Snowbergs

Last night I went to Alaska:
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At least it looked like what I think Alaska might look like in spots:
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I mean, doesn’t it look like it?

Seriously, I went to Lake Ontario at Oswego last night, and this is what Lake Ontario looked like! Unbelievable! I’ve never seen this before.

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See this scene:

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It looks like this in the summertime:
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Ahhhh, summertime. . .

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And here is what these formations are called:
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I learned a new word last night: snowbergs. Yeah, I’d rather not have learned that word, ever. But you have to admit, this is pretty cool, now that we’re (supposedly) into springtime now.

Oswego – Tugboat and Great Lakes Barge

I went to Oswego to go swimming one last time, and just happened upon a tugboat getting ready to pull a Great Lakes barge out of the harbor, and then push it to Rochester, NY.  It was partly full of powdered cement after having emptied some at Oswego, and was from Canada.  Here’s the tugboat, Evans McNeil, blowing its horn:

And here it is starting to pull the barge. That tugboat has a diesel engine the size of a train engine!

It continues to pull it, getting it turned into a position so it can start pushing it:

And now it’s pushing it out from the harbor into Lake Ontario:

And about to enter the lake:

On its way to Rochester:
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This reminds me of the book “The Little Engine That Could.” This is the little tug that could.

Hojack Swing Bridge

We went to Charlotte to see the lighthouse, and ended up (re)discovering a world of things at Charlotte, including the Hojack Swing Bridge, which is located on the Genesee River just south of Lake Ontario.

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I’m standing on the old railroad bed:
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I was wondering what was in the control booth:
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So I searched online and saw a report, which, when you open the pdf file, shows what is inside the control booth:  Hojack Swing Bridge

According to this report, this bridge was built by the King Bridge Company in Ohio in 1905:
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It was originally steam powered, and converted to diesel in the 1950′s.

Here’s looking at the old rail bed across the river, through the bridge, on the east side:
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Here’s where the bridge locked in on the west side of the river:
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And here’s one of the resting pads:
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Here’s the view of the bridge looking south:
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And a view of the bridge looking north:
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First Week in August

I’ve never really been a big fan of August.  Too many family members have died in August. And the minute it hits, my eyes start itching, the air feels yucky, and the worst part is, I didn’t know how cold it was to swim in the evening in August.   I thought September would be the month I wouldn’t be able to swim anymore, who knew August was it?  Unless it really warms up.  So now I have to find another form of exercise.  But I love swimming so much – wah!  And swimming in the pool at the Y is just *not* going to be the same.  Which reminds me, I need to go to Dicks and get a swim cap and goggles so the chlorine doesn’t kill my eyes and hair.

Anyway, we went up to Sylvan Beach for the car show again, and it is getting boring because we’re seeing the same cars every week, so we’ll give it a rest this week, unless Oneida Lake is still very warm and I need to go swimming there.

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This is a sweet Ford Fairlane that we haven’t seen before.

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Don’t you love the simplicity and largeness of the interior, and that bench seat, good for smooching at the drive-in.

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Love the T-Bird insignia on the sweet, light blue T-Bird I showed you last week.

Afterwards, we went looking for the old bathhouse that was converted into something that we had to figure out, and we finally found it!

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The bathhouse was cut in two and made into the Laff House. So of course we had to take the ride, and laughed our butts off because it was so hokey. But as a kid, I’m sure it’s scary as all get out. Or not.

I don’t care, I love the amusement park:
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It reminds me of Suburban Park in Manlius, where my Mom used to take us every summer until it was closed.

We saw the tugboat Urger which I guess is an educational tugboat.
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I wonder what those horns sound like. Nobody was around to “educate” us! But I guess it used to be a steam-powered tug in it’s day.

The tug was sitting in the canal:
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Saw a big, puffy cloud:
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And blazing, hot, sunset:
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Saturday evening we tried to go swimming and froze our buns off – well not froze, but I was shivering even though I was moving. So Sunday we went to the Polish Festival, got sauerkraut and potato pierogies (yummy!), and ate them at the Inner Harbor,

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where we saw a dredge:
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And behind where we sat to eat are these things in the cement:
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An apple,  LaFayette, where I grew up, is known as apple country

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The Weighlock Building in downtown Syracuse.

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Canal Boat

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Salt Evaporation Vats; Syracuse was known as “The Salt City.”

One of the few buildings for boat repair still stands here:
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I took a much needed nap on my new sleeping bag (nice and comfy) and when I woke up, the sky looked like this:
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And this week, I have to get the camera batteries all charged up, cuz we’re going someplace I’ve never been to before!! I’m so excited!

Last Week

I had to work late for OHA’s Evening at the Museum, and you know I can’t just sit there without taking pics:

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We snorkeled/swam across this river to an old sunken barge and got some big, old square nails. The sky was gorgeous the whole time, but until I get a water camera, I can’t capture the cool stuff I see while in the water! This was after we got back:

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Queen Anne’s Lace is blossoming beautifully now:

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Along with the Mullein:

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And we went snorkeling/swimming every night, if not out of town, then at our favorite local place:

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What’s Wrong With These Photos?

Friday night we went snorkeling (swimming for me, I still haven’t mastered the snorkel yet) and after we were done my  friend got talking to a fisherman, so I went for a walk on the railroad tracks looking for date nails. I walked on one tie and it sunk down real low. I put it in the back of my head to tell my friend about it, and completely forgot about it.

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Notice the spike sticking up too far on the left.

Sunday night we were going to go to a far away place to snorkel and we were too exhausted, so we went to the same place we went to on Friday night. And that’s when my friend saw why the railroad tie sunk so low.


Yowsa! This rail is completely broken!

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Broken all of the way through!

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A derailment waiting to happen. So my friend called the dispatcher to report the problem and to recommend absolutely no trains run over this track until it is fixed.

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See about six feet of spikes on the right sticking up too far?

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Hopefully we’ve saved a train from possible derailment, and one of our favorite snorkeling spots will stay the same. Except what’s with the pig that left their garbage in the left of this photo?

Festival of Sail, Port of Oswego

Saturday night we went to the Festival of Sail at the Port of Oswego.  The sky was overcast so there weren’t very many people there, but I enjoyed it – it was the perfect temperature!

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The Lynx was sitting beyond the break wall for a while.

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Here’s the Pride of Baltimore II:

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And the Tallship Unicorn:

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The Syracuse of Syracuse, NY:

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And the LT-5 Tug Major Elisha K. Henson:

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A derrick on land:

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The Lynx heading back, motoring because there wasn’t much wind.  I was disappointed because I wanted to see the sails!

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We had sweet potato fries – these seem to be becoming more popular!  Then we went swimming in Lake Ontario – well, I hung my feet in the lake, because the lake kind of grosses me out – while others went swimming.

And then we went to Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In – I was so hungry I forgot to take pics!  But we sat next to Lake Ontario eating our fish sandwich, mmmm.

We then walked around Oswego, but it was too dark to take any more photos, but we’ll be going back!

Camillus Erie Canal Park

This past weekend the Camillus Erie Canal Park had a Grand Celebration to dedicate the restored Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, but since I work on the weekend, we couldn’t make it out there until Sunday after work, after all of the festivities were done.  It doesn’t matter, because I don’t really enjoy crowds, anyway!  And by the time we got there (after eating Luigi’s  pizza, mmmmm), the sun was in that perfect place in the sky to shed an orange glow on everything.

Here’s a replica of the Sims’ canal store, now known as Sims’ Museum, which wasn’t open. I do want to go back when it is open, soon!

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Sims’ Museum

A long bed of iris along the canal bank were all so beautiful!
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This is an old lock:
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As we were examining the lock, Midnight, the resident kitty, came over to greet us, and then to perch himself underneath one of the bottom valves of the lock:
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Buoy Boat 159 is on display here:
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This is a replica of a Lock House:
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We then went a mile down the canal to Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct:
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If you click on this Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct link, you can see progress pictures of the restoration:
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This looks great!
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The aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek:
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Of course, we had to walk down to the little waterfall of Nine Mile Creek:
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Assuming that this is the old wood which was taken out and replaced with the brand new wood:
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There is a steam engine exhibit that we need to come back and see sometime, soon, too! This is one of the steam engines outside of the exhibit area:
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The back wheels are taller than me!

I took this shot of the sign for the hours, so we can visit when the museum is open:
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And the last thing I noticed was this wildlife refuge sign!
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I always love to see areas for wildlife!

Three Years, Phew!

Recently, well, okay, on April 8th, the third year of my Dad’s passing, we went to LaFayette to honor him and put his Veteran’s marker in the ground to get ready for the American flags the cemetery will put out on all of the Veterans’ grave sites.  I didn’t take any more photos of his tombstone, because, well, I have a million of them already, and how many more do I need? But I did take this quick photo while we were driving up to his site, one of which I’ve taken before and I’ll take again and again, yes I will, because it’s where I grew up and I love the hills.

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View from cemetery where my Dad, grandparents, and other relatives are in repose.

On the way to him, we always stop at one of my favorite Finger Lakes:

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Skaneateles Lake, nice and calm, in the morning.

This lake’s water is awesomely clear:
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Sherwood Inn, faces the lake:
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We also stopped at a really cool quilt store where Mom bought some fabric for quilts she is making for sick children:
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Yeah, did I mention how much I love the hills in Onondaga County?
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Oh, before we got to Skaneateles, we had to go through Montezuma, where I did see Osprey, but couldn’t capture them, but did capture a couple of their nests:
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Even though I still miss my Dad very much, I am very glad to be through all of the phases of grief, especially the anger part – that was a really tough one.  Being really ticked off is very exhausting.

Into The Woods

Finally! I was able to get out into the woods yesterday afternoon after having spent all morning and early afternoon first working on my yard and then my Mom’s yard. And I was hoping, based on the past dates in my Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide that I would be able to find some of my favorite spring flowers in bloom. And we did! Yay!

We were so excited to spy some lovely little patches of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

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I *love* this flower. And in New York State this plant is listed as Exploitably Vulnerable :(

And then we spied tons of Trout Lilies or Yellow Adder’s Tongue or Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium americanum) (don’t you love all of the common names).

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You can see the brown mottling on the leaves.

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And then another favorite of mine, Cut-leaved Toothwort or Pepperroot (Dentaria laciniata), and you can see where both the common name and latin names come from by this next photo:

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Here’s one with a white flower and a little bee pollinating it:

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And one with pinkish flowers:

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This next flower I know is a Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), but I’m not sure whether it is a sharp-lobed or blunt-lobed since I didn’t look at the leaves (bad Pam).

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Another favorite of mine, and one of the 100 herbs I had to learn inside and out, Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

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I love the way the leaves come up (and don’t you love the way they poke right through the dried tree leaves)?

I love the leaves when they’re unfolded:
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And, of course, I have to show the coolest parts, the spathe and spadix (the spathe being the outer hood and the spadix the knob-shaped cluster inside of it).

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We also saw Marsh Marigolds or Cowslip (Caltha palustris) but it was too early for their blossoms:

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(sorry no closeups, I wasn’t prepared to go into the water, and I don’t really know how deep it is).

There’s a platform at the edge of the swamp that you can watch and listen to all kinds of birds. I accidentally flushed out a turkey, but didn’t capture a photo of it. Here’s last year’s cattails:

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And I spied some eyeballs, can you see them?

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Here’s a crop of this photo so you can see the eyeballs a little better:

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There’s tons of frogs here.

We tried finding sunning turtles, but I guess we were too late in the day for them. We did see a couple of snakes, but I was only able to capture this Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis):

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I love snakes! You can also see how profuse the Trout-Lilies are here, along with the Cut-Leaved Toothwort. And I love my new book The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State because I don’t have to weed through a million species! (P.S. Mary, you’ve *got* to check out the cover of this book)!

Another one of my favorites, moss around the base of a tree in the swamp:
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And a burl. I would love to see the inside of it.
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And you know I can’t walk through the woods without photographing fungus:
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That’s basically it! Except for all of the tremendous sounds in the woods – the bird calls, peepers, etc. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go into the woods! I used to walk through these woods every day, and I miss them very much!

P.S. And for the record, it was 86 degrees F today. Yes, in April. Very unusual for this time of year.

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