Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thanksgiving Morning Hike

On Thanksgiving morning a group of us in my family went on a pre-feast hike. My niece Brittany wanted to revisit the Thanksgivings of her childhood when my brother would take all the kids (which included my sister's two boys, Kevin and Scotty) up on South Mountain and hike on or around the Appalachian Trail. Well, all the "kids" are grown up now and have spouses (or a fiancée in my nephew Kevin's case), so this was going to be an interesting hike. [Note: My nephew Scotty and his wife Samantha couldn't get to Shippensburg early enough to go on the hike with us, so you won't see them in the group portrait.]

My brother decided we'd climb Pole Steeple, a rocky overlook in Pine Grove Furnace State Park up on South Mountain. This was cruel and unusual treatment; the path up to the peak climbs 500 feet (152 m) in 3/4 of a mile (1.2 km)! The "kids" had no problem climbing that monstrosity, but I was breathing like an asthmatic by the time we hit the top, not to mention lagging more than a bit behind the rest of the group. But man, that view was worth it! Here's a little recap of the hike.

The trail to Pole Steeple starts here at Laurel Lake
Another view of Laurel Lake
This is one of the least steep sections of the trail
A trailside memorial to a much-loved hiker
A view from the top of Pole Steeple
Another view from the top of Pole Steeple
The gang who conquered Pole Steeple, from left to right: my brother-in-law Scott, my niece Brittany and her husband Jason, my nephew Kevin and his fiancée Cassie, my nephew Kyle, and my brother Don.
One more look at the gorgeous view before we head down the mountain
© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Today is Thanksgiving, and very soon I'll be heading off to spend the day with family, hiking up on South Mountain and then sitting down to the traditional turkey meal. As I usually do, I'm posting some favorite autumnal photos and music to go with this American national harvest holiday. Enjoy your day with family and friends and give thanks for the bounty of the season!

© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Black & White Perspective

I'm getting stale. I've been shooting the same scenes over and over. True, they've been changing with the season, but although the colors may change, the setting and perspective is all the same. So today I did what I usually do when I need to get a new perspective - I shot in black & white. Unfortunately the landscape has blanded out some, and too many hues are of the same value and there was a distinct lack of contrast and interest in a lot of what I shot. But these three shots worked.

Where the creek goes under the railroad tracks in the Nature Park
Reflections in the north duck pond
The guest house at McLean House
© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Slowly Falling Asleep

Fall color is fading and the landscape is transforming into Winter's gray and brown. Although a few trees are still holding onto their leaves, there have been high winds and rain lately, and most of the leaves have drifted to the ground, leaving behind bare wood. The folds in the mountains are now starkly clear, their lines no longer softened by lush foliage. Mama Gaia is is settling her blanket on her child, the Earth. Soon the last leaf will fall and the snow will come, and at last the Earth will fall asleep tucked beneath a warm, snug blanket of snow and composting leaves, dreaming of Spring.

© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

It's Calendar Time Again!

Yes, friends and neighbors, it's that time of year again; I updated all my calendars to 2016 today. So if you're starting to think about Christmas/Solstice presents, please give my author page on a visit. For those of you who may not be aware, I used a lot of my photography to create calendars which I created and sell on Most were made back when I still lived in Newport, RI, but last year I finally got around to making two Shippensburg-related calendars. Click on the link above and browse (each calendar has a slideshow of the images used), and of course buy if you like what you see. I've included images of some of the covers below.

Also for sale on that page is my photo book On a Cold Winter's Night: Images of Yule, a photographic meditation on the Winter Solstice holidays. If you like Winter, or if you know someone who does, this is the book you need. Here's the trailer video I made to advertise it:

So come one and come all, treat yourself and your family and friends to some of my best photography to watch the coming year pass. Enjoy!

© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Slowly Fading Away

The brilliant colors of Autumn are slowly fading away as November advances. The trees are shedding furiously; the brilliantly red Maple across the street from me is bare, as is that bright yellow Maple reflected in the creek in the nature park that I showed you last week. There is still color, but it tends to be here and there rather than everywhere; Winter's gray and brown are starting to dominate.

A mushroom forest sprouting in Ripple Field
The trail sign by the north duck pond
Milkweed down is sprouting up everywhere
The leaves are mostly in drifts on the ground
But a few still hang on stubbornly to the trees
© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Just Another Walk in the Park

Our Fall foliage has reached the tipping point between peak color and bare trees; the percentage of naked branches is starting to increase and lots of leaves are falling. And not just leaves; acorns, Black Walnuts, and Osage Oranges are bombing the Dykeman Walking Trail under the trees. This time of year wearing a hard hat for a hike in the woods  in these parts is a wise move. Lace up your boots, settle the hat on your head, and come along on a walk in the park.

Looking up Branch Creek on the way to the park
Fall foliage along the Dykeman Walking Trail by the ball fields
Along the Dykeman Walking Trail

In the Dykeman Spring wetland
A very bright Maple overhanging Branch Creek in the wetland
The north duck pond 
Looking across the upland meadow to the northwest
Leaving the park at the east end of the upland meadow
© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger