Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

Back in October I was asked if I would like to show my photographs in a new gallery that was going to be opening in a few months down in the Duncansville/Newry area of Blair County. I've never been asked that question before and didn't really know what to say. Anyhow, I got a call a week or so ago about bringing some art to hang on the walls of the Monarch of the Mountains Studio on Old Route 220 South in Duncansville, PA.

So, I left the house at 1000 Sunday morning to drop off 13 framed prints at the Studio and to find the Blue Knob Valley Airport outside of Newry, PA. It was danm near 1500 when I got back home. Here is how I spent the day.

Looking north over Hastings from Tower Road Sunday afternoon as I was returning home...This was the last picture taken that day but is first because today is Thanksgiving Day. This is the only sunlight we've had since then.

Monarch of the Mountains. Duncansville, PA.
Michael Long, Chainsaw Artist, Proprietor
Over the next few weeks I'll have other photographs and information about the other artists who's work will be on display at the studio.

My photographs lined up against the wall before being hung.

Some of the art work that will be displayed once all the shelving arrives.

About a mile or so down the pike from the Monarch is Leighty's Farm Market, the biggest in the area, with all the Thanksgiving goodies that you can think of.

Yellow Delicious apples that were grown just up the road from Leighty's.

If you're a regular visitor to our blog, you know that I like to stop at airports to see what there is to see, or in this case, what's not to see.

The only thing at this airport that looks like it's been taken care of any time in the last 20 years is the windsock.

Long abandoned as a runway in America, I can see Vietnam written all over this scene. Since I took this picture I've learned that the military helicopter squadrons stationed in the area use this old airport for insertion and extraction exercises, which would explain the new windsock.

I'd be willing to bet that not more than a few hundred people have ever seen this place.

Old farm shed sitting out in a field at Foot of Ten, near Duncansville, PA.

Foot of Ten Auto Sales.

Lemon House at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site shot from Old Route 22.

This Skew Arch Bridge sits between the west and east bound lanes of Old Route 22 near the Allegheny Portage National Historic site.

West bound traffic on Old Route 22 passes the Skew Arch bridge shown in the previous photograph. The road was built around the existing historical landmarks.

Before the new Route 22 was built, Old 22 ran through Cresson on its way to Duncansville. At the top of Cresson Mountain was this old motel that went south real quick once the new road was opened.

Located along Old Route 22 west of Cresson is the now defunct Bogartz Original Saloon. The building isn't much to look at but the wall art is very unique. This is an example of recent wall art and advertising that I try to capture on my travels. This 1500 square foot mural was created by Pamela Snyder of Altoona, PA.

The logo on a side wall is 12 x 20 feet.

We raise our glasses to toast our friends, family and blog visitors during the holiday season.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back Road Tour, Indiana County, PA

Many years ago, when I worked in Indiana County, I would spend my lunch time touring the back roads west of Indiana borough. Every day I would pick a different road and drive it for about 1/2 hour just to see what there was to be seen. Now, when I'm over there and have a little bit of time, I like to see how things have changed. And with the exception of some new houses, I'm glad to say that the area looks pretty much the same today as it did back then.

If my memory serves me correctly, this barn was a flea market at one time.

The next four photographs show the 1879 Thomas Covered Bridge which crosses Crooked Creek in Indiana County, PA.

A reflection in the water of Crooked Creek with the sun rising over my shoulder at Thomas Bridge at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. In PhotoShop I desaturated the picture and then went back and painted in just the surface of the water to achieve this effect.

The west side of the bridge, looking east toward Yarnick's Farm Store.

This huge 10 foot tall fiberglass chicken sits at the entrance of the Yarnick Farm Store.

Unfortunately, the market was not open this early in the morning.

Not only can you purchase fresh produce raised on the farm and visit the covered bridge but you can also enjoy a game of checkers if you so desire.

Seeing that you are a guest, you get the first move.

Located on Five Points Road is this nicely maintained barn. While photographing it I kept hearing music which I originally thought was coming from my van. Turns out the farmer has a radio playing inside to keep the critters happy!

Located across the road from the previous picture is another barn which houses several horses.

Heading back home on Route 286 just North of Indiana, PA, we passed this country scene sitting next to the road.

Next to the barn is this two-story farm house looking as grand as any in the area.

I really wish I started taking pictures of this barn 15 years ago. I passed it twice a day when I was a warehouse manager for Consumer Satellite Service in Indiana. At that time, it was a lot less weathered.

Early Sunday morning my wife spotted three doe walking across the top of our shooting range, munching on the tree saplings as they went. Because of the thickness of the woods it took about 15 minutes of watching before I could get one of the deer in a position where you could actually tell that it was a deer.

Another elusive resident in our part of the world is this female Pileated Woodpecker. I was actually surprised at how long the bird stayed within my view. From the point where I shot this picture the female was only 25 feet away from me. The photograph was taken with a Canon Rebel XTi using a 70-200 L lens with a 2x extender. At 19 inches tall this is the biggest woodpecker in Pennsylvania and you can tell the male from the female by the grey/black feathers on the forehead and the lack of a red mustach.