Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time To Feed The Birds...

I am lacking anything positive to say this morning so I will keep it short and sweet. Today's photographs are space fillers from the beach, the last day there we take our leftover bread from the week along out to the beach with us to feed the birds. I took me a few tries with the D300 to figure out the focusing so it would react fast enough to get the birds in flight, I finally figured it out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Boy Scout Court Of Honor...

On Sunday July 27, 2008 Boy Scout Troop 90 held their final court of honor. Because of various circumstances including the troop being small and one boy turning 18 the troop has decided to disband. Tonight they will have their last function together before going their separate ways to other troops.

At the court of honor Shane received six merit badges and the rank of second class. Presently he has two more merit badges almost completed and is working towards the rank of first class. Scouting is very important in our family and I am pleased that Shane likes it very much. I have high hopes that he will join me and his cousin Seth as Eagle Scouts.

Thank you to all the leaders of troop 90 for you time as leaders.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shane Plays Rugby...

This past Saturday Shane played in his final rugby game of the season. This was his third year playing the sport and he really enjoys playing it. Unlike in years past he missed a number of the practices and games because of prior commitments to Boy Scouts and vacations. Who knows if he will keep playing as he gets older there is more and more things to take up his time.

Today I started adding labels to my post, this one for example will be labeled family. Some of the labels will include; hockey, fire, pa wildlife, Yellowstone, Alaska, bears, wildlife, misc., etc., etc. The labels can be seen at the bottom of each post and a list of them will be in the column to the left. I have updated the last ten post and hope to finish the site in the next few days. When completed it will make it easier to find a particular subject you want to view. For example if you click on the Yellowstone label it will bring up all my post from Yellowstone. I am also updating my Shippensburg Fire Department history site to include the labels also. I hope this makes it easier for everyone.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why Am I Home?

Yes I am home and that makes me sad. We had a great week enjoying the water, the sun and everything else that goes with the beach. It really makes me miss the times when we spent almost half the summers at Fenwick Island.

We packed in as much as we could for Shane treating him to clamming and crabbing for the first time. We spent time at both boardwalks, flew kites, ran from the horses and seen the Sika Elk at Assateague. We seen a couple of movies and the Dark Night was awesome and we ate plenty of Grotto's pizza.

I am not big on taking my camera to the beach so I waited until the last day to take it out. Everyday the dolphins swim back and forth in the ocean, we have watched them for decades but this year they seem to play allot more. At times they would breach like a whale and they flapped their tails on the water much more. I didn't want to take the long lens along to the beach for a number of reasons so these were taken with a shorter lens, not the best but you get a taste of what it looked like.

I guess this week will be a mixed bag of photographs, Shane and troop 90 held their final court of honor on Sunday, he played in a rugby tournament on Saturday and then there is more photographs from the beach with lots of wild pony's. And I am planning to start posting Friday's as "Sky Watch Friday" to help increase the amount of viewers I get.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun In The Sun...

All good things must come to an end and it is almost time to head home. I did finally get a chance to shoot a few photographs including surfer dude Shane, the tail end of an attic fire and the horses and other things at Assateague National Park. I don't know what to do about the horse photographs since I think Shane did a better job than me. For now I will leave you at the end week with Shane doing what he likes best, spending time in the ocean.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ocean City, Md. Boardwalk...

I have not taken many photographs while on vacation, my time at the beach is reserved for laying in the sun drinking beer and reading, and I have done just that. But with Shane along there is places I must go like the boardwalk. Before I got the D300 night time hand held without flash was not an option, but with this camera I love it and don't carry the flash at times I used to. Both of these shots were taken after 10:00 p.m. hand held at ISO 2500. Noise, what noise? Step aside Canon, Nikon is back in the lead. Dang I love this camera.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"B" Shift Roof Ops Continued...

Don't worry, last day of "B" Platoons roof operations, I promise. The first photo shows our two new Probies wearing their orange front pieces. This is the first time probies had to wear an orange front, for the last several years they had a large blue P on the back of their helmets, by the way you decide what the P stood for. Both probies got some good roof work in on Monday getting the chance to cut a wood peaked roof and a metal deck built up roof. In the last photograph my other truck partner Wil (not the pirate) Turner helps the probie out. It's great to be on vacation, hope you guys are earning your money uptown this week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Did You Think The "B" Stood For?

Always trying to be cute, call my name and yell take our photograph just to turn around and show their smart side. What they didn't know was that I got a shot of them facing me also, now its time to put them out on Front Street. Left to right Eric "Harrisburg Flamer" Nowlin, DeShawn "Diabetic" Dennis, Grover "The Plumber" Cliatt, Eric "Gold Fish" Jenkins and Nick "The Instigator" Bixler. There you happy guys, you have been caught.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"B" Shift Roof Ops...

Last Monday B Platoon got the opportunity to train on roof operations at an old church in the uptown district. Four on duty companies took part in the training with our two new probies getting most of the work. In the last photograph Wagon 3 is 10-10 at 10. I hope these post and my SFD sites post work out okay they have been set up in advance for a scheduled posting. I have never done that before.

Important announcement; on Saturday a close fiend and someone I consider a family member, Ivan Bretzman was severely injured in an accident at his home. Most people in the fire service know Ivan, he and many generations of his family has been active in the fire service for probably the last century. Ivan is in Hershey Medical Center and his son tells me he is doing better but there is a long road to recovery. Unfortunately I am on vacation and can’t be there for the family. Please keep Ivan, Judy, Greg, Danny and the rest of the Bretzman family in your thoughts and prayers. The Mt. Holly Springs fire department web site is to be updated regularly on Ivan’s condition

Friday, July 18, 2008

Those Were The Days...

I was able to go the whole week avoiding posting photographs related to the fire service, but I just couldn't make that one more day. In the last week I shot fire related photographs at work, Hagerstown and the Pennsylvania Pump Primers. Sooner or later I just had to post a few.

This guy was found sitting on the tailboard of a rig at the PPP last Saturday at River Front Park in Harrisburg. It was a very hot and humid day yet he stayed there for the duration of the event to show people how firemen used to dress for an alarm of fire. Wearing his duct coat, tin helmet, 3/4 length boots and chemox breathing apparatus he was ready to go to work. The guy did tick me off a little, I stood and talked to him for over an hour and he would not say a thing. The least he could have done was grunted like an engine guy if he wasn't smart enough to speak like a truckie, I should have known better, he was sitting on the tailboard of an engine.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quick Post, Gotta Run...

This will be very quick this morning I have an appointment to keep. Another from Wildwood Lake, this is what we always called a piney when I was growing up and still do today. Why I had to wait for my walk around Wildwood to shoot this chipmunk is beyond me when I have many of them living right here at my house. Maybe I will photograph some of my own soon as they eat all the bird seed from the feeders. For more information on this little critter check out . Like yesterdays, the image is not as sharp as I would like it to be but it was shot in very low light, hand held, and I really didn't have time for anything else this morning.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Squirrel's At Wildwood Lake...

The squirrels in today's photographs were taken at Wildwood Lake Sanctuary. They are not as sharp as I would have liked them to be, but sometimes the brain and the camera don't work together like they are supposed to. When I retire in 4 1/2 years I will have more time to concentrate on that and get things working.

Wildwood Lake is located at 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, or in simpler terms off Industrial Road right next to the HACC fire training grounds. It is a 210 acre nature sanctuary that contains a 90 acre lake and wetland area. There is a total of seven named trails ranging from .25 miles to 2.1 going in and around it. On the one trail there is two building with openings designed to let you view birds from a safe area. There is also a state of the art nature center that can be enjoyed by the young and old alike. Believe it or not this is in my first due district and this was the first time I had ever gone there. Linda had the cub scouts there a few years ago but I was unable to attend. Rest assured I will be going back at different times of the year and taking advantage of this beautiful location.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Trip Through Wildwood Lake Sanctuary...

Today's photographs were taken last Thursday at Wildwood Lake Sanctuary and thrown together real quick this morning. They were not shot in the best light as it was a bright sunny day but they looked better before I posted them here also. A couple of weeks ago I got a new Photoshop CS3 book and there is a chapter dealing just with that. I have grumbled before when worked on an image was happy with it and then posted it and it didn't look the same. These fall into the same group. Now to take the time to read that chapter and hope I am smart enough to digest it and make it work.

More on Wildwood Lake tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Portrait, Minus Shane...

I hope everyone had a great weekend, but then again what is it any of my business. Dang this is just a beautiful day isn't it. My last daylight until sometime in September. I am getting misty eyed just thinking about it.

I ended last week with a couple of photographs I thought would be fun and start the weekend off right. I guess it worked, I only got the few comments that I normally would but I heard allot of people mentioning the photos and talking about Shane and the girls with the long legs. With that being said I thought (only for a brief second, it hurts my head) lets begin the week with a fun thought provoking photograph also.

This was taken just last week in my back yard. That is Linda and I and for those of you that never met me, Hello!! I am looking through the viewfinder as always. OOOPPSS look at the time work is approaching.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shane And The ESPN Girl...

Last month a posted a few photographs from Dover International Speedway, I had a few others that I didn't post and kicked around the idea of weather I should or not. Weeellll with nothing else ready the decision has been made for me. Outside of the track everything is a big production now, I can take it or leave it. I am there to see a race and that is it but my son and wife really enjoyed, Shane maybe more. One of the things there was the ESPN area, they had numerous things to do and many women with long legs all wearing these outfits. We enter a trailer where you are to sit at the booth and do your own race coverage. It is recorded and then you can get your video online at a later date. The only one of us to do it was Shane. In the first photograph he is getting directions from the young lady operating the area. In the second photograph, lets just say I know nothing and as Forrest Gump once said, "That's all I have to say about that". Shane you da man.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Harrisburg, Pa...

Since things didn't go according to plan with photographs today's photos come from Harrisburg, Pa. These were taken late spring this year from way above the Capitol steps. The first photo is looking south on Third Street and the bottom is looking west on State Street from the Capitol.

I mentioned yesterday that I hoped to post photographs of the little cardinal but I could not find it yesterday. I am certain it is no longer around the butterfly bush because as I looked mom and dad didn't show up chirping. They both appear to be hanging around a big oak tree in the back part of my neighbors lawn now. What I did find is a nest under construction by what looks like a finch. Of course it is in shrubbery that we planned to remove, now it must stay until the nest is used and vacated. I also found another nest in one of our other butterfly bushes. It is fairly small with a single off white colored egg with spots on it. The bird using it almost has the appearance of a blue jay but is smaller and a dark grey color. Can anyone help me out on the type of bird it is. I will photograph it given the chance. Our gourds are getting plenty of use by the birds again this year also. Well Shane and I are off on a photo shoot, you will know if it was successful nest week if you see some photos.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yes More Cardinals...

I know more cardinals, but when I find something I like I stick with it and I have always enjoyed watching cardinals, they are one of the prettiest birds around. And the reason for the extra photographs today was because I could not decide witch of the two to post between the second and third shots. If you want you can tell me witch one you like better.

I took these yesterday morning, they were shot at 600 mm, yet mother was still not to happy with me. The intentions were a quick shot of the nest to show the young but to my surprise when I zoomed in I could find no young. They were there the day before. That worried me and my wife worries about them like they are her own. I don't feel they were old enough to leave the nest but then again I am no expert. She did inform me last night that she seen one little bird sitting on a branch last evening but not the other two. I hope they are alright.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mr. Cardinal...

Today we have Mr. Cardinal, he looks a little different than other male cardinals we have around our house. He is more of an orangish red than red and not as attractive as other males. He is very helpful with the three little ones. When we are out back he helps mother chirp trying to keep the nest safe. I have also watched him and and help feed the little ones.

With any luck I will have photos of the three young birds for tomorrows post, if not I have no idea what to do.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mother Cardinal...

This is mother cardinal, she along with her better half Mr. Cardinal and there three little ones live in our back yard. When I took her photograph last week they were still expecting the little ones to arrive, but while away at camp her and her significant other gave birth to three little ones.

They built a nest in one of our butterfly bushes and are very protective of it. When we are around they stay on the nest as long as they feel safe then they start the chirping. This particular day as I was photographing him and her they were chirping there heads off. In the second photo she would watch me and twist her neck around looking at different angles.

Tomorrow I will introduce Mr. Cardinal followed by the nest and hopefully a couple of pictures of the young ones.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4TH Of July...

Today's photographs come from those taken at arm forces day in Carlisle at the Army Heritage Center a couple of months ago. I spoke enough about the event that there really isn't anything left to say. I had worked these up earlier but saved them for today. The top photo was taken by me and the bottom one by Shane.

I missed yesterday as I had to relive part of my childhood and help out at the same time. I spent Wednesday morning until today at Hidden Valley Scout Ranch in Landisburg helping with my son's boy scout troop. It was fun I spent many summers there as a boy scout and it is really a great place. Shane makes me proud no matter what he does but this week besides taking his merit badges he kind of became the camp photographer. He ran around all week taking photographs (I wonder where he gets that from), they were put into a slide show and last night they were shown at the camp fire for the scouts and their parents. He did a great job, Kudos Shane.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Steam Day...

I am short on time so today's post will be short. These three photographs come from steam day at the Maryland Fire Museum in Lutherville, Maryland on June 14, 2008. This was the steamer that pumped all day. As I said in another post from this event, I was disappointed in the event failing to remember that the last time I was there it was a special occasion. BUT, if you have never been to the museum the trip is worth it, the rigs are fantastic (if you like that kind of thing and I do). Also if you have never seen a steamer operating before the trip is worth it just for that.

When I get a good scanner that will do my slides and photographs justice I will scan some from 2004 and post those. Imagine three huge grey horses pulling a Gorter water tower, followed by the combination wagon posted a couple of days ago and more horses pulling this big steamer in a parade around the grounds. Then to top it off the steamer pumps water to the set up tower and flows the big gun. It was a sight to see and about as close to perfect as you can get.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This Means War...

"Licenced to kill gophers by the Government of the United Nations", remember when Bill Murray said that line in Caddy Shack years ago and made going after ground hogs famous? That same line was repeated by me a couple of weeks ago at my own house.

A couple of weeks ago on a warm sunny morning I just happened to go into the sun room and look out at the pool. What do I see? A young ground hog running around the concrete eating the weeds that have come up and the flowers growing around the flag pole. Now that made me mad, but when I looked out again a little later and there was two young hogs playing and their mother leaning down into the pool getting a drink of water I could only see red.

I am a pretty good shot, but when shooting around the pool there is no margin for error, and if the bullet goes through them and comes out I could be in trouble. So I go out and look things over, I notice that in a short time they have five hole dug under the concrete in the back part of our pool and they have set up a home on my property. This just can't be, something needs to be done. My father-in-law drops off a large live trap while I am gone and he and Linda set it up with apples and put it into the area. A day goes by and I decide to give them what they want, I dump the apples put some lettuce in it, place the trap at a different area and place a couple of pieces of lettuce from the hole to the trap and in no time, I have myself a young hog.

Now comes time to dispose of the critter, my plan a 22 round to the head. Well you would have thought it was a person. Linda and Shane both give me fits. So we load up the hog in the back of my truck and take it for a drive, I am surprised they didn't make me turn on the hogs favorite radio station and let it ride in the air conditioning. We find the place they like for it to live and cause problems for the local farmer and Linda sets it free.

I don't know if it scared off the mother and other young one but we have not seen them or any signs of them since then. If they dare show there faces around these parts again, I will be ready for them. "Here mister gopher I am just your friendly squirrel".