Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday's Foto! Railroad Signal at Dusk

"Railroad Signal at Dusk"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Sitting by the railroad tracks at one of my favorite locations to watch trains go by, I captured the awesomeness of the "Railroad Signal at Dusk."

Prints and other products can be found in my Railroad Gallery.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Railroads and Photography

"CSX in Marmet, WV"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
A different post for me to write and share with you, however, after seeing some antics near the local train station where I volunteer and while watching trains, I decided to share this information with you.

As a photographer specializing in dogs, cats, gardens, and horses, my clients are never near the railroad tracks.  The noise would be way too much for the animals. However, I am a huge railfan. I enjoy sitting in "legal" locations watching the trains go by.  Sometimes I photograph and video them for my use and maybe clients.  However, I never trespass on railroad property to get a photograph of a train or the railroad tracks or anything related to the area where the tracks are.  Not only is it dangerous, it could be fatal.

A few weeks ago, I saw a man stop his car on the railroad tracks to photograph.  He left his car on the tracks while he got out to photograph.  I was floored.  I thought "really?" I couldn't believe what I was seeing. While I am not sure his thinking for this, his activity was illegal and very dangerous.
Used by Permission, Operation Lifesaver

Not too long after, there was a man walking his dog on the railroad tracks.  To me, it was a case of cruelty and unconcern for his dog, much less himself.  He was too far up the tracks to say anything and in a location not easily accessible.

Have you ever taken a good look at railroad tracks? You can find photographs everywhere online to do this. If you look at the railroads tracks and the beds they are on, there are numerous places where an accident could happen if you were surprised by an oncoming train or, worse, misjudge its speed.  The rail, the ties, the spikes, the rocks, just to name a few can cause problems when you are in a hurry. Or, maybe not in a hurry but you trip on something.

As photographers, we must obey the laws. Not only to protect ourselves but our clients, future clients, and anyone who will see our photographs. Since many photographers get their ideas from other photographers work, we must set the standaard of NOT shooting on the tracks or railroad property.

I have taken an extra step in my railroad photography.  If I photograph something which looks like I was on the tracks to capture it, I include the statement, "Photographer NOT on Tracks" as you would see on a photo of a Thoroughbred on my Instragram-from the Dog's Paw.

After the incidents, I found information about photography and railroads at Operation Lifesaver and am sharing some tips from them-

As Photographers, we must follow these safety tips-
  • Trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
  • An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train's distance from you - and its speed. 
  • The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and rights-of-way are private property.
  • No tracks should be assumed to be abandoned or inactive.
  • People mimic your behavior when they see your photos on the web and social media.
"CSX Coal Train in Marmet, WV"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"I have said these things to you,
that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart; I have overcome the world."

- John 16:33, ESV

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Whoever confesses
that Jesus is the Son of God,
God abides in him,
and he in God."

- 1 John 4:15, ESV

The truest blessing in this life is following Jesus Christ and being a Son of God. My life has been one of contentment and happiness while going through many life's events. 

As I've gone through life, I've noticed everything seems to get more complicated and complex. However, God's Gift of Salvation to us never changes and it's probably one of the simplest things we can do, no complicated complex secret code which only the brightest and smartest can figure. 

We simply Admit, Believe, and Confess, A-B-C- as illustrated in the following graphic- 

(C) Allen Pearson
If you would like to learn more, please visit Peace With God

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Planning to Create A Wildlife Garden

"American Robin Looking for Worms!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Now is the time to finish up the sketches and plans for your wildlife garden. You’ll want to break ground as soon as possible whether you do the work or hire someone.

A wildlife garden is a different than others because it will have a more natural design and is very beautiful in the native landscape.Where other gardens tend to have a specific design where plants will go, the wildlife garden allows a more natural flow to it.  Think about those walks in the woods or trips to the mountains, God didn’t place plants in a 1-2-3 order- think how boring that would be- and He knew it would be!

Research local Botanical gardens and go visit one or two.  Take a long leisurely stroll around to learn what you would like in your backyard.  I went to Green Spring Park in Alexandria, VA and to a local park when I could get back to nature and lean what I like about what I saw!  In one wildlife garden I created, I had a dry stream bed to help with drainage with a wooden bridge crossing over it.

When you look at the space in your yard where you be creating the wildlife garden, you need to consider many factors:

  • Wildlife- what type of wildlife are you likely to see in your yard looking for food and water?  Do you want to feed a specific species like birds and butterflies or do you want to feed every critter which comes by? 
  • Keep in mind, if you have children, you might not want to create a garden which could attract skunks or possiums or snakes.  My yard is next to a few where snakes reside so I don’t create rock piles which could cause them to nest and too much excitement for my heart. 
  • Remember, some species of wildlife will come back to your yard repeatedly for food.  If you do not want them to start, do not start feeding them. 

  • What type of garden area would you to create?  Do you want to have a meadow of wildflowers, a pond, a dry stream bed or a mix of them all.  
  • Do you want to incorporate trees and leaves like you’d see along a trail in the woods in your garden?
  • How much space do you have to use from a wildlife garden?  Can you fit all your favorite items in it or do you need to par it down?

As I love nature, enjoy being in the outdoors as much as I possibly can and love hiking through the woods, I decided to create a wildlife garden.  This one is my third and will be the best of what I learned from the other three.

"Wildlife Garden"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson
"Therefore do not be anxious 
about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be 
anxious for itself.
Sufficient for the day
is its own trouble."

- Matthew 6:34, ESV

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Billy Graham preaches the Gospel
during his Crusade in
Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 22-26, 1993"

(C) Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Used by Permission

Do You Need to Repent

Jesus told the truth about repentance. He said, “Unless you repent, you will perish” (Cf. Luke 13:3).

Have you repented? Repentance means change. I change my mind about God, about myself, about my fellow man. I change my way of living. But on my own I don’t have strength to change. I can’t change. I can’t become a Christian. Why? Because I’m “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

God has to help me change. He has to help me repent. And I have to say, “O God, help me to repent.” Not only do we have to repent, but by faith we must receive Christ into our hearts as Savior and Lord.

Dear Lord, please show me anything for which I need to repent. I want to be fully surrendered to You as I trust You entirely. Please show me how to do that. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

To learn more about God's Plan of Salvation and repentance, please visit Peace With God!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away."

- Matthew 24:35, ESV

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson
"But, as it is written, 
'What no eye has seen, 
nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, 
what God has prepared for those who love him' "

 - 1 Corinthians 2:9, ESV

A place I look forward to seeing. Heaven. I cannot imagine what it will be like as the Bible says it's beyond our comprehension or imagination.  Too incredibly awesome to explain. In some of my "daydreams," I've wondered what about it though. Having quite a creative imagination, I've dreamed God has created, a camping tent next to a lake with a mountain view and a forest surrounding it.  All the animals and critters God ever created will be all around me for my enjoyment. This would be heaven for me- and, I like to think that's what God will create for me.
Now, Jesus and Worshipping Him forever will be what I am looking forward to the most. I dream of a Worship Service much like those I experienced as a child at Virginia Campmeeting many years ago- only it will be much better- which is even hard for me to imagine as those services were beyond awesome back then.

Though heaven, and what it will be like isn't why I've served God over the years, it's because I've wanted to serve Him. I was introduced to Christ as a very young child.  I accepted Him as my Savior and have believed in Him since that early age.

Throughout my life, I've had God's Presence taking care of me throughout many situations- many that I didn't even realize He was there.  He has guided my steps, ordered my life in a way that I could never have done myself and been as happy and content as I am.  He has always taken care of all my needs. Note "needs" not wants as there's a huge difference.

If you are searching for happiness and contentment for your life, follow Jesus. Follow God. And don't look back.  If you would like to follow Jesus, please do the following-  

Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we  confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," 
-Romans 3:23-24, ESV

"(23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23, ESV

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

(16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16, ESV 

Confess your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

(9) "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "
- Romans 10:9, ESV

(13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
   -Romans 10:13, ESV

"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation 
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
 for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."


If you would like to learn more, please visit Peace With God.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday's Word

(C) Allen Pearson
"But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses
us from all sin."

- 1 John 1:7 ESV

Monday, March 6, 2017

Timeless Thursday! Nature's Fire?

"Nature's Fire at Walney"(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
A few Spring seasons ago, I was walking around the Walney Nature Center in Centreville, VA.  It was a cold Spring morning and I had to get out to see what I could find to photograph in the natural world.

When I turned around the building to head out to my car, I saw what looked like a stone wall on fire.  The incredibly beautiful Forsythia was in bloom showing off its brilliant color!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson

"The end of the matter; 
all has been heard.
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man."

- Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV