Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Girl Alex

I realized everyone that looks at the site have met my whole family except for the young girl of the house Alex. I know why name a girl Alex, it is short for Alexis. But she was supposed to be a boy and named after Alexander Ovechkin the greatest hockey player in the NHL. We don't tell her that because she is sensitive and we do not want to hurt her feelings. We have been trying to teach her to play hockey but I don't think she will ever be a goal scorer, with her shot blocking skills I think she will make a great goal tender.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chuck's Trucks

I guess it is fitting that today's post is firetrucks since I seen enough last night to last me for awhile. Both images have been played with in photoshop to alter their appearances. The top photo was taken in September 2006 at the Washington D.C. muster to benefit the burn unit. Photo two was taken July 2006 at the Pennsylvania Pump Primers muster along the Susquehanna river in Harrisburg.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mainsville Road House Fire

Sorry for the delay in posting, if you read my rantings and grumblings you are aware that I no longer post on Saturday's and Sunday's because the site hits go down on the weekends. I missed yesterdays post and am late today because we spent the weekend in Binghamton, New York attending the AHL All-Star game. Today I am revisiting the house fire on the Mainsville Road, Southampton Township Franklin County on October 28, 2007.

The top photo is not blurry because I was shaking it is like that because it was shot hand held and 1.7 seconds at f3.5. If you want to compare it to the other post for a time line it was taken at 6:32:51 or 40 seconds after the third photo down on my Shippensburg Fire Department Blog Spot site other information and photos can also be found at If I missed anything or typed something wrong then oops, I am trying to get off to work.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Madison River Elk

This photograph was taken in July 2005 along the Madison River between Madison and West Yellowstone. In the summer time the cows and calves stay together in larger herds, bulls are found alone in other locations. This herd had around 30 or 40 elk in it. When fall arrives and the rut season starts the herds thin out and pair up with a bull for the mating season. With all my other elk post and captions it leaves me a little short on what to say. So as Forest Gump would say "That's all I have to say about that".

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mr. Ed Where Have You Been

I took this moose photograph in July 2005 near the fishing bridge in Yellowstone. I think this moose was laughing at me for all my hard work while she just hung around waiting on me to show up.

Being a wildlife nut and going to Yellowstone for the first time is like a child in a candy store, I just could not control myself. But I had never seen a moose in the wild before and I just had to see one and I would have killed for it to be a bull.

As we left Yellowstone and started down through the Tetons the chances got better. Upon reaching Ox Bow Bend they got even better yet, but it still had not happened. Now we are heading towards Moose (not the animal but a location) and I have become possessed, Linda and Shane know it also. All I want to do is find moose and we finally found a cow in the water feeding. It was a great first experience as Shane and I snuck up through the mud every time she would put her head under water. Some locals working in the are sent me in another direction to the Gros Verde Road (I think I spelled it correctly) it sounded like a good place to find some bulls. So off we go Linda and Shane in tow wondering when will this idiot stop hunting for moose and let the vacation continue. We get to the location we were sent seeing nothing so I decide it is time for a walk. Twenty minutes into the walk and I spot a moose, and it is a bull at that. A very young bull, small body with antlers just bigger than my hands. Later in the week we spot a few around Ox Bow Bend but still nothing up close and no large males.

With our southern part of the trip finished we head back to Yellowstone, disappointed that we had only seen about four or five moose and none up close. Our first destination in Yellowstone that day was to be the fishing bridge. On our way their we spot a traffic jam meaning wildlife in the area. As we approach we cannot help but to break out in a big smile. Here is this large cow moose feeding in the grass close enough to kick our butts. All that work and she was just hanging around waiting for us.

The hunt for moose that vacation was still allot of fun and something I am glad we did. To this day it still gives up plenty of laughs. Since that time I have been back to Yellowstone and the Tetons to see more moose and Alaska where we watched moose. All have been wonderful experiences but I am still waiting for a good photo of a bull moose. I will get it one of these days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Misc. Fire Shots For Chuck

Today's post is a couple of Fire Department shots for Chuck and because it was the only thing I had ready. But mainly for Chuck, he asks and he receives, within reason. The top photograph was taken at the ABC bowling lanes fire in Swatara Township, Dauphin County on April 4, 2007. The bowling alley has since been rebuilt and opened back up for business in the last couple of weeks. Other photos and information can be found in my Thursday October 4, 2007 post on this site, or by clicking the link.

The other photos was taken at the Harrisburg Area Community College fire training area this past summer as the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire conducted live burn drills. For those of you wondering I think all the companies were able to locate the facility without getting lost. I am not sure about the hose line deployment and getting water. I can say the uptown performed flawlessly as usual. Additional HACC photos and information can be found at the following two links to previous post on my site for an overhead view of HACC, for live burn shots and just because they are my heroes and they deserve to be showcased every chance we get.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Ducks...

I won't bore you this morning with gibberish, just a couple more duck photos from my two hour trip to shoot snow scenes. Yeah right how did that work out. 0

Take note to the large bump on the white ones head, my guess is this duck used to be a firefighter and that is where his supervisor kept clubbing him for using common sense.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Should Give Up

Last Thursday night Friday morning it snowed here in Pennsylvania, yeah great, and I have not retired and moved away yet. Anyways running low on things to post I thought it would be a good idea to take a drive and shoot some photos for the future. Two hours of driving around and all I could come up with were these water fowl floating in a stream. Oh I forgot there was a nice flock of beautiful mallards in the same stream and the green on them looked great against the white snow but I scared them off without getting a shot off.

I have now realized there is not an artistic bone in my body. Maybe it is time to give up and remember that I shoot for fun and myself and not this site. Pressuring myself to find the right shot or process it correctly (witch probably won't happen anyway) takes all the fun out of it. With viewers going done on here I may cut back more than the five days a week I post now and go back to enjoying photography.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2nd & Forster For The MVA

Yesterday I had to go into work to pick my clothing allotment for 2008 with another shift. This is where the people that know me expect me to say something smart and I planned to but no matter how hard I tried I could not clean it up enough for on here. Anyways, I go no place without my camera, the moment I would the shot of a lifetime would occur. Shortly before 11 a.m. Chief 5 (Berger), Squad 8 and Tower 3 (C Shift) were dispatched to 2nd & Forster Streets for an auto accident reported to be a car on its side with entrapment. Units arrived with a two car accident with everyone already out of the cars. Companies assisted EMS, stabilized the vehicles and controlled the hazards before going in service.

The last photograph shows two of out more senior firefighters on the job, Lieutenant Jim McHenry (SQ 8) and Steve "WOO" Vasser (T-3 Chauffeur).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This Ones For Chuck...

Okay Chuck you asked for fire trucks and as the kindlier gentler more caring sole on the ladder I am going to give them to you. Over all this is not a good photograph but as I was looking for something to post last evening I came across this one buried deep in the files. This is one of the earliest digital photos I took. This was before I believed in digital and Linda and I only had a $100 Kodak digital camera to take photos for eBay. In 2005 Linda and Shane gave me a Nikon D70 for my birthday and the digital craze started catching on. I was still not hooked yet so when we went to Yellowstone that year I took my SLR along and shot a few photographs with it. That trip turned me on to digital and in 2006 I upgraded to a Nikon D2X. Plans are in the next few years to upgrade that one to a D3.

About the photo, this is the Vigilant Hose Company No. 1 Shippensburg, Pa. The building the apparatus is in was built when fire apparatus was much smaller. When this shot was taken the two E-One fire engines were the 1993 and 1999 models. Since then the 1993 has been sold and replaced with a 2005 E-One. Growing up here this same area served as the home for Seagrave fire engines.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome To My Island

This will be brief since I have run out of things to say about Katmai other than go if you have the chance, you will not regret it. When we arrived at Katmai by float plane this was the first thing to great us as we stepped of the plane. You just knew it was going to be a fantastic day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This is Linda and Shane on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland, Magic Kingdom last month. The ride is a relatively mild indoor/outdoor roller coaster based on the concept of a runaway train careening through an abandoned mine complex. It first opened in 1980. Speeds can reach 24-30 miles per hour so the centrifugal force as you round the turns will pull you from one side to the next.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Alaska Sea Otters

Today's photograph is of Alaska sea otters. The photo was taken at Valdez while waiting to go out on a cruise last July.

Sea otters are the largest member of the weasel family and the smallest marine mammal. Ninety percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects sea otters. It prohibits commercial harvest of sea otters, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters for subsistence and creation of handicrafts.

Historically, sea otter populations made a dramatic comeback after near extinction due to over hunting, and later survived the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

I will continue to post photographs during the week, but I will no longer make post on the weekends. Since I started the site four months ago very few people visit the site on Saturdays' and Sundays'. The numbers are just to small then for me to take the time to update the site. I want to thank everyone that does look at my site daily and I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This Fish Is Mine...

I don't want to scare anyone into thinking that this will become a bear site, but you know I shot almost 8 gig of photographs that day at Brooks Falls. I think Shane shot another 3 or 4 gig with the D70. I guess what I am trying to say is I could post a different bear shot everyday for probably about one and a half years before running out. Then I could dig into my other bear shots and finish out that year. By then I should have some new bear shots to extend that time even further.

I have run out of things to say about Brooks Falls that I have not already said on my many other post. But then those of you who know me know I am a man of few words.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Brooks Falls, Alaska

I did warn you that I would have to pull out more Brooks Falls, Alaska grizzly bear photographs. Brooks Camp is located in the heart of Katmai National Park, Alaska. Long famous for its world-class fishing, spectacular volcanic and geologic features and beautiful countryside, Brooks Camp is now widely known for its remarkable bear viewing. Each July, during the height of the salmon run upriver, and again in September when the “spawned-out” salmon return downriver, dozens of brown bears (grizzly bears) congregate in the Brooks River, its surrounding forests and meadows, and along the shores of Brooks Lake and Naknek Lake to feast on the salmon. Brooks Camp is one of the finest places in the world to view wild brown bears. Unfortunately when we were there we did not have time to visit the volcanic activity area.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Don't Want To Be Here

Since I have to go back to work today I thought this would be fitting. I also felt it would be a good way to put an end to the Florida beach photos. This does not mean you won't be seeing any more Disney or bird photos from Florida there will be more to come in the future.

Speaking of going back to work, it looks like today will be good and bad. We pick our vacations today so I will know when I will be off this year, YEAH!!!!, no clothing picks though since someone screwed that up again this year. Some people never get it. I will have a busy clean up morning though, as the guys are working a fatal three alarm fire on the hill as I type this. For those of you familiar with Harrisburg you will say it only went two alarms, since I am not as screwed up as the powers that changed to wording that worked forever it went THREE ALARMS.

Time to go back to dreaming about being at the beach.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fun On The Beach...

Okay know I am starting to struggle with getting photos ready post and what to say. Not to mention having photographs to get ready. I may need to pull out some more Katmai bear photos soon. This is my son Shane playing on the beach over Christmas break in Melbourne, Florida. Because of other vacations we have not gone to the beach the last few years and forgot how much we all love the ocean. I guess Fenwick Island, Delaware will be in the plans for this year.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More Bird Photos...

Okay before anyone says anything I know the top photograph is over exposed and all the highlights are blown out, I shot it that was on purpose. A few year ago I purchased a book on using light to create photographs, while shooting theses I remembered that and tried a few. Since everything fades to white I thought it might be a good idea to name it that and go with a white border. I hope you like it.

Now I am no bird expert by a long shots, I prefer cats But I think this is a Black Skimmer. The Black Skimmer breeds in loose groups on sandbanks and sandy beaches in America, the three to seven heavily dark-blotched buff or bluish eggs being incubated by both the male and female. The chicks leave the nest as soon as they hatch and lie inconspicuously in the nest depression or "scrape" where they are shaded from high temperatures by the parents. They may dig their own depressions in the sand at times. Parents feed the young almost exclusively during the day with almost no feeding occurring at night, due to the entire population of adults sometimes departing the colony to forage. Although the mandibles are of equal length at hatching, they rapidly become unequal during fledgling.

Skimmers have a light graceful flight, with steady beats of their long wings. They feed in often large flocks, flying low over the water surface with the lower mandible skimming the water for small fish or crustaceans, caught by touch by day or especially at night. They spend much time loafing gregariously on sandbars in the rivers, coasts and lagoons they frequent. When calling the sound is a barking kak-kak-kak. If it turns out the bird is not what I said it was then disregard everything I just said.

I don't know what the other bird is. What do I look like an encyclopedia?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Florida Brown Pelican

Today's Pelican photographs also come from the Indian River inlet in Melbourne, Florida on Christmas Eve. The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 42-54 inches in length, weighs from 6-12 lb and has a wingspan from 6 to 8.2 ft.

This pelican is distinguished from the American White White by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface. It eats mainly herring-like fish. Groups of Brown Pelicans often travel in single file, flying low over the water's surface.

The Brown Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas Eve Bird Shoot

On Christmas Eve we went to the Southern inlet to Indian river, Melbourne, Florida to shoot some birds. We all had a good time and Shane and I got a few usable shots. Over the next several days I will post a few of mine.

Top photo Shane uses my Nikon D70 with 70-300 mm Nikon lens to shoot brown pelicans. The other photograph I believe is of a Dunlin which is part of the piper family.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

More Disney's Holiday Parade

These two photographs will be the last two I post from the parade. I really need to get out and do some shooting to keep this site up. There is not much more I can say about the parade that I have not already said. In the top photo I think Chip founds some nuts, must have been Linda and Shane sitting beside me and in the bottom one Minnie is telling me I stole her heart. Okay enough BS for now, maybe some Florida birds tomorrow.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Disney Holiday Parade

These photographs were taken at the Disney holiday parade on December 27, 2007. This parade was much different than the usual day time parade at Disney. The theme of the parade was Christmas and as usual Disney did everything top notch again. Knowing the parades would be different than we have ever seen and the limited viewing area we found spots ahead of time to insure an unobstructed view of the parade. Shane pointed out that the float Clarabelle is on was Mrs. Clause float for the Christmas day parade.

As with yesterdays I tried the new plug in Linda got me with better results but I still have to read the book.

Friday, January 4, 2008

More Disney...

Two more from Disney, actually these were experiment, Linda got me a new plug in for photoshop cs2 and I was playing with it. Turns out it will not be as easy as I thought, time to read the manual since neither one turned out the way I wanted them to.

The top photograph is from the the jungle cruise, they tried to get me wet but I sent them packing. The next photo is of Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar dancing outside the fire station first thing in the morning before many people had shown up. Tell the truth how many of you really knew their names.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Disney Parade Of Lights

The Main Street Electrical Parade runs every night in Disney. It features floats and live performers covered in thousands of electronically-controlled lights and a synchronized soundtrack triggered by radio control along key areas of the parade route.

The two photographs were shot with a flash so you really do not get the effect of the lights but it is a magical moment. I posted theses two Goofy and Mickey because I feel like I am with them four days a week at work. I hope you are not getting tired of Disney photos because I have more to come.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Disney Lights

On December 27, 2007 we spent the day at Disney. Disney had extended hours for the holidays, open from 7:00 am to 1:00 am the next day. We tried but could not do start to finish, we arrived in Disney by 7:45 and stayed until 11:15, I guess we were just light weights. When Disney does something they go all out, during the day the park is nothing short of fantastic but when night falls and the lights come on it is even more magical. Being the holiday season Main Street was decorated for Christmas and rated a 12 out of 10 unfortunately with the large holiday crowds I was never able to get a good shot of them.

During the day there was a special holiday parade and in the evening the parade of lights, photographs to follow in the next few days. After the parade of lights fireworks were set off in the area of Cinderellas Castle. Just being at Disney makes the young ones smile and the older feel young. Disney had one last surprise for us to end the the day, while walking down Main Street in 70 degree weather it started to snow, and it was not paper. I don't know how they did it but the snow was cold when you felt it.

While at Disney to cut down on weight and size I used the Nikon D70 to take all my photographs.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment area located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Until 1989, only the Marketplace existed and was known as the Disney Village Marketplace, and before that, the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Pleasure Island then opened, and the West Side followed in 1997. Pleasure Island and Marketplace were referred to together as Disney Village until West Side opened, at which point the entire area was collectively renamed Downtown Disney.

These photographs were shot in Downtown Disney on December 26, 2007. Downtown is a neat place to visit but be pre-warned it is a tourist trap designed to take your money. There are many places to eat like the Rainforest Cafe, a little expensive also but worth it to see the inside and experience the indoor storms. The area is also filled with entertainment for young and old and if you want to shop for Disney items this is your place. They have Poohs Corner, Team Mickey Athletic Club, Mickey's Pantry, Goofy's Candy Company and Shane's favorite a Lego store where millions of Lego's are out just waiting for you to build something right there.

Time for a font size change on my blogs, my eyes are getting bad and it makes them much easier to read.