Figgerin’ things Out!

Since I have previously stated that I am not the most observant person on earth, it should come as no shock that I have wondered  just what all the road work was about….

After traveling along Route 64 twice, however, I was able to make a profound observation. (all on my own!) When I previously showed the huge “drill” that was drilling holes in the road, I couldn’t help but notice something was going on.

As I was driving the other day, I made a remark that there was black plastic, along with bright red-orange snow fencing along the road where Mud Creek passes under the road.  Then I noticed it again, and again, and one more time at the site where the men were working previously. Aha! That is it! The state is working on all the areas where Mud Creek weaves its way back and forth under Route 64!

I wanted to show photos of the (obvious) black plastic and orange fencing at each location, but to stop on this road means I might just get rear-ended! So….

 This is the original area that I showed.

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After drilling a hole in the center of the road and making a mess, a very large truck came in carrying the concrete barriers to turn this into a one-lane road. I had told Mark that perhaps the drill was to make holes to put in some sort of system to keep junk from clogging the stream.  Mark, being a mechanical engineer, gave me a thumbs up!  The next time we passed the work area, the huge “drill” was now “hammering” the metal pieces into place!

Now, one-half of the road is closed and today, an excavator was working to apparently clean the creek bed. There is an old concrete retaining wall where they are working, so we are wondering if that is being removed as it isn’t working very well.

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Directly across from the work zone is a beautiful and historic bed and breakfast. I do believe that I read that this expensive and “right on the road”  building was originally a stagecoach inn, which would explain its close proximity to the roadway.

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The building was actually built in 1795, thus its name 1795 Acorn Inn.  I do hope this work will be completed soon, as it is certainly not what a business needs in its front yard!

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I did pull off the side of the road to take a couple more pictures. This is one more area that is being worked over. (and once again, near a buiness! This is Lock’s Stock and Barrel…a tavern) There is also another bed and breakfast located here, the Filigree Inn , but this one sits far back from the roadway.

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Yes, I located “the drill”! (Isn’t it wonderful the way that South Bristol sign leans, looking like someone was a bit “tipsy” when it was installed?)

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Mud Creek is a very small waterway that snakes its way back and forth across the valley. It generally is a mild-mannered creek, but in the years we have lived here, it did cause some heavy-duty flooding that closed Route 64 for several hours. Wow! Perhaps the state is using tax dollars to actually improve something!!

Productive Workday!

Mark’s mom had called last week and told Mark that she might want the kids to come and do some yardwork for her….she hires a landscaper, but she was anxious to have the leaves and branches removed from her lawn.  The kids and I agreed that we would be willing to help out.

We arrived at the house shortly after noon and began working right away. We began in the front yard and worked our way to the back.  The house has several plantings around it that catch leaves….Pachysandra, Myrtle, low-growing pine type plantings, as well as shrubbery.  Ben used our Husqvarna blower to dislodge many of the leaves in these stubborn areas and Michelle and I raked. Even though the lawn is only between 1/3 and 1/2 acre, it certainly seemed to be growing larger as we worked!

We finally finished up the lawn by 4:30. I raked almost the entire time, and the kids worked most of that time as well. My mother-in-law also worked raking and picking up twigs from the lawn. By the time we were done, we were feeling rather tired! My mother-in-law ordered pizza and chicken wings for dinner and I was never so happy to have food we didn’t need to prepare!

The day was cool, but as we worked, everyone took off layers as we progressed. The sun came out, the skies turned a most remarkable blue color, and it was just pleasurable to be outside.

As we were finishing up, I went and got my camera from the truck to grab a few shots. My mother-in-law’s home is located in front of a huge ravine with a little interesting history…

At the edge of the lawn, there are several pine trees planted, allowing little grass to grow there, but moss thrives! Here is a mossy knoll behind a little workshed.

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The ravine behind the house is very steep, deep, and it would be to one’s disadvantage to tumble down the grade! Despite warnings, I couldn’t help but carefully wander down the grade a little, with the aid of saplings to grab hold of! What did I need to photograph?

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The Bristolwood woods in which we dwell weren’t always woods. Much of our woodland was formerly clearcut and farmed. Most of our trees look dwarf compared to the old growth trees abiding in my mother-in-law’s deep gully. In the photo below, there is a mossy area located nearly in the center…it is somewhat difficult to see from this angle, but the moss is to the left of a trail leading through the woods. There are areas of terraced paths in the woods leading down to Irondequoit Bay. The bay is part of Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes.

The paths found in the woods weren’t created by homeowners living there, but are reminders of the days when Native Americans lived in the area. Yes, these narrow paths are very old and were carved out by Indians traversing to the water.

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A stark contrast to the ancient trails behind the house are grand and new “palaces” being built across the ravine. These homes are not at all like my mother-in-law’s home that was built in the 60’s, but very large with exquisite amenities.

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So, we have the very grand homes and the humble paths dwelling peaceably together…here is a little better shot of one of the paths.

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Try as I might, it was about impossible to capture the stream in the bottom of the gully that leads to the bay.

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And this last photo is in memory of my father-in-law. My mother-in-law recalled how he would get on his electric scooter and retreat to this little area. She said sometimes she would be calling his name with no reply…she would come back to his little “secret place” to find him sound asleep on the scooter!

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Yes, we certainly raked a lot of leaves and twigs and our backs are complaining, but this was one of those days that we just wouldn’t trade….

Silence Was Golden!

On Friday night, the kids trudged off to bed at about 7 pm.  No, they weren’t sick, nor were they being punished! You see, yesterday they were to travel to Pennsylvania for a rafting trip early Saturday morning!

The youth group that the kids have been attending on Monday nights goes on a rafting trip each April and they invited Michelle and Ben. The kids have been asking about this ever since they found out about the trip….So, when they returned the signed permission slips last Monday, they were nearly euphoric! All week long, as soon as schoolwork was completed, everything revolved around the subject of “the trip”.

Both Ben and Michelle slept rather restlessly and I really didn’t sleep much better on Friday night. At 2, I was awakened by a constant flashing. I couldn’t figure out *why* Michelle was taking pictures with her new camera at that hour! By the time I had gathered my wits about me, the thunder caused me to almost sit straight up in bed.  We generally don’t get serious thunderstorms here, but this one was incredible. I watched the lightening and listened as the house sounded as though it was being power-washed until slumber finally took over again. The entire time I was awake, I was so concerned the rafting adventure was going to be called off…

I was awakened  once again as my cell phone vibrated loudly against the table next to the bed. This time, it was 4:30. Michelle was up, showering and humming happily like a busy little bumblebee.

I immediately hopped out of bed and went downstairs to make waffles. The information we received from the church said that the kids would be paddling down the river until lunch at about 1, so they advised a large and hearty breakfast.  By about 5:15, the two of them were eating their waffles, along with turkey ham.  They chatted so excitedly, I almost wished that I would have signed up to go along as a chaperon.

We left the house and began our journey to the church. A little more that midway, Michelle noticed a thumping noise in the right rear of the Explorer. We kept going, and after dropping the kids off at the church, I called Mark to tell him about the vehicle. He wasn’t sure I should drive home, but I just wanted to get back. I drove slowly, keenly aware that I should be able to stop quickly in the event anything should happen. (Mark called the Ford garage later and it looks like this might be a costly fix)

The day was so quiet….it seemed to pass so slowly! I just lounged about and we really didn’t do anything outstanding all day. The sun came out for about 2 hours, then it clouded up again and was a dismal day. I had thought about going off to take photos, but it was so ugly, I decided against it.

Michelle called home at about 7:20 to let us know they were nearly back to the church. I went and picked the two adventurers up and we were home once again shortly after 8. From the sound of it, the kids had a wonderful day, and the sun shone down on our rafters the entire day! They are already planning for next year’s trip!

After all the beautiful days we have had lately, reality has set in this morning….

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How Much Longer?

Early this morning, I was awakened to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. I had a morning eye appointment, so I scurried out of bed and began getting ready.

The entire day was fairly ugly, with rain and clouds hovering overheard. It is okay, as we really can use some soaking rain. Mark and I drove on our ATV’s yesterday and as we rode through the woods, I was surprised that it was so dry for April.

