Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Service (Sunbury, PA)

Patriotic House, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.

Memorial Day is the day we remember the veterans, both living and passed.

The organizer's and participants of the Sunbury parade and service made this the best I've ever attended.

While the entertaining Sunbury Band sat in the blazing heat, the parade was marching well over a mile to the cemetery for the final memorial service at the Sunbury Cemetery at 4th and Spruce St.

The period fashioned people symbolized the extent of our veteran history dating back to the 18th century, reminding us of the sacrifices that have been made for 100's of years to preserve the beliefs of this country.

The music, passage and speeches were touching and appropriate.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tick Removal (Simple Technique)

Insects breath through their skin. This acts to suffocate them.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

Petroleum Jelly works the same way I'm told.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Union Township Recreation Area

Swallowtail Flock, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.

Max and I bounded down the river bank and startled a large flock of swallowtail butterflies on the shore of the Schuylkill River and I didn't get one shot off.

Hoping that they would return after walking the loop, about 2 miles and an hour later, this time we sneaked up on them for a great set of photos.

The Union Township Recreation Area is a fairly new spot carved out a natural area along the Schuylkill River. It has a boat ramp, high loop trail, and some lowland trails.

The Thun Trail shares part of the loop trail along SR724.

It was about 80 degrees, but the smell of honeysuckles, wild roses, and berry bushes will be my everlasting memory. However, after breathing the pollen for awhile Max and I both started sneezing and continued until we passed through the heavily pollinated area.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Birdsboro Reservoir (Spring Afternoon)

Birdsboro Reservoir, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.

An afternoon photo walk with Max was long overdue and the Hay Creek Watershed was the perfect venue.

It was 74, sunny, and nearly bug-free. The lighting was rich, as you'd expect for about 6 PM.

I parked at the gate on Hay Creek Rd (aka SR82) and we walked about 1 mile to the Birdsboro Reservoir. The lake was calm and reflective. Little swallows were buzzing the surface feeding on the surface flies.

The road's shoulders that were cut back last year are growing back too so I expect to see more macro opportunities this summer and fall.

Throughout our walk we passed mountain bikers, hikers, and fishermen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hot Rod Classic Car Show (VF Outlet)

Camaro Z28, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.

Vanity Fair Outlet (VF) was the setting for the Hot Rod Classic Car Show. About 75 hot rods added color and flair to the mall parking lots.

Onlookers of all demographic backgrounds came out to enjoy the sites. Seems like vintage quality is ageless.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jenkins Arboretum (Spring)

IMG_4628, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.

John, and I met at 8:30 AM for a warm, humid, spring morning photo shoot at Jenkins Arboretum. Lack of a breeze is good for taking macros, but makes you a sitting target for pesky gnats and mosquitoes. We sprayed almost all possible exposed skin with bug repellent, so the bugs annoyingly focused on the ear canal or eyes.

Jenkins Arboretum was splendid. Lots of color from the azaleas and spring wildflowers made for abundant photo subjects. The pond/bog area is great too, but since it's completely fenced in, getting close to the water's edge is not possible.

We hiked nearly the whole 1.2 mile paved trail collecting hundreds of colorful shots. Jenkins labels most trees and plants so identifying the flora is easier.

It's a well thought out place that makes for seasonal, even weekly or monthly visits a different experience. Time of day effects fauna behavior so staggering when you go will afford a variety of sightings.

In April 2009, they opened their LEED certified visitor center. Renewable and "green" in every respect possible, this building is a great example of the latest and practical sustainable architectural design.