Friday, November 30, 2007

Bartender Another Round of Root Beers...

Okay I obviously did not take this photograph, I did make all the settings on the camera, stand my wife in a certain location and say just squeeeeze the shutter release. These two cowboys just happened to mosey into this saloon near Cody, Wyoming a few years back hoping to have a couple of drinks, all they found were cob webs.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Heroes

This is the Squad 8 crew on B Platoon, Harrisburg Bureau of Fire. We like to pick on them but they are good to have around, they always have your back and we need them to pick up our hose. From the left is Lt. Doug Bair (I hope he is on duty if I ever get in trouble), Will Skinner and the old man of the shift Bob Enterline. Don't let the old fool you he is still one of the most productive guys on the shift.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Did You Get Yours?

Did you get your Pennsylvania antlered deer in the first two days of the season. As you can see I got mine, a beautiful 10 point. He was running full speed from ridge to ridge and I shot him with open sites from the hip. Pay no attention to the velvet on his antlers he was just a late bloomer. Okay you got me, this photograph was taken July 2005 in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone. I really can't wait to get back out there and enjoy the beauty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Best Friend

Today's photograph was taken in July 2005 at an old cabin by the Tetons. For those that do not know me this is my best friend Shane. Yes that is the same Shane that is also my son. Shane is a very bright young man being on the honor roll at Eagle View Middle School this marking period. Shane has a great sence of humor and can dish it out as well as he can take it. Shane plays hockey, flag football, rugby and the drums. He is also a boy scout and just received the rank of tenderfoot. He is hoping to become the third member of his family to achieve eagle scout. I think he can do and am pulling for him. When you get home from school and read this tonight, Love you buddy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Yes They Are Pheasants...

Yes for you Pennsylvania people these are pheasants. Kinda hard to believe that I seen any let alone four in one photograph. Maybe it's because I didn't see them in Pa. but in Montana. While I have not seen a pheasant in Pa. in over five years, we seen allot on our road trip north of Chateau, Montana. The dang birds are just hard to photograph. They hang out near the road until you get close enough to take a photo, then they head into the brush. We tried pushing them out but the fields go on forever and the birds go every which direction.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Got Nothing...

Just like this coyote having nothing to eat I have nothing this morning. I am drawing a blank on anything to say, positive anyways. Maybe I should make the post after I get home from work and am in a better mood instead of before I go to work when I am depressed and angry. On the plus side I can retire in 5 years, 2 months and 23 days, but who's counting.

This photograph was taken in July 2005 close to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He just wondered across a field looking for something to eat. Coyotes are growing in population here in Pennsylvania also. I have a few friends that hunt them and I find it very interesting how it is done. They hunt in the dark with a red light, calling in the coyotes with the sound of small critters in distress. By listening to them I do know that I plan on learning how to make the call of a varmints in distress to call in owls and hawks. Just my luck a coyote will sneak up behind me when I am doing it and attack me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm Gonna Get You...

Glacier National Park, Montana October 2006. This goat was working his way down from the top as this man was working his way up. The goat obviously did not like sharing his trail with the man, we did not stick around to see what happened as they got closer. My guess is the goat won if there was an altercation.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Chateau, Montana Deer...

They may not be bucks but with buck season right around the corner and well, nothing else ready to post I thought I would put a couple of Montana deer up today. These two were shot just on the edge of Chateau, Montana one afternoon last October. It was a day we set out on the road with nothing particular in mind to photograph, what we seen was what we got. Good luck next week hunters, I still think it would be allot more fun if we could arm the deer also. Just image the the idiots we could eliminate.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well it's Thanksgiving and I used the only turkey shots I had ready a couple of weeks ago. So I decided that since they will be broadcasting this years Harrisburg Holiday parade on television today I would post a photograph from last years. This image has been altered quite a bit from the original, I don't know if I got what I was going for or not. On this Thanksgiving I am thankful I don't have a hat like that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park located along Pa. 118 in Benton, Pa. is a great place to visit. For someone that likes the outdoors there is plenty to do from boating to swimming or fishing and hiking or skiing in the winter. Ricketts Glen encompasses 13,050 acres in Sullivan, Colombia and Luzerne Counties. It was named after Colonel Robert Ricketts, a veteran of the Civil War who enlisted in the army as a private, and after leading a battery of men at Gettysburg was awarded the rank of Colonel upon his discharge.

There is numerous trail that can be hiked around the waterfall ranging from 3.5 miles to 7.1, along the trail there is around 22 waterfalls (memory failure again), unique flora and trees in excess of 900 years old. Unfortunately I cannot remember which falls this was.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Wish I Had A Fish...

Yes it is another Katmai grizzly bear, and you know what I have run out of things to say about them. I wanted to work up a different post for this morning but after the night I had I think you will just have to look at him so I can take a nap. Goodnight all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Many Faces of Firefighters Continued

Today will be the last installment on the many faces of firefighters, at least for now. It will be back in the future. As you can see firefighters do more than fight fires, there is training, fundraising events, musters, parades and much more. Firefighters also come in all shapes and sizes and colors, it doesn't matter what a firefighter looks like, it is what is in there heart.

In the top photograph three seasoned veterans take a moment to pose for a photo at the Pennsylvania Pump Primers Muster in 2005. From left to right is Charlie Westcott, Charlie has been a friend of mine for years. He is one guy that always brings a smile to my face. Charlie started his career in the 70's with the Union of Carlisle, he worked for the Government as a firefighter retiring last year from the Carlisle Army War College F.D., he remains an active member of the West End Fire and Rescue Company.

The other two jakes are Robert "Pete" Peterson and Randy Watts. Both of these men are active with the Union Fire Company of Carlisle. Like most of the older firemen in the county I have known these guys since I have been a child (I know that has been a long time). They have both served as county training coordinators and were instrumental in teaching me the basics as a young firemen, and for that I thank them both.

The second photo is Jared Fry of the West End Fire and Rescue Company, Shippensburg. The image was recorded as he took a break from a job in Shippensburg in 2006. I could say much more about Jared but I don't want to get him or I in any trouble, so I will just let you think up your own stories. The image of him has been worked to look like a water color. Photo three is of Harrisburg Fire Department Deputy Chief Tom Murray at the 2007 Harrisburg St. Patricks Day Parade. Tom started his career in the Shippensburg Fire Department like many other career firemen and officers. Photo four, oh I could say so much but I would get into more trouble than I would with Jared. This is the famous John Peskie, HFD Wagon 3, B Platoon. John is a former Chief of the Highspire Fire Company in Dauphin County. This image was recorded earlier this year as we were returning from a multiple alarm job in the reserve rig. It is always nice to be relieved on the scene by another platoon and leave the mess for them.

I am blessed with the opportunity to work as a career and volunteer with allot of good men. All these people are unique in there own way and make firefighting fun and interesting. They should just be thankful they have me to be the normal one of the bunch, I said that without laughing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Many Faces of Firefighters Continued

Today is part two of the many faces of firefighters. I will try and keep my opinion out of today's post and just stick to the firefighters themselves. The images from yesterday through tomorrow depict firefighters performing different aspects of there job.

In the top photo Lt. Will Skinner of the Paxtang Fire Company appears to of just got one over on someone to look at the smile on his face or he is about to. This photo was taken earlier this year at a bowling alley fire in Dauphin County. Will is also a fireman on Squad 8, B Platoon, Harrisburg. My condolences Will, dang there I go again, bad boy. The second photo is of Harrisburg Deputy Fire Chief Dan Soulier marching with the Emerald Society in last years holiday parade in Harrisburg. Photo three is of Danny and Jimmy Byers both active members of the Vigilant Hose Company in Shippensburg. Danny is the retired fire chief of the Letterkenny Depot Fire Department in Franklin County and Jim is a Chauffeur on an engine company (my condolences to you also, you may graduate to a truck some day) in Washington D.C. This photo was taken in the downtown district of Shippensburg in July 2006 as the two took a break from battling a multiple alarm fire. The last photo is Glen Sattizahn and Eric Nowlin in the third floor of a burnt out boarding house. They look like they just fought the good fight but in reality they are training on forcible entry as part of their apprenticeship program.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Many Faces of Firefighters

When looking at my site it is very obvious that I like to shoot wildlife, you do see a few fire shots and some random images thrown in. The other stuff I really just started to shoot within the last year in an attempt to become a better photographer and advance my skills (that are almost non existent) in post processing. Sometimes like yesterday I even like the results. Okay I was wondering around again, back to the subject. I really like to photograph fires and firefighters. When shooting firefighters I don't like them to know they are being photographed.

