31 October 2015

Pipeline Pig

Part of the routine maintenance of natural gas pipelines is to remove water, scale and rust from the pipeline using a device called a "pig". The pipeline operations crew was on our property this week to "launch a pig" in the 24 inch gathering pipeline.

To launch a pig, the reddish cylindrical object in the left of the photo, they need to close valves and bleed off the 900 PSI gas pressure in the launcher section. When the bleed valves are opened, as shown in the photo, it sounds like a jet engine at takeoff.

Once the excess pressure in the launch section is removed, the access door can be opened and the pipeline pig inserted. After the pig is positioned in the launch section, the door is closed/latched and valves opened to pressurize the launch section and push the pig downstream in the pipeline. As the pig is pushed through the pipeline it will form sealed plug in the pipeline and push the water ahead of it to the next valve in the pipeline where the pig and water is trapped and removed.

26 October 2015

Fall Turkeys

It's less than a week from the start of the Pennsylvania Fall Turkeys season. This small flock of turkeys enjoys the warm weather and a meal.

Lunch time is over and it's time to find a place to hide during turkey season.

24 October 2015

Signs of Fall

The Autumn leaves are turning red, yellow and orange, and geese are swimming on Miner's Pond ... Fall is here.

21 October 2015

Marbled Orbweaver Spider

People with arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, can in some cases have reactions triggered by just the image of a spider. To view my images of a Marbled Orbweaver Spider just click on the clip art spider.

With the cold weather moving into our neighborhood, I started doing some fall chores to prepare for winter. The hummingbirds have headed south so it was time to take down the hummingbird feeder. As I turned the feeder over to drain it, I found this orange Marbled Orbweaver Spider (Araneus marmoreus).

A view of the spider showing its 8 eyes and one of its black fangs.

After taking lots of photos, I released it on the wall in front of the barn.

19 October 2015

Snow !!!

The September weather was one of the warmest on record and now I think October is trying to balance out the average with some cold weather. I saw one or two dozen snow flakes yesterday, and a few bigger flakes today.

As the afternoon progressed the snow flakes started to come down in greater numbers and we had a near "white-out".

The ground is still too warm for the snow to stick, but it did coat our deck for a while.

06 October 2015

Wildflower - Blue Wood Aster

The cooler temperatures of fall are here and a few of the wildflowers are still in bloom, such as the Blue Wood Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium). Some of our fields are covered with a blue carpet of these wildflowers.

The flowers bloom with a yellow center that turns reddish as the flower matures.

Insects, like this Virginia Ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica) moth, are attracted to the small flowers as a source of food since many of the summer wildflower are now gone.