.

Towing the Spitfire Supermarine across the airport.

There was a good variety of airplanes to see at the festival, like this 2008 Flight Design Gmbh CTLS.

Another interesting aspect of the Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival is the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles Program. The program gives kids from 8-17 a chance to fly in an airplane for the first time.

Stinson L-5 outfitted as an air ambulance.

Stinson Pilot.

1958 Bellanca 14-19-2 Last of the Cruisemasters and the last of the Bellanca tail draggers. A used one can be had for $55,000.

Bellanca taking off from Jimmy Stewart Airport (KIDI).

1941 Boeing Stearman A75N1(Pt-17) Kaydot

Due to the weather at Long Island, NY on Friday, the last two stars of the airport festival didn't fly into Indiana County until 11:32 a.m. Saturday morning which made me happy because I would get to see a F4U Corsair flying for the first time. This is the plane of USMC Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and the Black Sheep of UMF 214.

The P51 Mustang Glamorous Gal hit the runway at Jimmy Stewart Airport in Indiana County, PA for a return trip to the airport festival.

Better late than never, the 1943 F4U Vought Corsair.

Life Flight.

On hand to entertain the crowd with some solid drill was the Air Force Drill Team.

Prior to the 1300 take off time the warbird pilots go through one final pre-flight meeting.

This one minute video shows some of the WWII aircraft heading out to the runway to start their series of fly-bys. First you'll see the Spitfire SuperMarine, then the P51 Mustang, the FU4 Corsair and, finally, the SNJ5.

Four of the airplanes line up at the end of the taxi way before taking to the sky. Because of limited airspace the aircraft are only allowed to do fly-bys, according to the FAA.

The Corsair on one of it's fly-bys.

P51 Mustang banks to the right going over the runway.

Next in line is the British Spitfire Supermarine.

The F4U lands after the fly-bys.

Spitfire SuperMarine makes a nice landing on the 4000 x 75 runway.

With just inches to go the Mustang ends its' flying day. Time to go back on dispay.

A magnificent flying machine is the Stearman PT-17.

After the fly-by this Stearman took folks up for a ride.

I was told that the 1936 Beechcraft Staggerwing wasn't going to fly into the Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival until Sunday. To everyone's surprise it flew in on Saturday afternoon just as I was about to head home.

1936 Beachcraft C17B.

Beachcraft C17B pilot Christine St. Onge lets her Staggerwing cool down for a few minutes before turning off the engine. This Staggerwing is one of only three still in flying condition.

Control panel of the C17B.