500mm Lens

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This is another Lens that I have in my Collection.  It’s made by Vivitar and it’s a 500mm Lens.  Pictured here mounted on my Pentax K100D with a 2x Double.  The Double Lens increases the Lens to a 1000mm.

I was not happy with the results from the 2x.  Seem’d to blur the Image too much.  I was advised by others that have this not to use it.  Just use the 500mm Lens and you will have better results.  I took the advice and tried it out.  Much better than having the 2x installed.

Again, this is not a Lens to shoot hand held.  It would be very wise to use a Tripod for this kind of Lens.  If you don’t, your Image will be blurry, unless you are that steady.

CHECKING OUT MY NEW LENS

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I know that I’ve Posted this Image before, but today I took it out again and gave it a try to see how the Images would come out.  In messin’ around with it, I found that the Lens is very sensitive to touch & any small vibration will cause the camera to shake just a bit, but enough to blur my Image.  With this big Lens set at 480mm, it will be necessary to use a Remote Shutter Release.  This way there will be no shake  .   .  .  .  I hope!

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Ok, so I went over to one of my favorite places where I could get some distance shooting with the long Lens.  The first shot’s I took were at a subject way “out there” using the 800mm setting.  The shake was even worse out that far!  Didn’t like what I saw, so I deleted what showed up.  The one above was taken from the Bridge above the Lake, looking down.  It was about 40 yds. away.  This came out better using the 480mm setting.  Not all that clear, but it’s acceptable for me.  I’ll keep working with this Lens and see more of what it does.  BTW –  The leaves around here are just starting to change a bit.  Nothing eye catching just yet.  Too early.

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I’m over at this place again, yesterday, because I wanted to get “out there” and do some shooting with my camera.  I seem to be drawn here to the Grings Mill area many times hoping that I’ll find something different.  Usually most all of it remains the same, except when the Seasons start changing.  Soon the leaves will change color and Fall will be here.  It is one of my favorite times of the year.  Water here is a bit on the high side because of the rain we’ve had before.  It’s usually not this high.

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At the far end of the bridge that cross’s over the Schyukill River is this old Pump House.  The Pump House dates back to the middle 1800’s and was used, at one time, to pump water from the river into the Union Canal that once was here.  It stayed in operation until the Union Canal was no longer needed.  The Pumps that were here have been removed.  They are no longer needed. Now, the old house serves as a storage area for the Park Service.

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It was such a nice beautiful, somewhat cool day, that I could not resist pressing the shutter button once more.

Images taken with my Pentax K10D using a Tamron 17-50mm AF Lens.

NEW LENS

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One Lens that I didn’t have for my Nikon was a long range zoom Lens.  After looking around for a few day’s I decided to order this Lightdow 420 – 800mm Telephoto Lens that just snap’s on the front of my camera.  It took about a week to get it, so I was anxious to see what this Lens can do.  I got it at a good price, so it’s not real expensive.  I can’t afford those big fancy ones that cost thousands of dollars.  Don’t need those.  I’m not a Pro at this.  It’s a fixed f/stop Lens set at f/8.0.  I can’t change the AP settings at all.  Never the less, I seem to like this, so far.

I can zoom out to 800mm with this for getting close-ups from a distance away.  One thing I did notice about this is that the Lens really is nothing but a “spotting scope” that you can use for target shooting or just plain spotting.  It can be used for any number of thing without pressing the shutter button.  Another thing with this Lens is you absolutely can not shoot without a Tripod support.  The slightest shake will make the Image blur a bit.  I can’t “hand hold” the camera with this Lens on and press the shutter.

I’ll be taking it out “for a walk” more as time goes by, and see how well it really does.

PERRY GOLF COURSE

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Yesterday while out cruising around the many back country roads around here, I decided to stop off and take a look-see at the Perry Golf Course that is not but a 20 min. drive for me.  The Perry Golf Course was built in 1970 and was a challenging course for all levels of play.  It had Par 5’s, 4’s & 3’s for everyone.  A open course to play.  No membership needed.  It was a very popular course around the area for quite some time.  The parking lot always had car’s in it with golfers playing the course.

Over the passing years it remained high on the Golf Course List to play, until in the late 90’s it started to decline for some reason that I don’t know.  I even played here on 2 occasions and found that the greens were well kept, cart paths were smooth, fairways and tee’s were always kept in superb condition.  The green fees were average, paying about $18.00 for 18 holes and a cart rental.

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Like I stated before, the Golf Course started to decline in business.  The next thing I heard was that it had closed, because there was not enough business anymore and the Owners were loosing money.  The Course closed 2 yrs. ago on December 31st.  It has been sitting vacant since then.  Here my Image shows the Club House to the left with the practice green off to the right.  Where the flag pole stands was a area for Golf Carts to rent.

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What remains of the Cart Path for the 18th Hole.  No one is here anymore.  No one to keep the Course lush & green.

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The Golf Cart Rental area now empty.  No Golfers walking around or playing.  Nothing but empty buildings and UN-trimmed shrubbery blowing in the wind.

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What is left of the 18th Green, now taken over by weeds & scrub.  The Flag is gone and the lush green color has long disappeared.  Nothing here anymore, which is a shame.  It felt kinda strange to walk around here.  Nothing here but me, my camera, and the wind with rain starting to splatter.  To me, it felt eerie, to walk in a place that once was so popular.

I was told later on that the property was bought by some big land developer that wanted to built 3 huge ware houses here.  That was years ago.  What happened?  No one has done a thing.  The once nice Golf Course is being reclaimed by Nature, as usually happens.

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Hello to my Followers.  I want to thank all of you for liking my Posts.  I appreciate that.

Here I learning something different using Lightroom CC.  Turning Day Into Night.  This Image was taken yesterday in the afternoon in bright sun.  Following instructions from Lightroom Magazine, it showed me how to do this.  After about 4 tries, I finally got the hang of it.  I think that this is a great effect.

To you all this is just another nice home, but to me it has much History.  This Home was owned by Carl & Dorothy Spacth who owned and operated Burkey & Spacth Funeral Home in Hamburg, PA.  It has been here in Hamburg since the 1950’s.  Carl & Dorothy built this home, so it was not far away from his Funeral business.  They lived here until they both passed on in the 80’s sometime.  The Home has a horse stable in the back to house one of the horse’s Carl had for a few years.  He loved horse’s.  I have been inside this home when I was a young boy and still remember it well.  Who owns it now, I have no idea.

Carl sold out his half of the Funeral business years ago and it is now Burkey & Driscoll Funeral Home.  Since I’ve known Steve, he is the one who took care of my Mothers Funeral back in December of 2004.  Mom also knew Steve well.  That’s why he did the Funeral arrangement for me.  Steve Burkey is the one half owner and I have known him since my day’s as a young boy in Hamburg.  Steve’s Father owned the Burkey Knitting Mills in Hamburg that operated for many years until closing.  The Knitting Mill building still stands today, but it is used for storage by some company that I don’t know.

COAL CHUTE

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Yesterday, I took my Wife up to her old home in Minersville, PA to meet with some of her long time girl friends that she has known since High School.  They were going to have some lunch together at the old Washington House.  So, after I dropped her off, I had a few hours to spend just “snooping around” the area with my Pentax.

Located just outside Minersville on the road to Dunncock is this left over Coal Chute that was once used to load Coal into waiting trucks to be taken where-ever needed when Coal Was King in this area.  Located just behind the shed is a rusty old conveyor that was used to move the coal from one place to another.  You can barely see it because of all the over-growth.  I was not going to climb up there just to get a shot of it.  I’m surprised that the old thing is still standing.  It’s just wasting away into the past.

Like I had stated before, the Coal Region Area is just full of History.  The only problem is knowing where to find what remains.  I’m slowly doing this.

NEW MOWER!

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Well, I finally went and did it!  After months of snooping around at different types of riding lawn mowers, I decided on this Troy Blit 30 in. mower.  The one that I bought looks just like the one pictured above.

All of my Life, I have been mowing grass, with a push mower or walk behind that is self-propelled.  But now, that I’m getting older and just starting to have trouble mowing all the grass here in one session, I have found that it wear’s me out.  I can’t seem to do it all at one time.  Had to mow the front and side of the house and then stop.  Then finish the rest later on or the next day.  I got tired of this.

