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A pair of pileated woodpeckers pecking an ash tree

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One day last month I was sitting in my dining room helping one of my kids with schoolwork, when I happened to hear what sounded like a woodpecker pecking. I glanced out the window of the dining room and saw a pileated woodpecker couple perched on opposite sides of an ash tree at the edge of the forest behind my house.  A male (left) and female (right) pileated woodpecker pair, perched on a dying ash tree. According to Cornell University's All About Birds website , pileated woodpecker pairs stay together year-round, and are territorial, except for in the winter. During the winter they will share their territory with other woodpeckers. I've seen these two flying around at the edge of my forest but didn't realize that I was most likely seeing the same two birds each time. A female pileated woodpecker pecking on a dying ash tree. The male and female pileated woodpeckers are similar in size. The easiest way to differentiate between a male and female pileated woodpecker is the re

AMTK 704 leading Empire Service Train P284

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AMTK 704 leads train P284 east at MP QC298. On a dreary, rainy day, AMTK 704 leads Empire Service Train 284 east on Track 2 of the Rochester Subdivision, at milepost (MP) QC298. The train is nearing the Pottery Road crossing, which is at MP QC297.76. The block signals in the distance are the intermediary automatic block signals between CP296 and CP300 . Out of sight, and just behind AMTK 704, is the old New York Central MP 298 marker. Photograph taken on November 18, 2021, near Warners, New York.

Q626 working at CSX's DeWitt Yard, plus intermodal I004-07

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Earlier this month I was over at the "Green Bridge" (a pedestrian bridge) on the eastern edge of CSX's DeWitt Yard. While there, I caught CSX train Q626-07, led by CSXT 5447, working at the yard. While Q626-07 was working the yard, intermodal train I004-07 (formerly train Q004) came through on the Syracuse Terminal Subdivision. CSXT 5447 leading Q626-07 at DeWitt Yard Q626 is a daily manifest freight train that runs from Frontier Yard, in Buffalo, New York, to Selkirk Yard, in Selkirk, New York. Q626 makes stops at Goodman Yard in Rochester, New York, Waste Management in Fairport, New York, DeWitt Yard, in East Syracuse, New York, and Utica, New York. CSXT 5447 leading Q626-07 at DeWitt Yard. When I got up to the top of the Green Bridge, CSXT 5447 was pulling a string of rail cars from the yard tracks on the north side of the yard, that are along North Central Avenue. The train moved east, and after passing the Green Bridge it continued down Track 4 of the Syracuse Termi

Waxing Crescent Moon and the planet Saturn

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The Moon and the Planet Saturn in the southern sky, above Syracuse, NY. This post continues my Moon and and tiny-spot planet series .  On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 7 PM, the Moon and the planet Saturn could were close to each other in the southern sky above Syracuse, NY . While the planet Saturn is a white dot in the photograph, it was still interesting to see it and the Moon together.  The Moon was in its Waxing Crescent Phase on this night, and at the time of the photograph, had an illumination of 44.3%. The distance of the Moon from Earth was 376,416 km, while Saturn was 1,507.06 million km from Earth.   Photograph taken on November 10, 2021, from Syracuse, New York.

CSXT 948 leads I162-06 at DeWitt Yard

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A few Sundays back, I was over at the "Green Bridge" in Minoa, New York, doing a bit of train watching.  The "Green Bridge" is a pedestrian overpass that crosses the eastern side of CSX's DeWitt Yard. While there, I caught CSXT 948 leading intermodal train I162-06. CSXT 948 and intermodal train I162 CSXT 948 on the point of Q162-06 approaching CP282, near the Green Bridge. I162, previously named Q162 , is a daily intermodal train that runs from North Baltimore, Ohio, to Port Newark, New Jersey. The train works a number of intermodal terminals during its trip, including DeWitt Yard. Above, I162 is slowly approaching control point (CP) 282 (MP QC282.5), at the Green Bridge. The block signal is for Track 1 of the Syracuse Terminal Subdivision, which can be partially see in the below photograph. I162-06 was coming through CP282 from the yard lead to Track 1.  Intermodal cars on I162-06 at CP282. Even with the front of the train now well beyond CP282, I162-06 stretch

All images/photographs are copyrighted © by Tom Gatermann. All rights reserved.