The last of the Christmas photos!

When I was little, I remember we used to drive around the streets of my hometown, looking at the pretty Christmas lights.  I still enjoy looking at lights, although I guess a lot of displays have become more complex than just stringing lights on coniferous trees or highlighting one’s house.

And so, this particular display in a driveway in Canandaigua made me chuckle.  Canandaigua is located on the lake, after all.

Now, if you cannot quite make out what you are looking at….this is a power boat parked in the driveway, filled with plastic Santas.  I did notice that if enlarged, one of the plastic figurines way in the back is a Mrs. Claus.  Anyway, this made me smile.  Hope it makes you smile, too!

And….the reason I am showing these photos instead of photos taken today is because I am whipped!  It has snowed and snowed all day long.  I don’t imagine we had anywhere near the amount that fell in my hometown (in the snowbelt) but we have at least twelve inches.  I was out shoveling early this morning and again this afternoon.  Even though the snow was fluffy, it wore me out!  And…..I am not taking anymore snow photos for now!

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 Little Netbook….

is still sick with a virus…..

Mark worked on getting the little puter up and running, but the virus ruined something, making it impossible for it to connect online.  Talk about frustrating! Mark has on on spent the better part of today working on it again.  He is confident the little netbook will be fine, it just might take some time.  So…

On Friday afternoon, Mark and I went for a ride down to Bath.  It was a nice day for a ride and lately, our little Murphy has been enjoying riding along.  We wound up going to a car dealership there, and Mark wanted to take a car for a test drive.  The fellow showing us the car said Murphy could ride along, as it was rather warm.  I held him on my lap and he was perfect!

After the test drive, Mark wanted to go inside and get some information about the car.  I carried Murphy in and he sat on my lap as we chatted with the salesman. Murphy could not have behaved any better.  He sat on my lap with his paws on the desk as though he was listening to all that was said.  Another salesman came over to inquire what type of dog Murphy is. When I told him a Scottie, he said he has a Scottie-poo.  (Mark’s sister also has a dog like this, but refers to hers as a “Scoodle”.)

After we left the dealership, we began driving home.  Mark asked if I wanted to visit with Eunice, my Amish friend.  I happily agreed, although was a little concerned as it was kind of late.

We stopped by and Eunice was so happy to see me again!  Her little boy Chris wanted to know if I had any Lincoln Logs.  He apparently heard Eunice and I talking about them the last time I was there!  I told him no, but he was still pretty happy to see me!

Eunice told me she had been working on planting onions in their garden.  She had to go inside….although it was late, they hadn’t had their dinner yet.  I followed Eunice inside and asked if I could help out. I had to smile as I spotted little Chris’s miniature straw hat on the table, filled with six fresh eggs! Eunice laughed as she explained that Chris always carries the eggs in his hat!  Oh, how my camera trigger finger burned….

Little Susanna was in her arms, so Eunice said I could take her.  As soon as she was in my arms, her little bottom lip protruded and she began to wail!  Oh my! Poor Eunice….I asked if she minded me taking Susanna outside and she said to go ahead.  I remember how hard it was getting anything done with a crying baby and I thought perhaps taking her outside might distract her.

We walked around, looking at everything, but she still sobbed in between looking around.  Chris followed us around and Susanna would get interested in watching him a bit, then would resume crying.  Poor baby!  We went back inside and dinner was almost ready.

I asked Eunice if there was anything at all I could do, and she said “Yes!”  She showed me a hand operated butter churn and I was thrilled!  The churn was a big glass jar with a shaft that went inside with a paddle at the bottom.  Noah had just brought in some fresh milk from their cow and had separated the cream from the milk.

I churned the butter for a few minutes and in peaking inside, I could see the butter was forming.  I am not sure if it was completely done or not, but Noah said he would finish it up if it wasn’t.  They told me they make butter two or three times every week.

Noah got up from the table and said he needed to go “get the cow”.  Eunice and I went back outside to visit.  We chatted and had such a good time visiting, as always.  I noticed Noah walking up the driveway, behind the big cow.  Suddenly, he lunged forward and grabbed hold of a rope that was tied around her neck.  Behind him, little Chris followed along in his blue shirt, black trousers with suspenders, and straw hat.  Once again, my mind longed to just snap a photo!

Mark had dropped me off and driven a few miles to the town to do some work on his laptop.  I called him and he came to pick me up.  It is hard saying good bye….I so enjoy Eunice and her family, but we needed to get on home.

Saturday morning, we had to leave home to head on out to Rochester Institute of Technology.  Michelle’s college was having another Imagine RIT event….this is like their open house to show off the various schools.

Walking around the campus for a few hours with my big camera bag had to be good exercise, but wow!  I was getting so tired, I wondered if I would make it until three when Michelle’s volunteer shift ended!

A few photos from the day…..

Michelle decked in her volunteer shirt.

This fellow was paddling around in a concrete canoe.  Yes, concrete! Every year, several colleges compete to build the ultimate concrete canoe.  This year’s model placed 4th. It was too heavy and didn’t float nicely like this particular model from a few years ago!

The RIT Pep Band performed along a walkway between buildings. They were good! The band was on one side of the walkway, while the director was on the other side.

There was a sea of people no matter where we went….like the streets of New York City, midday! I grew weary and just didn’t take as many pictures as I should have. Nor did I visit a lot of displays.

I did run into these fellows. Several times.

Michelle’s volunteer shift was from noon until three.  We met Mark in the parking lot shortly after three and were off once again!  Yes, our day didn’t end there.

Mark and I met two couples at Applebee’s for dinner.  We met at four because one fellow is having some trouble with his eyesight and doesn’t like being out after dark. We had a good time visiting and the Bruschetta Chicken was fabulous!  Mark and I both had it and agreed it was the best we’ve had there!  We had dropped the kids off and they met a friend, so we picked them up afterwards and got home shortly after nine.

I don’t remember anything after I rested on the bed…..I do remember waking up this morning!

The past couple of days have been filled up, so today really was a day of REST!

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.


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…

What a Great Day!

Yesterday had to have been one of the most awesome days in a while! 

I had some ridding up to do to get my house in order in the morning.  Things have a way of walking off and finding new homes at my house.   I know this isn’t anything major, but there are times when it drives me batty!  Anyway, I was excited because our friends, Jeanne and Ben were coming over!

They came by at two. Jeanne had warned up not to eat too much lunch because they were bringing a snack!  I had made up a fresh batch of pesto, something I’ve not done in a long time!  I put that out with crackers but Jeanne and Ben brought CHEESCAKE!  Woohoo!  Jeanne even brought plates and forks!  Talk about a planner!!!!

We ate that fabulous cheesecake, then Ben and Mark played their guitars while Jeanne and I sat out on the porch.  We had our usual great time…..the air was warm and there was a gentle breeze blowing across the porch.  We could not have planned a better day!  As we sat and talked, Ben and Mark played through an open window, and Jeanne and I were impressed by the music!

The only problem was that the time passed by much too quickly and Jeanne and Ben were leaving.  They have two adorable Bichons and one of the little ones is afraid of the thunder.  As the day progressed, the weather became more threatening, so they had to get back to the girls!

I was so disappointed when they left,  I asked Mark to take me to Arby’s.  They have a 2 for $4 fish sandwich special.  The kids and Mark love these sandwiches, which are quite large!  Mark agreed and we were off to Canandaigua.  As we pulled into Arby’s, rain let loose and we got quite a nice rainfall.  However, over to the west,  the sun was shining. Brightly!

We got our sandwiches and pulled around to the back of Arby’s.  There is a huge pond behind the stores located on a strip that parallels Routes 5&20.  Across the pond is a water park.  We sat there, looking and looking for a rainbow, but none was found. I did *have* to get out to take a picture, though…..

I love the colors in this photo….the sky, the blazing sun, the bike, and the bike’s reflection in the puddle just grabbed my eye!  As I returned to the car,  there “it” was!

Yes!  A rainbow finally appeared.  I took so many photos. I loved the fact that the little ducks were there.  If you are familiar with the movie Babe, this setting reminded me so much of Farmer Hoggett’s farm!  The ducks were just a little added bonus!

Well, all good things must come to an end, and we needed to get to WalMart.  Mark needed an HDMI cable, so we left and headed east.  The WalMart/Lowe’s stores are located on a sort of plateau…they and their parking lots rise up a bit off Routes 5&20.  As we drove west into the lot,  I just had to take one more photo!

Take a look at that sky!  It was just so beautiful!  Even with buildings, utility lines, and cars in the photo, this was just too good to pass up! What a great way to end an awesome day!

Oh, your lucky day!


Our weather has been extraordinary.  Well, at least for those fond of summer.  Not so for the likes of me.  I am still bemoaning the lack of snowfall this winter.  Yes, go ahead and call me a poor sport, but I just do not care for hot weather.

Anyway….this morning, I went outside and was looking at the garden out front.  Magically, literally overnight, my Daffodills have gone from large green bulbous “heads” to Iamgoingtoopenanyminute buds!  The bad news is, all my glorious and brightly colored Crocuses are meeting their demise.  Apparently, the too warm temperatures not only apply to me, but also to Crocuses!

So…in tribute to my lovely Crocuses,  I will show you photos I took of them.  They were so beautiful!

I know…I showed my flowers in a post before.  But, I have some really cool photos!

While the Crocuses were in their glory, the honeybees were working like crazy, gathering pollen! 

I really like gatting good shots of the bees working, but in this last photo, there were actually three bees all working on the same flower!

Yesterday was another relaxing day. The day culminated with Mark and I going out to dinner in Canandaigua with some old friends of ours!  We met our friends, the Copenings and the Lucianos at a fantastic Italian restaurant downtown, called Casa de Pasta.  The food was truly amazing!  The best part, though, was visiting with our friends whom we have not seen in years! We made our minds up that we certainly will not allow years to pass again before we see these friends! It is terrible how we get so busy that we lose contact with those who mean so much to us!

Our evening ended relatively early, as the Lucianos had a bit of a drive home.  The sun was setting over the surrounding hills, so I asked Mark to pull up onto the City Pier once again.  I have rarely been disappointed by Canandaigua sunsets.

And, once again, the sunset was wonderful!