Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Sluisgracht

The Sluisgracht passing through the Chesapeake Bay

We enjoy watching the big ships pass by while fishing the Chesapeake. We must always keep a close lookout for them as they are traveling much faster than they appear at first glance. The best indicator of their speed is size of the wave thrown up by the bow
However nice they are to see, it is always wise give them a wide berth!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tubby Time

What better way for a little fellow to get clean than to splash around in a wash tub on a warm summer day!

Snapshots like these become more precious to us as the years pass. My Big Brother certainly has changed since Mom captured this moment back in 1951

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


When my wife viewed this image she saw a dinosaur butting a tree with his head. What do you see?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Great Granddad's Barn

Although it has been out of the family for over forty years my Great-Grandfathers barn remains in great condition. Good construction and timely maintenance have kept this structure looking good for well over one hundred years.

With the light dusting of snow and a partly cloudy sky creating a spotlight effect, Saturday morning was the perfect time to photograph the old barn.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Winter Sunrise

Finally, winter has come to Pennsylvania at last. Heavy snow flurries pass through overnight leaving a fine white covering. The sunrise this morning cast its warm glow across the new fallen snow.

I nearly missed this sunrise as the sky became a glorious red/orange while I was still a couple of miles from my vantage point. Within minutes of my arrival the beautiful sunrise was only a memory and a photograph.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Winter projects help to pass the time when the weather is unsuitable to get out much. My wife and I have been working on a scrapbook project that has been two years in the making. It is a photo history of our families. Another winter project is remodeling our workshop/shed. This photo is a “Tool Shot” I made while photo-documenting the project.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

David Byron Shatzer

My wife and I have been working on collecting old family photographs for over two years now. We have contacted many extended family members and have been very pleased with their willingness to share. We have scanned hundreds of old photos and attempted to identify as many of the individuals as possible. As a reward for their help we always give a CD of our collection. Finding photographs of people with no way of identifying them is very common. Genealogical data bases are very helpful with names, dates and relationships but they cannot positively identify old photographs

At times a photograph will lead one on an interesting mystery; such is the story of this photo. We located it in a small leather bound album from the collection of one of my wife’s aunts. The album contained twenty five photographs mostly taken by studios in Chambersburg, Shippensburg, and Greencastle Pennsylvania. No one had taken the time to record any information on the page provided.

This one photograph though was identified by the following writing on the back side. David Byron Shatzer, photographed Chattanooga Tennessee, Army of the Cumberland.

A search of Civil War Military records revealed that he enlisted as a private August 27th 1861 at Chambersburg Pa. and was discharged August 13th 1865 at Philadelphia. He was twenty six years old 5’ 8 ½“in height at enlistment. His residence is listed as Franklin County Pa. It is also noted that he reenlisted at Portsmouth Va. November 18th 1863.

One day while my wife and I were searching for her ancestors in the Cashtown Cemetery, near Chambersburg Pa., I happened upon his grave. From this chance encounter we learned that he was born July 26th 1830 and passed away March 26th 1910.

We have not been able to establish any family ties to David and have no idea of how his photograph came to be among our family keepsakes. If anyone who views this happens to have any additional information I can be contacted at chesyrock@hotmail.com

Monday, January 15, 2007

Auto Art

Shortly after the purchase of our latest “new” used car, my wife took it out for a photo shoot spin. The above photo is the finished product. She was so pleased with the outcome that this collage quickly found its way into one of her many scrapbooks

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Always Vigilant

With the major deer seasons behind them our deer have relaxed somewhat but are still on guard for when danger threatens. I encountered this doe while taking one of my evening strolls. As I rounded the top of a particularly steep ridge I noticed her and others bedded below. While positioning the camera she noticed and stood to attention, conscious of the risk that I may present. The last rays of the evening sun provided beautiful light for her photograph.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ramming Through

The Ram seems poised to push his way to freedom through the brush and vines that have him trapped as time and the elements erases his very existence.

I photographed this Ram while taking a stroll this evening on a neighboring property. It has been many years since I seen this car but it does hold special memories from my youth. Paul, who is my Dad’s first cousin, took an interest in my brother and me when we were still quite young. We shared some similar interest and Paul was eager to share. We traveled with him in this car to many local jam sessions where everyone would bring their musical instrument and play and sing until the women folk would bring out the refreshment. Homemade ice cream, watermelon, and many other assorted goodies would be served. Afterwards some more music and lots of visiting would complete the day. The music consisted mostly of old Country tunes seldom heard today like The Wabash Cannonball, The Old Age Pension Check, and The Great Speckled Bird.... Songs that truly spoke of country living.

Paul also introduced us to his style of buck hunting. Paul was a very proficient “still hunter” and took us a few times to the mountain and taught us the basics of his technique. It was from him that I learned how to “hunt” deer and not just go and sit hoping that a buck would pass. Paul’s old Dodge carried us on all of those early outings. I remember the floorboards rusting out and when he would cross the creek the water would come in. We quickly learned that when crossing the creek that it was a good idea to lift our feet!

While photographing the Ram the memories came flooding back

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Fleeting Moment

Saturday morning as the sun rose I noticed the fog rolling through the hollow behind our home. An impromptu photo opportunity presented itself and for a short time a landscape I see every day was transformed into a thing of spectacular beauty. As with so many of the good things in life, the moment was fleeting and within minutes it was once again the familiar landscape I am so familiar with.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Scenic Vistas Defaced

While photographing our beautiful landscape at times I must be careful where I point my lens to avoid capturing scenes that are less than beautiful. Some folks who share our planet seem not to have any appreciation of the beauty God has bestowed upon our land.

This scenic vista can be seen from a natural overlook from the top of Tuscarora Mountain. The vantage point is located in the Buchanan State Forrest and is easily accessible.

Some of the folks who visit here feel led to leave more behind than others would care for. That their acts are illegal and frowned upon by most visitors does not hinder them in the least. According to our Forest Rangers the paint is most difficult to remove from the surface of the boulders. Forestry crews have tried a number of methods of removal and have settled on simply covering it up by spray painting over the graffiti with gray or brown auto primer to blend with the rock surface

The text of this graffiti seems to indicate an appreciation for nature but the act indicates otherwise.

Will archeologist many centuries from now study “21st Century” rock painting to gain a better understanding of the “primitive people” who lived during this time?

I cannot help but wonder

Friday, January 05, 2007

Double Exposure

The old Tower Snappy was a very primitive camera compared to the inexpensive models of today. The aperture was preset and the shutter had only one speed. The film was wrapped in paper with a black lining to block light. The outside of the paper was of a different color with the frame numbers printed on it. The film was advanced manually buy turning a knob while watching for the next frame number through a small red window in the back of the camera body. There were no safeguards to protect from double exposure so if one forgot to advance the film between shots a surprise awaited them when the photos returned from processing.

The above photograph of my Dad with his first school bus is an example of the accidental double exposure. Although the image is jumbled it has remained in my collection of snapshots from my early years

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My First Camera

My photography hobby began at an early age. In 1963-64 Mom and Dad bought me my first camera. I remember Mom ordering it from the Montgomery Ward catalog. I do not remember the exact price but it was somewhere around $1.50! The camera was a Tower Snappy which I turned around and always referred to it as my Snappy Tower. It took 620 film which was available in both B&W and color. My brother was shooting an old Ansco box camera that took 120 and Mom had a 127 so we never got our film mixed up. Most of our early photos were taken with B&W film as color was prohibitively expensive. When Mom would order in a new supply of film it was just like another Christmas Day! Soon rolls of film would be mailed off for developing and the two to three week turnaround seemed forever!

I still have the old Tower Snappy although it has been retired for many years

This photo was taken of me by my brother in 1964 when we were visiting a neighbors farm. I suppose it was our version of a “Photo Shoot”. My prized “Snappy Tower” is hanging from my arm.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Friendly Cardinal

This bright little fellow has been nuisance ever since last spring. He found another Cardinal Rooster to fight and has been at it almost every day. The bird he found is his own reflection in the side mirrors of our vehicles. His fights are very intense complete with fluttering, flogging, and BM’s smeared on the mirrors and doors.

He may be a nuisance but he is a beautiful nuisance. In this case I like having the little guy around to brighten my day.
Anyway my wife cleans the mirrors!