Walkin’ the Scots

Early this morning when I got up, I took the Scottie boys out to do their duties and as we were walking back to the house, Angus suddenly stood erect….tail straight in the air. As I followed his glance, I giggled in delight….he was actually ready to attack a small plastic bag that had blown into a small sapling. I didn’t have the camera with me, but it was a funny sight seeing the lad in his defensive mode. Angus is truly our Braveheart. Murphy is only there for support if need be…

This afternoon when I took the boys out, I did grab the camera because I know that they never disappoint me! Walking the two Scotties on their Flexi-leads while managing a camera as well as a cell phone is quite the trick! As one Scottie heads one way and the other the opposite around a tree, I suddenly become a puppeteer, tugging a bit on one lead, locking it in place, while gently persuading the other stubborn little body to follow where I want him to go! Rather humorous.

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Angus surveys a hole in the stump while Murphy stands behind….

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Angus thinks he smells a squirrel in the tree!

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Surely a squirrel or chipmunk has been sitting upon this stump! (notice what an avid hunter Murphy is….hum de dum de dum!)

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This photo is truly a “capture” as I cannot imagine how I even got it! Angus convinced Murphy to stick his blockhead into the tree….while he looked upward! Okay, so how does Angus know that squirrels live up in trees?

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Well, I got my photos, so it is time to head back to the house. Just follow the bouncing Scottie waddies!

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Shortly after hitting the lawn, Angus decided to sit down in the grass for a bit.

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Inside the house, it is time to de-leaf Murphy. Look at the oak leaves he brought home with him! 

 Ah yes, never dull moment here in the Bristolwood!

Scenes from Vine Valley

 These are pictures I took as I drove to Vine Valley on Monday evening. Mark thinks this first photo looks “eerie”, but to me, I thought it speaks volumes of the Majesty of God and the beauty of His creation! When I was a youngster, my mom told me that when the sun streaks down through the clouds like it does in this picture, it is God gathering up souls to Heaven.

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I did say that the road leading to Vine Valley was rather winding….

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Ya think? (might be better rephrased “deadly end”!)

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I really liked the way this one turned out of two fishermen on the lake…

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I parked the truck near a garage that had a For Sale sign in front of it.  This was along the road and perched up high above the lake. I really like the way the pines and the boat trailer (in the foreground) add just a little “rustic” feel to this photo.

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This little community doesn’t have stores or anything like that, but it is just such a pretty little place to visit….almost magical!

A Wee Adventure…

Last evening, the kids went to the youth group that they have been attending lately.  I dropped them off and then decided to remain in the area instead of running to Canandaigua.  Mark stayed home, as he had been out earlier in the day and needed to rest a little.

I decided since no one was with me to distract me or whine about my activities, I would try out a little comparison.

I drove three more miles to the little community called Vine Valley.  Vine Valley is nestled into a valley (of course) with a long road that snakes its way back and forth. The scenery is beautiful, particularly this time of the year when grass seems almost to emit an unnatural green “glow”. I must admit that it was hard to drive along this quiet country road as I wanted to stop every few feet and photograph everything!

The first two photos are taken of the welcome sign:

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And the next two photos are of the beautiful and picturesque little Vine Valley Church.

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I am going to allow you to take a look at these photos and give me your guess as to which photos were taken with the Nikon D-SLR (D-80) and which were taken with the (less than $300) Panasonic DMC-TZ5.  The photos were taken one after the other and I tried to keep them as close as I could to one another.

I must admit that I am pretty happy with the performance of the little point-and-shoot camera that is much less weighty than the heavier Nikon. Believe me, the Panasonic will not dismiss my Nikon, as I love that camera so much, but I can think of many applications where the Panasonic will certainly allow me the freedom to take some photos where the heavy camera bag of the Nikon would be prohibitive.

Angus’s Anguish and Lunchtime Serenade!

The family was up and out early this morning as my mother-in-law had an appointment with the doctor. Mark always goes with his mom as she sometimes gets very nervous about doctor visits. She doesn’t care to drive on the expressways, so Mark takes her and the kids and I wait in the truck while they are inside.

 While Mark and his mom were getting back into the truck after the appointment, she commented that the truck needed a washing! She told us to take it to the car-wash and she would treat. So, Mark pulled into the car-wash and Angus jumped up to observe what was going on.

When the fellow used the high-powered nozzle to spray down the side of the truck, poor little Angus stiffened up like a board… the hair on his back bristled straight in the air! He watched in agony as the truck began its journey through the various mechanisms involved in car-washes!

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If a Scottie can grimace, I think Angus was grimacing as he saw the big blue fabric strips swipe across the windshield. Thankfully, Mark held him in his arm and Angus took some solace in Mark’s touch!

We dropped Mark’s mom back at her house, then began to head home. Mark and Ben and I were hungry, so Mark asked what I would like to eat. I mentioned Popeye’s Chicken, and he and Ben both agreed it would be good.

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We pulled through the drive-through and looked at the menu for some time.  As we were sitting there, I wondered if they were playing a recording of bird songs. The rest of the family are generally oblivious to  sounds of nature….and even sights much of the time. Yes, I am one of those weird people who actually stops to smell (all of the) roses!

A woman’s voice broke in abruptly, wanting to take our order. Mark inquired about pricing, then ordered.  As the conversation took place, I was surprised when the bird sounds just continued. Ah well….

We pulled to the front of the store after receiving our order and rolled the windows down to enjoy the beautiful weather. As we sat, I could hear the bird sounds once again, this time quite loudly. I looked out the window and surprise, surprise!

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This Mockingbird was sitting just a few feet away from us, entertaining us with many different “voices”. I heard the cawing of a crow, the chirps of a chickadee, a robin singing cheerfully, and even the shrieks of a seagull! There were many other birds I wasn’t sure about, but this little mimic was as delightful as could be!

When we got home, I looked up the mockingbird in my Birds of North America handbook and was amazed as I read that a mockingbird recorded in Massachusetts actually produced the sounds of 36 different birds!

Who could have ordered a more delightful little lunchtime companion! Of course, the family will recover from my “weird” fascination. They always do, after all!

How About Some Color!

It  might just be the Ukrainian blood in my veins, or perhaps I just like color! Anyway, I *finally* found some cool colors at (of all places!) the store!

So, even if these aren’t in “my” garden, please enjoy them!

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A comment on the next photo…I know it is out of focus….consider it as my version of creative license!

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Turn Down the Heat!

Yesterday morning, Mark and I went to visit the neighbors as soon as he (Mark) got up.  It was still morning, and as the time progressed, so did the temperatures! I am not, not, SO not a “summer” person. When the temperatures soar, so does my (great) discomfort. 

Within just a few short hours, I was beginning to feel as though my blood was”boiling” and I became desperate to find some sort of distraction to appease my now less-than-cheerful disposition.

So, I called on my faithful little companion. Murphy, come on out from under the couch!

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I guess Murphy’s look says it all. I don’t think he was any more impressed with our summer-like weather than I! But, being such a faithful little man, he followed me downstairs and patiently waited as I leashed him.

We set off into the woods….just Murphy and me…looking to see what we might find. It seems the more we sought something interesting, the more difficult it became!

The only bright color found on our walk was moss!

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There sure was a thick carpet of leaves, though, and my, oh my, how they all stuck to Murphy’s undercarriage!

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I saw a few birds, but nothing out of the ordinary. There was evidence here and there of woodpecker activities!

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Whatever possessed me to think we would be cooler walking about in a  woods with no foliage is beyond me. As I said, I was looking more for distraction. Little faithful Murphy looked almost as uncomfortable as I!

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We found a pine tree way in the back of the woods, so we sat down and rested….we both needed to cool off before continuing our walk.

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Mark and Ben worked in the woods a few years ago, clearing paths wide enough to haul the wagon filled with firewood back to the garage. These “lanes” are so beautiful, although would look better with some greenery here and there!

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I really liked this primitive natural arch we passed under.

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When Murphy and I returned home, I looked at the thermometer on the front porch. I heard on the radio earlier in the morning the record high was 85 degrees. As I peered out the glass, I nearly fell backwards as the hand pointed to 84 degrees!

By this time, I had become quite overheated and was more miserable than ever. I informed the family I was NOT making dinner, so Mark (being a somewhat wise man) called the pizzeria down in Naples and asked if I would like to pick up. I was thrilled. I hopped into the truck, rolled the windows down and made my way to Naples. As uncomfortable as I get in hot weather, I really dislike cold air from the air conditioner blowing on me. The wind blowing in from the windows was sufficient, and I began feeling so much better!

I took the “low road” down to the village and stopped in Woodville as there is a boat launch located there. The activity there was pretty low considering the beautiful day.

This picture is taken looking northward. I was standing almost at the southernmost point of the lake.

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Across the lake are many cottages that will soon be hopping with activity as the summertime approaches.

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If ever I captured a “Kodak moment”, this would be it! These little guys looked so serious in their pursuit and judging from their movement, they have done this before! I love the guy on the left with his vest and hat! And note the mud all over the backside of the fellow on the right!

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I noticed a change of scenery on the hillside before me as I pulled into the village…..yes, we all wish we could preserve the pristine beauty of nature without “cluttering” it, but I suppose in a couple of years, these will be no more unsightly than cell towers on the hillside.

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I stopped across the street from the high school to snap a shot of this gorgeous flowering tree!

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After we ate dinner, I looked at a sore Mark had developed a couple of days before. It had gotten quite “weepy” and I was nervous about it. I called our doctor, thinking I would probably have to wait until today to speak with her. She answered on the second  ring, and when I voiced my concern, she told us to come on in to her office! Wow! An unscheduled Saturday night office visit?

We went in and she encouraged us greatly by telling us we caught it in the nick of time.  Mark received a HUGE shot of antibiotic, was given 2 prescriptions, and we were on our way again shortly after 9! Did I ever mention that we have the most phenomenal doctor on planet Earth?

Where Have I Been Hiding?

I haven’t! (been hiding!) We have just been busy!

Mark has made a few comments every time he sees me dragging about my camera bag.  Things like Is’nt that bag awfully BIG?… Many times when he sees something *he* thinks I should photograph, he will say Too bad you have the wrong lens on that BIG camera. If only you had a small point-and-shoot.

I have been admiring Chris in Scotland’s small Leica C-Lux 2.  That camera is so tiny it is nearly invisible! (slight exaggeration!) It takes lovely photos, too. The price here is $500 and that is just out of my range. So, after researching, I found that the Panasonic DMC-TZ5 uses a Leica lens and a lot of people have commented it is a little gem. The camera is larger and heavier than the Leica camera, but is much less bulky (and conspicuous) than my Nikon! So, I would say it is “more” visible!

The one “bone” I could pick with the camera is the fact that it is called a Lumix. Isn’t a lumix a great big clumsy ogre?

The camera arrived into my hot little palms on Thursday, and I began playing on Friday. Oh, what fun! With a 10x optical zoom, this little camera is a joy! And, the photos are pretty good!

Here are my offerings…

The kids were busy cleaning the house and getting ready for their friends to come in the late afternoon on Friday, so I evacuated the premises and went out to enjoy the delightfully warm and sunny day! I am unsure what this “weedy” shrub is, but it seems to grow near damp areas.

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The tiny Jonquil featured here previously has been joined by several more cheerful flowers! I love their bright yellow faces!

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The “friends” arrived at 4 and they were just hanging out and having some fun. After a while, they climbed the stairs to Michelle’s room. I went up a while later to see what they were doing, only to find the most *humorous* situation….Michelle has this teeny tiny little “cubby” off her room. Inside this little “compartment” where two people would barely fit comfortably were SIX teenagers, stuffed!

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The kids had such a good time. They had hamburgers for dinner and just sat and talked for a time.  They hiked into the woods and then when they came back we lit a large fire.

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All in all, I enjoyed the kids…I always do. The last kids left at 10 and we all fell into our beds and slept like logs!!!!

Wait No Longer!

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How about that? The Daffodils are in full bloom! They have never all bloomed at the same time!

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On the side garden between the house and garage, there is a single tiny little Jonquil announcing Spring!

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This evening, I was out grilling steaks and enjoying the warm temperatures!  Yes, I know….put the camera down and attend to the steaks!

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Another beautiful day in the Bristolwood comes to a close….

A Taste of the Erie Canal

I had an appointment for teeth cleaning late yesterday morning and when Mark asked if I would like to do anything else when I was done, I gave him a big YES!  The day was warm, the sun was shining, and the skies were abnormally crystal clear!

For quite some time, I have been wanting so much to take some pictures along the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal runs east to west across New York State, joining the Hudson River in the east to Lake Erie in the west. It was built in the 1800’s following the great success of the Bridgewater Canal in England.

Through the usage of locks, the Erie Canal rises 566′ as it makes its way west of the Hudson.  It was used to transport goods across New York on barges drawn by mules. The canal was widened a couple of times and also made deeper.  Today, it is used by pleasure boats and some townships, such as Fairport, offer canal cruises. The name of the Fairport craft is The Colonial Belle.

 The first link above gives a rather detailed history about the canal. In the meantime, here are some photos I took around Fairport. I was scurrying about as the family waited on me, so I didn’t get nearly enough pictures.

This photo shows the lift bridge crossing the canal on the main street running through town.

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The steps on the right lead to the little tower where the bridge operator sits to raise and lower the bridge, allowing boats to pass below. If you expand the photo, there is a sign warning pedestrians NOT to walk onto the bridge when the bell (also pictured) rings.  This bridge lifts straight up into the air! The photo below shows the bridge.

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I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the ingenious lights on the terrace of a beautiful restaurant that faces the canal…

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This gigantic building runs parallel to the canal and houses many businesses.

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I walked along the path right up to near the bridge, then went up to the little town of Fairport.

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Another outstanding landmark in Fairport has got to be the First Baptist Church. This church has one of the biggest and steepest spires I have ever seen! And look at the photo I was able to capture! (I love the way the sun was shining on it!!!)

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And the church from another vantage point…

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Fairport is a rather tiny town (the business area, anyway) so I had to step around the corner for a bit of history…

This is The Green Lantern Inn, where Mark and I held our wedding reception……(hmmm….still looks the same!)

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As I made my way back to the truck, I nearly stepped on a squirrel as it raced past my feet. Startled me, immensely! It went up a tree just a few of feet from me, stopped on a branch, assessing whether I was a threat or not…..it had a piece of some sort of food dangling from its mouth….after deciding I was harmless, it sat up and munched while watching me!

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