Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day - A Peace Garden

I went up to the Shippensburg Memorial Park - a park and sports complex dotted with memorials to Shippensburg's dead in the nation's wars - to get photos for this, my annual Memorial Day post (a day early because I'm working tomorrow). And in the process of searching out the various memorial plaques I stumbled across this Peace Garden, which turns out to be the centerpiece of the memorial park. And really, isn't that the real purpose of this holiday, to pray that this madness we call war never happen again? I tip my hat to whoever planned this park for making the idea of peace the center around which the memorials to the dead revolve!

 Dona nobis pacem!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Hot Summer Day in May

Yep, it's in the 90s with high humidity - a July Triple H day (Hazy, Hot, and Humid), and it's only May. It's been this way pretty much all week, and I've been getting fairly scorched at work out in the garden center. The good thing is that for the first time in my entire retail career I have Memorial Day weekend off (but not Memorial Day itself); it seems that Lowe's days-off schedule rotation is inviolable, so come holiday or high water this is my Saturday/Sunday week and I by golly have it off!

So despite the heat and humidity (I'm a Winter person, so you know this weather makes me miserable) I went over to the wetlands park this morning before it got too hot and took some pictures. Today's theme is in the shade, and all the stuff pictured here was under trees. Even the birds weren't flying about so much but perched well inside the foliage, as that first shot of the Red-winged Blackbird shows. Yep, it's hot!

The birds may have been hiding, but they weren't silent. The Catbirds were the most vocal. Below is what I've called the Catbird Concerto, in two movements; Catbirds predominate, but they're accompanied by a chorus of Cardinals, Song Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Robins, Goldfinches, and I think you might even be able to hear the burrr of a Red-bellied Woodpecker way in the background in Part 1. Enjoy!

In case anybody's wondering, yes I was on my way to the grocery store as usual. I decided to splurge a little and have Memorial Day picnic food for supper for today and tomorrow. So I picked up some boneless, thin sliced rib eye steaks, to be eaten sandwich style with spinach, red onion slices, and tomato, accompanied by red skin potato salad and fresh iced tea. Sorry, no paper plates or red plastic cups!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rainy Day

I'm off today and tomorrow, and it's raining; supposed to rain tomorrow, too. Oh well... So I wandered over to the Dykeman Wetlands Park to see if it's as photogenic in the rain as it is in all the other times I've wandered through. It is.

This is what it sounded like while I was taking these pictures:

And some music videos on the subject. Here's Patty Griffin with her song "Rain".

And here's a classic, arguably the best song and dance number in American film history. Enjoy!

Photos © 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Burd Run Under the Willows

I went out to the Burd Run riparian restoration project site on Britton Rd. this morning in hopes that the place looked more photogenic when fully clothed. What I noticed is that most of the trees down by the creek are Willows, and streams flowing under Willow trees are pretty scenic.

The trail through the project site is mostly just a mowed lane in the meadow outside the tree zone around the creek. This time of year that trail is carpeted with Buttercups.

While most of the Willows by the creek are young and recently planted, there's one old-timer up toward the northeast end of the trail that makes me think of Old Man Willow in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. I didn't see Tom Bombadil bouncing along the trail, so I resisted the urge to rest at the roots of the tree and dangle my feet in the creek.

Whenever I think of Willow trees I remember the song "On the Willows" from Godspell. I know, most people my age would probably think of "Willow Weep for Me"; I do too, especially Lady Day's version. But I have a special place in my heart for "On the Willows", so here it is:

Okay, okay, you get "Willow Weep for Me" by Lady Day, too. 

Photos © 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Wednesday Walk

Two days off, and today was very relaxed. After laundry chores, I wandered over to the Dykeman Wetlands Park. I took quite a few photos, but these three were the only ones that passed quality control.

Yellow Wood Sorrel along the nature trail.

Domestic ducks on the lower duck pond. I suspect these are escapes from a nearby farm.

The red bridge over Middle Spring Creek. I always think of Japanese gardens when I see this.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sight & Sound - A Pause in the Rain

The gazebo across the street, taken today when I got home from work. It was raining a little less than it had been earlier in the day, and soon after it picked up again.

The perfect music to go with the picture - Shadowfax's "A Pause in the Rain", from their 1990 CD The Odd Get Even. Enjoy!

Photo © 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cutting Through the Park Again

On my way to shop for groceries I did a wander through the Dykeman Wetlands Park, my usual habit on day-off errands. I took a few pictures.

I chased this Eastern Kingbird from tree to tree for a while, until he landed on this cattail head out in the middle of the swamp. He sat there long enough for me to mess with the manual focus and get him nice and clear.

The Orioles are back! I saw two of them in the park, and managed to catch this guy up in a Sycamore tree at the edge of the swamp. I didn't hear them singing, though. Too bad; they're magnificent singers!

And the Multiflora Roses are blooming. In a couple of weeks the woods will be sweet with the smell of them!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May Flowers in Black & White

Some of Sunday's flower shots work really well in black and white.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Taken Sunday in the Dykeman Wetlands Park

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Monday, May 07, 2012

Make Way for Ducklings!

These shots were taken yesterday at one of the ponds in the Dykeman Wetlands Park. We're definitely at the height of duckling season!

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, May 06, 2012

May Flowers

We had our April showers, now here come the May flowers. These were all taken along the nature trail and around the duck ponds in the Dykeman Wetlands Park on my usual day off run to the grocery store.

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger