Be Still My Heart!

To have a good day photographing things I love is so wonderful.  But,  let me tell you….Saturday was GOLDEN!  I don’t know when I have felt so satisfied taking pictures as I did Saturday!  AND, I entered a photo on my daily journal and…..I was sooooo tired, I turned my trusty little netbook off.  As the little netbook went to sleep, suddenly, several popups came up stating that my netbook was infected with a virus!

I was so sleepy, I rested my head on my pillow and was asleep instantly.  Or, so it seems!

Sunday morning, I took the little netbook to Mark and asked if he could repair it!  Of course he could, but he had a few things to do first.  Last night, Ben brought the netbook to me, but when I tried to connect it online, it was a no go.  Mark told me that the virus attacked something that allows the computer to connect to the internet and he would need to do a little more work on it.  So…while Mark is working on the netbook, he told me to go ahead and use his laptop.

I don’t know where to begin, but here I go!

I went for a little walk up the road Saturday afternoon.  I was hoping to spot some birds.  To my disappointment, I didn’t even hear any birds.  As I passed by an area of bramble and brush, I stopped and heard Chickadees.  Don’t laugh, but I kind of made bird sounds, and to my surprise, they came out!  They even crossed the road, landing in some areas that made it possible for me to get some great photo ops!

The lighting was so terrific!  I have never gotten such good shots at birds!  Living in the woods is great, but the lighting is usually not the same as having wide open spaces! I walked about, losing track of time until Mark pulled up in the car and asked if I wanted to go for a ride with him to Canandaigua.

YES!

I spotted a pair of Scaups floating about on a large pond behind several businesses in Canandaigua.  I had been seeing a huge group of what I thought was some type of duck on that pond, but was never able to identify them!  That is, until this pair came close enough for me to get some fairly good photos. I just love the look of the male!

I just love seeing waterfowl and identifying them.  The male Scaup almost looks like a caricature and a happy little fellow at that!  Mark and I saw them as we sat eating a sandwich behind Arby’s.  I had a few little scraps of bread crumbs left and I spotted some Canada Geese off a ways away.  Well, I told Mark I wanted to just say hello and give them a little nibble on the crumbs so I walked on over without my camera.

As I got closer and closer, something weird happened.  One of the geese got up and hissed like crazy at me.  This is goose talk for, Come any closer, lady, and I will NAIL you! It was then the goose got up and exposed a teeny tiny little gosling it had snuggled under it!  My heart nearly fell out as I raced back to the truck for my camera.  Breathlessly, I explained to Mark I needed my camera.  I still had just a tiny piece of bread crumb in my hand, so I would try to get just close enough for a picture or two of the gosling.

Well, I was greeted with more hissing and alert goose parents!  But I did get close enough with the telephoto for this…..

I would venture to say this youngster was maybe a day or two old.  Being a single gosling, it was probably the first to hatch.  I know, I know. I am a real nature freak and even though I have seen so many of these little ones, I am still awed each and every time I see one. Understanding that I had ruffled the parents a bit, I went back to the truck, no wanting to wear out my welcome.

Mark and I sat a bit and then I saw the goose parents enter the pond.  Oh glory!  I HAD to run back over to see if the itty bitty baby was afloat as well! (poor Mark, I know….)

Aren’t these adorable?

And, I will interject that in the past, I had geese, so I do understand them and can read them fairly well.   I certainly know when to keep my distance!

We enjoyed our time but it was time to head back home.  As we drove past a large marshy area near Cheshire, I asked Mark to slow down just a bit.  I had seen a single goose floating in the shallow water there last year, and I wondered if there might be geese nesting there.  As we passed by the end of the water, Mark asked if geese typically build a large nest like the one he saw.  Unfortunately, I missed it, so he turned around and went back.

I have to admit, I had to look hard.  Where was the goose he had seen?

With the telephoto lens attached, I could see the goose.  She had ducked low to make herself less visible!  And just look how well she is camouflaged! It appeared the goose had built her nest on top of some type of lodge…perhaps Muskrat or Beaver.  The nest was really up in the air!

Well, as thrilled as I am taking photos of nature, you can see just why I was so excited about my “big day”!

Romantic Canandaigua

Late yesterday afternoon, Mark and I went for a little ride to Canandaigua. The sun was heading more and more westerly, creating lighting that is a photographer’s dream.  The day had been so gloomy and ugly, but as sunset was approaching, the skies cleared and everything was awash in the beautiful sunshine!  We parked the truck and I hopped out….the thing I didn’t account for was the wind!  Wow!!! It was pretty chilly walking around, but I just couldn’t resist!

Unfortunately for me, I missed one really golden photo op.  A woman walked by the front of the truck along the path, carrying a tennis racquet.  Soon, her companion came running up next to her, tennis ball clenched in his teeth.  Apparently, the woman used the racquet to “serve” the ball into the lake and the dog would fetch!  He seemed so happy as he bounced along, his coat drippy and matted! The pair was walking briskly along and I only noticed them after they were pretty far away…..

Ah well, the only description that seemed to fit the photos was “romantic”! Canandaigua is so charming and the north end of the lake is so pretty…

A Good Dose of Spring

Whine, whine, whine…..

After enjoying all the beautiful weather we have been blessed with, we are now experiencing some chilly temperatures. And snow. Yes, just this morning, we got a “dusting”.  You understand that I love the winter, but this is the end of April.  I don’t enjoy seeing the flowers and bushes get roughed up!  So….

I decided to post some springlike photos I took last week. Michelle had an interview in downtown Rochester (again) so the camera and I wandered around just a bit.  I was afraid to go too far, lest my skirt fly up into my face!  Yes, it was very windy that day!  So, here are some downtown photos….

Wow…I took quite a few photos in such a short amount of time! 

Michelle called and said she was done, so Mark and I headed over to pick her up.  Upon picking her up, I did something unusual for me. 

I suffer from an affliction called I never open my mouth and tell the family what I want to do. I am accused of this on a regular basis….the family insists that if I want/need something, I need to tell them.  And so, I asked if perchance Highland Park wasn’t *too* far away?  In checking with GPS, we discovered it was “only a couple miles away”. Now, I was really excited. 

Blue skies. Puffy white clouds. Lots of sunshine.  Wow, all these conditions add up to a nice opportunity to take photos. Highland Park on a really nice day….how could I not love this!  (Sorry, but you, Dear Reader, are about to get innundated with photos. You ARE forewarned!)

I have previously mentioned that Rochester is famous for its Lilac Festival.  I think I read the festival begins May 11 this year.  I am including photos of some Lilacs I took at the park.  As you can see, the Lilacs were out pretty much, already.  I am wondering what they are going to look like in a couple of weeks….I am thinking they may be spent by then! And yes, the fastival takes place in Highland Park.

I sure covered a lot of territory in a short amount of time. I was only at the park for about half an hour.

On the way home, we passed by the Erie Canal, so I thought perhaps I should take a quick peek there as well.  Don’t worry…there are only a few pictures left!

I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods. but I feel better just seeing these photos!  It’s like a breath of fresh spring air!

A Most Delish Side Dish!

Alright…time to share a wonderful recipe that I discovered in my Mennonite cookbook!

I love, love, love Zucchini!  I know people always say this plant grows so prolifically, it is impossible to use it as fast as it grows. However, I could eat this particular dish evry day.  It is yummy! It is also a great way to get folks to eat those veggies! Here is the recipe:

Zucchini Patties

1 1/2 cups Zucchini

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup minced onion

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon Oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Grate Zucchini.  I have found that I really like this recipe best when the Zucchini is finely grated.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Heat skillet or griddle and add 1/2 Tablespoon butter. Drop patties from heaping tablespoon. Fry until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Enjoy!

Notes:  If you want to cut down on fat, you can use less mayonnaise, or skip it all together.  The patties I made today, I did not use any mayo at all and they are nice and tasty.  Also, while the original recipe calls for Oregano,  I love Basil.  I sub Basil for the Oregano.  These only take a few minutes to prepare, so they are a great addition to any meal! (And since they can be easily mixed in one bowl, they don’t dirty every dish and utensil in the kitchen!)

Okay, now that I have shared one of my most favorite recipes, here are a few photos I took on Monday. This was the day after our storm and Mark wanted to run up to take a look at a car.  We have been trying to find the “perfect” car for the kids and also to use in case we need a second car.

We were near the cemetery where my father-in-law is, so we stopped by. They got snow, but not quite as much as we did.  I took a few photos as the trees were in full bloom and looking so pretty!

The blossoms were so dripping wet!  They looked a little sad, for sure….

As did all their pretty dropped petals mixed with slushy wet snow on the ground!

I have no idea what “possessed” me, but I had gone out last Friday and picked the few Tulips that had flowered on the side garden.  I was glad I did, as they probably would not have survived all that heavy wet snow!

They sure added some nice color to the windowsill above the sink for a few days!

The snow is greatly diminished…as the temperatures outside are above freezing, the snowpack compresses and gets crusty as the temperature drops below freezing at night. The trees looks okay although I see a lot of branches scattered all over. The Lilac bushes have sprung back up again, standing tall.  Since there is still a bit of snow all around the house perimeter, I’m not sure how the flowers have done.  Guess I will have to wait and see.  If there is good news, it is that the snow will add some much needed moisture to the earth!

I Know that the Subject is Taboo…

but, let’s talk about weather!

Yes, I remember years ago when I began this blogging journey, one of the points I read was that one shouldn’t talk about the weather.  But c’mon!  We are winding down to the last week in April and we got slammed!!!

Here is a photo of our pretty double white Lilacs taken last week.  As you can see, the flowers were beginning to open.  They were so pretty and I felt sorry for them as that COLD rain fell on them. (Little did I know what was in store!!!!)

Nice SPRING type of photo. And, now….

What greeted me and my camera this morning…

That is my Lilac bush as it appeared this morning before Ben and I went out to shake what we thought was just snow off the branches.  Actually, the bush had a good deal of ice on it as well.  Of course, not knowing the outcome of this weather on the bush, I went out with scissors and cut out a nice bouquet and…it is adding a lovely fragrance to the living room!

I warmed the bouquet up in some tepid water to remove all the ice crystals!

And, here’s a look at scenes around the house this morning.

Now, of course, if this snow was, in say, October, I would be jumping for joy, thinking that we might have a long and wonder-filled snowmobile season.  But April?

Something Kinda New…

I have so many photos, but for this time, I am not going to comment on them.  I am just going to post them! 

And…..it’s almost Friday!  Yay!!!

Okay….breaking the silence!  Did you ever see the movie It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart?  It is a Christmas movie and it is said the town of Beford Falls might well have been loosely based on the (real) little town of  Seneca Falls, New York.  So…Seneca Falls is proud of this fact.  So…it is kind of sad to see Zuzu’s Cafe (named after the little daughter Zuzu in the movie) up for lease!?

These photos are really random and taken from all over the place.  Just thought you might enjoy….

Speaking of *Strange*…

With temperatures soaring well into the mid to upper eighties yesterday, it was hard to believe it is only spring in New York.  But, such was the case.

As I looked at the forecast for today, it called for high fifties.  Really?  Hard to believe!

When we got home last night,  the skies were dark and pretty angry looking.  Ben kept commenting that is was “supposed” to rain yesterday, although we had seen none.  It was getting darker and darker out and I noticed the sky had become a “strange” sort of color.  This made me think back to when I was a girl….I ‘m not sure whether it was ever officially termed a “tornado”, but one day, the atmosphere became very “heavy” and everything turned a weird greenish color.  My mother made us go down to the basement.  Winds roared, and while we were down in the basement, a huge Maple tree in front of our house came down!  It landed so neatly, in our neigbors’ driveway, right between our house and theirs! No costly damage was done, thankfully. 

Just as our day was coming to a close, and the sun was heading over the hills to the west,  the wind blew and the skies opened up!  Although the rain wasn’t a pounding rain, it was substantial.

The entire time that the rain fell, the sun continued to shine on.  This was so unusual! 

The bedroom window was open but the rain wasn’t coming in at all. 

I watched the rain and sunshine for a long time, then decided to take a bath. Afterward, I went into Michelle’s room.  I looked out her window and exclaimed, “OH my GOODNESS!!!!”

Michelle freaked out, asking me what was wrong!

Of course, I was gone!  I grabbed my camera and headed downstairs as fast as I could.  It is a rare day, indeed, to see this, after all….

Rainbows appear in so many places, but with all the trees we have here in the Bristolwood (and our lack of bright and sunny days!) we don’t see too many rainbows!