Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

A wee dram to toast the New Year. Slainte!

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last Shots of 2014

It's getting colder again as the year draws to an end, and the ice is starting to creep out on still water around town. Since I'll be working tomorrow, the last day of 2014, the shots I took yesterday and today will be the last of the year. Here's hoping for some snow soon to get 2015 started off right!

Norway Spruce shot from underneath
Encroaching ice in the Dykeman Spring wetland
Reflections in the north duck pond
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my family and friends!

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

It's that time of year again, when the sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn and the Winter Solstice arrives in the northern hemisphere of the Earth. It's the bleakest time of the year, when the nights are longest and the air is cold and there's often snow on the ground. To all appearances the Earth is dead. The Winter Solstice begins the process of bringing light and warmth and life back to the Earth, and is celebrated with evergreen decorations, fires and candles, warming drinks, and well-lighted feasts. No matter what religion or spiritual path one follows, this is a time of rejoicing. Here's some music to celebrate with: Jethro Tull's "Ring Out, Solstice Bells"; Jennifer Cutting's OCEAN Orchestra, a Celtic/Pagan ensemble, with one of their recent offerings, "Song of Solstice"; and a lovely piece called "A Fire for You" by John Boswell, found while looking for Solstice music on YouTube. Enjoy!

In the bleak midwinter...
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Music of the Season

A long time ago in this time of year, especially in England, groups of singers would set out of an evening and go from house to house to serenade their neighbors. Since this was a partying time in those days, often these wandering choirs would be going from party to party, and not only singing would go on but also eating and drinking. At some of the grander parties of the time music was part of the feast and would include both singers and musical instruments. The music they sang was ostensibly about Christmas, but the lyrics of the songs, not to mention the traditions being engaged in at the feasts, hearkened back to the old pre-Christian Winter Solstice celebrations, from which the church borrowed heavily to create the Christmas holy season. Nowadays these musical celebrations have become known as the Christmas Revels, and groups hold public performances here in the US as part of the Christmas seasonal celebration. Here are some of the songs sung on those occasions.

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Walking Around

Today was a single day off, and thus an errands day. I got these shots while running said errands. I went with black and white because the color is pretty much gone now and b&w emphasized the contrasts I was seeing in this colorless world.

Branch Creek looking north from King St.
Branch Creek looking south from King St.
Dykeman Spring wetland
The creek in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park
The hay road in the upland meadow
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Early December

It's not Winter yet according to the calendar, but we're not fooled; it's cold, the ground is hard, and although there's no snow on the ground the trees are bare and the world seems to be painted in various shades of brown and gray, with highlights of red and green here and there in keeping with the Winter holiday season. We're in a transitional stage, a sort of Winter/not Winter. A walk through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park today seems to emphasize that state.

The wetland is drabbing down
There's a little color here
Reflections in the north duck pond
A cold seat for this time of year!
A Wyeth-like view of the upland meadow
And just to top it all off, a little Winter-themed music from the late Michael Hedges. Enjoy!

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rainy Day Amusement

I have this weekend off, but today I'm kept indoors by a cold, raw, and rainy day. Cold I don't mind, but wet is not what I want to be on a December day. So among other things I'm doing in the apartment today, I went out on the porch and got a shot of the gazebo park across the street and then played with it in Photoshop. Here are the best results of the playing.

The original shot
The black & white version
An antiqued version, with film grain and sepia toning added
The split toned version, emulating split tone processing
The faded color photo effect, blending the split tone and the original color shot
And my old favorite, oil on canvas
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Today the temperature hovered around the freezing mark, overcast and spitting sleet from time to time.Yesterday was the meteorological first day of Winter, but Autumn still has a presence. We're in a transitional stage; the leaves are mostly off the trees, and things are fading toward brown and gray, but there's still a little color hanging around. I went looking for the color today in the Dykeman Spring wetland.

The creek in the Dykeman Spring wetland
Viburnum berries in the wetland
Asian Bittersweet berries in the wetland
The north duck pond in the wetland area
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Monday, December 01, 2014


Today's post is a hodgepodge of pictures still in my camera when I sat down at the computer. Three are from the walk up to my brother's place for the Thanksgiving feast and "Jurassic Park" marathon, and the last two were taken today while running errands. As you can see from the difference between the two days, we already lost all the snow we got last Wednesday. Oh well...

A scene along Possum Hollow Rd.
The old abandoned shack near the end of my brother's driveway on Possum Hollow Rd.
The Mennonite farm across the road from my brother's place
Branch Creek at King St.
An interesting entryway on Ridge Ave.
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, 2014

It's time to celebrate our uniquely American holiday again. Part harvest festival, part gateway to the winter holiday season, Thanksgiving is a time when families gather together and give thanks for the blessings of the previous year and give hope for the coming one.  And of course I post a little something here every year to celebrate. This year I give you two holiday-themed photos from my most recent calendars on Lulu, and two of my video slideshows with music - "Americana", with local scenes set to Peter Ostroushko's "Heart of the Heartland", and "Simplicity", photos set to the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" performed by Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Woohoo! First Snow of the Season!

Well, we're getting our first snow of the season. It's a heavy, wet snow and it's slushy on the roads and sidewalks, but otherwise it's very scenic. I walked around downtown while my laundry dried, and then later took a walk in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park looking at the lace the snow turned the bare branches into. Come with me.

God's Acre cemetery on Prince St.
Prince St. and Martin Ave.
Branch Creek at King St.
The boardwalk on the Dykeman Walking Trail
The Dykeman Spring wetland in the snow
The red bridge over the creek in the wetland
Branch Creek between the ball fields
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Nature Park in Black & White

I have today off and no errands to run. My normal days off this week are Wednesday and Thursday, but since Thursday is a paid holiday they had to give me another day off so they wouldn't have to pay me for six days. Heh, heh! So I walked around in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park, and like last week I decided to shoot in b&w. These are the shots that passed quality control. Enjoy!

A section of the Dykeman Walking Trail
The view out of the north end of the tunnel under the railroad tracks
The view out of the south end of the tunnel under the railroad tracks
The bridge over the creek in the Dykeman Spring wetland
English Ivy on the forest floor, on the hill up to the upland meadow
Blue Mountain from the upland meadow, with some drama in the sky
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger