Windows Tips Downloads Birds of PA Back to our home page Find out About Us View My Gallery Visit our Forum

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In memory of my best friend

American Cancer Society
Please donate to the American Cancer Society
in memory of Harry A. Terrill.
My best friend and my mentor.

He will be missed.

Harry was my best friend, my mentor and occasionally a father figure to me but we were always equals. I will not be the same man that I was now that Harry has passed, but I am better than I was before knowing him. He impacted my life more than he will ever know. I hope that if I ever grow up, I will be half the man that he was. He has done so much for me, his family and his country. I will miss him so much.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hike at Martic Township Park

On my way to some familiar but still somewhat unexplored trails I took a detour. I decided to check out Martic Township Park. I knew nothing about it, but I had seen the sign a few times. I turned into the entrance and it looked like a dirt driveway to a low rent property. As my car struggled to get up the steep dirt/stone driveway I was led into a very small stone parking lot only big enough for a few cars. The only thing there were a couple of signs with the name of the park and a basic trail guide and some fliers.

When I saw the trail which looked like it led straight up a 40 degree slope, I almost left without exploring. I decided to check it out anyway, so I strapped on my new fanny pack and water bottle, I didn't want to risk dehydration again, and grabbed my camera.

The first 100 or so yards up that hill made me want to turn back, but it was so beautiful I wanted to see more. I had no idea what was in store for me, but I had to at least explore a little bit more. I reached the top of the hill and saw that the only way to go was either up more and over, or to go down hill towards a stream that was marked on the park map. I was tired of going up, so I chose to descend towards the stream.

I traveled down hill towards the valley and kept wondering how much further, and wishing that I had boots on instead of sneakers, but what I was seeing kept drawing me further down the path. The trail leveled out for a very short stretch, and I saw that the trail was kind of steep ahead of me. I thought that this would be a good time to turn back since I knew that the trip back was all up hill. I paused and looked around and took a few photos, then I heard the sound of water. I had to press on and at least go to the basin to see the stream.

I reached the bottom of the hill and saw the rolling stream. That was the payoff moment! Right then I forgot about the hills and journey and took in the sounds of the water babbling on by, and the birds and absolutely nothing else! I felt like my journey was just begining, and didn't care about the return trip. I had so much to explore.

I followed the trail across and then along the stream into nearly pristine territory. I was so amazed by the serenity and the rock formations. The stream wasn't very large, only about 4 to 8 feet wide and rarely more than a foot or two deep, but it rolled over rocks and boulders creating such a soothing sound that cleared the soul of any stray thoughts that might distract you from enjoying this moment.

I finally had to turn back and the return trip was just as enjoyable. I even found a millipede wandering the same path as me. It was so quiet, you could hear the leaf litter crinkle under his feet. There was so much more to see, so I will be back to explore other trails soon. But next time I will wear boots.

These are trails that I am glad that I didn't explore until now. If I had tried to wander these paths before today I surely would have turned back long before I discovered all of the beauty that was just over the hill. I was not prepared or fit enough to explore these trails until now. I would have missed out on all of what I saw if I had tried trek these trails just a few months ago. I'm so glad I waited.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lightning captured

My neighbor and I watched this storm roll in. It seemed to move right around us. We had a good vantage point to watch the storm and the lightning, but I found out later that this storm brought so much damage to local crops and personal gardens. The next day I discovered that the hail from this storm was so heavy that it defoliated entire crops of corn and tobacco nearby, and destroyed flower gardens and flooded out many people. We were lucky and only got the show, not the destruction.

I have never captured lightning on my camera before. I was surprised to see the photos I took even though I was the one who took them. I think the next time I try to take photos of lightning I might choose not to stand on a steel balcony to do so though.