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.

DSCN4899

I’m standing on the old railroad bed:
DSCN4904

I was wondering what was in the control booth:
DSCN4905

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:
DSCN4907

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:
DSCN4913

Here’s where the bridge locked in on the west side of the river:
DSCN4908

And here’s one of the resting pads:
DSCN4914

Here’s the view of the bridge looking south:
DSCN4925

And a view of the bridge looking north:
DSCN4966

The Thousand Islands – Friday Night

We went to The Thousand Islands on the New York State side this past weekend for a much needed two day vacation (I actually need a week long vacation, which will hopefully come next year), where the earth was my bed for two nights, which I haven’t done since I was a kid, and after getting used to how to arrange my body parts so I could sleep the first night, I slept like a log the second night.  Except I got rudely woken up by rain and getting dry clothes off the line so I didn’t have to cart around a bunch of wet clothes.

Anyways, on Friday night after we arrived, we went snorkeling / swimming across part of the St. Lawrence River to this island, of which I could figure out the name and I will, I just don’t have the map on me right now.

DSCN3010
View from our campsite to the island.

Once we reached the island we saw a freighter go by – awesomely close, and I wish I had the camera on the float. We got back just before dark.

DSCN3018
Sunset view from our campsite.

We had a great view of The Thousand Island bridge from our campsite – I just needed to bring a tripod for the night shots I took!

DSCN3014
The Thousand Island bridge – really blurry, but the only photo I have of it!

We then went into Alexandria Bay, where Bill Johnstons Pirates Days was being held, and the streets were teaming with (drunk) people.

DSCN3020
Yes, I need to work on my night shots.

After we found a parking place just inside of town, we walked down to Scenic View Park, window shopping along the way (stores stay open late and open early – very convenient!). This was my first view of Boldt Castle.
DSCN3031
More to come on the castle in another post!

We then went back and fell directly to sleep on the ground underneath a sky full of stars. It was great seeing stars!

Do you know how many islands are in The Thousand Islands?

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!

DSCN1681
Sims’ Museum

A long bed of iris along the canal bank were all so beautiful!
DSCN1684

This is an old lock:
DSCN1685

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:
DSCN1698

Buoy Boat 159 is on display here:
DSCN1692

DSCN1701

This is a replica of a Lock House:
DSCN1699

We then went a mile down the canal to Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct:
DSCN1702

If you click on this Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct link, you can see progress pictures of the restoration:
DSCN1705

This looks great!
DSCN1706

The aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek:
DSCN1704

Of course, we had to walk down to the little waterfall of Nine Mile Creek:
DSCN1710

Assuming that this is the old wood which was taken out and replaced with the brand new wood:
DSCN1709

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:
DSCN1715

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:
DSCN1720

And the last thing I noticed was this wildlife refuge sign!
DSCN1717
I always love to see areas for wildlife!

Oops! Happy Blogiversary

Oops, hey, I missed my third blogiversary!  For being a blog called Nature Woman, I don’t  get out in nature as often as I’d like to, but I’m hoping that will change soon.  Less drive time will lead to more outdoor time (and more reading and computer time, too)!

049
Letchworth State Park on April 12, 2009

Letchworth State Park – The Nature

Since we were parked near the Portage Bridge, we decided to walk down along the Upper Falls on the Gorge Trail. Have you guessed that I love bridges? So please bear with me, here’s a couple of photos of the Portage Bridge, taken from beneath the bridge.

DSC08827

I love the symmetry of bridges.

DSC08828

Here we are looking down on the Upper Falls, and a sheet of ice on the east side of the falls:

DSC08830

There’s interesting rock along the trail. I have to investigate this.

DSC08843

This is part of the trail down. We had to really watch our steps, because the stairs are uneven, and in some places are missing:

DSC08848

There are cool smaller falls that feed into the Genesee River:

DSC08865

DSC08873

Here’s part of the ice on the east wall I mentioned above:
DSC08866

We’re looking back at the Upper Falls, the Portage Bridge and the ice:
DSC08888

I was on the search for Bloodroot, but saw tons of Skunk Cabbages along the west bank:
DSC08876

DSC08878

DSC08886

I also saw an area with Coltsfoot (Tussilaga farfara), which is so exciting to see after winter!
DSC08879

We had lunch down near this CCC Statue (sorry the statue doesn’t show up, but I was freezing after eating outside in the cold wind) and didn’t feel like getting out of the car at this point to get a better photo:
DSC08892

After eating we went to the Glen Iris Inn to the gift shop to buy their new self-guided driving tour book:
DSC08899

And to see the Middle Falls:
DSC08893

This fountain:
DSC08900

was spraying on the evergreen, causing it to ice up:
DSC08901
(yes, it’s still cold in NY!)

We then hiked up the Mary Jemison trail and saw a downed Eastern Hemlock tree (wah!). Even though I was sad, I loved looking at the wood:
DSC08908

I love the grain, and it smelled good, too:
DSC08909

As my brother said, “this is pleasant,” and it truly was:
DSC08910

Still Redecorating!

Wow, okay, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in so long.  And I can’t believe we haven’t finished decorating yet, but we squeeze it in when we can. So here’s the area where the Christmas tree was.

DSC07936
Scott found a dead tree and we decorated it with birds and berries. We’ll be adding his toboggan this week. And another old fashioned lamp, like the one in this photo:

DSC07937

Most of the pieces of the outfit on the mannequin Scott got this week from an older couple who had these clothes in their basement from their ancestors. The skirt is so silky, and the burgundy and black tops are velvety. Imagine having clothes from your ancestors. Our family gives all clothes away when someone passes away.  I actually just have one shirt from my Dad because I just had to have it.

DSC07938
We had some problem with this woman’s boobs. They were too big for the tops, so we had to add a contemporary but old-fashioned looking blouse.

DSC07939
The slip is peeking out at the hem. I should have taken photos of us when we were assembling this to show you all of the crap that is underneath this skirt – ouch! Maybe when we disassemble it. Anyway, it required our four hands to just make it come together!

This is one set of bookcases decorated with skaters on the Erie Canal:
DSC07935

to simulate the real skaters that used to skate on the Erie Canal:
363 - Cl Sq E - Lift Bridge #1 - 300dpi
Photo courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association

I realize I should take close-ups, but I was taking photos in-between dealing with a bunch of excited young girls.  Some of the buildings will be lit up hopefully by the time I go back to work!  Stay tuned for more!  We have Black History Month and Valentine’s Day decorations we’re working on.  Imagine, before I got there, at this time of year these areas were all. . . blank and boring.

Travelling to Allegany State Park

Yesterday I visited Mon@rch at Allegany State Park again! You can click here to see my post from my last visit. Due to construction and pouring rain it felt like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get there, but it was great to see the beautiful hills along Route 86 (Route 17). The love of hills is in my blood, and seeing these hills gets me really excited.

2007-09-15 DSC02156

The rain and clouds, not so much. Even though we really need the rain!

Finally! This is a most welcome sign!

2007-09-15 DSC02183 crop

And I’m finally in the park – I love this bridge that I’m about to cross:

2007-09-15 DSC02188

While putting on my hiking boots I broke my middle fingernail back beyond where it is attached so it is really hard for me to type today. I won’t mention the blood because it makes somebody sick, but I will mention I love carrying my herbs for just such situations as this! So, stay tuned for more about Allegany State Park – hopefully tomorrow my finger will be feeling better and I’ll post more then about our fun time!

Bridge, Mystery Photo

So on my way home yesterday I saw a sign saying the right lane of the Irondequoit Bay Bridge was closed. When I got to the bridge there were two news station vans with their cameras way up in the air parked before the bridge. I’m thinking, wtf, you know what I mean? I found out later the federal government ordered an inspection of this bridge. Yay! I guess, I mean I hope it passed with flying colors! I’ll have to find out on the web or somewhere since I don’t watch the news. Here’s a photo of part of the bridge that I showed you last winter:

2007-01-11 007

And because I’m now cutting into my reading time after having gotten home late, I’ll leave you with this photo.

AZ-2007-03-20thru29 158

Can you guess exactly where it is taken?  And if you know where it was taken, do you know where the idea for this symbol came from?

A 65,000 Acre Backyard

What does one do with a 65,000 acre backyard? Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Mon@rch (Tom) and experiencing first-hand some of what he does in his *huge* backyard! We hiked to many very interesting places. First we went to an old growth forest, where he taught me so much more about old growth forests, so now I hopefully can spot one when I’m in one! One of the many signs are the mounds created from fallen trees. Saplings grow on this rich soil, eventually this soil is washed away, and this is an example of what is left:

2007-05-26_ASP 006

And this:

2007-05-26_ASP 015

You will also see buttress roots on the older trees, like this:

2007-05-26_ASP 014

Another sign is when you look up a tree there are no branches down low. You have to look up at the canopy to see the leaves of the trees, like this:

2007-05-26_ASP 013

The old trees will be nice and straight, like the one above and this one:

2007-05-26_ASP 008

(are you getting than I’m in heaven here with all of these trees and learning!)

You’ll see newly fallen over trees, which leave a huge hole in the canopy. The saplings that have been waiting for this opportunity start growing, and eventually the strongest sapling(s) win.

2007-05-26_ASP 002

You see a variety of trees in the area. One of the trees that I was really surprised to see (and I didn’t capture a photo of) is a HUGE cucumber magnolia tree!

On the way down and back up the old ski slope we saw lots of interrupted fern:

2007-05-26_ASP 016

And Mayapple:

2007-05-26_ASP 021

along with a large variety of other vegetation, including club moss, that I didn’t capture (I know, well, I’ll just have to go back, won’t I?)

Next, Mon@rch took me to see a 200 year old Sugar Maple tree. Mon@rch showed you his up-tree photo, so I’ll show you other views:

2007-05-26_ASP 036

Check out these buttress roots. Aren’t they gorgeous!

2007-05-26_ASP 040

I love the rocks laying all over the place. Makes it hard to walk through a field of rocks like this, but I still think they’re wonderful:

2007-05-26_ASP 031

Next we saw Bridal Veil Falls, but it was raining so we didn’t bring the cameras there. Hopefully I can take photos another time!

Next stop was at Thunder Rocks. Are you getting the theme, I love trees, flowers and rocks, and of course, birds! Rock polypody grows on these boulders, along with moss, lichens, trees, etc.:

2007-05-26_ASP 053

And a tree that looks like it’s sitting up down on this boulder:

2007-05-26_ASP 056

Next we went to France Brook and saw a beaver:

2007-05-26_ASP 060_crop

And when it got scared it disappeared under the water and didn’t show up again. We also saw a pair of grackles removing fecal sacks from the cavity of a dead tree. Here’s a beaver dam in a pond down further:

2007-05-26_ASP 063

While Mon@rch was talking on his cell ordering us some food, I took photos of the Administration Building:

2007-05-26_ASP 069

And the bridge at Red House lake:

2007-05-26_ASP 068

Then we went up to Stone Tower:

2007-05-26_ASP 080

This is the view from the top looking north:

2007-05-26_ASP 074

There is an arrow in the stones pointing to (magnetic?) north:

2007-05-26_ASP 078

And here’s the view looking southwest:

2007-05-26_ASP 075

If the trees weren’t there we could have seen Red House lake!

We stopped to see a ton of Blue Cohosh, a favorite herb of mine!

2007-05-26_ASP 083

Then we went up to the top of another hill with a restaurant on it and took some photos of the view:

2007-05-26_ASP 087

After that we headed for the store for (vegeterian – thanks Mon@rch) pizza, and met Grace who is the naturalist at Allegany State Park and does the ASP blog here.

If anyone wonders why I love New York State, this park is a fine example of why I think NYS is one of the most beautiful places to live! Many, many thanks to Mon@rch for the wonderful day of learning and hiking!

Irondequoit Bay Marine Park – Birds Birds and more Birds!

Today it’s all about the birds!! The other day my last stop was at Irondequoit Bay Marine Park, which is on the west side of Irondequoit Bay. It’s just a couple of minutes from where I live when the bridge is crossable, when they move the bridge in the summer so the boats can get out of the bay to the lake, then it will take me about 20 minutes to get there because I have to go all the way around the bay.
2007-03-13 112_crop

I was walking down to the water’s edge when someone stopped me in their car and asked me if I was a birder. Hmmm, do I *look* like a birder? What does a birder look like? I don’t know. I told him I do it for fun, why? And he pointed out these two cute little American Coots to me!

2007-03-13 077_crop

Lifer! Doing the lifer happy dance! I’ve been wanting to see Coots since I first saw them on hmmm, somebody’s blog, I think it was Mon@rch. The sun was blasting in my eyeballs, so it was *very* hard for me to see the birds and to capture decent photos. Don’t you wonder how those birds carry those huge feet around? I’d fall on my face for sure. I mean look at them! Here’s a shot with one foot picked up, look at that thing dangle. It’s got to take a lot of energy just to walk! 2007-03-13 085_crop

I spied more coots among all of the birds. Here’s a bigger coot: 2007-03-13 094_crop

And the same coot showing us its butt/legs/feet:

2007-03-13 096_crop

Here’s another coot – a good shot of its feet:

2007-03-13 108_crop

Here’s a sampling of the large group of birds that were hanging out there: 2007-03-13 099

However, I did stay focused on the coots:

2007-03-13 091

Argh! See, I’m focused on the coots and totally missed the banded swan in the back! Actually, the sun was so bright, I didn’t know there was a banded swan until I downloaded the photos. I found I had a really bad photo of the entire bird in one of my group shots:

2007-03-13 099_crop

And in case you think I’m being too coot focused, here’s a photo of a Mallard pair with a pigeon in the background:

2007-03-13 107

Hope to post video tomorrow now that I’ve moved my blog!

Previous Older Entries