Archive for August, 2018

Recently, Laurie and I spent several days in the Lancaster and Gettysburg areas of eastern Pennsylvania. The primary reason for being in these communities was  to see the stage production of “JESUS” at the Sights and Sounds Theater at Strasburg.  See http://www.sight-sound.com to learn more about this theater. Words can not describe the power of this production.  The acting is top notch and the stage props are outstanding. The props give the illusion of being in Jerusalem at the temple and other places. Live animals move about the stage. We saw sheep, goats, pigs, horses with Roman soldiers riding on them; white doves and donkeys. And there camels used , too. These animals often move up and down the aisles among the audience for effect. Speaking of effects the lightings, sounds, weather and raging seas allow for a great stage event.

One amazing feature that enhances the events is a huge multi-million dollar digital/ led computerized kind of back stage screening that shows actual scenes from Israel. One might see the city of  Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee and more. Another aspect that further enhances the view is the fact of the continual stages on both sides of the audiences with active acting events being shown.  This gives much depth to the overall experience.

The shows of that day were both sell-outs! We, both, highly recommend visiting the theater to see first hand one of these plays.

Park at Lititz, PA

We spent time in various Amish and Mennonite farm communities such as Lititz. Here we visiting a pretzel-making business and the home of Wilbur chocolates. Laurie and I spent some time in a beautiful park. We saw farms in Ephrata and other communities.

We saw another stage production at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater called “SWING.” I have always enjoyed listening to Glenn Miller and the like, A live band and professional singers and dancers covered the stage. The music covered the time of Harlem swing music into the World War two years of the Big Band era.

We, also, spent some time in Gettysburg the community made famous from the three-day Civil war battle being fought here in 1863.  We ate in the historic Dobbin House. This original building was built in 1776 and is the oldest building in Gettysburg. Visit their site at: http://www.dobbinhouse.com  for details. We spent some time walking the streets of the famous town and visiting the Gettysburg National Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in November 1863. Over 3,500 Union soldiers are buried here. See: http://www.nps.gov for details on the cemetery.

That evening we watched another play called, “MAMA MIA.” This production was at the Totem Pole Playhouse. Their site is: http://www.totempoleplayhouse.org

I didn’t take many photos on this venture due to not being permitted at the plays to light rain conditions in Gettysburg.


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What A Fight!

Softshell Turtle

I left very early this morning to fish the Allegheny River before the sun became to hot. The thick fog lasted until about none o’clock. During this time the fishing was quite comfortable. I caught three Smallmouth Bass during my two hour fishing excursion. However, I caught something else this morning. I caught and landed a Spiny Softshell Turtle, often called a Leatherback. The carapace is unlike most turtles because their “shell” is soft and rubbery, hence their name.

The fishing pole bent way down when I pulled back to set the hook. Then the fight!  I wasn’t sure what I caught and expected a big catfish by the weight I was feeling and the fighting. Twice I could see the “fish” near the surface. I thought I was getting a glimpse of a fin or tail. Eventually, I brought the critter close enough to identify and , indeed, it was a turtle.

The temps were rapidly climbing and I pulled up the equipment and headed towards the jeep.

On a sad note, the area I was fishing will now be closed to fishing. I talked to a gentleman and he told me the property will not allow fishing anymore due to ATV traffic and trash and garbage thrown about. Partiers and, even sadder to say, fishermen continually throw their garbage out. He told me they even removed a burned up mattress.  The man was very apologetic to me and I told him I understood, for such activities are common all over.

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Summer Wildflowers


Blue Vervain

The wildflower season is beginning to show the latter day species in bloom. In the weeks ahead fewer and fewer species will be in flower. Currently the Asters are in bloom as well as, White Snakeroot and Goldenrods.  Time will continue on and before we know it snow will be blanketing the landscapes protecting the seeds and rosettes and bulbs of next year’s blooms.

Horse Nettle




Downy Skullcap


Jewelweed (Yellow variety)




Spotted Jewelweed




Blue Lobelia


Woodland Sunflower


Buttonbush with a Monarch Butterfly


Queen Anne’s Lace


Swamp Milkweed with Monarch caterpillar


Culver’s Root


Thin-leaved Coneflower


Cardinal Flower


Purple Loosestrife



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Out And About


I haven’t added much in regards to entries here as of late.  Either the organization through who I use in my blogging efforts changed the formatting or something occurred with a new computer.

DSC_0003 This past week I concluded two hiking adventures. the weather had changed some and a cooler temperature thrilled my needs to walk. For instance last Friday I went on an approximate eight mile hike with a starting temperature of forty-eight degrees.  Awww…comfortable walking conditions and less insect life to pester me.

DSC_0024  I began the morning jaunt as the fog was still heavy. I was fortunate enough to witness   DSC_0011the very early morning sun rising above the hilltops through the trees producing some orangish hues..  This made for some interesting photo opportunities.

DSC_0017_01  The state game lands I was walking this morning was not unknown to me, but I simply had never been on this section, so this was an exploratory venture. I had other reasons to really need to hike this morning. I had been going through some issues emotionally as of late. I have some friends with some health issues and I simply hate to have feelings of hopelessness especially with health issues I can’t fix on others. Also, with a doctor appointment coming up I was wondering what issues he might discover with me as I age. I was    DSC_0023troubled over such thoughts. The walk would do me much good.

DSC_0018_01    I walked a game land cut area while the heavy dew leeched into a small cut on one boot. I traveled across a large area until I came upon a township road splitting the game lands. I found some bear sign in the form of droppings. I was hoping to see such sign. Later I came upon some tracks of young bear of this year…a cub. Cubs mean bigger bears must be in the area, as well. Another sign I would find before exiting the woods was bear claw marks on utility posts and bear hair. Apparently, the bear had been using this pole to scratch its back on. the hairs were close to four feet high on the pole.







I saw several deer and squirrels while walking. I found a few turkey feathers, too.   DSC_0026

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