I have always felt the need to stop and look at a awesome shows nature gives is and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Lift is too short to not enjoy the free things. We were out for our evening walk and arrived near the train station with nearly perfect timing for both sunset and moon rise today. It’s pretty open up there so you can get a decent view of it.
A Mourning Dove On Our Hanging PlantHere is a photo of a mourning dove that was sitting on our old hanging plant right at the door. I walked into the garage while I was eating a hard boiled egg and heard a dove calling much more loudly than normal. You normally can barely hear them inside unless they’re close by but this one sounded like it was right there.
Molly just bitched at me saying I guess we won’t be going for a walk tonight because it’s raining. I looked outside and saw some blue to our north and said we’d be fine. I grabbed my tablet to come upstairs on the computer for a bit while we digest and relax a bit before going and noticed the sun was fully shining I thought I would go outside to see if there’s a rainbow because why not?
I walked out into the garage this afternoon as I was eating a sandwich and wanted to look outside while doing so when I noticed a bird flying back and forth out of the corner of my eyes. I took out my telescope to get a closer look and saw what was going on. Turns out this bird was gathering materials for a nest. It was actually kind of funny looking to see it pulling the old stem from the milkweed apart to get these little pieces.
I woke up and knew today would probably be the best day weather wise of the week to take my barbell outside and complete the running version of this week’s vault WOD. It’s essentially Isabel then run 800 meters then Grace. I did the row version of this last night at too light of a weight but it made sense to try a lighter one and complete the WOD rather than get bogged down by weight.
It seems like just a few weeks ago it was still pretty chilly with snow on the ground and the threats of more of the white stuff in the forecast. We had to go pick a few things up and I waited in the car while Molly went into the store. They tend to have boxes everywhere and people everywhere so I decided I didn’t want to go in. While just looking around I noticed a patch of bulbs blooming near main street just to the side of where the car was parked.
A great sunrise for the start of 2021This is a picture of a great sunrise on New Years Day. Not that it really makes a difference given dates and calendars are a made up thing that only matters to humans but we’re beginning a new year. This particular year started with a great sunrise and I happened to notice it in time to be able to catch at least a reasonable picture of it with my phone.
The weather forecast has been for it to be sunny for this week which was a nice change for what typically happens during my girlfriends vacation. The sky has been clear other than the dimmed sun and odd gray color from the smoke layer. I can’t remember a type when we had such noticeable smoke. Really the only other time I can remember smoke here in Pennsylvania from wild fires was back in the 80s or maybe 90s from large ones in West Virginia/ Virginia.
We have been meaning to return to Conewago falls potholes when the area isn’t loaded with people so we could really explore the area and relax a bit. The other thing about last time is how it was pretty hot out. Today was a nice day so we decided to head over there. The river was a bit lower than last time per the Harrisburg gauge. When we got out there it was noticeably lower.
One of the things I love about geocaching is how it can take you places or show you things that you really haven’t noticed. The can even be practically in your backyard. While we’ve been to the Conewago falls potholes area several times in the past for geocaches it never worked out that we got there when the river was low enough to truly see it. We’d originally planned on caching elsewhere today with a nice hike but that didn’t work out this time so we decided to visit the earth cache up at the Conewago potholes since that would be a minimal hike.
We spotted a monarch butterfly today hanging out the rose bush that’s next to the milkweed. It didn’t seem to be bothering with the milkweed which seemed odd. I would keep flying up and circling then landing back on the rose. I went out to get a closer look at it and see if I couldn’t get it’s picture. It took a few tries since it seemingly didn’t want to sit still.
A couple of times in the past week or two I thought I had spotted a monarch flying around. Usually just out of the corner of my eye just flying past. Once that I can think of is when I was watering our hibiscus I thought I seen one fly out of the milkweed next to it. The other time was while mowing the lawn the other day I thought I saw one fly across next to me.
our rose still has clusters of flowersThis is a photo of some red roses blooming on our rose bush. I looked out the front door this morning to see if we had any monarch butterflies flying around yet and the rose clusters caught my attention. The sun was hitting them just right that they were glowing super bright. I wanted to get a picture of it to post here but naturally my phone was dead and on the charger this morning.
I have been smelling honeysuckles for days now but didn’t see them. Turns out they must have been in the deep shadow in the trees the other evening when I went to see if I could find them. These always remind me of our house in Andalusia that had many trees in the large yard. Right outside my bedroom window was a holly tree. Honeysuckles grew on that tree so I’d smell them every spring.
