Sunday, December 23, 2012

Westin - NYC

One of my favorite sites and first things you notice when you emerge onto 8th Ave from the depths of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Once you hit the streets, you clearly feel the NY vibe and immediately know you are in special place.

New York at Christmas is a great time, but trying, due to the crush of people that also want to experience the holiday atmosphere of the Rockefeller Center tree and skaters.

Visiting early in December is less crowded and likely more enjoyable. Also avoiding the touristy areas in Times Square around meal times will give you an opportunity to discover a new neighborhood and/or place to eat while saving wait times in restaurants.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Potts Mansion - Elverson PA

During a winter open house, tours were offered of the St. Mary's of Providence Center main house, while children were invited to have breakfast with Santa.

The mansion was built by Joseph D. Potts, a descendant of the iron magnate, John Potts in the late 1800's.

I found the design interesting for the house had two similar, if not identical, wings. I believe the mansion was shared by two families, one in each wing.

Currently, The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence manage this facility.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Craftsman at Work

Christmas at Joanna is a wonderful family oriented celebrating old time Christmas traditions.

Inviting you into the venue is hundreds, many thousands of luminaries that guide your way through the grounds.

Delicious food and unique shops satisfy your appetite and shopping curiosity.

A huge HOT bonfire which is the center piece for the Belsnickel story and carolers.

A hayride, demos in wood/craft shop, a light maze add more fun and tradition to a night at Joanna.

Chinatown Arch

After visiting Love Park, we stopped in Chinatown for some authentic and tasty food at the Banana Leaf.

Art Museum from Christmas Village

view of Art Museum, originally uploaded by Mike Roush Photography - Berks Awhile.

Christmas season in Philadelphia is another great time to visit the city.

At Love Park, now the venue for the Christmas Village which showcases a nice variety of International products, cuisine, and entertainment.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunrise over Yachts

Sunrise at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. More popular for it's sunsets, the CCYC has great sunrises too.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Osprey with Catch

osprey with catch, originally uploaded by BerksAwhile - Mike Roush Photography.

Bunche Beach on San Carlos Bay is a great escape for both nature and sun lovers. 

This osprey grabbed a mullet, flew right in front of me and the sunset, then perched in a tree nearby and ate it. 

The narrow almost secluded beach still has old weathered mangrove stumps that adds to its uniqueness. 

Sunrise on River

This is one of my favorite canal views in Cape Coral off of Del Prado Blvd looking east to the river.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Babcock / Webb - Webb Lake

Just east of Punta Gorda, FL is the 65,000 acre Babcock / Webb Wildlife Management Area.

This multi-use area is one of my favorite for wildlife viewing. Besides sightings of alligators, I've seen an armadillo, deer, herons and a pair of sandhill cranes. The colors of the panoramas in the late afternoon are breath taking.

Bald Eagle - Cape Coral

Lee County Florida, including Cape Coral, is the nesting haven for around 50 nests.

Considering that Eagles reuse their nests for multiple years, I went back to the same nest where I saw a nesting pair last year and got lucky that the raptor was on watch duty.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cape Coral Yacht Club Sunset

One of the best looking sunsets I've seen in years magically emerged from a windy, cloudy and unimpressive afternoon.

The normal hot spot around sunset, the Yacht Club was almost empty when I arrived as the ball was dropping. Most weren't impressed enough and left minutes after. I saw a hint of color in the clouds so I waited around just in case there might be an after show.

As veteran sunset watchers know, the best part of the light show may come after the sun drops below the horizon. As was the case this night where it took 8 minutes from sundown to reach this point. The colors lasted only another 6 minutes before fading into the blue hour.

Six Mile Cypress Slough

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is usually the first nature spot I go to when visiting Florida. A 1.5 mile boardwalk through four ecosystems offers so much natural beauty to experience.

The lush flora is habitat for all kinds of animals. Plenty of reptiles like alligators, snakes and turtles reside near the wet areas. The large lake is a good viewing area for alligators, big turtles, nesting herons, and egrets. Small ponds are active year round but especially in the dry season when standing water is scarce.

I've never visited the preserve with this much water so the cypress swamps were rich with color and reflections.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bald Eagle of Conowingo MD

In November and December the migrating Bald Eagles stop over at Conowingo Hydro Electric Dam for some fish gorging.

The array of spectators range from very serious nature photographers with $10,000 of gear to simply Bald Eagle fans with a $20 set of binoculars.

Patience and luck can be rewarding for the acrobatic Eagles hunt, eat, fight and soar sometimes within feet from the shore and their fans.

The Facebook page on the subject offers great tips and photography for a day out to the dam.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Fernery at Morris Arboretum

I planned my first visit to Morris Arboretum to coincide with the fall colors and wasn't disappointed.

One of my favorite photo subjects is ferns and they dedicated a whole building to them. It was lush, humid and vibrant green. A tight path made for cramped shooting, but I found myself in the zone.

The paved 2 mile path around the grounds is lined with formal gardens, primitive and modern sculptures and thousands of colorful trees.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Morgantown Rainbow

Perfect climate conditions formed this perfect rainbow and faint double. The positioning was so fortunate that I could see both ends touching down to the ground.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Times Square - M&M Store

Times Square - M&M Store, originally uploaded by BerksAwhile - Mike Roush Photography.

A night in Times Square is truly invigorating. The billboards, once static, are now full motion video.

The new super-bright video boards are challenging to photograph, but colorful.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Scott's Run waterscape

Scott's Run at French Creek State Park is always good for a morning photo shoot.

Max and I walked along the eastern shore then followed the Scott's Run creek to the road,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Long chili's - Bowers Chili Pepper Festival

The 17th annual Bowers Chili Pepper Festival was a fantastic event for pepper enthusiasts, located in Bowers Park in northern Berks County.

The 50+ vendors have found dozens of ways to infuse, accent and dominate normally heat-less foods with heated varieties. Their culinary creations constantly surprised and thrilled all the lucky folks having samples.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

1934 Cadillac LaSalle - Sunbury Riverfest

The Annual Riverfest in Sunbury epitomizes the small town festival.

Normal fair food concessions lined Front St, while classic cars lining Market St. The renovated Cameron Park hosted bands in the gazebo.

The finale of the event was the wildly popular cardboard boat on the River christening the new river front amphitheater.

Sunrise on the hill

Caught this shot just as the sun came up.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sea Isle Beach Sunrise

An early morning sunrise, albeit challenging to wake up sometimes, is almost always a worthwhile endeavor.

When the lighting is great and the clouds are colorful it's truly special being along the ocean that time of day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hobie Cat - Sea Isle City

Along the dunes around 22nd St, there are dozens of catamaran sail boats, most commonly branded Hobie's.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reading Public Museum Gardens

A magic hour walk with Max at the museum was a nice way to spend a warm July evening.

I liked the way the rays were beaming through the background trees and the colorful flowers in the foreground.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chevy Bel Air - St Johns Car Show

I believe this was the 3rd year for the St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church classic car show. This show has such diversity in the type of cars present. Probably spanning 100 model years, from Ford Model T's to late model Corvettes and Mustangs this should be interesting to many.

The grove where it's held is probably perfect, with plenty of shady places as well as open fields depending on your exhibiting preference. By the way, the food, starting with the pig roast is great and nearly all the desserts are home made.

This orange and white Chevy Bel Air might be one of my favorite cars. While chatting with the older gentlemen owner, we discuss the cars features and authenticity of the restoration. Coincidentally, there is the same color coupe 1200 miles away staged in front of the I Paparazzi Ristorante in South Beach Miami.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Main Street, Annapolis MD

Annapolis, MD reminds me of a transplanted New England shore town with it's old homes and scenic harbor.

The rich nautical history and one-of-a kind education make the Naval Academy an amazing destination for the privileged few students.

The capitol of Maryland offers something for every visitor and resident. It feels like a resort yet is clearly a community. Great arts, culinary and yachting culture are ever present as are the political and college hubs.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reading Public Museum Gardens and Arboretum

Reading Public Museum Gardens and Arboretum are beautiful and seasonal.

Easy access, paved, and dog-friendly make for a perfect getaway.

Sharing the Wyomissing Creek Trail, the duration of your walk can be from short to miles.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Avalon NJ Fishing Pier

fishing pier, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Sunrise at the Avalon Pier is a tradition while at the Jersey shore.

Besides the pier there are plenty of lifeguard stands and boats to use as photo subjects.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Curious Consignments in West Reading

West Reading has many unique shops with one of my favorites being Curious Consignments. Fresh inventory and friendly staff make for a fun visit.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bike Race - Finish Line Ben Franklin Parkway

Bike Race - Finish Line BFP, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The 28th running of 2012 TD Bank International Cycling Championship was held the first weekend in June in Philadelphia, PA.

A slightly new course and public area along the Parkway made for the best fan experience since I've been attending.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keithans Garden path

garden path, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Iconic Sunbury's Keithan's gardens are the backdrop for many spring weddings and proms. Azaleas and rhododendrons add the color, but the flora variety is special year round.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shofuso Japanese House

Shofuso Japanese House, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The Shofuso Japanese house and garden is located in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia and considered one of the most authentic examples of Japanese architecture outside Japan.

The culmination of the Cherry Blossom Festival period is Sakura Sunday, an event featuring captivating live entertainment, colorful costumes both on stage and in the crowd.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

FL Anole at Butterfly Estates Fort Myers

anole, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The Butterfly Estates of Ft. Myers, FL have a beautiful indoor conservatory and attractive gardens outside. This little guy was giving quite a show. Once I figured out his pattern of bobbing his head three times then puffing out his red neck, I was able to capture this shot.

The Butterfly Estates is a really classy and enjoyable place to spend a few hours enjoying nature. They have a nice gift shop and ice cream and snack cafe.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cape Coral Yacht Club Sunset

sunset central, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
The Cape Coral Yacht Club and fishing pier is one of the best places to view the splendid Florida Sunsets. Sunrise is not too bad either.

When visiting I typically visit at least once a day, sometimes twice.

First Wednesday they promote a Sunset Festival with lots of crafters and vendors. Classic cars surround the fountain.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Little Blue Heron (Six Mile Cypress Slough, Ft. Myers, FL)

little blue heron, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Ft. Myers, FL is a must-see haven. A walk through the mile long boardwalk can offer sightings of many of Florida's wildlife in multiple ecosystems.

I visited in the late mornings and saw some amazing wildlife activity. However, after speaking with the volunteers that give tours and station themselves along the boardwalk, sightings of otters, wild boars, birds, snakes & gators, occur throughout the morning and all day.

A new visitor center offers a good place to learn about the preserve, cool off, and share stories with the staff.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sundial and Cherry Blossoms (Fairmount Park)

Sundial, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
I took advantage of unseasonably warm weather to visit Fairmount Park in Philadelphia to see the Cherry and Magnolia blossoms.

This picture was taken near the Horticultural Center at the Sundial Plaza.

Fantastic show of colors and another item I can scratch off my photo collection bucket list.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Longwood Gardens Orchid Festival

orchids, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Another can't miss event on the Longwood Gardens calendar is the Orchid Festival which ends before April.

There isn't much going on outside this time of year, except a few early wildflowers. But the Conservatory is so spectacular that what's lacking outside isn't really missed.

Wyomissing Creek (@Reading Museum)

Wyomissing Creek, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A foggy morning was the perfect setting to catch some moody shots around the Reading Museum and numerous subjects around it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rowboat rivets (French Creek State Park)

row boat rivets, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Another beautiful spring day, so Max and I headed to French Creek to take a lap around Hopewell Lake.

Parking was scarce and the trails were busy, busier than I've ever seen actually.

The beaver's were busy in the fall for they dammed the source stream that feeds Hopewell Lake from Scott's Run. I didn't their lodge though.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sheep being Sheep at Daniel Boone Homestead

friendly sheep, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
It was a mild February day and the perfect excuse to get out and test my new Canon DSLR.

Daniel Boone Homestead offers guided and self-guided tours where you are ensured to find great things to photograph.

These sheep barged through a loose fence post and followed me as I was exited the path. I was nervous they'd follow me to the parking lot, so I sat on a bench and they lost their focus on me and began to graze.