Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Great Lakes National Cemetary

This cemetary is near Holly, Michigan and was founded in 2005. It is mostly for veterans from Michigan. It was established because many of the other VA cemetaries in Michigan are getting full.

The sign at the front.

The VA seal.

This is called the Avenue of the Flags. Usually all of the masts are occupied which makes it a pretty impressive sight.

Another look of the flags.

The headstones. I love how precise everything is, it almost looks like a group of soldiers in formation.

Another shot.

For being new, there are getting to be quite a few graves here.

Another look at the line up.

Another angle of the stones.

Christmas Lights in Midland Michigan

I remember when I was growing up, my mom and dad would take me over to see the Christmas Lights display in Midland. It was always pretty cool. A couple weeks ago, we were driving by and saw them but I didn't have either my tripod or monopod with me. So Christmas Eve we decided to go over there.

They have a pretty cool manger display.

A closeup of that display.

A shot of the Midland courthouse from across the street. I'm going to have to go by this in the day time to get some better pictures.

Santa Claus.

The sign for Santa's House.

Santa's House.

A church across the street.

A wreath.

Another shot of the manger.

An angel.

This is a park near the courthouse. Behind the tree is the Tridge. Another thing I'll have to catch in the daytime.

Looking down the tridge.

I think the river is the Titabawasee.

An Amish Carriage

I kind of liked how this carriage was just standing near the barns. The black of the carriage contrasts pretty well with the white of the snow. The red of the barn added another color to everything.

A Barn

A Barn near Gladwin. Down the road from the corn stacks and the fence was this barn. I kind of liked it.

A Root Fence

This was kind of neat. It looks like someone lined the road with trees tipped over so their roots are showing.

I decided to shoot this one in black and white.

Some More Corn Stacks

My mom found some more corn stacks. These were closer to the road. Although I don't like the pictures so much because of the snow.

Some Sculptures

We were wandering around near Clare and Gladwin and we say these. Some sculptures made out of old tool parts.

The head of a T-Rex.

A suspended Christmas Tree.

A dude dangling from a crane (I actually liked this one).

A flower.

Another flower.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

To all my readers, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukah or whatever you celebrate. Thank you for following my blog.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Models - Naval Aviation

Yesterday, I took pictures of my planes at one office. Today, I took pictures of planes at the other. These planes are all Navy planes (or Marines) as I enjoy Naval Aviation more. I've got a pretty good representation of the Navy over the years.

This is the F4F Wildcat, the Naval fighter which the Navy started the war with. This particular model is a later war version of it with a more powerful engine. It wasn't a bad fighter but it wasn't as maneuverable as its opponents. It did have better armament and dive capability.

This is the F6F Hellcat, the successor to the Wildcat. It had a more powerful engine and was more maneuverable that its opponents. Also, when this plane came out American pilots were getting better training because the US would rotate pilots back home to train the fresh pilots. This is the plane that was made famous in the Marianas Great Turkey Shoot. It enjoyed a considerable kill ratio over its opponents.

This is the F4U Corsair (Naval designations during World War II were odd) which was mostly used by the Marines. It had the same engine as the Hellcat and could outfly its opponents. This plane had the distinctive gull wing design. It was made famous by the Black Sheep Squadron.

This is the SBD Dauntless, the plane made famous by the Battle of Midway. It was a slow dive bomber but pretty capable.

This is the TBM Avenger, a torpedo bomber. It was more useful against U-boats in the Atlantic, although it was pivotal in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

This is the F8F Bearcat. It came out towards the end of World War II so it didn't see alot of action. By the time the Korean War rolled around, jets pretty much took over. This plane mostly gets used on the race circuit because it's blindingly fast (for a prop plane).

This is the A-4 Skyhawk and is sometimes known as Heineman's Hot Rod (named after the designer). It was a very capable and maneuverable aircraft (it was used by the Blue Angels for a long time). This particular model is sporting the colors of the plane John McCain flew when he was shot down over Vietnam. This plane saw service through the 80's and continued as an Aggressor squadron plane.

This is the F-8 Crusader which also saw use over Vietnam. It was capable of going Supersonic. It's service ended shortly after Vietnam.

This is the F-4 Phantom II. It saw use from Vietnam all the way to Desert Storm. It was also used by the Air Force and many other countries in the world. It was designed in a time when it was thought the missile would reign supreme, so it originally didn't come with a gun. It had a pretty capable radar for the time and was coupled with the Sparrow missile which was radar guided and could engage targets out to 20 miles out (although they rarely did in Vietnam).

This is the A-6 Intruder, a very capable attack aircraft. It could carry lots of bombs and had considerable range. It saw use through Desert Storm mainly because it was a very capable all weather attack aircraft.

This is the A-7 Corsair.

This is my favorite plane the F-14 Tomcat. This particular plane is sporting the regalia of the Jolly Rogers made famous in the movie The Final Countdown. It's first flight was in 1972 and it applied the lessons from Vietnam. In the day, the F-14 had pretty capable radar and tracking capability. Coupled with the Phoenix missiles, it could track and engage up to 6 targets (which at the time was pretty impressive). The Phoenix Missile had a range over over 60 miles. This plane also had wings that could move forward for low speed flight and sweep back for high speed flight, making it pretty versatile but high maintenance. It saw service through the early 2000's.

Another F-14, this one from the Sundowners.

This is an F/A-18C Hornet. Note the circular intakes which means this is an older version of the Hornet.

This is an F/A-18 Super Hornet (note the more angular intakes).

This is the AV-8B Harrier. Originally developed by the British and adapted by the US Marines in the early 70's. It has the capability to take off vertically (although it rarely does). Normally it takes off in a short pattern for maximum capacity. When first used by the Marines there were a number of issues but they managed to sort them out. This one is a re-design with better visibility in the canopy and more powerful engines. It makes for a very capable aircraft.