We were walking out the door to the car and I thought I smelled flowers. I want to think honey suckles bit I didn’t see any where they typically grow. I could have sworn that’s what I was smelling but didn’t notice them. They could have been hidden in the shadows. My nose is also still a bit stuffy so it could be messing with my olfactory sense. It’s also under a constant state of irritation these days between the fire pit smoke and chain smoking next door neighbors.
Our rose bush normally blooms sometime around new years for what ever strange reason but it didn’t get to do that this year. It used to change colors when we first got it but it never really grew that well for us. We assumed it was just dead. One winter we had to have the yard dug up to fix the sewer. That was a shitty day. Thanks neighbor’s tree roots!
We decided to give the grocery store a shot today to see if it may be less busy than the weekend. We pulled in and parked and there in the middle of the Giant parking lot is a duck waddling around without a care in the world. I just had to take a picture of this. duck looking straight at me in the parking lot when I take his pictureThis picture contains a duck standing in the middle of the driving lane of a parking lot looking straight at me while I took his picture.
I haven’t yet had any like identifying what these are for sure but I really haven’t put a ton of effort into discovering it either. It’s really just a curiosity but I thought I’d share the picture of some spring positivist. Purple flowers across the streetIn this picture there is a plant with small four petaled purplish pink flowers that are blooming. They come up every year and every year I wonder what they are but then forget to look deeper into it.
Our pink swamp milkweed that we finally picked up last summer seems to be coming up again. We thought the original white one we got was the pink one but it was apparently mislabeled. It sucked that it wasn’t the one we got but the butterflies loved in none the less. We weren’t sure it was even going to come back up considering we didn’t buy it and plant it until August and the monarchs found it immediately.
It was a very nice evening so I took the very short walk across the street to see what sort of flowers are blooming no. I noticed a few of the Daffodils are flowering. I always called them egg flowers when I was a little kid because of the yellow center and outside center makes it look like a perfectly cooked egg. Daffodil blooming at the curbThis picture shows a daffodil blooming.
I have posted before about the flowers along the street since the neighbor planted them. With all the negativity in the world and the not doing much of anything outside the house with the coronavirus happening at this time it sure is a nice break to see these flowers a few hundred feet away. He has all sorts of flowers planted so there is basically something in bloom at any time of the spring, summer of fall.
Incoming gust frontImpressive looking thunderstorm for April. While we didn’t get directly under the cell we did get the edge of it and it packed a lot of wind and plenty of thunder and lightning along with it. I wonder what it was like under that cell. We just got the tail end of it and gust front that was off to the south of it. There was a constant strong wind sound as it raced over us.
Our Bleeding Hearts Are beginning to bloomThis photo contains bleeding Hearts are beginning to bloom. The flowers are red and white. We’ve been wanting for a long time to come up with ideas for perennials to plant in our front yard that doesn’t get much sun. We’ve been planting annuals which grow but can be kind of a pain to have to find and plant what we want each year.
Trying to continue with the more positive posts with all of the bullshit going on right now. Maybe it could brighten someone’s day or something. Besides that I just like flowers. Yellow and white flowersThis is a picture showing some yellow and white flowers blooming. We were doing our typical once a week grocery store run when I noticed these flowers in the sun. They’re in an empty, unused lot of land.
Low ground level fog that was cool yet eerie a few weeks ago.This picture shows low fog rolling in along the ground during an early spring evening. With everything being so quiet the past couple of weeks I was reminded of this picture I took at a nearby park in early March. The skies had just cleared near sunset with ground fog suddenly appearing. I remember joking that it’s as if Stephen King and M.
It’s still March 30th and the trees along the street are blooming. Well technically they began blooming last week. They do smell good but they produce so much pollen that blows like dust everywhere and coats everything. I happened to notice the lower flowers today near the railroad tracks so I had to go grab a picture. A cluster of flowers on one of the trees across the street.This picture contains small pink and white flowers on trees.
Well Our Hibiscus plant that the squirrel ate last fall has been blooming a bit and slowly improving all winter. It’s bloomed off and on as the old buds continued to grow and is slowly regaining leaves. Over the past few weeks the growth has been speeding up and a whole new wave of buds appeared. Today it has 5 flowers in various stages of being open with a couple of more buds getting ready to open.
Someone that used to live nearby planted lots of flowers in an empty lot a few years ago. I think he may have moved away since I didn’t see him taking care of the flowers at all last year where in the past he was always out there. The bulbs keep coming up and it’s a nice thing to see the flowers each year. Driving past their yesterday we noticed the flowers so I had to go check them out today.
It’s really been sort of surprising and interesting to watch how our Hibiscus plant is coming back again. A squirrel ate it bare right before we brought it save a few pieces of leaves and flower buds. It took a couple of months but those buds eventually opened and new smaller leaves appeared. There are still small leaves but they’re slowly getting bigger. The thing that has been surprising to me is that it keeps getting flower buds.
Last fall I moved our Hibiscus plant from the front yard to the patio to be nearer to the garage door to make it more convenient to bring in for the frosty nights. The first morning bringing it outside again I noticed some damage. I figured I banged it into the door frame carrying it and it lost those leaves. it got worse each day. Maybe it’s adjusting to less light and lower temperatures I thought.
The original forecast predicted maybe an inch of snow but things timed themselves right that we ended up being under a heavy snow band. I’d eyeball and guess maybe 3 or 4 inches of snow was there this morning before it started melting. The snow was sticking to everything and I just loved how it stuck to this tree with the sun lighting it up. Wet Snow On TreeYesterdays wet snow stuck to the trees and everything.
Freshly emerged monarch butterfly drying itself on the hibiscus flower.Here is a picture of a monarch Butterfly on a large hibiscus flower. After we got home from geocaching today Molly looked out the window and saw a monarch sitting a hibiscus flower. She ended up roosting underneath of it over night and flew away this morning. We knew some caterpillars had wandered off because we saw them then the next day they were all gone.
Seems to be the theme of the year. Last year it was just rain every day and flooding but this year its been scattered thunderstorms and rainbows. September Second we had the typical passing storm of the year and sure enough timing and sun angle were right for another rainbow. Not only that but it was a double rainbow yet again. Fourth time this year that has happened. I don’t think I’ve seen four double rainbows in my life before this summer let alone in one few month period.
We had a pretty good thunderstorm this evening. It really poured for a little bit and I think there may have even been some small hail mixed in. Being late in the evening the sun was pretty low and stayed out while it poured. I figured there might be a rainbow so of course went outside to check for one. There was indeed one and it was a very bright one at that and then the second outer one.
Two monarch butterflies nectoring on our new pink swamp milkweed flowersThis is a picture that shows two monarchs butterflies nectoring on our new pink swamp milkweed. Our milkweed was eaten bare save a few new leaves the caterpillars hadn’t found yet. We happened to be at a hardware store picking up sand for our sandbag and saw there was still some stuff in the garden center so I suggested we go look for milkweed just in case they have any left.
We had scattered thunderstorms pop up today and while it didn’t rain much if at all here the storm was to our east and the sun was the right angle to give is a rainbow. I saw it out the window so I went to a nearby open area to see if I could see one. Sure enough there was not only one but a double rainbow. Another double rainbow over a field.
This photo shows a very bright rainbowWe saw a very bright rainbow while driving and just had to get a picture of it. A small shower popped up just to our south this evening and never produced anything for us. The cloud itself couldn’t have been very big at all and didn’t look like it was even producing rain. It was dumping rain for sure though. We were driving through the back streets taking a shortcut through Mount Joy when we saw this very bright rainbow.
Double rainbow someplace in Mount Joy PAHere’s a photo of a double rainbow over a street someplace in Mount Joy. We had some heavy rain then the sun came out while it was still raining so of course I thought to look for a rainbow. Not only was their a rainbow but there was a double rainbow! Haven’t seen one of those around here in a year or two if I am remembering correctly.
It was a decent day and we wanted some fresh air today so we opted to go out on the riverfront trail and grab a few caches. It was a pretty nice day though. Pretty much the whole time out there we kept seeing these butterflies flying all around. Butterfly on plant along the Northwest River TrailHere’s a picture of a reddish brown butterfly that we saw many of on the Northwest River Trail today.
This is a photo of a rainbow over the ocean and beach at Cape May, NJWe got an awesome view of a rainbow over the beach and ocean while in Cape May NJ. Well I got the opportunity to see something I’ve never had a chance to see before. We had a dying thunderstorm move over us on July 18th when we were vacationing in Cape may.
There hasn’t been much snow this year. We’ve been ending up on the arm side of storms but today things worked out so snow formed on a cold front. By later in the day the snow was coming down fairly heavily and we wound up with 3 inches or so by my best guess. Tomorrow should be interesting with the Arctic front moving through the area. with luck we’ll have some nice snow squalls.
