The Simple Life

This old mill and farm house have been maintained as they were originally in the good old days and are open to anyone wishing to see history close up. I had the opportunity to photograph this old mill years ago and it contains some really cool old machinery. The caretaker shared with me that the entire mill operation would start up with the simple pull of one lever which would open the spillway and mother nature’s water power would get the process rolling. The garden incorporates flowers and plants that would be found here.

Farm field beauty

This was a gorgeous field of flowers that the family that lives here told me was clover? I missed the reason it was here but I thought they mentioned it was simply something planted between regular crops? Whatever the reason I am glad I happened upon it and got to capture it! The complementary blue sky rounds out the shot.

Peaceful Pasture

I was traversing the back roads when I glanced over and noticed this scene. It had a very calm feel to it which I can’t explain. Maybe it was the quietness of the cool spring morning, or the faint mist in the air or perhaps the fact the horses didn’t move an inch as I found my angle? Anyway it has a serene feel to it, at least for me.

Mother’s Day Flowers

This image is one I captured at an Amish roadside flower stand right here in Lancaster County. What you are looking at is a small wagon full of Mother’s day flowers and was shot with a wide angle to fill the foreground with color. The flowering trees and red barn helped to round out the composition. The one thing that puzzled me was when the mother came out to ask if I got a nice picture? She then proceeds to say my name and she actually remembered it from 15 years ago when I had shot tulips here!

Fog Shrouded Morning

The fog on this particular day was quite thick and made it very hard to see what was on the road ahead. I was capturing the trees and fence here when in the Distance I could hear the familiar clippity clop of an Amish horse and buggy approaching. I had to make a quick decision on how to frame the image and then wait for buggy to hit the spot I wanted him in.

Cloaked in Mystery

As we inch closer to spring the weather can be a bit sporadic in nature. In the last two weeks we had a snow bomb cyclone that dropped several inches of snow, then two days later it’s 60 degrees and all melted, and just before all that we had some really thick fog that provided some photo ops such as this shot that witnesses the sun finally piercing through.

Romance is in the Air!

Apologies for taking so long to post my Christmas shots from Lititz but here is the first. The top image is my main shot but then I started wondering if I could get any people involved? It’s funny how things come together and the couple in silhouette was going by and I asked if there was any chance they would volunteer? The young lady replied “oh my word, I stalked your house to buy a photo years ago”! We laughed, they posed and it all worked out.

Christmas Eve Traveler

For those who enjoy my stories, I have a longer one for you from Christmas eve. First let me say I have a reputation among my family of being someone who might skip an occasional family holiday party to just go out shooting photos instead. That was the case Christmas eve when we were invited to the usual in-law gathering and I basically felt like being alone which happens this time of year with depression. I had stopped here earlier in the week on business and wondered to myself if I could get a nice image sometime? Well Christmas eve came and off I headed to this church. I waited till the service got going and the stained glass started to glow as the ambient light dropped. Everyone was inside for the candle light service and I was scurrying around outside trying to put a shimmer on the road and get the nativity to be visible. I ended up shining a light behind the star on the display and guided the shadow where I wanted it to appear on the grass.

Almost the entire time I was shooting which was about an hour, I kept hearing firetrucks screaming down the road in the distance and figured something huge was going down, so I packed up to go find this huge fire! Turns out Santa was cruising the town on the Fire Truck which made me wonder why they aren’t at home with their families on Christmas eve, then a little voice whispered “and what about you”?

If you made it this far, keep going, it is the main part of the story. As I was heading home on the highway, in the distance I could see a vehicle with very faint 4 way flashers on the side of the road. There were dozens and dozens of cars whizzing by all seemingly oblivious to the vehicle and I too drove by to my exit about two miles away. It was then I wondered who the person was and what might happen to them, so I decided to get back on the highway and eventually cross where the Police usually sit. I managed to get back on as cars were going at least 70mph non stop and I finally got to the car with my high beams on it. Before we go any further I am fully aware of what possibilities are out there when stopping, so I do the best evaluation I can because my family needs me too. I got out, saw the plate was from Arizona and then I walked up to the window and it was an African American woman who appeared to be quite concerned about her situation.

I introduced myself, asked if she was really from Arizona, and she replied “we just moved to Maryland recently”. I am no mechanic but I asked how she ended up on the side of the road and her comment was “I think my engine blew up” I said open the hood, maybe its something obvious and folks, imagine opening your hood and then taking two buckets of the driest dirt you can find and just toss it in there because that is what it looked like and she said “all cars in Arizona look like that”? The car would not turn over, and there wasn’t a hint of oil on the dipstick, so I figured maybe her assessment was correct? By the way she said she was sitting there over an hour with not a single soul stopping? I told her since I have a rubber push bumper on my Jeep I could carefully push her the two miles to a Sheetz were she would be safe till she figured out her next move. She told me she had been at a mall shopping, had no clue where she currently was and no idea how she was getting home.

Wow, we are almost done! A few final tidbits. I told her to put it in neutral, and once I get you going to just coast and I will assist if needed. I specifically told her when you get to the exit ramp, if there is room to safely pull over,please do so! Ladies and gentleman, when we got to the ramp she was picking up speed and I was beeping for her to pull over? she stopped right under the red light and as I walk up, her eyes are like golf balls and she says “I had no brakes or power steering” This little detail got forgotten in all the mess but thank goodness she managed. I pushed her into Sheetz and you could see her relief. We said our goodbye and I headed home but all I could think was she is two hours from home on Christmas eve and most likely will sleep in her car overnight? I sat at home for a while asking myself why I didn’t offer her to stay at our place? It can get complicated when you have a wife and daughter to keep safe so I waited till they got home to ask. I got a solid “absolutely not” from the wife and our teenage daughter emphatically stated she is not having a complete stranger watch her open Christmas presents in the morning! Stopping is not for everyone, but I hope if my family ever needs help, there will be someone willing to help another human being! I never knew how it ended but two mechanic friends told me her alternator probably died and the car just shut off and I even had a jump box with me but never thought to try it.

Almost Missed it!

I had someone reach out to me who enjoys my photos and they asked if I would be interested in shooting something on their property? I said absolutely and stopped by to peruse the options, of which there are numerous choices. The large wreath hanging on the barn has been put up for the holidays for many many years and adds a nice touch to an already picturesque barn. I was here last evening to try and come up with a game plan if we ended up getting snow overnight. We did indeed get several inches overnight and the bonus was it stopped before dawn, so blowing snow was not an issue. So I got here about an hour and a half before sunrise and decided on the angle and then waited for things to improve. Long story short, I shot the image I planned on and one or two others until I could not feel my toes and my fingers were screaming in pain. I gathered everything up, took one step and saw the lady pull in who originally contacted me. Within a minute or so, the fountain in this pond started up and what had been a frozen mess all morning with no hint of a reflection was slowly starting to reveal a mirror image! After it got clear she yelled do you want the fountain off? I replied just give me five minutes to get the shot. In what seemed like just a minute after the fountain turned off, you could see it refreezing quickly and the reflection was starting to disappear. I didn’t have the heart to ask her to turn it on again. After shooting for nearly two hours, this little chance event left me with what might be my favorite from the morning! On another note, My Mac computer seems to have bitten the dust and I am not able to post from home right now so be patient if my response time takes a day or two. The repair place says it is listed as obsolete by Apple, so even though it most likely is a simple part, they are not allowed to even try? I even offered to pay their $100 an hour fee to trouble shoot and they refused? This forced upgrade scheme is really a ripoff in my opinion.

Revive

Well I realize we are past Christmas now but I have some local town scenes that I photographed this year to share. This is a display window in a store called Revive in a nearby town. I think I shot this Christmas night and was probably the only photographer in the county that wasn’t home relaxing with family. From my experience I can say there is no other time during the year when it feels like the whole world is at home and enjoying peace.