Monday, February 10, 2014

SNOW

Around here in Reading, PA we have been having a bad Winter so far.  Normally, it does not get all that cold here for long periods of time.  We may have a few day's of nasty cold for awhile, but then the Winter temp's seem to average out up into the 40's or high 30's.

However, this Winter has been just terrible for the past few weeks.  It's been darn cold, with snow storms coming in every few day's or so.  I don't really recall a Winter like this one in a long time.  Me and the cold weather don't get along very well.  Seems that I never can get my fingers and feet to be nice and toasty warm no matter what I do or what I wear.  As for my feet, I have tried most everything to keep them warm, but sooner or later they start to freeze.  It's not fun to be outside with your feet being that cold.  It's the same with my fingers and hands.  I can wear the most fuzzy type of glove, but it always seems to end up the same. Someone told me to try mittens.  That's food for thought.  Never wore them, cause I thought they wouldn't work.  Maybe I should give it a try and see what happens.

With all the snow we have been getting, I thought that I'd take a trip "out there" and capture some of the area's around here with my Pentax K10D.  This one was taken at the Berks County Heritage Center the day after it snowed.  I added some HDR effect to it to bring out the color and sky.

Here's another one of the old Covered Bridge.  You can't see it right now, but there is a walking, bicycle, running, and jogging trail right next to that brown sign and runs along the River for 1.3 miles beyond the bridge.  The trail also goes the other way more than a mile up.  The Trail follows the old Towpath that was used for the Mules and Horse's that towed the Barges down the old Union Canal.  During warmer weather, this area usually has a number of people using the Trail most all the time.  It's a nice place and I'm down here quite often.


Here's what the old Covered Bridge looks like in Winter dress.  Known as the Red Covered Bridge, it is one of the remaining few that are left from by-gone day's in this County.  It's one of the longest span bridges left over and is still kept in top shape by the Heritage Center.  No driving over it is permitted.  Just walking and bicycle's.

Remember, that you can click on the Images to make them bigger.  When it snows like this, I like the way Nature puts on a show for all to see, even though it's on the cold side.  I don't mind the snow at all.  Snow has a way of dressing up the "blah" of Winter.  Ice I don't care for.  It mess's everything up and is awful to shovel!  We are supposed to get another snow storm on Thursday!  We just had one yesterday, that dropped about 1.5 inches here.  Just as long as it's snow, and that's it!

Till the next time  .  .  .  Thanks for reading & commenting
Les

Thursday, January 30, 2014

OLD KELLY'S LOCK

Greetings to my followers!

I had forgotten about this Historic place that is just down the street from where we live.  I pass by it so many times that I just don't even think about it.  It's just there, or what's left of it.

Kelly's Lock dates back into the early 1800's and was used quite extensively when the Union Canal transported allot of the goods back and forth from the Coal Region Area to Philadelphia.  Just about everything that was used for Industry or food was towed down the Union Canal and on the Schuylkill River. Barge's of every kind used to travel up and down the ole' Canal.  People even lived on the Canal with house boats.  Over the many years the Canal was in operation, there were more than 92 Locks along the Canal that raised and lowered the boats from one level to another.  Today, not many of them are left from those day's.  Just a few remain for visitors to remember what early transportation was like.

Today, there is not very much to see of the old Lock.  The orginial stone wall still exists, but not much else.  You have to really know what was once there.


This is Kelly's Lock as it looked back in it's day of operation.  I apologize for the bad clarity of the picture, but this was all I could find on it.  Camera's back in those day's were not as good as today.  The Farmhouse to the right still stands today, and is a private residence.  The River Road that runs between those trees is still there, but more modernized.  The outside wall in the foreground of Kelly's Lock is gone.  Only the inside wall remains.  The small Locktenders House is gone, too.  Nothing remains of it.  The field in the background is now a place for homes along the River.  My Home is way up towards the top of this picture.

Here is another old shot of the Lock in operation.  Notice the Canal Barge coming into the Lock in the background.  The Wall to the right is no longer there.  Standing on top of the Lock are where the Locktender stood to open & close the gates to let water in and out of the Lock.


Fast forward to today.  This is all that remains of the one wall of Kelly's Lock.  The stone wall still stands with it's orginial stone work.  These blocks of stone were transported by horse and wagon from a stone quarry more than a mile away.

This is Kelly's Lock as it looks today.  Behind the old stone Lock wall is a seating area and behind that is a parking area where lot's of people come and park their cars just to get away from the daily grind, read, or just sit to be alone.  Years ago when I was in HS, the parking lot was just a stone parking area.  Us kids used it to "watch the submarine races", if you know what I mean.  There were no benches then, or fence.

Taken last summer looking towards the parking area of the Lock.  That ole' Farmhouse is just around the bend in the road.  The road here is the original River Road that was there in the picture I described in the beginning.  The Lock now is a Park area, and has a sign when you enter named Kelly's Lock.  There is a short walking trail off to the right of this Image.  When it rains real bad, this road get covered over in water from the River, since the River is just off to the right and out of the Image.  This area is also a nice drive around during the Fall and Summer.  In the Fall all the trees turn different colors, and during the Summer it's always cooler while traveling this River Road.  Many people ride their bicycles along River Road, so paying attention here is a must.

Until the next time  .  .  .  Thanks for reading & commenting.
Les

Friday, January 17, 2014

MORE ODDS & ENDS

On my last post about the Robesiona Furnace, I had a follower want to know what it looked like back when the Furnace was in operation.  I thought about that, and wondered the same thing.  When I go to Historical places I always want to know what it really looked like back in the day that it was there.  How different did it look back then?  What was there that you don't see anymore?  Well, after snooping around the Internet, I did find a picture of what the old Furnace looked like back in it's day of operation.

This is the best Image that I could find of the ole' Furnace.  Notice on the extreme right is the building that I shot in my previous blog that was the Office.  It still stands today, as you saw.  With my Pentax, I stood right across the road that is now paved and not so full of trees.  Today, there is nothing left but the ole' Office.  Everything was torn down.  Just a few large pieces of slag that are laying around.

Here is another shot that I never posted on the Furnace.  This was once the Ironmaster's Home.  Still being preserved in it's original look as it did so many years ago.  There was no one home when I took this, and I thought that I'd go snoop around the old building, but decided not too.  Might get shot at!

Ok, moving on now.  This is just one of the many Images I took while on our Cruise to Kings Wharf, Bermuda.  Located on top of a high hill, this gun emplacement used to guard the entrance to the Wharf area.  It's now just something to remind visitors that this area was once protected during WWII, in fear of the Japanese invading the island.  It never did happen.

Now, during these Winter months, I don't get out there with my Camera as much.  I'm not very much a cold weather person.  I really don't care for Winter, at all, except for when it snow's and it leaves the country side in a pretty white blanket of snow.  It's been cold and sorta on the damp side these day's.  Too cold for me to go stompin' around for really nothing.  It's supposed to turn real, darn cold in a few day's.  Something that I don't relish the idea of.  Makes our heater run more and run the gas bill higher!  However, you gotta stay warm!

Until the next time  .  .  .  Thanks for reading & commenting
Les 

Monday, January 6, 2014

ROBESONIA FURNACE

Greetings, fellow bloggers.  Hope everyone out there is having a good New Year, so far.

Last summer I had found out about the Robesonia Furnace one day and it was a Historical place that I never knew anything about.  I did have an idea on just where this place was, but not real sure.  Knew that it was over in the Robesonia area, but just exactly where I had no idea.  So, with that in mind, I decided to grab my camera and go take a look-see to find out where it was.

Got into the town of Robesonia, drove up and down the main street looking for something that would tell me where it was.  I found noting, until I decided to stop into a bank and ask if someone knew of the place.  Went into the bank and was told that this place was just South of where I was.  Was told that there are some old buildings back that way.  Leaving the bank, I noticed a Historical Marker that was placed on the corner of a street telling me about the Furnace that was there, but no direction.  Thought that I'd take a chance, go up the road from where I was, and see what's there.  Sure enough.  After driving about 2 miles back the road, I rounded a bend and found what I was looking for.

After driving around the area for about a half hour, I first stopped here at the old Fire House that used to house 2 fire engines in the early 1900's.  In walking around I found that there were no engines in the old building, and the area had a number of Private Property signs around.  I had to walk across the road to get this shot, so I don't trespass on any Property.  The old Furnace used to be just to the right of this Image.  There is nothing left of the furnace, cause it was all torn down after it went out of business.

Just down the road from the Fire House, stands this old building that used to be the Office for the Furnace.  The flag shows that it's a Historical building.  Robesonia Furnace was also named Robesonia Iron Co. Ltd, and was started by a fella named George Ege back in 1794.  The Furnace made Iron for lot's of things and had quite a number of employees, all living in homes close by, which some of which a still standing to this day.  The Furnace tried different methods of producing Iron, but the acquisition of the place by Bethlehem Steel brought it's downfall in 1927.  Most all of the Furnace was demolished in 1927, leaving really nothing there but a few large pieces of Iron laying around.

This Barn was once used to house all the horses & mules that helped haul the Iron from one place to another.  The original stonework is still there, but it had to be repaired in the front.

This is just one of the homes that were originally built by the Iron Workers.  The original part of the home is too the left.  The rest of it was added by the owners of today.  There is 4 or 5 homes like this around the area and all have the original stone home that was build back in the early 1900's.  All of these homes are on the National Register of Historic Places in PA.  Each home had a flag in the front, like this one.

I would have posted more Images of the old homes, but they are all pretty much the same.  I'm thinking that the owners have to keep them looking as original as possible because of the History here.  I walked around the area for awhile wondering just what used to be here, besides what I see.  There is not much of what was once made in this area.  There are a number of Furnace's around my area.  Another one is the JoAnna Furnace that I've never got to go see.  It seems that Berks County was once a major producer of Iron back in the old day's.

Until the next time  .  .  .  thanks for reading & commenting.
Les

Friday, January 3, 2014

WELCOME TO 2014

Happy New Year to all my faithful followers!

Since my last post about a Problem Here, I've found out that there really are people out there reading what I have to say.  I've even gotten a few comments about it, so I don't foresee stopping my Blog anytime in the near future.  I really didn't want to stop doing it, but if it had gotten as bad as I thought, it was being considered.  So, that ended that.

The Holiday Season for us and all of you has ended now.  All the money, preparation, cooking, etc. is now over.  All of the lights that I had put up outside are now taken down and put away for another year.  The Tree is still up for right now, but will come down real soon.  On Christmas Day, my Wife made a real good Dinner for all the family that came over.  I even helped do some of the preparation, like peeling potatoes, helping do the dishes, and cutting the Ham.  Of course, there was lot's of wine and mixed drinks for everyone.  My stomach was full after all that food was consumed.  My Wife makes one of the best Macaroni Salads, in my opinion, and it was pretty much gone by the end of the meal. We even had food left over, so some "doggie bags" were in order.

This is what our home looked like over the Holiday Season, before I took it all down.

New Years Eve came and went without any kind of party or fanfare.  New Years for us is no real big deal.  We stayed home and enjoyed a nice quite evening without going out on the roads with all those other drivers that are out there.  We didn't even stay up and watch the ball drop in Times Square.  It's pretty much the same thing, only a year later.  New Years Day we had 7 people over for Pork & Sauerkraut that we do every year.  Again, I was stuffed silly and could hardly walk around from all the great stuff that my Wife makes for Dinner.  Helped her clean up after everyone left.  The House is now back in order and Life goes on.

Yesterday, we had a pretty good snow storm that left a good 5" of snow on the ground.  That plus the darn cold weather snap we are having made me not really want to go outside for anything, except what had to be done.  The temp. here was in the low 20's, with a wind chill in the single numbers!  I knew that I'd have to go outside and run the snow thrower to clear the drive way and sidewalks, but I was not looking forward to doing it.  It was blowing snow, windy, and to cold for me!  I did what had to be done, and quickly came inside to some heat.

Since, the cold weather has arrived I have been doing more with my new Scroll Saw to keep me busy.  This is the Train Set that I made out of scrap wood laying around, and using my imagination.  I have made a few other little things to try and get better doing this Craft.  I find it kinda fun to do.  You can make hundreds of different kinds of little things and toys that I have found out.  There are some parts of this craft that I'm not quite ready for yet, such as real intricate work.  This can get real touchy, and I don't have the Scroll Saw for doing that.  What I can do now, is more than enough for right now.  I've just finished making a Flower on a stand, so I'll post that one later.  I think that it's kinda cute!

Until the next time .  .  .  Thanks for reading and commenting.
Les

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A PROBLEM HERE

Hello there, to all my followers out there.  I'm still here, but have been noticing a problem here on my Blog the past few weeks.

For the longest time I have gotten a number of comments on what subject I post about.  I know that I have not posted much lately, but there is a reason for this.  My Stats show that people out there are reading what I post about, but there are no comments on my past few posts.  I'm finding that rather odd.  Out of the 50 followers that I have, I have gotten nothing and I'm wondering just why.  What am I doing wrong?  Is my page not allowing any comments?  Don't think that this is the problem.  I've checked it and found that everything is the way it should be.  I'm aware that I have not been snooping around Historical places in awhile, but that's because I have visited most everything around here.  I'm more than sure that you don't want to read about a place for the second time, unless something there has changed drastically.  I have also noticed that some of my followers are not Blogging any longer.  They stopped doing it, just like me, there for awhile.


So, if I keep Blogging and no one reads what I have to say or comments, I'm afraid that I'll just stop doing this all together.  If you find that you can't post a comment to let me know your out there, send me a e-mail and tell me so I can fix it, if I can.  My email address is Corker2@Gmail.com

Thanks very much.  Hope to hear from some of you.
Les

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SCROLL SAWING

Since I am retired now, I have decided to take up a new hobby.  Besides puttering around in my small wood shop, in the back patio, I've gotten interested in the Craft of running a Scroll Saw which I purchased over at Sears.  It is a Craftsman 16" Variable Speed Saw, and is pretty much a entry level saw.  Entry level means that it's not real expensive and does not have the reputation of being a heavy price, like others that are on the market.  I have always relied on Craftsman to make a good product, and so far, they have never failed me.  Most of my woodworking tools are all made by Craftsman, with the exception of my Drill Press.

Before I started using this, I did some reading on just how to get started in the Craft.  As I expected, it's not as easy as you might think.  The saw blade is very thin and is only 5 in. long.  It has teeth, just like a band saw, but much thinner.  You can change the speed of the saw, depending on what kind of material you are working with.  The table tilts to the left to a full 45 degrees just by loosening the red knob at the bottom of the table.  It will saw wood, plastic, aluminum, and steel.  The Red knob in the back is for blade tension.  Have the blade to tight and it will break . . . too loose and the blade will "walk" and then break.  You have to be careful and get to know what speeds are right for what material.


It also has a dust port located on the bottom, where all the dust collects for a shop vac.  Other than what I mentioned, the saw is fairly simple.  You just have to jump in there, and learn as you go along.  Being in the Machinist Trade for many years, I can pretty well figure out what speeds cut well with what materials.

So, with all that in mind, I jumped right in there and made a simple wood duck.  It came out good, but took me over an hour to saw it.  I'm starting out simple and work my way up as I get more experience.  Then, I made a Cross with a Heart on it.  Had to get some experience changing the blade to make cut-outs.  Was a bit frustrating at first, but the more I did it, the better I got.  Now, I'm just starting to saw a Ships Wheel, that will be more of a challenge.  This project will take allot more time.  Learning as I go along.

Until the next time  .  .  .  Thanks for reading & commenting
Les