The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘McKean County PA’

The End to Cabin Fever

As it was for much of the United States, we experienced cold weather and bitter wind chills at the end of January.  On the morning of February 2nd Pennsylvania’s legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow, which means that Spring is right around the corner.  I hope that Phil is correct in his prediction.  Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, Spring will be here on March 20th.  Here, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, the weather forecast this past Saturday for the next several days makes it look like Spring is on our doorstep.

Spring is knocking on our door!

 

We went for a drive late Sunday morning into the early afternoon. 

A portion of our drive was along the eastern side of the Allegheny Reservoir.  Our first stop was at Big Bend Recreation Area, located just below Kinzua Dam, where we looked for eagles.  We didn’t see any.  

We continued our drive on Pennsylvania Route 59 to Pennsylvania Route 321 past Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.  We stopped here.

Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir

The “My Two Cents” Snowman at Sugar Bay

Bob built the snowman, while I was taking pictures of the bay.

Continuing our drive on Pennsylvania Route 321 we came to a T-intersection.  We turned left onto Pennsylvania Route 346.  At he New York state line Pennsylvania Route 346 becomes New York State Route 280.  We followed Route 280 to Allegany State Park.  

We drove through Allegany State Park, making only one photo stop.  We drove over a bridge and had gotten a few hundred feet further along the road, when I said to Bob “We have to turn around!  I saw something that I want to photograph!”.  Bob turned around.

A snow and ice sculpture I found in one of the streams at Allegany State Park.

A snow and ice sculpture

Bob said the snow and ice sculpture resembled a porcupine.  I thought it resembled a peacock or turkey, with its feathers fanned out.  

From Allegany State Park we made our way back home.  We returned home around 2:00 pm.  I am glad that we went for a drive.  What a beautiful day it was with blue skies, brilliant sunshine and a high temperature of 52 degrees!  I could feel my cabin fever breaking, as the sunshine beamed down through the moon roof and especially when I stepped out into the pleasantly warm outdoor air. 

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent the day with my best friend — my husband, Bob.

We awakened early and watched a couple episodes of “House of Cards” before 9:00 am. “House of Cards” is an American political drama television series.  The entire first season, 13 episodes, premiered on February 1, 2013, on Netflix.  A second season of 13 episodes premiered on February 14, 2014.   Netflix announced on February 4, 2014 that the show had been renewed for a third season.  Both Bob and I enjoyed watching “House of Cards”.  We watched the last episode of Season 2 last night, after returning home from my birthday drive.  We look forward to Season 3.  It will be a long wait.

After watching a couple episodes of “House of Cards” yesterday morning, we went for a drive.  Our final destination was the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, NY; however, we made a few stops along the way.

Our first stop was at Kinzua Dam.

While at Kinzua Dam, we spotted a couple eagles standing way out on the ice.  I barely had time to get my camera from the back seat and exchange a 12-50mm lens for a 75-300mm lens, before the eagles flew off.  I need to learn how to capture good pictures of birds in flight. My pictures are grainy and blurry. Part of the problem is that I don’t have enough reach with my camera lens, even though my 75-300mm lens provides an equivalent focal length of 600mm. The other problem I have is focusing on a moving object, especially when I have only one opportunity to lock in that focus.

This is the best picture of an eagle in flight that I captured yesterday.

From Kinzua Dam we continued on Route 59 to McKean County, where we turned left onto Route 321.  This route was most picturesque, with the trees frosted with snow and the overcast sky giving way to blue skies.

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Upon reaching the intersection of Routes 321 and 346, we turned right onto Route 346 (towards Bradford, PA).

Marilla Reservoir

After a quick photo stop at Marilla Reservoir, we continued on Route 346 to Bradford.  We turned left onto Route 4009, which we followed to Allegany State Park.

Our first stop was at Science Lake.

Quaker Lake

Bob, with Red House Administration Building in background

Bob took this photograph of me, with Red House Administration Building in background

Red House Administration Building

We started our drive outside the park from the Red House area.  We drove along ASP Route 1 to the park’s Salamanca, NY entrance.

We saw young deer grazing alongside ASP Route 1.

There is a scenic overlook just past the Salamanca entrance to Allegany State Park.  The overlook provides a spectacular view over the valley and to the hills in the distance.

The road seen in this photograph is Interstate 86.
In the distance there is a farm.
If you see yellow farm buildings, you have located the farm.

I have always wanted to photograph this farm. I admire it each time we pass it Interstate 86.  I never stopped to take a picture because of the fast-moving traffic. When I recognized the farm from the scenic overlook, I was so happy that I had my long lens with me.

Valent Dairy Farm, as seen from ASP 1 overlook

From the scenic overlook, it was only a few minutes’ drive to the Seneca Allegany Casino.  We arrived at the casino in the early afternoon. We ate lunch at Thunder Mountain Buffet.  The casino has a special promotion on every Sunday through Thursday through February 27–buy a buffet and get $15 free slot play.  Bob and I received $15 each. I received an extra $5 credit because it was my birthday (another promotion). Bob received an extra $10 credit on his card. We don’t know why, although I think it was because he had enough points on his card to qualify for $10 free slot play. According to the “Free Slot Day Every Day You Play” promotion, Bob should have received an email informing him of the $10 free slot play.  As far as I know, he didn’t receive that email (or he overlooked it).  We had a good luck at the casino!  I left the casino with $46 and change; Bob left with $19 and change. I didn’t spend a penny of my money. Bob did spend $33 for our lunches, which was my birthday present.   It was nice that he got back $19 of that expenditure.

It was a great day overall, one of my favorite birthday celebrations.

First Sighting

It wasn’t at our house, but it wasn’t far from our house.  We drove only a short distance before we had our first sighting.

This is the first snowfall of the 2012-2013 season.  I know it is too much to hope for that this will be all we see this season.

We went for a drive today.  Rimrock was not our destination.  I need to sort through, edit and upload the photographs from our destination.  I’ll share photographs and details of today’s daycation with you in my next blog post.

Sunday Drive: Sugar Bay on Allegheny Reservoir

Bob and I went for a drive this past Sunday (July 22).  We made four stops, while on our drive.  This blog post shares photographs from our first stop, which was at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.

 

an Osprey on its nest

Nine Geese all in a Row

One Lone Deer on the Far Shore

The deer made a hasty retreat when Bob and I were joined by a man, woman and their dog.

This photograph shows the lovely view of Sugar Bay from our vantage point.

Allegheny National Forest

Late this morning Bob and I went for a drive through a portion of the Allegheny National Forest located between Sheffield and Kane.  Our drive took us about 30 miles from our Warren, PA home.

We made one stop in the forest. That stop was alongside the East Branch Tionesta Creek.

Tionesta Scenic Area

Tionesta Scenic Area

We had hoped to see some deer, maybe a bear, while riding through the scenic area. The only wildlife we saw were birds. It was a pleasant drive all the same, and one that I am sure we will make again someday.

An Afternoon Spent with Tom and Heather

We have two families – the families that we were born into and our Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) family. We have strong ties to both families. We spent yesterday afternoon with Tom and Heather, two members of our VROC family, whom we met briefly at the Wolfman’s Wandering Rally in June 2009.

Tom and Heather at Wolfman’s Wandering Rally 2009

Tom was looking at me, as I took this picture. Heather is sitting beside Tom, behind her mother. Although we had not seen either Heather or Tom since June 2009, we kept in touch via blogging and Facebook.On June 18 I received a Facebook message from Tom. He and Heather were planning a short camping trip to Evangola State Park, which is located along the shores of Lake Erie in New York between the cities of Dunkirk and Buffalo. Tom expressed an interest in riding through the Allegheny National Forest on Saturday and asked if I had any tips as to what is a must-see while around that area. I replied to Tom’s message the next day, providing him a list of places to see while in the Allegheny National Forest. I told Tom that Bob and I would be happy to ride with Heather and him, if they wanted to meet up with us. Tom replied to my message that same day. He and Heather would definitely like to meet up with us.Tom and Heather arrived at our house around 11:15 AM this past Saturday. Soon after their arrival we departed for downtown Warren. After Tom and Heather had topped off their fuel at Kwik Fill and took a few photographs of downtown Warren, we were on our way to the Allegheny National Forest.We followed the Allegheny River to Kinzua Dam.

Our first stop was at Kinzua Dam.

Our second stop was at Rimrock Overlook, which provides a lofty view of the Allegheny Reservoir.

Bob, Tom and Heather at Rimrock Overlook

Heather, Bob and Tom on stone stairway that leads to the base of Rimrock Overlook

Stone Stairway

Leaving Rimrock Overlook we backtracked a little ways to Jakes Rocks Overlook. Here we enjoyed one last look at Kinzua Dam.

Tom and Heather at Jakes Rocks Kinzua Dam Overlook

Leaving Jakes Rocks we took Longhouse Scenic Drive (FR262) to SR321, where we turned right towards Kane. Before reaching Kane we stopped for lunch at Bob’s Trading Post.

After lunch we rode through Kane and Mt. Jewett to Kinzua Bridge State Park.

Tom and Heather at Kinzua Bridge State Park
In the background is what is left of Kinzua Bridge.

It has been 8 years since Kinzua Bridge was blown down by a tornado. Remnants of the bridge still lay on the forest floor. I wrote a blog post about the Kinzua Bridge in September 2009. If you are interested in reading that post about Kinzua Bridge and seeing a few more photographs, you may do so by clicking here.

From Kinzua Bridge State Park we made our way to Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park in New York, where we said our goodbyes. I’m so happy that Tom contacted me about his and Heather’s plan for riding through the Allegheny National Forest. Bob and I enjoyed Tom and Heather’s company and enjoyed riding with them. The chilly and wet weather couldn’t put a damper on the good times that we shared.

Tom uploaded a blog post about our ride through Allegheny National Forest as well. Please visit Tom and Heather’s blog, “Tales from the O.C.”, to read his description of the day’s ride as well as view additional pictures from the ride.

Click here for a map of Saturday’s ride.

 

Mother and Daughter Photo Session

I mentioned in my previous post that I would be photographing my stepdaughter, Stacey, and her mother in the near future. That photo session happened yesterday.  The photo session took place at three locations: Kinzua Dam, Bent Run Falls and Rimrock Overlook, all three locations in the Allegheny National Forest and not far from our home in Warren, PA.

Stacey and Chris at Kinzua Dam

Stacey and Chris at Bent Run Waterfall

Stacey and Chris at Rimrock

In addition to photographing Stacey and her mother, Chris, I managed to capture a couple photographs of the dads too.

Stacey and Jay at Bent Run Waterfall

Stacey and Bob at Bent Run Waterfall

After the photo session we went to Stacey’s house, where we were joined by Mike (Stacey’s fiance) and Jeff and Vanina (Jeff’s brother and sister-in-law). A pot luck BBQ dinner was enjoyed by all. All in all it was a wonderful day!
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