The Thousand Acre Swamp Sanctuary

I had all good intentions of *birding* at the Thousand Acre Swamp Sanctuary, however, the birds were very uncooperative. I heard them, I saw their little bodies partially hiding behind trees and shrubs, but they were way too busy to give me a chance to photograph them. So no lifers to report – from here anyway! The entrance sign said ‘no dogs, no horses, no motor vehicles.’ Yeah, right. I saw doggy foot prints all over the place. Who is going to enforce that?
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What would a swamp be without some fungus:

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Some moss – I *love* the seta sticking up:

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Some duckweed (may be lesser duckweed) – where are the ducks?

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A boardwalk through part of it so I can walk over the swamp:

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Some falling trees – scary because the trail goes through where this tree would fall if the other tree wasn’t holding it up. I thoroughly checked it out before slinking quickly across the path.
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Woodpecker holes in dead trees (thanks Susan):

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Poison Ivy on a tree – argh! – get me away from that – I still have faint scars from this summer!
Leaves of three, let it be!
Hairy vine, no friend of mine!

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Some rosehips (thanks Susan):

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A hornet’s nest (thanks Susan):
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And a tree that looks like he’s trying to run away from his major issues:
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The tartarian honeysuckle (very bad invasive plant) is already leafing out with this strangely warm weather – it was around a high of 57 degrees F today, January 4, 2007.
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I’ve seen ducks, geese and old bird’s nests here in the past, but none today. The cattails and weeds haven’t been smushed down by any snow yet, so it they’re there, they can hide very well. I don’t know where the old bird’s nests are.
I’ll be going back – especially in the spring! Hint, hint my hiking friend!

Cylindrical Hay Bales, X Marks the Spot

For the past few months every time I go to and from Onondaga Co. I pass by a huge field of cylindrical hay bales in Cayugo Co. Today (Jan 3rd when I wrote this) I decided to actually stop on my way home and photograph part of the field – it’s much larger than it shows here:
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I remember reading somewhere how many square hay bales are in a cylindrical hay bale but I don’t remember the figures off the top of my head.
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So I typed the question “how many square bales of hay in a roll?” into and came up with “it depends” with a bunch of stuff about moisture, size etc. Argh! I heard that answer so many times from one of my profs. He would ask a question and I’d come up with the answer I thought he wanted. It would burn me when he said “well, it depends.” Even so, I still hang around with him because he is a nice person – and when he starts asking me a question you know what my answer is! Anyway, I do know there’s some number greater than one square hay bale in a cylindrical hay bale.
I was watching the sky all of the way home tonight and snapping photos – without looking at the camera to see what I was taking because people were driving idiotically (don’t get me started on mini-vans).
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I love this photo on so many levels – the wispy dark clouds, the plane trails to show *just* how close we really do come to other planes while flying without knowing it (ignorance is bliss in that case), the barn, the winter tree silouettes, the sun, and the impending gorgeous sunset – which it was. This is only part of the beauty of the sunset tonight:

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And at 3:25 PM the MONY tower in Syracuse read 51 degrees F. On January 3, 2007. Go figure. It must be because I actually paid a man to come plow my driveway for the first time ever this winter instead of doing it myself (because I listened to my friends who said it was going to be a bad winter, uh huh). You know, it’s like when you wash your vehicle and then it rains.