So, if April showers bring May flowers, how much longer before you suppose this clump of Daffodils will burst forth in their splendid yellow color?

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Our Spring flowers have never been so large or prolific this time of the year.  It is refreshing to see large clusters of Tulips and Daffodils here and there!

I have been keeping an eye open to see how the plants are coming along and I was amazed the way the Columbine just kind of issued forth……these are such a favorite flower in the plantings as they seem to tirelessly bloom for weeks and weeks throughout the Spring and Summer.

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When we moved here nearly 16 years ago, I planted several varieties of Crocuses in the garden between the house and garage. I don’t think they ever came up there though! Now, all these years later, we find Crocuses here and there in the woods. My father-in-law used to complain that the chipmunks would eat his Crocuses. And so, I came to the conclusion that the Bristolwood “chippies” didn’t eat ours, rather, they merely rearranged them for our enjoyment.  Thus, we have never, ever spotted a Crocus plant in front of the house. That is, until now!

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As I was about to come back in the house late this afternoon,  I saw some bright yellow over by the drainage ditch. I wandered over to see what the color was…..not sure what these “weeds” are, but they certainly add a great deal of brightness in contrast to their drab surroundings!

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The nitrogen in the rain we got last night has been a real boost in greening up the grass!

Not much longer until everything is blooming, growing, and just adding more beauty to the world!

Murphy, Miss M and the New Camera

This morning, Miss M went on the swing as she does so frequently. But this time, when I looked out the window, I saw Murphy enjoying a little swing as well! I just love catching moments like this…..

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Last Friday night, Michelle’s Olympus camera I gave her broke. The little sliding door that covers the lens and turns the camera on  fell off somewhere in the woods. She was so “blue”, as she uses the camera a good deal.  And so, Mark went on a search for a new camera.

Just look what he found!

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Yes, it is a perfectly pink camera! She has been having so very much fun!

If you are so inclined, she has a cute little movie uploaded on You Tube featuring her favorite little Talking Scottie, Murphy! Click here to view.

When You Take Your Camera….

Do *not* forget that you left the battery in the charger at home! Such was my lot this evening!

I had removed my battery from the Nikon late this afternoon as it was run down quite low. When the time came to take the kids to their Bible study, I grabbed the camera bag, but inadvertantly left the charger with the battery still in it on a desk. When I reached the camera out of the bag and composed a shot, I was puzzled for about 2 seconds, before remembering what I had done.

At this point, I decided it was time to recycle the soda cans and bottles in the cargo area of the Explorer. I gathered up all the bags, placed them into a shopping cart, and headed into the bottle return room at Wegman’s. Have I ever complained er, commented on how I cannot tolerate the scent of stale beer?  As I stood in line awaiting my turn at the recycling machines,  I watched as several college-aged kids deposited seemingly endless beer cans into the mouths of the machines. Finally, I was next!

I inserted my cans and at one point, the machine abruptly came to a crashing halt….immediately spitting out my receipt and announcing on its message window that the machine was now full and call for assistance. Thankfully, almost as soon as the machine stopped, I heard someone working opposite me, removing the crushed cans from the bowels of the machine. Then the door slammed shut, sending a breeze of stale beer right into my face. Ugh!

Upon completion of returning my cans and bottles, I wandered into the store, undecided about what to do next. As my stomach grumbled, I went to the Wokery…..Chinese food served buffet-style. I spotted a spicy chicken dish that looked good, so I placed some fried rice into a takeout container, then placed the chicken on top. I also thought the stir-fried green beans looked tasty, so I threw some in as well.

After paying for my meal, I began walking over to the bistro tables to perch and eat my meal. As I meandered, I walked around a yellow cone marking a wet area. As I looked down, it was obvious someone had gotten sick to their stomach on the floor, and I ***flew*** out of the store and off to the Explorer! One thing I cannot tolerate is that!!!!

I plopped onto the seat, placing my meal onto the console of my mobile office. The console now was serving as my table! Before I ate, I remembered my handy-dandy cell phone had a camera so I thought I could possibly get some photos after all!

This is our local Wegman’s store. It is quite “humble” compared to many of the fancier high-end stores located in more lucrative areas. However, Danny Wegman lives only a few miles from this store!

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A not-too-masterfully-focussed photo of my delicious meal, despite being eaten at the “office”!

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As I was finishing my meal, I had to pop the door open and take a couple of photos of the sunset.

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Oh how I missed the Nikon….or, well, the Nikon battery!

Is Today April 1?

Since my header isn’t very creative, I guarantee my photography shall be…or, should I say my imagination?  No, several of the things that I saw today seem somewhat strange.

Take for instance, the old P&C Grocery Store. The store closed a few years ago but every Halloween, a costume store would take over the vacated space. No longer!

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I don’t remember ever seeing a building being gutted from the inside out. It seems the more prevalent practice is just going in and leveling the building with a big ole bulldozer. Or wrecking ball!

But wait!

Last night, Mark and I passed the vacated Econolodge Motel which is also being razed. (which leads me to another *strange* phenomenon….if a building is being destroyed, leveled, brought down to ground level, WHY would one say it is being RAZED??? Which sounds too much like RAISED???)

Okay. So much for the questions…..how about a “room with a view”? That was Mark’s clever remark last night when we passed by. I was too hungry to photograph it then, so I did so this afternoon.  But, last night, Mark asked WHY would they gut the building so meticulously when it is freestanding with no adjoining structure, nor any buildings nearby?

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It was obvious I was driving my  passenger, Michelle, to distraction barraging her with silly questions. At this point I turned the corner and headed off to the lake for what I thought would be more conventional photography…enough nonsense….

It was as I drove along the short road to the lake that I pulled off the road, raising Michelle’s curiosity. Why are we stopped here?

I pointed across the road and asked her what is wrong with this picture? I pulled the camera from the bag as she retorted how funny it seemed that geese would be playing, no….swimming in a big puddle of water!

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Ah, so you, dear reader, are not convinced this is a mere puddle? Let me assure you, it is! Better yet, we will let the geese do the conveying….

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Yes the two geese on the left are peaceably swimming as the one on the right stands in the puddle, its rounded body well above the water! Oh, and to add just a bit more humor, let me state that the LAKE is not more than 100 feet away!

Enough with that! I decided to drive down by the beautiful gazebo at Kershaw Park. Kershaw is a long park that runs basically between the road and the lake at the northern end of Canandaigua Lake. It features a lovely walkway that runs the entire length, joining lakefront homes with the marina and other businesses.

I parked the truck and as I was about to hop out, I thought I would photograph what is left of a trailer court across the street.

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To say this trailer court was in poor shape would be a grand understatement. It was horrible and was such a contrast to the peaceful and beautiful setting just across the street! Well, the trailer court is now in its final days. It is my understanding that the trailers are being removed. (most are actually destroyed on the grounds as I don’t think they could manage the trip down the road) I believe the area is going to be revitalized with some high end apartment buildings and homes. Although I have no qualms about mobile homes, (I would rather live in a mobile home than an apartment myself!) this particular court had been allowed to nearly self-destroy with some very poor conditions.

The gazebo sits directly across the street from the trailer court above. As you can see, it lends an elegant and restful element to the lake….

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The gazebo is quite large, and it has a delightful deck that reaches right out to the lake.

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I walked onto the gazebo to take the next photo. You can see the pretty hills surrounding the lake.  We live on the western side but you cannot see our hills as the lake takes a bit of a turn in its center.

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Over to the northwest is the city pier that I took the duck photos from last week. This isn’t even half of the pier, but I was using my big lens and was unable to capture the entire length.

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I stood, just absorbing the sights and sounds when I was suddenly aware I wasn’t alone! I looked down onto the rocks below and saw a young mother with her two little ones, feeding the ducks.

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Our weather today was just terrific. It was warm and sunny and just a totally perfect day.  It is somewhat hard to believe we  are into the month of April as today’s weather was warmer than many of our days in June!

The bottom line is, we will take this weather! It is so nice to see the flowers coming to life and sunny days are just an added benefit!