Month: June 2007

Sweet Pea Vines, Victoria Magazine

Every night that I’m home and after all of my nightly things are done, I bring a book or magazine out on my deck with the intent of reading, but I’m always so distracted by everything going on outside. Tonight it’s finally cooler and I actually started getting cold outside! My sweet pea vines are starting to blossom. I love the flower, both for its beautiful self, but for its smell. I wish I could send the smell to you.

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It also smells and feels like rain. We need the rain so bad here! The birdies empty out my bird baths every day – I would love to see the action that goes on when I’m not looking.

My Mom told me tonight that Victoria magazine is going to be published again this fall. Woo Hoo! And if you’re turned off by the name and the thought of Victorian things – don’t be! When this magazine was in publication before, they had a yearly author in residence, and this is how I learned about Diane Ackerman. And from Diane Ackerman I learned all about bats – among many other things – and how wonderful they are. Victoria also had gardening advice and each issue highlighted an entrepreneur, among many other things. And even though I’m not a girlie girl, I do love the Victorian type items my Mom and I have that my great grandmother handmade such as lace and doilies, etc. Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing what interesting things Victoria magazine will start bringing to us again this fall.


Corbett’s Glen Nature Park

Today I stopped on my way home from work at Corbett’s Glen Nature Park even though it was about 100 degrees out, with 99.99% humidity, okay, I exaggerate, 99.98%, and a high ozone warning. Ah, what’s a little heat, humidity and ozone anyways.

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I had to walk through this railroad tunnel, which for some reason didn’t thrill me (it’s the engineer in me, I always think about how things can break).

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Here’s the first falls which is about a six foot drop (ohhh, I know, whoop-te-do, but hey, it’s close by)!

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As I was walking through the tall weeds to the next falls, I saw this, one of Susan’s favorite plants, the milkweed:

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Oh my, now that I’m looking at this photo, I didn’t realize how *cool* milkweed flowers are before!!

And on a milkweed leaf was a bug carrying a dead bug:

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Now I have to admit, that is cool, too!

This is what the path looked like, for the most part. Believe me, I was checking every weed looking for poison ivy:

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I finally arrived at the second falls, which is a four foot drop:

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As I was walking in to the park, I saw some kids come out in swimsuits. What a great idea, to go wading here! Ah, nice and cool!

Here’s a damselfly I saw here. It’s not exactly a macro shot (it wouldn’t let me get close) but I love the shadow it cast.

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Here’s the last waterfalls, called Postcard Falls, with a drop of about six feet:

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Once I was done photographing the water and falls, I was able to go on the normal trail:

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Oh! I saw a Baltimore Oriel fly away from me – too quick for me to grab a photo, but enough for me to see its orange self.

Here’s another view of the first falls again, and the railroad tunnel on my way out.

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There were birdies above the piping in the tunnel. I heard them making lots of racket as I was walking through.

Here’s the creek on the other side of the tunnel. I *love* the ripples in the water.

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All in all, not a bad place to visit after work! I’ll be going back! And you haven’t heard the end of this place yet. There’s some history to it, too, that I’ll share another time!

In Bloom This Week, in part

So I was trying to use up my camera battery so I can recharge it in time for another couple of trips, and I got overly anxious with it and used it all up before I was done with it! So here’s a partial look at what’s in bloom this week.

Gazania – I love the colors in this and I think it is so cool:

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It’s so cool in fact, that it has not only rusty orange blossoms, but yellow blossoms on the same plant, hmmmm:

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Okay, now Mom puts her amaryllis out in the garden so the leaves can grow and feed the bulb, it isn’t *supposed* to blossom this time of year, but here is one of them, in it’s full bloom:

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It will be interesting to see what happens to this bulb in the winter.

Well, this next thing isn’t in bloom, but I love the colors of coleus:

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And this delphinium is the prettiest shade of light purple:

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I’m trying to get braver with insects, even the stinging ones (I won’t mention the squeal I let out when a hornet landed on my chest – ahem, you know where – my Mom LOL and asked me if I was trying out for the opera).

