RE-CLAIM THE LAND

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Yesterday was darn HOT and sticky, but I decided to take a trip back up to the Coal Mining Town of St. Clair to see if my “free shooting range” was still there.  It was there, but across the road was a different story.

The last time I was up here the Bulldozers, Yukes, Earth Movers, and Dump trucks were just starting to dig out a old “Strippie Mine” that was left over from the early 1900’s.  It has been a on-going project to re-claim the land that has been wasted for so many years.  The above Image is just one of what I was greeted with.  It’s one heck of a big hole in the ground that has been dug out to make way for a landfill.  Look down at the red truck to see how deep it was.

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A Komatsu D850 Bulldozer in action leveling out the ground.  This “dozer” is huge!

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It’s broken!  One of the “Yutes” has a broken wheel.  The tires on these huge machines can cost over $5,000.00 a piece!

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Enter the “Rock Crusher”  Again, another huge machine that crushed large rocks & shale into much smaller chunks that are then used for other applications.  It was started up while I was standing here.  It made one heck of a lot of noise!  Created a lot of dust, also.  I didn’t hang around very long!!

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This is a deep trench that was dug out to install a Water Line.  It will be a big one!

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I know, your asking “What’s this?”  I shot this Image of the Shale Layers that are all over this empty Land.  It’s just full of it.  There seem’s to be no good soil here.  Just rock & shale.  Wonder why that is?  I’m sure that a Geologist would know.

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Worn out tires!  These kind of tires for the Yukes are used till they start falling apart.

You can never tell what you might run into when the back roads in the Coal Region are explored.

Thank you.

IRON STOVE

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Do you remember these?  No longer are they seen at the end of a train.  Why this has happened I don’t know.  The Caboose was once a train car that was always on the back end of the train.  In the early day’s, and later it was used to house sleeping area’s, cook, and a place to stay for the train crew.

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If you may have noticed there always was a “stack” on one side of the Caboose.  The above Image is what the “stack” was usually attached to.  A Iron Stove.  Iron Stove’s were used to keep the Caboose warm on cold winter trip’s and also for cooking a meal.  Most of the time coal or wood was used to fire the stove.  More often coal.  The heat lasted longer than wood.  Photographed at the Historic Train Museum in Hamburg.

Thank you.

CRYSTAL BALL

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This afternoon the weather was just as good as it has been for the past 5 day’s.  Nice, sunny, warm, and with plenty of blue sky.  It is a total welcome change from all the rain, cold, windy, and cloudy weather we have had.

Anyway, I started admiring just how Blue the sky was and thought I’d try and get my Clear Lens Ball and do some practice with it.  Had to set up my Tripod and place the camera on it and hold the Ball in the other.  Set the camera for a 10 sec. delay, so I had a bit of time to get the right position.  This was my 1st shot.  The Clear Ball is 3 in. in Diameter and a bit heavy to hold with just one hand, and keep it steady!

I took this with my Nikon Coolpix P600.  It is a great little camera that can be used for things like this.  I’m going to be playing with this more and see what else I can come up with.

Thank you.

FIX-IT!

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Hello to my fellow Bloggers, again.

There is something here that I’ve always been wanting to know about.  I have this exact program to keep my Computer Laptop working good.  I have to pay a yearly subscription to keep this for each year.  It cost’s about $14.00 a year to use.  It’s not too bad.  Seems that it works well, but what I want to know does it really do what it say’s?

There are many different types of Software like this out on the market to purchase.   How do you know who is best and who is no good?  In the number of years I’ve had this program I have only had 1 or two problems with this system.  Guess that it’s bound to happen at one time or another.

This program states that it will Optimize your System, get rid of un-wanted files, speed up your Internet, and lot’s of other things that are too many to mention.  I seem to be pleased with what it does, but I’ll always have some doubt.  What do some of you out there have?  Are you happy with it?

Thank you.

HISTORIC HAMBURG, AGAIN!

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Hello again my bloggers out there.  I’m up here in Historic Hamburg again with my trusty Pentax camera, as always.  This time I wanted to stop by the Historical Society to see what was in here and also ask some questions on places that I remember that were here long ago, but are not any longer.  Since I’ve never been in this place I wanted to see what was inside and “snoop around” a bit.

The sign on the door stated that the Museum opens on Sunday’s at 1:00 p.m. and close’s at 4:00 p.m.  Ok, that’s fine with me.  I’m here a bit early, so I’ll just hang around and wait.  It was such a nice day, so I could walk around a bit.  Well, 1:00 came around and the place was still closed.  I thought I’d give it some time.  1:15 came around, but no one there.  Humm  .  .  .  what’s going on here?  1:30 came and still not open!  Not happy here.  There was no sign stating that it would be closed today.  I waited another 10 min. and still no one opened the door!  I left in disgust! Made a trip up here to see it for nothing!  I will try again.

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Well, all was not lost.  Walked around the side of the building and found this Roll Of Honor of people that served during WWII that are from Hamburg.  I had no idea this was here.  Lot’s of names here.  Started looking thru all the names listed and to my surprise 4 of my Family were on this list!  I was surprised!

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The names you see above are all part of my Family that is under-lined in white.  My Mother was Dorothy J. Johnson who served in the WAC during WWII.  Clyde H. Johnson, Joseph S. Johnson, and Robert L. Johnson all were Navy Chiefs.  However, they missed one and that is Richard H. Johnson, also a Navy Chief.  These people were my Mothers Brothers.  So, now you see what a Military background I have.  They are all gone now, but it was nice to see this and remember.

Thank you.

 

IT WAS DARN HOT!

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I’m getting a bit better using my Lightroom CC.  With the different functions to use, I can make my Image look like true IR.  I like the cool effect on the water with the white trees.

When I shot this Image yesterday, it was very hot & humid.  Temp. was around 105 deg.  Sweat was running down my face and on to the camera.  It was a bit hard to breath.  I can take heat, but not for long periods of time.  I tend to wear out!  I’ve worked in heat most of my Life.  Employed in a Machine Shop for 30 yrs. I sorta got used to it.  Now, that I’m much older, I can’t stand it for long anymore.

Thank you.

