Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Town and Country

One of the nice things about where we live is that we have the best of both worlds.   We enjoy the country every day but when we need to it's a short 45 minute drive to Altoona, Johnstown or Indiana.  This week's blog shows a little of the country and a little of Altoona.

I stopped by to check out the beef on the hoof on the way to the butcher shop.

Smog layer over Hastings on a cold fall morning.  The smoke from old coal furnaces that don't efficiently burn the soft coal found in this part of the state combined with atmospheric conditions can make for some very nasty smog conditions in the valley.

You can see how the atmospheric conditions just keep the smog layer about the roof tops of the houses.

Chipmunk getting a drink from the bird bath.  It's almost time to put the heater into the bath so the critters have fresh water all winter.

Tufted Titmouse sits on a branch and works at opening a sunflower seed.

Looking West towards a stationary front hanging over Clearfield and Indiana Counties.

An old garden shed along Route 36 outside of Patton, PA.

Second of three farms that I passed where the cattle were happily grazing on a sunny, fall day.

Agudath Achim Jewish Cemetery in Altoona, PA.

I didn't realize it at the time that I was taking this photograph but it turns out that these two units were being used for a training exercise for future railroad conductors.

A kitten sits outside of an old barn on a back country road.

A pair of white-faced steers keep their eye on me as I stopped along the road to take their picture.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Star Productions' Fall Performance

This week's blog features the STAR Productions presentation of Heart on Fire -- A Tattoo'd Tale of a Saint for Our Time -- Joan Dark.   With credit given to Willilam Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Erik Ehn  and Rob Mauro.

Pat Fitzgerald as The Spirit Conjurer

Bronwyn Stevens as Joan Dark

Lindsey Miller and Brady Saksa as The Brutish Militia / Correctional Wardens

Joan Dark with The Seraphic Voices -- Brian Davis, Nancy Jo Saksa and Kelsey Walls

Addison Fox as The Pietistic Prelate

The Pietistic Prelate (Addison Fox) and Joan Dark (Bronwyn Stevens).











Addison Fox as The Fire-Brand of Inquisition



The Entire Cast

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Life on the Ridge. It's Never Boring

One of the great things about living in the woods is being surrounded by nature.  This week's blog provides lots of examples of the fun it provides.

Sometimes it comes back to bite you though.   The results are that you lose a few things.  It's been a long time since we've had a problem with the bears so we can't be too upset about the recent visit.  We aren't going to complain to the state about the bear problems because they will want to come out and remove the bears but they have as much right to live here as we do.  So, we'll just do our best to co-exist with them.

Several days before the bears attack our feeders we had just replenished our supplies in order to get ready for the winter.

This cabinet was standing beside the one in the background with all the new supplies neatly stored away.  There are now some nice claw marks on the sides of the cabinet laying on the ground. Needless to say, since the attack, we've secured the cabinet to the wall so it's almost impossible to pull over right now.  And a lock has been added to the door.

We've had this bird feeder for 30 years since my wife worked at Air Products and Chemicals in Trexlertown, PA.   It's beyond repair.

This is where I found one of two 25 quart containers of sunflower seeds which had been dragged some 35 yards from the house and into the woods.

 In all, we lost 6 feeders to the bears, 2 of which were these metal ones which were bent and twisted beyond repair.

This ivy, which was discarded from a planter many years ago because it was an "annual", continues to grow along the edge of the woods.  The green makes a nice contrast against the fall colors.

You know what they say about "a bird in the hand".

Hopefully this guy will make it through the winter and come visit me again.


You may remember that we started October 2011 off with a little snow, and this weekend we got to end the month with a lot of snow, probably around 10 inches here on the ridge.

For some dumb reason I set this pumpkin on the top of the snow to add some contrast.

You've probably seen this over and over but each time it's a little different.  We got the snow shovels and snow shoes out of the shed, but we haven't put the summer yard wagon away.   We know snow comes in October, we just weren't in a hurry to get things done.

It looks like the gargoyle has a giant "snow fro".

The colors of the maple and the shed standing out against the snow is what attracted my eye.

Luckily this section of power line that runs through our property has been maintained over the last several years so that when we do get a heavy, wet snow, the tree limbs aren't laying on top of the power lines.

Morning Dove sitting on the limb near the feeders before committing itself.

Autumn leaves

Mountain Chalet for Rent.