Monday, April 27, 2009

Blue Jay

I have waited (mostly) patiently to get some good blue jay shots at the feeder. Sunday turned out to be the day! I made many trips back & forth to my spot at the window, shooting first through the screen then with the screen pushed up. I love the coloring of a blue jay, those shades of blue, gorgeous!

Patience paid off here, got two in one shot!
Sassy little creature, maybe he thought the first hundred images were enough!!

I will be at a training for my job in Harrisburg, PA for the next 3 days. The Canon will go along & hopefully during the evening hours I can get lots of shots of places I don't usually see.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thankful Squirrel

I mentioned in an earlier post how amazed a squirrel was when he found the top of a bird feeder open. Well, they went a step further... one or more learned to open the latch on top.

Sometimes my images surprise me showing something I didn't see with the camera. It appears this guy is giving thanks for his skills & his dinner!

I think about how much bird food squirrels consume, then again how much I enjoy watching them. Pretty low cost entertainment!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not for a Million Bucks!!

If this zoo employee likes to swim one would think he has the perfect job.........guess whose window he is washing!

You got it, the shark tank! Like I said not for a million bucks! Hope Mr. Shark had a BIG breakfast.

The shark tanks was a very nice set up. We were able to walk thru a tunnel of beautiful blue water with sharks swimming on either side. Then, we got to the end & this worker was scrubbing away. YIKES!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Few More Birdfeeder Visitors

A couple "just for fun" shots.

The squirrels provide lots of entertainment. There is a group of 4 smaller (young ?) ones hanging out doing all kinds of stunts. I laughed this evening......we had a quick thunderstorm which must have blown the lid off the feeder shown just below this guy. He ran all over the feeder as usual trying to force food thru the small openings. Suddenly he stepped into the open area. You could almost see his surprise & delight as he dug in!

Another non bird visitor. This feeder will only open for smaller birds. Usually the finches feed here. He must be the correct weight cause he sure was enjoying his feast.

This tells me why the other birds flee when he & his troops land.

Notice the point on the woodpecker beak. I'd give him plenty of room too!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring at the Birdfeeder

After enjoying a relatively healthy winter, spring gets here & I get a cold! Decided to stay home from work today to give me one more day to find some energy. My afternoon was devoted to the bird feeder & camera. I have never watched birds as closely as I have through out the winter & now as spring arrives. What a treat these beautiful creatures are!

The cardinal is as lovely with a green background as he was in the snow.

This change amazes me. The male gold finch brightens up in the spring. They are so very beautiful.

A crowd gathers under the feeder. The clean up crew?

This is another finch. He spent the cold months brown & black with just a bit of red showing, but look at him now. What a change!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Trinity's first soccer game was this morning. What a beautiful day for it, sunny with blue skies. Excellent light for pictures until about half way through. We had the 11 -12 game, as the sun rose higher in the sky I began noticing some wash out on the shots. Trinity did a good job, ran around alot, got her foot on the ball several times & played most of the game. Mady hung out with her mom, dad, & I. She would yell "go sister" once in awhile & had her own soccer ball in case the urge to play got too strong.

The way every young athlete ends any game. Good game!

I forgot to mention her team won. I needed to clone on some of the shots. A process which can be tedious. If ya gota clone a grass field is wonderful!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Mercersburg Academy

I am fascinated by church steeples, courthouse bell towers, any of those lovely bits of architecture that reach into the sky. This one is a beauty! I have long admired it on trips thru the small town of Mercersburg PA, procrastinating about stopping to capture some images. On the trip home after the Good Friday shopping trip I noticed my timing looked just about perfect for a sunset background. Amazingly enough I made it just in time to get set up & shoot. Above you see a few of the results. My biggest problem was the steeple was crooked on a lot of the images.....I did ask Andy why such a beautiful structure would have been built so crooked! (he didn't believe me). Thankfully post processing contains the magic needed to make everything OK. I plan to stop again for more shots, maybe with a blue sky or some lovely fall colors, but will try hard to remember to keep that Canon straight.
To view skies from all over - be prepared for breathtaking shots - or to share your own skies click here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I had a hard time deciding what to post today. In fact, I had one started, then remembered tomorrow starts "Skywatch Friday" & those shots would be perfect sky shots. So I started over. Reviewing my recent shots I decided to share some Easter highlights with you. This shot is of my youngest son, Caleb. I don't think you have met him before. Caleb has done a fantastic job over the past year loosing 100+ pounds by monitoring his eating & introducing exercise into his daily life. Good job, Caleb. That is hard work! Oh, yeah, he is single & has a good job, girls.

Levi was hunting Easter eggs! Ummm, not quite it Levi! Pretty color though.
Trinity is examining Easter basket treasures. Those freckles sure are cute. In about 10 years she won't agree!
Mady wanted to help Granny cook. She came seriously equipped with her own Winnie the Pooh apron. We enjoyed 10 family members at our Easter celebration this year. Nolan was sick, so he & Josh didn't make it. Daughters-in-law Jerri & Marti had to work. Andy's daughter, Molly, was not able to join us. Trinity is responsible for table setting. Levi & Mady got a bit ahead of the game & was at the table eating before everyone else & probably have alot to do with the following story. No one seem to have the correct eating utensils at their place! We had lots of spoons over on one side & none on the other! Kimberly had several sets! Mass confusion 'til everyone got what they needed. Until then the 2 little ones were satisfied & ready to go about their business. I reminded them I grew up in a family of 12 with 11 of us at the table nearly every evening & we NEVER lost our tools!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Sights

A weeping willow displays a fresh spring green along Lake Raystown. That boat dock won't remain quiet long! Flowers. This one was taken at the Pittsburgh Zoo in the bright sunlight.
More magnolia blossoms with a frame added in Elements.
Taken in City Park, Hagerstown, Maryland.
This one was taken at the zoo. Still needs a bit of work, but one of my favorites.

Flowers are some of my favorite subjects to photograph. I am so looking foreword to all that spring & summer have to offer.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good Friday's Shoppping Trip

Good Friday was a day off work, so I saved my Easter shopping for that day. As usual I started out the day excited. It was a beautiful, warm day. I was heading it the mall, a variety of other stores with money in my pocket for Easter goodies! As usual, about 3 hours into my trip I had enough. My mind is a shopper, but my body just doesn't cooperate! I was hot & those arthritic parts were quite painful. We had Easter baskets to fill & this was the last chance so I moved on. Had a good lunch, then finished the day at Walmart. After dragging myself to the car, a coffee drink was sounding good. So, I got some caffeinated refreshment & headed for City Park. Of course, I never leave home without a camera & had some daylight left to capture some swan shots. Imagine my delight when I found myself surrounded with tree blossoms. A gorgeous pink & white world!
The magnolia trees were amazing! Just loaded with blossoms. One of my Mom's favorites.
Needless to say I have quite a collection of magnolia blossom images.
A bit of color on the ground. For some reason I have trouble finding a shot I like of these luscious smelling beauties, so this will have to do for now!
After enjoying iced coffee & a good hour & half of spring colors, I was able to make a relaxed 45 minute trip home. You know, as I sit at my computer tonight thinking of the stores I visited & then ending the day at the park, both places were filled with children - crying & shouting in the stores, then delighted squeals of laughter while playing in the park. I agree with the little ones!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Looking Up

It has been so nice recently to look up & see brilliant blue skies! Today even featured some puffy white clouds. My only complaint is I can't drive, look at the sky, & take pictures at the same time! The above shots were taken on Sunday's trip to Pittsburg. Hope each & everyone of my Skywatch friends are heading into a long weekend. Enjoy & see ya next week. New friends, be sure to visit to enjoy worldwiwe skies & to share yours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Aquarium & Rainforest at the Pittsburgh Zoo

The attractions offered at the zoo included a rain forest & a small aquarium. As with the National Aquarium I loved the rain forest with it's lush greenery, colorful flowers, & peaceful waterfalls.
One variety of flower from the rainforest.
Jellyfish. I could have watched the graceful movement & beautiful colors all day!
Housekeeping. imagine dressing in your scuba gear, grabbing your scrub brush & hitting the tank to clean the coral & rocks. There were 3 divers scrubbing away in the tank.
Nolan & his Mom, Jerri looking up at Josh & I.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Zoo Residents with Wings

During this past winter birds have really captured my attention. Maybe because we have kept the feeders filled in an area I can watch & photograph daily. Or maybe because they provide a touch of color in the dreary winter. Here are a few we observed at the zoo. Certainly amazing creatures!

I don't remember what this bird is, but he is from Africa & is housed with the flamingos. Not the best looking fellow in the zoo. Gorgeous Peacock! The head & neck color glowed! It doesn't show well in this shot but peacocks have a cute little head dress. I would have loved it if he would have showed his tail feathers. This guy was able to roam at will, but it made me sad to see a child allowed to chase him into some bushes. What's not to like about beautiful pink birds!
Those long skinny legs are amazing. How do they hold up that body? And those knees! I wonder, do they hurt?
While not strictly a zoo resident, this little fellow seemed happy to pose for me. I have noticed the well fed birds at my feeder fly at the slightest disturbance, "city" birds appear to be much calmer & don't fly off nearly as quickly.