Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Delaware Water Gap - Rickett's Glen Trip

I have made a trip to two places. First the Delaware Water Gap to complete something I always wanted to do; climb one of the two mountain peeks. I selected Mount Tammany, the taller of the two with a height of 1,526 feet or 465 meters. Including the rests in between, it was a 1 hour long hike, but well worth it. I will likely take the time to climb 1,461 feet (181 meters) high Mount Minsi located just across the river on another date. It is supposedly better in the fall season.

Stopping by the streams is always a fascination for me. Swimming is discouraged by park officials, but done so constantly by park visitors and understandably so during hot weather. The most I do is step into them with waterproof hiking boots in order to get better shots, or cross one. 

Since I like wildlife, I had to opportunity to see a Green Frog and a Northern Leopard Frog. 

Northern Leopard Frogs are distinguishable from the similar and often found in the same are Southern Leopard Frogs. Years ago, I found this Southern Leopard Frog in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Their croaks are different, but so are their appearances. The Southern Leopard Frog usually has a more vibrant green color. The most notably however is the gold "dot" on the ears of the Southern Leopard Frog. Northern Leopard Frogs lack these dots. 

Also this Black Rat Snake crawled along the side of the trail. 

On top, you get an excellent view of the water gap, and Mount Minsi; a great reward for those who make it. Clouds unfortunately picked up. 

Driving along Route 80, I made the attempt to stop by Rickett's Glen State Park and it was well worth it. This park was on my list for two years! But now, I had the opportunity to visit it, and witness the beauty of nature. This is why I love Pennsylvania so much. Not only is it my birthplace, but it gives me plenty of natural surroundings. The park's best scenery are its iconic waterfalls. 

And of coarse, I had to catch note of Damselflies that flew nearby.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy July 4th!

Finally got back from the Jersey Shore (How New Jerseyites call the beach) celebrating Independence Day. Here is my best shot of the fireworks display there. Happy birthday to the United States of America! My home sweet home!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Barn Swallow

It took me a while to identify this bird. I did not want to guess it to be an Eastern Bluebird with a black mask. I'm glad I finally found the sources to help me do so. I highly recommend these sites.



Well I think I should take a break on birds. But it has become instinctive lately; birds are such magnificent creatures. As for the American Robin family under my balcony, the chicks have grown and the nest has been abandoned. Although I will miss them, now I can finally cut my grass in peace; not that I like to cut my grass in the first place. In fact, I HATE CUTTING MY GRASS!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Robin's Nest Below my Balcony (Update)

So I decided to do a follow up or "behind the scenes" of the recently discovered nest under my balcony including the exact setup.

This shows the location of the nest bellow my balcony. Note that there is little head room; just enough for a bird to fly and maneuver in.

Here is the "peep hole" for us humans to get a look at the nest.

I decided to get involved an help out. I took a nightcrawler from our worm keeper (we are outdoors people and therefore go fishing), and tossed it under the balcony. The mother took notice and "accepted" my gift.

Gummy worms anyone?

It is often reported that parenting birds can and will attack suspected intruders including people who come too close. So far I have been spared of any attacks, but they have yet to get used to my presence when I do my yard work duties and get too close. They flee when I come near or start the lawnmower. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Robin's Nest Below my Balcony

I noticed a robin or two flying out from bellow my balcony every time I mowed by lawn lately. I looked up and noticed a nest. The nest was positioned on top of one of my air conditioning pipe making little head room from above. This makes excellent defense against birds of prey (I once witnessed a Red Tailed Hawk eat chicks right out of two nests that were made the open. I did not have my camera at the time). Viewing the nest is impossible without its removal; something I did not want to do even though the nest was only seven feet above the ground. However on top of the balcony, the nest was viewable through one of the segments on the deck. You have to peek through with one eye, but you are just mere inches away from the miracle of life in the bird's world. Photographing is of coarse also difficult, but I got my macro lens, placed it as close to the opening as possible, then manually focused. This is what I got, though perhaps the next time, I will photograph the nest overall, though UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I EVER TOUCH THE NEST. Stay tuned......

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Picking up the camera again....

Finally for the first time in 2012, I am posting something. I have been busy with work and shooting on demand, that I have had no time shooting on a leisure basis. But finally on a day in May, I had my 100mm macro lens and ring flash attached while hunting for butterflies or dragon flies. Frustrated, I began to look down upon the flowers and stumbled upon this creature. I instinctively photographed it since there was nothing else to capture. If there is one thing this find did, it motivated me to look forward to 2012, a year of great photographs to take and memorably objects that deserve preservation. Hunting season has started for me and my weapon of choice; the camera!