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Friday, December 27, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter sunset

We only got light snow in the #Wilkes-Barre, PA area Wyoming Valley#nepa this  afternoon (predicted 1-3"). Now it's breezy and the temps are dropping to the teens tonight, and a predicted high of only 26 (yikes!) tomorrow. But what a beautiful #sunset outside just a few minutes ago! 

Look how far over the sunset moved to the left!
During the Summer, the sun used to set all the way over in that dip in the mountains to the far right. That's where rte 309, the Cross Valley Expressway, cuts North towards Dallas, PA after it crossed the Susquehanna river. You can't tell here, but the altitude is much higher there - quite a climb up and through the mountains.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter in NEPA

Late November is when we started to get seasonal snow. Here are a few shots, all 3 a little North of the My Mountain location in Wilkes-Barre area.

First, here's a view I shared in an earlier post. Same viewpoint, different time of year.
Still beautiful. Here, its quiet calm serene, with a light snow, late November.

 Energetic cheery red berries - kind of an abstract of color.

This is a tree that my father planted many many years ago.
We call it "The Dedo Tree"
(Dedo is 1 way of saying grandfather in Croatian.)
The cool visual cacophony of this composition would have been his style :o) 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall bounty - chestnuts

Some Autumn bounty from our area.
A colorful rustic birdhouse with an apple and a pear, from 2 trees nearby.
A version of this photo is available at:

This is what CHESTNUTS look like, freshly picked after they fell to the ground in their protective cupule.
Those outer burrs are so spiney & prickly.
interesting note: Chestnuts are a typical delight in Croatia, where they are sold , roasted, by street vendors. There's also a delicious whipped-cream dessert I wish was available here in the States.
(Yes, there is a pear hiding in this basket.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Orange sunset

Here's a recent very colorful sunset. Deep orange and some purplish hues in the clouds.
... (you get the idea) 
I wish photographs could capture the atmosphere better sometimes. This one comes close.)

And when I walked closer, standing under the trees I saw this beautiful sky:

This time of year, the sun sets further South along the mountain ridges, 
off to the left of the original sunsets I posted. 
These 2 photos were taken from a different vantage point, in Wilkes-Barre, not all the way down in the Wyoming Valley near the Susquehanna river as usual, but from a little higher altitude.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Autumn mountain view

Here's a more recent view of the mountain range(see the last post in Lackawanna County, PA, that had purple flowers in the foreground.)
BEAUTIFUL Autumn colors!
This is taken on Sept 29, 2013.  It's a little higher altitude than my mountains in the Valley.

 Another bunch of color just off the highway.

You can see the colors are not so far advanced, or dramatic yet, in the valley area
as they are higher in the mountains, just North of the Wyoming Valley, PA.
Here's my mountain:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Early Fall Colored Leaves

This past Labor Day weekend, and early Sept, I saw the first hints of color in our area. We are near the Poconos in NE PA, and people from other states/areas come here to see the Fall Leaves changing color.
Here are a few early views, all within approximately 1/2 hour drive of my mountain.

 Below is a pond with an early fallen leave floating among the drops of rain falling from an overhanging branch just after a late-afternoon thunderstorm.

 Below is a sunny view at Nesbitt Park, across the river from Wilkes-Barre, on the west side.

Here's a link that gives more information about PA and Fall foliage.

 Mountains and late-Summer flowers, approximately 1/2 hour away. 
I visitt this way often and love the sunsets from this viewpoint as well. AHHHHH!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Last Night's Eerie Drama

We had a storm front moving through - & some DRAMATIC cloud formations in the sky!
The start of a humid & warmer-than-usual few days for the Labor Day holiday weekend, 
with highs averaging in the mid 80s.  (this was actually night before last, Aug 29, 2013)
** Here's a panoramic view**
just as it's starting
I also show closeups left & right, below this photo.
They are all within 10 minutes: 7:40pm or so - 7:50pm.
Around 7:00 we noticed the sky outside... it didn't look yellow, in fact there were bright blue areas to the Southwest (That's the left side of this photo), but it "felt" yellow.  The air itself was yellow - 
a thick dark yellow.
The wind was still - nonexistant, even though you could tell something was approaching from up the street. Eerie!
I went outside, the sun had just dipped down behind the mountain - the sun sets in the center of the panorama above, right where there's a dip in the crest, a passage through the mountain to the other side.
I can't resist ...
 imagine creepy sci-fi music playing as you read, "to the other side" above.)

Back to reality people! That "dip" in the mountains is where the local highway, the North Cross Valley Expressway, rt 309, cuts and climbs through the mountain, giving access from the major highways and the Wyoming Valley cities & riverside towns... "to the other side" (couldn't resist again), to the "Back Mountain" as it's called locally, towns of Shavertown, Trucksville, Dallas... I posted a Google map on August 14, 2013.
     I digress. So... I went outside. the sky was blue, we had just had a nice sunset with greying clouds lined with streaks of pink then purple. Nice. But,    the    air      felt     yellow.  I turned around and looked up the street (off the panoramic view, off from the right).  The sky was an entire mass of GRAY. Heavy. Then I started hearing lots of distant rumblings. You probably guessed right - those rumblings were approaching thunder & lightning. You could palpably feel the air getting thicker, then the breezes started as I ran around the yard, prepping for a storm, in case there were strong gusts.

     Then I went inside, upstairs to the window where I can get the best shots, and started shooting. 
 First was the panoramic view above.