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I love these yellow lilies:

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And here’s another clematis vine in blossom:

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So Mom asked me to get some stones for her to put on the wire mesh columns she’s started to put around her baby plants because the deer are eating everything this year (it seems that way) the freakin’ piggies. And I spied the pile of stones my Dad and I piled up last year in anticipation of continuing a stone path this year, and I broke down. What the heck, over a pile of rock. Everyone has told me it is those things you so don’t expect that get right to you.

Okay, back to happy stuff – here’s little Miss Kitty who was being her cute little self again yesterday, but I’m still not able to get close photos because she’s still waaaay too nosey!

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Looking Out the Window Early This Morning. . .

I saw two fawns in my neighbor’s yard. I continued getting ready for work, and eventually they made it over to my yard, along with their mother. I didn’t want to scare them away by opening the sliding glass door, so this is a really lousy photo taken through the door:


It turned out as I opened the door, and the garage door, and unlocked my truck, and drove out, they weren’t bothered at all.  If I had more time, I could have taken a better photo!  As it was, I arrived at work just in the nick of time!

Happy Summer Solstice!

I love June days and I especially love this day with the most daylight! Yay! It’s a cool 70 degrees, with a nice blue sky and cool breeze tonight. We had a nice rain come through again today, which really helps *everything* here.

I also love the feathery leaves of my Mom’s honey locust tree, and the way they look against the blue sky:

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I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day!

Sideways Waterfalls

Okay, I really haven’t lost it and there is no freak of nature where I’ve found that water falls sideways. I just didn’t know that my p&s camera wouldn’t download videos to my computer orientated in the manner that I took them like my Canon camera does. So since I want to show these videos to you because I know you all love water as much as I do, please indulge me by tilting your head to the left and watching the videos as if they were orientated 90 degrees clockwise from the way they are here. I promise I won’t screw the video mode on my p&s camera up again!

NOTE: The waterfalls can get a little loud!

You’ll recognize these waterfalls from my post on Watkins Glen State Park from the other day. This is the first falls we saw – notice how fast the water is shooting through the narrow opening.

This is one of the falls we could walk behind:

I love how the water snakes through the rock and falls into the big pool:

I am in love with these waterfalls:

Watkins Glen State Park

Yesterday we went to Watkins Glen State Park to hike up the many falls until we reached the top. This is where we started, at the bottom, where this water eventually makes it way into Seneca Lake.

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And when I turned around, I saw the beginning of the awesome sites we were about to see:

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We started out on the Gorge Trail, and as we climbed to the first bridge, we saw the first waterfalls which is at the bottom of a series of waterfalls that fall in steps. This waterfall is really cool because the water goes through the narrow curves really fast:

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The stone walls drip with water and are covered with all kinds of plants, including liverwort! Excuse my excitement, I’ve never seen liverwort in person that I know of:

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I absolutely love how the water has cut through the rock in this next photo:

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And speaking of love, my heart belongs to. . .

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Is that awesome how the water has cut the rock into a heart shape! This is at the foot of the next waterfall:

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At the next waterfall, which we walked behind (but no pics because my camera doesn’t know how to swim), the early morning sun was shining on the water just right for us to see a rainbow – see it?

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Once we walked behind this waterfall:

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We had to climb up the spiral tunnel staircase built within the rock wall. We saw tons and tons of ferns, including Maidenhair Spleenwort (another favorite of mine):

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Trees were hanging on the sides with their roots for dear life:

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The wildflowers were gorgeous:

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The roses smelled wonderful:

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Check this out! These ripples on the walkway were actually ripples of sand at the bottom of an ancient sea!

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They also are in the streambed:

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There’s lots of moss along the stone walls. Here’s an interesting one that’s a little longer than the rest I saw there:

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Here’s the next waterfalls we encountered:

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This is the same waterfalls looking down from the stone bridge:

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At this point there are several pools, called the Glen of Pools, such as this one. Oh my, I could have dove right in the water looked sooo refreshing!

