Safe Harbor by Dave Hileman

This is another panorama shot - taken at Bass Harbor, Maine. The village of Bass Harbor is on the right side and the village of Bernard on the left side. A favorite lobster pound, Thurston's is in Bernard and an excellent harbor side restaurant in Bass Harbor, The Seafood Ketch. Both will show up in Eats! someday. 


What a State by Dave Hileman

The Barter Theatre is the official State Theatre of Virginia and is a very special place, a real treasure in Virginia. It opened in 1933 and is one of the very last professional year-round repertory theatres in the United States. The current building was extensively renovated in 1996 but was originally Sinking Springs Presbyterian Church built in 1833, is the second-oldest theatrical building in the United States and the oldest continuing theatre. It is worth the trip to watch a play in this venue and you have lots of super options for dinner, crafts, music and more in Abingdon. 


Box n' Bug (3 photos) by Dave Hileman

This is the end of the Ice Box Canyon trail near Las Vegas. The trail is about 2 miles long and ends at this rock wall with a series of three pools. I am at the second about 20 feet up the third was just past the light rock and the first near the floor of the canyon. The second photo is from the same spot looking back down the trail It was a neat place and I saw my first "in-the-wild tarantula. 


Bird Week VI: The Desert by Dave Hileman

We end our sixth bird week with this non-desert species found in the desert this day, once again at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. This is an male Northern Shoveler in breeding plumage. A striking bird. They feed by skimming water with their beak. 

"We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
'What amazing things the Lord has done for them.'
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!
Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert." Psalm 126:3,4 NLT


Bird Week VI: The Desert by Dave Hileman

This curious bird is another resident of the Henderson Bird Viewing Venue Preserve - see yesterday's post. He is called a Crissal Thrasher and is found in southern Nevada and the southern deserts of CA, AZ and NM. They are usually hard to spot, being secretive and preferring dense brush however, no one told this specimen. He was happily singing out in the walkway for several minutes. My first spotting of this bird. 


Bird Week VI: The Desert by Dave Hileman

Did you know quail are quick? These bids scooted everywhere at top speed. Here they are crossing the road (Why?) at the Henderson Water Treatment Plant just outside of Las Vegas - a spectacular location to watch birds. That my favorite reason to go to Las Vegas is a sewage treatment plant says things about me I would rather not think too hard about. These quail, by the way, are Gambrel Quail distinguished from the California Quail by the plain breast and the dark forehead. The birds were eating some sort of pink flower that grew on bushes along the edge of the ponds. Just in case you are wondering, the HWTP is set up for birders and is now renamed as the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. There is a small fee, to enter and you will find multiple ponds, boardwalks, blinds, and towers - and a lot of birds.


Bird Week VI The Desert by Dave Hileman

I really like this image it reminds me of a Japanese print. (Example) This Snowy Egret is a bird I have seen and largely ignored many times but at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge 90 miles north of Las Vegas I was surprised to see one. And that it was hanging out in a Cottonwood tree on the edge of Upper Lake was a treat. There are birds in the desert but when you find some water the birds multiply by a significant factor. This area just teemed with birds of all sorts.  


Bird Week VI The Desert by Dave Hileman

American Kestrel spotted west of Las Vegas in the Red Rock Canyon. Once known as the Sparrow Hawk it is really a small falcon. You can find them in all the lower 48 states and often sitting slightly askew on a pole wire. Very colorful birds. 


Aerie (4 photos) by Dave Hileman

Aerie is a high nest for a bird on a cliff or an elevated dwelling. It fits my work space. There is a loft in our townhouse that is essentially a third floor, a small third floor, and it is here that I have my office and process photos as well. It has great natural light and a nice open feel. I have my books, a reading lamp and chair, some storage, desk and computer etc all stashed up here. In the summer afternoons it is hot, don't like to work much past three or so - move to the laptop downstairs. In the winter it is a perfect and cozy space.

What I first shot was the photo of the table in front of the desk. I use it for the keyboard but I bought it for the Wacom Tablet. The tablet was a gift from Dennis Mook of The Wandering Lensman ( He replaced this one and passed it on to me. It is really nice and I am working through the learning curve but what a help. That is typical of Dennis, always sharing his vast knowledge of photography and anxious to help a fellow photographer improve. The times we have shot together have been so instructive. So, again, thanks Dennis. 


Green Shack by Dave Hileman

Shack seems to be the name that follows, lobster, for these place on the piers and docks around Maine. I am sure they are used for other gear and more. This neat green lobster shack is on a pier at low tide in Stonington, Maine on the south end of Deer Island which is at the end of the Blue Hill peninsula. A neat out of the way place. The area houses a large quarry and marble from here dots DC landscape including J. F. Kennedy's Memorial at Arlington. 


Back Roads by Dave Hileman

Traveling as I do across mostly North Carolina and Virginia to various churches allows - sometimes demands, back roads. There are churches in the most interesting places! I drove through a tiny hamlet in north central NC last week and came upon this old grocery / service center. It was called Grand Ole Opry Service Station and it is located in Grassy Creek, NC. Lots of stories over the years on that front porch and around the Coke cooler, I am sure. 


Another Station by Dave Hileman

I posted the station at Point of Rocks recently, (see below) today another station not still used for its original purpose. Built in 1930 by Souther Railway on the original Danville and Atlantic line it once had 6 or 7 trains a day carrying mined copper from the area. In the late 1800's after WWI Virgilina, VA, was a mining boom town. And kind of wild west lawless too. This station now houses Corvairs. In fact I counted 9 of them plus these two rare Corvair Greenbriars. You can see a red 65 in the freight bay being worked on if you look carefully just over the top of the Greenbrier. Not sure how much longer this will stand, there is no maintenance being done and it has deteriorated quite a lot since I first saw it about 15 years ago. 


Waiting by Dave Hileman

This is a unique train station at Point of Rocks, MD. It has a long history but is now part of the commuter train system taking people to and from DC. There is a massive parking lot that belies the size of the station. 


Just Wax by Dave Hileman

I saw these homemade tulips in a little craft shop and have no idea why but they seemed to make things happier. Perhaps because I envisioned young Amish kids making their contribution to the family livelihood.  Have a great Saturday.