Monday, December 31, 2007

Lets Jump Some Waves...

I didn't have anything ready for today, but after getting out of bed and seeing everything white this just seemed appropriate. This is my son Shane on the beech at Melbourne, Florida just this past Friday. For anyone that didn't pick that up on my last few post we spent Christmas vacation in Florida visiting Linda's parents. Temperatures were in the 80's and the ocean water was around 70 but felt great once you got wet. It is hard to believe that as late as noon on Saturday I was swimming in the ocean and today I hate looking outside.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wyoming Aspens

Hello everyone and sorry for the late post. We left sunny Florida later than expected because we could not get out of the ocean and off the beach, 85 and sunny and we get home today and it is 36 with sleet and snow flurries. Aaaggggggggghhhhhhhhh I want to go back, but I have to wait 5 years one month and 19 days.

This photograph is a little different than I am used to posting. Occasionally you need to get a little artsy and deviate from the plan. Now I don’t want to get to artsy for fear of what people in Shippensburg might say about me or even what BGC might say. But you know I have to take chances and record other types of images to grow as a person and photographer. Are you all really buying that stuff? After all that crap I just laid down even I lost my line of thought, so just enjoy the photograph.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why Are Those People Taking My Picture?

This is one of Rosie’s cubs in a tree enjoying the snow. While in Yellowstone in 2006 we got to see Rosie and her two cubs numerous times. They are getting big and will soon be leaving their mother.

This was the first time I tried to photograph something black in a white back round and did I ever struggle with the settings. In the future you should see a few more photos of Rosie and her cubs. This link will take you to another photograph I posted of Rosie on September 27, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Train Through Glacier National Park

Sorry for the missed day yesterday folks. We spent the last couple of nights in Disney hotels and you know for what you pay for them they still charge extra for wireless in the rooms, and I am just to cheap for that. Yesterday is just lost for this site. I plan to post a few photos from here in the next week including a series of where is Shane (like where is Waldo) and maybe some more bird shots and Disney photos.

In October 2006 I had the chance to go to Glacier National Park. Close to the entrance we stopped to scan the hillside for sheep and I noticed this bridge over a gorge. Lucky for me liking train a BNSF, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe train crossed carrying intermodal containers.

The BNSF is one of four remaining transcontinental railroads left and one of the largest railroad networks in North America, the Union Pacific is the only one larger in size.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Welcome To The Newest Nikonian

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that Santa was very good to them. I know he did a great job at our house, I got lots of photography equipment and everything I asked for except for the new Nikon D3 and a fixed 600 mm lens, there is always hope for next year. Shane made out great also and became the newest member of the Nikonians when Santa brought him a Nikon Coolpix l11 digital camera. He has been playing with it but I just can't get him to read the book. I end up reading it and telling him how it works, sounds like someone else I know with a Nikon.

Christmas was a little different this year, Linda and I got to take a walk on the sunny beach and enjoy the waves. I could get used to this. I even got to do some bird photography. The pelican was enjoying a Christmas dinner of fish and entertaining us at the same time. I don not know what kind of bird the other one is so I just call it the white long neck fish eater.

Maybe in the next few days we will be able to share some photos from our next adventure.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas everyone, may you all get what you asked for unless you didn’t deserve it in the first place.

This photograph was taken July 2007 at Santa’s House, North Pole, Alaska. I like to call it THE North Pole because people in Alaska are quick to correct you and say it is North not THE North. So for today this is Santa and Mrs. Claus from THE North Pole wishing you a Merry Christmas.

For those out there that have seen the movie Bad Santa, I checked on Mrs. Clauses sister while I was there and it was a bust, LOL.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Harrisburg Fire Department Station 6

Harrisburg Fire Department Station 6 (Paxton) is known as the little house in the parking lot. It is surrounded by parking lots for Harrisburg Hospital. The Paxton houses Tower 3 a 2002 KME 95 foot tower ladder and the reserve truck, a 1988 Sutphen, 95 foot tower. A Lieutenant and two firefighters man tower 3. The Paxton is the oldest firehouse open in Harrisburg and the only two-story station.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Believe I Can Fly

Today’s post is a quick one because of the holidays. I will try and post everyday over the next week but a may miss a few.

I shot this sea gull at Ox Bow Bend, in the Teton National Park. It is nothing special but just part of my ongoing project of trying to take more photographs of birds. I have a few places lined up in the near future that I will be going to photograph birds. I hope to have a few pelican photos for next week.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All Hands Working

Today’s photograph was taken at the same fire in Shippensburg as yesterdays and October 27, 2007 entry. In the photo three master streams can be seen playing onto the building one from a deluge gun off of Engine 252 and ladder pipes from Trucks 53 and 1.

A multiple alarm fire occurred in the same buildings on August 31, 1988. That fire started in 16 East King Street and caused $200,000 in damages. There have been numerous other fires in at the same location dating back into the 1800’s. The buildings have since been torn down.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I Wish I Had A Smooth Bore...

This fire occurred in Shippensburg on July 31, 2006 at 12-16 East King Street. In the photo Newburg-Hopewell Township Fire Chief Edgar Hoover operates a handline from an exposure building roof in the rear of the structure. On October 26, 2007 I posted another image on this site from the rear of the building.

Today on my other site, Shippensburg Fire Department history I posted an incident that occurred 75 years ago today almost right across the street from this fire.

Remember if you click on the image it will get much larger.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hold Wagon 3 And Tower 2 Return The Rest

As usual I really have no idea what to say, I am speechless. I am sure that got some of you. I guess I should just tell you about the photograph. This is the "B" Platoon uptown, Captain 1, Wagon 3 and Tower 2, November of last year. When conditions get dry this becomes a hot spot for us. This is on Forster Street heading towards the Harvey Taylor Bridge out of the city. As the carpet baggers pass by out of the city they pitch their cigarette butts out their windows causing fires in the tan bark. This particular day we found leaves burning in the storm drain. As usual the uptown 1 and 1 saved the day and the city.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Horns Will Get Bigger

I really didn't have anything ready for today, except for a photo. With the upcoming holiday season, power outages in the area and wanting to play with my son more than type on this darn machine I will just have to wing it. Let me start out with the fact that I like this photograph, it may not be right in a perfect world or this color is off or it should have been cropped this way or that way. I have now realized what makes photography fun and that is not taking pictures that please people, but photos that I like.

Bighorn sheep once numbered in the millions in western United States and were an important food source for humans. The "Sheepeaters", related to the Shoshoni tribe, lived year-round in Yellowstone until 1880. Their principal food was bighorn sheep and they made their bows from sheep horns. By 1900, during an "epoch of relentless destruction by the skin hunters", bighorn numbers were reduced to a few hundred in the United States. In 1897 Seton spent several months roaming the upper ranges of Yellowstone Park and did not see any, although about 100-150 were estimated to be present. He reported that by 1912, despite a disease (scab) contracted from domestic sheep, bighorns in the park had increased to more than 200 and travelers could find them with fair certainty by devoting a few days to searching around Mt. Everts, Mt. Washburn or other well-known ranges. In winter, small bands of sheep could then be seen every day between Mammoth and Gardiner. By 1914 there were about 210 sheep in Yellowstone and by 1922 there were 300. Censuses since the 1920s have never indicated more than 500 sheep. In recent years, bighorns have been systematically counted by aerial surveys in early spring. An annual ground count is also conducted on the winter range in the northern part of the park.

Bighorn sheep are named for the large, curved horns borne by the males, or rams. Females, or ewes, also have horns, but they are short with only a slight curvature. Sheep range in color from light brown to grayish or dark, chocolate brown, with a white rump and lining on the back of all four legs. Rocky Mountain bighorn females weigh up to 200 pounds, and males occasionally exceed 300 pounds. During the mating season or "rut", occurring in November and December, the rams butt heads in apparent sparring for females. Rams’ horns can weigh more than 40 pounds, and frequently show broken or "broomed" tips from repeated clashes. Lambs, usually only one per mother, are born in May and June. They graze on grasses and browse shrubby plants, particularly in fall and winter, and seek minerals at natural salt licks. Bighorns are well adapted to climbing steep terrain where they seek cover from predators such as coyotes, eagles, and mountain lions. They are susceptible to disease such as lungworm, and sometimes fall off cliffs.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beartooth Highway Self Portrait

In the last few months you have seen many photographs from the trip I took out west with Brian in the fall of 2006, now you get to see both of us on our trip. Please no gay comments from Chuck, I am trying to operate a non offensive site here for people of all ages.

This photograph was taken on the Beartooth Highway; we almost didn’t get to travel on it because of snow closings. When I was out west with my family in the summer of 2005 we had planned to travel it but because of landslides it was closed for many months. The Beartooth Highway once called “the most beautiful drive in America” by the late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt truly lives up to his praise. The Highway is the section of U.S. 212 between Red Lodge Montana and Cooke City Montana. It traces a series of switchbacks along the Montana, Wyoming border to the 10,974-foot high Beartooth Pass. The approximate elevation rise is from 5,200 to 8,000 feet in 12 miles in the most daring landscapes. I would like to be able to tell you just were this photo was taken but I don’t remember.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunrise On Morman Row

Okay at this time of the day finally getting electric back anything I had planned to say has long since left my brain. This is Mormon row in the Grand Teton National Park. It may be one of the most photographed barns anywhere. On this morning many photographers were lined up before sunrise waiting for the perfect shot. Sad part is the sun rose without much color. That didn't stop me I need all the practice I can get.

For those that look at my sites expecting to see post made in the morning you can thank mother nature for the late entry. We have been without power since yesterday morning and just got it back a couple of hours ago. We relocated to the Embers last night, and their wireless this morning was so slow that I was not going to attempt to make a post. Shane and I headed to Borders for coffee and wireless only to find out you have to pay for the wireless there, being cheap and all I said no way. Things are looking up, 5 years, two months and one day and I can retire and leave the cold behind.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Harrisburg City Fire Station Number 2

Today's post is a continuation of the Harrisburg City Fire Department shot from the air. On Tuesday November 5, 2007 I posted Station 8 and on Friday December 14, 2007 I posted the HACC fire training area. Today's post is Station 2 located in the 100 block of North 16Th Street. The station houses Tower 1, Wagon 4, Engine 2, Rescue 1, the Battalion Chief, one of Dauphin County's Hazmat trucks and the city's mobile command post. Sounds like allot of stuff, but most is junk that never leaves the building.

The view of the firehouse is from the rear, the five drive through bays are on the left, the hose tower can be seen hovering above, the court yard is to the right of the tower and the bunk room is in the lower right hand corner of the building. Stations 1 and 2 are identical firehouses.

Some of the streets seen in the photograph are State, 17Th, Walnut, Hoerner, 15Th, Whitehall and the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Regina Street

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Eagles Everywhere…

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the Conowingo Dam in Hartford County, Maryland for the first time. I first learned about the dam last year on WGAL TV 8 when Marty Stouffer did his outdoor report about eagle watching there. The Conowingo Dam is located in northeastern Maryland on the Susquehanna River just northwest of where the river empties into the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay. Conowingo is an electricity generation plant. When the turbines are running, large intake valves suck water, and fish, through the dam, providing excellent feeding for piscivorous birds.

The main attraction to the dam is over 11 different species of gulls and bald eagles. There are a large number of eagles present from November to February. Also present throughout the year is Great Blue Herons, Terns, Common Mergansers and Ospreys. Bald Eagles vary from a half dozen in the summer to 30-40 in the winter.

At one time yesterday I remember counting at least 18 bald eagles around me. Even though I did not get any good photographs (and I shot almost 200, most quickly deleted after downloading) it is really a great place to visit. The eagles soar overhead sometimes playing with each other while one fly's upside down. Listening to them is also quite a treat.

Not getting any good photographs was partially (okay mostly) my fault and partially the weather. The sun never really came out yesterday making the lighting difficult. Part is that I really could have used the new Nikon D3 and a fixed 600 mm lens (hint Linda, hint, hint). And part is that I just did not have the skills to adjust fast enough and pan well enough with the birds. All in all it was still a fun time and I got some much-needed practice panning the big birds.

Both images in today’s post are of immature bald eagles. The photograph at the top was shot shortly before leaving and is titled I am Not Flying Until You Leave because I waited with the camera set up to shoot him taking off for sometime and he took off a couple of minutes after placing the camera in the truck. It was shot at 400 mm (x 1.6 for sensor), ISO 500, 1/100 second, F/5.6. The other photo was ISO 500, 1/640 second, F/5.6, 400 mm (x 1.6 for sensor). I will get back in January and February practicing and hoping to get a decent shot.

Friday, December 14, 2007

HACC Fire Training Area

This is where all new hires from Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Chambersburg, and many more cites and paid department’s come to, to learn the basics of firefighting. Volunteers use this area also to sharpen their skills and learn new techniques. The tall building on the left is the high-rise tower, the center building is the smoke maze and the building on the right is the burn building. To the left of the high rise is an area the search dogs can practice, to the left of the rail cars is a confined space area and the green roof building at the bottom is fairly new and houses a bathroom and place outside to sit and learn or eat.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Have A Coke And A Smile

Today's photograph is a little different than what I am used to posting. Shane took this photo our last full day in Alaska. Within walking distance of our camp ground was the train transportation center. Liking trains we went to shoot a few, but on the way there we passed an old but still operating Coca Cola plant. This old truck was sitting across from the plant and looked inviting. After downloading the images I did not really like any of them but just could not bring myself to delete them.

Last night at work I opened one of Shane's in CS2 and started playing with it. I tried things I have never used before and experimented like I never have before. I like the final results and more importantly Shane does also. I would love to hear some feedback from the viewers on their opinion of the end result.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Hope No One Seen That

Yeah, Yeah, like the rest these were shot in Yellowstone also. You know I have 5 years 2 months and 6 days until retirement and then I am going to spend all summer out there every year living out of a camper. I would say May to October should do the trick. And then it will be off to Florida to enjoy a warm winter and peep the blue hairs. Remember before you say anything I will be a blue hair then also. Then you will only see Yellowstone photos and women on the beach photos.

This small heard was coming across a field toward the road when we spotted them from the truck. The idea was to get a shot from their level head on. Now like anything else I touch turning to poop, so did this. We got out of the truck and grabbed the tripods; off we went up the embankment to get the shot. Now I don’t know if they wanted us or if it was just a coincidence but as we get to the top they are running right for us. If you have never seen a Tatonka (Indian for buffalo) up close you really have no idea how large they are. They also move very fast for there size. So we turn, scream and run for our lives. Making it to safety we look back, get this shot and have a good laugh, wow I hope no one seen that.

I just realized this is my 100 post, and it has not been easy. To keep this going year round I will need to dig deep into the past for photographs or quit work so I can shoot new ones. I vote for the last suggestion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Herd Is Mine

I know all my shots say Yellowstone, Tetons or Alaska. Until you have visited there you have no idea how many photographs you can take. Maybe I will get back next year and get enough photos to last me a few more months. This big Bull Elk was shot one very cold morning along the Madison River in Yellowstone. He had a large harem of cows and he planned on keeping them. As a show of strength or just male stupidity, I am not sure which, he liked to root around in the grass and dirt with his antlers and then fling it about in the air. He did his share of bugling with another in the distance doing the same but nothing ever came about it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I’m Coming Down

This is the same bear from yesterday’s post. He has a full belly and is coming down, QUICK EVERYBODY RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!! You think I am kidding but I must have spent too much time around the bears in the last few years or just became obsessed with them. A couple of weeks ago at work I was very happy to get out of bed for a run because it saved my life, I was running from a black bear and I know I was only going to stay in front of him for a short time. I woke up breathing heavy and sweating.

I did go back and check the photographs and we watched this bear eat its way down from the top; he is almost on the ground at this point. This photograph was taken 30 minutes after the one in yesterday’s post. The following day we were back in the same location but this time to watch the mother and her two cubs in the snow.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Sky Is The Limit

Last October we were out looking for bear or anything else we could find to photograph. Our drive took us to Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone National Park. Now for those that have been there you can just nod your heads but for those that have never been to Yellowstone the fastest way to spot wildlife is to look for the traffic jams. On this particular morning we spotted a whole bunch of photographers set up on tripods at a turn looking down the mountain. We know something has to be around but just can't find anything. It is the bears that bring us to the area since we had seen a black bear with her two cubs, another one by itself, a reddish brown black bear the Rangers have named Rosey and a grizzly that we just keep missing in the last few days.

Finally Brian yells there it is a bear!, where I yell back I don't see anything, over there in the tree he tells me, what tree there is a whole dang forest full of them, that one he says, I don't know if I seen it then or we exchanged the pleasantries a few more times. But know I am ready to jump out of his truck, but he wants to park first. The rangers don't like it when you block the road, so I stayed in and he found a spot. I don't know how long we stayed there watching the bear feed in the tree but how ever long it was it was worth it. The photography opportunity was not the greatest but it sure was fun to watch this bear eat and maneuver around that tree. I hope I get to see it again sometime.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I Am A Moose

Yes it is a moose eating her late afternoon meal. She was spotted north east of Fairbanks, Alaska on our trip home from Chena Hot Springs. If you have never watched a moose eating in a pond it is quite a treat. They will submerse their heads in the water for what seems like long enough to drown and when they lift their heads back up water gushes everyplace and the greens can be seen sticking out the sides of their mouths.

I first got to experience this a few years ago in the Tetons with my wife and son. My wife waited by the road while Shane and I went off on our journey. Every time the cow would put her head in the water we would creep up on her in a muddy swamp, when she lifted her head we would stop. This went on until we got pretty close and snapped a few photographs. Oh what a joy it was.

Friday, December 7, 2007

What Am I?

I took this photograph this past summer on a rainy day some place in the United States. Do you know what it is? If I had to guess my first thought would be that it is a firefighter (real one) on B shift in Harrisburg and he is trying to drown himself to end the misery. I guess you have to work (I mean work, not employed) there to get that one, but trust me those who do will get it. Feel free to guess or wait until Saturday for another photograph that will show it well.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Well Oiled Machine

On August 5, 2007 the Uptown, Wagon 3, Tower 2 and Captain 1; B Platoon Harrisburg Fire Department was alerted for an auto fire at the intersection of Cameron and MaClay Street. The Captain arrived first reporting fire from the engine compartment of a van. Wagon 3 arrived shortly after and Will Turner stretched a line with John Peskie backing him up. Leon Cliatt MPO of Wagon 3 charged the line and with the aid of tower 2 the fire was soon controlled. As always the well-oiled machine from B shift Station 1 was at the correct location to save the day. A repeat performance occurred again the next night with another van off at the uptown shopping plaza. These photographs were shot from the cab of the truck as I was pulling in.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jackson H. Gerhart 1939 to 2004

Every year on this day I will be making the same post, a tribute to my good friend and mentor Jackson “Fireman Jack” Gerhart. Jack was born into a fire service family his father a Chambersburg volunteer and former Union President at the Carlisle Army War College Fire Department. Jackson started his career at the Junior Hook and Ladder in Chambersburg and went on to become a paid fireman in Chambersburg for a couple of years before hiring on in the Washington D.C. Fire Department. In Washington Jackson spent most of his career driving 17 Engine. He was very active in his union serving as secretary for 17 years (a record for the union). If I were to post all of Jackson’s accomplishment or good traits this post would take many pages. I encourage you to make comments on what Jackson did to help you.

Three years ago this day Jack died from injuries he received at the scene of a house fire in Chambersburg on November 20, 2004. Jack left behind his wife Patsy and daughter Susan, he was preceded in death by a son, Jeff. Jackson also left behind many adopted brothers and sons in the fire service. He was a mentor and father figure to many, helping them get a job as a firefighter, getting them toys or equipment for an antique fire engine or supplying photos and knowledge for anything fire service related.

Jack left a void in many peoples hearts when he passed away. I know I think about him often, as with the passing of my grandfather many things I used to do are not as much fun anymore. I hope you are teaching another class of pump operators in heaven Jack. For additional information and more photos visit my other site at I would like to point out that I took none of theses photographs.

The photograph below of Jackson in the green sweat shirt was the last one taken of him. It was DC's first muster and a event that made Jack very happy. He loved the sweat shirt to and wore it often in his last month.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Kid In The Mirror

This is actually MY first post. I picked out the picture, worked on it and got it ready to post. I, Shane Myers, took this picture inside a marine’s Humvee at this year’s Rotorfest in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I attended it with my Boy Scout troop in October. You will be seeing more of my Rotorfest pictures later on.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Aaahh What...

This is Shane at the Cunningham cabin in the Grand Teton National Park. I posted a black and white photo of him a couple of days ago at the same location but could not remember the name of the cabin. Cunningham Cabin was built in 1888 on 160 acres owned by Pierce and Margaret Cunningham. It's built of lodge pole pine, with a sod roof. The style is a "dog-trot" home, with two separate box units separated by an open veranda area. The ranch has an interesting story of death that is referred to as “The Affair at Cunningham's Ranch” If you would like to read more check out this link for a good story The title just seemed to fit my little cave man.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

You Quack Me Up

I don’t really like this photo but as I said yesterday I am running short these days. This is a female merganser duck. The image was taken in July 2005 while rafting in the Snake River along the Tetons. The females have the reddish brown head and the males have a dark green head. These birds are fish eaters and have a serrated bill to help them catch there dinner. I have never seen any around here but they were plentiful in the west and north.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Moon Over Wyoming

I really don't know the location of this photograph but I think it is near the Tetons on the back road at the lakes. Maybe Brian will recognize it, I was only ever in this area once. I really don't know what to say either, this is harder than I thought it would be to come up with photos and comments. This is post number 89 for me so I have now used over 100 photographs. I have plenty but like some I have used already I am not very proud of them. I really need to get out shooting to come up with more images. I have plenty of things in mind like, water fowl, Amish, Williams Grove and fires of course if I had any luck. I guess for now you will just have to listen to me ramble on and look at what ever I have ready.