Day in Philly

When the wild child and I took a few days and drove to New Jersey, the first day we were there the cousins had to work, so we took the train into Philadelphia for the day. We had no plan, just my camera and the desire to experience something new. So this is what we saw –

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There was a crazy long line, so this was taken through the window.

There was a crazy long line to see the Liberty Bell, so this was taken through the window.

Wild Child had me take a number of close-up shots of this. She is looking forward to putting her art skills to work with it.

Wild Child had me take a number of close-up shots of this. She is looking forward to putting her art skills to work with it.

The Irish Pub we had lunch at, ginger beer and sausage rolls!

The Irish Pub where we ate lunch, ginger beer and sausage rolls!

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But as the day progressed we saw this really cool building. One of my great loves is architecture, especially old architecture.philly_051414_5288x

There were these gorgeous arches, and yes beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But I see what it used to be, not necessarily what it is.

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Now you must keep in mind that we are across the street, and I have a telephoto lens. Because then we see the man sitting on the step. If you remember I was in NYC last November with my cousin from England (you can read about it here). She is fantastic at street portraiture, which is something very much outside my comfort zone. She even tried to get me to take a shot of some construction workers, but I chickened out. When I saw this man the emotion struck me so much I just had to take the pictures. I posted these on Facebook for my cousin too, crediting her as my inspiration which she truly was. I never would have taken them if it weren’t for her (and the wild child reminding me).

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The rest of the day was full of history, Reading Market, and Chinatown. But the unknown story of this man, “Homeless and Alone” will stay with us for a very long time. philly_051414_5303x

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Glass in America

While the wild child and I were recently visiting our cousins in New Jersey we went to Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. It was an experience I really enjoyed on a number of levels. Obviously because of all the beautiful glass in the stores which I would have loved to have brought home. We also got to see a demonstration on glass blowing, and pottery. But something that was really intriguing to me was the museum.

Last year I was doing major research on Hubby’s family tree. His great-grandfather came over from Germany to Ford City, Pennsylvania with his father to work in the glass factory that was being built there. As you would expect, I was focused mostly on the family history. But while touring the museum I learned a lot about the history of glass factories in America. The why, how, and the complicated politics of it. It was all very eye-opening in many ways. But of course, the best part was taking the pictures –

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glass_blowing_5384xglass_blowing_5386xglass_blowing_5391xglass_blowing_5394xglass_blowing_5397xglass_blowing_5398xglass_blowing_5400xHe made a blue bowl like the yellow one in the front of this bottom picture. If you don’t know, you can click on the pictures and see a bigger version of them 🙂

A Robin’s Nest Outside My Window

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On Facebook I have been keeping a running tab on a robin’s nest outside my window. The Wild Child and I went on a road trip this last week, so rather than bombard Facebook with the ending story, I decided to do it here. But for those not on Facebook, let me recap.

In early April a Mama Robin set up housekeeping in the basketball hoop outside my home office window.  We watched, and waited and then we saw the Papa.robins_nest_4749_med

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And then one baby, another, and we had four!

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We watched the Mama and Papa take care of the babies.

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In some pretty wet weather too.

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But then the day came when the wild child and I had to leave on our trip. I took one last picture out of my window. You can just see the beak of baby #4 peeking out of the nest. But I was really afraid that this would be the last I would see of our baby robins.

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I left my old camera with Hubby and the Youngest to try and catch some shots of the babies leaving the nest, and we set off on our trip. They got some beautiful shots too!

robins_nest_1984xThe nest was sure getting crowded! Then the morning came when 2 were gone.

robins_nest_1986xThe next day there was only one left . . .

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And then there were none –

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A few days later we get home. Hubby is sad to report that the nest is empty and all the birds are gone. But he does have all the wonderful pictures for us to see. We are thrilled, but sad to have missed it all.

But wait . . . this morning I get up to see Hubby getting the camera and heading for the kitchen window. What do we see in the driveway, but the whole family! Mama, Papa, and four baby birds!

Mom telling it like it is.

Mom telling it like it is.

Dad and son having a serious man-to-man talk.

Dad and son having a serious man-to-man talk.

Chow time!

Chow time!

On the perch.

On the perch.

Not the best pictures, as taken through a dirty window with the old camera. But you get the fun of it. Our little family of robins are growing up in our front yard.  Pretty cool if you ask me 🙂