Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Home Turf

With gas now at $4.85 per gallon I don't think I'll be out roaming to far from home for awhile.  Right now my plans are to only travel in the 7 counties that share a border with Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

There's nothing like a flock of flamingos to brighten up a back yard in early spring.

With the early morning sun shining above low lying clouds the contrails of criss crossing jets take on the appearance of a giant sword.

Saint Monica's Cemetery in Chest Springs looking out over Allegheny Township.

One of four male turkeys that passed by the house with a group of about twenty admirers.
If Benjamin Franklin would have had his way the Turkey would be our national bird. 

Bonanno Butcher Shop along the bank of the West Branch Susquehanna River.
The levee you see behind the building keeps the river from flooding the low lying land.

Quaker Sales macadam plant outside of Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania.

Muskrats  Love.

Red Squirrel caught in the act.

It's been eight months since we've had a visit from the Red-Breasted Nuthatches.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch in the sassafras branches.

Cattle along a back road on the way to Lake Glendale.

Once an active skeet shooting club this old building sits abandoned outside of Prince Gallitzin State Park due to new DEP rules.

Martin houses with Prince Gallitzin State Park office in the background.  The wind mill provides power to the park office.

Amish fishermen enjoy a day of fishing on Glendale Lake.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glendale Lake

Prince Gallitzin State Park near Patton in Cambria County is the closest of Pennsylvania's 117 State Parks to us.  Glendale Lake covers 1,635 acres with a 26 mile of shoreline. It's one of our favorite places to spend time all year around.

I've been photographing these particular trees where Killbuck Run enters the lake for over 25 years.  The Killbuck is one of three creeks that feed Glendale Lake.

This barn and the farm house in the next picture are the only original buildings within the park limits that were standing before when the park was developed, probably because they were on higher ground. 

The original Dishart farm house now provides housing for park personnel.

One of the many open fields in the park where you would have a good chance of seeing deer, birds of prey, and a variety of other wildlife.

View of the lake on the road in front of the farm house.

I'm told that this is one of the most active parks in the state and therefore they have extra money to do upgrades.  This bathroom near the dam at the Beaver Valley Marina is one of them.

Looking out across the lake standing just up the road from the main marina.

For about the last ten years or so this back water area where the Slate Lick Run flows into Glendale Lake has been inundated with vegetation that has all but closed this part of the lake off to anyone except those in canoes. Now that the vegetation is cleared out the power boaters/fishermen are able to get in to this area.

Boat launch at Beaver Valley Marina, formerly known as the "boat launch at the flag pole".

A lone kayaker paddles into a little cove that now houses docks for pontoon boats.

Once a ten horsepower limit lake, the Fish and Game Commission now allows up to 20 horsepower engines to be used on Glendale Lake.  This makes it a little easier to get around the 26 miles of shoreline.

Shot at 46mm this picture is a setup for the next two shots.

This shot was taken at 210mm.
Another boat launch sits just below Headache Hill and is the home of the Glendale Sailing Club as well as the Penn State University Sailing Club.  Although you can't see it behind the pine trees at the top of the picture there is a large water tank that serves as an observation deck and allows a good view of the lake and surrounding area.

The hacking towers shown here, which are just to the left in the previous picture, were shot at 400mm.  The hacking towers are part of a four year program to reintroduce the Osprey to the Prince Gallitzen State Park area.  The day we were there we observed one of the osprey trying to escape the onslaught of several crows as it tried to return to a perch with a fresh caught fish, which looked to us like a catfish.

A flock of Bufflehead Ducks swim across the lake.  The males are the ones with the white heads.

Our parting shot is a flock of Ringnecked Ducks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Return to Pittsburgh, or How I Spent my 65th Birthday

Although none of this week's photographs were shot from the water, they were shot in the rain. The first half of the blog features pictures shot at the National Aviary on the north side of Pittsburgh. If you're ever in Pittsburgh and looking for something different to do, this is a good start but go during the week if you want to take pictures without a whole lot of people.

Green-winged Macaw -- Ara chloropterus

This bird is from the northern half of South America and it's the largest of its genus.

African Penquin -- Spheniscus demersus

Is found on the 24 islands between Namibia and the Algora Bay. Before political correctness became a fad, it was known as the Jackass Penquin because it makes a sound that is similar to a donkey.

Inca Dove -- Scardafella inca

The Southwest US and Mexico to Puerto Rico is where you will find this bird.

African Grey Parrot -- Psittacus erithacus

The rainforests of Western and Central Africa is the home of these birds which have been reported to live as long as 70 years.

Inca Tern -- Larosterna inca

This seabird is native to Peru and Chile. It likes to make its nest in a rock and it's call is similar to cat's meow.

American Flamingo -- Phoenicopterus ruber

One of four kinds of flamingoes in the Americas. The coloring comes from the kind of food that the birds eat.

Yellow-billed Cardinal -- Paroaria capitata

Found up and down the east coast of South America.

Golden-breasted Starling -- Cosmopsarus regius

Another grasslands bird that can be found throughout East Africa and tends to stay with a group of other birds.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon -- Goura victoria

This pigeon comes in around 5 pounds and hails from New Guinea and likes to eat fruit.

Wattled Currasow -- Crax globulosa

This bid is on the threatened species list. This female comes from the rain forests of the Amazon basin in South Ameria.

Hand feeding a Hammerkop -- Scopus umbretta in the Rain Forest.

After having spent several hours on the inside at the National Aviary, it was time to head out onto the next part of the birthday celebration by heading over to The Strip, Pittsburgh's Historic Market District, to do a little shopping and photographing.

What are the chances of taking a picture at the corner of 6th St and Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA and just have one person in the scene?

One of the nice things about shopping in the strip district in the middle of the week is that there is no lack of parking, whether it's free or $10 for the day. Art work is a bonus.

Just one of the many colorful shops.

A display on the counter at Strip District Meats where we stopped in to pick up some beef jerky.

Sign board along the street.

Sitting along a side street is the Leaf and Bean which is one of the more colorful store fronts in the Strip district.

Outdoor advertising at it's best.

Personally I'm not to blame, but if you want I can give you the names of the 535 people who are.

Standing along Penn Avenue looking into the city prior to departure for home.

I shot this last photograph just as we were about to exit the canyons of Pittsburgh and head back to the ridges of Cambria County.