Although our swamp milkweed did not do well this year and between aphids and some sort of (i believe) fungus it dies off early and didn’t support many caterpillars butterflies visited every day multiple times a day to lay eggs. In July we could see that something was eating the leaves but never spotted caterpillars until a bit later. Finally, we spotted this one that has obviously been around for a while because it’s pretty big.
We spent the spring looking for butterfly weed last year. First we checked at Hostetters in Mount Joy but they didn’t have any yet. We found ourselves at Stauffers later for other plants and decided to check there. We found swamp milkweed instead so gave it a try. I grew well and did attract monarchs. It turned out to be white instead of the pink it was marked as but it was okay.
Last fall I gathered tons of milkweed sees from the pods as they dried out thinking it was worth a shot to try to propagate more plants from seeds because we had a few people ask us about where to get the flower that attracts the butterflies. I had no idea if the seeds were mature enough to harvest or anything like that but I got a baggy of seeds to try it out.
Another year and more arctic air. This time it stayed below freezing from December 27th through January 7th. with most of those days having highs n the teens and lows in the single digits. This seems to be a common thing the past few years. Wonder what’s causing that. These patterns seem to be locking in the past few years. It’s finally warmed up a bit so we decided to head out for a nice walk on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail to check out the ice on the Susquehanna not to mention get some fresh air.
Continuing with the uploading some old pictures that I found.. I had stumbled on a web page or something about this area years ago but it didn’t seem like there was a legal way to access it back then. Fast forward to now after lots of work they have built the Northwest Lancaster River trail. The trail is a true asset to the area and it is great to see it get so much use.
I came across pictures while updating a hard drive and remembered this hike clearly. Some time ago. Probably 10 years ago we decided to go for a longer hike and geocaching. We were into that at the time and time allowed us to do it more than it does now. On this day we’d decided to go after one that was one we’ve wanted to get for years but never thought we’d be able to do the hike since it was something like 4 or 5 miles each way and when we started geocaching .
One of the first things we saw when we got to the trail itself was this small spring. February 17, 2003 brought I nice major snowstorm to the area. It was my first one since moving here to Mount Joy. The storm was known as the Presidents' Day Storm The thing I remember most about it is how cold it stayed. It started snowing and just seemed like it kept on going.
I’ve come across some old pictures while cleaning up old stuff on my hard drive in preparation for a hard drive upgrade so I thought I’d share some pictures and what I remember about the hike. Of course a geocache originally brought us here but it’s definitely well worth a visit for just the hike. We say we’re going to go back and hike it again every fall but it just never happens for various reasons.
I found an old picture from Swatara falls in my pictures. Swatara falls is a nice 25 or so foot waterfall nestled away in the coal region of Pennsylvania. We discovered it through geocaching back when we first started. It’s quick drive up 81 for us and just off the highway. I’ve been wanting to return to the waterfall but we just can’t seem to make it happen. The hike out to it isn’t bad at all.
Today was a first for me. It was the first time I’ve seen a live cicada that I can remember. I’m sure I saw them as a kid but don’t remember it. I certainly remember finding the molted skins all over the place but haven’t seen one live. We just happened to spot something large and green on a tree today and upon further inspection it was this cicada that was in the process of crawling out of it’s old skin.
Our milkweed has lived up to it’s hopes now. While we have not noticed any butterflies they’ve obviously been here. The other day was the first time that we had noticed any caterpillars. They’re brightly colored and all but surprisingly difficult to spot sometimes. Once you spot one you can’t help but notice more. I don’t know for sure how many we have on our milkweed plant but there are lots of them.
When I was a kid I had a venus fly trap and thought it was the coolest thing. The whole idea that plants could even be carnivorous was really neat to me. I’ve always been interested in thinks that are different from the norm. I got more carnivorous plants years later. If I’d have to guess I’d say that was 15 years ago or so. It came with 6 plants in a little plastic green house type of thing.
This storm did produce a tornado in York County. When it got here you could definitely see that it was rotating. Well actually it more less just skirted my house but it was cool looking. Here’s what it looked like as it moved away to the north east. It was a really impressive looking storm for around here let alone in winter. Departing thunderstorm showing rotationThis is a photo of a departing thunderstorm showing rotation.
I came across some old pictures while preparing to upgrade my computer and found a bunch from the neat things we saw while geocaching. A few years back we went on a two day road trip with a friend so we could get the counties and grids we need for the PA Delorme Challenge and the county challenge which we sadly still haven’t finished but that’s another story for another day.
