ODDS & ENDS

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While crusin’ the Internet, I happen to come across this Image of my ole’ Destroyer, the USS Carpenter DD-825, that was taken in San Francisco Bay.  I was not aboard her at this time.  Was long gone.  Here she looks pretty good, because I’ve enhanced the Image a bit.

In Her later years, she was sold to the Turkish Navy, and re-named but I don’t know what.  She lasted for some years, and then was sold for scrap.  I have many memories of this ole’ “Tin Can.”  This was my Home for 2.5 yrs.  It’s where I got my “sea legs”.  Where for the 1st time at Sea, I was so sea sick that I could not even keep a cracker in my stomach!  I found out what a “sea bat” was.  Learned what it was like to get “fired upon” over in Nam.  Scared the crap out of me!  Much more.

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Ok.  A change of subject.  For the past few weeks I have taken a good interest on doing more of B&W photography.  I’m getting better with it using my Nikon D7000 camera and the software I have to enhance my Images.  I’ve been doing some reading on what settings work when doing B&W and so far they work well.  This one was taken out on the back roads in Hamburg, PA.  I’ve read to use a ISO of 100, a f/stop setting of f/8 at 1/100 of a sec.  Not bad.  I’ll keep going.

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This shot was taken at one of my favorite places I go from time to time.  This “pond” was never here years ago.  It has formed from a depression in the Coal scrap from rain, and snow over the years.  It’s getting some Lilly Pads, and I could hear the “peepers” making their usual song.  Strange how Nature changes the landscape.

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Here is another “muddy” depression that has formed.  The “peepers” are here also.  Too darn muddy to walk down there.  Notice the Coal piles that this place is made of.

That’s it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

TRAILS

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On top of Skyline Drive that overlooks the City here, are a number of different types of Walking Trails that can be taken.  This is just one of them.  The sign before walking on the Trail said “Beware! Trail is Not For Beginners”.  “Walk At Your Own Risk!”

I’m not much of a Trail hiker at all.  Once in a while I might walk a Trail, but only if it looks easy and the Trail signs tell me what it is.  This one was not really one for me.  Even though it looks easy from the start, I don’t know what is ahead of me.  I don’t care to not know what is in store for me.  I don’t like going into something un-known.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  Besides walking a hard trail with camera gear might not be good.  I elected to turn away.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE SNOW GEESE

For a long time now, I’ve been thinking of what it would be like to have a “Big Lens.”  You know, one of those Lens’s that are used for photographing wild life, birds and taking long shot’s.  Ones like a 150-600mm Lens that I see much of and other people using one.

I found out that I could rent one of these Lens’s at a reasonable cost down at Perfect Image in Lancaster, PA.  After some consideration on this, I decided to do it.  The cost for renting a big Lens like the 150-600mm is $70.00 for 7 day’s.  Not bad.  $10.00 a day is more than reasonable for me.  So, I took the drive to Perfect Image in Lancaster yesterday morning to rent one of these.  It takes about 40 min. to drive there, but it’s all open highway.

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This is the Lens that I rented.  It’s a Tamron 150-600mm V1 f/5-6.3 ASF Lens.  If your thinking that it’s big, it is!  It’s a bit heavy, also.  Weight is about 4 lbs.  When I picked it up I was surprised to see just how big it is, and find out that they are not light.  This kind of Lens is used with a Tripod and a Gimble Head.  So, after doing some light paper work, I headed out with my loaned Lens to see what it will do.  I have to remember that if I drop it, scratch it, or damage it in anyway  .  . .  I just bought a $800.00 Lens!  Must be darn careful!!

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I headed up to the Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge which was not too far away to try my Lens out.  I had with me a Tripod, but no Gimble Head so I just mounted the Lens on top of the Tripod without it.  Worked just fine.  This is the very first shot I took with the new Lens.  It’s nice and clear, as you see.  Some of the Snow Geese have left the area for their flight North to the Tundra in Alaska.  Their are not as many as before, but still are there.  Very soon all will be gone.

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Here they are doing what they do  . .  .  eat & rest.

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Here someone or something spooked them and they all took flight at once.  You can’t hear the roar of all the wings, but it’s a sound you don’t forget.

So far, even though, I didn’t get to use the Lens very much I love it.  I have it until next Wednesday, so I will be “out there” more in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

MIDDLE CREEK

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I made another trip down to Middle Creek a few days ago to see how many more Geese had arrived.  As always, it seems’d to be much fuller than before.  Snow Geese are always arriving for a stop-over until it’s time to leave.

The area that the Snow Geese are best observed is at a place called Willow Point where most of the thousands of birds hang out.  I’ve been here a number of times, and this time it was no exception.  People, hundreds of them, were all over the place.  I saw that it was so full that I decided to keep on driving by and try to find another location that was much more sparse of people.  I know that there is a back road around the Lake, so I thought I’d try there.

The road is dirt and was very muddy from the warmer weather we’ve been having.  It’s also full of “pot holes” that I had to keep avoiding to save my suspension.  I found a small parking area that only had 4 cars in it, so I drove in and parked my car.  Grabbed all my camera gear and started looking for the pathway down to the Lake.  I found it, but it was all snow covered and had other foot prints to show other’s were there.  Oh Well.  I’m not the only person that wants to get away from the crowd’s of people.

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You are looking at what kind of path I was greeted with.  Very narrow, darn slippery, wet, some ice, mud from the snow melt, tree limbs to step over, and worse yet it was slightly down-hill.  I thought I’m going to fall on my butt carrying my Tripod, Camera, and Lens!  That would not be good!  So, carefully, I made my way down to the water’s edge, set up the Tripod camera and Lens.  Being careful where I placed my feet cause everything was sloppy wet!

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So, having everything set up, I started looking thru the Lens for some nice shots of all the geese.  However, this time I was going to use my 640-800mm Lens for long shot’s that I figured I might have to use.  The above Image was taken with the Lens extended out to 600mm.  What I don’t like about it is that it’s blurry.  Could not seem to get a nice sharp Image with it.  I was also using my Gimble Head to support a long Lens such as this.  So far, in trying out this Lens, I’m not all that happy with it.

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See what I mean about being on the blurry side?  Here I tried to show just a portion of the thousands of Snow Geese that are all here.  The last report I got on just how many Geese are here it was over 140,000 birds so far!!  Now, how the Game Commission, comes up with that number I don’t know.  It sure is a lot!!

Now, after taking these Images, I had to stomp back up that darn trail again but this time it was up-hill!  I ran into the same trouble as before.  It’s about a 1/4 mile hike and by the time I got back to my car, I was exhausted!  To say the least.  Don’t think I’ll do this again for awhile.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

WATCHING THE GEESE

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Yesterday, even though it was cold and a bit windy, I made a trip down to Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge to see the Snow Geese that stop by here every year.  There are truly thousands of them that migrate either North or South.  They usually arrive here in the middle of Feburary and stay here for a number of weeks, until it’s time to leave for where-ever they continue to fly to.  The fields & ponds are filled with them.  Many people come from everywhere to see this wonder of Nature.

A close up view!

This is just a sample of the all the Geese that are here.  A problem for me is that I never can tell who is Female and who is Male.  They know, and that’s all that counts.  To hear the sound of their wings when they get “spooked” taking flight all at the same time is quite a experience to hear.  It’s a “roar” that is hard to explain using words.

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This is the camera Lens that I use for long shot’s.  It’s a Vivitar 500mm Mirror Lens.  It’s mounted on my Pentax K100, but since then I’ve used my Pentax K10d more.  It’s a nice Lens, but takes some practice getting to learn how it works.  The focus for this is very “touchy”.  It’s hard to get a good focus with it.  When you install a 2x Doubler on, it brings the Lens to 1000mm!  That’s alot.  Then it’s harder to get good Images with it.  This is one reason I don’t use it that much.  I have to stay with this, cause I just can’t afford those big, huge Wildlife Lens’s.  They are quite expensive for me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

SNOW SQUALL

Yesterday morning was turning out to be a nice looking day.  Sun was out, was not windy or cloudy.  So, I thought I’d go “out there’ even though it was on the cold side with my camera and see what I could find.

Had to stop over at the local Best Buy Store to see if I could purchase some earbuds with a microphone so I could install a narrative to video’s that I shoot.  When I got there, I noticed the sky was starting to turn cloudy.  Just my luck.  Went into the store, shopped around for something not expensive, but will work well.  Found what I wanted, paid for it, and left.

Going back outside, I saw it snowing!  What the heck!  From sunny to snow in about 20 minutes.  Thought that it was just a Snow Shower that would only last a few minutes.  It did, but the sky still did not look right.  Decided to head home and try another day.

It’s good I did.  No sooner than getting home, I saw the snow return.  This time it was snowing, and blowing worse than before.  Quick ran and got my Nikon and recorded what you see above.  This Snow Squall lasted about 20 minutes with no real accumlation.  It stopped as quick as it started.  Then the sun came back out!

Sometimes I think I just can’t win during Winter months!

Thanks for viewing.

Les

FALL IS LEAVING.

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The Fall Foliage is now starting to go into it’s final hoorah.  Color is not as bright as it has been a few days ago.  In a few days, Mother Nature will take it all away and make room for Old Man Winter.

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Color’s of Red, Green, and Yellow will slowly fall away and leave nothing but a bare tree.

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My old Play Ground has always had brilliant color as long as I can remember.  The Play Ground has changed over the passing years, but Nature always remains as it has for many years.

Again, heavy rain today will hasten the colorful leaves of Fall to drop off the trees.  We have had our share of rain all Summer long.  We just don’t need anymore.  It’s good that the temperatures are warm enough that it does not snow  .  .  .  yet!  If we continue to get more rain and the weather turns colder, it all will be snow!  Really don’t want that right now.

Thank you.