Sunday, April 27, 2014

For Purple Mountains' Majesty

Peiper Rd., just south of I-81, offers some really magnificent views of South Mountain. I hadn't been out to Peiper Rd. in a while, so that was my goal for this weekend's hike. I especially wanted to get some of the Spring color both on the mountain and at her feet; I think I succeeded in that. I went out Baltimore Rd. to Peiper Rd., which runs over to Mainsville Rd., which I came back to town on. It was a nice hike on a knock-your-eyes-out gorgeous day, so I got you some good views to look at. Enjoy!

The view from the railroad overpass on Baltimore Rd.
View of South Mountain from Peiper Rd., about midway across
View of South Mountain from Peiper Rd. near Mainsville Rd.
View of South Mountain from Peiper Rd. near Mainsville Rd.
On the way home on Mainsville Rd., looking across the Cumberland Valley to Blue Mountain
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring in Full Bloom on King St.

I'm off this weekend, and while doing my usual errands I noticed that Spring looks to be just about in full bloom downtown. The Flowering Cleveland Pears along King St. are full, the trees around McLean House are almost there (that Redbud off to the right has yet to bloom), and even God's Acre cemetery around the corner on Prince St. has some lovely blossoms to provide contrast with the stones. Enjoy!

McLean House in bloom
The Flowering Cleveland Pears along King St. downtown
A Weeping Cherry in God's Acre cemetery
Spring blossoms frame two graves in God's Acre cemetery
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

"Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you." – John Muir

"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls." – John Muir

"As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can." – John Muir

Today is Earth Day, and yesterday was John Muir's birthday, so I figured I had no choice but to include him in this year's Earth Day post, along with the above two photos and the video below. The video is one I did years ago, and I still like it. Happy Earth Day!

Photos © 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, April 21, 2014

Another Walk in Dykeman Park

Two days off again, and I took a leisurely stroll through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park on the way to the grocery store. As you can see from the photos below, Spring is advancing in the park. The north duck pond and adjoining wetland was full of Tree Swallows, but they were just too fast for my aging reflexes, so the only birds I managed to capture were the slower Red-winged Blackbirds and Mallards. The scenery is noticeably greening and blooming.

A close-up of the forest floor along the Dykeman Walking Trail
Another shot of the forest floor along the trail
A male Red-winged Blackbird in a Sycamore in the wetland
A trio of male Mallards fleeing from me on the north duck pond
A noticeably greener view north from the top of the upland meadow
The upland meadow is greening up nicely
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Peeks at Downtown

I took a stroll along King St. this morning, noting that Spring has started to appear downtown. Mostly it's flowers in gardens, Forsythia, Flowering Cleveland Pears along the street, and the always early Magnolias. The Ornamental Cherries and other dramatic bloomers are still just budding at this point. Maybe next week. But here's the scene now.

Branch Creek at King St. is starting to green up a little
Part of the garden in the little park next to Widow Piper's Tavern
The clock in front of Orrstown Bank with a Flowering Cleveland Pear
McLean House is starting to get some blooms and leaves
A small Weeping Cherry and the sculpture in the gazebo park across the street
Govardhana Hill, at Morris and King Streets, is starting to bloom
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Greening Up

Spring is finally doing its thing here. Even though we had some unseasonably cold weather last night, and will be below freezing for another night yet, still things are blooming and greening up. I'm off today and tomorrow, which means today was errands day, so as usual I went through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park on my way to the grocery store. Aside from the green popping up on the ground and up in the trees, the main theme today was - Swallows. Swallows were zipping all over the surface of the north duck pond; mostly Rough-winged Swallows, but there were some Tree Swallows mixed in as well. When the Barn Swallows join in the fun, then I'll know Spring is here full blast!

Greening up in the wetland area
A Rough-winged Swallow hanging out by the creek
Rough-winged Swallows taking a breather on the outflow dock on the north duck pond
Looking north toward Blue Mountain from the top of the upland meadow
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Peeking In

Spring color is finally popping up around town. I have today off, but it's a single so today was errands day. As usual I walked through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park on the way to the grocery store, and I caught these signs of encroaching Spring on the way through.

Chickweed by the ball fields
A male Red-winged Blackbird in the Dykeman Spring wetland
Daffodils along the Dykeman Walking Trail
Here come some April showers to bring more flowers
© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, April 06, 2014

A Walk In the Park

There's still no color in the landscape as yet, so I kept the camera set on b&w and ISO 400 as I walked to the grocery store today. Since it was a bright sunny day with a brilliant blue sky, I decided to attach my circular polarizer. That may have been a mistake; it seems to have evened the hues and contrasts out a little too much. I took a lot of shots but only three survived quality control, and they involved reflections in the north duck pond of the Dykeman Spring Nature Park. Ah well, that's what experiments are for - we learn as much from when they don't work as when they do. I have some learning to do!

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger