Monday, May 31, 2010


Thank You, today's post is short as most everything can be said in those two important words. Please thank the Vets you see today and remember you do not need a holiday to thank them or remember them. Do it everyday, it is because of them that we still live in this great country as free people. Again THANK YOU.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seeing Eye To Eye...

Have you ever looked eye to eye with an Anhinga? This male Anhinga was photographed at Viera wetlands this past March. Yes I know I need to go someplace else and photograph something other than birds. Please click on the photo and see it much larger.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good Luck Lt. Bair, You Will Be Missed...

Lt. Doug Bair at the Paxton No. 6 when we worked together on Tower 3 in 1995. By the way Elton John called he wants his glasses back.
Lt. Bair in 2006 teaching vehicle rescue at Station No. 2.
Lt. Bair and the Skin man working a Hazmat call on Commonwealth Avenue in 2008, gotta love those ears.
The Lt. being himself at HACC in 2007.
The Lt. doing what he really enjoyed, working a job on Labor Day 2008.
Always the class clown, after rowing his boat to shore on the ice covered Italian Lake, training in 2009.

On Tuesday May 25, 2010 Lieutenant Doug Bair retired from the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire. Doug worked for the Bureau for over 31 years, most spent on "B" Shift. He was promoted to Lt. in 1990 and was assigned to Tower 3 "B" at the Paxton before moving to the Squad on "B" shift. He was one of the best firefighters you could ever work with. If you were in trouble you wanted him to be working because if he couldn't get you no one could. Highly decorated the Lt. made many rescues in his career from burning buildings to the Susquehanna river.

On the personal side where do I begin? Doug was that young skinny Lt. that ran marathons when I hired on. He was assigned to my class for three weeks and had us running most days. Boy did I ever curse him out under my breath when we ran up the hills at Reservoir Park, and did I ever laugh when he got struck with a softball right between the legs. We ended up being partners on Tower 3 in the early 90's and took in many memorable jobs together. I remember being the last one with you at the Penndot fire and being along with you when we wanted to close down City Towers one day. We got the last laugh on that one when they had to do it in the dark in below zero weather. We suffered some pain also, like the glass in your back side, to me pulling the board out of you foot after the nail went between the web of your toes that was a classic, you sure could scream. Of course you got to laugh at me like the night I showed up after getting the tooth pulled and we ran all night including two working fires, boy did I scream every time I put that face piece on. There was many other great times like calling Headhog, or the time that the last thing I said to you was just don't wreck my truck, it wasn't long before the building shook and the pole had paint all over it. Sometimes I loved when you jumped calls like the garage fire one daylight on Regina Street leaving the multiple houses off on Catherine Street all to myself, other times I was just annoyed that you would get the fire and I would not .

Not all the funny stories were from work, I remember when we moved you into your new house, with a washing machine full of wet laundry, man was that heavy. And I will never forget you setting at Riverside Stadium with mayflies all over you and in your beer scared to death. For those of you that do not know Doug was scared of all bugs.

I could go on for days about you Doug but I will stop before I get one or both of us in trouble. You leaving leaves me as the last on B shift from the time I came on, I never thought I would see this day come. I felt like I was kicked in the gut when you read us your letter on Monday. We had great times together, I will miss you as a fireman and a friend. Good luck Doug, it will never be the same. I guess you will never call for another second alarm at the incinerator, LOL.

On another note, please stop by Shane's blog for a new post today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crested Caracara, Adult And Juvenile...

A few weeks ago I posted a photograph of a Juvenile Crested Caracara taken at Viera wetlands in Florida this past March. I mentioned then that you would be seeing more of him and here he is. At one point the adult landed on the same fence post but I was not quick enough to get a photo from the front. Of course that is the story of my life, plenty of tail photos and animals fleeing my camera. Note the leg bands and the difference in colors between the two. The head of the adult has much more color also, but you will just have to take my word on it.

It is Tuesday already so please visit Shane's blog for a new post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Brown Pelican...

Yes another Florida bird this on a brown pelican and I think it is a juvenile. You know its Monday and all most post are uploaded in advance, after doing a few in a row I am at a loss for words so that is it for today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Green Heron...

I did mention last week that you would see more of the Green Heron since I spent so much time with it and I would't want to go back on my word. This is one of my favorite birds to watch or photograph. I have seen them here in Pennsylvania but they never allow me close enough to get quality photographs.

Please stop by
Shane's blog today for a new post.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Armed Forces Day 2010...

This past Saturday was Armed Forces Day and once again my son and I attended the event at the Army Heritage Center in Carlisle. All aspects of American and the military were present from the French and Indian war to the Civil War, Revolutionary, WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam. This has been a favorite event for Shane and I the last four years and we always look forward to it. This year Woody met us again to take in some history and capture a few photographs. The local paper claimed it was there biggest event yet but Shane and I didn't feel that there was as many living historians this year. In today's two photographs WW2 American soldiers spend time in their fox hole while a German soldier looks on. Now we can't wait until June to attend the big event in Reading.

Please do not forget to thank our veterans, it does not need to be Armed Forces Day or Veteran's Day to thank and remember our veteran's. They protect this great country every day not just on those holiday. Thank you veteran's.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Buck Rub...

It has been a long time since I have had the chance to photograph big game. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy photographing birds but I would rather be photograph deer and elk. I thought I would dip into last years files and bring up some whitetail photographs. This nine point buck has been posted on this site numerous times in the past and I am looking forward to getting back to SNP next month and hopefully photographing him again with new antler growth. These were taken last fall during the rut. I followed him for sometime waiting for him to look at me, he only did a couple of times real quick. He was kind enough to stop and rub this tree. I had trouble getting an unobstructed view of him and the whole time I was wishing the D90 was not laying in the truck so I could take some video, but in the end I was very happy to have spent time watching and photographing him.

Please stop by Shane's blog for a new post today.

Monday, May 17, 2010

American Kestrel...

These photographs just happened by accident. Our first Saturday in Florida we went to the Tittusville airport for an air show. While waiting for Linda and Shane while they were taking a ride on a military Huey helicopter this American Kestrel just happened to land on a post close to me. The sun was a little harsh as it was mid afternoon but I was not about to pass up this pretty bird, it was also my first chance to photograph one. I could not help but include one of the sign on the post that he landed on, it made me think that he was cleared for take off.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sandhill Crane On Nest...

While driving through Viera wetlands we spotted this Sandhill Crane sitting on a nest. Going past this spot about 20 times the bird was always setting on the nest, but my very last trip past the area proved different. For a change the Crane was standing and making some adjustments to the nest. If you look close you can see two eggs in the nest. The photographs do not do justice to the size of these birds their nest or the eggs, they are quite large. With the male and females looking the same and both the males and the females tending to the nest during the day it is difficult to tell if this is a male or female. At night only the female tends to the nest. The eggs generally take 28 to 32 days to hatch.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Merritt Island Turtle...

I know nothing about turtles other than if you stick someone else finger out and it bites it then it is a snapping turtle, if it doesn't bite it, then it is not a snapping turtle. I do know when I see one at Merritt Island climbing out of the still water with a nice reflection that I photograph it. I also know that it is Thursday so please visit Shane's blog for a new post today.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Green Heron...

This Green Heron was photographed at the Viera wetlands this past March. I have posted photos of these birds and facts about them before so I will not go into any other detail. I spent some time with this Heron at two different locations this particular afternoon so expect to see a few more photos of it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brown-headed Cowbird...

This Brown-headed Cowbird could have been photographed just about anyplace in the U.S. but like many of my post lately it was photographed at Viera wetlands in Florida this past March. I will not bore you with facts about this bird and plan on keeping this post and all my others this week short. With that said, it is Tuesday so please visit Shane's blog for a new post today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Roseate Spoonbill...

Hey what do you know another bird photograph from Florida. In the last two winters I have learned a lot about Florida birds and birding. The more I learn about them the more I want to learn. The Roseate's numbers declined in the early 1800's when the wings of this bird were made into fans. There pink color is a result of eating crustaceans that have fed on algae and a group of Roseates are known as a "bowl" of spoonbills. Last year I captures a number of these pretty birds in flight, that was not the case this year.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Linda And Shane...

I have been sharing many bird and baseball photographs with you from Florida but none of my favorite subject to shoot while visiting the south, Linda and Shane. In the first photograph they have become bored with me photographing birds and are heading out of Viera wetlands. In the second photo, they share a touching moment during sunrise at Merritt Island. Happy Mothers Day Linda and Mom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Red-bellied Woodpecker...

This is a female Red-bellied Woodpecker. This bird was photographed this March in Florida, she stayed still long enough for me to get a few shots but she was a ways off. This was taken with the 200-400 f4 at full zoom and then cropped in. Did you know that a group of woodpeckers are called a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

It is Thursday already so please stop by Shane's blog for a new post.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stephen Strasburg The Hitter...

Stephen fouls off a pitch in his second home appearance.
In the same game Stephen lays down an effective bunt in the early innings.
Playing in the National league means a pitcher has to hit. That may be one of the reasons I like the American league, like anyone else I want to see runs scored not an inning coming to end because of the pitcher striking out. In the games Stephen has pitched in this year he has gone 2 for 6 with a run scored, a double and two RBI's for a batting average of .333 pretty good for a pitcher. Update from Monday's post, Stephen pitched Sunday at home and suffered his first loss. I also found out while attending Tuesday's game that he has been promoted to the Nats. class "AAA" team.

I like baseball but have lost a lot of interest in the sport the last few years. Between liking a team that has finished under .500 the last twelve straight years and are on a record to stink even more this year to the high paid salaries of the players it has become harder for me to show an interest. This player is no different, he will not sign autographs and has an escort where ever he goes. Don't these over paid players know who pays there salaries? Without the fans they are nothing. Kids idolize them and that is a shame. This guy has never pitched in the big leagues and he is already set for life unless he does stupid things like many other athletes. I work every day like most Americans and still take time on the fire ground to talk with the kids that come around. Okay that took an unexpected turn, really I didn't see it coming when I started typing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wood Stork...

This was the first chance I had to photograph or even see Wood Storks. Last year in Florida I looked for them with no luck, this trip I didn't see many but I did see them often. Like most of my Florida bird photographs most were taken during times of harsh sun, with some you can get away with it but in the first photograph the whites of the feathers were blown out. These birds are rarely seen in the U.S. in states other that Florida and southern Georgia. It may be one of the ugliest birds I have ever seen.

Please stop by Shane's blog today for a new post.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stephen Strasburg, The Pitcher...

Stephen Strasburg was selected first in last years draft by the last place Washington Nationals. He signed record four year contract with the team worth slightly over 15.1 million dollars. We got to see the kid pitch for the Nationals against the Cardinals this March during spring training in Florida. These photographs are from his third start and first win at home with the double A Harrisburg Senators. This is a scheduled post so the numbers may be off a little by the time you read this. So far this season Stephen has gone 3-0 in four starts. He has an ERA of 0.52 over 17 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits, three walks and striking out 23. I would only expect him to make another start or two before moving up. The plan for the organization must be for him to on go five innings each time he pitches since this game he left after five only giving up one hit. His next start he left after five while throwing a no hitter.