Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cabela's Mounts

This African antelope mount is on display at Cabela’s. The mounts are of the very highest quality and would suitably fit in any museum. The taxidermy displays are divided into different themes from around the world.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mountain Monarchs

Recently I visited the 180,000 sq. foot Cabela’s retail location in Kansas City, Kansas. Cabela’s, unlike most retailers do not utilize all available space for retail displays. Each store includes a huge amount of space allocated to the display of mounted specimens of animals and fish. A considerable amount of space is taken up by large aquariums housing many different species of fish. Also featured at each location is a huge bronze. The bronze sculpture, Mountain Monarchs, featured at the Kansas City location is of three large mule deer bucks.

This photograph is a combination of the bronze superimposed upon a Pennsylvania sunset.

Friday, May 25, 2007


A pile of drainage pipes at a construction site presented me with a unique opportunity to photograph this newly excavated stone wall. As the city grows outward more and more natural areas disappear under the asphalt and concrete of restaurants, motels, stores, and other nation wide franchised businesses. As the mega businesses expand the unique character of the area is lost forever.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I remember my Grandfather teaching me to look for mushrooms among the Mayapples. Each spring Granddad would make numerous trips on his old Ford Ferguson tractor to the southwestern end of his creek bottom to search among the Mayapples for white morel mushrooms.

Frequently he would be rewarded with a number of the delicious delicacies. Grandma would slice them in half and soak them in a pan of salt water overnight. The following day would find her rolling them in flour and browning them in her cast iron skillet. Granddad may have found them but the entire family loved to eat them. The tasty plate of mushrooms would disappear all too quickly!

I assume the mushrooms still grow there but they are camouflaged so well that I never was good at finding them. Today I was content to photograph the delicate blossom of the Mayapple

Friday, May 18, 2007

Changing of the Coats

Last autumn the deer grew thick sleek coats to protect them through the cold days of winter. Now with the weather warming and the time to change to a cooler coat approaching, the deer have become faded and shaggy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Data Collection, Fisheries Management

At the end of my latest trip for Striped Bass we were greeted at the marina by a Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist. She politely ask us to participate in a survey and also checked our fish. The fish examination included measuring, sexing, and checking as to whether the fish had spawned prior to being caught. She also removed a scale which will be used to determine the fish’s age.

The striped bass is pursued by recreational and commercial fishermen alike. As natural resources are a limited commodity constant friction exist between the two user groups. Recreational fishermen frequently portray commercials as fish hogs who would set their nets to catch the very last fish if they could make a buck. Commercial fishermen will portray recreational fishermen as rich folks with expensive boats out to have fun at the expense of the commercial waterman’s livelihood. I believe neither group paints a true picture of the other. I know for a fact that all recreational fishermen are not rich, I am one of those. With the current high cost of fuel I have been forced to drastically cut the number of trips I make to the Chesapeake. I must believe the stereotype of all watermen to be equally wrong.

Management of the striper population is always a contentions issue. Maryland DNR is constantly trying to do a balancing act between the biological and political issues surrounding this fishery. Management of the striper stocks is further compounded by the fact that they are migratory fish. Their annual migration carries them through the coastal waters of many states throughout the year. The stripers who spawn in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake will travel through Virginia to the Atlantic, then up the coast to summer along New England before returning to the Chesapeake this fall and then on to their wintering grounds off the coast of North Carolina.

Much good data is needed to assist fisheries managers in making these important decisions and it was with pleasure that my fishing partner and I participated in this survey.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tree Swallow

A family of Tree Swallows has claimed my brothers Blue Bird box as home for this nesting season. Last evening, as my wife and I were taking our evening walk, she noticed this bird sitting on the fence post above the nest box. I began taking photographs and slowly approaching. The swallow allowed me to come within about ten feet before gracefully flying away.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Butterflies & Lilac

Each spring I look forward to the blooming of the Lilac. I love to walk by the bush and savor the sweet aroma and gaze at its beautiful flowers.
As I photographed the lilac I noticed this butterfly was as interested in the flowers as I.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Sitting on the nest

Killdeer are normally very skittish birds and are very difficult to approach closely. On this day I had the good fortune to find this bird sitting on her nest. Once I approached too closely she began displaying a very aggressive attitude. In the past I have had them attempt to lead me away with the “broken wing” trick but this little girl stood her ground, flared her feathers and called incessantly.

Displaying her aggressive attitude

Monday, May 07, 2007

Backlit Poison Ivy

As the sun neared the horizon this evening I was struck by the beauty of its warm light shinning through these new ivy leaves. After reviewing Chad’s latest post I felt this shot could benefit from some creative PhotoShopping

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Humble Recreation

The Amish are well known to be very industrious. They are a group people who do not shy away from long hard days of toil. Amish do not take advantage of modern labor saving devices. Electricity and motor driven vehicles have no place on their farms. Much of their technology is much the same as you would find in the early to mid 1800’s as is their dress.

Saturday I encountered a group of Amish out for a day of fishing. They arrived at the lake in a hired van. The group could not have been more polite as they stood in line at the bait & tackle shop awaiting their turn to purchase a fishing license. Outside the bait shop I overheard the gentleman in this photograph inquiring as to a good place to fish. The fishermen being questioned ask “what are you fishing for” to which the Amish responded “any fish which is good to eat”.

Although their frugal lifestyle does not appeal to me, I have a great deal of respect for this group of humble people. They have been successful at divorcing themselves from the rat-race of modern life with a lifestyle that clearly defines the difference between wants and needs. They have not been caught up in our materialistic society where temporary happiness comes with the next purchase and sadness arrives with the next credit card bill.

It was refreshing for me as well to observe this group of Amish out enjoying a day of rest & relaxation.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cannas, Memories of Mother

My Mother always grew a large vegetable garden. She grew and preserved huge quantities of food for the family. Mom loved to plant the little seeds and watch her garden grow. She grew green beans, sweet corn, beets, cabbage, broccoli sweet potatoes, squash, strawberries, lima beans, peas, tomatoes, and potatoes. She enjoyed shopping from the seed catalogues and was always trying new varieties. Even though she grew a large veggie garden she always found room to have flowers in it. She tended these with the same loving care that she gave her food bearing vegetable plants. Looking back I am sure that her flowers were food as well, food for her soul.

I learned my love of gardening from her. As a child I spent many hours with her in the garden and in helping her with the canning and freezing. During the summer it seemed she always had baskets of food from her garden sitting in the kitchen awaiting processing.

One of the flowers Mom planted in her garden was Cannas. She admired the large plants with their beautiful foliage.

Cancer took Mom from us nearly seven years ago. Mom was many things to me, my mother, my teacher, my mentor, my friend. She is gone but her memories and her Cannas remain.

Each spring I plant her Canna bulbs across the north end of my garden. As I plant them the memories of her come flooding back. Each time I look at the garden the sight of the Cannas reminds me of a most wonderful loving caring person.