I came across some old pictures while preparing to upgrade my computer and found a bunch from the neat things we saw while geocaching. In July 2002 miners working in the Quecreek mine broke into an old abandoned mine that was flooded. The water quickly flooded their mine trapping them underground. Rescue operations began quickly. and after being trapped for 77 hours the miners were all rescued and all of them survived.
I came across an old picture I had of my dad’s race car that he gave me. I thought that it was long gone, left in my trailer up the mountains which I haven’t been to in almost 20 years. He Raced at Bridgeport in Jersey but before he started there we’d go to East Windsor to watch a guy from his work race. My dad helped him by making some parts for his car and then he started working on that guy’s car with him.
Things aligned right for us to get a snow storm and snow it did. It was cold throughout the storm and no mixing issues like I am oh so used to growing up near Philly watching that changeover line moving inlaid from the coast. It was hard to measure this snow if not impossible so I would just eyeball it and say a little over two feet fell here in Mount Joy.
A robin pecking at the ground after a light snowfallHere is a photo of a robin standing in the snow pecking at the ground for food. I happened to look out the back door and noticed a few robins hopping around in the fresh snowfall that accumulated in the back yard this morning. It’s kind of funny how little things such as this can bring back memories of people or places.
We decided to go for a quick cache near Cove Park today. It was a near a neat area near an old dam. Nice quick walk and one couldn’t ask for a nicer day to do this. We happened to notice this woolly bear caterpillar on the trail. They remind me of he stuff my grandparents used to say. Of course things like this predicting weather is complete bullshit but still it’s was a nice memory Saw this little guy crossing the trail.
Last weekend we visited Bushkill falls in northeastern Pennsylvania. Our trip began on an ugly looking day in which it looked like it could rain at any minute. It was a bit of a later start than I would have liked but that happens some times. It’s only about a 2½ hours drive from here. When we arrived the sun came out and pretty much stayed out the whole time. That’s something we haven’t seen a lot of this spring.
Guinea pigs make great pets. They’re easy to take care of and don’t need a lot but they have different personalities. We have four of them. Sometimes they have the strangest behaviors. I got a couple of pictures last week and Molly finally got them off of her camera so here they are. Once in a while they make a rumbling sound and chase each other around. I’m not sure if it is sexual or if it’s a dominance thing but they try to mount each other.
With it being warmer Our four guinea pigs have been laying around more outside of their igloos except for peppy. Anyways here’s how Teddy lays on her side. She lays that way often and sometimes we are worried she’s dead because she doesn’t wake up very quickly. The other ones we have lay on their sides but not very often. Teddy is almost always sleeping this way. Teddy Sleeping On Her SideThis photo is of our Teddy bear guinea pig, Teddy, sleeping on her side.
We went to a geo event at Blue Marsh today. It was actually pretty interesting getting some information of how search and rescue works and hearing about Middle Creek Search and Rescue. You have to really appreciate the work they do. It was really interesting seeing how the k9s do their work. Of course after the very interesting presentations we wandered off to find some geocaches. It was really a nice area to explore and we’ll absolutely have to return to Blue Marsh some day.
Last Saturday Lynn called us and asked if we wanted to go caching with her. We decided to go. We went up along 61 in the mountains of Central Pa. We’d love to get up there more but Molly’s car opposes hills let alone the steeper stuff up there. It was a fun day with a few snow squalls. Pretty cool for being early April! We ended up near Centralia so we stopped in to see the cracked road.
Last Saturday we went geocaching along the Conestoga trail in southern Lancaster county. I just love that part of the county! It’s more rugged that NW Lancaster where we live. This picture just doesn’t do the place justice at all but here it is. Suzies HoleThis photo is of Suzies hole near Pequea in Lancaster County
We hid a cache at Chickies Rock county park a few days ago. Knowing where it is we can see the location from the overlook trail so we decided to stop in and go out to the overlook and see if any cachers were there. We ran into iBrew. It was nice to see him. We then headed out to the overlook to watch the sun set. Here’s a picture.
We decided to check out the ice on the river today. It was really cool on the York county side of the river. There seemed to be lots of pressure pushing the ice against the western banks. We could hear the ice squeaking and cracking as the water tried to push it. There was also plenty of broken pieces of ice on top and pushed up along the bank. There were also a few louder cracks out further.
It’s been below freezing for a few days now. Actually it’s been getting into the single digits at night and teens in the day. We’ll be keeping an eye on the river for a while. Below will be a few pictures from today. River icethis is a photo showing ice across the Susquehanna River. River Ice Towards BridgesThis picture shows more ice on the frozen Susquehanna River.