Sampson State Park

As promised last night, I am writing and photographing a gorgeous park located on Seneca Lake. Seneca Lake is, like all of the Finger Lakes, a glacial lake. It is the largest Finger Lake, and the second deepest lake in the US. It is home of the best lake trout fishing as well and was named for the Seneca Nation of Indians.

Because of its great depth, Seneca Lake has been used for submarine testing.

The beautiful area that is now named Sampson State Park began as a Naval training base, then became an Air Force base. Now, the area is a New York State park with some of the most beautiful views! The park has over 200 sites for camping, a marina for boats, and a wonderful museum. It boggles my mind that such a strong military area would eventually become an area open to the public for their pleasure.

As one enters the park, this friendly sailor is there to greet you!

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Here is the plaque placed at his feet…

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This large “modernistic” sculpture of an eagle is amazing…at its base is a granite platform with etchings of various aircraft used during the parks tenure as an Air Force Base.

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Every turn one makes to the west, the lake is in full view. This has to be among  the prettiest parks in the state, and Seneca Lake is so very beautiful.  As one looks over across the lake, large farms come into view. These are some of the largest and most picturesque farms seen in New York State.  Also located around this lake are many micro-breweries, producing wines manufactured from grapes grown on the slopes surrounding the lake.

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Outdoor museums rock! This particular museum displays a collection of aircraft, guns, and memorials of those soldiers who gave their lives for their country.

As we drove through the park, we only saw a couple of cars. We know that within just a few weeks, this place will be once again hopping with campers, boaters, and sunbathers. But for now………….

doesn’t the park bench in this photo look like the finest place to just drink in the views and do some soul-searching?

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Happy Resurrection Sunday

He is risen, Jesus is risen from the dead! Hallelujah!

Today was a rather low-key day, as Mark awakened with his stomach feeling a little sore. At that point, I was glad I had not prepared a large meal for today. After some time, however, he thought his stomach was feeling a little better and  I was quite amazed as I saw him heading for the front door! Upon inquiring what, exactly, he had planned, he just said we were going for a ride.

The kids and I rounded up the Scotties, I grabbed  my camera, and off we went.  As we drove, Mark asked what I might like to do. I told him I had been wanting to go hunting for some time now.

So, hunting we did go!

Well, kind of……

A couple of years ago, we took a ride along Seneca Lake. I had heard about the white deer herd that lives at the now defunct Seneca Army Depot. As we drove past the fences, we spotted white deer.  These are not albino deer, but actual whitetail deer that are white in color.  They are amazing to see. I had been wanting to revisit the area for quite some time, so off we headed….

It was a beautiful drive and very relaxing. We stopped at McDonald’s for our Easter dinner….that chipolte wrap was certainly tasty!

I must apologize for the poor quality of these photos, but it was extremely hard to get up close enough to see these deer! They intermingle with typical (brown-colored) whitetail deer, but freak out when they see a human!

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I had to press hard against a chain-link fence to capture these photos. I only wish I had a longer lens or that the fence hadn’t been there!

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You can see in the photo below, it is easy to spot one of the “whites” as they really stand out against the stark winter colors!

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As I said previously, the deer show no favoritism regarding their own “kind”. I only wish the roles would have been reversed here…That white deer absolutely resolved not to show its face to the camera!

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You have no idea how disappointed I was that the last photo was so out of focus. If I could have had just one photo turn out well, this would have been the one. Ah well. I just gives me something to aspire to in the future!

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As we drove along the highway, looking for white deer, we did spot many whitetail deer of the brown variety, as well as wild turkeys.  We drove past cornfields (last year’s crop) with thousands of Canada Geese grazing for some kernels of corn.

If nothing else, it was so incredible to spot these deer. They are really unique and so beautiful!

Tomorrow, I shall post a little about a park we explored a bit, not too far from the depot…

Returning to Normal?

Today was one of those days that feels as though one is paddling as fast as is possible and going nowhere! I had all sorts of ideas…I planned to go out and take pictures, but, alas, t’was not to be.

I did make it to the recycling center! And, when I got out of bed today, I was surprised to find I had no stuffiness, no coughing, no signs of a cold! Well, this has to be a record, as I cannot recall ever having a cold that lasted all of about 48 hours. I certainly am not complaining…it is just kind of uncanny!

Ben had spent several hours in our (nightmarish) basement this past week. What took my breath away in assessment, Ben was able to tackle, sort, and even arrange. I must admit that when the Good Lord gave out organizational skills, I must have been asleep or absent. When I am confronted by dissimilar articles, I feel like running in the opposite direction….I am unsure if organization or paperwork is worse! By the time Ben had completed the cleaning, it was apparent we needed to visit the recycling center. What a great feeling it is to go to the basement and see everything neatly tucked away in its home….

The day somehow slipped away from me in the midst of cooking, baking, and doing dishes. As I saw the sun lowering into the western sky,  its last light was so warm and golden-colored. I decided to go outside and take at least a couple of photos!

Our temperatures here are rising to just above freezing. Much of the snow has melted, as the sun shining on it, along with the above freezing temperature, makes it slowly disappear.

Yesterday, when I took photos of our tiny stream, I approached it from the other side. When I discovered these beautiful ice formations on tree roots, I was so pleased to see and capture them before they melt away!

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Any of my readers who has been here awhile can remember the horrific ice we received last month. I had photographed a holly plant in front of the house, and it was totally encapsulated by an icy shroud of ice.  I am glad to say that most of that ice has melted away.

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It still does appear quite chilly, doesn’t it?

We are unsure what we will be doing tomorrow. Mark said today was the first day he has felt like he actually has some energy!  I had prepared stuffed chicken breasts, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and garlic mashed potatoes for dinner. Mark had small portions of each and now we will see if his digestive system has returned to the point that it can handle a larger variety of foods. I think it Mark needs to spend one more day eating bananas, rice, applesauce, or dry toast, he might scream!

Ode to Springtime?

Does anyone else besides me remember poems and verse commemorating the wonderful childhood activity of kite-flying on a windy March day? When I think back to those verses, I can close my eyes and see people on a hillside…the sun shining down and a kite swirling and gliding about in a sky of blue.

On this present March afternoon, I can only imagine a parent distressed and annoyed by their offspring sending the offender off with a kite, as the wayward child might not be found for a few days…and then, only in the next county!  Yes, it really is that windy.

This morning,  everyone was up and about early as our cable provider was sending out a serviceman because several of our channels just weren’t showing up.

The man who came has been here before and he worked for several minutes and was able to correct the problem.  Then he decided that he would do some work at the pole.  Egads!

Having been here in the summer or fall of last year, he had seen the massive nest a paper wasp community had built on one of the lines. As a matter of fact, the wasps attached their nest snugly to one of the components for the cable line! So, being a good guy, he decided he would knock the nest down now as the wasps were no longer “home”.

Ummm…..this line is a good 30 feet in the air. Add to that the “wind factor” which means that our road is more like a wind tunnel than anything! When winds kick up, it is always so much worse down by our road!

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This guy went above and beyond the call of duty. He worked for several minutes at the wasp nest until it finally fell to the ground! And when he was done, the shiny connector was once again visible!

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 Well, yeah, it did still have some “residue” on it, but wow…it is so nice not to see that huge appendage hangng off the lines! And the nest?

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Well, as much as those wasps drove me batty, I must admit that their nest was truly quite a work of art…The service guy redid some wires on the line and all of the missing channels suddenly showed up! I had always wondered if that wasp nest would somehow deter service or just disrupt it in some way.

As I wandered about outside, I couldn’t help but shiver in the cold winds surrounding me that felt like they were penetrating my very bones! It seemed rather astonishing (well, understandably to me, of course) that being outside would make me feel better! All of that oxygen in the air must have been just the ticket! I looked down at my shadow and smiled….you don’t appear to be sick….

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And as all things, good and bad, must come to an end, I ambled back to the house and inside once again.

But, you didn’t hink I would have gone straightaway to the house, did you? Of course I had to take just a couple of photos!

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The little stream in the front seems not bothered in the least by the weather or anything else.  It continues to bubble and gurgle happily on its way, oblivious to any adverse conditions that might trouble the human soul!

Solemnity in the Midst of Insanity

I have found myself quite drawn to the writings of Chris over in Scotland.  Her masterful use of language and wordsmithing leaves me feeling rather inadequate in my own expression….

Chris’s offerings for yesterday and today have left me feeling so keenly aware of the need of a Saviour, and also made me so much more introspective on my thoughts regarding the work of the cross.

If you get a minute to hop over to her blog, it is certainly a worthwhile read for those who will be celebrating the Risen Lord this Resurrection Sunday.

Welcome Spring 2008!

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No, you needn’t adjust your monitor, nor are your eyes *fuzzy*…it really is snowing!

Last night, Michelle had her Bible study. I took her and by the time we got home, I was shivering and shaking up a storm! I crawled into bed and fell asleep. It was not a restful sleep, as I awakened several times during the night way overheated.  I am not sure what my temperature was, but it was certainly elevated.  My biggest fear was that I was catching the horrible flu Mark had.

This morning, I got up before 6. I woke Michelle up to get kindling and wood to build a fire, as the fire was out by the time we got home last night, and I was in no condition to get one going. 

I crawled out of bed and went downstairs. Amazing asit is, I felt pretty good! Seems I have gotten only a cold. I hate colds, but considering the fury of the flu, I will take the cold instead!

The kids had a dental cleaning this afternoon, and I got my new crown on the tooth that had the root canal. It feels so good to have that tooth finally taken care of, as I think it broke last September! I was so glad I felt good enough not to cancel the appointment, as it takes forever to get another made.

The weather is cold, windy, and just terribly dreary! Something tells me everyone is going to be quite happy when spring finally DOES arrive!

I’m Not Proud

Since I consider that integrity is a vital part of my life, I decided to grant Terri a look at my disastrous St. Patty’s Day cake!

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Yes, it was a three layer cake and was supposed to be a checkerboard pattern. I have come to the conclusion that this poor cake suffered from a bad mix ( a very tasty recipe, actually) of icing.  As soon as Michelle iced the cake, it began to slide AND crack open at once! ‘Tis good we have a good sense of humor here or else!

The backside of the St. Patty’s disaster….

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Oh, and just for the record…this cake is delicious despite its appearance.

And now for another St. Patty’s disaster of an entirely different kind…

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my Scotties. And, every now and then, we like to do silly things with the Scotties! Soooo…we do funny things like putting green “boppers” on their heads to celebrate the green holiday.

This morning, Ben called to me from downstairs, a sense of urgency in his voice. I went downstairs to see this on the living room carpet.

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Please notice the missing piece to this puzzle…..

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Can you honesty say that dogs are “dumb”?  Poor little Murphy is making a statement loud and clear….he is Scottish, NOT Irish. Poor little fellow has had a complex ever since the day that Ben insisted we call the little lad Murphy!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

I think!

I had gone to bed last night, thinking about the order of business this morning. I had several tasks to accomplish for out family’s little celebration today.

That all came to a halt at about midnight.  I was awakened by Mark and he was feeling very badly….I stayed up with him until he was finally feeling a little better.  He had eaten a piece of pizza and that was a bad choice….we found out too late!

After Mark settled in for the rest of the night, I baked a cake and did some laundry, making sure he was going to be okay before going back to sleep. I finally padded off to bed at 4:30 and was awake again at 7.

I fed the Scotties and then took them outside. Murphy was on the trail of something, and feeling a bit irritable, I pulled back on his Flexi-leash. This is a leash made in Germany and is basically a plastic handle with a spring inside which allows the lead to go in and out.  The Scotties have about 16′ of leash when fully extended….well, I jerked on the leash and brought the plastic housing right up to my face, slamming the thing right into my mouth! I still have no idea how it happened, only that I was so tired, I felt as though I couldn’t see straight! (a few hours later, the kids told me about the bruise under my lip…I looked, and sure enough, I have a small bruise there!)

I went back into the house and made icing for my cake. Michelle iced the cake and the crazy thing slid apart in the refrigerator! At this point, I began to think the entire day was lost…

I called the doctor’s office and we were told Mark mustn’t eat anything with milk or anything with fiber until his stomach no longer felt that “churning” feeling.  The doctor advised the “BRAT” diet….bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. There went the plans for the corned beef and cabbage. At this point, that seemed a blessing, as I envisioned some other travesty….

The kids had their Reuben sandwiches, and those were a real hit. Mark drooled as he sat with his bowl of plain white rice and a banana!

This afternoon, I had to make a run to buy some supplies for the business. Although I felt nearly depleted of all energy, I knew that the fresh air would be so refreshing! This trip took me to the small town of Victor. I grabbed my camera, as there was a certain tribute there that I had tried to previously capture, but felt my photos were horrendous.

This small marker sits right at the busy four corners of Victor. It commemorates the life of Athasata, a Mohawk Indian chief,  who converted to Christianity, and helped explorers who passed through the area in 1687….he supposedly helped the De Nonville Expedition, fighting against other Indians who opposed them.

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The weather has really taken a toll on this monument, as the nose and chin are a bit crumbly. I’m not certain what the statue’s composition is, but it does need some restoration! I didn’t really pay attention when I took the second photo, but behind the statue is an old building that is unique to this particuar region. (so I am told)

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There are many houses built with this material….it looks as though they are formed from rows of small stones bonded together with concrete.

As I walked back to the Explorer, I passed by McGhan’s Pub. As is traditional, the place was abuzz with St. Patrick’s Day festivities.Although it was only about 3 pm, the place was hopping and they had up their expansive tent that is probably about the length of a city block!

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We weren’t able to celebrate as planned, but the kids and I have since giggled about the silly cake that is quite lopsided!  Michelle said being St. Patrick’s Day, the poor cake took in a bit too much at the pub….

Bellies filled and the day coming to a close, it ended up being a fine day despite the awful beginning. The sun shone and the skies were blue….a somewhat better-than-usual St Patrick’s Day!

A Quick Stop at the Fly-Thru?

Yup, there is nothing so tasty as a quick stop at the drive thru, or is that fly-thru? This is just a very small corner of the cornfield that made so much noise, I wonder how the farmer and his family can tolerate it!

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Just some food for thought….ever wonder just *how* those geese know where to stop for a little sustenance?