COMPUTER CRASH

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About 2 day’s ago I was writing a comment to a friend of mine on Facebook when all of a sudden my Laptop screen went totally blank!!  I sat here thinking “Oh Crap.  What went wrong now?”  I had no idea what happened.  I was dumb founded on what just happened.  I had no clue.

I sat here and thought to try and shut it off and let it re-boot itself.  OK, let’s try that.  I shut it down, waited a few minutes, then turn it back on.  It went thru it’s normal process, but when I signed in my main screen with all the icons never showed!  Now, what!?  In trying to repair this un-expected problem, I thought maybe I should shut it down again and leave it sit for a few hours, then see what happens.  Still thinking what happened and why.  There was no warning.  Nothing to show that something would go bad!

I let my Laptop here sit for about an hour and then started it up again trying to recover my Main Screen.  Ok, this time 1 icon showed up and that was for File Recovery.  Humm . . . . let’s see what this does.  I clicked on it and saw that there was a System Recovery button.  Thought that I’d try this and see what it does.  I clicked on System Recovery and it told me that my System will be recovered, but it will take some time.  That was fine with me.

I had to wait over 1/2 hr. for the System to recover, but everything works just fine now.  Thank goodness for that!!  I was thinking that I might have to take it to the Computer Repair again and pay more money!!  Nope.  Not this time.  I had no idea why it did this.  No clue at all.  Maybe just one of those stupid things Computers do.  I hope that this does not happen again.  Scared the poop out of me.

Feeling a whole lot relieved.

Thank You.

I KEEP TRYING!

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I had stated in my last Post that I was having allot of trouble with doing IR.  I did inquire about having one of my camera’s converted over to a 720nm filter from 2 different places.  The one that is closest to me does not do this service any longer, which I was not happy about.  Nothing I could do about that.  Then I sent a e-mail to Kolorie Vision down in New Jersey and asked them how much it would cost.  They can do it, but for a mere $425.00!  Don’t think so.  Not going to spend that much money on something that will do only 1 thing.  So, I back to square 2.

Later on in snooping around, I found that I can use my Lightroom CC program to get pretty close to what I want.  Found that you can use the Mask function to change colors around.  It takes a bit of playing around to see what works and what doesn’t.  The above Image is a show of what it can do.  It took me some time to figure it out, since I’m not going to spend more money on this.  I seem to like this result.

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Here is another Image that I played around with.  Hope you like them.

Thank you.

 

THE OLD STRAND THEATER

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The building that houses the Hamburg Strand Theater was built in 1799, and was one of the first properties to be built when the town was laid out. Located at 6 South and 4th Street, it was a Federal style house, which was later, turned into a restaurant, before being converted to the theater in 1920.  The building to the right of the Strand used to be a place called Trexlers.  It had some great Hot Dogs and Hamburgers that I still remember to this day.  Now, it’s a Pizza place.  Times have changed in Hamburg, but not all that much.  Hamburg, PA is still a very Historic little town that I remember well.

Owners David and Ella Schlear opened the Strand to the public on Christmas Day of 1920 showcasing their large screened theater with 500 seats. The family home was located above the theater; the front section of the building was rented out as a barbershop. The Schlear’s son Ed took over ownership in 1935, and he added a new entryway, ticket booth, marquee, and neon lights as well as Modern projection equipment and an updated interior. Since then the Theatre has ungone many owners and numerous renovations; the barbershop became a video rental store (among other things) and a concession stand and lobby were built. The Strand now holds 200 seats and remains a single screen theater.

Untamed circa 1929The first “talky” at the Strand was “Untamed”, shown in March of 1930. Prior to that, pianists and later records provided music during the silent film era. On Tuesday and Wednesday a “B picture” film was shown; Friday evening was cowboy night; Saturday offered the more publicized films. During popular movies the kids sat in the aisle; otherwise the girls sat on the left and boys on the right.

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This is a Image of the 1931 Movie Projector that was in the Strand Theater on display.  I, as a young boy, have been into the Strand a number of times to see movies and cartoons that were playing for us kids back in the 50’s.  Going back into the Theater for the 1st time in over 60 yrs. brought back some memories for me, but not many.  For some reason my memory has faded me over time of the inside.  Maybe it’s because it has undergone many changes since then.  More than $200,000 has been spent bringing the old Theater back to modern day, so far.

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So, with all that, Eileen and I went and stepped back into History to see a Elvis impersonator, named Jeff Krick.  He was putting on a show at the Strand for 2 hrs.  We had bought tickets for the 1st 10 rows of seats from the stage.  We got to sit in the 4th row!

“Elvis” was very, very good to see perform. He was well worth the money we paid.  He had all the moves that Elvis had and sang most of his songs from when Elvis was alive.  His voice sounded just like him!  He performed for just under 2 hours.  We bought a Medium bag of buttered Popcorn for $5.50.  Guess that the day’s of getting Popcorn for 25 cents are long gone!

Thank you.

MORE INFRARED

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Hello to my Readers.  Hope all of you are doing well.

For many, many times now, I have tried and tried to capture Infrared Photography and try to process it to what it should be.  I’m finding out that I just can’t seem to get it right no matter what I do with the photo editing programs that I have.

I’ve been trying to get the sky to be a bright blue, with white trees, and grass.  I can get some of it right, but the Blue sky keeps being beyond my reach.  It would look so much better that way.  I have down-loaded a number of articles on how to do this, and even have a book on IR, but all this has featured limited results.  I think that I might stop doing this for a bit until I get a camera converted over to IR at Perfect Camera in Lancaster.  I checked on doing this and found my Pentax K10d can be converted to IR.  The only problem with this is that I can’t use the Pentax for any other type of Photography, except IR.  It won’t take anything else.

Once I have this done, which will take about 2 weeks to complete, I will get what I have been striving to do for a long time.

IR RED COVERED BRIDGE

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Infrared Image of the old Covered Red Bridge.

For this IR Image I used my Nikon D7000 with a Opteka R-72 screw on Filter.  Put the shutter speed on Blub using a remote trip shutter and held it open for 30 sec. on a Tripod. When you do this the Image always comes out with a heavy orange tint to it, so then using my Lightroom CC program I adjusted the color as it should be.  Now, it turns the greens white and the Towpath brown.  It’s still not exactly right, but it does not look all that bad.  One of these day’s I will get it perfect.

Thank you.

OLD HOMES

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Again, out cruising the back country roads in the Oley Twp. area, I happen to pass this stately old home.  Had to go and turn around to see & photograph this.  Upon finding a place to park across the road, I was standing there and a Lady came out and asked “Can I help you?”  Yes, I replied.  “May I have permission to photograph your home?  I won’t destroy or rob you of anything.”  She granted me permission to walk the grounds of her old Home with my camera gear.  I have asked a few times to do this in the past and never had any problem.  Was told that the House was built in 1887 and the home has undergone a number of restorations since then.  The extension on the left was built on a few years ago, along with a screened in porch in the back over looking a very nice landscape her & her husband built over time.  If you look up at the top of the Home in the center, you see a cement plaque telling when the Home was built.  Most old Homes around here have that on them.

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This is a view of their back yard.  All of this was not there when they purchased the property.  All that you see here has been added since then.  The Waterfall is a left over from a Dam that once was here long ago.  Part of the old Dam is still visible next to the Gazebo.

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This is what it looks like from another view.  Everything here was either built or had it installed by the Owner over time.

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This old structure is her Office.  It was once used as a Cold Storage area.  I like the choice of colors.  Brings out the structure more.

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Ah, yes.  The old “Out House” from long ago.  You don’t see this type around much anymore.  One with 2 doors?  Interesting.  Ever use one of these?

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A different look.  I shot this using my Hoya R72 IR Filter.  Some people don’t care for IR, but I think it’s a different way of photographing light that the human eye does not see.

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Another view of their back yard in IR.  I apologize for some of the blurr,  but it was on the windy side while shooting these Images.  When shooting IR, everything must be solid or it will blurr like this one.

In departing this nice place, I thanked the Owner for their kindness.  Like I stated before, if you see something on someone else’s land and you want to photograph it, always ASK to do so.  Most of the time your request will be granted.  NEVER just walk on someone’s land without permission.  You just may get a double barrel shotgun pointed at you!!

Thank You.

ANTIETAM NATIONAL CEMETERY

 

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Located just outside the Historic town of Sharpsberg, MD.  During the Battle of Antietam this hill was occupied by the Confederate artillery.  At first the dead were buried where they fell on the battlefield, later on they were re-interred here.  A total of 4,776 Union soldiers rest here along with the dead from 4 other wars.  Separate, even in death, Confederate soldiers were buried in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD.

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I have no idea what this nice looking building is for.

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Civil War Cannon and Casion.  This is as close as I was able to get.  For some reason the National Park had a Red line strung all around this area.  No idea why.

By this time, it’s getting late in the afternoon.  Was getting more hotter and I knew I had a long drive home.  Thought that I’d better get going on my way.  I’m tired from getting in and out of the car, grabbing my camera gear, setting up the tripod, shoot the Image, and then put it back in the car only to do it all over again at the next stop.  However, I do enjoy Photographing Historic places, even though it can be allot of work involved.

Thank you.

THE BLOODIEST BATTLE – ANTIETAM

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Over this Memorial Day Week-end I made a road trip down to tour the Antietam National Battlefield Park located just outside of the town of Sharpsburg, MD.  It took me about 3 hrs. to drive here.

The Battle of Antietam was one of the bloodiest Civil War battles that took place here on Sept. 17th, 1863.  More than 23,000 men from the Union & Confederate Army’s were killed here in one single day!

The above Image is of the Dunker Church that was one of the area’s where many soldiers died during the heavy fighting.  The Dunker Church was built in 1852 and was a house of Worship for pacifist German Baptist Brethren that became one of the focal points of the fight between the two Armies.  It received heavy damage, but has been restored to its original look from long ago.

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A closer look at the Dunker Church.

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This is a Historic Image that was taken by Alexander Gardner after the battle.  The Images that I shot were from about the same position.

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I walked inside the Dunker Church and shot this Image of what it looks like today.  Notice that there is not much here.  There is no Alter, no Cross of Christ, or anything to show that it was a Church.  I was a bit surprised to see that.  I don’t know if that is the original wood floor or not.  Maybe back then that’s what they wanted.

I did have a Image of the Dunker Church’s side wall outside to show that all of the many bullet and cannon holes were repaired by the Park Service, but can’t seem to find it.  Sorry.

It was starting to get quite warm while I was walking around with my Pentax and a Tripod.  Getting in and out of the car get’s a bit tough when you Tour a Battlefield like this one.  I finally had to turn on the Air to keep the car cool.  I took this Images, walked around for a bit, and then moved on to another Bloody area.

WE’RE IN FOR A BLOW, BOYS!

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Yesterday morning it dawned rather humid.  The weather forecasters were calling for Severe Storms in the afternoon.  I didn’t pay much attention, and just too it as another “cry wolf” as has happened before.  This time I was wrong!

Around 4:45 pm my Phone Alert went off telling me that I severe storm was heading our way.  Humm .  .  .  now this made me take a look.  Went outside and saw dark clouds coming in from the West, as they always do when bad weather is coming.  Oh Crap!  This does not look good at all!  On top of that the phone alert came on again saying that we were under a Tornado Warning!  Not good!  When ever I hear this, it will concern me.

I went outside, because I have a habit of liking to watch Storms as they come rolling thru.  The wind started picking up and I could hear Thunder in the distance.  The sky got much darker and then a blast of heavy wind came in almost knocking me off my feet.  It was getting very windy with some slight rain.  I’m watching the sky and listening for a “freight train” sound and hoping I don’t see a funnel cloud.  Thank goodness I didn’t.  No Tornado, but it did blow rather hard and had some heavy rain.  It lasted about 10 min. and then slowed down, with the wind diminishing.  I’m always concerned with heavy wind, because of the large Pin Oak Tree out in the front yard.  This Storm was one of the heavy hitters!  No damage to the house.  Just alot of leaves and twigs to pick up after.

I’ve been in some heavy weather during my time in the US Navy.  I’ve been in and seen heavy wind at sea and a Typhoon!  That one scared me.  The ship was heaving up & down, side to side with waves crashing over the 02 Level.

OLE #113

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This above Image is of the ole Steam Engine #113.  Located in the Coal Mining Town of Minersville, PA she was once used to haul Coal & passengers from towns above and below Minersville.  I don’t think that the old steam train is used anymore.  Placed here as a static display.

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Don’t know which view looks better.

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Here is the old Minersville Train Station that is no longer used.  Built in or around 1897 this Station once was a much used Station for passengers long ago.  The train tracks in front of the Station are still used to this day, but no trains stop here.  There are doors located on the building just to to left of the Station, but they were locked.  I wanted to get inside and shoot the old waiting room, but could not do that.  Was disappointed on that.  My Loving Wife, who was born & raised here in Minersville tells me that the Station was still in used while she lived here.  Minersville is another Coal Town that is full of History.

Thank you.

THE BIG BOYS!

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While up in the Coal Region area yesterday, I came across these HUGE earth/coal hauling trucks.  They are known as “Yukes” in this area.  They are massive!  Notice the driver at the lower left compared to the truck.

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A better look at this truck.  What they were doing here was reclaiming the Land that once was a “Strip Mine” years ago.  A “Stripie” as they are called is a big hole in the ground used to mine Coal from the near surface.  When all the Coal was taken out, it was left as it was.  A big huge scar in the earth!  Now, slowly, the Land is being filled in to help Mother Nature grow, that was once a waste land.

There are a number of “Stripie Mines” that are still left over from long ago.  A good portion of them are full of water and can be more than 200 ft. deep!  The machinery that was used is left at the bottom of the Mine.  It’s not really a good idea to go swimming in these “Stripie Mines”.  You have no idea what your going to encounter!  The water is darn cold because it’s usually spring/or rain water that has filled the hole over the years.  There have been people that drowned in these open holes.  Sometimes the temptation is just too great on a hot summer day to take a swim.  By doing this, you just may loose your Life!

 

Thank you.

OLD MILK SHED

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Located right alongside the Union Canal, this old Milk Shed has been here for a long time.

Back in the very early day’s of the Union Canal there used to be a working Farm here.  This was the way that produce, and milk were kept cold with a natural Spring that once ran thru the Shed.  There were no refrigerators then, no ice, and no air conditioning anywhere to be found.  If you open the door, there is nothing there except storage for the Park Service.  One or two old milk cans are all that is left.  The old Barn is just off to the right of my Image.  Now used by the Park Service for bathrooms, and a small soda fountain that never seems to be open.

Thank you.

ON HALLOWED GROUND.3

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Over 150 yrs. ago, this field was full of dead & wounded Soldiers from both sides of the Civil War.  There is a sign behind me that said “No Relic Hunting.”

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Fences of the Battlefield.  For this shot, I had to “sneak in” on a dirt road that normal traffic was not allowed by the Park Service.  Didn’t get caught!  Whew!

While I was down here in Gettysburg, I spent a good 5 hrs. here driving around.  Even though snooping around I still missed some key area’s.  Eisenhower Farm is one of them.  I had only allowed myself so much time, because it is a long drive home.  Maybe next time.

 

I will try and make this one the last Post on Gettysburg.  My next stop will be to Antietam National Battlefield Park in MD.

Thanks so much for all your likes.

ON HALLOWED GROUND.2

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This is a cement monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Regiment that was in action here on the morning of July 1st, 1863.

During the fight on the 1st day, this area was once a wooded section.  Most of the trees were blown away from musket & cannon fire.  When I looked more closely at the “tree” there was a musket, a nap sac, a rifle, and a canteen that was hung here by a Soldier from the 90th Pennsylvania during a lull in the action.  He sat here to take a short rest from death & fighting that was just below him.

There is also a bird nest at the very top, and a cannon ball that split the tree.  The bird nest is supposed to show that Life will go on, despite what happened here.  I don’t know if it was the original ball that shattered this tree.  Probably not.

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A 10 lb. Parrot Cannon used by both Union & Confederate Forces at the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

Thank you.

ON HALLOWED GROUND.1

THE STORY OF IVERSON’S PITS.

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On July 1, 1863, the men of Alfred Iverson’s North Carolina Brigade had arrived at Gettysburg and were preparing to outflank the Union First Corps at Oak Hill. This spot was the northernmost point of Seminary Ridge. They were formed into their line of battle and advanced towards a line of trees about 300 yds. away. The Brigade was made up of the 5th, 12th, 20th, and 23rd North Carolina Infantries. To their left front was a low stone wall but they paid it no mind, they were confident in their success. They believed that they were about to crash through the woods and roll up the flank of the Yankees on the other side.

Suddenly, a vast sheet of flame erupted from the stone wall. Some Federal soldiers,who were crouched down behind the wall, could not believe their good fortune at having an entire Confederate Brigade served up to them on a platter, so they burst over the top of the wall and let loose a withering volley at the unsuspecting rebels. Unfortunately for the Confederates, Iverson, their commander, had not deployed an advance line of skirmishers in order to prevent any surprises. Hundreds of North Carolinian fell in straight lines just as they had marched. In the days after the battle, they were buried in an unmarked mass grave, virtually in the same spots where they fell. For years after, the farmer who owned ” Iverson’s Pits ” claimed that his wheat grew the tallest in that part of his field.

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This is what IVERSON’S PITS looks like today.  The Stone Wall is gone, but if you look close to the left bottom of my Image, you can still make out the depression.

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This is looking what is the rest of the field that was off to my right.  Much to my surprise, there is only 1 small Monument to mark the spot where all these Confederate men died.  Also, there is nothing on the Map to show where this is.  It was a bit hard to find.  There was also nothing along the Main Tour Road to show this spot.  Wondering why?

There is also something else that I found out about.  It is told that this place is Haunted by the Spirits from the past.  Strange noise’s, yelling, and what sounds like gun fire have been known to be heard at night.  Makes me wonder, since I do believe that Spirits & Ghosts, if all that is true.  While walking in this area, I never heard anything except the wind and birds chirping.  In my future Posts about “On Hallowed Ground” there are other documented Haunting s at other places.  There is nothing here to show what horrible action took place here so long ago.

Thank you.

ON HALLOWED GROUND

 

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Yesterday was going to be such a beautiful day, I thought that this is the day to make a 3 hr. road trip to Historic Gettysburg.  Was glad that I did.  It was just a perfect day for this.  Clear skies & warm temperatures made for a great time to walk around with my Nikon.

Like the sign say’s, here in this area is where the Army of Virginia, approaching Gettysburg, from the top of the Image, engaged Union Forces coming from the bottom of the Image.  This was on the opening day of the fight, July 1, 1863.  The building off to the left corner of my Image was not there at the time.  It is a “comfort” stop for everyone to use.  The Fence was there at the time, but was destroyed by Confederate Forces.  It was re-built by the Gettysburg Historical Park to show what the battlefield was back then.

This area was the site of some horrendous fighting between the two forces.  Many lives were lost in this area with the fierce hand-to-had fighting, cannon fire, and musket fire that took a horrible toll on both sides.

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This is the McPherson Farm that was caught in the fight on the 1st day of the battle.  This farm was owned by Edward McPherson and built in 1837.  John Stentz was living here at the time.  The Farm House that was here burned down in 1895.  That’s why you don’t see everything that used to be here.  As the fighting progressed thru this area, the Barn was used as a Hospital for both Union & Confederate forces.  The dead & wounded soldiers littered the fields all around the barn.  The Barn received heavy damage during the fight from cannon & musket fire.  There are still holes in the stone from musket fire embedded in the barn that you can’t see from a distance.  The Monument on the upper corner of the Image is one of Gen. Buford that was in command of the Union at the time.

It’s a bit hard to stand here and try to visualize all the fighting that took place here.  It was quiet now.  No sound, except traffic moving.  Birds were chirping and this Hallowed Ground was once turned Red with the blood of Union & Confederate Forces.  Each one fighting for what they believed in.

UNION CANAL

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Hello there!  Sorry that I’ve been away from WP for awhile, but had another problem.  This time it was with WordPress!  For some reason, WP wanted me to start paying for my Site!  I’ve never done that before in all the time I’ve had this account!  Why?  Made me on the cranky side.  Contacted WP and was told to down-load the new WP Site.  The site was in a Zip File and I hate those things.  I always mess them up and then can’t find what I did!  So, to make a long story short, I then tried using Internet Explorer.  Had to sign back into everything!  Now, I’m hoping that this will keep working good like it is so far.

Ok.  I’m back to normal as before.  The above Image is one that I took of the Towpath alongside the old Union Canal.  It’s in HD.  I go to this place quite often.  It seems that it’s a magnet for me.  Always looking for something a bit different.  With this one I liked the path stretching into the trees with the shadows.

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For this one I tried something different.  I had purchased a small Tripod that will get low on a subject.  Like ground level.  A different perspective you could call it.  I had to get down on all 4’s to take this shot.  The problem with doing this is that when I have to get that low, I have a bit of trouble getting back up on my 2 legs!  The ole’ legs don’t work as well as they used to!  Not happy about it, but not much I can do right now.  Just have to be careful!

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While walking along the Path, I noticed these Blue Bells growing alongside the old Canal.  For some reason, there are not many flowers like this to be seen.  Why, I have no idea.  Had to shoot this from a low position to get a nice shot of them.  Got back up again after about 5 min. of trying!

Thank you!

THE GARMENT INDUSTRY

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As I had mentioned in my last Post, I stated that there would be more coming later.  During the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s the making of Ladies Laungire was a huge business here in Reading, PA.  One of the biggest makers of Laungire was the Berkshire Knitting Mills or also called The Textile Machine Works.  For many years this complex made garments of all kinds to be shipped all over the USA.  More than 1000 employees worked here on all shifts.  It was a 24 – 7 operation.  This complex had its own dye building, a barber shop, lunch cafeteria, and power building that supplied the power needed to run all the knitting machines.  I have never seen this complex in its heyday, but I can only Imagine what it used to be.

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Taken from the Textile Machine Works web-site, this is just how big it used to be.

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This is looking at part of the old complex.  The Power building is off to the right of the Image.

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Here I’m trying to show just how big this place is.  During its operation, there were windows where you see the white portions of the building.  All 4 floors were in production with Knitting Machines that needed constant attention.

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The inside of one of the buildings during its day’s of manufacture.

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Another one of the different buildings in the complex.

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This is looking down the long rows of support poles that were there when the Knitting Machines were running.  If you look at one of my above Images, you can still see those same support poles.  These are looking fancier than before.  You almost can still hear the noise of machinery from long ago.

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Here’s another looking the other way.  The thing about these 2 Images, is that I had to “sneak in” the building and shoot the camera.  There were signs pasted on the windows & doors “No Entry Authorized Entry Only”  Oops!  Thought I’d take a chance and see what happens!  No one was looking!  So in I went.

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After the Textile Machine Works went out of business in the 70’s, it was converted over to a Factory Outlet Store where people could buy all kinds of different clothes at a much cheaper price.  It was in business for many years until it also failed.  Why this was, I don’t know.  The Stores that occupied the buildings were from all the different big name products.  Now, the present day all the buildings are being converted over to Luxury Apartments.  Just how fancy, remains to be seen.

CHILDHOOD PLACES

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Hello there everyone!  Having a good time?  Hope you are all well.

Thought that I’d do some places that I remember so well during my Childhood day’s in Hamburg, PA.  The above Image is one of the Hamburg Park that I used to spend so very much time in.  It has changed somewhat over the passing years, and I think the change has made it a bit better.

Back when I was 8-10 yrs. young, my Mother had to work during the day, so she would drop me off here and was told to “Stay here until I come to get you”.  I did what I was told to do or suffer the wrath of my angry Mother.  The plastic play set you see in the foreground was not there at the time.  It was just a big empty grass space.  The was no covered open Patio on the extreme left.  However, the larger building to the right of it was there as long as I can remember.  This place had crafts to make for us kids most every day.  There was always something there to do.

Off to the right corner of my Image used to be a large sandbox that had a roof over it.  There also was a very tall sliding board that we had to climb up a long ladder to get up to the top.  It was so much fun to slide down that thing.  We would “wax” the sliding surface with wax paper to make us slide faster!  It’s now gone, but for what reason I don’t know.  Maybe because too many got hurt because it was a big one!  The sandbox is long gone and I think it was because all the “critters” would poop or pee in the sand.  Didn’t bother me!  I didn’t care.

The Swimming Pool has changed a bit also.  There are no longer a “High Dive or Low Dive” that we could run down and dive into the water on the deep end of the pool.  I think that this was taken away because of Insurance reasons.  I used to spend many, many sunny warm days here.  So much that I would get a Sun burn most every Summer.  At the very top corner of the Image used to be a small “Children’s Pool” that I learned to swim in.  It, too, is long gone.

I more than realize that the Image above does not mean that much to you, but to me, my “minds eye” can still picture what was once there and all the great times I had.

POP OUTS

A few weeks ago, I happen to be viewing a Post made by one of the people that I follow here on WordPress.  JourneyswithJohnbo is one of the Photographers on WP that I have been following for a number of months now.  He takes some really nice Images of places that I’ve never been too, and probably never will.  Anyway, in one of his Images, he had Posted an interesting Image that seem’d to “Pop Out” at you, thus creating a different look.  This gave me some interest, so I asked him just how that is done.  He told me and with that, I went on my own to try this new type of thing for myself.

I had to do some research on it to find out just how this is done.  Found out that you can do this effect using Photoshop CC.  Since I do have that program, I went further.  Found that I could down-load instructions for this on Photoshop Essentials.  I did this and then with much eagerness started trying to give one of my Images the same effect.

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Now, using the instructions that were given me, I followed them step by step until the end.  It didn’t come out right!  I did something wrong!  What was it?  I went back and tried again.  It still didn’t come out right!  What the heck am I doing wrong, I thought.  So, I had to let it sit for awhile so I could think about it.  So, to make a long story shorter, I kept trying until I finally figured out what was wrong.  It took me awhile!  The above Image is my first one done the way I had wanted.  The Image seem’s to “Pop Out” from the rest of the shot.  It is of the building that General George Washington’s Officers stayed in during the Winter of 1777 at Valley Forge, PA.

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Well now, here is another one that is an oldie but goodie.  It’s an abandoned home in Shenandoah, PA.  I wanted to make the Main Home “Pop Out” from the rest of the Image.  I sorta messed up the very bottom of the Image, because this is only the 2nd time I’ve done this.  In the future, I’m going to try other Images I have and see how they come out.  I’ll also try and make them bigger.

UNDERWEAR FACTORIES

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It seems that most everyday so far that I have gone “out there” the weather in my area is just terrible!  It’s always been cloudy and on the cold side.  Getting tired of this stuff.  Where is the Sun?

Anyway.

Another thing about my Historical area are the old Underwear Factories that were once a big part of the employment scene.  This above Image is of just one of many that are still here, but only the building remains.  This was the Robert Miller Underware Mill that is located in a small town, on the Main Street, named Shoemakersville, PA.  It’s not far from me and I’ve driven past this building many times in the past & present.  Always wondered what is was.  My research on this tells me Underware was made here in the 1940’s until it closed for a reason that I can’t seem to find out.  The name still is visable on the top left of the building.  Now, it’s apartments to live in.

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This is just one of the many Knitting Machines that were here back then.  Not my Image.

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These are what is known as a “bobbin” of thread that the knitting machine used to knit the Underware.  Thread traveled thru & around the spinning machine at a high rate of speed, thus needing costant attention.  I don’t know much about the process, but I’m assuming that it was a very envolved process until the product was finished.

Like I stated before, there are a few of these left over in my area, but most all of them have been converted over to apartments or shopping stores that sell cloths of one kind or another.  There is one left that is huge and I’ll Post about that one in my next Post.

GLITTER PENS

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Hello there to my Followers.  Hope everyone is doing well.

During these long Winter months, I spend some of my time doing coloring with Glitter Pens.  I happen to notice these Pens on Amazon that would color, but with an added extra to them.  They color with a bit of Glitter to them.

I’ve been looking all over the Internet for Coloring pages that you can down-load for free, print them out, and use them to color with.  There is so, so much out there!  I tend to go for pages that are Nautical, Flowers, Owls, or something else that may get my attention.  It is said that doing coloring is very relaxing to do, but not sure of that so far.  I ordered a pack of these Pens that have over 100 different colors to use.  All you have to have is a knowledge of color and what color goes with what.  Or you can just color what looks nice to you.  I like bright colors!

The above page is an anchor that I’m coloring right now.  It takes time to do this, but I work on it here and there.  No hurry if you want it to be right.

So, if you need something fun to do, give this a try.  Sorry, the Image is a bit blurry.

I CAN SEE YOU!

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For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to replace my old, aging, spotting scope that I’ve had for a long time.  It has long been not very good anymore.  The Lens & Optics are very blurred and it just does not want to focus well anymore.  It was a second hand scope that I bought years ago.  I’m saying that it has gone to better day’s.  It is no longer of use to me.

I’ve been looking around for a good one that has good, clear optics and a large viewing Lens.  I found out that Spotting Scopes have changed over the years.  They can get very expensive depending on what you buy.  I didn’t want a real expensive one, but not a cheap one either.  There are Scopes on the market for over $2000.00!  Don’t need something that expensive.  Most of the time you will get what you pay for.

So, after snooping around for a few day’s, I decided on this Gorski 20x80x80.  It has a primary Lens of 80mm, a Lens cover front and back, waterproof, and coated optics for clear viewing.  Has a Lens shade up front to shadow the sun if it’s too bright.  You can also install a Filter, but I don’t think I’ll go that far for now.

It came with a Tripod Stand that is kinda cheap looking and does not seem to be too durable.  It also has a attachment you can put on the back viewing eyepiece to install your Cell Phone and take a picture with it!  Have not tried it out yet.

For now, I’m going to get some use out of this as soon as the weather get’s much better and warmer.  I’m pretty sure that this will last for a long time.

EMPTY

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Had nothing else to do after getting a haircut, so I thought I’d stop by the now empty Fairgrounds Mall just to see what’s there now.

The Fairgrounds Square Mall was built in 1980 by the F&S Construction Co. on the former site of the Reading Fairground Speedway.  The Mall did a real good business for a number of years.  There were over 84 Stores in here.  During the Christmas Season this place was packed with shoppers all getting gifts for the Holiday Season.  During the other months it did well also.  On a Friday & Saturday nite lot’s of the younger generation would tend to “hang out in here” cause there was not much else to do.  Then, as the years passed by, the business started to decline slowly.  Stores started to close and board up their Fronts.  I noticed this when I would go shopping here.  There first to close were the food places, then more & more stores followed along.  I never knew why this place failed, until finding out later on.

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Here is a look at one of the Main Entrances to the Mall.  Still very colorful, but there is no one that shops here anymore.  It’s empty of stores, except a few that are still hanging in there hoping business will get better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

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Empty jewelry stands are void of merchandise to sell.  No shoppers here anymore.

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Empty floors & store fronts.

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I remember seeing this Pretzel place with lines of people waiting to order.  Not now anymore.

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It’s quiet here now.  Nothing except the occasional “Mall Walker” in a big empty area.

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A empty display case that once held some pretty jewelry to sell, now waits to be dismantled.

Why did this Mall fail, you might ask?  I found out that the Owner of the Mall complex started to default on taxes and morgage payments.  Then just let the place go down-hill.  Also the younger generation would hang out here and not buy much of anything.  The stores were loosing money slowly.  There were a number of roof repairs that had to be made, because of rain leaking in and leaving a pool of water on the floors.  All that cost money which the Owners were not ready for.  On top of all that, buying products “on-line” helped the problem.  Shoppers could get what they wanted at a better price.  It didn’t help the matter.

This Mall was built over the once famous Reading Speedway Racetrack.  Friday & Saturday nights were a big race time when Sprint cars, Modified cars, and Stock Cars would race the clay & mud track here.  The Reading Fair in September was a big thing also.  It was huge!  I remember going to the Fair in HS and we always had a great time with all the rides.  Now, all that is long gone to History which is a shame.  Time marches on

REMEMBER THESE?

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Hello there to all my Followers.  Do some of you remember this?  Maybe some of you don’t.  This is the Historic Wurlitzer Juke Box that was built in the 1940’s.  I can’t remember who designed the original ones like this, but most of it was made of glass because the plastic was not very available during the War years.

It had a distinctive color pattern that was bright and cheerful.  It also had the world famous bubbles that traveled around on the inside of the glass.  This player would play songs from the Rock & Roll years of the 50’s & 60’s.  1 play was a nickel, and 6 plays were a quarter!  Dancing to your favorite songs was a common thing back in my day.

Most of the songs that were on the Top Record Charts were here to play.  Artists such as Bill Hayley & The Comets, Elvis, Jimmy Dean, Roy Oberson,  Little Richard, were all there.  Drop a nickel in the machine, press the letter & number of the song, and it would play your choice in order that it was received.  “Put another Dime in the Jukebox” and the music would never stop.

I remember these Players well.  I’m sorry to see that they have gone into History, but some of them are still around.  The original ones are few and far between.  Collectors have them.  If you want an original player you will pay a hefty price!

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As time went by, the Wurlitzer Company made a newer model, like the one shown above.  It worked the same as the older one, but with no bubbles and the price to play went up, of course.  I think this one was 1 play for a dime, and 4 plays for a quarter.  Not sure on that one.  Both players had great sound for it’s day.

GREAT HORNED OWL

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Isn’t this Great Horned Owl pretty with all the different colors they have?

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This is my rendition using Color Gel Pens of the Great Horned Owl.  It took me weeks to color this.  Tried to match the color of the real thing, but it’s tough to do.  The real Owl is much prettier.

CELLPIX SUNDAY

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Going to give this “Cellpix Sunday” thing a try.  I will Post 1 image that I took with my Cell Phone every Sunday, if I remember!  Here is my 1st Entry.  Taken in our 1st Port of Call in the Bahamas aboard the Carnival Ship Pride.  Sorry about the spots.

MY BUCKET LIST

Thank you for following & reading.

As most of you out there know by now, I love to snoop around & visit Historical places that are around me or a small drive away.  However, this coming Spring, Summer, & Fall I’m going to go places that are more than a short drive away.  This is my Bucket List.  Places I want to visit & photograph, I hope.

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ANTIETAM NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK.

Located just outside Sharpsburg, MD is a Civil War Battlefield where there was once a horrendous fight between the Army of the Potomac & the Army of Northern Virginia.  Here on the morning of Sept 17th, 1862 at what is called “The Sunken Road” was a fight that ended up being ” the single bloodist day in American History.”  In just one day, more than 23,000 Union & Confederate Troops were killed in fighting!  One Union Soldier was quoted to say “The Killing, Carnage, & Blood here was appuling.”  “You could almost walk the blood soaked ground without touching it!”  “Bodies of both Confederate & Union were piled 2 and 3 high!”

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GETTSYBURG, PA

Located about a 4hr. drive from here is where one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War was fought between the Armies of Northern Virginia & the Army of the Potomac.  It started on July 1st, 1863 and lasted thru July 2nd & 3rd.  This terrible fight was the turning point of the Civil War.  Places such as “The Peach Orchard, The Wheatfield, Devil’s Den, & others will be a focol point for my whole day visit.

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FREDRICKSBURG, VA

Another huge fight here between the Army’s that cost so many thousands of Lives.  Each Army fighting for a cause in which they all believed in.  Pictured above is “The Stone Wall” where the Confederate’s turned back the Union Army 3 times.  The Confederate Army was behind the Stone Wall with the Union approaching from the right in the Image.  The Confederate’s had the high ground shooting down on the Union Army as they attacked the position.  Again, the loss of Life here on this spot was terrible.  Thousands of Union & Confederate dead.  I plan on spending another full day or more here.

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This is what the “Sunken Road” at Antietam looked like now & then.

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The “Dunker Church” at Antietam Battlefield, which is still there to this day.

My trips to these places will be done over time.  I can’t visit all of them in just 1 day.  It will take time to do.  I want to slowly walk around, take lot’s of Images, and try to feel what happened at these places of History.

THIS IS MILEY

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Hello there to all my Followers.  This Post is going to be different than what I usually Post about.  Would like to tell you more about what goes on here sometimes.  This is about Miley.  She is a Pug/Jack Russel Terrier Mix.  She belongs to my Wife’s Son, Galen.  When he goes away for a few day’s on a trip, we get to watch over Miley.  She is such a great doggie to have around.

When Miley was much younger, she was a heck of a playfull dog.  She just loved to chase a ball of most any kind.  Would chase after the ball, and bring it back to you wanting more!  She really would wear herself out, but always came back again, and again.  She wanted to chase after squirrels in the yard, but I think they were way to fast for her.  I’m sure she’d try!  Miley is a very loving doggie.  She loved to play a “Tussle Game” where she pulls on one end of a toy, and you pull on the other.  She is quite strong for a medium size doggie.  She has sharp teeth, and can destroy a toy in minutes!  She has never, ever snapped at anyone.  If she is annoyed by something, she will just growl a bit and walk away.  You got to know when she does not want to be bothered.  Loves to be petted and have her back scratched.  She also can do things that you just have to laugh at.

Miley was a “rescued dog” from the SPCA here in Reading.  Galen got her at a younger age, and has had Miley ever since then.  Miley was so full of energy that it was hard to keep up with her.  We were told that Jack Russel Terriers are like that.  They don’t sit around much.  Are always ready for a run anywhere.

Now, age is slowly catching up with her.  She’s about 13 yrs. old now.  She also has another problem.  She is now totally blind and can’t see a thing.  Allot of money was spent on her to save her sight, but it just could not be saved.  She slowly lost her sight over time.

But, even though Miley is blind she still get’s around quite well.  I think that her nose & ears have taken over for her sight.  She smells everything and smells where she goes.  This way she can tell where she has been.  She also know’s our scent.  She follows along with us most all the time.  She still bumps into allot of stuff, but get’s to know what it was after a short time.  She can still play “fetch”, but must smell the ball first.  Throw the ball close by, and she will find it!

We enjoy having her around.  When she is taken out to “do her business” she smells her scent from before and knows where to go.

When Miley is gone, she will be sadly missed by everyone.  Her memory will last for a long, long time.  I know, that I will be one of them.

WASTE LAND

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This is a place that I have played in a long time ago.  There is nothing here, except Coal Dirt that was placed here long ago from a dredging operation from the river.  What they scooped out of the river was dumped here.

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The ole’ place has changed somewhat over the passing years.  When I played here, there were no ponds such as this one.  Years of snow & rain have created a depression for the water to lay in, thus creating a Wildlife area for ducks and waterfowl.

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No Wildlife here, yet.  Nothing.  However, there is beauty in nothing.

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The area has become a walking, bicycle, running, and a place just to observe what little Nature has to offer.  This whole area will soon be declared a Wildlife Sanctuary.

As in all my Posts, they are Grammerly correct.  Also, my Images are the sole property of me.  Want one?  Ask first.

THEY ARE HERE!

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Every year when it get’s close to Spring, the Snow Geese arrive at the Middle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary on their stop over to rest & eat.  There are really thousands of them to see with more & more arriving each day.  The Game Commission of PA says’s that the count is over 170,000!

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This sight of Nature is truly a sight to see.  Thousands of Geese all taking flight at the same time!  The roar of their wings, plus the talking to each other, is a definite thing to behold.

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Photographers and all Nature lovers come from miles around to see these Geese in their natural habitat.  The Game Commission Officers that are in the area, have to turn people away because the parking and car congestion get’s way too full to handle.  The Geese always stop here every year.  I venture to say that the food supply for them is enough because they stay here for a number of weeks before taking flight further North.  The droppings from the Geese help fertilize the ground for other wildlife.

Most all the time, the Geese always stay in a “Restricted Area” where no one is allowed to be in.  Very stiff fine’s are, and will be, enforced on those who don’t obey the signs posted.  A $1000.00 fine will be levied against you.  Most people adhere to the rules, but there are some who just want to ignore what they are told.  If they are caught, hell is to pay!  Some people think that it’s fun to chase the Geese, just to see what happens.  They find out!  It’s as simple as this.  Don’t chase the Geese!  Leave them alone.

Some of the Geese choose to rest outside the Restricted Area.  They just sit there and don’t seem to fear the human presence, for some reason.  You can get quite close, but only so far.  Then they just get up and waddle away.

I took these Images with my Pentax K10d using an 80-300mm Lens.

NEW LENS

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Hello to all my followers.  I’m still here and I know I have not Posted anything in awhile, but there is not much going on right now, except this.

One of the Lens’s that I don’t have is a Wide Angle Lens.  Decided to snoop around a bit and see what’s available out there.  After looking around in my favorite place to order stuff, I found this Rokinon Wide Angle 14mm f/2.8 Lens for a very decent price.  I read a number of reviews about it and found that most all of them were good.  There were a few bad one’s, but the ratio between bad and good was not bad.  Seems you can’t please everyone.  So, I decided to order this for my Pentax.

It came in the mail yesterday.  I was more than anxious to attach it to my camera to see how it looks and feels.  It’s great, so far!  Nice clear glass and no problem attaching it to the Pentax K10d.  I did notice that it is a bit on the heavy side, but I’d rather have that.  Cuts down on shake.  The other small problem is that the weather here has been just plain terrible.  Cloudy, windy, wet, and nasty for the past few days.  This does not give me much chance to take it out for a test run to see how well it works.  I’m hoping to “get out there” very soon.  This Lens should complete my collection for a long time to come.

There is one more thing.  The Lens Cover for it fit’s over the whole front of the Lens.  This is different than my other Lens’s.  All my other Lens’s have a spring loaded “cap” that just fit’s over the Glass.  Not this one.  I like the difference.  Covers the whole Lens and not just the glass.