Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Monday Walk

Yesterday was a great day, sunny and seasonably warm, so naturally, since I had the day off, I went for a walk. I had gotten a coupon for a store called the Country Pantry, which specializes in bulk foods, organic foods, and baking supplies. I decided to make this the focus of my walk, since I wanted to find some rye flour, which no grocery stores in the area seem to carry. The store is in the heart of Mennonite farming country and the walk out along Rowe Rd. is very scenic indeed. I walked back along the railroad tracks which, while not as scenic, was shorter and out of the way of big trucks and other insane drivers. I got nine shots which passed quality control, but I'm not gonna take up that much space here; you can visit the web album to see the whole walk. Below are a few of the shots I like the best. Enjoy!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Mama Gaia was teasing us on Tuesday. The forecast was a snow/sleet/freezing rain mix turning to plain old rain sometime by noon. But here in Shippensburg it stayed snow all morning. Late in the afternoon we had another wave from the associated front move through, and that on was rain, which melted most of the snow. But when it was time to head for work it was still snowing and sticking, so I got some nice shots on the walk in. These three worked the best.

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Thursday, February 14, 2013


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13

Photo © 2011 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Art of Death

I've started rereading Sarah Stewart Taylor's Sweeney St. George mysteries. The first reading was several years ago, all borrowed from the Newport Public Library; now I'm buying digital copies to read in my Kindle app on my smart phone. I'm especially interested in these because the fictional Sweeney is an art history professor specializing funerary art, often involving gravestones and stone carvers; those of you who have been reading here for a while know my interest in and research into those same subjects. Sweeney also has Newport roots, and one of the books takes place there. Ms. Taylor herself is also interested in those subjects and knows Newport well. She visits there often, and once I was able to direct her to a little, semi-hidden colonial-era cemetery she didn't know about (yes, I wrote a fan letter/email; she even wrote me back to let me know she'd look for it on her next visit). Unfortunately, Ms. Taylor hasn't written a Sweeney St. George story since 2006; these days she seems to be concentrating on children's and young adults' fiction. I'm about to write another fan email encouraging her to continue with Sweeney books. If anybody wants to join in the crusade can click on the link above to her website and drop her a line. WE WANT SWEENEY!

In any case, reading the stories again got me thinking about all the gravestone and cemetery shots I've taken both back in Newport and here in the Shippensburg, PA area, as well as all the research I've done and posted here. And I'm thinking I might put together another photo book on Lulu.com using the best of all those shots and some of the research posts. It'll take a while, but it's an idea. In the meantime I collected four shots to post today to whet your appetite for more (plus you can always hit click on "Cemeteries and Gravestones" in the category cloud in the sidebar to read all the posts).

The perfect music for this subject is Natalie Merchant's setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem "Spring and Fall: to a young Child", from her 2010 double CD Leave Your Sleep. The poem is about a child's dealing with her own mortality, and Natalie Merchant's setting is especially moving. Enjoy!

Photos © 2008, 2009, 2012, & 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Groundhog Day

They dragged poor old Punxsutawney Phil from his hole up on Gobbler's Knob this morning, and he didn't see his shadow. Since it's cloudy because there's a snowstorm coming, the prediction of an early Spring seems a bit off! I went walking soon after that; the temperature was 12º F (-11º C) with a wind chill of 0º F (-18º C), and the pictures I took show a frozen and bleak landscape. So Phil, I think you missed it once again this year. Time to go back in your den and sleep it off until April!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger