Canandaigua Lake

Way overdue….

Well, it was almost two months ago that I had a few hours on my hands to wander around the Canandaigua area. The weather started out in a most spectacular way!

The sky was fascinating and as the day moved along, more and more blue began showing.  I drove on up to the city where major construction on the sidewalks has been underway all summer long.  It was rather unsightly, especially since Canandaigua has to be one of the most attractive cities I have seen.

In thinking through my options on how to spend my time, I thought about Sonnenberg Gardens and how it might be nice to visit.  The last time I had been there was about five years ago!

Such pretty flowers contrasting the white picket fence that greets visitors!

The following are some of the hundreds (yes, I think I took almost 300) of photos. Sonnenberg is such an incredible adventure. To think that this huge mansion with its seemingly endless acres of gardens, statuary, greenhouses, and the house, was merely a summer home built during Victorian times just seems incomprehensible. A “summer home” containing forty rooms doesn’t register….

I didn’t take many photos of the house itself, so I will just post pictures and you can stroll alongside me. I am always awestruck by the numerous water features dispersed throughout the property.

I didn’t remember the lush displays of greenery exhibited in the greenhouses. They were amazing! I took so many photos in the various houses, but I shan’t bore you.

Another awesome area was the Japanese garden! Oh my…it is so picturesque!

New York State has taken over the property and it is now a state park.  I was so impressed to see some improvements throughout the grounds.  One area that sadly remains in ruins is the Roman baths.

The gardens….ah, the gardens!

One thing that I noted was that the pillars along this pergola were all in good shape. The last time I visited, many were in bad shape, rotted, and with holes in them.

I love this stone building, which was the aviary. The red brick building in the background is the Veteran’s Hospital which is built on the original estate’s property.

Of course, there was so much more to show, but I did not want to bore you!!! So, we will end once again where we began….

Prime time

Anyone who talks to photographers will discover there are two magical times of the day for photoshoots.  This would be sunrise and sunset, and especially so this time of the year!

Yesterday morning, I was able to actually be in Canandaigua before sunrise.  I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to walk around a bit and get some photos. You will note that I am not the least bit shy about shooting into the sun.  This makes for some interesting pictures!

I love the “sepia” quality of this photo. No, I didn’t touch the photo to alter it….this is how it turned out….shooting into the sun!

As you can see in this photo, the sky was a lively golden/orange color. It was amazing! I liked how these coots were just hanging out on the stone breakwall.

Oh yeah…how could I not photograph the boathouses?  They were so pretty in the sunlight and glasslike lake!

I wandered over to Kershaw Park for a bit and loved how pretty it was there, as well! With all the leaves falling to the ground, it was incredible to see the Weeping Willows still green and full!

The clock was ticking and I had obligations….

I was rather amused to see this…

Somehow, I couldn’t be quite so brave as to take a horse and buggy on a 40 mile per hour road!  Particularly busy 5&20!

Second post tonight!

One thing is for sure and for certain; fall offers the most fantastic array of colors!  No other season has such a wide range of natural colors. And no other season can rival the golden rays of sunshine that stream down! I have not taken nearly as many photos as I have desired, but that seems always to be the case.  Laundry, cooking, cleaning, and (seemingly endless) dishes beckon to be dealt with.  And so I offer some more of my fall photos that warm my heart as the colder weather has begun its nip!

My, it is Froggy Out There!

One day last week, Ben and I went on a little kayaking journey.  Oh, it wasn’t a very big trip, but it was interesting!  I had wanted to see if I might observe my friends the Eagles again, but they didn’t show.  I felt a bit defeated, but it was okay, because in the end, Ben and I were quite entertained!

We decided to use the (very wonderful!) canoe and kayak launch.  It is terrific, as I can safely take my good camera with me with no fear of it getting wet entering or exiting the water.  Although I only tipped and got wet once while getting into a kayak (other than the time I got *drenched* as the girl **held** a canoe for me to try out!) that was long ago when I was “learning the ropes”.

As the kayak gracefully made its way into the water, I realized I was being observed by a pair of big, beady eyes!

I had a good laugh as the little fellow quickly submerged as I got closer.

As we paddled out, the lake was like glass.  It was a beautiful early evening.

The only downside to the beauty was all the seaweed. Yuck!  But with the hard kayaks, it is pretty easy to glide through the mess.  The inflatables were much harder, getting stuck in the tangled mess!

Did I mention how *beautiful* it was? The atmosphere was ah, so lovely!

Even the giant wind generators off in the hills beyond the Naples valley looked rather harmless and inert….

We just paddled around, enjoying the warmth, the freedom found in paddling, and watching boats off in the distance.

But.

We were not alone!

As we decided to head back to shore, it became obvious, we were surrounded!

At first, I noticed a few little frog heads exposed by that awesome, luscious late afternoon end of summer sunlight! But as we continued on….

more and more of those little green heads were evident!

We had never seen so many frogs!  They were all resting with just their heads above the water.  Funny little critters!

Oddly enough, when we passed through acres of lilypads, there was not a frog in sight.  They seemed to much prefer sitting on top of the seaweed!

I took a couple of shots of Ben paddling back.  I was shooting directly into the sunlight, and I liked the result.  I know the photos are dark, but I really liked the”splash” of the water as he paddled!

Well, we failed to see any Eagles, but had fun all the same. Any day paddling is a good day!

From Canandaigua Lake to Seneca Lake

Everyone slept in a little this morning. Well, except for Murphy and me!  I think the cool temperature during the night really helps one rest in a more deep and refreshing sleep.

The kids had plans for the day. Michelle and I were going to take the kayaks down to Woodville for a brief paddle.  When I spoke to my father yesterday, he had told me two people had drowned from my hometown.  I decided to find out why, so Mark looked the story up online.

As it turns out, one of the drownings was a young man who was the son of a woman I had played with as a little girl.  Mark discovered that the fellow had never been kayaking before, was not a strong swimmer, and was not wearing a life jacket.  This whole mix of details adds up to a recipe for disaster in the case of an accident.

The kayak tipped over, filling with water, then sinking with the young man inside.  A longtime kayaking friend who was with him tried to rescue him, but could not find him.  This whole situation made me so upset.  I understand why people do not want to wear a bulky and not the most comfortable vest, but I cannot help but wonder if this might have saved the young man’s life.  He was only 23 and had so much to look forward to.  He had just graduated from college with a business degree and was going to attend a college in Louisiana to further his education.  He also was engaged.

After hearing the details of this accident,  I felt almost overwhelmed with never wanting to kayak again.  But, in thinking things through, we have kayaks with added foam inserts to prevent them from sinking in the event they are overturned.  We also wear life jackets. Always.  The water at Woodville is shallow enough that if push came to shove, we could actually walk back to shore!  Not that all the water we have been in has been so shallow, but we do take precautions. Always. Water is not to be randomly feared, but greatly respected.

We got ready to go and Ben came along with us.  Since we only have the two solid kayaks, Ben took one of the little yellow inflatables.  We weren’t out too long, but it was windy and a bit of a challenge to paddle against the water in some areas.  When a couple of guys passed us on a fishing boat as we headed down the river off the lake,  I thought we ought to turn around. They were fishing and I didn’t want to disturb them.

I did take my old D-80 with me in the infamous plastic bag and got a few photos….

You can see that the water is rather muddy looking.  After about one and a half inches of rain fell two days ago (mixed with sizeable hail!) the water all ran down from the surrounding hills, bringing along some mud and silt!

As you can see, there is an abundance of flowers everywhere!  They add so much color!

I seem to be having some difficulty uploading photos, and since it is nearing midnight, I am going to have to post Seneca Lake photos tomorrow!

The Great Blue

Heron, that is!

Late yesterday afternoon,  Mark and I went down to Woodville to see what was up. I got out of the car and walked around.  The only wildlife present appeared to be Red-Winged Blackbirds.  Bah! Mark worked on his laptop while I walked back and forth like a restless caged lion.

I came back to the car to grumble. Nothing was around. No ducks. No geese. No flowers….nothing.  Mark told me sometimes you just have to be patient.  So, I sat.  And sat.

Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a Great Blue Heron cruised across the sky.  It was flying rather low, so I poised the camera and began shooting.

These photos were okay, I guess. but I was a bit disappointed.  I don’t like “fiddling” around with photos. I like to get the shot right directly with the camera without tinkering around with color, contrast, and so on.   The lighting was kind of cruddy and it shows in the photos.

I went back to the car and sat again.  I didn’t see where the Heron went, but it seemed to magically appear once again.  It looked like it was irritated by a passing Gull and was chasing after it.  I hopped out of the car again and this time, I was much happier!  I thought these last three photos were far better than the first ones!

The was the first of the last three photos, and I did crop it because I used it for my photo journal. I loved the way the wings were spanned out! The last two photos, I didn’t crop so much but wanted to leave some of the “environment” in the photo.  I love the wings and the legs.

Herons are so gangly….they look kind of funny!  But, they are so large, they really catch your eye!

So, the moral of the story here was to just sit and (try to) be patient!  Mark reminded me that one evening while he was sitting in Woodville, one of the Eagles passed by him, overhead! Which reminds me that one of these days, things need to settle down a little so I can go kayaking again!!!

A Very Quick Post!

My little netbook is still suffering from lack of communication!  Boo!!!!

So, late this afternoon, Mark and I went down to Woodville to just enjoy the peace and quiet for a bit.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to photograph. But, I did spot a pair of Common Merganser Ducks!

They were out far enough that it was hard to get a good shot of them…

But, a fat little Robin managed to keep us entertained for awhile!

Well, I am hoping the netbook gets fixed soon.  It is rather incredible I am able to live without a computer, though!

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…