I had looked around at all the different types of riding mowers and

 the people that make them.  I had to keep the price within reason and I had to watch out how big the mower deck was.  I found that the 42 in. mowers are too big.  I don’t need a big fancy one.  Just one that will store in my shed and not take up much room.  This one fit the bill just right.

At first I had to play around with it to get to know the different controls and the levers that make it work.  I’ve only had this for about a week now, and have used it twice so far.  It works nice.  Has 6 different speeds to it.  The fastest is the setting on 6.  It really goes!  I have it set for 2.  This way I can just mow along at a controllable speed.  It sure does save time compared to before.  Now, I can mow my yard all at one time.

It does have 1 or 2 draw-backs to it.  I can’t mow into a 45 degree angle.  Have to mow around it.  Using the Reverse Lever I have not got used to yet.  Mowing back-wards is not a good thing to do.  It has a 18″ turning radius, so it’s not like one of those zero turn mowers that can get very expensive.  So far, I like this.  Cleaning the mower deck is another thing I have to figure out.  I still have my Craftsman Self Propelled mower for finishing all the spots that I can’t access.

NEW LENS!

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Ah, yes.  Here is something else that I had to purchase a week ago.

This is my new Tamron Lens for my Pentax K10d.  Now, I did have and still do have, a Tamron 28-80mm AF f/2,8 Lens that I have had for a long time.  It was one of my “go to” Lens because it fit most of my photography needs, except getting close ups.  Did not work well doing that.  Last year while out on a photo shoot, I was mounting the lens on my camera to put it on my Tripod, when it slipped out of my wet hand and fell on the ground!  I stood in horror on what I had just done!  Crap!  Not a good thing to do.  I picked it up and cleaned off the dirt.  Better check it to see if anything went wrong.  Camera lens don’t take too kindly to being dropped!

After looking it over, it seem’d to be alright.  Now, ever since that day, when using the Lens I noticed that my Images were not coming out very clear.  Had to think about this and found that the focus on it was not working right.  I’m sure that it was from being dropped that horrid day.  So, I thought about getting another Lens to replace my old one for a few day’s.  I decided on getting a new one.  I like my Images to be as clear as possible.

I’ve used my new Lens a few times now and it works very well.  In fact, the picture I Posted before this, has my new Lens attached to the Pentax.  Note to self.  Don’t drop your Lens’s!!

NEW TRIPOD

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My New Tripod to replace the one that I had before.

The other Tripod that I had used for a long time, broke on me a few weeks ago.  The one leg on it just came apart, I’m guessing from use for a few years.  Tried to make it work, but it just would not hold the camera’s that I have.  So, I decided to order another one.

I looked at a number of them and decided on this one.  It will extend up to 75″ high and has quick disconnects for the camera plate.  Is quite sturdy, but not one of those high priced ones that are out there.  So far, I like it.  I also think that it’s more colorful.  I love red!  It also comes apart and will turn into a Monopod, so I can use both of them when I choose to do so.

A MORNING WALK

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Later in the morning, I went to my favorite place for some photo’s.  The Union Canal Towpath is to the left of the Image.  The problem here was I was “bit up” by misquotes!  The air was filled with the smell of perfume from the Lady walkers that went by me.  Their perfume predominated the air around me.  The smell was a bit strong.  This is probably why I got “bit up”.  Got a number of bites on me.  Next time, I will remember to wear some Bug Repellent.

UNION CANAL TUNNEL

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Built in the year 1879, the Union Canal Tunnel, was the first of it’s kind around the Lebanon County area.  Located just outside Lebanon, PA the old Tunnel still stands the test of time from long ago when Canal transportation was a main means of transporting goods from one place to another.

The Canal and Tunnel were all dug & built by Irish immigrants looking for work to support their Family’s.  The Tunnel had to be dug thru Limestone rock and each stone was put in place by hand.  The Tunnel is 647 ft. long and 20 ft. wide.  It took 3 yrs. to build.  The first Canal Barge to pass thru the Tunnel was the Alexia, on November 3, 1882.