Next to my family firefighting has always been my number one love, especially as a volunteer. As a career firefighter we are stuck with managers that allow employees to get away with murder and only after a big blow up will they do anything. And it always involves punishing the innocent parties that do all the work for them. The volunteer leaders don't mind punishing the guilty parties on the spot. Hey I was wondering off there again, but it felt really good.

Over the next few days I will be posting photographs of firefighters in action, but not necessarily at fires. Some have been altered as with today's first photograph of Lt. Dick Perry of the West End Fire and Rescue Company, Shippensburg.Pa. That image was taken in July 2006 at a multiple alarm fire in Shippensburg and was converted to a colored pencil print. The second photo is of Dave Gilkey, Wagon 3, C Platoon, Harrisburg Fire Department, photo three shows Charlie Westcott, WEFR firefighter and Chief Jamie White of the Shippensburg Fire Department operating at the same fire as Lt. Perry. The last photo is of Charlie Zavrel and Brendon Booz both B Platoon of the HFD. It has been altered to look like a painting. The two along with there other class mates are learning to ventilate a roof as part of there firefighter II training. OH look at the time, I need to get to work, wouldn't want to be late.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Doorway To Color...

Last month Linda and I took a road trip through Letterkenny Army Depot. This was the first time we have driven on base since most of it was opened up to other industry and the general public. Our mission was to find deer and we did see a bunch. But we also found an area that had many box cars sitting around. They appear to have been sitting there for some time and are beginning to rust. Being a train buff I took a few shots not knowing if I would ever use them.

Now I know you all will find this hard to believe, but I see things as black and white with very few grey areas. Color is just not an option, I would have to be to open minded. But for some reason last night as I was getting an image ready for today this just looked like a grey area leading me into the unknown color. Maybe it is my open minded outlook I have as I head out to work this morning. Dang all that crap and it is not even April Fools Day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Three-Alarm Fire Destroys Factory

On March 30, 2006 a three-alarm fire ripped through the ACT factory in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The blaze started in the area of a paint booth around 7:30 a.m. and quickly spread to other parts of the building. Firefighters from more than 15 companies had the fire under control at 9:39 a.m. Many remained on the scene most of the day and some into the late evening.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Finally Some Sheep!!

Okay, for those that know me and my luck, yes I took this photograph, no it was not stolen. I have no luck when it comes to seeing Dall, Bighorn or any other kind of sheep in the wild. While in Glacier I hear, I have never been here with out seeing sheep, same thing for Denali. Okay we did see one in Glacier very far off, in Denali we seen lots and they were white dots in the field glasses.

These sheep were not close, but much closer than any others we have ever seen. We spotted them high upon the cliffs along the Turnagain Arm in Alaska. As usual they were going further away instead of getting closer to us.

If you ever get to Alaska this is a nice drive. Do your homework if you are lucky you will get to view the Tidal Bore or see some Beluga whales.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I wouldn't go in there if I were you!!

Shane gets to test the modern facilities along Mormon row in Wyoming. Mormon row is a great place to take photographs especially during sunrise. For those that have never been there the mountains behind him are the Tetons. I reworked the image in Photoshop to give it an art work effect. I always like what it does for a nice blue sky with clouds.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

While visiting Yellowstone for the first time we were lucky enough to see two bears. One was a black bear at a distance while riding horses in the Roosevelt section of the park. The other was this grizzly in the area of artist point. Never seeing bears in the wild before we were cautious but still much closer than we should have been. We photographed this bear eating for some time before he looked up at us. Once he looked up he never looked away again, making me very nervous. I sent Linda and Shane back the car, returning myself after they were safely back. We did observe the main rule in bear viewing, keeping someone larger, older or slower between us and the bear.

