George Eastman House

We went to the George Eastman House this past week to see The Dutch Connection:

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Note the Aeolian Pipe Organ in the conservatory:
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After getting our eyeballs full of spring flowers, we saw a video on the North Organ, donated by Dr. Richard Zipf.  Here’s a quick history of the Aeolian Pipe Organ at the Eastman House.  I would love to hear organ music in the Eastman House!

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We went to go into the Dawn of Technicolor exhibit, and somebody started feeling ill, I won’t mention any names, but I had to take Thursday off from work because I still wasn’t feeling well.  Much better now, but I missed the exhibition!!  However, there is a book. . .

This is the wall of bottles of dyes outside the Technocolor exhibition, it is SO cool!!

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Sonnenberg Gardens on Mother’s Day

We have been going to Sonnenberg Gardens since the 80’s, and we are really happy that the state took it over and are restoring it.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, for a switch, (Mother’s Day is usually cold and rainy) so we had an enjoyable day. The first thing we saw, were geese and their goslings. Like we need more geese, but the goslings are so cute!
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Turtles soaking up the sun after this l-o-n-g, c-o-l-d winter:
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A frog as green as the slime he is floating with:
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Cactus:
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Orchids:
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Trees:
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Repair work in progress:
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Repair work completed:
I was so excited they’ve fixed the collanade that bisects the old fashioned garden!
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The mansion now is wheelchair accessible:
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There were vintage fashions on display throughout the mansion:
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And displays of stereoscopic cards and other old photographs:
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And, of course, some flowers:
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In Bloom Last Week

In bloom in my Mom’s garden last week, her rhododendrons:
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With all of those rhododendron flowers, the big, fat bees go after the littlest flowers:
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These little irises are so sweet:
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She had lots of other stuff in bloom, but I was too beat last week to take any more photos!

Lamberton Conservatory

Yesterday my Mom and I went to the Lamberton Conservatory to see some beauty and to get some nice, warm, humid heat.   We were both exhausted when we walked in, and came out still tired, but feeling warmer and refreshed.  Since I was with my Mom and I have taken tons of photos for my blog of this place and my camera battery was low, I only took a few key photos. And I forgot my Nikon at home – bah! So these are taken with my SONY.

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Banana plant:

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These turtles were a surprise!!

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I wanna go to Arizona now!!

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This plant has soft foliage and interesting roots:

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An orange:

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These grapefruit flowers smelled sooooo good!!

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Wormwood, by Susan Wittig Albert

When Susan Wittig Albert asked some of us if we would like an advance copy of her latest China book Wormwood (due out April 7th), I said “yes please!”  It arrived in the mail on Friday, and I started reading it right away.

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Having worked both Sat. & Sun. I haven’t had much chance to read more than a couple of chapters, but I immediately saw this was going to be among one of my favorite China books.  Well, okay, they’re all my favorites!  The first chapter (which you can read on Susan’s About Thyme website) starts with China and her friends (and introduces everyone to those who are picking this book up as their first China book).  Now get this – the second chapter goes to the Shaker Village at Mt. Zion, Kentucky in 1912.    Chapter Three is back to the present with China.  Chapter Four is a History of the Shakers.  Chapter Five is back at Mt. Zion, Kentucky in 1912.  Chapter Six is back to the present with China.  Is this intriguing or what?  I’m intrigued with this on several levels.  The obvious – how Susan is going to tie everything together.

When I was studying to become a Master Herbologist, one of the many tangents I took was to study everything I could get my hands on about the Shakers.  So I feel like I’m visiting old friends, and while I haven’t visited the Shaker Village in Mt. Zion, Kentucky, the Shaker villages that I have visited pop into my head while reading Susan’s descriptions.

Before the advent of modern medicine, herbs were what people used to help with their ailments.  The Shakers were the main source of these herbs in the U.S.

I also grew the herb Wormwood in my garden a few years ago, and it’s one of those plants that don’t allow other things to grow near it, as I found out the hard way.  It will be interesting to find out how Susan uses the herb wormwood in her book.

I’m looking forward to getting done with my housework today, so I can sit down and read more of Wormwood!

Thanksgiving Day

We spent Thanksgiving Day in PA at my Aunt and Uncle’s home. Believe it or not, it was nice to get out of the snow for a little while (it’s too early for snow here)! When I walked in to their house this painting caught my eyeballs:

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In which I asked my Uncle “where’d you get the painting of Cooperstown?” And his response? “You are the first person from New York to recognize this is Cooperstown!” It is painted by their next door neighbor who used to live in New York:

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(I don’t remember her first name).

She also painted this one, which is across the street in Cooperstown from the one above:

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Later I saw this old plate hanging which came from my Grandmother’s home.  This plate is of the South Onondaga Methodist Church:
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This is the church as it looked in April of this year:
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I also love this Grandma Moses counted cross stitch piece that my Aunt stitched:
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We were outside Thanksgiving evening looking at the landscape and I noticed the sunset was going to be gorgeous:
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Ohhhh, ahhhh. . .

I also loved seeing my Grandmother’s needlework around my Aunt’s home:
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Thanks to my Aunt and Uncle for the fond memories!

“The White Woman of the Genesee” at Letchworth State Park

Yesterday we (Mom & brother) went to Letchworth State Park.  As my brother has never been there before, we saw High Falls again, a site I never get sick of seeing:

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and the Middle Falls, viewed from the Glen Iris Inn:

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We then walked the Mary Jemison trail:

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up to the railroad bridge:

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and up to the railroad tracks:

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those same tracks that my Dad is standing on in Nov of 2006:

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I took a photo of my Mum and brother near the same spot that my Dad was standing. Oh, how we miss him soooo much.

Hmmm, since when did they start using this configuration of holding the rails down? Something for me to investigate later.

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On the way back down the trail I found a log with fungi, moss and lichens:

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At the end of the trail, we saw this skull:

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After hiking the trail we saw the cabin Mary Jemison built for her second daughter, Nancy, with the Antique Seneca Council House in the background:

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Mary Jemison was called Deh-He-Wa-Mis, “The White Woman of the Genesee” or “The White Woman of the Valley.” Here’s some information about her from one of the information panels:

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There are old books about her on Google books, and contemporary books can be found on Amazon or at the library.

Here’s a replica of the Viewing Pavilion:

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Here’s the bronze statue of Mary Jemison. This statue was cleaned up recently which I heard about when I attended the Archives Week celebration at Genesee Country Village & Museum on October 11, 2006.

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Next to her statue is a black walnut tree planted by James Shongo, grandson of Mary Jemison ca. 1875.

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After this, we drove up to Inspiration Point (reminds me of “Happy Days”). This is an into the sun view of the Portage Bridge, High Falls and Middle Falls, all very hard to see due to the sun:

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We then stopped to view Big Bend, view looking southerly:

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view looking northerly:
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And just as we were leaving the turkey vultures appeared. We saw turkey vultures all day, and they’re hard to capture with my little camera, but here’s a little silouette:

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We then went to Gardeau overlook, which is where Mary Jemison lived:

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The name Gardeau comes from the Seneca word Gah-Da-Hoh, or “bank in front.”

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Soon this valley will be in full color as you can see from this photo taken at the Mt. Morris Dam overlook:

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and Letchworth State Park will be very crowded. Stay tuned. We plan on going back there more!  Post leaf-viewing and arts & crafts show crowds, that is.

Robison York State Herb Garden at Cornell Plantations

On Labor Day we went to Robison York State Herb Garden at Cornell Plantations in Ithaca.  The gift shop was closed, bummer, because I love going in there and looking at the books and smelling the soaps, etc.

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That’s okay, there was lots of beautiful plants to look at:

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Blue Wild Indigo seed pod:
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A closeup of the above plant:
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There were tons of bees all over these Garlic Chive flowers:
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I’m guessing this is a Giant Swallowtail with beat-up wings:
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There were two female American Goldfinches eating on the Anise Hyssop:
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They were happily eating, until one flew on the other’s flower and an argument ensued:
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And they flew off in a tiff and continued to argue in the shrubs.

We drove up to the Newman Arboretum for a few minutes and I captured the next three photos all in a row, trying to get thin lines from the sun:
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I don’t think I could do this next one again if I tried:
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And I’ll leave you with this cool flower:
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Letchworth State Park

Last Saturday we went to Letchworth State Park with my Uncle and cousins and other Aunt & Uncle. Since it was lunchtime when we arrived, we stopped at the Wolf Creek area of the park to eat a picnic lunch on a table made of stone, like this one:

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It was a beautiful day, with no rain in this area all afternoon. This was one of the views from our picnic table, and we heard the creek running as we ate:

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Afterwards, we headed down to the south end of the park to view the Portage Bridge from near the top:

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And then we headed down to the parking lot between the upper and middle falls. Here’s the upper falls and the Portage Bridge from below:

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It’s fun to be here when a train goes over the bridge!

We then walked down to see the middle falls, and I spied this interesting bedrock along the way:

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And we saw a rainbow as we got nearer to the middle falls:

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And here’s the middle falls:

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The Joe Pye Weed and Black Eyed Susan, along with other wildflowers, love living with the mist of the waterfalls:

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This is the Glen Iris Inn where my parents used to stay every fall. It made my Mom very sad to be at the park, but she was trying to be good:

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There were huge hydrangea blossoms around the inn:

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And of course, big old trees, like this Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus) which was planted by NYS Governor DeWitt Clinton’s son here:

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I love the Kentucky Coffee Tree’s leaves, which are bipinnately compound. This photo shows only ONE leaf of the tree:

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The next photo also shows only ONE leaf:

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Of course, we took tons of family photos since we hardly ever get together unless somebody dies. This was a rare occasion, and we all enjoyed it immensely! And from my photos, I created a new blog banner – finally!!

Beaver Lake Nature Center

Today the Onondaga Historical Association had a picnic for its volunteers held at the Beaver Lake Nature Center.

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It was very nice, except it rained cats and dogs, no kidding. A tour guide came to get us at 3:00 for a walk in the woods and the sun was out for a few minutes, but then it poured again, so I don’t have much in the way of outdoor photos, even though this is a really cool place. So here’s some indoor photos, even though I don’t like the thoughts of dead, stuffed birds and animals, they’re there so here’s some of them.

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Belted Kingfisher. I would love to see one of these in real life!

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Really cool display of birdie eggs, part 1

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Really cool display of birdie eggs, part 2

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Pileated Woodpecker. Nice to see up close to really see how big it is.

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Touchy feely table, part 1

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Touchy feely table, part 2

During the three seconds that it wasn’t raining, I captured some photos from their herb gardens.

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I had intentions of taking many more photos to finally make a decent blog post, but the weather had other ideas!

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