Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Can't Believe It's Only January

Several weeks ago the Department of Transportation started to put up a new materials building in Patton, PA. After the building was almost complete it was discovered that it was built to the wrong specs. So, of course, what goes up most come back down.

There was a lot of tongue wagging going on throughout the community as to the outcome of this fiasco.

The new shed is now complete at no cost to the taxpayers as the rebuild came out of the pocket of the builder.

A winter storm that seemed to cover the whole state hit last week giving kids across the state a day off from school.

This is a normal scene in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania at this time of the year.

Whether it's snow or corn this field always looks pretty no matter which time of the year it is.

Looking down 3rd Avenue towards Hastings. If you hit 20 miles an hour as you start down the hill, your foot off the gas pedal, you can possibly drift the whole way into Hastings, a distance of approximately 1.7 miles.

Hastings, PA shooting toward the northwest.

I shot these three pictures on Sunday around 1 in the afternoon from Kirkpatrick Street.

The town takes on a whole new look with the changing of the seasons.

A fire on Monday morning destroyed the gas station building at the Keystone Truck Stop off of Route 22 at the Mundy's Corner Exit.

Fire fighters from about 6 different volunteer fire companies fought the fire in single digit temperatures that caused the water to freeze as soon as it hit the pavement making for hazardous conditions.

After looking through the rubble of the fire, firemen discuss possible causes. The fire marshall was called in for a full investigation.

There was no way I would do the blog without having at least one picture of a bird.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

This last week has been a good one for shooting things I really like to photograph, including those of the humans.

I'm not exactly sure why but the Blue Jays seem to favor this one feeder over all the rest that I have out.

One of the highlights of this week was getting to see 8 diesel engines that are owned by The R.J. Corman Railroad Company of Lexington, Kentucky sitting in Patton, PA. This was a first for me. The line was made up of GP-38s and SD-40s and as you can see they looked really pretty sitting in the falling snow.

This and the next 3 shots were from Fourth Avenue, a street that deadends near the railroad tracks.

Looking across Chest Creek from Apple Street at the line of engines.

Several years ago I shot another picture of a Mourning Dove as it dove out of a tree. That caught people's eyes because when the doves are sitting on the ground, you only see the brown of their backs and bellies. Shots of the birds in flight show the blues and grays. They really are a colorful bird.

The next three photographs show my friend Roland Paronish, along with his son Roland II, at work in his shop creating a new metal sculpture of a raptor dinosaur. The sculpture starts out as a wire frame and each individual round metal slug is tack welded into place, hammered into shape and then spot welded until it becomes one solid piece.

Winter wonderland.

I'm not really sure as to what these two lawn birds are supposed to be, but they look like sand pipers to me.

A good reflection of my van.

Usually found in small flocks, the Mourning Doves are probably one of the prettiest and most graceful and at the same time one of the most hesitant birds we have here. It can take several minutes and several false starts before they commit to taking off from their perch.

Sometimes there are as many as 6 or 7 birds all vying for a good place at the feeder at once.

Here you can see several birds waiting for their turn at the table.

Every few days the Sharp-shinned Hawk that rules this area comes into the feeders looking for an easy meal. This is the first time I've been able to get some shots of it right after a kill.

After taking a few more bites out of it's prey, the hawk goes to a limb or branch, watches the food and then goes back for more.

Hawks are in no hurry to finish off a good meal. They take as long as 45 minutes to an hour to completely eat everything, but the feathers.

The Sharp-shinned hawk takes another break from it's feeding by sitting high in a old cherry tree where it can see what's going on around it.

Making a hasty retreat a small Downy Woodpecker exits stage left under the assault of a large Hairy Woodpecker.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sno Daze

Over the last several weeks I've been lucky enough to get some nice pictures of the American Crow. This shot shows that nothing goes to waste in the forest as long as we have carrion eaters like this crow and hawks cleaning up.

Green frog hanging on the side of a planter on my desk.

Desk top garden.

It's not often that I can get a shot of the birds where you can see the tongue of the birds at work as they eat.

Snow proves to be a hazard for the birds as much as it does for us humans.

7:35 Friday morning and the birds are already at the feeders for an early breakfast.

After a good meal of sunflower seeds a dove heads towards a nearby branch to chill out for awhile before the second course.

Male cardinals are not known for playing well with others.

Christmas Wreath on the Old Cambria County Jail House in Ebensburg, PA.

After many months the Old Farm Inn, a local landmark, is now under new management and open for business.

Doves sharing a branch.

Every once in a while we get a red squirrel using the feeders. About the only time we see the red squirrel during the winter is when there are only a few inches of snow on the ground.

Hastings, PA on a snowy afternoon.

View of Hastings, PA in the snow. Saint Bernard's Church is to the left and the community park is in the background.

PennDOT on the job.