Perrydell Farms~where the chocolate milk rules

My natural field science course had a field trip to Perrydell Farms Saturday and I not only was I educated, I picked up delicious chocolate milk and chocolate peanut butter ice cream too.

Perrydell farms is a third generation dairy farm that originally was not specialized. Tom, one of the owners, said in the beginning the farm had everything– chickens, pigs, cows and crops–but after World War II all the farms, including Perrydell began specializing. Tom thinks this is a downfall to farms and has begun building up farming crops and having other animals again. Except for pheasants, which fly away every time he releases them.

Here’s a little history about the farm from their website.

Perrydell Farm is a working and fully self sufficient dairy farm. We own 170 acres of land and also rent an additional 180 acres where we plant and harvest almost everything we need to feed our cows.

The farm was bought in 1923 by Howard Perry. His two sons, George and Roger eventually took over the farm and they had the foresight to start bottling their own milk in 1963. Because of this approach, the farm now supports four families from the milk of only 130 cows. This is quite an accomplishment in today’s farming economy.

The farm is now owned and operated by George’s sons, Tom, Greg, and Chip. Everyone in our family stays involved in the farm, since there is always work to be done. We consider this a blessing in disguise that always ensures our family will be together and close.

At Perrydell, they make white milk, chocolate milk, orange dream milk, strawberry milk, buttermilk, cream, ice cream and yogurt and sell it in their store along with other local farmer’s products. Tom said Rutter’s and Turkey Hill were really mad when they opened their farm store in the early 60′s because it shut down the huge companies milk delivery routes in the area. It wasn’t too long after his store opened, the two huge competitors began opening their own farm store. Tom’s family stuck to ONE…you know how Rutter’s and Turkey Hill’s went. The milk I bought on Saturday had been in a cow the morning before, Rutter’s and Turkey Hill can’t top that!

The farm is open to all visitors. You can go see the calves, check out the cows (they’re all girls–it’s a dairy farm), see them get milked and even trying milking them if you would like.

Great tour, I highly recommend checking out the farm. Tom and his son Ean were super nice. The products are fresh and delicious with no additives and no hormones used on the cows.

90 Indian Rock Dam Road • York, PA 17403


Hellgrammites Make My Skin Crawl

Pattie Crider

Natural Field Biology

Paper 3

April 5, 2014

Hellgrammites make my skin crawl

Fishing and camping was a huge activity of my family when I was a teenager. My father would drag my brother and me to the Conewago Creek with a hoe and a homemade bait catcher fashioned from two bamboo sticks and netting with holes about a quarter-inch square. My brother and I would each hold a stick and my dad using the hoe would lift the rocks  in the rapids loosing up anything underneath. I dreaded catching the black worm-like hellgrammites because they were just disgusting to look at and I was certain they would pinch me.

The hellgrammite (also spelled helgramite) is actually a fly, I’ve since learned, and is just as ugly in that cycle of life. It is called a Dobsonfly, is an insect, and its scientific name is Corydalus cornutus, part of the megalopteran family Corydalidae. Figure 1 is an example of an Eastern male and female Dobsonfly, note the size of the pinchers. The Dobsonfly is the largest nerve-winged insect in a family of over 220 species and most closely related to fishflies living in most of Eastern North America, east of the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. In the fly state they can grow as long as 5 inches from their pinchers to the tips of their four wings and have multi-segmented antennae emerging from the sides of their creepy heads. They fold their wings along their bodies when not in use. Both sexes have mandibles or pinchers but the males are so big (up to an inch) that they can’t hurt humans because they are unable to get any leverage. They’re not poisonous but they do give off a nasty stink. The female’s pinchers are smaller and like when in the larva stage, they can pinch and break human skin, just as I suspected as a teenager. They eat other insects found in fresh water such as May flies and caddis flies.

Not pretty

Not pretty

Dobsonflies live most of their lives, about 3 years, as larva and grow to about 2 to 3 inches long and are called hellgrammites at that time. (See figure 2) Along the sides of their body, they have two rows of nine breaking holes to breath outside of water and two sets of gills to breathe while in the water. If they aren’t eaten by the aquatic life (frogs, fish, and turtles) or caught as bait, they will crawl onto land around June and at night, sometimes traveling up to 100 feet and burrow into the ground. After about 2 weeks it will shed it black exoskeleton and transform into the dobsonfly, yellow in color with traces of brown. It only lasts for a week in this state in order to mate during the month of July when the weather is hot as insects seem to love. It remains nocturnal during this phase of its life. They lay eggs in a mass between 2,000 and 3,000 in leaves and vines near fresh-running water and when the egg masses dry they look like bird dropping. The eggs will all hatch at the same time and the larvae will crawl out and live for a day or two on dry land before entering the water.

Is your skin crawling too?

Is your skin crawling too?

The hellgrammite has been given many nicknames, some going back as far as the original Dutch settlers from New York. Some of the most popular nicknames are Alligator, angle dog, bloomer, hell driver, go-devils, grampus and crawlerbottoms. I personally called them fugly.

Works Cited

Hall, Donald. “Eastern Dobsonfly.” University of Florida Entomology & Nematology. July 2007. Last Updated Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2014

“The Helgramite.” Forest and Stream; A journal of Outdoor Life, Travel, Nature Study, Shooting, Fishing, Yachting (1873-1930) Jul 24 1890. 10. ProQuest. Web. 27. Mar.                   2014.

Amish Godmother Meet and Greet

Well I’ve seen it all now. For the sum of $53.74, you can “meet” Amish Esther and her brother John from Discovery Channel’s Amish Mafia. <—–Esther’s Facebook page <——link to her “event”

That blows my mind since I could have met the Godfather himself, Levi, for I think, just $10 or $15! And the money from his events are donated to charity!

Here’s a couple comments from Esther’s Facebook page concerning the fee for meeting her and John. I think this is a fundraising event for John’s attorney fees!

How to rake in the fan $$

How to rake in the fan $$

Yeah, gonna pass on spending $53.74. I’m sure you’ll be heart broken Esther.

I wanna meet Hot Ass Mary and Ass Kickin’ Wayne!


Ew….It’s chickenpox!

Pattie Crider

Natural Field History

Essay 2

March 15, 2014

Chickenpox Made Me Sick

When I was a young child my aunt called my mom to report my cousin had contracted the chickenpox and my mom, being an excellent mother, told my aunt to bring my cousin over and infect my brother and I so she could “get this virus out of the way.” There wasn’t an anti-virus back in the 70’s so my mom saw this as the opportunity to hit the milestone in a child’s life by having the chickenpox and never dealing with the virus again.

Chickenpox is the common term for this virus; its medical name is varicella. Varicella is caused by the single-cell, herpes virus, varicella-zoster. It is categorized with other viral rashes such as measles, German measles, fifth disease, mumps and roseola. Chickenpox can infect someone at any age but usually happens to children between the ages of 2 to 8 years old. I don’t recall being in school when I was intentionally infected so that put me around age 4 in 1974. Advancements in medicine have now made it that children can be vaccinated against the varicella virus and 90% of those who receive the vaccine never develop chickenpox, lucky them.

The cause of chickenpox can be due to a mother becoming infected while she is pregnant, though neonatal infection is rare. Usually, the virus is passed through the air and sometimes through direct contact of the ruptured lesions. The lesions (see fig. 1) are a rash that start as red bumps (papules) and fill with a clear liquid (blisters) and when they rupture, the virus is spread. They form a scab during the healing process (ulcer) and are no longer contagious. The incubation period lasts from about 14 to 17 days. The symptoms 24 hours prior to the rash appearing are a low-grade fever, headache, lack of appetite and generally feeling like crap. This virus affects males and females and can be contracted anywhere in the world and is most prevalent in temperate climates with more outbreaks recorded during late autumn, winter, and spring. This is because areas with temperate climates have more human to human interaction allowing the virus to more easily spread.



The varicella rash usually forms on the back and belly and works its way up to the neck and face, sometimes infecting the arms and legs and extremities. Occasionally it also infects the inside of the mouth, eyes and genitalia. Naturally, the lesions are itchy making it difficult to keep a child from tearing them open.  My mother clipped my nails back and coated me with calamine lotion so I looked like a pink-polka dotted leper. This wasn’t enough to stop me from scratching the lesions open and I have permanent side effects-scars on my forehead-from my tangle with this virus. (see fig. 2) Anti-itch medications can be administered and if an infection would occur from the open blisters, an antibiotic may be prescribed. The virus is not considered deadly and most people recover with little complications. The varicella virus may dangerous if an adult is infected and it is possibly linked to the onset of shingles in older adults who had been infected as a child.



There is some good news about this virus, once someone has been infected with chickenpox; it is rare it ever returns. The bad news is there can be long-term problems from this virus. The most common is damage to the central nervous system, this can include but is not limited to dizziness, tremors, altered speech, headaches, seizures, damaged nerves and the development of Reye’s syndrome, which can be deadly.




Works Cited

Longworth, David L. Handbook of Infectious Diseases. Springhouse Corporation. PA. 2001. Print.

Partners in Pediatrics. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Infectious diseases. Chickenpox.     Web. Accessed Mar. 11 2014.

Web MD. Skin problems and treatments. 2005. Web. Accessed Mar. 11 2014.

Mirkat: Before he got all Amish Mafia

Esther and Imir...before he got crazy with his fists.

Esther and Imir…before he got crazy with his fists.

Esther Schmucker may or may not be with her rapper man Mirkat. Mirkat is his stage name, his birth name is Imir R. Williams and he is originally from Lancaster. Before he made the break into rapping he was working as an expediter and server at Red Robin in Lancaster, but not for long, only about 3 months. I guess food service wasn’t his bag.

Red Robin...Yum

Red Robin…Yum

Esther would hang out, waiting for him to get off his shift, wearing her English clothes. Some people have said her clothes were more along the lines of stripper clothes, but I’m just reporting what I was told. That was back in the day though, before she got too big for her britches and Mirkat got a big head and decided to give Esther a beat down around Halloween. Things haven’t been so good since, at least not legally. 

Woman beater

Woman beater

Esther had to have some reconstructive surgery thanks to Mirkat taking a break from expediting food orders and rapping, and taking up woman beating. Everyone keeps asking why Esther looks different and by now I’m hoping it’s all become crystal clear. He seriously messed up her face and now she looks different…thinner in the face, capped teeth, you know, reconstructed.

Here's why

Here’s why

Now I’m not sure what’s going on with Mirkat and Esther. The program wants us to think that Levi (who has an English girlfriend) is there for Esther and is actually thinking they will get married in the future. I read on Esther’s Facebook page that she’s letting her hair down before she gets baptized and, I suppose, get’s real about being Amish. The local police report that Esther and Mirkat are living together and they’ve been called to the house several times since for domestic issues. Who really knows?! Esther says not to believe what the media says…I guess that means we should believe her.  Haaahahahaha! Now that IS funny. I also find it all hilarious that they’ve all blocked me on Facebook, even Levi. (Unless that’s Levi’s girlfriend who is administrator of his fan page. Boy, she would be surprised to know the things I know about Levi….he loves taking selfies!!!)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the third episode in this season. I don’t care if they all hate me for writing about them or their girlfriends/boyfriends. They’re all fair game once they put themselves on television. If you can’t take the heat, get off the Discovery Channel.

New Amish Mafia in 7 minutes!!


Can’t Get Enough? More Amish Mafia

Amish Mafia’s Esther and Mirkat living in anything but harmony

After vicious beating, Amish Mafia’s Esther and boyfriend living together; police called twice – LancasterOnline: Local News.

I don’t believe in blaming the victim but I already said once that this man isn’t going to change. I’ve been in this situation and know, no matter how many times they say they are sorry, they won’t do it, or say it, or scream it again, they will.

Esther you are blocking the wrong person, unless you only block me because you don’t want to read or hear the truth.

1. Amish Mafia is fake.

2. Mirkat is abusive.

Why would you go back with a man who beat the shit out of your face? Why would you set that kind of an example to your children?

Get away from him before you’re dead. That’s the advice I was given when I was in a bad relationship, and I TOOK it.


Chat Time with Esther Schmucker, or not

Today I was very excited to get to ask Esther why she blocks me on Twitter and Facebook.  Not just her mind you, she also orders her brothers, John and Freeman, to block my accounts. Sheesh, she does think she’s the boss!

The Discovery Channel had a chat session on the Amish Mafia Facebook page today at noon. I scrolled through, reading the burning viewer questions and finally typed in my personal burning question.

Here is a screen shot from the LIVE CHAT with ESTHER SCHMUCKER


Maybe I just have the worst timing ever, but the chat suddenly came to an abrupt halt. No sweet good byes, no tune in tonight to see the show, no I love you fans….she just stopped chatting, instantly.

Where’s the love Esther? And why you have to boss your brothers around? John and Freeman didn’t care if I believed there is an Amish Mafia or not. Hell, Discovery Channel doesn’t even care what I think.

I’m not affiliated with a mob of any type, but I am a huge Levi fan!


You like me? Can’t get enough Amish Mafia drama?

Click these links to read the results of my deeper delve into the Amish Mafia or click the tag cloud labeled Amish Mafia! Thanks for stopping by to read about my guilty pleasure!

Morality: What’s God Have to do with it?


God is NOT necessary for a moral standard

People in general tend to look to God for all the answers but in this day and age I firmly believe we need to look at our own families and friends to help instill morals. There is no scientific proof that morals are an inborn trait so that indicates morality must be taught to a child. God will have no hand in making someone moral or immoral; the only hand God has in all this morality is the judgment of the behavior of humans based on their actions.

In our textbook, Ganssle addresses two statements as facts: (87)

  1. Some geckos eat crickets.
  2. It is wrong to torture a cat to death just for fun.

He states in his opinion that both statements are true facts because the statements are moral facts, based on normativity or in simple words, what we ought to do (or not do)(89). Ganssle states the theory of individual relativism in which each human perceives what is moral or immoral individually (90) and this can vary between people. What is “wrong” in some people’s eyes may not be “wrong” to another person.  This is all based on individualism and not on God or how God created us. It is our culture and how we are raised, our cultural relativism, which instills our level of morals (93).

If God does not instill morals within humans at birth, where do humans learn moral conduct? Another source that seems likely would be through the educational system. God has been removed from the school grounds by the court system, placing the responsibility of teaching morality on the teachers. Charles Colson states in his article “Can We Be Good Without God?” “In education, the same kind of court-enforced secularism has been so successful that teachers may hand out condoms in school, but they are forbidden to display a copy of the Ten Commandments…students may indulge in any kind of activity in school, but they are forbidden to pray (464).” God has been removed from the educational system so the morality standards instilled in children are not religiously based. Colson quotes German professor of logic, Immanuel Kant, as stating that God is irrelevant, that he may exist but he is separate from the rest of life and that students are in fact “taught to have an inner capacity to do good rationally” (464), not basing their actions on God or the repercussions of breaking God’s commandments.

So what does this mean for humanity? Jack Miles offers this possibility in his book Does God Love? “Yes, the innocent do suffer and the wicked prosper. The world is immoral—in effect, ruled by a fiend (247).” Miles may be suggesting that God himself is the fiend, or that it is the devil that reared his ugly head, causing the world to be immoral. If that is the case then again, God cannot be necessary for morals if he or his polar opposite is actually the cause. In reality it does seem as those who are immoral do prosper over those who seek the higher road, showing pity and empathy towards humanity but keep in mind there are people who commit horrific crimes against others and still recognize their acts as immoral. It is the people in one’s life that instills what is right and what is wrong, not a god or the God, that people hold in their faith as a savior and judge of all humanity.



Works Cited

Colson, Charles W. “Can We Be Good Without God?”. Imprints. Feb. 16 1993. 463-466. Web. Accessed   Feb. 24 2014.

Ganssle, Gregory E. Thinking about God. Illinois: InterVarsity Press. 2004. Print.

Miles, Jack. God: A Biography. New York: Random House Publishing. 1995. Print.




Surprise Email Makes My Morning

Last Sunday my first ever column for the York Daily Record was published. It was one that was near and dear to my heart after spending so much time with the children living at a Christian run orphanage in India.  The link below is the article the newspaper printed.

Large’s leap of faith helps Indian orphans (column) – The York Daily Record.

Today I received this email which brought great joy to my heart. Many of you know I had an impromptu fundraiser on Facebook and through this blog while in India to raise money for kitchen supplies and to fix the boiler for the soy milk machine at the children’s home. Over $300 was raised while I was there purchasing kitchen supplies and as a special treat for the children, a cricket bat each for the boys and girls homes. Unfortunately the soy milk machine is still in need of a new boiler. This new boiler (a cost of about $1,500) is growing closer to reality by families like this. God bless them for their generosity. This email has further cemented my belief that this trip to India was intended by God for me to use my writing and public speaking abilities to help continue the work taking place in God’s name at HOINA, saving thousands of India children.

Dear Pattie,

Thank you!  Your witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Indian orphanage story was like a breath of fresh air.  I’m guessing there are/will be plenty of people who belittle you for your faith, but I applaud you and thank you for not being ashamed of being loyal to Jesus Christ.

I pray for and support many Christian ministries and have developed a set of personal criteria for deciding to whom I will send donations.  The primary criteria is that the organization truly is Christ centered.  Your article made that clear and direct.  I am thankful for that.  After reviewing the HOINA’s website and watching the video, I will be making a donation to this wonderful ministry!

As treasurer, I receive a small salary which I donate to various mission organizations.  It is my pleasure to donate my $425 February salary to HOINA.

Pattie, who knows how God will use your faithful testimony for Him.  The one thing I am sure of is that He will :-)  And how my heart rejoices that a class from York College lived on the HOINA campus.  I thank God for Professor Fyfe leadership to HOINA!

A Fellow Christian

God Bless this family for their generosity and support in my personal mission God has placed before me. If your church or organization would be interested in having me visit to speak about the amazing work Christianity is creating in India, please contact me at If you would like to make a donation directly to HOINA please visit their website at

Praise God for he does amazing things!


The Conifer~Blue Spruce

Pattie Crider
BIO 120
Conifer Paper
February 2, 2014

Not the tree from my parents yard...but a fine specimen of Blue Spruce.

Not the tree from my parents yard…but a fine specimen of Blue Spruce.

The Blue Spruce

The blue spruce is my favorite conifer because growing up my father had planted one just outside our home. From the time I was three years old until I was eighteen, I watched that blue spruce grow just as I was growing. The blue spruce out-grew me in no time. I was particularly drawn to this conifer because it had such a pretty shade of blue to its needles rather than the traditional green needles on all the other conifers in our yard. My father planted many species of conifers but none were as beautiful to me as the blue spruce. When my brother and I were young, we would crawl under the branches of the blue spruce during games of hide-n-go-seek collecting needle sap and spreading it among our friends during the game, much to the dislike of our mothers. Washing the pine tar off our skin was difficult, but getting it out of our clothing was even worse.

The blue spruce is in the Picea genus and the pungens species and also referred to as the Colorado spruce. This conifer is an ornamental tree and often used as a Christmas tree. The blue color comes from the waxes deposited on the surface of the needles. The Native American’s and early settlers used the blue spruce in many ways. The resin was made into chewing gum and the needles into a non-alcoholic beer. Medicines were made from the bark and resin. The roots of the trees were used as cords and the Indians would tied up their canoes.  It is not a fast growing conifer, but is hardy in the correct elements for it to flourish such as northern latitudes or high elevations where it is cool and humid and receives rain during the summer months. This tree’s natural range is in the Southern Rocky Mountains area, but has since been spread widely across the United States. The beauty of this tree caused people to transplant it in the eastern United States in the late 19th Century where it grows well with Douglas firs, poplar, maple and oak trees, just to name a few.

This specie of tree is not generally harvested for wood but when it is, it can be used in making expensive musical instruments and furniture. It grows to a height between 30 and 75 feet tall and can be as wide as 5 to 10 feet across the base. The massive size of this tree makes it valuable in pulp production for paper and in the past it was used to make World War II airplanes. The needles are less than 2 inches long and sharp. I recall my brother and I stopped hiding under the blue spruce in our yard after my father stop trimming the bottom limbs, less jaggy places to hide were sought. We did collect the cones that grew to about 4 inches off the tree and made yearly Christmas wreaths in December. Many species of animals such as squirrels, crossbills and nuthatches eat the cones of the blue spruce and countless type of birds, from sparrows to mourning doves, roost and nest on the spruce’s limbs, and deer will nibble on the bark.

gall-forming "pineapples"

gall-forming “pineapples”

The blue spruce is not considered an invasive species of conifer. It does fall victim to a fair share of pests. It is commonly attacked by gall-forming insects that form pineapple shaped masses at the tips of the branches. These insects won’t kill the spruce unless they it is heavily affected. Another pest is the budworm larvae that feed on the new buds and needles of the spruce. These larvae are very small yellow caterpillars that are difficult to see with the naked eye. I don’t recall ever seeing any caterpillars on our blue spruce but I do recall seeing the pineapple shapes at the end of the branches. I didn’t know what they were but I assumed they were some sort of bug. Other bugs that infest spruce trees are needle miners, aphids and mites. There are a few diseases that can have a negative effect on the growth of a blue spruce. The Cytrospora canker begins its attack on the lower branches and slowly works its way up to the higher branches causing the needles to turn brown and drop off. This disease sounds horrible and I’m glad it never infected our beautiful tree. To rid a spruce of this disease the infected branches must be cut off before it can spread to the top and kill the entire tree.

In my personal opinion, the blue spruce is the prettiest conifer, looks gorgeous when decorated with Christmas lights, and provides generous shade in the summer time. My father made a good choice when he chose to plant a blue spruce forty years ago beside our home as it blocked the wind, the rain and the sun year round.


Works Cited


Fechner, Gilbert H. “Picea pungens Engelm.” Web. Accessed 13 Feb. 2014

Gilman, Edward F.; Watson, Dennis G. (2011-05-01). “Picea pungens: Colorado     Spruce”. EDIS.  IFAS Extension Service: University of Florida. May 2011. Web.    Accessed 31 Jan. 2014.

Hanover, James W. Genetics of Blue Spruce. U.S. Department of Agriculture. University   of Michigan. 1975. Print.




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