Sunday, April 28, 2013

Out in the Country

I went walking in farm country southwest of Shippensburg today to catch the gradual greening of the land. On both sides of Rt. 11, with views of South Mountain and Blue Mountain, farms, barns, railroad tracks, silos; you name it, I got it. Ten photos passed quality control, and you can see all of them in their home Picasa web album. I include four of them below: a driveway to nowhere on Old Scotland Rd.; the view from the railroad crossing on Mt. Rock Rd.; a farm on Mt. Rock Rd.; and a panoramic view from Clearfield Rd. Enjoy!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, April 22, 2013


Yes indeed! That's me relaxing with a pint of fine ale in the Archie Bunker chair after a particularly stressful weekend. Spring has arrived and business in the garden center at the Shippensburg Lowe's has ramped up dramatically. Naturally, being a big box store, we're drastically understaffed to keep up with both customer service and restocking. Hence the Archie Bunker chair and the beer today. And the lunch that went with that beer below:

Yeah, I tend to avoid the pre-cut ham usually available; I buy a chunk of ham and slice it myself with a knife, not a machine. I like thick slices. Supper this evening follows in the same hedonistic footsteps: broiled salmon, roasted baby red potatoes, and steamed broccoli, washed down with a nice Pinot Grigio. Easy to cook, easy to eat, and eminently tasty! I enjoy my relaxation.

Today also happens to be Earth Day. Now I normally don't tend to celebrate the day here since most of my posts tend to deal with the glory and sacredness of Mama Gaia. But I just happened to take some pictures in my wanderings today that are appropriate to the celebration of the wonders of creation: a female Red-winged Blackbird eying me warily; some Painted Turtles doing same; a Rainbow Trout swimming in the north duck pond of the Dykeman Springs wetlands; and a mating pair of Mallards on the same pond. Enjoy!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Local Color

Spring has finally come to Central PA. Today was errands day for me, so while the laundry was washing and on the walk to the grocery store I took pictures of Spring springing up around us. Ten shots passed quality control, and you can view the whole web album here. Here are some shots to get you interested: a new addition to the gazebo park across the street from me; McLean House in full bloom; Apple blossoms on the Dykeman Walking Trail; and a Canada Goose floating amidst reflections on the north duck pond in the Dykeman Springs wetlands. In the web album there are also shots of the creek - both in the Dykeman wetlands and at King St. - some ducks, lots of green, and lots of colorful blooms. Enjoy!

Now go see the rest!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Important Space Flight Anniversary

On this day, April 12, in 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to launch into space. Twenty years later on the same date, the first NASA shuttle launch occurred. So this is a pretty important date in the history of space flight. Since it's been raining today and I didn't go out to  take pictures, I thought I'd post a celebration of space flight.

Of course, being me, that means this celebration will consist of music videos, specifically of contemporary music at least nominally referring to space flight. So get ready to blast off into outer space with the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, and Pink Floyd.

When thinking about this anniversary this morning, the first tune to pop into my head was David Bowie's "Space Oddity". Who in my generation can forget that image of Major Tom drifting off into space?


Then there's Elton John's "Rocket Man", based on a Ray Bradbury short story describing a Mars-bound astronaut's thoughts about leaving his family to do his job. Heavy stuff for a pop ballad!


 Then there's Pink Floyd. What can I say? Syd Barrett may have been over-the-top unstable, but man did he have a creative imagination!


Billy Thorpe was an English/Australian musician who with his band The Aztecs practically invented the Aussie pub rock scene. After the Aztecs broke up he came to the US in 1976 and pursued a career as a TV producer and soundtrack composer. One of the first things he released here in the US was his inimitable Children of the Sun space opera. This is the title song of that album.


I love The Police! "Walking On the Moon" is one of the songs only nominally related to space flight. The original video of the song involved The Police walking and playing around Cape Canaveral, as well as incorporating NASA film clips of launching rockets, etc. Unfortunately YouTube doesn't have that video. So you'll just have to make do with the song.


One last entry. In 1994 Thomas Dolby (and I'm a HUGE fan of his music) got involved with the Mind's Eye project, which teamed computer animators and musicians together to create short movies (Jan Hammer was another musician involved in the project). Dolby's movie was called The Gate to the Mind's Eye,  and the tune you're about to hear is called "N.E.O" (Near Earth Object). Featured in this tune is the voice of Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, an Italian astrophysicist who was also trained as an opera singer and who pioneered techniques to convert radio waves from space objects into sound. She made an album of the results, but that wasn't involved in this clip; this is all Mr. Dolby's music!


And that's my space flight celebration. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Scenes from the Macro-World: Early Spring

When I went out the door this morning for a walk, all I could think was: "Well there you are!" Yes, faithful reader, Spring has finally arrived in Central PA. On my way to the grocery store I passed through the Dykeman Springs Wetlands park via the Dykeman Walking Trail. I took a decent amount of photos, but the following two macro shots are so much better than the rest that I felt they were the only ones worth posting. They're really tiny flowers; the white ones are Chickweed and the blue ones are Corn Speedwell. Yes, I did my patented belly crawl to get these; this may have been the first time I did that here in Shippensburg. I don't think I had an audience this time, as I often did in Newport. In any case, enjoy!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger