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.

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.

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.

COAL REGION CHURCH

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This is St. Stanislaus Kosca Catholic Church located in New Minersville, PA.  This Church was build a bit over 200 yrs. ago by the Polish Immigrants who settled in this area.  It has had this name for many years before the Churches in the area decided to consolidate into one.  Now, it is named St. Matthews Catholic Church.  Everything has remained the same, except the name.  A number of years ago, I had the privilege of being able to see the inside of this beautiful church.  I see that not much has changed.  It’s still one pretty Church to see.

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Here is a closer shot of the Alter.  The 2 people shown are a young couple that my Wife knows.  I have no idea who they are.  The Alter is carved from Marble and the Statues are all hand made and painted.  My Wife tells me that under the Alter where the Sacraments are kept are all made of Gold.

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Here is the Manger Scene that is put in the one corner of the Church.  If I offend someone by posting this Image, I don’t really care.  Each figure is hand made and painted!

Since my Wife was born and raised in New Minersville she lived just down the street from this Church.  She attended Services here for just about 20 yrs.

If you all can remember, I have made a number of Posts about the Coal Region Area that is not far from here.  There are many different Churchs & Religions that exist from one Coal Town to another.  This is because the Immigrants people that settled around here to work in the Coal Mines, brought their Religion with them.  Most of them are Catholic, but there are others such as German, Polish, French, Lutheran, and Lithuanian.  In just one Town there can be as many as 5 different Churches.

Notice that there is no “watermark” on the Images.  This is because I did not take these pictures, so I can’t claim them as mine.

 

ABANDONDED PLACES

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There have been a number of times in my past Posts when I show the Coal Region area and what History is here.  When Coal Was King it left over lot’s of places that are barren and long forgotten.  This is just one of many.

A few miles outside the Coal Town of St. Clair is an area that has nothing there but empty waste lands where Coal used to be Mined long ago.  These places are called a “Strip Mine” where Coal was dug out of the ground and then left as it was.  Just a hole in the ground that has nothing to show but trees, coal clum, junk, and an area where people can do shooting without any regard to the Land around them.  There is nothing here.  No birds or wildlife at all!  Lot’s of practice shooting has taken place here.  Shotgun shells are strun all over the ground.  No one picks anything up to throw it away.  It’s just left there.

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Here is another look at the bottom of the Strip Mine.  That’s my Brother walking thru all the junk left laying around.  You can see in the distance, where the tree line is,  the end of the old Mine hole.

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This is just a small portion of the junk you can find laying around.  Computer keyboards, TV Monitors, furniture, old car tires, refrigerators, and just about everything else can be found.  People from the surrounding area come here to dispose of un-wanted items, dumped off, and left here to waste away.  Old cars are even here.  I would not be surprised if you would come across a dead body around here!  In past History there have been reports of people gone missing, never to be found.  You, if you know the right people, could have someone dissapear!!  This person would probably never be found for a long, long time.

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This is the wooded area above the Strip Mine.  A path leads to a un-known area that I don’t know what’s there.  Never see any deer or wildlife at all.  I think they know to stay away cause there is nothing to eat for them.

It’s truly a shame that there are so many area’s like this up here.  Coal was taken from the ground years ago and then the hole was just left here.  Strip Mining is NOT a good thing!  All it does, besides harvest Coal from the ground, is leave a scar on the land.  However, over the passing years, Strip Mines, have been filled in with new ground and trees planted to give new life to the area.  Let’s hope that will continue.