Closer view looking LEFT: approx 7:43pm
Closer view looking LEFT: approx 7:49pm
Interesting how some clouds started poking up higher & higher at the top.

Closer view looking RIGHT: approx 7:43pm
 Closer view looking RIGHT: approx 7:49pm
(In this shot I zoomed back out. I wanted to catch what I could of the huge cloud at the top.)
Then the sky turned grey, almost completely cloud-covered,
as the storm arrived.
FINAL NOTE: I wish you could have been here! I'm sure you probably experienced similar weather events, so you know how powerful the visuals and feelings can get. After this, there was nothing worth recording. It was grey. there was wind. Some rain. Somewhat anti-climactic. 
But this part was really quite fun. And beautiful.
 *1 or 2 of these photos will be available at in the "My Mountain" gallery.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Evening sun, and June wildflowers

Here's a lovely shining shot of the sun before it slides down behind the #mountain.
Below, in the next 2 #photographs,
 are some #wildflowers on nearby slopes.

These next 2 photos were taken mid-June, 2013.
Some typical, and quite sweet & cute, wildflowers.
(I don't really know their names).
Breathing in the air under the fir #trees is so fragrant with the pine needles. I understand that air is so healthy.
 Here's a closeup of a patch of #flowers in another spot. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

full moon overhead & interesting clouds

the last moon was spectacular... here's a few shots that evening.
The first one looks like an eyeball, doesn't it?

 The clouds were moving pretty quickly...
 ... and changing shape...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Here's a google map showing the location.
The Susquehanna River runs approximately parallel to Route 11 from the town of Plains up to Pittston; it's to the right of Rt 11 and looks green in this view. The mountain range in this blog is the green area, with not many signs of habitation,  further to the left of Rt 11, and the Francis Slocum State Park is on the other side of the ridge, on the "back-side" of the mountain view I see.  The cities & towns all along the river make up  the Wyoming Valley. Pa. USA We're seeing the mountains from the east side of the river, just north of Wilkes-Barre in Plains.
Many locations, etc., in NEPA, this area of Pennsylvania are derived from original Native American words. Here's a quote from Wikipedia: "The Susquehannock people were Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans who lived in areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its tributaries from the southern part of what is now New York, through Pennsylvania."

View Larger Map

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Spring blossoms

Here are some of the blossoms that I picked in the area this past Spring, very early June. The yellow are forsythia flowers. Typical in this part of the country - so vibrant! There are also some apple and pear tree branches. They are bunched together in front of a blue bench for contrast.
*in the "Still-life" & "Floral and Foliage" Galleries  at .

Thursday, July 25, 2013

the 4th of July

I LOVE the excitement of the celebration, and the sense of community when everyone gathers to listen to the philharmonic perform, usually climaxing with  Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture,  just as the first rockets shoot up into the air.
 I started taking MANY photos on Independence Day, from my window. (It was much to hot and humid to be walking around outside, especially since I'd hurt my ankle, but I knew with my view of "da valley" I'd see multiple celebrations.  I kept missing them, tried different settings on my camera... didn't like the looooong "fireworks" setting. WOW, so many photos!!! I edited out quite a few.
    But first: here's the lovely evening sky. I set my chair at the window 
      and started shooting around 8:40pm.

then zooming in a little towards the right.

a panorama after the sun dropped beyond the mountain ridge

And here are some of the shots of fireworks in different spots across the Susquehanna River,
on the West Side of the Wyoming Valley.

The main local fireworks that evening were at Kirby Park, across the river in Kingston, PA,
a little over 2 miles away, south of my location - to the LEFT of my mountain view.
I turned left & zoomed in when I started hearing all the blasts, and here are some of the higher ones I saw, just over the treetops:

The grand finale starts:

This is my favorite:
I call it " Fire Art"

Friday, July 12, 2013

FOG LIFTING one early morning

Here are a few shots of fog lifting... the clouds slowly disperse before the sun actually came out. They are lifting up from the Susquehanna River in the Wyoming Valley here, in NEPA. These photos catch some of the ethereal quality I find spectacular in the fog and mist. (ok, sorry, the 1st one's a little blurry, but I like to see the fogginess between the mountains as well as in front.)
The next shows a bird that has a front-row seat to the view. (This view is off to the right of the view above.)
A version of the bird photo is available in the "My Mountain" Gallery at .
A wider view.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

weird cloud

Okay, this is not at my mountain, but it is nearby. 
It's such a strange cloud that showed up all of a sudden.
Almost seems like a 'creature from the sky lagoon' swooping down to swallow the sun. 
Kind of cool, actually.
The day was unsettled in mid-May 2013, breezy, yet with a heavy 
it-will-be-storming-sometime-soon feeling in the air.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

late day cloud-gazing - animals in the sky?

I was taking a few shots of the evening sky. It got pretty dramatic - heated - active - impressive.

I remember as a child, 
how our dad would get us kids watching the skies, 
It was loads of fun - great memories!

Using my imagination I could see different scenes.
The first thing that came to mind is a baby elephant.
It's walking from right to left in profile, the head is the big vertical cloud in the center, the body is the right half of the photo.   Can you see it?

Then I saw it as 2 different figures - like they were confronting each other.
The vertical cloud could be like a bull, up on its hind lefgs like it's about to pound down on the head-and-shoulders of another animal. This one looks like it's got its head down, ready to charge, like a ram. hmmmm, wonder if there's a horn or antler down there.