From the Lens Today

Well, I have to warn you….these photos are pretty “assorted”!

We had to take a run to Bath this afternoon  for a part for the camper, so I spent the morning cleaning up the kitchen while Mark worked in the garage until we were ready to leave.  Funny the things I see while washing dishes.

Things like a dragonfly the likes I’ve never seen before! (least that I could remember!)

dragonfly on pool rail.small

Things like little “Bambi” who came down so close to the house this morning!  There was no mother deer anywhere in sight….

little morning visitor.small

While we drove down the road, we had to stop so I could photograph the pretty Wild Chicory growing alongside our road.

wild chicory along our road.small

Me:  Mark, can we take the road through Woodville, please?

Mark:  Sure.

We pull into the parking lot for the boat launch and there is one lonely minivan parked in the lot.  I gingerly hop out of the truck with the Nikon,  into drizzly wet weather…..

Me:  Mark! Look! There are TWO birds in the tree!!!

Mark:  Cool!

two birds this afternoon.small

Since the tree is halfway across the lake and it is rainy and miserable,  I turn my attention to some little subjects closer to me….

follow the leader.small

resting duck.small

hmmm...whats that in the sky.small

where art and life meet.small

After taking gobs of photos of ducks,  I look up and see the truck slowly making its way out of the parking lot.  I jog to my door and hop in, so excited about seeing two Eagles sitting in the tree.  Mark wonders if there is something “wrong” with me….Eagles?

At this point,  I inform him that were I several years younger,  I might just go to Finger Lakes Community College and begin studying to be a forest ranger so I can work close to nature and the animals I love! So THERE!

Doesn’t everyone long to linger in nature?

Well, as we drove along,  Mark pulled over and told me to take a picture of the guys working on building a barn…

men building a  huge barn.small

This barn was HUGE!  This was just a tiny section of the thing. 

We continued on our way and went shopping in a couple of stores.  A rather relaxing day, all in all.

As I uploaded the photos I took today, a thought crossed my mind….Golly,  I cannot help it I live in such a beautiful place!

Murphy the Sweet…

As far as the two Scotties go, Murphy would definitely be the “sweet” one!  Angus is more of a hunter/gatherer personality, whereas Murphy just reclines and waits for the next treat or meal to be served.  Murphy has no worries in this world because his family loves him and always comes through in the provisions department.

Yesterday, while we were wandering about in a shopping frenzy, the kids wanted to stop at Taco Bell for a little “something”.  As Michelle sat eating her burrito,  Murphy merely  cuddled right next to her, knowing that some tidbit was surely apt to fall his way. (which, of course, it did!)


Later in the day while we were shopping for a few minutes, Michelle sat in the truck with the two Scottie boys.  When we came out, Murphy anxiously showed us what a good boy he is by strapping in! (no, we would never leave him in this position, but he does have a strap for his harness that locks into the seatbelt!)

fasten your seatbelt murphy.small

Now for those not familiar with the temperament of a Scottie,  this just isn’t considered “normal”!  Scotties have a mind of their own…they are stubborn, strong-willed, and rarely do anything one wants them to do!

Murphy is our sweet and funny exception!

Mounting up on Wings as Eagles

isn’t always so easy!

This morning,  I asked Ben to head down to Woodville with me.   I wanted to see if the Eagle(s) might be sitting in “the tree” where it/they are often seen.  Ben loaded the little kayaks into the back of the Explorer, along with the life vests.  I gathered my things together.  I had decided that since my Nikon D-80 is getting “old” and I have gained confidence in handling a camera in the kayak,  I would try taking it along instead of the point and shoot.  I found that even with the long lens,  I was able to fit the camera with the lens mounted into a gallon Ziplock bag!

After all the effort put forth for a short outing, we were totally disappointed when we arrived and the birds were nowhere to be seen.  We lingered on for a time, then decided it was futile.  I had gotten out of the Explorer to look around a little (oops, forgot the camera in the vehicle!) and saw the cutest turtle at the lake’s edge.  He was all covered in green grunge, looking so cute, so I raced back for my camera.  As soon as I bent over to photograph the little fellow, he ducked his head into his shell and actually scurried backwards and plunged back end first, into the water! Ben scratched his head and pondered aloud whether fact or fiction regarding turtles being dreadfully slow.  This little fellow “boogied”!

As we were about to leave the parking lot, Ben called out he saw an Eagle!

the only eagle we saw this morning.small

Yup, fourteen-year-old boy humor!  T’was but a boat trailer.

Mark and Michelle were antsy to leave the house as soon as we got back.  Mark needed to get parts to replace the inner tube on the little trailer we pull behind his ATV for firewood.  He also wanted to run to Rochester to shop a little.

We were off!  As we drove along, it was evident the day was going to be quite “steamy”!  It seemed like the thermometer in th car just kept rising and rising as we continued on.  We finished our trip and returned home again by about four in the afternoon.  It was so ridiculously hot, but Ben wanted to do some weedwhacking. 

By about five-thirty,  I decided to just drive down to Woodville and sit by the lake.  As I was driving down the driveway,  Ben called out he would go along with me.  So, off we went!

Once again, arriving in Woodville, there was no sign of the Eagle.  I was so disappointed,  but Ben and I decided we would just paddle around briefly.  I had the Nikon with me and was quite happy that I was able to confidently get into the kayak with the camera and not have any accidents!

We had barely put into the water when this threesome came past….

darling ducklings.small

The coloration is off…the sun was shining on them and they appeared a gray color! These are some of the tiny babies we saw just a few short weeks ago.  Now they are lovely,  nearly full-sized ducks!  They were swimming about with no sign of an adult in sight.

Ben and I paddled towards “the tree”.  He called out, asking if I saw anything?  Nope.  As we drew closer and closer, I did see “something” in the tree.  It certainly wasn’t the highly distinguishable white head of an adult.   We paddled on and on….

looking right at me.small

Please do click on these photos to appreciate the full size!

wings spread for cooling.small

Yes,  I do believe we are looking at an immature American Bald Eagle!  I was so excited.  Ben kept ribbing me, saying it was “just a hawk”.   I laughed and told him any hawk I have ever tried to photograph flew away immediately!  This bird just sat, looking down upon us.  (it was only in looking at the photos I took today that I discovered this bird is “banded”)

The bird sat with its wings spread apart and its mouth often open.  I read that Eagles don’t sweat and so they do spread their wings and pant to cool themselves off.  (I did say it was hot today!)

wings spread and panting.small

majestic stance.small

 I took so many photos of the bird.  I was afraid none would turn out as I don’t have lenses with vibration reduction. Even though the lake was smooth and calm, I could sense the bobbing motion in my little kayak!  I was pleased to find I had several good shots.

As we made our way back to the land,  I turned to photograph  a sailboat/yacht that has recently been moored a couple hundred feet out in the water.  You can see the beautiful green hills located on the east side of the lake.

yacht anchored in lake.small

Somehow, I felt such a sense of satisfaction as we returned and put our kayaks into the Explorer….

Scotch Artwork

no,  I haven’t taken to buying liquor with which to do artwork.

this was supposed to be added to the previous “Nothing in Particular” entry.

but, since it was taken with the Panasonic camera….

whereas the others were taken with the Nikon…

well, you get it.

I plumb forgot!

scottie fingerpainting.small

Every time it rains, I always think afterward that I wish I would have taken a photo of the cute little Scottie paws that scoot across the decking of the front porch.  Mark recently requested that Michelle cut shorter the “skirts” on the Scotties, which she did last week.  I nearly cried…

The “artwork” used to include swirls from their skirts as they raced up and down the porch, rubbing their beards along the way, trying to wipe off the dampness gathered in the wet grass! Thankfully, their beuatiful beards remain intact!

Eagles and Birthday Girl!

Carly and her family planned to come to visit today, so I hurried outside this morning as soon as the grass began to dry up and mowed the lawn.  I think I did it in record time….but I wanted to rush down to the market in Naples to pick up some lettuce as I completely forgot to get some at the Windmill yesterday.

We had heard a lot of “buzzing” from motorcycles passing on down towards Naples today.  When I stopped at the market,  I saw a lot of bikes parked in front of the tavern down there….must have been some type of big event happening!

lotsa bikes.small

I took the lake road as I headed back towards home, and I stopped in Woodville to see if perhaps the eagle was sitting in its favorite tree.  Sure enough, it was there!  I excitedly hopped out of the Explorer and wandered over where I saw a couple placing kayaks on te top of their vehicle.  I asked if they had seen the eagle and they got so excited!  They told me to look towards the tree where the eagle sits and I would see TWO eagles!

two eagles.small

If you click twice on the photo above and look in the center of the photo, you can see one eagle’s white feathers on its head.  Sitting directly to its left is a darker looking bird.  I was so thrilled!  I hope to get down to the lake sometime this week .  I was so excited to see one eagle….not sure I can handle seeing two at the same time!

At one point,  I felt as though I could linger on all the afternoon, but reality soon made me realize I needed to head home for our company.  I arrived home and Carly, Jeff, and the kids had already made themselves at home.   We ate hotdogs Mark cooked on the grill,  macaroni and cheese my kids made, and then the kids played in the pool.  They had quite the time, playing pool volleyball and making up rules as they went along!

I thought I should take a picture of my New Guinea Impatiens plant as I don’t think I have ever had one that was this spectacular!

new guinea impatiens.small

Erin’s birthday is actually on Tuesday but one of her wishes was to spend some time at our house for her birthday, so they came down today!

almost 10 erin.small

the nearly ten year old.small

Erin also desired to have a “cookie cake” for her birthday.  She loves sugar cookies, so Carly baked a sugar cookie cake and then decorated it at our house.  It was quite the cake!

carlys sugar cookie cake for erins birthday.small

Erin is signed up to attend a hockey goalie’s camp this summer, so Carly thought a hockey cake would be appropriate. The cake was so cute and tasted fantastic!

erins amazing hockey birthday cake.small

Our weather has been so unusual lately!  A couple of counties to our west had a tornado touch down yesterday afternoon!  There was damage to homes, trees, vehicles, and power was down.  We don’t typically have tornadoes in this area, although they do stray through from time to time.  Today, the humidity and heat were building up and then booming thunder sounded across the sky.  The winds began, rain fell and the temperature dropped significantly.  So very strange!

More on the Finger Lakes Trip

When I posted about Mark’s and my little adventure last night,  I was so tired, it was hard to keep my poor eyes from crossing!  So…lucky you….I will give a bit of a more in-depth look at our little travels.

After dropping the kids off in Penn Yan, we headed out of the village and stopped at my favorite Mennonite store.  I was happy to see they are adding on and was elated to hear they are adding  a bakery and cafe, as well as expanding the bulk foods section.  I picked up a few things there and then we were off to Ithaca.

The drive there took some time, but the scenery was rather nice….lots of rolling hills and stunning views of Seneca Lake below us.  We wound up at the south end of Seneca Lake at Watkins Glen. Watkins Glen is the home of a Nascar racetrack,  and the place explodes with visitors during the summer months.

Here is a view of the outlet of the lake…

south end of Seneca Lake.small

The south end includes a hotel, a large business with guided tours of the lake, a Cargill manufacturing plant,  WalMart, a campground, marina,  a state park,  and Watkins Glen “proper”!  Of course, the race track is located very nearby as well.  The town itself hails more bed and breakfasts than I have ever seen in any village, town, city in such close proximity.  There are beautiful homes, decorated in flowers and the whole place just seems to scream out “tourism”!  I might add that when we have traveled through in other seasons, Watkins Glen is *so* isolated!

On this map of the Finger Lakes , you can see how we began our trip from the south tip of Seneca Lake over to Ithaca, situated on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake.  We drove slightly north and to the east.  When we arrived in Ithaca,  I told Mark I would like to see the two colleges located there.   The two colleges are Ithaca College and the ivy-league school,  Cornell University.

Mark  and I followed the signs up what seemed endless hills until we finally landed at Ithaca College.  The school was beautiful and the views were breathtaking.  Mark and I wondered how anyone could sit in a lecture and not stare out the windows and daydream about the world they were overlooking below! Awesome!

We discovered (ah, the wonders of GPS!) that Cornell University was located not too far from the college.  We drove up hills that seemed fit only for mountain goats!  The houses are literally built into the sides of all the hills.  The streets are so steep that they make our own hill we live on look like a walk in the park!

We reached Cornell University, and the place just was awesome.  The university was founded in 1865 and offers seemingly endless areas of study, much involving research.  There are some schools of repute, such as the law school and veterinary school, to name two.  The architecture on the grounds is nearly as diverse as the areas of study and it was awesome observing the campus.  On the website for the university, it states there are students from all fifty states as well as 120 countries in the fabric that is Cornell University.  We saw so many foreign young people walking about with their parents.  Amazing!

Our visit to “Academia”  ended and as Mark left the area, his knuckles turned white as he headed down streets that seemed to go straight below us!  My own hometown has some wild streets, but Ithaca “takes the cake”!  We decided students must have the most powerful legs living in such an environment! 

As we drove into the city, it seemed that the city was built “upon” the schools located there.  There is everything a person might want right within a short drive.  The restaurants offered all varieties of fare and “downtown” was just awesome!  We made a note that this little town was so “saturated” in activity and school has not even really yet begun! Wow!

We began making our way towards Horseheads, where we stopped at Sam’s Club and did a little shopping.  The weather wasn’t very nice, with rain falling and drizzling much of the time,  but it was perfect, as by the time we had pulled into Sam’s,  a cold front had approached, causing the warm temperatures to fall.  This made it nice for us, as the Scottie boys had accompanied us on our journey.  They were quite content, passed out on the seats as we drove merrily along.  It is edearing to know that our little companions are so comfortable just being in our presence.

After shopping at Sam’s, we looped back around, making our way to our destination to pick up Michelle and her friend, Kelsei.  We drove once again past beautiful scenery and were in awe of the fact that the Finger Lakes region is just a very lovely place to call home!

We passed by the Black Rock Speedway, mentioned in my previous post, where many cars and people had stopped along the road to watch the cars speeding by.  I smiled as I saw what looked like a Mennonite family, including little children, standing  along the road, eyes glued to the high-speed action on the track.  It made me think that we humans all enjoy action!

We arrived back at Jonathan’s house shortly after 10 and picked the girls up.  Ben had been asked to spend the night, along with a few other boys.  They did this last year and they had a ball.  Ben told us he would call early this morning to wake us up and he certanly did.  The phone rang shortly after 6 am!  Jonathan’s family had a wedding to attend at 11 am. so we picked Ben up at about 9. 

I told Mark that since we were already in Penn Yan, we might as well drive on down to  The Windmill . I love this place and I so enjoy walking around in the fresh air! The kids were both tired, so Mark and I went alone and meandered through all of the offerings. We picked up some baked goods from an Amish bakery,  some fresh produce from some lovely young Mennonite girls, and a birthday present. 

When we got back to the truck, we found two passed-out kids and Scotties.  Before finally leaving the area,  we drove over to the far end of the market where Mark and I had spotted a business called Charlie’s Chicken. One need not be around me long to discover my weakness for barbequed chicken meals.  I wish I would have photographed the meal, but I was so hungry, I could barely wait to ge into the vehicle to begin devouring my goods!  It had 1/2 a chicken, a huge roll with butter, salt potatoes, and a heaping helping of macaroni salad.  I shamefully ate all but the thigh and leg of the chicken, which family members were happy to consume for me!  I plan to grow hungry on Saturdays for BBQ chicken from now on!

Here are some photos I took today…

young man driving market offerings.small

off to market amid the traffic.small

mural on the side of building.small

farm fresh produce and bakery goods from windmill.small

And I shall leave you with a slice of virtual Walnut Layer Cake.  Oh my GOODNESS! I bought this from an Amish fellow by the last name of Stoltzfus.   When I enquired how he managed to stay so slim, he advised it takes a “lot of work” to bake all the goodies offered! He also told me that both he and his brother own bakeries.  The only problem is, if *you* want some of them, you must travel either to the Windmill, or the bakeries in Romulus!

instant addiction.small

instant addiction uner the guise of Walnut Layer Cake!

Amazing Finger Lakes!

Today the kids went to Penn Yan to celebrate their friend’s birthday, although Jonathan’s birthday was actually in April!  He wanted to wait until his cousin from Canada was able to come,  so the party was today. 

We dropped the kids at the house, then decided to take a little excursion…as we drove along,  we headed towards Ithaca.  The sights we saw along the way were so beautiful.  We traveled through rolling hills and along Seneca Lake.  The areas we passed through have a large population of Mennonite and Amish farms and they are just picture perfect.

I don’t have photos because it rained and made for some rather shortened views…were the sun shining, one could have seen off into distances immeasurable.  Okay, slight exaggeration, but nearly true!

As we headed back towards Jonathan’s house to pick up Michelle (Ben stayed the night)  we passed a small motor speedway and just had to stop.  There were three different races in the short time we stopped roadside.  It was cool that we had such a terrific view of the track from the road,  but even more amazing was the group of Mennonites standing behind us, also watching the action!

Terrible quality photo, but okay for being taken in the dark from my side rear mirror!

mennonite group via the side mirror.small

As we came closer to Penn Yan, we stopped at a small roadside rest and Mark shot a quick photo of the crescent moon with the Panasonic.  The Nikon was resting in the back of the truck and I was none too anxious to get out and be exposed to mosquitoes! 

crescent moon.small

A day without photos, but a day trip that was nothing less than fascinating!   I will just say that one can travel within a couple hours distance and see everything from the “Plain People” to a prestigious university that sits upon a hill unlike any setting I have ever seen!

This Finger Lakes region is just incredible!