Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Go to Meetin'

So today I set out with the express intention of photographing an Amish Sunday meeting with all the horses and buggies parked outside. The last Sunday I was off I went looking for one where I thought one should be and was wrong. On that occasion blogger Haney left a comment giving directions to one up on Duncan Rd. And a friend at work told me about one on Clearfield Rd., in the opposite direction. Today I chose the Duncan Rd. meeting because I could make a loop and come back home on the Rail Trail. The next time I'll go down to the one on Clearfield Rd.

As I've explained before, the Amish don't like their pictures taken because they feel it creates "graven images", thus a violation of the second commandment. I've chosen to respect that, but I'll still take pictures of their buildings and their buggies. Here are the horses and buggies of the Duncan Rd. meeting.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Sights

I have the weekend off, and I spent today doing errand stuff - laundry, minor grocery shopping, etc. And as usual I stopped by the Dykeman Wetlands Park in the course of my wandering. Not much in the way of photos today, but these two were worth sharing.

This is a new angle on an old friend. The foliage is really stepping up now, to the point where the creek now looks like it's emerging from a cavern. If you look carefully you can see ducks in the water, about three in the foreground and one way back up under the trees.

This male American Goldfinch was singing away on a branch hanging over the nature trail. He actually let me get close enough to get a decent shot!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Along with ambushing birds at my feeder station yesterday during the inclement weather, I was also playing in Photoshop and came up with this:

There are people on who would gladly post such a thing. Yeah, I piss people off sometimes. Heh, heh!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lunch Dates

Today is cold, raw, and rainy, so there has been no hike on the first day of my "weekend". So I've been peeking out the kitchen window (camera in hand, of course) to check on the newly-revised bird feeder station. And it seems that my two favorite couples, a Northern Cardinal pair and a House Finch pair who have been frequenting the station for quite a while now,  showed up as couples to have lunch together.

Mr. and Mrs. Red showed up first, lunching together at the feeder tray with the new sunflower, nut, and dried fruit mix.

Mrs. Finch showed up at the Finch feeder first...

...and then Mr. Finch, although he ate around back so that I couldn't get a shot of him. He hopped up on an arm of the feeder to check out the situation.

Then both of them hopped over to the tray feeder to sample the delights there.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I finally got frustrated with feeding all the House Sparrows in the neighborhood and switched to that handsome Finch feeder pictured above and filled it with Thistle. Since I put it the Sparrows have avoided it.

I also changed the seed in the tray feeder to a mix of black oil sunflower, nuts, and dried fruit. Mr. Red came by to check it out and he seems  to like it!

The suet feeder is still hanging below these two, but I may change that, too; Starlings seem to have taken it over and have driven away the Woodpeckers, so I may change that to mealy worms in an open-sided feeder in hopes of drawing Wrens and Bluebirds. We'll see.

And of course the perfect music for all this is David Bowie's "Changes". Enjoy!

Photos & text © 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Critters

On the way to the grocery store today I cut through the Dykeman Wetlands Park, as usual. Today was a critter day rather than a scenery day. Here's who I saw.

A White-throated Sparrow (sorry for the blurriness; he was back behind a lot of underbrush and just wouldn't sit still) along the Walking Trail.

A Mama Mallard and her chicks on one of the duck ponds.

A Northern Water Snake up on some branches overhanging the creek. They bite when disturbed, but they're not poisonous.

An Eastern Cottontail rabbit along the Walking Trail.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mrs. Red Dines Out

Mrs. Red dines out...

... with friends.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Dogwoods at McLean House

McLean House on King St. in Shippensburg, PA with flanking Dogwoods

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feeder Frenzy

Activity at the feeder station has been pretty busy lately. Unfortunately it's been mostly the mundane (and some invasive) birds who have been hanging out - House Sparrows, Starlings, Grackles, and Mourning Doves. I haven't seen any Cardinals, House Finches, or Downy Woodpeckers in almost two weeks. But as I said, business has been brisk. The Sparrows have been flocking to the tall feeder as well as to the tray feeder, and I even caught a Grackle (usually a ground feeder) up there this morning.

The ground under the feeders gets what falls off, and there are birds who usually feed there, mostly Mourning Doves and Grackles. The Winter ground feeders - Dark-eyed Juncos - have moved off for the season.

Still, I'm hoping the more colorful birds will be coming back. I'm looking into what seeds will discourage House Sparrows and Starlings!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, April 06, 2012

A Walk in the Park

I meandered through the Dykeman Wetlands Park on the way to the grocery store and captured the sights and sounds of emerging Spring. More trees are blossoming, including Redbud and Apple trees along the nature trail. And more flowers on the forest floor, including the newly-arrived Violets. And of course the birds are singing up a storm.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A Sunday Constitutional

Hooray! The Sunday constitutionals are back! I've been bumped up to full time at work, and full-timers get put on a rotating schedule of days off, which means I'll get 2 Sundays off a month. Whee!

Today, after doing the laundry, I went up to Mt. Rock on Rt. 11, then down Mt. Rock Rd. to Rice Rd. and then down Rice Rd. back to Rt. 11. I had seen Amish children playing along a different part of Mt. Rock Rd. a few weeks back and figured if there was a school nearby (and these were definitely kids from a school situation) then there must be a meeting house, and I went up there today with the express purpose of getting pictures of all the horses and buggies in the parking lot. But I figured wrong - no Amish Sunday meeting, at least not in that area. But I did get a nice shot of South Mountain from Rt. 11 in Mt. Rock, a couple of views of the orchards along Mt. Rock Rd. just beginning to bud, and an old farm shed on Rt. 11 on the way back into Shippensburg.

But I still really need to find out where there's an Amish meeting house around here!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger