Our Fall Display


This is one view of our backyard fall decor this year.We usually decorate the front of our home for fall but with countless people walking the trail behind our home, I felt it would be seen and appreciated by many more along the trail who also might enjoy autumn. I arranged some mums,pumpkins and made a scarecrow figure riding a bike along with a youngster waving to trail users. Everything accents my hobbit hole creation complete with spider webs and a witch door mat. The bike rider was a logistical nightmare to get him to sit stable but a few 2x4s and some screws and he is rock solid.

Apple Harvest Delivery

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I noticed these three Amish girls picking apples in an orchard a good distance from the road, and even using a 400mm,I knew they were at my limit to get a good shot and they were also among the trees making it hard to see them. I watched about 5 minutes and suddenly they unloaded the whole wagon and start picking more apples making me think this was not going to be a day for apple photos. I said to myself,just wait five minutes and see what happens,and lo and behold they stop picking apples and load the wagon.They had no idea I was there and as they came out of the orchard I snapped the bottom photo and to my surprise they came down the road allowing me a closer shot. I did manage to cause a missed shot because the little girl was on top of the apples for a while but when her sister saw my camera she quickly pulled her off and it was so adorable to see her up there.I should have been more patient and waited a little longer.

Amish Drag Race


This Amish guy on a scooter is being pulled by two mules and it almost appears he is racing the Harley up ahead. The guy on the scooter was being pulled by the mules,but he was merely moving the creatures from one farm to the next up the road. I never saw this before but I see something new every day.

Graceful Fall


The title today was chosen as a play on words after I literally fell off my truck roof while taking this scene. I wanted to gain a little elevation so I climbed onto my truck roof,which I do many times. I crouched down to brace myself and decided to move toward the edge of the roof a bit,when I go too close and momentum starts carrying me over the edge and of course my foot catches and I basically start to dive off the roof with camera in hand. Through some miracle I was able to land on my feet averting disaster. Getting old is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Cabin On Moose Lake


The title sounds good but it’s actually just an old building in need of a little TLC and it is situated by a very small pond. All the illumination you see was added by my flash or flashlight.The interior was pitch black but going around to the back yard and blasting my flash toward the rear windows lit up the interior to give it a new life so to speak.My flashlight is quite bright and attracted more flying insects this night than I wanted, and that made the shoot a little rough.

Star Light,Star Bright


This Lancaster county homestead is a real gem, complete with a star on the barn and candle light in each window. I was on my way to shoot a sunrise when I passed this spot and saw the reflection in the stream.Needless to say this became my sunrise shot, and the full moon was an added bonus as it headed for the horizon.I wish the moon would have shown up in the reflection but when it did,the moon in the sky was behind the house,which was a bit puzzling to me.I had to sink my tripod into a muddy stream bank to get the low angle but it was worth the effort.

Foggy Sunrise


This foggy morning sunrise caught my eye because of the three trees and fences but was even more dramatic when I first pulled up because there were about thirty sheep silhouetted here, but as soon as I stepped out of my truck they bolted to the other end of the pasture. The rising sun lit up the fog and made a nice scene come to life despite no more sheep.

The Distlefink


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A distlefink is a stylized goldfinch and it appears in Pennsylvania dutch folk art.It represents happiness and good fortune to the Pennsylvania german people.It is a common theme on hex signs and fraktur.The word distlefink literally means thistle finch. I shot this large version which welcomes visitors to the Berks county history museum from both sides. It is in desperate need of a repaint but it still made a fun subject to light paint.The biggest problem I had was avoiding three groundhogs that made their home under the bush and kept coming out after dark, but a little blast from my flash and they would high tail it for a little bit.If you look real hard at the top photo,in the lower right corner you can barely see one of the groundhogs in the grass and I only just saw it was there as I was working on this post.




Knocking Them Out


The little squirt on the left just caught a glimpse of me sitting in my car as I snapped this image. There was still one more sister to unload from the buggy but the way they lined up little to big had me clambering to catch a shot before it all fell apart.I guess the small fry has hand me downs all set for years to come. The Amish usually have big families,hence my title.

Ford 801 Tractor



My image today features a Ford 801 tractor and even though the owner told me the model year,I still forgot. The story behind this image is as follows. I was driving to a photo shoot and passed this tractor along the road with a for sale sign on it,and the quick glance I got convinced me to return in the evening to ask if I could shoot it.Well I came back past the location an hour later and the tractor was gone,so I assumed the owner put it away.I showed up that evening and rang the doorbell to ask and the owner about taking a photo and he said it was sold and already gone,but the gentleman who bought it should be coming by the house any minute to sign the check. I decided to wait and five minutes later the new owner pulled in and after speaking to me briefly, he offered to let me come see it at its new home to possibly get a shot. The new owner had it in front of his garage which included an old gas pump,and although the old owner had a rustic barn I had hoped to include, I decided to see what I could do in this new setting.

I liked the rich warm red color of the tractor and decided to let the cool evening light dominate the scene to contrast with the warm subject.I shot flash across the garage doors for a spotlight effect and let the gas pump light shine its warm light onto the ground. I like the result I got but still wish the old rustic barn would have been in the shot.

All Shined Up


This shot was taken after the sun went down at M.M. Weaver and sons, a local agriculture dealership. I basically shot this image as practice for my painting with light technique. I was hoping for a nice sunset but it was rather bland. I used a combination of flash on the tractors and my powerful little monster flashlight to cast the rays under the tractors.

Harvest of Tractors


This scene caught my eye as I was driving past because there were at least four tractors at work here but the one is hidden behind the other.It was a very busy operation as corn harvesting and storage was in full swing with one load waiting in line for the previous load to finish.This has been a banner year for corn in Lancaster county and field after field will soon be harvested as autumn rapidly approaches.

Seen It All


Just when I think I have seen just about every crazy sight in Amish country, along comes someone doing something even more interesting than the last. This road is a well-traveled thoroughfare with cars coming at a pretty regular pace,so imagine my surprise when I am coming up the road and I see what appears to be an Amish man moving a large shed with a tow motor? He was along the side of the road but he was having difficulty and kept getting off the tow motor and walking to the other end,which I could not see. I pulled over to watch because it seemed like it was a disaster in the making, and at one point he got it going again and was now in the lane of travel. All of a sudden it starts to rotate and suddenly I see a second tow motor on the other end. Imagine trying to move something where you can’t see the other end, or what the other guy is doing. They had no walkie talkies,no yelling,no nothing but fly by the seat of your pants and cross your fingers.The photo shows them blocking both lanes and amazingly no one came during the time they were doing this manuever. They got it into a narrow driveway on the first try which really amazed me.I was waiting for the whole shed to roll over and block the entire road, but they pulled it off.