Sabbath Rest

Today is Sunday and I am taking a day off!  I am so tired…we have been running around so much and trying to get things in order before cold weather sets in. Thankfully, we need precious little firewood. We still have about eight cords left over from last year.  I’m not exactly sure how that happened, as we did use the furnace until around Christmas, but we wouldn’t have used very much wood from October until Christmas….

I haven’t been taking very many photos lately as we have been running about in the truck and there just hasn’t been a whole lot of interesting things to see!  Mark, Ben, and I have been looking a little at snowmobiles since we grow weary of just sitting inside the house  in the winter!  And, after seeing Lewis County’s beautiful snowmobile trails,  we feel we might have gotten the “bug”!  Since winter is one of my favorite seasons, I would love to get out and enjoy it more! We also discovered that our own area has a wonderful trail system, provided enough snow falls!

Well, enough about winter. As much as I love it and look forward to it,  I’ll not wish time away!  It is a far too limited quantity as it is!

Here are some photos I took right around the house. I really like the look of Queen Anne’s Lace before it matures and opens.

And Goldenrod up close is really quite pretty!

I think one of the most awesome late summer bouquets would have to be Goldenrod and Bachelor’s Buttons combined. The rich gold and purple colors are so royal looking!

I found a bumblebee working his way through the Bachelor’s Buttons.  Just look at the amount of pollen this little bee is toting around on its body!

Mark, Ben, and I went for a little ride in the woods on our ATV’s.  I really like the way these toadstools grew at the base of a tree.  Couldn’t have arranged them any better.

Yesterday afternoon,  we took off with the kids and headed to Darien Lake.  We stopped at Tom Wahl’s along the way, as we had buy one cheeseburger, get a second free, coupons.  Since Tom Wahl’s burgers are reknowned far and wide throughout Rochester, we do pick these up once in a while.  We stopped at the store and found out they are also having an anniversary sale on their rootbeer floats.  They are on sale for 99 cents.  Oh my!  The “ice cream” in the float is actually frozen custard….all I can say is that is very good Tom Wahl’s isn’t located too close to our house!

I took a few photos of the kids…

The kids both love the rollercoasters.  I think I just like watching!

I took this photo simply because the Marigolds were just so very pretty!

By the time we got home, we were all so tired, we went right to bed.  It was a beautiful day, though, with the temperatures in a very comfortable range.   It sure was nice to spend the day outside without getting overheated!

Goodness!

Believe it or not, I am still looking through the SD cards from our trip to Lewis County.  I seems like every time I think I have gleaned them and cleaned them up, I find yet another photo I missed previously!

Such was the case of a night shot taken in Watertown the night we were returning from our afternoon in Alexandria Bay. We stopped in a parking lot while Mark worked on routing our way back to the campground.  The moon was so cool, shining up in the sky.  I just had to try to snap a good shot from the truck window!  Of course,  I had no tripod, monopod, or other pod!  Only my hands to hold the camera! 

This is one of those photos that needs to be enlarged to fully see all that is going on! Enjoy!

Alexandria Bay

While we were n our little vacation in Lewis County,  Mark suggested that we make a day trip up to the Thousand Islands, located along the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  Mark has great memories of camping and boating there when he was a young man. 

We traveled northward and ended up exploring Alexandria Bay….what an awesome destination this would be to explore for a few days!  There is so much to see and do in a fairly compact area!  We thought about taking a boat tour, but arrived too late in the day for the one we wanted. Of course, that’s okay because one day, we’ll go back for a good look around!

This is such a terrific place to visit and I only wish we would have started out earlier in the day.

I have never seen a place with more rock!  It was incredible to see rock poking up everywhere.  Many homes had very tiny amounts of grass growing in their lawns, which were mostly rock!

As you can see, we had a most awesome day when we went to Alexandria Bay.  I wish I ould have taken photos in the tiny town…it definitely is a tourist trap with all things themed nautical.  As we meandered along in the truck,  we spotted a young Amish couple with a small table set up outside of a store.  In all honesty, that really surprised me!  The horse and buggy were parked off the side of the road.  I cannot even begin to imagine how these folks drove into town!  I did buy some chocolate chip cookies from them, which my family gobbled up quickly!

I Have Been a (very) Busy Girl!

Yesterday morning, Michelle went to work at our friend Cindy the piemaker’s house.  How I would have loved to sneak past Mark and Ben and gone back to bed!  But no, I did not.  Instead, I was a good wife and mom and drove my ATV down in the woods to participate in another (dreaded) burning of brush.

I guess the main reason for my vacillating is that I just hate burning.  On the other hand,  what was being burned was indeed in need of being burned! 

That piece of “tree” isn’t really a tree at all, but rather, a section of grapevine that Ben had cut.  We had an area of woods where wild grapevine was growing rampantly and causing any tree that crossed its path to grow distorted (by strangulation), or even worse,  killing it. 

Ben to the rescue!  Ben worked in an area about 60 feet by 60 feet,  severing vines and setting saplings free of their death  grip!  He freed so many trees and cut the offensive vine into small sections that could be easily burned.

You can see in the above photo that there are some saplings in the fire as well.  Ben’s rule was that if a tree was 80% covered in grapevine,  it needed to be cut down.  Most of these saplings were growing irregularly-some were even nearly doubled in half under the grips of that horrible vine!

Ben and I worked all day long,  pruning, lopping, and chainsawing grapvine.  We also found some treetops that had been left by loggers on the property over 20 years ago.   Ben cut those pieces into small sections as well, and we burned them.  The fire never got very big, but it did burn on and on for what seemed like forever!

Ben and I were alone in the woods when Mark went to pick Michelle up from work,  so Ben decided to entertain me with a little something he had picked up at a WalMart in one of our journeys….

I sat in a chair and watched the show, but it sadly only lasted less than a minute!  (it was very small and didn’t make any noise)

Late this morning,  I decided to try my hand at baking some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  I had purchased a Mennonite cookbook a few days ago when we went to the store at Seneca Falls. The book is a compilstion of recipes from Mennonite ladies here in the Finger Lakes Region.  It is chock-full of all sorts of yummy-sounding recipes!

Oh, the background for the plate of cookies is my freshly painted taupe floor on the front porch!  We are still keeping everyone off the porch, but I’m sure it is good and dry by now.

And, speaking of the porch-here is a photo of the southwestern corner.  While this was the only pole finished before today,  I was able to complete two more this afternoon! 

The family thought my choice of “Apple a DayRed” on the poles was a bad one at first, but in seeing them get completed,  the red seems a little less bold. Last week, when the weather was so terribly hot, it was impossible to paint, as the paint seemed to dry faster than I could apply it!  I am working with some small brushes to do this painting as larger ones would make cutting-in so difficult and probably a mess! I have only three more poles and then the porch will be all done, although I think some touchup might be required in the deep brown here and there.

Oh, and yes, you do see autumn shaded leaves on that maple tree….The sad part is that as soon as the leaves begin to get their color,  they seem to disconnect from the branches and end up on the ground!

Random Photos from the Lewis County Trip

Before I upload all my photos from the SD card into the computer,  I thought I would have a little looksee. Wow. In looking back at everywhere we went,  I miss these places.  Even though we are “rural”,  we have neighbors nearby. In Lewis County, it seems one can travel a great deal before running into civilization.  There is so much pristine beauty and people seem sometimes few and far between.  Considering the harsh nature of winters there,  I guess this area just isn’t that much of an attraction.

Having noted the winter conditions at Lewis County, we were advised that winter weekends can be horrific, as people travel from far and wide to the Tug Hill Plateau with their snowmobiles in tow.  We were told if we ever think about snowmobiling there,  it is best done during the week after all the “city hillbillies” have returned home.

The photos I took might not all be at Lewis County, as we did some traveling elsewhere during our visit. These are some of my favorites and believe me, they probably will make no sense at all!

An odd assortment of photos, I know, but some that I rather liked. Funny thing is, while looking over my photos, I found a series of a day trip we took I had forgotten about!  More on that tomorrow!

Thank You, Lord!

I am so thrilled that some cool weather has rolled on in….I seriously was at the point where I thought I might do something irrational!  The heat we were experiencing was more than intolerable-it was altering not only my personality, but most everyone I’ve met recently!  Seems like basically everyone was crying out, “Uncle”! I am just happy that the cooler temps will be around for at least a few days!

I am finally ending the all-consuming porch project!  Painting the floor was a piece of cake, although it took two days because it needed two coats. I am now left with the task of painting the finials on the posts and although I enjoy doing it,  it is a slow process-a steady hand and good eyes are required.  I get a little shaky after painting an hour or so and find the eyestrain causes me not to see correctly.  So, I quit and start again later.  I do enjoy this type of painting, though.

The other day,  while I was working on painting,  I caught sight of a butterfly in the periphery. Since my camera was only inside the door,  I went in and grabbed it.  I took over 200 photos of the beautiful Black Swallowtail Butterfly and was able to capture some good shots.

This weekend is a long one, with many people having off Monday for Labor Day. If you are celebrating, please have a safe and happy weekend!

Yeah…Sure

Being the mom of two energetic young people,  I am sometimes asked to do things beyond my limits. Beyond my abilities. Just for the sake of saying that I did not turn my kids down, I press on. Such was the case on the last day of our visit at the campground.

We were staying at a state campground called  Whetstone Gulf State Park.  How the term “gulf” got put into the name is beyond me, as I thought one had to have a great body of water in order to have a proper gulf.  Perhaps a better name would be Whetstone Gorge State Park.  The gorge I am referring to is deep and…well,  I would definitely use the word “treacherous”.   The park offers trails that run along the gorge, full of signs warning about the cliffs.  There are two trails, one north and one south. 

Ben took the south trail the day before we left the campground.  Mark wanted to take me up onto some roads that were open to ATV riding,  and Ben assured us he would meet us at the end of one of the trails.  He had been up with Mark previously, so he knew where the trail ended.  Mark handed him his cell phone and Ben was off.  After waiting what seemed like an eternity for Ben to emerge,  we called Mark’s cell and Ben answered, sounding rather breathless.  He told Mark about all the “danger” signs posted along the trail and how there are no fences to hold people back from the sheer cliffs.  You cannot imagine the relief as Ben finally made his way out of the woods!

Okay, so back to the last day we were at the park.  Ben wanted Michelle and I to hike the trail, as he saw a sign that showed another path to a lookout.  I never checked the map, but somehow got hoodwinked into this hike to see a lookout that Ben had mistakenly thought was a fire tower.  And so, we began our ascent.

We walked up. And up. And up.  Oh, my aching calf muscles just thinking about this (painful) hike.  The signs not only warned about the cliffs, but also admonished hikers to be aware of the many pine roots on top of the ground that could easily trip an unsuspecting hiker and hurl them over the cliff.  Oh, and rocks. Beware loose rocks. Not only could they send one over the cliffs, but they might fall from above and land on top of you, sending you over the cliffs!   Did I seriously need this walk?

Yes, this sign was located in a good ways, and I was shaking not from fear, but because it seemed like we had been climbing upward far too long!

It really doesn’t appear that steep, does it?  Believe me, it *was*! 

Another poor quality photo of Ben….sitting right on the edge of the trail…More shaking and trembling!

We kept walking and walking until we finally came to this sign!

No outlet?  Did we really want to see this “tower”, anyway?  Seriously, I was having a little trouble breathing, so I wondered about going back. The kids encouraged me to stick it out, so I did.  I suppose they thought they would miss out if I left, because they would feel obligated to walk back down with me!

The trail leading down to the lookout tower made me suspicious.  What kind of “tower” is built below the highest point?  I remember going up and looking out of fire towers when I was a kid….they were always constructed at the highest point,  not below! Note the trail….all the wonderful pine tree roots!

Michelle decided to strike a pose while I stopped for a second to catch my breath!

With all of the forestation, it is impossible to view the cliffs leading down to the gorge.  Instead, one can see far out into the distance whenever there was a break in the trees!

The trail leading to the lookout was pretty as one could peek through the trees every so often and see farms and land below in the distance!

We finally reached the lookout and Ben was a little disappointed.  He and Michelle did indeed look out, though….

As the kids sat observing,  I decided to begin walking back to the main trail.  I knew the kids would be moving a great deal faster than I, so I jumped on the headstart!

Up, up, up, yet again.  But, there was satisfaction in knowing that the walk back was going to be downhill! It felt good to be heading back down, as the day was heating up.

Along the way, we saw some spider webs that were so eye-catching as they glistened in the sun.

We made it back down to the beginning of the trail.  As we walked away,  I turned around and saw this!

Goodness, seein a BEAR would have been the icing on the proverbial cake!  Also, there were signs warning that hikers were not to begin any of the trails after 3pm.  As you could see in some of the photos,  it gets dark in the woods….getting lost in dusk could be rather scary!

After we left the trail for our little explore, the kids teased to go over to the swimming area at the park.   It was just a short walk.  The beach was closed…I guess this was a “pinch” in the governor’s spending cuts for the state.  We walkeed about and I took photos.

The rest of this day, I was certain I would never be able to walk again,  but as it worked out, my legs weren’t the least bit sore.  I guess all the walking Mark and I had done earlier this yea paid off well for me!

This park is on my list of highly recommended!  It is so beautiful!  It is limited as far as electric hookups go,  but tenters would find this a real gem! It is located near Lowville and not too far from the Adirondack Mountains.  (which can be seen in the distance from roads in Lowville)

Seeing all these photos  made me long to return…We had last visited this area and park four years ago….I sincerely hope it will not be that long again!

Cows and More Cows…

So what, exactly, have bovines to do with our little journey?

Well, as I read information handed out throughout Lewis County,  I discovered that the county produces over 500 MILLION gallons of milk each year.  Whoa, Bessie….that’s a whole lotta mik!

The state park where we stayed was located near a small town called Lowville. (Not pronounced low as in “that is a low note”, but rhyming with “now”. )  Lowville (aren’t you glad you are pronouncing that properly now?)  is home of a Kraft Foods cheese processing plant.  There is also a small cheese shop located near the Kraft factory. I’m not sure who the owner of this ginormous cow is, but…..

I do think she represents a large population of some very important inhabitants! I wonder if she removes those shades in the winter?  Maybe not, as this region gets some rather remarkably heavy amounts of snow which can definitely cause blinding reflections!

And, speaking of all things bovine…..these cattle are *not* dairy cows, but some rather nice looking Black Angus!

Whether the farm is lucrative or not is not our concern, but this farmer makes it a practice to give thanks in all things!

We saw one dairy farm that was so large, there must have been nearly 1,000 head of milkers! There were rows and rows of low barns filled with black and white cows.  Of course, every time we drove past the barns,  Angus would rise up on his hind legs and look out the window to see what the smell was about!