The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘Pennsylvania’ category

Overnight Getaway

We returned home late this morning from an overnight getaway.  We spent the night at Best Western in Erie PA, using a $25 gift certificate that expires later this month as partial payment.  We earned the gift certificate from a prior stay at a Best Western hotel.  I believe we will earn another $25 gift certificate from this stay.

We departed Warren shortly after 9:00 am yesterday and arrived at our hotel around 2:45 pm.  We made a few stops en route the hotel.

Before leaving Warren we stopped at Tim Hortons, where Bob purchased a cup of coffee.

Our second stop was in Findley Lake NY.  We saw nothing of interest and moved on.

Upon arriving in Erie we drove the perimeter of Presque Isle, stopping briefly to capture photographs of ducks and Canadian geese in a swamp area.

Pair of Mallard Ducks at Presque Isle State Park (Erie, PA)

Pair of Canadian Geese at Presque Isle State Park (Erie, PA)

That goose on the left was very noisy!  Two Canadian Geese, equally noisy, flew overhead just moments after I had returned to our car.

We ate lunch at Cheddars Scratch Kitchen in Erie.  Bob ordered Creamy Garlic Tilapia & Shrimp over rice, with broccoli cheese casserole and southern green beans.  I ordered a chicken tender platter, with salad and French fries.  Both meals were delicious.  

Our final stop before going to the hotel was at the Erie Zoo.  When the zoo reopened last year during the COVID pandemic, timed tickets were required for entry.  Timed tickets are required again this year, but NOT for the month of March.  We used our membership card to enter the zoo.  We went for a stroll through the zoo.  I didn’t take too many pictures.  The majority of my pictures were of an orangutan family.

Erie Zoo Wild Asia entrance

Erie Zoo Bornean Orangutans

Erie Zoo Bornean Orangutan

We had considered taking our granddaughters to the zoo, if Stacey’s employer had her scheduled to work in Erie on Monday.  We could have driven the girls to Erie, and Stacey could have taken them back home.  I am glad, though, that I did not approach Stacey with my idea.  The majority of the animals were quiet or not visible.  The merry-go-round, playground and train ride were closed, as were all the food vendors.  We will take the girls to the zoo in April, when it is warmer (and hopefully more of the zoo will be open).  Our present zoo membership expires on 30 April.  I have not yet decided, if we will renew the membership.

As I wrote earlier, we arrived at the hotel around 2:45 pm.  We checked into room 408, a two queen bed suite.  We had eaten a late lunch and knew we wouldn’t be hungry for dinner.  Other than Bob driving to a nearby fuel station to pick up water and snacks, we stayed in for rest of the day.  We had a relaxing afternoon and evening watching TV, for the most part.  We particularly liked the science fiction movie “Divergent”.  This movie is old, having been released in 2014.  We had never seen the movie and are interested in watching the next two sequels, “Insurgent” and “Allegiant”.

Now for the next day …

We were showered, dressed and had eaten breakfast by 8:00 am this morning.  Rather than grab a “grab n go” breakfast at the hotel, we ate breakfast at the nearby Cracker Barrel.  Bob ordered a double meat breakfast; I ordered Grandma’s Sampler.  Breakfast was delicious and filling.

After breakfast, we began our drive back home.  We drove home via Route 5, along the shores of Lake Erie.  We made three photo stops.

Our first stop was next door to North East Marina in North East, PA.

This lighthouse-shaped building is near the North East Marina in North East, PA.  The body of water in the background is Lake Erie.

After a quick search, I couldn’t find any information on the Internet about this building.  The next time we are in this area we plan to stop at North East Marina and make some inquiries.

Our second stop was at Barcelona Harbor in Westfield NY, where we saw more seagulls.

Seagull in Flight

This is the same Seagull in flight.

Two Seagulls

Several Seagulls

Our third stop was at Bournes Creek Falls, located a couple miles from Barcelona Harbor.

We saw Bournes Creek Falls for the first time in January.  The waterfall looked a lot different today than it did in January!

 

We continued on to Dunkirk NY, where we left the shores of Lake Erie and headed south.

We returned home at 11:30 am.  Our kitty, Wickett, sure was happy to see us.

 

Turkeys and a Deer

On our way home from Letchworth State Park a flock of turkeys crossed the road in front of us.  We stopped on Akeley Road in Russell PA in front of the yard to which the turkeys had crossed.

Turkeys and a deer along Akeley Road in Russell, PA

When I took this picture I didn’t see the deer in the background.  My focus was on the flock of turkeys.  As I lowered my camera, after taking this picture, I saw movement to the left.  I saw the deer’s raised white tail disappearing out of my sight.  I looked at the picture that I had taken.  I was glad that I had captured a picture of the deer in addition to the turkeys.  As a bonus, the deer was looking at me!

 

 

A Sunny Day Drive

Bob and I went for a drive on the afternoon of February 4th.  We drove around the Allegheny Reservoir and through Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY. 

We stopped at Science Lake.  

Science Lake at Allegany State Park. Look at that beautiful blue sky and the piles of snow.

On the way home Bob said he wanted to go to Washington Park.  I didn’t want to go to Washington Park because I didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the snow.  The narrow, rutted and gravel entry road is not maintained in the winter.  Bob took us there anyway.  

View of Warren from Washington Park

Bob took this picture of me at Washington Park

This is a dash cam video of our drive to and from Washington Park.  Bob edited the video to add music and a few still images.

I am glad Bob didn’t listen to me (this time LOL).  We didn’t get stuck, and the view of Warren from the park was splendid!

Hells Hollow Falls

This is an “on this day memory” from 5 years ago.  On January 31, 2016 we visited McConnells Mill State Park, where we followed a park map to Hells Hollow Trail–a 0.5 mile trail that leads to a waterfall. We parked in an unpaved parking lot, located at the trail head, and hiked the fairly easy trail to Hells Hollow Falls.

The majority of Hells Hollow Trail was level and easily navigated.
We took the right-hand path to the waterfall.

It was a fairly steep descent the last few feet to the waterfall.  The trail was very icy on the way down to the waterfall.

We hung onto the rail and made it to the waterfall without too much difficulty.

 

At the end of the railing we found wooden steps that led down to the creek bed.  The steps were free of snow and ice. The water was shallow enough that we were able to walk into the creek to gain a good position for taking photographs.

Hells Hollow Falls


This visit was the first (and only time so far) that Bob and I saw this waterfall.  I would like to one dayL combine a visit to McConnells Mill State Park and this waterfall with a visit to nearby Living Treasures Wild Animal Park with our granddaughters.  It has been 5 years since Bob and I visited Hells Hollow Waterfall and even longer since we visited the animal park.  The hike to the waterfall would be easy for the girls, and they would love to see the animals at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park.

A Snowy Walk in the Park

We drove to Home Depot in Erie PA this morning.  We picked up two kids sleds, curbside, at Home Depot.

On our way home we stopped at Mead Park in Corry PA.  We went for a walk in the park.

Snow-Covered Slides at Mead Park

Mead Park Wishing Well

I have new boots.

New Snow Boots (Photo by Bob)

These boots are the first to-the-knee boots I have had, at least as an adult.  I love my new boots.  They are warm and comfy too.

We didn’t notice this bridge in past visits to Mead Park. (Photo by Bob)

Mead Park Bridge

The bridge leads to the Corry Area Historical Society Museum.  We have not yet  visited this museum.  Perhaps one day we will visit the museum.

This Helicopter Frog is located at the Corry Area Historical Society Museum.

We left the museum grounds and returned to Mead Park.

Heavy Snow on Tree Boughs at Mead Park (Photo by Bob)

Mead Park Lake

Mead Park Lake and Bridge

Mead Park Lake

We hope to make use of the kids sleds sometime this month.

Thanksgiving Week Vacation Day 8

Today (November 28th) is day 8 and the final day of our Thanksgiving week vacation.

We awakened at 4:30 am.  We departed Tranquil Shores, our airbnb rental located in Chincoteague VA, shortly before 6:30 am.

At 12:30 pm we stopped at the Historic Round Barn in Biglerville PA and made a few purchases (apples, apple butter, and a long-sleeve “Round Barn” shirt).  The barn was well ventilated, with very few people inside.  It was the end of the season, so the shelves were emptying out too.  I would like to revisit the Historic Round Barn another time, in season.

Vacation is over; Almost home

We returned home between 5:00 and 5:30 pm.  Thus ends one of the most enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving holidays ever.  We are glad to be home, though, after being on the road since 6:30 am with stops only born of necessity except for one — our quick stop at the Historic Round Barn. 

Now begins our quarantine, ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf for travelers entering Pennsylvania from locations outside the Commonwealth as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from locations outside the Commonwealth.  We were very careful, while on vacation.  We are voluntarily placing ourselves in quarantine on the off chance we came in contact with someone with COVID.  

Thanksgiving Week Vacation Day 1

Today, November 21st, is the first day of our Thanksgiving week vacation.  We departed home at 6:10 am en route Chincoteague, VA.  Bob programmed the GPS to avoid highways.

About an hour later we stopped at Sheetz in Ridgway to pick up breakfast….egg burritos and coffee for Bob; egg sandwich and orange juice for me.

We made a brief photo stop in Biglerville, PA at the Historic Round Barn & Farm Market, a family owned and operated farm market that was built in1914.  It is one of only a handful of truly round barns surviving today. 

The Historic Round Barn

This barn is located only 8 miles from Gettysburg, which we have visited several times.  We saw this barn for the first time today.  We didn’t go inside today, but we did stop and shop on our way back home (more about that in a later blog post).

Our next photo stop was at Fisherman’s Park at Conowingo Dam, where we saw several eagles, lots and lots of vultures and a couple other birds.

The Conowingo Dam is a hydroelectric dam in the lower Susquehanna River, located near the town of Conowingo, Maryland.

Three vultures in a row

There was a sign at the dam that warned “Vultures may cause damage to vehicles. Park at your own risk.”

I have shown only four vultures.  There were lots and lots and lots of vultures everywhere you looked.

a lone cormorant

A Great Blue Heron flew by.

The highlight of the stop at Conowingo Dam, though, were the eagles.  I had seen photographs on Facebook of the Conowingo Dam eagles.  I read that the end of October to the beginning of January is the time to visit the dam, if you want to see eagles.  I have wanted to see the Conowingo Dam eagles for sometime now.  I was not disappointed.

These two eagles were perched in a tree near where we parked our car.

I took several photographs of eagles in flight.

Eagle in Flight

Eagle in flight

Eagle in flight

Two eagles in flight

and my favorite eagle picture …

Two Eagles, one with a fish

From Fisherman’s Park we drove over the Conowingo Dam.  It was a short distance to our hotel.

We checked into the Best Western North East Inn in North East, MD around 2:30 pm.  The hotel is our home for the night.  We will drive from here to Chincoteague, VA tomorrow.

Tonight’s dinner was take-out at Hunan Wok, located across the road from our hotel.  Bob ordered shrimp with broccoli; I ordered Sweet n Sour Chicken.  Both meals were served with Roast Pork Fried Rice and Egg Roll.  Our meals were reasonably priced and tasted good.  We ordered by phone and drove across the road to pick up our take-out dinners.  We ate in the comfort of our hotel room.

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