Friday, June 29, 2012


I took these last Sunday. This was actually the theme I used in looking for shots and was my planned post for Sunday, but that Cedar Waxwing changed all that. Now I have some extra time before I head in to work, so we now return you to our previously scheduled program.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Tranquil Sunday Morning

Cedar Waxwing

Forest floor along the Dykeman Walking Trail

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, June 23, 2012

March to Destiny

This weekend Shippensburg commemorates the occupation of the town by Confederate forces in June of 1863. It became a staging area for Confederate troops on their way to what was to become the battle of Gettysburg. There are lots of events involved with this. Unfortunately I missed the ones taking place in the little gazebo park across the street from me because I misread the schedule and thought they were this morning; when I went to the website to look at the schedule again this morning I discovered they were yesterday evening instead. How could I not hear them? There was an opening ceremony with readings and presentations and period music and I didn't hear any of it! I guess the windows being closed and the a/c running blotted out extraneous street noise, plus three days of heat and humidity had me tuckered out (not to mention the two beers with supper) and dozing in front of the telly. Oh well...

Anyhow, this morning I went to look at the commemoration headquarters at the public library and visited the Union and Confederate encampments. The Union encampment was over the creek behind the police station...

... while the Confederate encampment was over by the entrance to Shippensburg University.

There was a demonstration of ladies' side-saddle riding in front of the Union camp...

... and I stumbled across a gathering of Civil War enactors discussing the finer points historic battle tactics and their political implications. The guy in blue with his back turned and with the boots and general's gold braid on his hat may have been impersonating Grant; he was bearded and was smoking a cigar and dominated the conversation with an air of authority. But Grant wasn't at Gettysburg, and wasn't even a dominant figure in the Civil War yet at that point, so given the penchant for absolute historical accuracy these guys have, my impression could well be mistaken.

All in all it was a very interesting experience. 

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut...

It's hot, it's hazy, and it's humid. Today is particularly soupy, with a front on the way pushing all that wet air in front of it; it rained twice so far, once this morning and once this afternoon, and after each one the sun came out and made steam. Bleah! So I've been a bit loopy. 

I immediately downed two mugs of iced tea, one after the other, after I got home, and then thought what the hell and opened a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale (my favorite beer). And while cruising the Internet I had the TV on and an old "Cold Case" came on, this one centered around The Rocky Horro Picture Show, and the next thing you know I'm bopping around the living room belting out "Let's Do the Time Warp Again", just like the old days back in Newport at the weekly Friday night showing of the movie. And that gave me the idea of posting my favorite wacky music videos. So, let's do the Time Warp again, shall we?


I'm a major Queen fan, so much so that I still miss Freddie and keep track of Brian May (he's Dr. Brian May these days, PhD in astrophysics and chancellor of a university in England, but still plays concerts). And by far the wackiest song (they did lots of wacky songs, but this is by far the weirdest and most fun) they did is "Bohemian Rhapsody".

And the wackiest fun ever to be had with "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the scene based around it in the movie Waynes' World. Yeah, I'm gonna go there!

Hmmmmm... That sounded like another beer!

Photo © 2008 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

Beating the Summer Heat Kit

Today is the Summer Solstice. Here in Central PA we have a heat advisory up until 8 PM tomorrow; today it got into the mid 90s (around 35º C) with a heat index up near 100º (38º C). Yeah, it's humid, too. I work outdoors, in the garden center at the local Lowe's, so you can imagine what my day was like. But luckily, for the first time in my life I live in an air-conditioned apartment, so that when I walked in the door the temperature dropped over 20º F (11º C). And my refrigerator is well stocked to beat the heat - Ginger Ale, home-brewed iced tea, and beer. So I'm ready for Summer.

Yeah, right! Welcome to Summer, suckers!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Damp Walk

It rained some this morning; not heavily, but things did get wet. It was still spitting a little when I left the house, but had quit by the time I reached the Dykeman Wetlands Park and walking trail. But it was still wet under the trees, especially when the breeze picked up. I got a good few photos, but I thought I'd limit this post to the macro shots I got, which emphasize all the water droplets on things.

In case anybody's interested, here are the plant (and other) IDs from top to bottom: Red Maple; a wet Mallard Duck feather; Horse Nettle; Daylily; White Campion; Bindweed; Indian (Wild) Strawberry (considerably smaller, blander, and less sweet than the domesticated kind); and yes, the Blackberries are just coming into season.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just Wandering

Today was another gorgeous one, and I just stepped out the front door and let my feet go where they wanted, no planning, no poring over GoogleMaps first. They took me across the street, and I ended up wandering to places north of King St.

The first photogenic place I found was the little municipal park behind the Borough of Shippensburg's municipal offices at Burd and N. Fayette Streets. It's not really big, just a picnic pavilion, some swing sets, and scattered picnic tables and kiddie play stuff. But much of it is in the shade, so it's obviously a place to cool off in the summer.

That gave me an idea, and I wandered over to the Shippensburg University campus to where I knew there was a little picnic area by Burd Run, with another picnic pavilion and a wooden bridge over the creek. Another shady spot made for the local summers!

I wandered back to town via the beginning stretch of the Rail Trail and went down Prince St. intending to get some shots of the stately brick mansions there, but the sun was in the wrong spot to let me get decent shots. So I headed toward home. On the way I cut down the McCreary Ave. walkway, which leads from King St. to the municipal parking lot next to the police station at Burd St. and Seneca Ave.; it's a pleasant little hidden treasure just downtown.

And finally, home again, and one last photo - the little gazebo park across the street, taken front my front porch.

And that was today's walk.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We've been experiencing just the right balance between rain and sun lately, and the result has been lush growth everywhere. I'm off today and tomorrow and the weather is gorgeous - after a day of soaking rain we get moderate temperatures, a nice dry breeze, and drop-dead gorgeous blue skies with wispy white clouds. I wandered through the Dykeman Wetlands taking pictures of the lush late Spring/early Summer growth. Oh, and in case anyone's interested, the flowers in the first shot are on a Northern Catalpa tree.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, June 08, 2012

An Oriole Adventure

Passing through the Dykeman Wetlands Park I happened upon this fledgling Baltimore Oriole, preening away up in the foliage, totally ignoring me.

Meanwhile Papa showed up and started scolding me and making a fuss.It was tough getting a shot og him as he kept flitting from branch to branch around and above me.

And the kid ignored all the fuss and kept on preening. Kids! What can you do?

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Up Close

Today I took a more intimate view of Nature.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger