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TRACTORS OF THE PAST

One of the things I do, on occasion, is grab my camera gear and take a drive around the many back country roads that are in/around my area. There are so many of them. So many that I can get lost on them, and really not sure where I am. A portion of the roads I’ve known from before, but there are also many that I’ve never been on. This is part of the fun of it. You can never really know what’s up around that next hill or bend in the road.

So, yesterday was one of those days. Driving the back road I happen to come up on a big field that had so many junk looking tractors that I just had to pull over and stop to see what’s there. It had my interest that here was a photographers dream with all these old tractors just sitting there.

The 1st thing I had to do was find the Land owner and ask him/her if I could walk around and shoot some of the many farm tractors that were there. I found the owner outside working on a tractor and asked permission. My wish was granted. He even showed me where the best/old ones were.

There were so many of them I had a hard time choosing which ones were the best for photography. There were many of the same name. International Harvester, John Deer, Massey Ferguson, & Ford.

Now this is the old Barn where I was told the tractors are repaired as best they can be. The place is a mess, as you can see.

I’m sorry that my Post is not quite right, but there is a reason. I had to start using this new format which I don’t like at all! Can’t seem to get used to it. Wish I could change back to what was before.

Thanks for stopping by,

Les

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DREIBELBIS STATION COVERED BRIDGE REVISITED.

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Greetings all!  This Post was made before about the Dreibelbis Station Covered Bridge that is located about a 1/2 hr. drive away for me in a town named Lenhartsville, PA.  The difference with this post is that this Bridge has been repaired & made to look much better than it was before.  The image above is what it used to look like before the restoration.

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Here now, is the restored bridge after months of work.  During the years of 1834 – 1885 there were 45 different Covered Bridges built in the area.  This is just one of them, plus the ones I posted about before.  Dreibelbis Station Bridge is 172 feet long & weighs just over 100,000 lbs.  She looks darn good!

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Here’s another look at the bridge from a different angle.  As you can see there has been new Red siding installed, a new roof, and new stone supports.  The small problem I had was that I could not walk inside the bridge yet.  I was still blocked off for any traffic.  Guess it’s not quite ready yet.

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This is about all I could show of the supports in the Bridge.  Notice the old way of securing the beams together with 1″ Dowel Pins.

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This is the clearance to enter the Bridge.  Traffic is not yet allowed, but cars can cross over when it opens.  Also, notice the “Hex sign” at the top which I had posted about before.  I don’t know what this one means.  They all have a special meaning from the PA Dutch.

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Here’s another look.  During the heavy rain, we had a few weeks ago from that Tropical Storm that came our way, the water rose up very, very close to the Bridge!  That would have not been good!  All that work might have been washed away!  The few homes in the background are part of Dreibelbis Station.  Just where that name came from, I don’t know.

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Taken from the Internet, this is a picture of the bridge from long ago.

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Here is how they lifted the Burr Arch Truss Bridge before/after it’s restoration.  Wish I could have seen this being done!  I knew nothing about it, until later on after the work was just about complete.  The Farmhouse in the background belongs to a friend of mine.  This is how I found out.

Well, this should be the last Post on Covered Bridges around here for a while.  Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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EPLERS SCHOOL

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Pictured here is the old Eplers 1-room schoolhouse that was built in 1847.  This school was originally at another location not very far away in Bern Twp.  It also was scheduled to be destroyed by a wrecking ball, until some residents fought to have it preserved for History.  After many months of meetings with those who wanted to destroy it, it was picked up and moved to this location at the Berks County Heritage Center.  It must have been a very delicate move as not to crack any of the structure.  As shown, it is not quite done sitting on its new foundation.  This was a good thing to do and that preserves History for all to see.

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Just a very short walk away from the old school is the Wertz Covered Bridge that has been here for many years.  It was repaired & painted to keep its original look.

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A look inside the Covered Bridge.  No cars are allowed to cross this.  Just people walking & bicycles.  What the “white” spots are for I have no knowledge.

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With all the torrential rain we’ve had from that tropical storm, the old Union Canal still holds water.  It’s almost like the Canal Barges could travel here again.  The Mule Towpath is shown to the left.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MY HOME TOWN

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This is a bit of a re-post from before, but with a much better Image of the Fleetwood Auto Body Plant where the Cadillac Fleetwood got it’s name.  Fleetwood, PA is my ole’ hometown and where I went to High School.

The Plant was formed in 1909.  Fleetwood Auto bodies were made here until 1931 when the process was moved to Detroit.  Even though it was re-located the Cadillac kept its name.  Right next to it where you see the nice parking lot, was the Fleetwood Tannery where leather was tanned & processed for many years.  However, back in 1981 the Tannery caught fire and burned to the ground.  It was one heck of a big fire because of all the chemicals that were in the plant.  It just could not be saved.  There must have been 10 fire engines trying to put out the roaring fire.  Nothing is left of it now.  Just a nice parking lot where something used to be.

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Just another view of the old Plant.

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This is the 1929 Cadillac Fleetwood Body made in Fleetwood.

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I did not take these images, but they are one beautiful looking cars from the day’s of long ago.

Thank you for reading.

Les

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SCHOOL DAYS

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This is what remains of the old Frey 1-room School House.  This old 1-room school was in use when I was in High Scool back in the early 60’s.  Grades from 1 – 8 were taught here by a Mr. Gehert, a teacher I’ve never known.  Just how old this school is I really don’t know, but it’s been here at this spot for as long as I can remember.  The front area shown used to be the play yard, but now it’s full of weeds.  I remember this play yard being a dirt yard with 1 swing set and a see-saw.  They are long gone now.

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Using “Selective Color” this is the main entrance to the school.  I wanted to take a peek at what was inside, but it was locked up.  All I could do was look thru the glass window and just see a bunch of ole’ rusty junk piled in it.  What I wanted to do is get some Images of the Pot Bellied Stove that is still there.  I was sorry I couldn’t do that.

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Still standing after many years is the Barn that is right next to the school.  The Barn was used to house pigs, chickens, and horses in its day.  I remember the barnyard critters being here long ago.  I’m surprised that the Barn is still standing.

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Just one of the 6 windows at the school.  They are just rotting away.  I have heard that there are no plans to save this old school.  It will pass into History.

Thanks for stopping here.

Les

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BACK INTO HISTORY

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This is called a “Steam Lokie”.  Used a lot at the ole’ #9 Coal Mine in Coaldale, PA to haul coal from the Mine to the Coal Breaker that was nearby.  The Breaker is no longer there, but this is all that remains from when Coal was King in this area.

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Remember the song by Tennessee Ernie Ford “Sixteen Tons?”  “You load 16 Tons and what do you get?  Another day older and deeper in debt.”  This is a 1 Ton Coal Car that was loaded by Miners using just a pick & shovel.  When full, it was pulled out of the Mine using Mules & Horses.  It was dangerous, dirty, and back-breaking work!

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The Mine here is no longer open to the public.  I don’t know why or what happened here.  This Mine was a living museum to see just how hard the Miners of long ago had to work to earn a paycheck.

“I am an Anthracite Miner.  Come walk with me  .  .  .  today, tomorrow, and eternity.”

 

Thank you.

Les

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MAKING PAPER

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Located on the outskirts of Philadelphia along the Wissokicken Creek is the old Rittenhouse Paper Mill Town, also known as Paper Mill Run where paper was made in the early 1700’s.

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This is what remains of the Creek that powered the Mill.  I have no idea what the building is in the background.  This area was not open to the public, so I could not walk around here.

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One of the old homes that were built around 1702.

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Another home built around the same time.  These buildings are showing there age, but still, stand after 300 yrs.!

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The Main House where the owner of the Mill lived.  It is still in use to this day.

It was darn hot when I shot these images.  I ran into a big problem while walking around here.  I had to use the bathroom real bad.  The problem was that there was none to be found!  Not one public bathroom or Porta Pottie.  I could not believe this.  A public place like this had nothing!  I finally found a place in a small Cafe, but there was nothing for the public to use!  Only for the volunteers.  I asked to use it, and my wish was granted!  Thank goodness for that or I would have to use the wooded area nearby.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

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CHARMING FORGE VILLAGE

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I have not posted much in the past few days, but that’s because I don’t go out that much because of this Covid-19 thing being around.  I finally thought the heck with this thing.  I’m going “out there” for a while with my camera.  The above image is of the stone marker from Charming Forge Village that is a short drive away from me.

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This is the Charming Forge Mansion built-in 1754.  I could not get real close to this property because of Private Property signs that were posted everywhere.  Believe it or not, this very historic building is still occupied.  The people that own it, I don’t know but it’s up for sale and has been for a long time.  It seems that no one wants to buy it and there might be a valid reason why.  It is haunted!  It is haunted by a Spirit of a Maid that was there back in the 1700s.  Just who it is, I don’t know.  I have heard about this from before.  The Spirit has been seen by the people that own the property a number of times in the past.

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All that remains of the Mule Barn at Charming Forge Village that was used to store Iron Ore and Mules to haul ore from one place to another.

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This is just one of the few buildings that are in the Charming Forge Village.  Just what it was used for, I don’t have a clue.  Information on these dwellings is very scarce.

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This is another dwelling.  It looks like it used to be a lived-in home from long ago.  There are 1 or 2 other structures, but I didn’t photograph them.  They all look pretty much alike.

Charming Forge was an Ironmaking village long ago.  The iron quarry is close by but too hard to get too, and it’s full of trees & growth for many years.  I decided not to venture in there.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

 

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STILL LIFE

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With the COVID-19 virus thing being around I don’t get out that much, so I have been trying out some still life photography in my home.

I don’t have much of a place to photograph still life, but what I have I try and make the most of it.  I’m finding that you don’t really need a fancy lightbox or fancy expensive camera gear.  Just work with what you have.

The above is my first try at it.  I had to do some research on how to do this and what to use.  Pretty much you can use most anything that can tell a story.  Candles, food, books, flowers, or jewelry will always work.  Just anything that you feel like arranging for the Camera Lens.  Take different shots from different angles.  Take your time doing it.  There is no real hurry.  I took about 6 different shots for this.  This one I thought was best.  I plan to try out more but with something different.

 

Thanks & stay safe out there!

Les

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HISTORIC HOMES.

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I have driven past this beautiful old home lots of times but never had my camera with me.  This time while out on patrol, I did have it.

Located right next to an old Mill that you can see part of on the right this home must have a History to it, but I can’t seem to find anything that will tell me what it is, who owned it, or why it’s there.  Who lived here in the past?

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This is just another look at it from a different view.  It is one beautiful old home.

Thank you & stay safe out there.

Les

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SKUNK CABBAGE

I’m sorry that due to this COVID-19 virus, I have not gotten out there that much.  The only time that I took out my camera gear was last week when the weather was not too bad.  Went over to a place called Nolde Forest where there are a number of different trails to walk among the woods.  It’s nice there.  It’s quiet and that’s one of the things I like there.  While there I took a few images which are posted here.

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Here I tried doing the “Moody Look” with my Lightroom CC Software.  I don’t think that it’s quite right yet, but I’m working on that.  Since it’s early Spring the plants and surrounding trees are all starting to show their green.  The large leaf plants here are called “Skunk Cabbage” and for good reason.  If you happen to step on them, they put out a smell like the perfume of a skunk.  Thus the name.  They are one plant you want to avoid!

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Here is more of those skunk cabbage plants.  They always grow around a small moist stream or ground.

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A fallen tree from the winter winds.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MORE LUMINAR 4

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This is another pic that I enhanced using Luminar 4.  I can’t say enough good about this program.  This was taken while our cruise ship was heading out to sea.  The freighter sounded the “passing to Port” horn which is 2 blasts.  I caught it while doing this.

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This is one more using Luminar 4.  Here I could add a new sky, and fix the color of the old train station.

Till next time.  Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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LUMINAR 4

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This is an image of my ole’ Destroyer that I served aboard for 3 yrs. that was stationed in Pearl Harbor.  The picture was not taken by me.  It was shot from another destroyer, the USS Strauss.  I don’t know if I was aboard when this was taken.  Could be.

Using my photo editing program, Luminar 4, I could enhance the image to make it look so much better than before.  With the old picture, the sky was very dull and all the color was not very good.  With Luminar 4 I could insert a much better sky and enhance the color of the sea & my ship.  By the looks I think she is steaming at about 15 knots.  Where we were going, I don’t know.  I like this program quite alot.  It’s well worth the money you pay for it.  There are so many, many memories for me looking at this picture that are too numerous to tell about.  I will always remember.

Till the next time.

Les

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HISTORIC ASTOR THEATER.

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Here in my City of Reading, PA there used to be 3 different theaters that people could go to and see movies & cartoon shows that were here back in the 50’s & 60’s.  I can remember being taken to the Astor on one occasion by my Mother to see a cartoon show, but don’t remember what it was. That was long ago.  This theater, as well as the 2 other ones that were named The Majestic and The Embassy all, had some nice decor inside that I never really took notice to back then.  Some fancy ironwork & glass chandeliers adorned the theaters that are all gone now.

What I know about these theaters, is that very slowly the movie theaters gradually lost business due to the coming of Drive-In Theaters that were slowly taking over.  There were 3 or 4 Drive-In Theaters that sprung up outside the City back in the ’60s.  The drive-ins became a lot more popular where moviegoers could sit in there car, use a window speaker and watch a movie rain or shine.  I remember doing this when I was in High School.

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Not really a great Image, but this empty space is where the Astor Theater used to be.  The ole’ place sat in disrepair for many years, until it was torn down and became a memory of long ago.

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This is what it used to look like before being torn down.  Some of the ornate light fixtures have been saved and are now in the Sovereign Performing Arts Center.  It’s good that was done.

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Located in center city on 5th & Penn St. is this very old bank that has been here for more than 200 yrs.  If this building could talk, it would have a whole lot of stories to tell.  Can you believe that I have never been inside?  Back in Nov of 1967, I stood on this exact street corner thumbing a ride home from the US Navy.  That’s another story.

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Just some of the older buildings that caught my eye.  They have been here a long time.

Until the next time.  Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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NOT MUCH DOING HERE!

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Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my blog.  With this stupid virus thing running around and a “lockdown by the Governor of PA” to stay in your homes and not to go out unless it’s really necessary is getting to be kinda boring.

We are not going anywhere, so there is not that much to do here.  The only thing that I do is “putter” around the house.  This gives me a chance to do things that should be done such as clean up the yard outside of leaves from the Winter winds, pick up broken twigs from the tree, do some coloring, work on my wooden cut out of an anchor, and help with the wash.  Clean out the car from Winters slop and keep it clean lookin’.

Life around my area is pretty much the same as it is anywhere else.  Most people are staying at home and off the roads.  Malls are shut down.  WalMart is open for food and necessary items, but there are those who stock up on everything leaving the shelves bare.  The Vendors can’t seem to keep up with the demand.  There is really no reason to get nut’s over this.  I think it will pass in time.  People are going for walks and getting out, but not lots of them.  I haven’t gone out on a “photo shoot” in quite a while.  However, I will go out but avoid places that have crowds of people.  I don’t think I’ll see that since most places are closed down.

I would like to travel down to Philadelphia to shoot Boat House Row and some other places in the City in B&W, but not sure about that yet.  We shall see.

Stay Safe in this trying time.

Les

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PICTURES OF MY CITY

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Just one of the Hotels in the City.  Don’t think I’d want to book a room here!

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The freight trains still run the ole’ tracks to this day.

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There used to be 2 sets of tracks here.  Look to the left and you’ll see where the other set used to be.  I guess they were not needed anymore.

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You can tell that this ole’ building has been here for a long time by the color.  Long ago, this was a Foundry, but now no longer here.  Just the name remains.  The place is now a supply warehouse for plumbing fixtures.

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Another view of the Foundry building.  Notice at the top where the freight entrance is, it say’s “chocolates”!  Found out that at one time it used to sell chocolate candy!  Look at the side of the building.  Does it look bent?  It is.  It’s not my camera.  Why it’s like this, I don’t know.

Till the next time.  Stay safe out there!

Les

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READING MASSACRE

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The Historic Plaque in the top Image tells of what happened at this place in 1877.  The bottom image I took of where it all took place.  It’s similar to the Boston Massacre.

The Walls here are much the same as back then.  The buildings alongside have changed, but not much else.  Trains hauling coal used to run thru here.  Once in a while, the old steam train will travel these tracks to relive the day’s gone by.  I should find out just when it will run.

Till the next time.

Les

 

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A MEMORY

Took a drive into the City of Reading yesterday to do some photography in B&W, but ended up shooting some different subjects that I had not planned on, and it gave me some memories from long ago.

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In walking around I noticed the ole’ Reading Train Station that has been here for many years.  I stood here and shot this Image and as I was doing it,  my mind’s eye took me back in time to 1965.  Back in time to when I left this station via train to Philadelphia Naval Base.

In early October of 1965, this Train Station looked much the same as it does now.  Back then I had no idea what was in store for me.  All that I knew I was to board a passenger train and report to the receiving center at the Naval base.  Nothing more.  The Trains no longer depart from here anymore, but the City of Reading has kept this place of history looking good and didn’t leave it fade away.  As I walked around here I remembered just how busy it was back then.  Trains to Philadelphia were leaving here quite often.  I decided to go take a look inside and see what has changed over the passing years.

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This is what the inside of the Station looks like now.  What a big difference!  The restaurant here is called Socony Place.  It looks nice.  However, upon entering I instantly saw in my mind what it used to be long ago.  The benches you see are the original ones, but have been re-done to look better.  They still have the same brown color.  There were no green cushions then, like now.  The floor is still the same.  The brown color of the whole place is much the same but looks like it was repainted and cleaned up.

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This door is where I went out to catch my train.  It looks so much better now.  The Ticket window does not have the iron bars.  I’m wondering if the clock above the door is the same one as before.  Maybe not.

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The large windows are still here.  The glass enclosures are something new that has been added.  Just why I don’t know.

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I sat on this exact bench more than 50 yrs. ago.  It just looks so much better with the new finish & the green cushions.

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I like the look of the Station now.  Looks so much better.  The man at the end of the Bar is the Manager.  I had asked him if I could shoot some pics of a place I remember so well.  He asked why, and I told him what this place is to me.  I told him about what it used to look like.  He had a surprised look on his face.  My wish was granted.

Until next time.

Les

 

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HIPPIE CAMEL

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It took me a number of days to color this one.  I call it a “Hippy Camel.”

As you all can see, I don’t draw the outline for this myself.  I download them free from the Internet and then place it in my Paint Shop Pro program where I can paint most anything with color.  It’s not really hard to do.  Just time-consuming.  Trying to pick colors that are bright and that will sort of go with other colors takes a bit of imagination.

Ever since the 60’s when the Hippy movement was popular I have always liked the very colorful designs that were out there.  However, back then I never did take part in the “Peace & Love” time.  During 3 yrs. of this I was serving in the US Navy.  When I was discharged in 68′ is when I started to notice all this.  It still remains to this day.

Till the next time.

Les

 

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WE ARE BACK!

With the weather so nice yesterday, I grabbed my camera gear and went down to the Middle Creek Wildlife Area to see the annual Snow Goose migration when they stopover for a rest on their way south.  Each & every year the Snow Geese arrive here by the thousands.  It is an outstanding sight to see and hear.  At the last count by the Game Wardens, there were over 140,000 Geese.  I have seen the Geese a few other times, and posted about them before.  It’s one of Nature’s amazing sights to behold.

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Here are just some of the thousands of Geese that are here now.  Known sometimes as the Anser caerulescens or White Snow Goose they can always be identified by the black wingtips.  They also come in 2 color plumage morpas, white or grey.  Here some of them started to take flight all at one time!

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It’s a shame that you can’t hear the noise that is made by all these Geese taking flight.  What I should have done was make a video!  Maybe next time.

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These Geese will be here till around the end of March and then they are all gone leaving nothing but feathers & poop which fertilizes the ground for Spring.

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There are not only just Snow Geese here, but there are Tundra Swans, Ducks, and many other birds heading somewhere.

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It seems that they are somewhat used to humans being around them.  This one was fairly close to me and didn’t seem to mind the camera at all.  They sure are pretty to see.

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All crowded together.

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Here I come!  Incoming Goose.  Believe it or not, I shot this Image quite quick.  I wanted to capture a Goose on its way in for a landing but was not quite sure about just how to do it.  Took a big chance here for this one.  I was very, very surprised to see how well this came out.  I was very pleased.  I hope I can do it again on something!  All these images were taken with a Nikon D7000 using a 18-200mm Lens.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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ROYAL DAULTON

Again, there is not too much right now to post about because I have not gotten “out there” with my camera or explored some Historic places.  Winter is a bad time for me because I don’t relish going out into the cold weather.  I do it from time to time but not much.  With that in mind, I decided to start cleaning out one of the big closets that we have been storing items for a long time.  Over the passing years, the closet has become a gathering place for all kinds of stuff.  I’ve found in going thru all the stuff that a portion of it is not needed anymore.  Things that are long outdated, electronic connectors, some toys, old clothes that will be donated to our local Goodwill store, and plastic items that are never needed.

In snooping thru all this stuff and throwing out items, I happen to come across a cardboard box that was placed way over in a corner that was never bothered with.  I wondered what was inside that I might not know about.  I pulled the box out and found some things all wrapped up in a thin paper.  The box was heavy to lift.  I had no clue what was in there.  Ok, let us see.

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I found some Royal Daulton cups, saucers, and dinner plates!  I had no idea we had these things!  I was surprised.  Royal Daulton, no less!  As some of you or all may already know that Royal Daulton is good stuff and can get expensive to buy.  My mother had always told me that Royal Daulton is not cheap stuff!  I showed this to the Wife and she too was surprised we had all this.  There is a full 8 pc. set all with the design you see above.  I did some asking around and was told that this type of design is old and maybe worth money to sell.  Don’t think I’ll sell this right now.  Going to hang on to it.  Kinda thinking of building a display for all of it, but not sure yet.  Sometimes you never know what you’ll find when cleaning out.

Till the next time.

Les

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THE PA DUTCH FOLK ART

There is not that much to Post about right now, so I thought that I’d give you some insight on the PA Dutch Art that can be found around my area.

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I really don’t know a whole lot about the Dutch that once we’re in the area, but they did leave very colorful Hex signs around that could be found on Dutch barns.  Even though this kind of art is a slowly disappearing form of expression, it still can be seen along country back roads.  Most of these Hex signs are now faded and worn from the weather, some are still here.

There are many, many different types of Art.  Each one has a different meaning.  Each one has brilliant color schemes.  Each color also has a meaning.  Colors of Yellow mean Health, Love, Sun, & connection to God.  Red means Emotions, Passion, Charisma, Lust, and Creativity.  Green is growth, Fertility, Success, and Ideas.  Blue is protection, Peace, Spirituality,  and Calm.  Black blends & binds Elements together.

The colored image above is what’s called a Distelfink.  A bird of the PA Dutch that is for “Good Luck”.  I got this from the Internet and filled it in with the colors I knew of.  I like bright colors.  This is the colors of the Distelfink you will find, plus many others with different color schemes.

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This is just another sign of Folk Art witch I painted using my Paint program.

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An Image of the Distlefink photographed at the Berks Heritage Center.  Of course, there is no such real bird like this.

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Known as a “Wind Rose”.  I have one of these, but a bit different in the color scheme, that I’m working on now.

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DRIVING AROUND

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One of the many types of farms in Lancaster County.

Even though the weather yesterday was not very good, I took a drive down to the Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve to see if there were any Snow Geese there that I had been told were there in big numbers.  I found this a bit odd.  The Snow Geese usually don’t arrive there in huge flocks until late February or early March.  I had even seen some Images from photographer friends that I know.  Well, let’s go take a look-see.

It only takes about a 1/2 hour to drive there.  Traveling the 2 lane back roads of Lancaster County you get to see the many farmlands & farms that are along the way.  Some of them, as shown above, offer good photographic scenes to capture.  However, there is always one big problem.  Alongside the 2 lane road, there is very little space to pull off the road at all!  About 2 feet at the most!  If you don’t stay on the road, you have to pull off into some very muddy ground.  Not good.

Arriving at the Middle Creek area and driving thru it I found it was completely empty of any kind of birds, geese, or waterfowl anywhere!  I was surprised!  Nothing there but empty ponds and open areas of grasslands.  Since it was cold & over-cast, I really did not want to go walk around.  Guess all the Snow Geese decided to move on to better places.  I was disappointed to see this.  Oh Well.  Not much I could do.  There will be other times coming.

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Taken last year, this is what you see when the Snow Geese arrive.  Thousands of them!

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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JOURNAL ENTRY #1. MY EARLY YEARS

After thinking about doing this for more than 2 weeks, wondering what I should put in here, how to write it, and if readers out there would read it, I’m gonna give this a good try.  I’m predicting that some of these Posts may become rather long-winded, but I hope you all will bear with me.

MY EARLY YEARS.

 I don’t remember me being born, but it was on March 11th, 1947 at 12:32 in the afternoon.  I came into this world at the Reading Hospital that is still here, but much, much bigger than it was back then.  I did have good care between my Grandparents & my Mother.  When I was brought home, my Grandmother said: “Well, isn’t he a Corker!”  For some reason, the name stuck to me.  Thereafter, I got the nickname Corkey.  It’s been with me ever since then.

MY MOTHER & FATHER

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My Father, pictured above, was Wilford Francis Lawson, and my Mother was Dorothy Jane Johnson.  They met in London, England when my Mother was stationed at the Allied Head Quarters during WWII.  My Father landed in Normandy, June 6th, 1944.  Both of them were in the Army and how my Father got to London, I don’t know at all.  He was just there and they got together.  Then sometime late in 1944 or early 1945, they married in Paris, France.  After being discharged from the Army they came back to my Grandparent’s home in Hamburg, PA. after the War was over.  I came along in March of 1947.  I look just like my Father pretty much.

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Here I am around 1950 or so.  I was named Lester Paul Lawson.  I’m not sure just when this was taken or by who.  Taken in the back of the old house way before the new Interstate was being built that would take away the home and have it placed in another location just up the road.

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Here I am again.  This time with my Grandmother on the dirt road that was known as North 5th St.  I don’t recall this Image being taken, either.  The house in the background was Beckers Farm where I used to play a lot.  The barn is in the back.  The white arrows show where the new Interstate went thru.  All of this is gone now and the road is now mcadam.  I can remember having good times here.

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This is the old home that I grew up in as it is today.  It looks so small now.  Back then I thought it was big.  It has not changed all that much.  The small trees were not there then, but everything else is about the same.  I still can go to this house and know where everything is and where each room is.  I remember it so well.

My Grandparents had this home built.  My Grandfather passed away in 1954 & my Grandmother in 1956 leaving my Mother to be the only one to raise a young boy.  My Father left her just before I was born or just after.  Not sure which one.  She had no one else.  She had to work a job and care for me at the same time.  Back then, I never even thought of that.  She must have had a rough time.  I’m sure it was not that easy.

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Since my mother had no one else to watch over me, she would drop me off to this play area in Hamburg.  I was told very sternly to stay here until she got back from work at the Disher Knitting Mills where she was a typist.  I did what I was told!  At that time there was no play area like you see.  The large building in the background was there, but not as fancy.  There were lots of things to do here during the Summer months.  Us kids could make little crafts, play in a sandbox, go down a big sliding board, be on the swings, and play box hockey.  Swimming was a hit or miss for me.  Lot’s of times Mom didn’t have the money for me to get in the Pool.  I think it was .50 cents to enter for the whole day.  If Mom didn’t have any money, some of us kids would go swimming in the old Union Canal that was just down the way from here.  It didn’t cost a dime.

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The place in the old Union Canal where I used to go swimming, at times.  It has changed over the passing years.  Not as much water in it as before.  We’d go swimming here with the frogs, the mud, and an occasional snake.  Didn’t bother us at all.

I had a really good childhood in Hamburg.  Mom always was there for me.  She made sure that I was dressed the best for school and church.  She would always lay out my clothes that I was to wear for that day on the bed.  I never ever had anything dirty to be worn at all!  Always had good shoes to wear, boots for winter.  I don’t remember ever being without something that was important.  Mom was a very stern Mother.  She kept me in line, taught me right from wrong, taught me manners that I still know to this day. If I did something wrong, I’d get told about it or get my butt busted, which happened 2 or 3 times.

I was enrolled in the Hamburg Elementry School from 1st – 5th grade.  Don’t recall much about 1st – 2nd grade, but in the 3rd year, I can still remember the smell of the school.  It still smells the same as it did back then.  It was not a bad smell.  Just different.  I was taught reading, writing, and Arithmetic.  I hated Math and still do to this day.  I was not good at it at all.  Think I barely passed addition, division, subtraction, and multiply numbers.  I didn’t do too bad.  I learned as I went along in school.  Spelling is another one.  I’m sort of ok doing my English words, but I still spell stuff wrong.

Thanks for reading.

Les

 

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SPINNING REEL

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Now, how does this thing work?

I happen to be paging thru some of my Images that I had forgotten about.  I came across this one that I took last year at the Daniel Boone Homestead Festival.

I was just walking around and taking a look at what was there.  Walked around the old Barn and found this Lady working with a Spinning Reel.  She was fiddling around with it trying to either get it to work right or she was confused on what do do.

I stood there watching her along with other interested people.  Put up the Pentax and zoomed in a bit.  Just happened to catch this look on her face.  I know I would have no idea on how those old Spinning Reels were used.  It must have taken some knowledge to operate.  The brushed wool she was using was down in a wooden box on the lower right of the Image.  Watching how this worked, it seemed that  with her left hand she had to twist the wool into long strands while spinning the wheel.  I have no idea what that is in her right hand.  This is what had to be done if you wanted something to wear during the Winter months.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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HAUNTED HALLWAY

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Photographed on the 2nd floor of the old High School.

Last summer I made a drive over to my old High School to see if what I had been told about that my school was Haunted!  I sort of did not believe it and that’s what I wanted to find out for sure.

My old HS was empty except for some administrative people that were there using one of the Classrooms as an Office.  It has become the Administrative Building since it closed down and was going to be demolished in the near future.  No one is there anymore.

I walked in and told the 2 nice Ladies who I was and what I was there for.  I was told I could walk these hallowed halls as long as I had an escort with me.  Why did I have to have that?  It was for Insurance purposes.  Ok.  That’s fine with me.

While walking around in the Hallways that I remembered so well, I asked about whether this school was truly haunted like I was told.  To my complete surprise, she said: “Yes, that it is.”  She had witnessed some of the “strange” things for herself.  She saw a “misty” form standing in the doorway at the back entrance of the school.  It was there for just a few seconds and then gone!  In the old Gym where Saturday night dances were held long ago and is now used as a collection area for hundreds of records, she & others have heard “voices” from nowhere!  They have no idea where they come from, but can be heard!  From who?  From what?  No explanation.  They just don’t know.

Now, the above image is one that I shot while up on the 2nd Floor.  I was told that the doors are always kept closed in case of a fire.  When she comes in she finds them open!  Who does this?  Can’t be explained.  Notice the long bench on the left?  It moves from one place to another!  One time it’s on the other wall.  Another time it’s down the Hall against the wall!  They never seem to know where it will be.  No explanation.  Also, notice the “exit” light at the end of the hall?  It’s lit up!  There is no electricity in this part of the building.  No, it’s not a reflection.  I used no flash here at all.  During the daylight hours, strange noises are heard in the Halls for no reason.

Since my visit here, the old school has been demolished.  There is nothing there now except an empty lot.  Going to be used for a Park of some kind.  I wonder if the haunting will continue in the empty lot?

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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STARTING A JOURNAL?

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For a number of weeks now, I have been thinking about starting a Journal about my past, what I think, and my opinions of what’s going on in this crazy world we live in.

I am a bit hesitant about doing this for the reason that I’ve never done this before.  I have noticed that there are quite a number of different kinds of Journals out there.  In fact, there are hundreds of them.  My biggest problem is who would read it?  Who would care?  Would you take an interest in what I write?  As some of you might have noticed, I have not really said much about my personnel Life.  Most of it has been about places that I go to or have been Historical in nature with my camera.  I always have been interested in doing this because I can show the History that is around me and my Photography that I enjoy doing.

If I start this, I will probably tell of my early life growing up and then keep going forward from what I remember.  Even though I’m almost 73 yrs. old, my memory is still pretty good.  I will label my entries as Journal Entry #1 and so on.

If you have any opinion on this, leave a comment.  I would appreciate that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

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SOME NEW LOOKS

About 1 week ago I happen to come across a new photo editing program called Luminar 4.  I’ve been reading about it and it seemed to be much better than the Luminar 2018 program I had before.  So, after some thought, I decided to upgrade to this newer program where it told me it could edit dull grey skies to a sky that is much more colorful with just one click.  Really?  Ok, let’s see what this can do.

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This Image I had posted awhile back, but the sky was dull and washed out.  I never really did like it.  Using my new program, look at what it can do!  I was astonished, to say the least.  Much, much better than before.  Since then I’ve done a few more.

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The old St. Nickoles Coal Breaker that now no longer here.  Torn down.

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Heading to the Bahama Islands.

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The mighty Bethlehem Steel Plant

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Coal slag left over from the now gone Primrose Coal Breaker.

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The abandoned Days Inn located in Schuylkill Haven, PA

Now, you can see just what a good sky can do to improve the look of your Image.  I am impressed with this program.  Glad I upgraded to the new one.  My Images will look so much better now.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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DOWN A OLD ROAD

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Looking East on old RT22 that used to be the only 2 lane road from Allentown to Harrisburg, PA back in 1952.  In the day there was no Interstate 78.  It was being built during that time.  There have been a lot of improvements on this old road since then.  No longer is it a cement 2 lane road.

Old RT22 used to have a number of gas stations & motels for travelers using it, but now most all of them are gone to History.  At places along this road are still remnants of a gas station or motel that is no longer there.  On the right side of this Image there was once a Texaco Gas Station I seem to recall.  Nothing there anymore.  Just an empty farmer’s field.

The road is still used pretty much, but not as much as years ago.  I even use it here & there and remember what used to be.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MY YEAR IN REVIEW

Happy New Year to all my faithful followers!  At the end of this year, I would like to take this time to THANK all of you for following me & my Posts.  I have always appreciated your likes and comments.

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Now then, I think that this is the 1st time I’ve posted an image of me and what I look like.  This is who you talk to via my FB Posts. This was taken on Christmas morning while helping my Wife, Eileen cooks Christmas Dinner.  She took this photo.  Eileen does all the cooking of the food.  I just help out when & where I can.  Normally I stay out of the kitchen because I can’t cook what she can.  I would be just in her way.

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The Christmas Table in our Dining Room before all the food has been placed and all the relation has arrived.  My phone camera does not do such a good job taking pictures.  Sorry for the blur in it.  The Chair Rail you see, I put in a number of years ago to match the Table, Chairs, & Hutch.  The Hutch has a number of crystal glass, plates, and figurines that are old and worth a bit of money.  My Mother had some of them from the 1950s.  We keep them in there for display and to keep the dust off them.  The rest were purchased by Eileen over the years passing.  The Dining Room does not get used that much during the year.  Just when we have other people coming over for dinner.  The rest of the time it just sits there and gathers dust.

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And for the 1st time, this is my Loving Wife, Eileen.  Taken by me & my phone again.  “Leenie” as she is called most of the time is 6 months younger than me.  She was born & raised in the Coal Region that is north of here.  I call her a “Coal Cracker” at times because people from that region are known by that name.  She has 2 Sons, Galen & Brian from a previous marriage.  Her late Husband passed away in 1990 from Cancer.  In 1992 she met me.  We have been together since then.  Her oldest son, Galen, is a retired PA State Trooper and Brian is working as a Food Specialist here in Reading.  Both of her sons are big boys!  Galen is 6’5″ tall & Brian is just a bit shorter.  She has nothing to worry about when they are around her!  Growing up in the Coal Region, she didn’t have much because her father just could not afford a lot.  She grew up poor but managed with what she had.  Just one of the things she had to put up with was while in Minersville High School, she had no heat in her bedroom.  It was so cold in there she had to get dressed for school in the bathroom.  It was the only place up-stairs that had heat!  There were many times that her father could not afford the Coal to heat the furnace.  It was cold enough to see her breath in her room!

So, this year has not been bad for me, but for Eileen, it’s a different story.  Eileen has been having problems with her knees for a long while.  A lot of pain, discomfort, & limping around.  She had to get shot’s in her knees to get rid of the pain.  This would last about 3 months until she’d have to do it all over again.  Finally, it was recommended by the Doctor to have her knee replaced with an artificial one.  This would mean major surgery!  So, on June 6th she went into the Reading Hospital to have this done.

She stayed in the hospital for 3 days to start the healing process.  Then she came home.  Now, trust me, this is no fun at all!  She was in pain for about 2 weeks before there was some relief from the surgery.  It was terrible at times.  She could walk but not very well until the healing process got better.  I was there to help her out as much as I could.  Now, 6 months have gone by, and she’s doing much, much better.  It was a long, tough process that I don’t want to go thru at all!

For the most part, our year so far has been pretty good.  I’m still doing and above ground so far.  We are not going anywhere for New Years at all.  Staying home.  New Years Day we are having 10 people over for Pork & Saurkrut as we have done for quite a while.  It is said that having Pork & Saurkrut brings good luck?  Not sure about that one.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

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JOLLY OLE’ ST NICK

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Photographed at the Reading Hospital Cancer Unit

Yesterday while over at the Reading Hospital waiting for my Wife to have a Stress Test done on her heart I didn’t have much to do but walk around and see what’s going on.  While slowly walking the many areas of the huge Hospital, I happen to hear some Christmas carols being sung by a choir over in the next building.  They sounded pretty good, so I thought I’d go over there and see what’s going on.

Found out that the Choir was from one of the High Schools around the area.  The Choir was pretty much all young Ladies and 6 or 7 young men.  They all looked to be in 8th or 9th Grade.  They were singing Deck The Halls, Jingle Bells, Hark The Herold Angels Sing, and White Christmas, plus a few more.  They had some good harmony and I enjoyed listening to the music for a while.

In the process of just standing around enjoying the music, I noticed Santa walking around with his bag of goodies.  I thought he looked pretty good and was worth an Image being taken of him.  When he came close to me, I asked him if he would mind me taking a shot of him.  He said No, and stepped over in front of the tree for me.  The above is the photo I took of him with my phone camera.  I thanked him for his time, and he went along his merry way.

Found out that Santa visit’s the Children’s Area and goes into the Rooms to greet all the sick children who might not be home for Christmas.  He gives them all a small gift from Santa himself.  This is such a nice gesture for them all.  Santa’s reindeer were not there, that I saw.

Happy Holidays to all

Les

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I THINK I’M GETTING BETTER.

Hello there my blogging friends.  How is your Holiday Season going so far?

For the past few days, I’ve been trying to learn how to place a different sky in my Images when the sky itself is blown out and not attractive at all.  I found out by reading that this can be changed in Photoshop CC by doing a few steps that I could follow along with.  There are video’s out there to learn from, but I’m not good at watching a video and then try to remember what was told to me.  I found it’s much easier to print out the instructions and then read what it tells me as I follow along.  Even with doing this, it takes me 3 or 4 times to get it fairly right.  It takes practice.

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A previous posted Image of a Historic Barn, but with some enhancement.

Using my Photoshop CC program this is the 1st Image that I tried to add a better sky since the one before had no color at all.  There are 6 different steps that you have to do to add a different sky.  I got the sky from the Internet that was free to download.  It took me 3 times to get this sort of right.  I say that because there are mistakes here that I made, but I learned from them.

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Another Image I posted before, but with a different sky.

Again, I did a bit better, but it should have been done with not so many white spaces around the trees & buildings.  It’s an improvement.

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This is the 3rd one I’ve done of an old home from years ago.

With this one, the sky came out much better.  I also made the stone on the house a bit more brown to show an “old look”  There is so much more that can be done with Photoshop CC but it takes a lot of time to learn how.

Happy Holidays to my Followers

Les

 

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MY OLD TOYBOX

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Pictured above is what used to be my Toy Box that was hand made by my Grandfather & painted by my Grandmother in 1948, a year after I was born.  I had no idea who did this back then since I was only a year old.  The Pine Wood box stands about 2.5 feet high, 3 feet long, and about 2 feet wide.  Everything was made with just a hand saw, jigsaw, a hammer, maybe some glue, and decorative studs.  It has survived my banging around and was also used by my Daughter years ago.  It shows the wear & tear from 73 yrs.  The Lid to it is gone.  I have no idea what happened to it.  The Lid was the same color but had my nickname across the top in Silver letters.

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There is also another one just like this one except it is painted blue with different kinds of figures painted on it.  It was made by my Grandfather in the same way but was for my Cousin who was born in August 1947.  My Cousin turned his into a box that displayed his stereo system.  As far as I know, he still has it.

My Grandmother liked to paint on canvas too.  I still have some of her paintings that have survived over the years.  My Brother has more of them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a nice Holiday Season

Les

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KAUFFMAN FARM RE-VISITED

Don’t really remember if I had mentioned this before on an earlier post, but a few weeks ago I was asked by the Oley Heritage Foundation to take Images of Historic buildings around the Oley area.  They must have liked my shot’s from viewing them from a friend of mine who told them about me.  I am very grateful for this.  Someone has noticed my work.  So, with that in mind, I have been taking my camera gear “out there” to places that they have requested I shoot fresh Images for a book that will be published in January or February of next year.  The last Images they had were taken sometime in 1993.  I told them I can do better than what they have.  I won’t be making any money from doing this, since the Foundation is a non-profit.  I don’t care about getting paid.  I just enjoy doing it as I always have.

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Here is the Historic Kauffman Farm Homestead.  Established by David Kauffman in 1726 it is a fine example of PA German buildings that are frequent to this area from long ago.  The Main House in the background was built in 1763.  The Farm buildings were added in 1834.

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This is looking to the rear of the Farmstead.  The Main house, Springhouse, and another building that I don’t know what was used for.  Notice the Outhouse from years gone by when there were no toilets or running water in the home.  Water had to be drawn from a Spring that is still there.  Imagine going to the bathroom in that Outhouse in the rain, sleet, cold, snow, or hot weather?  I can believe it must have been a challenge back then . . . especially in the middle of the night!

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This is the Main Barn.  It’s rather large, I must say.  PA German barns are usually this big.  Everything is padlocked so no one goes snooping around in it and possibility stealing or worse destroying History just for the fun of it!

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Here I thought the Farmstead would look better in B&W.

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From behind the stone wall.

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Photographing History.  Why the barn door was open, I don’t know.  I ventured inside to take a look-see.  Nothing in there to be of interest.  Just old timbers, hay, and a very dirty floor.  There are times when I look into places like this, that I don’t know what’s in there!  You never know!

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With the light fading by the minute, I elected to depart this old place, but only after I find a place to take a pee!  When walking around taking Images, it doesn’t matter where I always seem to get this problem!  So, with no one around here but me I didn’t have a problem finding a place.  Also, while here, I noticed how very quiet it is.  No noise at all.  Just the sound of me walking thru the grass.  I often thought what was it like here back then?  Guess I’ll never know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MAIN STREET, OLEY

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Out photographing old homes yesterday for the Oley Heritage Foundation, I find that homes like this are not seen so much anymore.  It seems to be a design that has gone to History.  This home is found along Main St. in Oley which has a number of places like this.  While photographing these I always wonder who had this in the past?  How long has it been here?  Information is very hard to find about these.  All I know is it was built sometime in the early 1800s.  They must be well built because it stands to this day.

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Here is another one.  Who was here?  What happened you never seem to know.

Photographing homes in Oley along Main St. is somewhat of a job to do.  Most homes are located along a busy 2 lane road that runs thru the town.  Traffic traveling up and down can be a problem.  Even though I have pulled my car off to the side of the road as far as I safely can, and have my 4-way flashers on, and an added yellow rotating light on the roof, car’s speed by without care or slowing down.  I always have to be cautious when doing this or get run over!

Another thing that I have to put up with is wires & telephone poles!  I hate them being in my Images.  You can’t seem to get away from them.  I try and shoot the best possible composition, but still, get them in my Image.  Then what I have to do is get rid of them using my Photoshop CC program.  Thank goodness for that!  It’s a bit time consuming since there are so many.  Wish Oley would get rid of them somehow.

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This one dates back to the 1800s but does not look it.  It has been made over to look more modern.  It looks good.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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OLD HOMES

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A few days ago I was asked by the Oley Heritage Foundation to take Images of Historic buildings on Main Street in Oley, Pa. to replace the Images they had with better quality photos.  The ones they had were out of date and not anywhere near what I could do.  I was given a list, via e-mail, of numbers that were the addresses of buildings.  Since then I have been traveling back & forth to Oley taking the Images asked for.  The above is what used to be the old Union Meeting House, but is now a Church.  This dates back to the middle 1700s.

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This is another Historic Home that has been here since the early 1800s.  I like the porch supports.  Things like this are very rare to see anymore.

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This home was on the list of Historic Homes, but I don’t know why.  It seems that at one time it looked a lot different than what it does now.  If you look close you can still see the original foundation on the bottom.

The small town of Oley is just full of History.  You just have to know where and what to look for.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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FALL IN THE NOLDE STATE FOREST

Not but a half hr. drive away for me is the Nolde State Forest.  I have known and driven by this place many times in the past, but have never taken the time to walk around here.  I decided to go check it out during this Fall time of the year.

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One of the picnic areas in Fall color.

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On one of the many hiking trails.

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Tried to capture the leaves falling.  Didn’t work out well.

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I must make a point to come here after we have a good snow this winter.

Thank you for viewing.

Les

 

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PROMISED LAND STATE PARK

One of the really nice State Parks that are in Pennsylvania and is not a really far drive for me is Promised Land Park.  It is located north of here and takes about 3 hrs. to drive there.  I had been to this Park back in the early 70s when I used to go camping with my former Wife.  I grabbed all the camera gear that I thought I might need, loaded the car and off I went.

However, there was a small problem when I left.  The weather was not looking good at all!  There were many dark windblown clouds and it was on the cold side.  The wind made it feel colder than it actually was.  While driving up there I was thinking that the weather would improve more, but to my disappointment it never did.  I was not happy about this, but I have to deal with what Mother Nature gives me.  I made the best of it.

Upon arriving at the Park, I was a bit confused about just where I was.  It’s been so long since I’ve been there I had to stop at the Ranger Station to get a map of where I wanted to go.  My memory is good, but some things escape me after time.

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After stopping at the Ranger Station I used this Map to refresh my memory on where to go.  This State Park is huge.  There are so many things to do and see, but I didn’t have all that time.  This Map only shows part of the Park.  There is so much more!  I drove the very narrow Park roads that I show in Black.  It doesn’t look long, but it is.  The maximum speed is 10 mph in the Park.  The Rangers will stop you if caught speeding.

There are many, many Trails to follow.  I didn’t have time to do that, even though I sort of wanted to if they were not real long.  Camping is a big thing here and there are numerous places to camp.  Too many to mention.  Also, this is Black Bear country.  Bears in the Park are common sight to see.  I didn’t see any, maybe cause it’s close to the time for them to hibernate.

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So, despite the windy cloudy weather I did manage to get in some shots of where I was.  This is traveling along the Lake.  The road is quite narrow.

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Part of the Lake in Fall Color.

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Taken from the car.  I was headed down this road and thought this looked pretty nice.

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Here is another one, but a much better color.  It’s a bit blurry because of the wind but still turned out pretty good.  I have always appreciated what Mother Nature shows us.  It’s not here very long, so behold it while you can.

After driving around some more I was getting tired & worn out, so I headed home.  It was a good 3.5 hr. drive back.  By the time I turned into our driveway I was dog tired!  Gathered my gear and sat in my comfortable chair for the rest of the evening.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

Featured

MISTY

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It was a bit Misty & on the cool side here at the old Bernheart Dam.  Weather & the Fall Season are upon us, but the color is not quite all there yet.  It should be in full color in a week or so.

This old Dam has been here for longer than I remember.  It used to be a good fishing place until a Battery Plant moved in close by.  Now, the water here is no good.  No fish, either.  The only Wildlife here are the ducks & geese which don’t hang around very long.

The City of Reading is going to drain this Dam in the next 6 months.  Where are they going to empty this water into?  There is alot of it.  Pump it out into a nearby stream?  I don’t know, and I think the City does not know either.  Guess that time will tell.

Thanks for viewing.

Les

Featured

HAUNTED!

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Located right along side the Main St. in the town of Oley, PA is the Squire House that was built in the early 1700s.  The Home is still here to this day but has had a few additions added on to it since the early day’s.  The front of the house was added on in 1856, but the original house is still in the back part.

While photographing this old home, I noticed that the Owner was out front, so decided to walk over and ask some questions about it.  She was very friendly and told me a number of things that most people don’t know.  One of them is that the home is Haunted!!  She saw with her own eye’s a figure walk past the kitchen window from out of nowhere and disappear into nothing!  She has no clue about who the Spirit is or why he is there.  She told me that this has happened a number of times in the past.

Also, she & her husband have heard knocking on the front door and scratching on the outside walls.  When they go to check out the noise, there is no one there!  Nothing.  No one around.  It is also heard during the nighttime, and again nothing there.  There is a swing set out in the back yard where she was sitting one day.  Out of nothing, a voice told her to “Get Off!”  She heard it plain as day!

They also have a dog for a pet.  She told me that their dog will not enter the kitchen, at times, because it knows something strange is in there!  Just sit’s growling and looking into the kitchen!  It is often said that animals can sense the presence of Spirits.  Most of the time their dog enters the kitchen with no problem.

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Now, this is the home that is located right next to the Squire House.  I was told that it also has “strange” things that have happened here over the years and still do.  It’s not as old as the Squire House, but I believe it was built in the early 1800’s like a number of other old homes in Oley.

I have known this small ole’ Town since my day’s attending Oley High School back in the ’60s, but I’ve never known some of the homes to be haunted.  While talking with this nice informative Lady, I was shocked to hear about all this!  It can be very informative when you just walk up and ask people questions about what you see.  Believe this or not?  I do!

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

OLEY FAIR & CAR SHOW

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It’s that time of the year again when the famous Oley Fair is going on.  This Fair has been here for many years, and even since I was in the Oley Senior High School, which is now gone to make room for a Park.  The Fair has not changed all that much since way back when I came here as a Teenager.  The displays offering different products for sale are about the same, just more modern.  This area has lot’s of History and farmland, so there are a few tractors and farm equipment on display.  The teenagers still come here, just like I did, but now it’s a different generation.  The food is just great and always has been.  People come here just for the food and walk around to see what’s new.  Farm animals are here also.  Cows, pigs, sheep, and lambs are here to be judged for best of show.  I think they all look good!

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This is just one of the pieces of farm equipment for sale.  New Hollard tractors are one of the ones that are popular to buy because they are made better.  Of course, the price goes along with it.  Farm tractors such as this run in the price range of $50,000!

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Along with the Fair, there is most always, a Car Show with quite a number of beautiful restored ole’ cars back from the ’50s & ’60s.  This is one of them.  The Man behind the car restored this 1938 Coupe himself.  It took him more than 10 yrs. to do all this!

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Just one of the number of T-Birds for show.

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The Image for this T-bird does not do it justice.  This was one beautiful, restored car!

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Looking from the rear.  Notice the Tiger tail.  It was a Tail to show he has a Tiger in his gas tank from Esso Gas.  Now, long gone.

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The mighty Pontic GTO with it’s 383 cid engine.  I remember this car well.  You could “light up the hides” with this muscle car so easy!  It would go like hell!  This is when gas was just 32 cents a gallon!  Remember that?  Cars like this will never be built again, and I find it a shame.

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This is the last one I’ll post.  I just love cars from the time I was in High School.  They bring back so many memories for us all.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

Featured

M60 TANK

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The M60 Main Battle Tank is a static display located in the small Town of Leesport, Pa.

Used during the Korean & Vietnam War’s this tank had a 105mm Main Gun.  It also had a 7.62cal. machine gun that was located on the top.  Also carried a few thousand rounds of machine gun ammunition.

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Photographed in B&W the M60 is slowly loosing the color it once had from sitting in all types of weather.  Would have liked to see the inside of this, but everything is locked up tight so no one enters.  The engine that powered this is still inside.

Thanks for viewing.

Les

READING HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER

The place I was born in.

Yesterday the Wife had to go over here to have her knee checked and get a injection to keep it working well until her surgery being scheduled for next June. So I thought that I can’t go inside with her because of the virus thing I’ll have to find something else to take up time until she is finished with her treatment. So, before we left for her appointment I thought this would be a great time to capture some night photography of the hospital all lite up.

The Reading Hospital & Medical center was opened in 1867, but it was located at a different place. Originally it was on 11th St. in the city, but over time it was found to be too small for the needs of the area. It was decided to build a new one which I have shown here. Over the many passing years this hospital has grown much bigger that it was years ago. It is a huge place. It has become so big that it’s hard to find your way around to the different treatment areas. I have been here many, many times in the past and still have trouble finding where I want to go. It has a huge Emergency Center, a Helo pad for Life Flight helicopters to land on, and much more than I can think of. It is the biggest hospital around my area and is known for the great patient care that is given. The huge place does have a problem though. The parking for visitors is getting too small for it’s size. During the day, trying to find a place to park your car can get time consuming. As far as I know, it is being looked into.

Clock Tower

Another thing the Hospital is known for is this famous Clock Tower. It has been here ever since the hospital was built. It keeps accurate time. The Clock Tower is the Main entrance to the buildings.

In a passing note, I was born here on March 11th, 1947. So much has changed since then.

Thanks for stopping by.

HEAR THE WATER

A small waterfall

While walking around with the camera a few days ago, I noticed this small waterfall and thought it would be a nice photo to take. However, I sort of messed this up because I did not have the settings right on the camera to make the waterfall “silky” looking like I always want to have. Why I did this or forgot I don’t really know. Just did. It’s still nice, though.

Thanks for stopping by.

MY OLD HANG-OUT

Rexall Drug Store

Back in the early 60’s while I was in Fleetwood High School, there was Rauchs Drug Store that was on the Main Street of Fleetwood just a short walk away from our school. It was a popular place to go for us teenagers back then.

The ole’ Drug Store was a place we could hang out at after school left out. It had a soda fountain with ice cream, cherry cokes, and a Wurlitzer Juke Box that we could always play 60’s music on. Back then the price of a cherry coke was 10 cents, a small ice cream sundae was 15 cents, and you could play 6 songs on the Juke Box for .25 cents. A nickel would play 1 song, a dime would play 2 songs back then.

The booth you see in the picture is exactly what they looked like, minus the other clutter around it. The Store had 4 or 5 of these booths for us to sit in. I remember this very well and all the times I was sitting in a booth like this. The Wurlitzer Juke Box is gone, and probably in someones collection. They are worth lot’s of money today. What used to be the Drug Store is now a furniture store. I used to have a picture of what it looks like now, but I lost it somehow. To bad this memory filled place has faded into History.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

ADMIRAL VISIT 1967

Hand Salute!

In 1967 while off the coast of Vietnam patrolling our sector with the carrier USS Kitty Hawk, we got a visit from the Admiral of Task Force 77, who was in charge of all ships in the group.

Here the picture, that was not taken by me, shows him being “piped” aboard after repelling down on to the Fantail from the helo. The helo from the Kitty Hawk is just ready to lift off the Fantail then to return when his visit is over.

The sailors rendering a hand salute are called “side boys”. All of these guys were my shipmates. I knew each one of them. Just what the Admiral wanted to see the Captain about I never knew. He was aboard a good hour and then left our Destroyer back to the Kitty Hawk.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

NOLDE FOREST POND

Nolde Forest Pond

Taking advantage of the real nice warm weather we have been getting the past 3 days here in PA, I drove over to the Nolde Forest Pond to see what it’s all about. I have never been here before and knew nothing about it prior to my visit. Finding the small parking lot I grabbed my camera gear and starting walking down a leaf filled trail that I assumed led to the Pond. Coming upon the small pond there was a wooden platform to stand on that over-looked the Pond. It’s not a very big body of water. Just a fair size pond. Standing here I had to look around me a bit to take in what might be there for my camera to capture. After about 3 minutes, I noticed the reflection on the water from the trees across the way. Pressed the remote shutter release to capture this in failing light.

Trees with the sun.

Still looking around I had turned to look behind me, and saw the sun a bit behind a tree. If I moved to one side or another, the sun was too bright. Went back to my original position and pressed the shutter button. Here I liked the sun shining behind the tree and on the Fall color of the forest.

Wooden bridge

I stayed where I was for a little bit, then started walking back the path that I had come from. This little bridge over a small stream was a bit on the wobbly side to cross over. Who built it, I don’t know.

Walking path.

The small parking lot is just around the corner to the right here. Wanted to catch more of the colors before they all fade away. This one was shot in HD.

Lens Ball.

Part of my camera gear that is always with me is my Crystal Lens Ball which can offer some different photo taking perspectives. Happen to notice some of the fallen trees around had heavy moss on them. Thought this might be a good place to set the ball on and see what can be done. One problem. I didn’t have the right Lens to capture this kind of shot, so I had to use what I had along with me. This one is not right and can be better. It’s much too blurry for what I want. Must remember to bring Lens along in my bag for next time.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

GETTING COLDER NOW.

@Nolde Forest.

When I went back over to the Nolde Forest I changed my camera gear to using the Pentax K10d with a AF 17-50mm Tamron Lens. Thought that I’d give it a “outing” instead of using the Nikon D7000. The Pentax is a older camera and my opinion of it is that it just does not take as good of a image as the Nikon. It does do a good job, but not quite as clear as the Nikon. Here I have the camera set up on the wooden bridge that cross’s over the stream. It’s not bad, but I would like it better. When I was here the air was very cool & damp. Winter is coming soon.

Pentax with my Tripod & remote shutter trigger.

Taken with my phone camera. That’s why it’s on the blurry side. Sorry. Here I have the camera pointed down to a small waterfall that I found while walking slowly down the trail looking for photo opportunities. Around this area there are plenty of them. You just have to look around and see what is there for you.

As usual, I’m here alone. I never seem to have anyone that likes taking images of Nature like I do. It would be nice to have someone else along, but I’m getting used to it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

WALKING THE PATH OF FADING COLOR

Nolde Forest Trail

On a some-what cloudy, very cool afternoon I went over to the Nolde Forest just to walk around and see what was there. The Nolde Forest is a nice place to visit with lots of walking/bicycle trails. Many of the trails I have never walked that much because they are quite long and I can’t walk that far. In my older age my legs get too sore and my feet start to hurt so I can only go a short distance then walk back. This is just one of the trails. On top of that carrying my camera gear adds weight to walk around with.

Spillway

This is from a old Dam from many years back that used to be here, but is now gone. The Spillway is all that remains.

Rapids

Flowing thru the Forest is a small creek that offers some photography of many small rapids to shoot. Since I have gotten the nack of shooting waterfalls I seem to be drawn to them.

Flowing water.

The Fall Season here is starting to fade away. The brilliance of color is leaving. Nature is starting to have the leaves fade away to make room for Winter that will arrive here soon. There is still color left, but not anywhere like it used to be. I’m sorry to see that. Winter will have it’s own color to show when it snows. I’ll come back here and see it all in white.

RETURN TO YESTERDAY.

The old Distilling Basin in Hamburg, PA

I had decided to return to my ole’ play area when I was a kid growing up in Hamburg for some Fall color. The area has changed quite a lot since my younger days. Gone is the large empty area that was once just filled with black Coal dirt from the river near-by. Back in the 1950’s this was a bleak area where nothing grew or lived. There was no walking/bicycling paths. Nothing. Even though there was nothing here, it was a fun place for me to play in. I have many memories of this place, that I see but others do not.

It’s getting later in the day.

Looking at the place from a different view. Up to the left of the image is what remains of the old train tracks that once hauled Coal to Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

What used to be a railroad bed, but now a walking/bicycle trail.
Railroad bed with no tracks.

During this time of the year it gets rather pretty here. Lots of yellows, greens, & reds.

Walking back.

During the Winter months when in snows a bit, this place takes on a different kind of look. The white of the snow that clings to the trees is always nice to see. However, walking back this far when it’s so cold is something I would have a problem with.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

AMAZING NATURE.

Brilliant Colors

One finial post on my trip up to Shohola Falls in Pike County, my GPS was telling me what roads to take to arrive at the Falls. I had a general idea on how to get there, but not exactly how. In cases like this, I have used the GPS many times to guide me threw the shortest way possible hoping that I don’t get lost.

My Google Map GPS is quite reliable most of the time. There have been 1 or 2 times that it took me out of the way, when I knew that there was a shorter way to get to my destination. But, that’s ok. When I don’t know any better it is a driving help to find where I’m going.

Orange, Greens, & light Browns.

After driving North on RT33, the GPS told me to turn East onto RT487 and travel the road for 25 miles. It was only a 2 lane road, but in good condition. I had no idea on what I would encounter along the way. To my amazement, most everywhere was brilliant colors. There was very little open area’s. Everything was a blaze of color. I could have kicked myself for not having my Car Cam up on the windshield. I could have recorded some of the sights along my way instead of taking pictures.

I just love this time of the year!

After driving for more than an hour, I decided it was time to pull over and take a short rest, and find a place to pee. I finally spotted a open area alongside the road, so I pulled off. Again, I was greeted with these amazing colors. After looking around for a few minutes, I grabbed my Nikon and took these that you see. Even though it was a tiring drive, it was well worth it.

During the dead of Winter it snows up here pretty heavy, I am told. It is not unusual to have 2 or 3 feet of snow on the ground. A portion of the area is only open for snow mobiles. I’ll bet that it gets pretty up here all dressed in white.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

SHOHOLA FALLS

Route that I took to the Falls

Up before dawn yesterday, making sure that I have all the camera gear that I needed, loaded the car, stopped for some coffee, and hit the road. I was a bit fearful of what I might encounter on the way up there, because I know well some of the roads that I would be traveling on. The main route which is RT22 North up thru Allentown to RT33 North can be nasty with all the heavy traffic at that time in the morning. So, I told myself to stay alert and drive careful watching out for drivers that are always in a hurry to go nowhere and do nothing.

By looking at the map it say’s that it’s a 2 hr. 39min. drive. Well, that was not quite true. It was more than that! More like over 3 hrs. to get there! You have to factor in stopping to take a short rest and take a pee! Plus heavy traffic at places.

Rt487 North in Pike County.

As soon as I got further North the color of the Fall season started to get more & more colorful. Traveling this route for more than 30 miles, I was astonished at the beautiful color that Nature provided for me. I must have hit this just at the right time, because the color was like this all the way up as I got further North. Here I stopped along-side the road to capture the beauty of it all.

Shohola Dam Breast with Shohola Lake behind.

After a bit over 3 hrs. I arrived at what my GPS told me. The turn off for the Falls road was not marked very good. In fact, I missed it the first time. Had to turn around and try it again. After turning on the road to the Falls, I encountered a very bumpy, pot hole filled single lane road. Not a nice road at all! It was short lived to the parking lot that was not very big. The above Image is what I thought was the Falls I had traveled so far to see. Nope! The Falls I was looking for is just below this dam breast.

Just part of Shohola Falls.

After walking a short distance to the right of where I was standing, I could hear the roar of the Falls that were below me. A short path with wooden steps led me down to the Falls I was looking for. The ground was wet with slippery leaves that I had to be darn careful walking on or take a bad fall with Tripod & Camera in hand. Would not have been good. This is just the 1st Falls that I set up the camera for. The main Falls is just below this.

SHOHOLA FALLS.

Here is the Falls that I traveled so far to see. I must say that it is very impressive. The roar of the water & the fine mist are very nice to be viewing. However, to get this Image I had to walk over a not so good wet leave, slippery path that was narrow and filled with rocks. With Tripod & Camera in one hand, I had to be darn careful not to slip and fall. It would have been close to or over a 20 ft. drop down into the water!

A different view.

Here I had to set up the camera & tripod on the small ledge that Nature provided. I used a Remote Shutter trigger to shoot these. Also, I was told that there were water snakes in the area. I didn’t see anywhere, but I was watching for them. I’m not very fond of snakes. I just avoid them if they are seen. They were there before me.

After walking, looking around, and climbing on rocks & roots of trees I decided that it’s time to head home. I went back the same way as I came. It was a very tiring day for me. The driving home and the walking around took a toll on me. I’m not as young as I used to be. My legs and body were just plain wore out. I was beat. When I got home in the early afternoon, I just sat in my favorite chair and rested for the rest of the day.

Thank you for reading & stopping by.

Les

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