Monday, December 17, 2012


Some of you may already know that I have participated in a project called Help Portrait.

For those of you who didn't know that, let me explain.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jordan

Well, this past weekend my oldest son turned 18.

It seems as though it wasn't too long ago that I was tossing him over my head and he was laughing with uncontrollable joy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day; Life and Death at GNMP Cemetery

For today's post, I'm using some photos I took back in June, during a small photo walk through the Gettysburg National Military Park Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Family is Plum Crazy

Despite the fact that a massive storm, Hurricane Sandy, came through our area and much of the East Coast, I don't really have any impressive photos at this time.

Instead, I figured I would lighten the mood with some photos I took at the end of June, when my brother Matt and his family came to visit.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh POOP, Did You See That Hawk?

Yes, that is actually Hawk POOP!
While my friends from Holland were visiting me here in Maryland, we drove the 15 miles up to Gettysburg, to show them the Battlefield.

They were very interested in seeing birds on the Battlefield, and I did my best to take them to places that I usually see Red Tailed Hawks. We had two sightings, but nothing of any significant result.

A few days after they left, on my way home from work, I decided to go through the Battlefield...just in case.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vrienden and Gasten

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted, but it's not because there haven't been things to write about.

After my birthday, I've had the opportunity to hang out with a couple of different friends and also had new friends come to visit, all of which were infectious.

You can expect a number of photos and also some photo tips in this post.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday, but this post isn't really about me. But, I will direct you to one that is about my birthday.

The picture is of a cake my two boys made for me back in 2009; it was incredibly moist and delicious.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fish for Fish for Fish, Aboard the Vickie Ann

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going on a fishing trip with my friend, Kevin, my son, Austin, and a few others.

The weather was fantastic, the people were great, and the end result was delicious.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

When Life Gives You Zucchini and Tomatoes...

Within the past couple of weeks a coworker had given me a Zucchini and a friend had given me a bunch of tomatoes. Well, I didn't make something that used both the zucchini and tomatoes in the same dish, but both items were still very good.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Love in the Park

Empire State Building
If you've read some of my other posts and/or my profile, you would know that I am originally from New York; born in Queens and then grew up in East Northport, Long Island (SHOUT OUT TO EAST NORTHPORT). Well, I try to visit, when I can, and occassionaly go into the City; Manhattan.

During one of our drives home, through Manhattan, we were stopped by some traffic...imagine that...and the boys said, "Look at that!" Well, a guy had jumped out of the cab in front of the middle of traffic...and proceeded to urinate right there in the middle of the street.

This post is about a visit earlier this month that proved to be a bit more inspiring...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Photo Club

In a previous post I talk about how the Photo Club came into being, and basically what we try to do.

Today's post is a bit overdue, because some of the photos were taken a few months ago at one of our meetings at the church. Nevertheless, I promised that I would post some of the photos; so here we go.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Carroll County's Got Talent

For those of you who have been reading my blog and have noticed that it's been a while since I've posted something, I apologize.

For those who haven't read my blog yet. Welcome to my first post!

Seriously though, this whole blog thing really can take a lot of time, if one wants to add some quality photos and add some decent story.

Since I'm a bit behind on posts, I'm thinking I may have to give you more photos and less story, for now, in order to get caught up.

This post, and others to follow, is about some of the talent that we have here in Carroll County, MD.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Post About Guests

My last post was about how I had guests over to the house. This time, I was the guest…on a couple of levels.

This post will be sparse on commentary, but full of photos.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gasten Welkom (Guests are Welcomed)

Well, this past weekend was an interesting and enjoyable one that was filled with family, fun and photos, and also included a Silver Alert.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just to keep things moving.

So, the last post was at the end of last month. Now I’m midway into May and haven’t posted anything yet. What with a full-time job, taking care of a house and yard on my own, caring for (and running to events for) my two boys, not to mention trying to have some form of social life; I’ve got to say, this whole blog thing is not an easy task.
Me, Kendra, Jackie, Kevin

I try to plan out and formulate what I’m going to post, but, to keep things moving, today’s is simply what happened today; Photo Club.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Even One Can Make a Difference.

There is so much that can and needs to be said about the Child Welfare System, and the issues related to Child Abuse/Neglect. I will attempt to convey some of that information through this blog, between posts of varying topics.

Today, in order to close out Child Abuse Prevention Month (but not discussions related to it), I will be saying Thank You to some who have made a difference.

As I mentioned, April was deemed National Child Abuse Prevention Month. A Thank You goes out to those governmental entities that helped establish this and recognize its importance.
The Senate of Pennsylvania issued the agency I work for, Adams County Children & Youth Services (ACCYS), a written document, paying tribute to us for the work we do to help make a “better and more productive society”.

The Advisory Board of ACCYS has shown their appreciation of the work we do by establishing a Staff Appreciation Week, which now coincides with Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This year, they provided smaller prizes to each employee, through daily drawings. At the end of the week, there was another drawing for several larger prizes.

They also provided us with food and treats throughout the week; food never lasts long in our office and is always welcomed.

Thank You to the Advisory Board members and candidates; Amber Lane, Bill Seibert, Brenda Walter, Brent Guise, Cindy Keeney, Kathy Williams, Marion Schneider, Mary Margaret Hewes, Commissioner Randy Phiel, Sgt. Mays, Sue Flesner and Tracy Biesecker.
Sue Flesner & Kathy Williams

Two of our own workers helped set up some special events this year as well. They worked together in order to get approval from the Courthouse allowing ACCYS to display their very own Pinwheel Garden (see more about the gardens here). They also arranged for weekly drawings during the month (I won a gift card), coordinated ordering shirts from our local Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), got approval for the staff to wear the shirts to work on the last Friday of the month, and were involved in the discussions, with the Advisory Board, regarding overlapping Staff Appreciation Week and Child Abuse Prevention month.
Betty, camera left, has been with ACCYS for 2 ½ years (the ½ year was during an internship). Patty, has been with ACCYS for the past 2 years and has been in Child Welfare for approx. 8 years. THANK YOU ladies.
Betty & Patty

Thank You to the CAC for coordinating the Balloon Launch at James Getty Elementary School, to drive home the 263 reports of Child Abuse in Adams County last year.

They had the children chant, “Believe You’re Brave”, in order to remind them that they are strong enough to report if/when something happens to them or others they know.
Believe YOU'RE Brave

Be the One who helps the one.
One Report
One Child

There are many more people who need to be thanked, like the caregivers who ARE doing their best to try and raise the children of our communities properly, other service providers, school personnel, community members, etc. I will try to acknowledge these people throughout the year.

If you know someone who works in the Child Welfare System, please take a moment to thank them for the hard work they do. Perhaps you’re reading this and you have someone working with you and your family; we truly are here to help, be thankful for the support.

Thank YOU, for taking the time to read this and for sharing it with others.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Childhood Innocence

A pinwheel is one of those things that shouts childhood; a childhood that should be full of wonder, excitement, encouragement, promise, support, curiosity…innocence.

Unfortunately, for many children throughout the world their childhoods are tragically disrupted and they are robbed of their innocence.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Like A Woman's Purse

Electric Pink Ostrich Michael Kors tote with leopard scarf;
Donated by MJ Duffy in loving memory of husband Tom Roth
It’s not what you’re thinking.

I’m not saying that I want to own, or enjoy carrying, a woman’s purse. Although, I am comfortable enough in my own masculinity to sport a Clutch, Handbag, etc., should the need arise.

In this post, I will explain why I worked A Woman’s Purse.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 8

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…8 photos of Red-winged Blackbirds, and 8 posts in the month of March. (said in the voice of the Count from Sesame Street). Whew...made it!

The Red-winged Blackbird (RwBb) can be seen all over the GNMP Battlefield.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 7

American Crow

For those who have not read any of my other posts, I am originally from Long Island, New York (Laun Gylind, New Yawk). In honor of my mother’s and cousin’s recent visit to my home; What do Crows like to drink in the morning? CAW-fee!

This is another one of those birds that I really didn’t have any intention on photographing. However, I believe you will enjoy the images I captured.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 6

House of Worship Finch
Male House Finch
A fellow coworker of mine, who grew up in the Gettysburg area and had several summertime jobs at local establishments, has shared with me that she would regularly get stopped by visiting tourists and asked, “Can you tell me where the Battlefield is?” Even though they may have been standing in the middle of the town, the reply would be, “You’re on it!”

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 5

A Not so Long Tale About a Long-tail.
I have taken many photos of birds on the GNMP Battlefield, but have purposefully avoided some birds, because they seemed…well…plain and common. I wasn’t sure that I would be interested in them; therefore, I didn’t think others would be interested in them either.
The great thing about picking a project and setting goals for yourself is that it tends to push you beyond your normal routine.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 4

Predator Becomes the Prey; Sort of.
Eyes open, scanning the terrain… THERE HE IS!  Wait, where’s my weapon?! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
In this post I’m hoping to give you a couple of tips and a little perspective. The shots that I’m posting today are from two separate days on the Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP) Battlefield.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 3

I've Never Been to Canada, but I Got Goosed Anyway

Two Canada Geese, descending on
a small pond.
So, I was in the GNMP the other day, trying to get shots of birds for this series, and I heard the clear call of the Canada Goose. It was a cool morning, relatively overcast, and a lite fog dappled the Battlefield.
As I aimed my camera toward the sound, I caught glimpse of two of these large birds coming my way and getting ready to land on a pond.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield 2

So, this title is going to get a lot of mileage. I know it’s kind of related to the month of March, but since I will be taking photos of birds throughout the year, the March will also be related to my journey through the Battlefield.
Eastern Meadowlark
I thought about trying to get into the Battlefield this morning, knowing that I sort of promised eight posts this month, but I wasn’t able to get out early enough in order to make it to work on time. As some of you may know, I work in Gettysburg, serving all of Adams County. I have the pleasure of going through portions of the Battlefield every day, twice a day, on my way to and from work. Since I couldn’t go this morning, I decided to go out after work. I was a little concerned, because there were a number of clouds in the sky and it was relatively chilly. On my way to my car, I also noticed that it was windy. The combination of clouds, cold and wind all go against taking clear photos of small objects.

Clouds reduce the sun (it’s also getting closer to dusk, which also significantly diminishes the light), which means that I’m either giving up on shutter speed, or ISO (sensitivity to light). If I go with the higher ISO, in order to have the higher shutter speeds, I lose some of the clarity in the image. Clarity is important, since many of the birds are very small and very skittish, which means that I am shooting them from a distance and having to crop into the image quite a bit. Slower shutter speeds, especially when windy, means that I really have to try and get the shot when the subject is nearly perfectly still…good luck with small, skittish birds that can get swept away by the wind, like a kite on the beach.
Eastern Meadowlark
Being that it’s cold, I get cold, especially since I’m dressed for work, not for the elements. Being cold, there is always the chance that I won’t hold the camera steady enough; however, Image Stabilization and faster shutter speeds help. The other thing is that getting photos of birds usually takes a bit of patience, and when standing out in cold winds one’s patience can quickly dissipate.
I already mentioned the wind, which, again, has the ability to impact my stability and that of the birds, or the trees they may be perched in.
Eastern Meadowlark
Regardless, I went into the Battlefield and made an attempt to get some photos for this series. I went to a couple of spots, one that I don’t normally go to, which did give me some potential shots. The sun continued to drop and I thought I would drive past a couple of spots that I usually cruise. I wasn’t seeing a whole lot of anything interesting and figured I would just head home. I slowly crept along one final section of road and heard the call of a bird. I scanned all the potential perching points and then spotted it. It was facing away from me and, since it was a good 25-30 feet away from me, I couldn’t tell what it was. Once I put camera to eye and zoomed in on the subject, I noticed the hint of yellow, snapped a few shots and hoped it would turn around; eventually, it did and I was able to get the rest of the shots you’ve seen.
Sometimes you just have to go a little bit farther.

Eastern Meadowlark
Stands only 9"-11"; approx. the size of a Robin

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Birds All March on the Battlefield

OK, the title may be a bit corny, but it was the best thing I could think of at the moment.

I don’t know if I have to point out the obvious here, but it may not be so obvious…Birds All…Birdsall…get it? But it also represents all of the birds on the Battlefield. According to an Internet search, there are approximately 1,000 different types of birds that call the Gettysburg National Military Park Battlefield (GNMP) home. March is referring not so much to the act of walking in some organized militant fashion, as much as it refers to the current month. However, I (Birdsall) will be walking (marching) throughout the GNMP, in attempts to get photos of the many birds on the Battlefield.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Groentesoep met Hollands Brood

Food is an important part of my life.
One of the greatest things about growing up was that both my father and mother enjoyed cooking, and they were good at it.
Shot in my kitchen; Canon 7D; 18-55mm (at 42mm) lens;
ISO 200; f/5.6; 1/100 sec. I fired two flashes; one was above,
slightly behind, and to the right of the bowl with a small,
handmade beauty dish. The other was fired at a white board above
and pointing down (from camera left) at the bread.

My father learned to cook from his mother, who was from German stock. However, he was born and raised in New York, so there were also a lot of influences throughout the communities he lived in, socialized in and worked in. Although my father cooked a variety of things, one of the constants was that he cooked A LOT of it. It was as if he was cooking for the troops every time he made something, whether it was a roast, soup, pancakes…but, with three growing boys in the home there had to be plenty of food. What wasn’t consumed right away may have been sealed in jars or frozen, or eaten as leftovers the next day. If it was simply put in the fridge, it wouldn’t last very long.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First Things First

I need to acknowledge my inspiration.

First off, I am a Christian and believe that God can inspire us through His creation. The things we see every day, but we may take for granted…because we see them every day…can be extremely inspiring if we simply take the time to stop and appreciate them. We see the sun every day, but when we take the time to simply bask in its warmth or watch it as it sets behind the horizon, it takes on a whole new meaning. It could be as simple as a bird gliding through the air and simply using the thermals to keep itself aloft.

Especially when I'm out, shooting wildlife or landscape type photos, I’m always trying to keep my mind, my heart and my eyes open to the wonders of God’s creation. Hopefully I will be able to convey some of that to those of you who choose to view my work.