Never seeing bears in the wild before, we could not wait to print out the photograph so we found a Kodak machine in one of the gift stores and printed this image out. Showing it to a park ranger later in the day we quickly learned we were standing close to a grizzly bear and not a black bear as we thought. He questioned us as to how close we were and we stretched the truth a bit telling him I was using a BIG lens. And you thought by the title it was going to be another Alaska grizzly bear, didn't you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Today’s post features none of my own photographs but photos of family members that have served in the armed forces. Being Veterans Day I would like to honor members of our family that served their country, many during times of war. This is not a complete list of family members that served, just the ones I know of. After attending the McBeth family reunion a few weeks ago I have learned that many more served as far back as the Civil War. In the future I plan to research each one at the Army Heritage Center in Carlisle to learn more. I for one am proud of each and thankful that they along with all other veterans have done their part to keep this great country safe and free.

I have had issues getting the photos to enlarge unless I post them first with the text following. Therefore I am posting the information below numbered in order as the photographs appear above. Remember if you click on the photos they will get larger.

Photo 1, Charles W. Smith Jr. (My grandfather), U.S. Army Veteran, served in Europe during WW 2. I really miss you Pap.

Photo 2, John E. Cover, (My great, great uncle), U.S. Army Veteran of WW 2.

Photo 3, William A. Myers, (My great, great grandfather), Company K, 158Th Regiment, Pa. Volunteers, Civil War.

Photo 4, Ralph E. Hopkins Jr. (Linda’s father), Korean War Veteran, Icor Headquarters Company, 31st Division,2ND Battalion, Company E, while in the states.

Photo 5, Michael Herr, (Linda’s first cousin), U.S. Navy Veteran.

Photo 6, Steve Sipe, (My second cousin), Vietnam War Veteran.

Photo 7, John Lee Smith, (Brother of my great grandmother), WW 1 Veteran, 79Th Machine Gun Battalion in France. Killed in action June 23, 1918.

Photo 8, John L. McBeth, (Linda’s great uncle), WW 1 Veteran, Company H, 146Th Infantry Regiment, 37Th Division. Saw extensive action in France.

The following I have no photographs of at this time.
Charles McBeth, U.S. Navy Veteran.

John E. Foltz, (My great, great uncle), U.S. Army Veteran.

Irvin H. Foltz, (My great, great uncle), WW 2 Army Veteran.
Joel Myers, (Brother of William), Civil War Veteran.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Through My Eyes…

In October the Harrisburg Fire Department trained at the HACC Public Safety Training Center performing rapid intervention team drills. I have been wanting to try taking photographs through our breathing apparatus face pieces to allow people the opportunity to see things the way we do. The image begins to capture that but just falls a little short. For those not in the fire service you begin to get the restricted vision, seeing the nose cup in the bottom and the rubber that runs around the other sides. You also see the flare on the mask lens that we get from lights, sun or anything bright. What you don't see is the scratches on the lens or the fog that builds up reducing our vision even more. This was my first try, and I am not satisfied with the results but I think I have learned what to try the next time. In the photo Captain Dave Eiceman enters the industrial side of the burn building in preparation of another run through. In the second photo Lt. Dennis Devoe takes time to reflect on his work as the arsonist.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thinking of Spring…

It’s never too early to begin thinking of spring. The flowers start to bloom; wildlife is out with their young and summer is not far off. I always feel like I am reborn in the spring after a long winter. This photograph was taken in my back yard at one of our many butterfly bushes. Our cats get bored over the winter with no butterflies to watch from the sun room maybe I should print this photo out and put it next to their food bowls.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Roadside Buck

Along Interstate 81 just north of the Plainfield exit in Cumberland County is a field that depending on the time of day is just loaded with deer. I cannot go past the area without looking closely for fear I will miss something. This particular day in June 2006 there were five or six in the field two of them bucks. As I mentioned in the previous post I go nowhere without my camera, I just don’t always carry my big lens and I didn’t this day. I still managed to get a few photographs. Time is running out on the area as construction is taking place and the deer will be pushed out soon. That seems to be the problem all over the county growth and developments at the expense of our woods and farm lands.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Spring Gobbler

In the spring of 2006 I spent a lot of time traveling between my house and Ivan Bretzman’s garage in Mt. Holly Springs as he restored the CV’s Ward LaFrance. While heading there one day I spotted something just off the road and stopped to investigate. What I seen next gave me great excitement, a gobbler and three or four hens. I never travel anyplace without my camera, so I pulled further off the road and began shooting. As I shot away at first I could not understand why I was not spooking the birds causing them to take off. Then I realized, its mating season. The gobbler spread his tail feathers, puffed out his chest exposing his small beard and began strutting around. The area was a little thick but I still managed to get a few shots. It was a joy to watch them in action.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's Getting Colder...

It's getting colder, but I guess that is to be expected since it is November 6Th. We made it until the 1st of November before we needed heat this year. I can remember years past when I would try and hold off until October 1st. I like to look for the positives in everything, LOL, that one even made me laugh, I may only have six more winters left before retirement.

This elk was along the Madison river between West Yellowstone and Madison. It was taken during the rut season and he had his harem with him. It was as cold as it looks. We were dressed for the season but after getting wet walking out to a good area to shoot and standing still for so long I was ready for some heat.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Allison Hill

In May 2007 I had the opportunity to go up in a Pa. State Police helicopter and take photographs for the HFD. This was the first time I ever flew in a helicopter. I had a good time and got a lot of photos.

The area shown has been very busy for us in the past for runs and working fires. In the upper left of the image is Regina Street running at an angle off of N. 14Th Street. Market and S. 13Th Streets are a couple of the other streets shown. If you look almost in the center of the photo you can see Station 8, for those not familiar with the city it is just to the left of the base of the large pole (tower).

The image has been altered in Photoshop to achieve the look it has.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Long Night...

I took this photograph this morning just before 6:30 a.m. in front of Harrisburg City Station #1, with my Nikon D70 at ISO 320, 1/13, @ f22. Heading out for the newspaper I noticed the beautiful red sky and could not resist getting my camera from the rig. It was just a coincidence that the EMS bus returned while I was shooting.

The MICU had a long and busy night as usual. We greeted the crew as they entered the building at shift change and did not see them again until this photograph was taken. These city servants work hard and have a stressful job. Last night they responded to a fire that claimed the lives of two infants and sent a third to a burn unit. This crew transported and worked on the infant that is still alive. Good job last night men, I hope you get some rest before you need to come back tonight.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It Almost Happened

This bull moose roamed around the willows in Teton National Park in September 2006. We trailed he along with another photographer for some time before a moron with a disposable camera ruined every ones day.

When this bull crossed the road the amount of photographers setting up to shoot increased. As we waited by the road with our camera's on tripods this bull and another bull began to approach each other. But along comes a tourist with his disposable camera, he walks past everyone and right up to the two moose and begins to take pictures. Needless to say the best we could hope for at this point would be for the moose to attack the jerk. Unfortunately that never happened and he was the only one to get a photo.

Friday, November 2, 2007


The adult Grizzly Bears could take a few lessons from the cubs when it comes to sharing. Interesting, people are the same way, adults also could learn a few lessons from children. I know I have learned a few from Shane and if I was not so hard headed I could learn a few more. These four grizzly cubs shared a Salmon just below Brooks Falls, Katmai Alaska in July 2007. They are two years old and won't be sharing much longer. I hope you all are not getting bored with the Alaska Grizzly Bears, because I have many more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Three Heads Are Better Than One

Those that know me are aware of the problem I have finding and seeing sheep. It makes no difference if they are big horn or Dall sheep. I have been to some of the best places possible to see sheep, Yellowstone, Glacier and Alaska. At all these places people have said I have never gone there and not seen sheep. WELL I am here to tell you there is a first time for everything.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with these big horns in the Roosevelt area of Yellowstone last year. Even though there was no large males around there was plenty of females and young sheep to watch and photograph. These three took time from eating to pose for a photo.