Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mine Run Creek (Horseshoe Trail in SGL43)

Mine Run Creek, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A seemingly little known spot along the Horseshoe Trail between St. Peters and Trythall Road in SGL43 Chester County.

Mine Run Creek is the subject, an autumn day offers the color.

I parked at Trythall Road, so Max and I had a short half-mile walk to the dilapidated old railroad bridge with just the old ties to hop in order to cross the creek. Both sides of the bridge offer nice creek scenes with the western side anchored by giant rocks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lake reflections - Birdsboro Reservoir

Lake reflections, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Birdsboro Reservoir is part of the Hay Creek Watershed.

The area offers a variety of recreation fun and is located along the Hay Creek and old (and closed) SR82.

Besides my favorites, photography and nature watching, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, even a rock climbing wall are some of the activities.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dragonfly - Middle Creek Wildlife Reserve

dragonfly, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The annual Wildlife Art Festival weekend at Middle Creek Wildlife Reserve was the first weekend in August.

This is the 2nd best show at Middle Creek, next to the all-natural Snow Geese migration.

Since many artists don't allow photographing their art, I concentrate on the outdoor show instead.

The hummingbirds and butterflies were very active in the man-made garden feeding on sugar water and a butterfly tree, respectively.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Angelica Creek Grasshopper

grasshopper, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Max and I set out on a windy July morning before the oppressive heat.

Every time I visit Angelica Creek Park, I find varying flora and fauna. A little early in the day and season for butterflies, but the grasshoppers were swarming everywhere.

I did notice that the section of the Schuylkill River Trail path that runs under SR10 down to the river was closed. This does not come as a surprise since the area is so isolated and could be deemed unsafe.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Best paint job - Classic Car Show

Best paint job, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
St. John's Church in Gibraltar, PA hosted a great car show showing about 150 classic cars from all era's.

A colorful and diverse collection of cars were brought out by their owners.

The tree-lined grounds, I thought were the perfect setting to view cars. Another scorching day in July, the trees kept the visitors cooler and encouraged longer visitation.

The owners probably had mixed emotions, enjoying the shade to sit in, but not the clean-up that comes with overhanging trees.

A pig roast, which never disappoints, and numerous home made treats made the food choices plentiful and tasty.

Their goal was 150 cars, which I believe they easily achieved.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reading Museum Gardens

garden flowers, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Once again, the Reading Museum, namely "Trudy's Garden", was in bloom with color.

Several gardens settings on both sides of the Wyomissing Creek make this a great place for a morning stroll.

You won't be alone for exercisers and dog walkers are a common site as well as couples enjoying the romantic settings.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Air Show Penn Valley Airport

Air Show, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
On a hot July day, the air was filled with the sights and sounds of classic propeller planes.

What a great show the little Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove, PA hosted.

Great planes, period encampments, delicious food and customer friendly conditions make this a must see if they choose to do it again.

Water toting golf carts were canvassing the vast infield selling water for $1 a bottle. With temps near 100, these "angels of mercy" were so appreciated.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

H. O. Smith Botanical Gardens

garden flower, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
H. O. Smith Botanical Gardens on the north side of Penn State campus is not far from the Beaver Stadium.

I accidentally discovered this oasis while looking for the Dickinson School of Law building. I spotted the new and unique looking building at a football game so drove up to get a closer look.

The center piece Overlook Pavilion offers dramatic views of the countryside and is a good starting point for meandering down the paths.

Beautiful themed gardens are separated by pathways, fountains and open areas.

With Phase 1 progressing wonderfully, the upcoming projects should be just as impressive making this a must see on return visits to the campus.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

French Creek - stream

stream and green, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Hot, humid and bug-infested were the conditions for a morning walk along the stream leading from Scott's Run to Hopewell Lake.

High contract between the shadowed green leaves, ferns, reflections and the bright sunlit subjects made exposing shots difficult.

Despite harsh photography and diverse trail conditions, the walk along the stream has numerous breath-taking scenes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Semi-Modern Hay Baling

hay bailing, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
While driving through Lancaster County I grabbed this shot of some Amish men baling hay, the semi-modern way.

Manually stacking 50+ pound bales on a flatbed wagon being pulled by a steel wheeled tractor is better than a cutting with a sickle and raking, but it still looks like grueling work.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Longwood Gardens

flowers, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Summer at Longwood Gardens is another of the numerous reasons to visit.

In addition to the many themed events and variations in the Conservatory, the seasonal outside gardens are exquisite.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sea Isle City - Bay Sunset

bay side sunset, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Sea Isle City, NJ offers something for everyone. Great beaches, good restaurants, fun activities and night life. 

Parts of the barrier island are so narrow that the road is all that separates the bay from the dunes and beach.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fiddler crabs - Corson's Inlet State Park

Fiddler crabs, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Bonding with nature during morning magic hour at Corson's Inlet State Park at the New Jersey shore.

Armies of these tiny crabs, with big attitudes, scurry off the trail and into their burrows as they feel the vibrations of me approaching. I thought I could trick them so I stood still in the middle of their colony and within a few they resumed crabby behavior. Now crawling within inches of my shoes, I was able to capture a lot of behavior photo's.

Corson's Inlet State Park is a quiet and picturesque place at the north end of Strathmere. Long, nearly private beaches run along the inlet and wrap around the peninsula to the ocean.

Taj Mahal - Atlantic City, NJ

Taj Mahal, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
While briefly visiting Sea Isle City, I took an early drive up the coast to drive through Atlantic City and the shore towns along the way.

I hadn't been to A.C. in over 20 years so I didn't really know what to expect. I would describe it as the ultimate juxtaposition of extremes. The modern, sleek casinos versus the old just-getting-by streets a mere two blocks away from the beach.

Political opinion could be argued that casinos enrich the community with a tax stream, but it's hard to see this in 30-40 years of practice. However, there was a lot of construction projects, like a new casino being finished, street enhancements, and clearing of many lots a block from the casinos (not sure what was on these lots previously?).

Ultimately, I do want to go back to A.C. to walk the board walk and visit some of the casinos and capture the street scenes.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Philadelphia Pro Bike Race

Logan Circle, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A chilly morning and mild temperatures indicate that a fast pace race was in order.

I walked up and down the Ben Franklin Parkway from Logan Circle to Kelly Drive by the Art Museum to capture the various backgrounds.

I like this one mile stretch of the 15 mile course for it offers great low angle shots and things to do when the racers are elsewhere on the course.

Located here are the vendor and food booths, feed zone, the TD Waterhouse sponsor area with free cow bell and backpack giveaways.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Philadelphia Bourse (First Friday)

Philadelphia Bourse, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The First Friday of June was a great time to check out Old City Philadelphia. We took a stroll through the Independence Mall area and visited the classic Bourse building.

Along 2nd and 3rd streets, the art galleries and shops stay open late inviting strollers to come in and see their skills. Restaurants, most with cafe's, are abundant along Market St.

Lot parking is pricey, $20+, so feeding a meter kiosk at $1.50 per hour is actually way cheaper.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Weis Markets (2nd and Market, Sunbury)

Weis Markets, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
This store has been here my whole life and likely hasn't had a major renovation in decades.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cape May, NJ Fishing Fleet

fishing fleet, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Cape May, NJ is a really neat place that combines old fashioned Victorian era charm with a beach town.

A hundred years ago Cape May was the summer retreat for the rich and famous, while today it still has an upscale feel.

Many Victorian homes were converted into bed and breakfasts over time and there actually appears to be more B&B rooms than hotels and motels.

An active fishing fleet still works the seas bringing in fresh seafood for the Jersey shore. Cape May is famous for it's delicious restaurants.

Shore excursions to the Diamond Beach, the Lighthouse, and several mansions offer fun options.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

World Financial Center - NYC

World Financial Center, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
This is a really cool part of Manhattan. The World Financial Center, located in Battery Park City, is adjacent to "Ground Zero" and the "Winter Garden" actually over looks the construction of the new buildings.

Shopping, indoor and outdoor dining, great views of the Hudson River and Jersey City skyline make this an attractive place to live and visit.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Marriott - Lancaster Art Walk

Marriott, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The Lancaster Art Walk is a great opportunity to explore the numerous galleries that are making Lancaster an art destination.

Two Art Walks per year, on May 7&8, 2011 and a 2nd coming October 8&9, 2011.

The artsy area is loaded with great galleries and shops. A few really cool antique and vintage shops also compliment the galleries.

The new Marriott Hotel at Penn Square is an excellent architectural example of juxtaposition, fitting the old and new in harmony.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Revolve" by Peter Trout Gard (Jenkins Arboretum)

"Wind Through the Trees" sculptures exhibit ending in June 2011.

They offered a creative way to enjoy over 60 unique sculptures on their beautiful grounds.

May is a great time to visit Jenkins Arboretum due to Azalea and Rhododendron blooms.

The park is free and always enjoyable.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wyomissing Creek Photowalk

pond reflections, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Max and I headed out on a mild spring afternoon to catch the rich new colors nature has offered.

I parked at the Old Mill Rd parking area and we headed south crossing the creek on wooden bridges until arriving at the stone spring house, a distance of a half mile.

A few dramatic pink and white trees were along this route as well as a yellow and a red tulip garden, which were past prime.

We back tracked on the other side of the creek then crossed Old Mill Rd to follow the down stream about 7/10 of a mile the pond and old stone house.

The pond had spectacular reflections in all directions. Max was feeling a bit tired so it was time to head out. I took a few more reflections and stream shots on the way out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Florida Frangipani (Yellow)

frangipani - yellow, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Nearly every day Max and I would walk by this beautiful tree on the way to the Cape Coral Yacht Club. One morning it was being lit from behind which was the shot I wanted.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lily (Longwood Gardens)

Lily, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A retreat to Longwood Gardens during the Orchid Festival was just what the soul needed during the gloomy winter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

William Penn / Liberty Place

William Penn / Liberty Place, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Early and chilly Sunday morning in Philadelphia. My friend, John, and I tried to capture the sunrise at the Art Museum, but the light was little off for the dramatic effects we were hoping for.

After the sun came up, we headed to Ben Franklin Bridge for a photo walk. The beginning of the pedestrian ramp is near 5th and Arch. (Kiosk parking close by on Arch street, $1/hr at 8:30AM)

The bridge is well over a mile long, end-to-end and it has pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge. The north side walk seems little used for the best views of the city are from the south side.

It was a thrilling experience. This bridge is just huge! It's over 100 feet above the river, the cables are giant and the support towers are over 350 feet tall. Two hours flew by effortlessly.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birdsboro Reservoir (First Spring)

Late afternoon at the Hay Creek Watershed was the remedy for a severe case of Spring fever. Sunny and temp around 75 amounts to perfect weather.

It felt great after a relatively inactive winter for Max and I to get out and take a photo walk. Two hours and over two miles in the park flew by as we saw all the usual sights.

The shoulders along old SR82 were cut short so very little activity there, at least above the surface.

The discharge from Birdsboro Reservoir was charging in it's path along the road. Nice sunlit shots were abundant.

Breezes at the reservoir added texture to the surface and abstracted the reflections.

The canal was deep and clear. A few frogs and a snake made an appearance as well an underwater salamander.

The Hay Creek was rushing full force and it was apparent it has receded from it's highest water for the shore lines were matted down from the past heavy and moving waters.

On our way out we passed about 20 people walking in to enjoy the weather and sights of the park.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve (Sunrise Snow Geese)

snow geese, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A 4:30AM wake-up was necessary to make the 6:15 sunrise at the Middle Creek Preserve. I drove for 50 minutes, then walked another 1/2 mile up Willow Point trail to the pavilion to join a bunch of fellow snow goose lovers in anticipation of the early show.

The uncanny body clock of these geese set them to flight en mass shortly before the day break. As if a practice flight, they did a large sweeping lap around the skies then back down to the lake.

Another large flock did the same routine, but within a half hour these massive flocks started flying off the lake. An estimated 50,000 geese randomly, yet systematically, flew away from us all over the next 1.5 hours.

Some human-tolerant snow geese paddled to the shore, waddled up the field then began to feed amongst their human admirers. Great portrait opportunities for all of us as well as the ability to observe their feeding behavior.

I finally pulled myself away and headed to the car to warm up my trigger hand and look for some new and different subject matter.

The tour road opened March 1, which has some neat scenery, but little access to the snow geese because almost all lands around the lake are restricted access.

The highlight of the tour road was red-winged blackbirds. Posing in bushes along the road and singing their mating call to lure in a suitor seemed to be their sole focus.

Tired and hungry and home by 10:30 with a very fulfilling photo shoot behind me, I had the afternoon to relax and relive my morning via 600 images and 4 videos. Great day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tundra Swans - Middle Creek Wildlife Reserve

Tundra Swans, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Reserve is a popular stopover for the Snow Geese and Tundra Swans on their way to their northern breeding grounds. 

This year they arrived about Feb 17 and they will likely stay about 3-4 weeks. Initially, the lake was still over half frozen but the mild weather thawed the lake completely. 

The ideal time(s) of day are pre-dawn and in the afternoon's. At dawn you get to experience the explosion of the flock as they leave the lake towards the fields. In the afternoon, they start arriving for their overnight rest. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SR82 - Geigertown

along SR82 - Geigertown, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Berks County has a lot of nice farm scenes.

I pass this location regularly at all different times of day and seasons, and I'm pretty sure that I have enough shots to make a four seasons project.