Monday, January 28, 2013

Shelter From the Storm

We have some nasty, evil weather today - freezing rain. We got a nice 3 inches of light, fluffy snow on Friday, but I didn't have the opportunity to get out in it for photos. It's been melting little by little since then, and now the freezing rain has made a mess; there's a coating of ice on everything. Not a day for being out wandering around, so all of today's photos were shot from inside.

A month ago when we got our first good snow (read about it here) I noticed that the snow was covering the seed in the feeders, especially on the flat feeder. So I bought two more squirrel baffles from work to use as weather shields over the feeders, and they've worked great in the snows since. And today they're performing the same service, as well as providing shelter along with the dining service. They're proving to be scenic, too, with the icicles hanging off the edges. 

This time I'm not seeing any Cardinals, but, thankfully, neither am I seeing the pestilent House Sparrows and Starlings. Instead, the feeding station seems to have become a hangout for White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Now, these are normally ground-feeding birds, and even in today's weather some are still feeding on the spillage beneath the station. But I've been catching them feeding up in the feeders, too. Obviously the shelter of the baffles is providing an extra, appreciated feature if even ground feeders are taking advantage of it.

Even though I haven't gone out into the cold and wet, the weather makes me feel the need for a hot, hearty meal. Supper tonight will be homemade lentil soup. Mmmmmmm!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ice Cold!

It's bitter cold in Central PA this week, with below zero wind chills (that's -17 C and below for those of you in the rest of the world). I'm off work today and tomorrow, and you know the cold isn't keeping me indoors. I went walking around town today looking for good ice shots. Naturally, black & white is the best medium for ice, so that's what I shot in. Here are some of the shots; click here to see the whole web album.

I definitely needed hot food when I got home from this one! I made a grilled cheese sandwich, heated up some homemade chicken soup, and finished it off with a nice hot mug of spiced coffee. Ahhhhhh!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hymn to the Sun

The sun came out today after a long time being hidden by clouds and fog. This is my little celebration, with pictures of classical sun faces in my house (a faux bronze wall hanging and a terra cotta milk pitcher) and "Hymn to the Sun" by Satoshi Yagisawa. Enjoy!

Photos © 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I love fog, second only to snow; I can play in snow, which is why I love it more. But fog is great to walk in, and it's especially great to photograph in. It adds an air of mystery, a haunting quality, but most of all it adds an air of intimacy, drawing everything closer and eliminating everything outside the field of vision. So it was great to wake up this morning to be faced with a particularly thick fog on a day off so I could go walking in it with the camera. I put my laundry in the washing machine at the laundromat and then went walking down King St. with camera in hand. You can see the whole walk in its Picasa web album; meanwhile, here are a few of them to whet your appetite.

And I just can't help it; Kate Bush has a song called "The Fog" from her 1989 album The Sensual World that fits these photos in mood that I had to include it here.

[Technical note for those interested in that kind of thing - I shot all these in b&w at ISO 400, mostly 3.5ƒ exposure, and varying shutter speeds according to the lighting in each location. A little tweaking in Photoshop, including some offset coloring to adjust for the bluish tint they were coming up at after initial processing.]

Photos © 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Relaxed Saturday Walk

I went out the door this morning and just ambled about town with no real purpose. I had the camera along but only took a shot when I saw something that really caught my attention. The first stop was (naturally) the Dykeman Springs Wetlands Park and Walking Trail. I spent some time talking with two gents wading in the creek by the red bridge that I often show here being reflected in the water. Apparently there's a Mink about creating mayhem in the trout hatchery across the road by the spring; they showed me the half-eaten corpse of a Muskrat just under the bridge, a victim of said Mink. They were trying to find the beast to put an end to its depredations. After that I ambled up some side streets and finally made my way to the God's Acre cemetery on Prince St.

Below are four shots from the amble (you're invited to check out the web album so you can read the captions I put on them): a Mallard drake on the duck pond; a Mockingbird up a tree keeping a wary eye on me; another shot of the bridges over the creek along the walking trail; and a shot of a section of God's Acre cemetery, this one in black and white because the shot works so much better than color. Enjoy!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger