Sunday, October 2, 2011

Autumn Bloom

Ever though we are already into early autumn, there are many flowers still in full bloom here in Northeast Pennsylvania.  I haven't a clue what this one is, but someone suggested it might be an Astor.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Panorama of Wilkes-Barre and the Market Street Bridge

This is a view looking across the Susquehanna River toward downtown Wilkes-Barre and the Market Street bridge.  The River Commons amphitheater can be seen on the far shore of the river. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Trespassing on the Waterfall!

Northeastern Pennsylvania has a whole lotta lakes with a whole lotta little waterfalls.  The little hut pictured here has a sign telling people not to trespass on the waterfall.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fiery Rain

We've had record amounts of rain (and lots of flooding) in  Northeast Pennsylvania over the past month.  For this experimental photo I thought it would be fun to see if I could make it look like it was raining fire.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No Stopping Standing or Parking

I saw this sign at the top of the Francis Walter Dam, and I think it is somewhat amusing.  "No stopping, standing or parking," but you could probably get away with walking very, very slowly.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Manning the Barricade

The National Guard was manning barricades at intersections a few blocks away from the cresting Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre and nearby communities to keep people out of the evacuated areas.  The evacuation order was finally lifted yesterday afternoon.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Francis Walter Dam After the Rains

The water level has risen significantly at the Francis Walter Dam reservoir over the past two weeks.  Extensive debris from the recent flooding streams has built up along the edge of the dam.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Swollen Susquehanna River Threatens Wilkes-Barre and Kingston

This image shows the rising Susquehanna River passing under the Pierce Street Bridge that connects Wilkes-Barre on the left to Kingston on the right. 

These pictures from earlier today show the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre nearing the top of the protective dike.  The top picture showing the road disappearing into the river was taken about nine hours ago.  Since then the river has continued to rise and is now only about two feet below the top of the dike. 

This picture shows the dike gate in Wilkes-Barre closed to keep the Susquehanna River from flooding the city.   As of 7:00pm this evening the Susquehanna River is pushing on the other side of the gate and is only about two feet below the top of the gate.

Picture of the flood gate when opened.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wilkes-Barre River Commons

This is a view of the southern section of Wilkes-Barre's River Commons, looking south.  The Susquehanna River can be seen on the right in this image taken a week ago.  With the remnants of tropical storm Lee dumping about nine inches of rain on the area in the last couple of days, as of this evening the River Commons is likely already under water.  The river is expected to crest three feet below the top of the dike which can be seen in the upper left of the photo.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Tipple at the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

This is a view of the front of the tipple where the coal cars deliver their load by rail after coming up from the mines.

Once the coal made it to the top of this tipple it was ready to be loaded in trucks like the blue one in the picture that sits ready to receive its load.  The earth beneath the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valleys, from Scranton to Wilkes-Barre, is a vast honeycomb of mine shafts and tunnels, much of which is now filled with water.  That water is now being used as a new source of energy for both cooling and heatingas reported in November 2010 in the Scranton Times-Tribune

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour is located in McDade Park and is operated by the Lackawanna County Parks and Recreation Department.  This view is of the backside of the coal mine tipple.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bull Thistle

Bull Thistle With a Purple Flower in the Poconos
     Bull Thistle weeds are quite common in northeast Pennsylvania.  After one run-in with this plant it is easy to imagine how it got its common name.  The thistles are strong like the bull and ready to gore any interloper!

Monday, August 29, 2011

After the Rain the Road and Bridge Closings

Hurricane Irene has come and gone.  Actually, it was just a tropical storm when it hit the Pocono Mountains.  While the winds were not as strong as forecast, the rains were heavy and the ground was saturated, so the winds were still strong enough to bring down trees and power lines all over, and the rain was heavy enough to cause widespread flooding of streams and small rivers.  Scenes such as the one pictured here with signs announcing a bridge or road closed were quite common today.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Approaches the Pocono Mountains

Looking southeast across the mountains,  the leading edge of hurricane Irene can be seen moving into the Poconos.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Looking East Across the Francis Walter Dam Reservoir

Click on this picture of the Francis Walter Dam Reservoir to enlarge it and you can see where the road rises up out of the water on the east side of the lake.  You can drive across the road when the water level is low, but that is not likely to happen soon with edge of hurricane Irene tracking toward the Poconos and due to arrive tomorrow night.  This reservoir will likely be filled to the rim by Monday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Frances E. Walter Dam Reservoir

This picture shows the Frances E. Walter Dam Reservoir, viewed from the top of the dam. 
The Frances E. Walter Reservoir is just a twenty-five minute car ride from Scranton and a fifteen minute ride from Wilkes-Barre.  This man-made lake is a great site for boating and fishing with the lake being stocked with trout every year. 

This view looks down the reservoir-side dam face at the road which disappears under water.    When the water level is very low the road can be used to get to the other side of the reservoir.


This road is best traveled by boat.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The River Common Amphitheater in Wilkes-Barre

The Wilkes-Barre River Common Amphitheater can be seen across the Susquehanna River.  The amphitheater can seat about 750 people for concerts and other performances when it is not under water.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Market Street Bridge in B&W

The Market Street Bridge in black and white seems to capture the mood of a cloudy and gray day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Riverwalk Ramp

Don't know what made these tire tracks, but I do know skateboarders love this long ramp.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Above the Floodgate

This perspective of the Wilkes-Barre riverwalk is from the top of the bridge that passes over a floodgate.  The people in the photo are enjoying the view of the Susquehanna River.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Wilkes-Barre Riverwalk

This is a view of the riverwalk in Wilkes-Barre where it crosses over the flood gate built into the dike.  The Luzerne County Courthouse is in the background. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Wicker Buck

There are an estimated one and a half million Whitetail deer in Pennsylvania.  There are also one and a half million deer hunters.  Fortunately for this guy, Wicker Buck hunting is not legal in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Luzerne County Courthouse

The Luzerne County Courthouse can be seen in the lower left part of this picture beyond the river walk dike wall in Wilkes-Barre.  The Luzerne County Courthouse is where Judge Mark Ciavarella, Jr. worked before being convicted in the "kids for cash" case for which he was sentenced this week to 28 years in prison.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hitting the Lost Trails for an ATV Adventure

The entrance to the new Lost Trails ATV Adventures trail park heads straight up into the Poconos Mountains.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The New Lost Trails ATV Adventures

A lot of people in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area and the Pocono Mountains ride ATV's and dirt bikes.  There is a lot of forest land, but few legal places to ride off-highway.  Not that it stops the riding.  But the problem of limited legal riding has been alleviated with the new location of Lost Trails ATV Adventures  recreational trail park located on the north edge of Scranton with over 2,000 acres for riding and exploring in the Pocono Mountains.   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rooftop Time in Downtown Wilkes-Barre

This rooftop vantage point in downtown Wilkes-Barre offers a good view of a modern clock-tower and a local TV station's extensive satellite dish collection.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Backside of Pocono Raceway Grandstand

This is a view of the rather grand looking backside of Pocono Raceway's grandstand.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Grandstand at Pocono Raceway

The Bill France tower and grandstand looks down on the main straightaway of Pocono Raceway's tri-oval course.  The grandstand has room for a little over 75,000 people to get cozy with each other.  Think I'll watch the race on TV.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Main Entrance to Pocono Raceway

Pocono Raceway has two big stock car racing weekends each year.  The first is in June, and the second event is in August.  This weekend's big event is the Good Sam RV Insurance 500.  There are a number of entrances to the racetrack, and the one pictured here is the main entrance.  The raceway stays busy in the warmer months and is host to many driving and racing schools and club racing events.  Located in the middle of the Poconos, the raceway is only about a thirty minute drive from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan corridor.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Magic Bus for Stock Car Fans

Roaring engines rather than The Who are the background sound track for this Magic Bus.  The home of the NASBUS is next to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Airport, but this weekend you can expect to see it at Pocono Raceway for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


How bad have you got it?  Maybe the question is really, "Are you ready for the NASBUS?"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bye-Bye, Borders

Can electronic reading devices really replace the tangible and tactile experience of reading traditional paper and print books?  What about the bookstore cafe experience which is a time and place to socialize and communicate about books, periodicals and ideas?  I think the city is losing something profound, and I can only hope that Barnes and Noble will one day step in and fill the intellectual void being left in Scranton with one of their own brick and mortar stores.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Borders Bowing Out

The Scranton Borders Store

It seems impossible, but when the Scranton Borders store closes its doors for good in the very near future, there will not be any full-sized, dedicated bookstore left in this city of 76,089 people.  People in search of the book-browsing and latte sipping experience will need to drive twenty minutes or so to neighboring Wilkes-Barre to visit a Barnes and Noble.  Truly, this will be a sad milestone of life in the Electric City in the twenty-first century.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


One fringe benefit to a recent rainstorm is this rainbow seen arcing over the Pocono Mountains.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Self Portrait in Boulder Field

This self-portrait was taken in Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park in the Pocono Mountains.  The boulders are a byproduct of a glacier from way back in the time of the cavemen when they wore mastodon fur coats rather than water-proof textile armored motorcycling jackets.