Back in those day’s there were no gas powered motor’s to power the Barge thru the water.  All of them had to be pulled along via Horse or Mule attached via long rope to the Barge.  When entering the Tunnel, the horse or mule had to be disconnected from the Barge and then led up a path to the other end where they were connected back again.  The Barge had to be “pushed” thru the Tunnel via long poles that were held against the over-head in the Tunnel.  They also used the sides to help push the Barge thru.

Over time the Railroad was beginning to be a better and faster way to transport goods from one place to another thus creating the down-fall of the Canal system.  The last barge to pass thru was in April of 1903.

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Looking down at the Tunnel from the other end.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

GLUED TOGETHER

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When I’m trying to learn & do something out of a book, I usually lay the book here next to my Laptop and read what it tells me to do and then try and do it on the computer.  Well, I got tired of leaning over to read, so I went back into my little machine shop and built this “sorta” display rack that I can lay the book on.  It’s on a 30 degree angle, so it makes for much easier reading.

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This is what it does.  Makes for easier reading.  It’s nothing fancy.  Just some ole’ wood I had laying around.  Glued a few pieces together to make this in about 15 min.  The Adobe book is the one I’m using now to learn!  There is so very much to it.  I’ll be using this book for a long time.

MERGING IMAGES

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For the past 2 day’s I’ve been trying to merge these 2 photo’s into 1 to show what the old Schuylkill Canal used to look like back in the 1800’s.  The one at the top you’ve seen before and is my Image taken awhile ago after it rained pretty heavy.  The bottom one is NOT my image.  Got it off the Internet to show what a Canal Boat is/was years ago.

I would like to create just one Image with both pictures.  I know it can be done, but I’m having some trouble following instructions with Lightroom CC & Photoshop CC.  They are a bit confusing.  Maybe someone out there can offer their knowledge?

WRITING

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I had purchased this small Journal book a few weeks ago.  I came up with the idea of taking a Image of it opened with a pencil and glasses that I use.  Put it over into Lightroom CC and with a bit of getting it straight, I found I can write just about anything on it using the computer.

I must admit, I’m not much one for Poetry at all.  However, the poem written here has been in my memory ever since my Mother passed on back in Dec. 2004.  The poem was displayed at her viewing at the Funeral Home.  It was how she was until her last day’s.  Read it.  See what you think.

OLD 22

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This is ole RT 22.  Known by a few other names, such as The Lincoln Highway, and State RT 43 it was built in 1923 as a main road from Harrisburg to Allentown, PA.  Over the passing years, it has under gone many changes from a 2 lane Cement Highway to the more modern and smooth asphalt road.

This road was used as the main transportation from East to West or West to East.  There was no other road that could be used back in the early day’s before the Interstate 22 came thru in 1954.  The big 4 lane Interstate put a number of places out of business, including gas stations & Motels.

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There are still some original parts of Old 22 still left over.  Here parts of the road are covered over with grass, but the old bridge still remains.  When the road was rebuilt, I guess they wanted to leave this part out.

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Old 22 can be a bit on the “Hilly” side, meaning there are a few dips & hills to climb.  This is just one of them.  Down one side & up the other.  This hill can be very bad during the Winter when it snows!

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Remembering what I stated before on the new Interstate 22 being made and putting a number of gas stations out of business?  This is one example.  Years ago this was a Texaco Station that used to have 2 gas pumps on islands in front.  In the passing years it changed from a gas station to a country bar, then a restaurant, and now it’s a private residence.

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Old 22 passes thru a small Country town named Shartlesville.  It has no stop lights or signs, just a little town that has been here longer than I can remember.  Quite a few years ago, they wanted to make the town more distinctive by painting all the small homes and business different colors so it would draw attention.  It didn’t work!  This is just one of the buildings left over from that time.  I have no idea what it used to be years ago, but it’s now a Antique Dealer.

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Another sight you see is the old buildings in Shartlesville that have been here for a long time.  Notice the one of the left.  Weather beaten and standing here probably before old 22 went thru, it stands the test of time.  Someone must live here, because of the Easter Bunny’s in the front.  No front door.  Just a plastic tarp.

I have passed thru this old town and traveled old 22 many times in the past.  It always seems to offer something I’ve never paid much attention to until now.  Hope you enjoyed your travel back into History on Old 22.

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A BACK COUNTRY ROAD

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To most all of you, this looks like just a plain ole’ Country back road.  However, to me it has much more meaning.  This straight stretch of road was once used as a Drag Strip for us kids while I was in High School.  Drag Racing was a big thing back in the 60’s, with all kinds of different “Muscle Cars” out there, each one trying to be the best.  Cars such as the Dodge Charger, the Super Bee, the GTO, the Oldsmobile 442, and many more burned up the asphalt on back roads all over the USA.  Other times Drag Racing was held from one stop light to another to see who was the faster car.

Not here for us.  We used this ole’ road to race up and down, one car at a time because the road is not wide enough for 2 cars side by side.  We never did used the main roads, cause the Police were always watching.  Here, they never bothered us at all.  Just us teenagers racing the quarter mile to see who had the biggest engine.

After getting out of the US Navy in 68′ I bought a 68′ Dodge Charger with a 383cid engine, 440 heads, a posi-rear, 4 speed manual transmission, and solids.  This car could burn up the road.  I went thru 2 set’s of rear tires in the Summer of 69′ burning rubber from the “burn out’s” here.

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This is looking back at the Finish Line where that Red Barn is.  The ole’ barn is still there after so many years have gone by.  Now, years later the road is still the same, but there is no racing here anymore that I know of.  Now, it truly is just a plain back country road.  I can look at these Images and see “Ghosts” of what used to be.  Now, they are gone.  The younger generation does not do what we used to.

Nikon D7000 with a 18-300mm Nikkor Lens.

Post processing with Lightroom CC

FLEETWOOD AUTO BODY

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The Fleetwood Auto Body shop was built in 1909 in my old Home town of Fleetwood, PA.  Known for being the producer of the Cadillac Fleetwood body years ago this is the place where it all started.  It was the top producer of Fleetwood car bodies and wood that were then shipped off by rail to Detroit for further assembly.  The railroad off to the left is where all the car bodies were loaded and shipped out.  The tracks are still used to this day, but nothing from this old building.  When I was in HS, we used to play around this building just for the fun of it.  I’m also told that the place is Haunted!  Lights come on, strange noises, and voices are heard at night.  The Fleetwood Police have even been called here for strange things that have happened.  They find nothing.

Purchased then by Fisher Auto Body in 1925, it remained in business until later years when the Garden State Tannery took over some of the building that is no longer here.  Where you see the blue buildings in the background off to the right is where the Tannery used to stand.  The Tannery was in business tanning leather until it caught fire and burned to the ground on Dec. 23, 2003.

I remember the Tannery quite well.  The area used to have a bad smell from all the chemicals that were used to Tan Leather and other products they made.  It employed many people of Fleetwood and from the surrounding area until it went up in flames.  It was a bad fire.  Engine Company’s from all of the outside area’s responded to try and put this huge fire out.  There must have been 10 or more Engine Co’s here all fighting the fire, but nothing seem’d to put it out for a day or so.  The chemicals fueled the fire that could be seen for miles away.  Finally, the fire was contained and put out but not without destroying the whole place.  There was nothing left but the brick walls.  In time the fire gutted building was torn down.  Surprising that no one was hurt during the fire.

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This is a Image of the 1929 Cadillac Fleetwood V-8 that was built by Fisher Auto Body, originally Fleetwood Auto Body.  This is a outstanding looking car from day’s gone by.  They just don’t make them like this anymore!  Oh Yes.  This is not my Image.  It’s almost UN-believable that a famous car body came from my old home town!  How bout’ that.

MUD AUCTION

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On Saturday, I had been told that there was a Auction going on not far from my home, so I decided to go take a “look see” at just what was there.  After finding a parking place, which was tough to do, I started walking around just to see and hear what a Auction is all about.  Above is one of the Auctioneers pointing to baby lambs to be auctioned off.  These people have their own language in selling off what is for sale.  They talk so fast that I just can’t understand them, except for knowing a few words they’ve said.  Guess you must be around them alot more often to take in what is said so fast.  The cute little lambs were selling at $30.00 for one animal.  That was the last bid I heard.

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There are quite a number of Amish people that live in my area, so it seem’d that alot of them were here to see what could be bought.  Here are just some of the Horse & Buggy’s that they travel in.  Some have their Horse’s covered to keep them warm with a blue blanket.

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Some of the Buggy’s even have padded seats!

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2 day’s before this Auction, it had rained pretty hard for awhile.  This plus the snow melt from milder temperatures, made everything a muddy mess!  I shot this Image to show you just how over-cast it was.  The weather was not good, again!  It was cold & windy.  Notice the long lines of cars parked on the side of the road to the right and in the back ground.  Way in the back is where I had to park my car & walk in the slop for about a 1/4 mile.  I should have worn Mud boots for this!

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“Out there” yesterday crusin’ the back country roads around my area, I happen to come across this old farm house that must have been here to awhile.  I thought that it was “interesting”, so I started walking around with the camera.  Since there were no “Private Property” Signs anywhere to be seen, I didn’t worry about being caught doing something that might get me shot at or thrown off the property.

You really can’t see this, but it’s a nice looking ole’ home despite the condition that it’s in.  What interested me was the stone work and the layout of the home.  It has/had a nice front porch and plenty of windows.  I wanted to go “snoop around” inside, but thought it would not be a good idea at the time.  You don’t know what/who is in there.  At one time in it’s past, this was probably a nice stone home and worth some tidy some of money.  What also got me is why is this home like this?  What happened here that it has gone to waste?  Who lived here?  Where are they now?  A number of questions that I’d like answered, but probably never will.  If someone that had enough money to restore this, it would be a great home to have.

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About 100 yds. off to the left of the house stands this shell of a barn that I assume goes along with the house.  It sorta looks like there was a structure fire here and it burned to the ground leaving just the walls/framework.  Did the roof just cave in from neglect?  What was this used for and when?  I just don’t know.  It has lot’s of land in front of it, as you can see.  Was this barn the cause of the house to be abandoned?  Was it too much for the people that once lived here?  These questions will probably go un-answered.

Images taken by my Nikon Coolpix P600.

EMPTY LAND

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For some reason, during the Winter months, this area seems to be void of wildlife.  I have never seen any deer here at all.  Why?  Maybe there is not the right kind of food for them here.  I don’t know.  You don’t even see any tracks in the snow to show they were here.  There are plenty of places to hide in the over growth and trees.  Maybe I just came here at a wrong time.  Since this is a “Propagation Area” there should be something.  In area’s such as this, you are not allowed to enter.  If caught you can be facing a $1000.00 fine!  Looks like someone on ski’s took that chance!  Not me!  It’s not worth it.

NIKON P600

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Maybe some of you out there are wondering what kind of camera’s I use when I go “out there”?  Well, this is one of them.  The Nikon Coolpix P600.  It looks just like the one you see above.  I bought this camera about 1.5 yrs. ago because I did some reading about it and thought that this would be a nice well designed camera to carry around instead of the heavy Nikon D7000 that I also use.

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Over times that I have used this camera, I found that it does have a bit of a problem.  When I am “out there” and using the screen to view my shot before pressing the button and the sun is out and very bright, I have a hard time seeing what is in the frame.  The brightness of the sun hides what I want to see on the screen.  I have tried looking thru the view finder, but that’s hard to do because it is quite small.  It truly does extend out to 60X what you will normally see.  With the press of that button, it will extend out to anything up to 60X.  Comes in handy.

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This is what it looks like from the back end.  The view screen comes out and turns around to make viewing easier to what you want.  Without going into a bunch of description of what else it will do, I find that this is a nice camera for the price.  The last Images on the Post I just made were taken with this camera.  I like it.  It does all kinds of stuff and it’s easy to carry around.  Will also fit on a Tripod/Monopod when needed.  There are 2 other things that Nikon has not put into this camera and that is a RAW format, and a plug in for a remote shutter trigger.  What I do is use the 12 sec. timer when on my Tripod.

FARM LAND & SNOW

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Still waiting for the warmth of Spring to arrive.

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A walk down this road is one of my favorite places to go during all Seasons.  You never know what you’ll see.

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Off to the left of this Image is the Farm that owns all this land.  They have a large open area for growing corn, and alfalfa for co-op farmers.  The planting, growing, harvesting, and keeping this farm must be a never-ending job.