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The next waterfalls we saw are the Rainbow Falls. You have to be there just at the right time of day to see a rainbow here. What I love here is the waterfall coming down the side of the wall, too:

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Here’s a better view of the waterfall coming down the side of the rock wall:

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Oh, and now we saw the wall full of ferns. I’ve never seen so many ferns like this on a rock wall!

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There are several fractures, or joints, along the rock walls:

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These joints were caused by a great continental collision between North America and Africa three million years ago that pushed up the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Plateau, a large area that includes the Finger Lakes region. The tremendous pressure of the continental collision fractured the rocks of Watkins Glen and the rest of southern New York State and lifted the land up.

Here’s another pool which I think is really cool:

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Here’s another waterfall we encountered.

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Looking back once at the top of the waterfall, we saw more beautiful curves of the watercut stone:

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And after climbing all of the stairs (I’ve heard there are 800 stairs on this trail), we decided to go the top along the Indian Trail:

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The thing I like about the Indian trail are no stairs! We climbed up and down trails. Here’s where we tested out my hiking / trekking poles for the first time. My brother suggested that my Mom buy a pair since they’re going hiking in Yosemite, so she wanted to try them. She took off like a bat out of hell going up a hill with them, so I had to try them out, and I took off. They really work!

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On Indian Trail we saw an interpretive sign that said it takes 25 years for the water we saw here in the glen to make its way out to the Atlantic Ocean! That blew our minds.

We also saw many different species of trees, including Chestnut Oak.

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At this overlook on Indian Trail, we had come down the hill a ways, but still, I took a photo of the same hill as I show in the first photo, and you can see we were up and far into the glen quite a ways!

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Here’s another one of those faults (joints) I mentioned earlier:

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And another view of the first waterfalls.

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I took a ton of photos, and what I’ve shown you are just a few of them. I hope you enjoyed them, and I hope you can make it to Watkins Glen someday! It was very refreshing to breathe in the fresh air there, and to smell wonderful smells of wet dirt and water.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads in the world. My Dad, Mom and I had planned to go back to Tinker Falls this year on Father’s Day, harumph. This is really hard.

This is one of the photos I took of my parents on Mother’s Day 2006 wherein I had climbed to the place where we used to walk behind the falls:

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I truly hope everyone that is a father enjoys the day. And if you have a father, enjoy everyone moment you have with him, because life is too freakin’ short on this earth for all of us.

George Eastman House Garden

Last evening I went to the George Eastman House for a lecture given by Willie Osterman who is a Professor at RIT in the Fine Arts Department on the Zone System of Photography. This is a method developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer in 1941.

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Before the lecture I took a real quick tour of the garden, and here’s what I saw.

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Huge poppy flowers:

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And what’s left after the petals start falling off:

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A cool twisted vine:

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which was on this:

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Blue and Pink Hydrangeas:

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I love the symmetry in this photo:

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These roses smelled wonderful:

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The flowers on this honeysuckle vine smelled sooo good:

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And the zone photography system is really cool! If you ever get a chance to learn about it, go for it! It’s one of those things now that I’ve learned something new I realize how very little I know about photography, le sigh. To read about the zone system, or about basic photography, Willie recommended the book “The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography – Book 1 by John Schaefer.  There’s also info about it on the web (so I don’t have to figure out how to describe it now)!  Here’s one site, and there’s others.

A Cool Bug

I was out with my camera last night just before dark, and came across this really cool bug with super long legs and pretty wings on my peony:

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If you know what it is, please let me know! I haven’t had a chance to look it up yet!

Remember the very light violet iris bud I showed you the other day? Now it’s a big beautiful flower! This is a side view:

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This morning on the way to work I saw a fox crossing the road, and when it got to the other side, it turned and looked back at me. Ohhhh, where was my camera? Sitting at home, of course. I’ll be bringing it to work tomorrow, because there’s some new wildflowers I want to capture!