You’re So Vane…

Yessir….every now and then, especially while I am driving,  I come up with a grand idea for a photo op.  Such was the case this gloomy, dismal, snowy morning!

Michelle and I left the house and the roads were much less than stellar! They were snow-covered, and with the temperature hanging at just below freezing, all the stuff they were putting on the road was mixing with the wet snow to form some pretty greasy slop!  You have no idea just how happy I am to have those brand spanking new tires on the Explorer!  And yes, it is wonderful having windows that work well, too!

I dropped Michelle off at school and as I was driving home,  I wondered what would be the safest route.  I really dislike traveling on fast roads in weather like this, so I once again opted to travel the lake road.  It was a wise choice as there was essentially no traffic and the road was pretty clear!

I drove past the place I had seen the Redhead Ducks yesterday, but didn’t see anything other than what seemed like zillions of Canada Geese.  It was shortly after this that I had that brainstorm moment! As gray and ugly as the sky is, it would be a good background for some weathervane shots!  And so, I slowly made my way down Lake Road. Thankfully, only two vehicles came up behind me the entire trip.

So, for your viewing pleasure….(I wish I would have taken the Nikon, but settled for the tiny Panasonic this morning, instead)

There were a lot more vanes, but these were some of the coolest I spotted. 

As I traveled just a little further south of where I saw all the ducks yesterday,  I saw scads and scads of Coots.  I would guess there were well over a thousand of them bouncing up and down on the open water.  Just outside there group, there were many more Redhead Ducks.  Even though I have no desire to live on the lake and pay the ridiculous taxes those homes pay, it would be nice to be able to observe the waterfowl that shows up there on a regular basis!

When I arrived home, I had to make my way up the driveway which has about 4 or 5 inches of snow on it.  I put the Explorer into 4×4 High and came up with no difficulties at all!

What Messy Weather!

I know no one wants to hear about weather. Particularly messy weather!  Too bad, because that is precisely what we had today!

I decided I really needed to replenish groceries so I was going out today, weather or not!  I did wait until it warmed up a little as I am not too wild about driving on slippery roads when the gunk they use doesn’t work!  When the temperature warms up some, the stuff begins working better!

Here are my new tires which got some pretty good ratings when we looked them up on the internet….

Here is the tread….

I thought about the route I would take to Canandaigua and decided on the lake road.  Yay! It paid off! As I drove up the lake, I kept my eye out and saw lots and lots of Canada Geese.  I didn’t see the Swans I had spotted previously but as I looked out over the lake,  I did see something Iwasn’t sure about!  I had to turn around as I had gone too far to stop.

Even after getting out and taking photos, I couldn’t tell exactly what I was looking at!  Only after uploading my photos was I about to see a group of Readhead Ducks.

A little farther out on the lake behind the Redheads were a few Common Goldeneye Ducks.  (also called Whistlers)  I had never seen these before, so it was pretty cool seeing them!

I need to explain that although my photos appear a little out of focus,  they really aren’t!  It snowed a very fine snow all day long!  It added up to probably about four inches!  I was so glad I brought my camera along with me, as I had originally opted to leave it home.  I figured trying to take photos in the precipitation would be futile.

After my little duck sighting, I was once again on my way. I decided to take a slight detour and take a quick cruise out onto the City Pier. Wow! Doesn’t this look like fun?

I wondered what he had on his feet to travel along.  When I looked at the photo full-size, I could see he had some short skis strapped on his feet.

A flock of Canada Geese flew overhead…..

It would now be possible to walk right over to Squaw Island!

And on and on he sailed….

As I was about to pop back into the Explorer,  my eye lighted on a few gulls.  They are attracted to the pier….even in inclimate weather!….because many people sit there to eat their lunch in their vehicles.  I had meant to focus on the gulls themselves, but with the snow,  the camera had a bot of trouble focusing.  I snapped the photo anyway and I really like the fact that the bench is in focus in front of the gulls.

I had spent enough time photographing and it was now time to get to the task at hand.  I did my shopping and began to head homeward.  I did stop along the road for one more photo….

I really like the way this photo looks almost edited!  Everything appears nearly black and white, with the American flag colored.  Well, no,  I didn’t edit the photo…..the snow did!

So, there you have it.  We ***can*** have some camera fun even on a snowy day!

Ben’s Birthday and Busyness!

We were off to an early start today.  It is Ben’s birthday, but we had lots of running around to accomplish.

While Mark headed off with Michelle  to drop her off, Ben and I headed to Kost Tire where I was to get new tires, an inspection,  an oil change, and an alignment on the Explorer.  I had forgotten to mention that Mark got the window all fixed this past weekend.  He had to replace a part called the regulator.   When I saw the door hanging open and parts sitting all over the garage,  my heart nearly sank, but I have seen Mark take things apart before and I knew all would end well! And so it did!

Before leaving the house, I wanted to get a photo of the little congregation of Goldfinches outside the bedroom window….

That photo is a funky color and that is okay because I took it well before the day had broken this morning and there was a fine snow falling.

After dropping the Explorer off for its work,  Ben and I climbed into the truck and we began making our way to Mark’s mom’s house.  We made a few stops along the way.  An interesting thing happened along the way, though….the blower fan on the truck quit working! Meaning, we spent the rest of the time in the truck freezing!  Although the temperature outside was right at the freezing mark,  it got so cold in the truck!  Time for another repair job!

We made it to “Grandma Cookie’s” house.  Yes, that is what Mark calls his mom and in so doing,  he nearly causes Angus to go ballistic!  Angus adores Grandma Cookie, after all!

While we chatted with Mark’s mom,  Ben tried to teach Murphy how to exercise on the treadmill….

Yup, as long as I held a carrot treat in front of Murphy’s nose, he would stride along on the treadmill for several steps! It was pretty funny!

Now, Scotties are known for their Braveheart disposition.  I would say on a scale of 1-10, my boys rate about 1.5 in the Braveheart category!  Particularly Angus who hightails it whenever he hears any device that makes a vibrating noise! Thus, the treadmill caused him to panic, so he jumped up on Grandma Cookie’s chair and watched a Western on television instead!

And just for Angus’s good name, he did dutifully bark those wild horses when they got out of control and began running!

Here is a natural ice sculpture outside my mother-in-law’s house…

We visited for a few hours, then it was time to go.  Back we went into the cold pickup truck.  We went to Henrietta, where Ben and Mark went into the Guitar Center to look at “stuff”.  Mark ordered Ben a bass guitar for his birthday but it will arrive tomorrow.  Bummer for Ben, but he was okay with it.  Ben has been having so much fun learning guitar and he wanted to learn bass as well so Mark figured we should let him learn as long as he is so willing.

We left and went back to Canandaigua so I could pick up the Explorer.  Mark dropped me off and he and Ben picked Michelle up at school.  I had a few minutes before meeting them at a restaurant for dinner, so I took the Explorer for a spin up the road.  Oh my! I had been driving on “slicks” so long,  I forgot that tires actually “bite” the snow!

We met up for dinner, then came home.  The fire in the woodstove had gone out and I quickly rebuilt a fire!  Now, I am finally warm for the first time today! Ah, it does feel good.  No more freezing toes!

I think Ben enjoyed his birthday and although the day was long, we had fun too!

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Ms Downy

Ms. Downy came for a visit today and I got so excited!

A couple weeks ago, as I stood looking out the back door,  I had a revelation that the shepherd’s hook I hang plants on in the summer could hold a suet feeder for the birds in the winter!  Yeah, I know…why did it take all this time to figure this out anyway?

I hung the feeder out over a week ago and one day I did see a Chickadee on the side of it, hacking away.  I was really excited to be this close to a woodpecker!

Magical!

This morning, a little flurry of snow showers came tumbling down.

And I began to think.

Each and every one of those tiny little flakes (and they were sparkling, illuminated by the sun!)

is as different and unique as every person’s fingerprints.

An amazing testimony of an Amazing Creator!

I Waited the Better Part of the Day…

until the sun was “just so” in the sky….

And while I was waiting, a friend showed up!  Carly had told me when she looked up information about Nuthatches, there seemed to be confusion because we always see Nuthatches with white bellies whereas many are described as having red bellies.  The white-breasted Nuthatches seem more abundant, but wow!  I have a really red-breasted one!

It seems comical, but this little fellow always sits on the same branch every time he visits! Perhaps I should have cropped the photo to show the bird better, but I really liked the photos as they were!

The Nuthatch below is our more typical bird.

The skies were brilliant yesterday…..a day filled with sparkling blue with harmless white clouds from time to time.  The sun put on a spectacular show and even melted a lot of snow from the sidewalks and where we shoveled.  It was a breathtaking day. And, the sunset was nothing to snear at either!

Some days are just hard to watch go……

It’s Tough….

but someone has to do it.

What? you ask.

Well, drive along West Lake Road along Canandaigua Lake!

I had to drive Michelle to school this morning and after hearing Bob, the UPS guy’s account of the road conditions late yesterday afternoon,  I was (much) less than thrilled to take her today.  We hadn’t plowed the driveway after yesterday’s dump of about 6 inches of heavy wet snow.  I had to take the pickup truck as my Explorer is still sitting in the garage with no window on the front passenger side. Being a little less experienced driving the truck was causing further anxiety!

Michelle and I drove down the driveway with the wind blowing the remaining snow off the hood of the truck briskly onto the windshield.  I decided to go down the hill instead of up so I could get as much snow off the hood as possible. As we drove along the roads, I discovered there must have been a vast improvement of conditions since yesterday!

I dropped Michelle off and watched in the eastern skies as the sun fought to shine through the thick clouds.  As I drove along,  I thought I would take the lake road home.  The further south I drove, the more the sun was winning the battle and the clouds were retreating! I was so enjoying my drive!

I looked to my left, ever curious as to what might pop up in the water….

Well, the only major problem I had this morning had nothing at all to do with driving conditions or roads.  It was all about the fact that my Nikon camera was sitting at home on my BED!  I used my little point-and-shoot Panasonic, which does a fine job, but I know my telephoto lens would have been better. Ah well.

And as an added bonus, here is a photo taken along the road I live on.

Beautiful, isn’t it?  Oh, and did I ever tell you it is nearly *magical* living here in the Bristolwood?

Why so Tired?

Ack! Today I felt like a tennis ball! Boing….boing……booooiiiiinnnngggg……..

I really enjoy running around, especially when I am by myself so I can pull off the road and take photos!  And that is just what I did today!

I got up at five and started doing my tasks for the morning.  Michelle wasn’t up by six, so I had to get her up.  She said her throat was sore and she wasn’t feeling great, but she got up and ready for school anyway. We were off  to Canandaigua by seven-fifteen.

After dropping Michelle off at school,  I drove east to Geneva.  Unfortunately, the seemingly “simple” fix for the window on my Explorer wasn’t quite so simple!  Last week,  Mark and Michelle went out to the garage and completely disassembled the front passenger door.  They had to remove rivets so the glass could be freed up, then they taped the window in the up position.  Mark realized an entire assembly was in need of replacement.  Thus, I went to the auto supply store in Geneva to pick up the part this morning.

Since I was so close to Seneca Lake, it would have been a shame not to stop by for a quick look.

I hadn’t remembered seeing this memorial before.

Walking back to the truck,  I looked up and saw all the houses on the hill in uptown Geneva.  Have you ever seen so many windows?

Yup, all those windows overlook beautiful Seneca Lake.

I started back toward Canandaigua,  but thought I would stop at BJ’s to pick up just a few items we needed.  And as I left BJ’s,  I noticed that the store next door had Yancy’s Fancy Cheese on sale.  Every time Mark watches the Sabres games on television,  one of the announcers advertises this cheese.  They had so many varieties, but I settled for Buffalo Wing, thinking Mark ought to like that!

Back in the truck and homeward bound.

Had to stop roadside for this shot of a little barn filled with hay…..

I stopped at WalMart in Canandaigua to grab a couple things.  As I was coming out of the store, I saw what I believe to be an Old Order Mennonite woman placing a big bag into a small basket on the front of a bicycle.  I thought that would be a fantastic photo op,  but I had several more things to do.

I passed by Aldi on my way to JoAnn Fabics to pick up some oil for my wonderful old sewing machine.  I passed this horse patiently waiting for its family to come out.

I had to stop by the dollar store and as I parked,  I spotted the Mennonite woman’s bike parked outside Penney’s.

I grabbed a couple of things I came for, and as I stepped out the door, I couldn’t believe I was running into the Mennonite woman once again! Now, this woman was no spring chicken….she looked to be well into her 60’s!  But she boogied on that bike like nobody’s business!

Although the temperature was parked right at about freezing,  the wind was chilly and I couldn’t help but be very thankful for a warm truck with a working heater!  I still had to stop at Wegman’s, and guess who pulled in right behind me?  I was shocked until  I saw the little lady go into the post office parking lot.  I did a little research and as I hopped out of the truck, the Mennonite lady passed by once again, parking in front of Wegman’s.  As I passed by her bike on the way into the store,  I saw that the large bag was cat food! She went into the store right behind me.  I was surprised as I don’t think I have seen Amish or Mennonites shopping there!

As I came out of Wegman’s,  the lady was getting on her bike once again!  Gads, I felt like a stalker!  Anyway, I had one more stop at the YMCA and I was pretty sure the Mennonite lady was NOT going there!  As I watched her ride off, it looked like she was going over to Michael’s Craft Store.

I finally arrived back home at about twelve-forty-five.  Just long enough to put stuff away, fix a salad, eat, and get ready to leave once again at four-fifteen to retrieve Michelle from school! When I walked into the house, Mark told me he wasn’t feeling well either!

Sleep cannot come soon enough tonight! And tomorrow…well, we are expecting “a few inches” of snow!