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Pittsburgh Pirates Action ~ 4/20 2014

Pittsburgh’s PNC Park is beautiful.

Great city-scape, great park, and nice partisan people.

The park is easy to get to from outside the city: parking not a problem.

PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3132 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3150 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3178 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3180The rubber match of the home Pirates v Brewers series.

Gerrit Cole pitched well with the exception of a couple of pitches:

PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3301 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3302 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3303

One of them was to Brewer slugger Carlos Gomez which ended up off the center field wall. In my estimation Gomez’ hit should have been caught by ‘pretty boy’ McCutcheon. After having to hustle in to third Gomez physically responded to sharp commentary from Cole. A huge brouhaha at third base emptied the bull pens and dug-outs and then moved into the outfield.

Big-to-do: words and fisticuffs.

PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3233Another mistake which ended up being significant was served up to Ryan Braun. The partisan  crowd was way mouthy with Braun; not allowing him to get near the plate without loudly voiced blue-collar steroid and morality commentary. Braun did not visibly respond to the crowd’s taunts with the exception of whenever he had the opportunity to toss a baseball into the crowd; he choose to toss it into the Brewer’s dugout.

That and a well timed and well hit home run: Late in the game Ryan Braun hit an errant Gerrit Cole pitch out of the park to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

The Pirates would go on top again only to see the game tied once more and later won by the Brewers with home runs off the Pirate’s closer and bull pen.

PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3457 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3546 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3557 PNCPark-04.20.2014-6Y9A3575Day baseball in a nice park on a great spring day.

Life Is Good


22 Apr 2014

Butler County, PA : Barn Trail

December 2011 (post link) saw us through Butler, Pennsylvania and the Barns of Butler County Barn Trail : Three years ago and heading out, early Winter, as opposed to heading home, early Spring.

Butler County Tourism has updated and reprinted their Barn Trail Brochure: interesting historical information and additional barn sites.

Four of five chosen sites this trip proved worthy of photographing. Only one was a repeated from 12/2011.

The Fairfield Farm barn at 725 Three Degree Road in Butler measures out at 40′ X 70′ and was built in 1914.

BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A2956Three functional cupolas across the five story roof line add an architectural detail  along with the sliding doors, window-vents, and paint scheme that make this barn memorable.

A ‘bank barn’ located on a piece of flat land forced the builder to construct a dirt ‘bank’ to provide access to the second level. A cistern is built into the ‘bank’. Gutters collect rain water from the roof and downspouts carry the water to the cistern. A valve on the lower level allows the water to flow directly to a watering trough.

The adjoining fields were manured but not yet turned.

BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A2976 BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A2992 BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A3007The Powell Farm at 9600 Goehring Road, Cranberry Township is a repeat from the 2011 tour.

Built in 1864 the barn measures out at 36′ X 90′. The siloed-barn and outbuildings on this working farm are well kept and maintained. The original building materials came off the surrounding lands.

The Powell Farm fields were partially turned.

BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A3025 BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A3038 BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A3048 BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A3066The Wimer Barn of West Park Road, Portersville was built in 1893 at 56′ X 40′.

Originally a dairy farm of 120 acres it has grown to 200 acres and is currently farmed only for grain.

Since 1834, five generations of the Wimer Family have lived on this farm.


The Miller Farm of West Liberty Road in Slippery Rock built in the late 1800’s is the site of the Miller Esker behind and beyond the barn.

BarnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-BrnsButlerCounty-04.19.2014-6Y9A3081The Miller Esker is a long, high ridge covered with grass that is recognized as the largest and best-preserved esker in Pennsylvania. The esker was formed millions of years ago by a glacier that melted and left a line of sand, gravel and stones (called a moraine). Violet Miller the owner of the land from 1970 until recently, had the foresight and wisdom to protect and preserve nearly 32 acres of an untouched portion of the esker and wetlands behind it by selling the land to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The Miller Esker is a half-mile long, 360-foot wide and 40-foot high portion of this geological phenomenon that winds through northern Butler County.

Portions of the text and much of the information in this post are directly from the 09-2012 Butler County Tourism brochure Bulter County, PA ~ Barn Trail.

19 Apr 2014

Cincinnati Reds Action ~ 4/16 2014

The Athletic Dance That Is Baseball


Bat On BallGreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2549 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2550 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2551

Cueto brought his ‘A’ gameGreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2580 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2581 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2582 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2583 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2584 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2585 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2589 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2591 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2592 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2593 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2594 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2689 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2690 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2710 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2830 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2831 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2832 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2833 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2834 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2835 GreatAmericanBallpark-04.46.2014-6Y9A2837

17 Apr 2014

Cincinnati ~ The Great American Ballpark ~ Baseball On the Ohio

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17 Apr 2014

Glenn Moreland ~ Texas Cowboy

Viva Big Bend ~ Food Fest 2014

Chuckwagon Breakfast

Fort Davis NHS, Fort Davis, Texas



Glenn Moreland ~ Texan

Chuckwagon Cook, Cowboy,  Wainwright, Blacksmith, & Performing Musician

6Y9A2040Cowboy Coffee Over the Fire at Day Break

6Y9A2057 6Y9A2088 6Y9A2109Dutch Oven, Hot Coals & Shovel ~ Baking Implements6Y9A2113 6Y9A2114 6Y9A2116 6Y9A2119 6Y9A2131 6Y9A2132Fort Davis NHS Superintendent John Morlock, Chief Biscuit Taster & Federal Fire Control

6Y9A2139 6Y9A2143 6Y9A2144 6Y9A2146 6Y9A2147 6Y9A2148 6Y9A2188Biscuits For Biscuits & Gravy

6Y9A2190 6Y9A2191 6Y9A2194Cowboy Coffee & Cowboy Engineering and Blacksmithing

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It is not so much the fire as the coals!!6Y9A2201

Thermostat!!6Y9A2207 6Y9A2208 6Y9A2210 6Y9A2211 6Y9A2212 6Y9A2214 6Y9A2215 6Y9A2217Scrambled Eggs & Pico de Gallo, Biscuits & Gravy

Great Food, Good People, a Wonderful Place

12 Apr 2014

Davis Mountains, West Texas

First Light on CCC Built Overlook Pavilion at the far end of the Skyline Drive, Davis Mountains SP, Texas.


 Blue Mountain and Indian Lodge from up top on the Skyline Drive, Davis Mountains SP, Texas.6Y9A1389

9 Apr 2014

Davis Mountains, TX : Javelinas, Cacti in Bloom & a Courthouse

The Davis Mountains Texas

Texican High Country Desert, Grasslands and Sky Islands

Davis Mountains State Park

Great base camp from which to access the area: the community of Fort Davis, Fort Davis NHS, the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop, Indian Lodge, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Gardens, and the McDonald Observatory.

Seems to get busy on the weekends but not so much during the week. Interpretive Center, a couple of feeding stations and viewing blinds, Skyline Drive up high, the expectation of Montezuma Quail, sunrise and sunset, lots of atmospherics and a ‘Mexican Pig’ (Javelina) or two.

DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A0901 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A0912 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A0930 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A0936

The Chihuahuan Desert in bloom from the Rio Grande to the High Country Desert and Sky Islands of the Chisos and Davis Mountains. The mountain ranges are very discreet from one another here in the desert.

The most perfect blooms were to be found in the greenhouse/hothouse of the Chihuahuan Nature Center & Botanical Gardens.

DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A0970 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1063 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1224 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1238 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1295 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1306Desert Bloom Image Gallery

… and the Jeff Davis County Court House on a grey and threatening afternoon in the high country town of Fort Davis.

DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1310 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1312 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1315 DavisMtns-04.07.2014-6Y9A1317Imposing use of stone, color, columns and architecture:

The grounds surrounded at the street by wrought iron fencing with four entrances.

Original 1910 turnstiles at the street level entrances to the walkways.

One turnstile removed in order to be handicapped accessible.

7 Apr 2014

Big Bend National Park – Vol 3

Big Bend NP

The Chihuahuan Desert, a rugged place of snakes, cacti, ragged geology, heat, & thirst. Some years it has looked burnt over. Those were drought years.

This year at this time the predominantly brown-orange-yellow-red paletted desert has a lot of green and multi-hued blooms, small and big.

Apparently it is all about timing (and water).

6Y9A0002 6Y9A0089North America has four deserts: Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran and the Chihuahuan, which extends deep into Mexico. Big  Bend National Park lies in its northern third. Mountains that block rain  border the Chihuahuan Desert on three sides. Its other side abuts vast semi-arid plains. 6Y9A0090This young desert is about 8,000 years old. 6Y9A9435Green and fairly lush, its rainfall comes mostly in the July to October monsoon. Its rain and clouds can mean far cooler temperatures than one might expect in a desert. Heat and seasonal winds increase aridity. Summer ground temperatures may be 180 degrees F at mid-day – or freezing in winter as northern storms sweep through.


An  Jacal ( \hə-ˈkäl\ ) a hut in Mexico and southwestern United States with a thatched roof and walls made of upright poles or sticks covered and chinked with mud or clay.

Out on the Old Maverick Road.

Big Bend has lots of high-clearance back roads, ranch roads. Great way to access the history and culture of the Chihuahuan Desert.6Y9A9871Sunrise light on the Chisos Mountains through the hoodoos out in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Expanded Big Bend NP Image Gallery

Big Bend National Park – Vol 1

Big Bend National Park – Vol 2

Big Bend NP Brochure, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

4 Apr 2014

Big Bend National Park ~ Vol 2

Big Bend NP

Riparian ecosystems : green fingers of dense vegetation stand out against the sparse greenish brown-yellow-red-orange vegetation of the desert.

The Rio Grande is no longer that. Some but very little moving water graces it channel. The Mexicans who lay claim to its tributary waters upstream recognize it not as the Rio Grande but as the Rio Bravo.

6Y9A9313 6Y9A9340Big Bend refers to the great southwest Texas U-turn the Rio Grande makes here – defining the Park boundary, the State of Texas, and the Mexican-US boundary for 118 miles. The river is an arcing linear oasis, a ribbon of green that cuts across the dry desert and carves deep canyons. Like all rivers surviving desert passages, it has its headwaters outside this desert, in Colorado. Irrigation, dams, agriculture, manufacturing, exotic plants and evaporation sap most of the Rio Grande’s water before it gets to the Park. In the Park the river’s water mostly comes from Mexico’s Rio Conchos. 6Y9A9358 6Y9A9364 6Y9A9374

The images above were captured at the mouth of the Santa Elena Canyon on the border in the western portion of the Park.6Y9A9560

Sunrise capture looking East into and towards the Sierra del Carmen and Boquillas Canyon in the eastern portion of the Park.6Y9A9776

The river creates an oasis for species not adapted to arid desert life, adding to the Park’s biological diversity. Its thin flood plain looks like a green belt in the desert. River sand and gravel bars and cliff banks host creatures not expected in the Chihuahian Desert. 6Y9A9791 6Y9A9802Sunset captures looking west over the Rio Grande from outside Boquillas Canyon towards the Chisos Mountain Range.

Expanded Big Bend NP Image Gallery

Big Bend National Park – Vol 1

Big Bend National Park – Vol3

Big Bend NP Brochure, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

4 Apr 2014

Big Bend National Park ~ Vol 1

Big Bend National Park

A vast and rugged place: Chihuahuan Desert. Rio Grande River Valley, and the Chisos Mountains.

Also the ubiquitous US Customs and Border Patrol: Coming out of the park on State HWY 385  at the Border Patrol stop outside of Marathon, TX we met a young Border Patrol guy who recognized the license plate and shared that he was from New Hampshire as well: Dover, NH. Exchanged smiles and had a nice chat amid all the necessary questions. An ice hockey player on the fringes of the Chihuahuan Desert courtesy of the US Border Patrol. Finally a sense of humor and a touch of genuineness.

Like all of Texas be prepared to drive distances but the destinations are worth the effort.

6Y9A0013Do get up early and stay out late for the sunrises and sunsets.

6Y9A0044Go with water, lots of it. Wear hardy footwear and pants.

Line you bicycle wheels with old inner tubes with the nozzle cut out and the tube split down the middle. Tires and tubes are no match for the spikes and prickers found everywhere in the desert.

6Y9A0009For the RVers following this photoblog: Cottonwoods Campround down the Castolon Road near the Rio Grande has no hook-ups and does not allow generators, the Chisos Basin Campground in the Chisos Mountains has no hook-ups as well and limits the RV size to 24′ and generator hours to an AM and PM window in only one row of the campground, Rio Grande Village which I saw the least of does have a limited number of hook-up sites and no size limitations.

6Y9A0089All the images in this post were captured at the Dorgan-Sublette Ruins a short walk/hike off the Castolon Road above the Santa  Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande River.

Expanded Big Bend NP Image Gallery

Big Bend National Park – Vol 2

Big Bend National Park – Vol 3

4 Apr 2014

Alpine Fightin’ Bucks Baseball – Another Perspective

… and Again!!

Alpine Fightin’ Bucks Baseball


AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8642-3 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8646-4Team!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8560-1AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8569-2Hot Corner Defense!! AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8689-5 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8692-6Starting Pitching

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8782-9 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8810-10 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8833-11 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8834-12 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8835-13 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8836-14 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8837-15 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8838-16 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8839-17 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8840-18Offense!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8853-19 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8854-20Base-Running!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8881-21 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8902-22Bats!!AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8948-23 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8977-24 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8980-25Boom-Boom!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A8981-26 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9014-27More Bats!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9041-28 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9042-29 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9096-30… the Battery!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9140-31 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9141-32Eye Still and Always On the Ball!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9161-33 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9162-34 AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9163-35 Presence On the Base-paths!!

AlpineTXFightin'Bucks-3.25.2014-6Y9A9212-36Alpine Fightin’ Bucks Baseball …



1 Apr 2014