Month: December 2006

Tufa at Saratoga Spa State Park

Remember this interesting structure that I saw at the Saratoga Spa State Park on September 30th? Yesterday I received a comment from Nathan saying my “mystery photo is one of the more notable features along Geyser Creek known as Orenda Spring. The dome shaped structure you see is called a “tufa” which is basically a type of rock formed by the minerals in the spring water being deposited on the surface over time.” There’s more information about Tufas on Wikipedia here.
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Thank you Nathan! I really appreciate it when people take their time to write to tell me things. This is an amazing rock formation!

How about everyone else, do you have any interesting rock formations in your area? I wish everyone a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!


I’m feeling like a Geekazoid, Euphorbia plant

Here’s some of the Plant Pathology and Insect books I’ve been studying – these are just a few of the textbooks I had for school – even though they don’t look like I cracked them open, I use them quite a bit. I love books and take really good care of them.
2006-12-29 006 Books

Once I started attacking these books, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. And insects ARE actually really cool. Just as long as we keep our distance from each other. I was reminded when going through my old tests that I learned at Cornell’s Geneva Experiment station about a beneficial mite that lives in the little hairs of grape leaves. I’ll have to post the full story about this little mite another day.

Actually, the reason why I had the camera out today while I’m studying was to post this photo for Animal Lover, who gave me this Euphorbia plant back in August of 2005. He warned me when it got to its reproduction stage it would start shooting seeds all over the place and little plants would start growing in the pot. I’m not at the seed shooting stage yet, but as you can see, I think it’s going to happen soon:
2006-12-29 001 Euphorbia-close

It also has an arm growing out of its side. This plant is definitely for anyone with any type of thumb. I haven’t been able to kill it, even though I ignore it by forgetting to water it and I don’t give it enough sunshine (it’s a tropical plant, so it would love tons of sun). It is in need of replanting into a much bigger pot which I’ll do in February. 2006-12-29 002 Euphorbia

It keeps on growing like a weed.  It is taking over my living room.
And as I was writing this post last night, I saw another gorgeous sunset.

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I *love* winter tree silhouettes.

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How about you, do you like tree silhouettes? Have you ever seen or heard of this Euphorbia plant?

(Partial) Year in Review Meme

I saw this on Laura’s Somewhere in NJ blog, and thought it was an interesting idea. The idea is to put the first sentence of the first entry of each month here. Shoot, I have to be careful next year, some of them are b-o-r-i-n-g (snore):

The Matterhorn Nursery is awesome – it is a gardener’s paradise. more here

Wave Hill is in the Bronx, and it had an awesome sounding bird, some huge trees, an urban forest, two beautiful old homes, and gardens with greenhouses. more here

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It rained last night and now it is cooler out – 70 degrees F at 10:20 AM – yay! more here

I haven’t seen a live Luna Moth since I was a kid. more here

29June2006 Luna Moth

The temperature is supposed to reach 100 degrees F today, with a heat index of 110. more here


I rec’d a comment from Susan Gets Native about my lack of posts – I’m sorry Susan! more here

Mom and I went to Saratoga Springs this weekend, with the express purpose of attending the Saratoga Native American Festival held at The Saratoga Spa State Park. more here

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I really like the central and western New York state outdoor books written by Rich and Sue Freeman, owners of the Footprint Press. more here

Yesterday I was catching up with all of my email, blogs, etc., and found Good Planets on Flickr – oh my – if you need to see some excellent nature photos (and who doesn’t), you’ll definitely want to check this out. more here

This isn’t part of the meme, but one of my favorite photos I took this year is of Tinker Falls on Mother’s Day – not just for the photo itself but because we returned to a place my parents used to take us when we were young:
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I truly hope everyone has a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Don’t Wanna, Don’t Make Me!

There was a woman who worked for me at one time who used to come into my office saying that. Funny thing is, she was just letting off steam, because she was the best worker I had. But it’s a saying I’ve picked up when I really don’t want to do something. I signed up to take a State test next week, and I need to study for it. I don’t really have a clue what to study (they don’t have a study guide for this test), but I’ve been told to study plant diseases and damaging insects and their lifecycles. Another part of the test is to see how well I can write, how well I can read spec sheets and comprehend them. I hate tests. I hate tests when I don’t know the format of the test. I wish they would take my GPA and work history and realize that I know my stuff and I work hard. Hokay, now that I got that off my chest, I’m ready to go study, maybe. . . the pile of books I have is really daunting. . . To get me started, here’s a photo of Tent Caterpillars of the Lepidoptera order. They make my skin crawl just looking at them here.

On another subject, I went shopping this morning since I was down to hardly anything to eat, and stopped to look at the candles. Julie Z. had mentioned some natural soy candles that she likes, and I think I found what she was talking about. Always looking for a good deal I didn’t buy them yet, but I noted the store price and the website, which is Mmmm they all sound like they would smell gooooood (the ones they had in the store did). I think I might start with the Pine Needles & Cedarwood scented one, or the Ylang Ylang, Patchouli & Pine Needles (I *love* patchouli and pine needles). Or the Cinnamon & Clove candle. Decisions, decisions. By the way, the candles were more reasonable at my local store than they are on this website. So when I run out of food again, I think I’ll pick up a candle. I love candlelight during this time of year. How about you, do you like candles? Which scents do you like?

The Weather

Usually people talk to me about the weather when they have nothing else to say. I personally don’t care what the weather is, as long as I can do what I want to do and go where I want to go. But the weather has been very strange lately. So I’m gonna talk about it.

When I was growing up, my Dad and I went downhill skiing at least twice a week for one of our many winter activities. His rule was December was for building the base of snow on the ski slopes so we couldn’t ski and take the chance of harming our skiis (no matter how much snow and beggin’ on my part) until January 1st – yay! The chemical snow (snow making) wouldn’t kick in until early March, when the snow started melting and they had to patch certain spots on the ski slopes. And I hate chemical snow, because it doesn’t feel right under my skiis, and it makes my face burn. So I’m wondering, how the heck would this work now? We have absolutely no snow, not even a little flake on the ground (okay now we have two flakes, it snowed overnight and I wrote this post yesterday). Do they make chemical snow now, even though it isn’t cold enough for real snow?

December of 2003 was a real hard December – very cold and snowy (how well I remember it because I was taking outdoor classes and had to buy very warm clothing), but on January 3, 2004 we went for a hike at Hi-Tor. It was 65 degrees F that day – a perfect day for a hike. You can see the ice on the cliff face near the water falls:

And if you turn around 180 degrees you can see Canandaigua Lake in the distance through the trees:

No snow anywhere. So the rule of snow in December building the base for January skiing has been tossed out the window. It would have to snow quite a bit for me to want to go down any ski slope now. I’m glad I haven’t invested in new ski equipment, I would be disappointed – or would have to travel far to find some good skiing. By the way, I love the Finger Lakes region of NY, and the Bristol Hills is one of my favorite places to hike, although I have lots of fav places. What about you? Where do you like to hike? Do you like to snow ski – either downhill or cross-country?

P.S.  Sorry for the yucky photos – these were taken with my old original digital camera.

One of my Favorite Things

One of the favorite things I received for Christmas this year is Seeing America, a book of 82 of the permanent items in the Memorial Art Gallery – including Thomas Cole’s paintings of the Genesee River and surrounding scenery – yummy – in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I love landscape artwork. I’ve been drooling over this book every time we go into the MAG store, and Mom is always on the lookout for present ideas.

The artwork on the front cover is by George Harvey (1800-1878), Pittsford on the Erie Canal – A Sultry Calm, 1837, Oil on panel.


You can’t see it, but the mules on the towpath are pulling the boat along. Want to know what happens when the mule driver encounters a switch in the towpath to the other side of the canal? You can read what I wrote about the Aldrich Change Bridge here.

I just noticed the Memorial Art Gallery has an exhibition on World War I posters – in my opinion from the posters I’ve seen at OHA (that I would like to put into the image database so people can buy reproductions) and now on the MAG website, these are some creative posters, and some are pretty provocative for the times – like this one from the MAG website:


I hope you enjoyed your Christmas and you received something very special to you, too!

P.S.  I think I finally figured out why I’m getting bad comment spam.  I had a title which referred to horseback riding and working hard back in November (the MONY building post) and some nasty sight took it as something dirty.  I removed the post and re-entered it under another title, so hopefully that will remove the nasty site linking to my post.  We’ll see.  Lesson learned – be careful what I put in my titles!

My Favorite Little Christmas Tree. . .

isn’t a tree at all, but a Club Moss called Northern Tree Club Moss, Lycopodium dendroideum. I *love* this little plant. Thanks to Mon@rch for reminding me of this little plant. It grows 12-16″ tall, resides in moist, shaded woods, northern hardwood woods, edges of wetlands, and bogs. It has 6-8 leaves in a whorl.

Here’s a photo showing its’ roots – I got these two photos from the Internet:

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In New York State, Northern Tree Clubmoss is labelled as exploitably vulnerable – meaning it is threatened and endangered. This is *very* important to me. So important that when I was taking a class in Silverculture and the old man professor said they sprayed a general herbicide on the forest floor to get rid of all of the plant life so the young trees could grow, and the forest floor I was standing in was literally covered with rare clubmoss and ferns, I wasn’t happy. I asked the professor about the rare plants to which he replied, hmmm, good point, and then I dropped the class when I got back on campus. I know, I know, the point in a silverculture class is the culture of trees and not all of that “unimportant” understory stuff. My first clue to the fact that these forestry students I was taking this class with didn’t care about the understory was when I saw them stomping all over the clubmosses and ferns. I really couldn’t take it. Here is one of the many photos they took on that day. We were in Heiberg Memorial Forest on August 31, 2005, it was raining very hard all day – this was during Huricane Katrina. This was an awesome, man planted forest. I loved being in this forest, but, well, it wasn’t meant to be.

I’m the one in the white hardhat, yellow jacket and blue pants – soaked to the skin even with all of the rain gear.

I hope everyone has a very Happy Day!

Third National Bank Building in Syracuse

I love researching and writing articles on things of interest to me. And I have way too many interests, which I’m sure you can tell by my blog (I don’t just stick to nature – go figure with a blog titled “Nature Woman” huh). Okay, I’m loading images into the Onondaga Historical Association’s new Image Database here, and many of these images are generating questions in my head that I’ll eventually research and write about.  Today I had to find out about the Third National Bank Building in Syracuse.

Thinking it probably was torn down like many other greats in Syracuse, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is one of the buildings I’ve admired from afar but never knew its history. After some research and writing, today I do. And now you will too. If you care to read the article and see the original photos they are located here. I hope you enjoy it!

1947-8 or 1948-9 Winter Photo from driveway on LaFayette Rd. LaFayette, NY

I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas or anything, but this lack of snow at this time of year in my part of the world is quite unusual. And while I don’t want a blizzard like Denver had, I would like a little snow at Christmas. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow. So here’s another short story from my Dad showing my Dad as a young man and some of the huge piles of snow we used to get in the place where I grew up.

Written by my Dad, January 2006
LaFayette, NY

The driveway had drifted to a depth of 3.5 feet +/-. This is the result of some “new snow” together with an intense wind. Shoveling by hand was effective, but labor intensive. The “shoveler” pictured here (my Dad) has not suffered as he is 75 years young and still going. The address above is about 5/8 of a mile north of the south termination of LaFayette Rd. at Route 20.


Seneca Falls, NY Ladies!

I was so sad the other night when I was watching Jeopardy, a woman got a double jeopardy, and the answer was something like – “This N.Y. city is known as the Birthplace of Women’s Rights” – (sorry I don’t remember the exact wording of the answer). The woman’s question? “What is New York City?” New. York. City. I have to calm down before I continue.

Okay, that was a gimme answer, I thought. But then I got to thinking, is it only because I live in Upstate New York that I know that Seneca Falls was the birthplace of Women’s Rights? And that New York City is just a very small portion of New York State size-wise, and is NOT the birthplace of Women’s Rights. That Susan B. Anthony was from Rochester, NY and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery (I know, I owe you a Mt. Hope Cemetery post). And she didn’t live long enough to see women finally obtain the vote. The Women’s Rights Park in Seneca Falls is a National Park. There is also a National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls. Here’s a link to more historical information on the Seneca Falls NY website.

I found this at the Library of Congress – the Roll of Honor containing the signatures on the Declaration of Sentiments:
Declaration of Sentiments

Not only were the five women organizers of the Seneca Falls convention concerned about Women’s Rights, but they were part of the Abolitionist movement, too. Which is another important Upstate New York topic. Notice Frederick Douglass’ name on the document above.

Women in the U.S. of A. owe it to themselves to do even just a quick study of where we’ve come from – we had NO rights – NONE, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH – and be thankful to the people who worked so hard to bring us to where we are now.

And if you’re looking for some good mystery books written about this time period and area, check out the books written by Mariam Grace Monfredo: Seneca Falls Inheritence and North Star Conspiracy. I highly recommend these books!

P.S. I just noticed all of these cool exhibitions at the LOC about Abolition and Suffrage. Here’s a photo of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton from LOC:

Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton

P.P.S. I just remembered another website definitely worth spending some time looking through: Western New York Suffragists: Winning the Vote