Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Workin' on the Railroad

I was driving along a road that paralleled a railroad track on the southern outskirts of the city when I passed this contraption that was furiously roaring, creaking and clanking while it appeared to be slowly doing nothing more than throwing up huge dust clouds.   

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Frozen Pocono Mountains Waterfall

This picture was taken yesterday before the blizzard hit.  The frozen waterfall creates a unique climbing opportunity. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top of the Slopes at Snow Mountain

   Looking out across South Scranton the top of the slopes at Snow Mountain can be seen.  Skiers are dancing in their ski boots tonight with a weather forecast for up to ten inches of the cold white stuff.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Sighting Over Scranton

Santa has always gone green with his environmentally friendly and nearly zero emissions vehicle.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Igloo, Sweet Igloo

It may not be Antarctica, but with yet another day that did not see our high temperature make it out of the 20's, these penguins have nothing to complain about.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Season of the Snowman

When I look out my window,
what do you think I see?
Some cool cat
looking over his shoulder at me.
And it's strange.
Sure seems strange.
There's snow on the ground,
and it's 18 degrees.
Must be the season of the Snowman.
(Apologies and thanks to Donovan for "Season of the Witch".)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Light Display

The Nay Aug Park Holiday Lights can be seen from the warm comfort of your car.  This sign points the way to the beginning of the car tour, but smaller and more modest lights are scattered throughout the park as can be seen in the background of this picture. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Interesting Shoppers at The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos

I'm not sure which of these two I find more disturbing.  The damsel with demonic eyes in the tower?  Or, the overgrown angery ape?

There is definitely more going on inside this place than just some innocent candle making.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos

There is more than candles to be experienced at The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos.  When the owners suspected that ghosts were on the premises and burning the candle at both ends, they contacted the Scranton based Pennsylvania Paranormal Association.  Their investigation came to the attention of a New York production company that was producing a new show called "The Haunted" for Discovery's Animal Planet channel.  The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos was featured on one of the first season's episodes.   I missed that episode, (O.K., I confess.  I missed all of the episodes.) but looking at the outside of the building I have to wonder if King Kong is suspected of doing the haunting.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pocono Mountains Waterfall

We get a lot of rain in northeastern Pennsylvania.  The Pocono Mountains are loaded with lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.  And for those who know where to look, waterfalls.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ghosts of Nay Aug Park Zoo

These Holiday Lights are the only animals that you will see at the Nay Aug Park Zoo.  The zoo, once apparently famous for Tilly the elephant, mercifully closed in 1988.  The zoo was rather confining and inhospitable to its residents, and it was considered to be one of the most inhumane in the country.  It reopened in 2003 as a wildlife rehabilitation center before closing again in 2009.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Punch Buggy

Play Punch Buggy in Scranton!  I used to think trivial thoughts about my daughter's habit of shouting out, "Punch Buggy!" and punching me in the arm every time she saw a Volkswagon Beetle.  But as evidenced by this custom painted Beetle, Punch Buggy should not be taken lightly.   See the entry at Wikipedia for a good background and explanation of the Punch Buggy game.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The David J. Wenzel Treehouse Holiday Lights Honor Guard

These Holiday Lights Soldiers make a fitting honor guard for the entrance to the David J. Wenzel Treehouse.  While serving as a First Lieutenant in Vietnam in 1971, David Wenzel was severely wounded and suffered the loss of both legs, his left hand and the use of one eye.  His injuries did not slow him down much as he went on to earn an MBA in 1974, work in a number of government positions, and serve as Scranton's twenty-seventh mayor from 1986-1990.  Recent activities include authoring a book about Scranton's mayors and working as an adjunct professor for the University of Scranton and Lackawanna College.

View of the David J. Wenzel Treehouse From Below

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nay Aug Park Christmas Lights

The Nay Aug Park Holiday Lights display begins at the entrance to the park where modulating arch lights give the illusion of a deer jumping over the road.  The entire exhibit can be enjoyed from inside your car as you drive through the park.  The display is free, but donations can be made at the end of the route as you leave Nay Aug Park.  According to the Scranton Times-Tribune up to 50,000 visitors will come to see the annual exhibit which this year remains open from Black Friday until approximately January 10th, 2011.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dunder Mifflin Umbrella

The Dunder Mifflin Umbrella:  It's perfect for when life rains on your parade.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dwight Schrute Spotted at the Steamtown Mall!

According to irrefutable facts found on Wikipedia, Time Magazine published a story that cited multiple research universities which had determined that having a Dwight Schrute around was good for business.  This is especially true if your business is a mall kiosk that sells "the Office" related merchandise.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Holidays Snowman

Know why the snowman looks so happy?   It was just after sunset and the temperature was already down to 28 degrees.    This fellow can be seen across the street from Nay Aug Park when exiting the Holiday Lights display.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Vacation in Scranton

The Christmas lights on this house in Scranton would make Clark Griswold proud.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Dreamy Lone Pine

This particular mountain in the Poconos has a stark, barren look as it waits for the first snow of the season.  But like a beacon of light piercing a dark and foreboding dream, the lone pine reaches out as a link to spring that unfailingly chases winter away.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pods in the Poconos

While hiking in the Pocono Mountains I saw this pod which  to my non-farmer eyes is what I imagine cotton plants could look like.  A quick google search confirmed to my non-botonist brain that it is not cotton.  My search results were unsuccessful in making an I.D.  Any flora aficionados out there that can identify this plant?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scranton Municipal Building

  This view of the Scranton municipal building shows off its old world charm.  With that architecture, the stonework, and once again a gray, cloudy sky, I can easily imagine myself back in England.  Someone once said to me in commenting about English weather that they could not understand why England was even inhabited.  One could easily say the same about Northeastern Pennsylvania.  According to one meteorologist from the area, this is the fourth most cloudy region of the country.  With the long, cold, and gray winter just getting started, can you say, "Seasonal Affective Disorder?"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mural Art

Since murals are pictures on walls, ceilings and other fixed surfaces,  it can be considered an art form that dates all the way back to our hairy cave-dwelling ancestors from the stone age.  A caveman might be able to comprehend the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel as a big and luxurious cave, but what would he make of an electric street car?    

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hot Yoga in Scranton

  Hot Yoga!  If you know little about yoga you might be thinking tight outfits and sexy poses.  Or, you might think it has something to do with the temperature on the thermometer at the top of the sign.  Unlikely, given it was actually 35 degrees out.  But hot yoga, formally known as Bikram Yoga, is a form practiced in a hot environment that is ideally 105 degrees.  The idea behind the heat is to increase flexibility and reduce stress, tension and injury.  I imagine a lot of cleansing through sweating also takes place during the typical 90 minute session.  
  After a session of hot yoga at Scranton's Steamtown Hot Yoga, thirsty and hungry practitioners can indulge in good fruit.  Much better than bad fruit.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tattoo Art

  I don't have anything against tattoo art, but I gotta say I would not want the picture on the poster imbedded in my skin for the rest of my life.   For anyone interested in skewering a body part, Marc's Tattooing also handles body piercing.  And nervous or squeamish  types can rest easy.  All employees of Marc's have Red Cross first aid and bloodborne pathogen certification!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Lights are Going Up!

To a lot of people Black Friday means fighting for parking spaces at the mall, and banging elbows and shopping carts with crazed shoppers.  But I think it is a good day to get out and enjoy the beauty of the season and the Christmas lights that are now in full night bloom.  Besides, there is still plenty of time before Christmas to indulge in commercial madness!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today's Thanksgiving still life photo is courtesy of guest photographer, Pixel Dudette (aka the Wife).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Paul Kanjorski Pedestrian Bridge

The Paul Kanjorski Pedestrian Bridge spans Nay Aug Gorge above Roaring Brook.  On this particular day the brook was doing more whispering than roaring, but it is a radically different scene when heavy rains fall.  I hope to publish a photo of a roaring Roaring Brook when the opportunity arises  (pun intended).  The Nay Aug Gorge has a notorious reputation as a very popular and very illegal swimming hole.  Swimming has been prohibited for safety reasons, and accidents in the gorge are not uncommon with lots of injuries due to falls.  According to the Scranton Times-Tribune there have been forty deaths in Nay Aug Gorge since 1890.  Most of the deaths were the result of drowning.  Nature can be a mean Mother when not given the proper respect.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trail to Nay Aug Gorge

Nay Aug Gorge is a National Natural Landmark.  The trail pictured here leads down to the Paul Kanjorski Pedestrian Bridge which crosses the gorge.  Congressman Kanjorski has described Nay Aug Park as "the jewel of the city of Scranton," and he's right.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Autumn Tradition

Autumn in Northeastern Pennsylvania means lots of leaves, and lots and lots of raking.  And lots of fun!