Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Fireworks

I'm bringing in the new year with some fireworks, but not the kind that you might be thinking.

When I was in Mt Pleasant this year I expected to see a night time steam traction show (where steam tractors are run at night so you can watch the sparks fly from the smokestack.) To make the show more interesting they throw sawdust into the firebox so that you get plenty of embers in the exhaust.

I knew I wouldn't be dissapointed when I spotted the sawdust next to this Reeves engine, so after dark that night True Blue Sam and I grabbed my tripod and camera and headed back to the fairgrounds.

Four engines were puffing away gently, not causing much of a fuss. It was too dusty for me to use my flash without being blinded by the glare of the cloud settling over me, but a few time exposure shots caught the flashes from other cameras lighting up the Wood Brothers engine nicely.

The engines puffed quietly on while their fireboxes were loaded up with wood and sawdust, throwing up only thin plumes of sparks.

Then one of the steamers built up enough steam that the safety valved popped, sending a plume of steam forward over the top of the stack. As if on cue, all of the engines opened their throttles and the show began in earnest.

The towers of embers built and swirled and seemed to take on a life of their own. It was a sight that truly could not be forgotten!

Happy New Year!!


At 11:36 AM, Blogger Brigid said...


That last photo is amazing.

I blew my duck call, had a beer and was asleep by 10. But it was still a good New Years.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Engineering Johnson said...

Thanks! I went out for NY Eve, but I think I might opt for quieter options in the future.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger KurtP said...

That would be cool to see.
Happy new year!

At 3:02 PM, Blogger drjim said...

Reminds me of some of the tractor pulls I went to.
Only it wasn't embers from the wood used to stoke the was aluminum from the pistons!


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