Best Laid Plans Changed By Snow

So, I had at least four places I could be at today. And I was going to do two of them. First the things I couldn’t do. I was invited to be a judge at the Central New York History Day again this year, which I would have thoroughly enjoyed. But I also have to get a specific number of hours of training at work to meet the state requirements, and there was a seminar scheduled for today to help meet those requirements. So I had to decline the CNYHD offer. Then we got about 8″ of snow since yesterday/overnight, with more coming, and the seminar was cancelled.

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View out my window this morning.

After the seminar I was going to go to the Outdoorsman (woman?) show to see Birds of Prey among many other things since it was right down the road from the seminar. Or I was going to go to a movie at the Planetarium. Which I’ll talk about later because I still am going to go soon. Instead, I’m staying home shoveling and raking snow and doing laundry and cleaning house, and I’ll see what I can cook up. BTW, while I was shoveling, I heard all kinds of birdies. Yay! *They* know spring is coming. More later! Enjoy your day, whatever the weather is doing around you.

Wimpy Wimpy Wimpy

So I woke up to the news on the radio this morning and heard schools around the area, including the ones we serve at work, were closed. I’m thinking ‘oh great, there must be tons of snow outside.’ So I rip open the curtain and there was nothing. It was a beautiful morning. WTF? Turns out it was too cold for kids to go to school. Already then. Sounds a little wimpy to me, or should I say, real wimpy. My Mom used to bundle us up to wait for the school bus in all sorts of weather. The only time school was closed was when the road was closed, like my Dad had described here.

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People these days have NO spines. I sleep with my window open every night and have ever since I was very little, no matter what the weather. So to say cold air hurts kids is, IMHO, bunk.

Ice, Not So Nice

I’m tired of ice. This is New York State. We’re supposed to have tons of snow. Not ice, slush and rain every other day. I have ice two inches thick on my driveway. I can’t even wheel my garbage containers to the curb because of the ice. I’m done with it. I’m staying inside until it stops. That’s not a threat, it’s a promise.  Because nobody knows how to drive on ice.

I am requesting a melting of the ice on my driveway, then some real winter snow. It doesn’t need to be deep like when I was a kid, but just sufficient so it can protect plant roots and so I can play in it for a little while.

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March 6, 1971, LaFayette, NY

Tiny Footprints in the Snow

Today when I opened the drape I saw this pretty sky:

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And when I went to take my garbage to curve before leaving for work, I saw these tiny little footprints in the snow. I don’t know who they belong to, but they are so cute!

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If they’re not melted by tomorrow I’ll try to get better photos of them.  Do you have any idea who they belong to?

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No time for any other pics today because of work and taking time to pick up my Mom from the airport. She who went without me to my Aunt’s funeral for various reasons.

Thanksgiving 2007 & Snow!

Yesterday morning and the entire night before it had been raining hard. During mid-morning the temperature dropped 10 degrees F, and we had snow on Thanksgiving!

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Whenever there is snow on Thanksgiving, it makes me break into the song

‘Over the river and through the woods to Mummy’s house we go. . .’ (substituting Mummy in for Grandmother).

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These snow photos are for you, Mary, and anyone else who wants to see a bit of snow.

I only had a couple of panicky moments of missing my Dad. One was when I was setting the table by myself and as I was setting the place where he usually sat for my Mom I started freaking out inside. I almost called out to my Mom, but at that moment my Aunt walked in and started talking, which irritated me at first, but then she did take my mind off of my Dad. The whole process of getting ready for the day was really tough on my Mom, but she is really one smart cookie in that she invited the relatives and had the whole day planned to keep our minds off of things, even though we did bring up my Dad every now and then.

After a delicious meal, we had a musical concert because everyone plays the piano plus other instruments and sings, too. I was the only one not to play and I got in trouble for not playing. Well, I don’t have a piano at home, but they didn’t accept that as an excuse, so next year I have to perform, somehow. I better get boned up on my ragtime again!

The day was perfect, and even Mom’s Thanksgiving cactus was blossoming right on time:

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And a wonderful end to a great day:

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Much Better Day! Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, Lake Ontario at Durand Eastman Park

So I played with my blog by upgrading it to 2.1.2 and added sidebar widgets for a while (update: which I have since had to stay up to midnight Tuesday night to remove them and downgrade to WordPress 2.0.7 because 2.1.2 isn’t working properly and now I have to fix all of my links), and then headed out to 1000 Acre Swamp and encountered the sign “Parking Lot Closed For the Winter.” I drove back in there anyway. The driveway was full of snow, ice, mud and water:

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And swamps on either side of me:

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And the parking lot was still snowed in: Shoot.

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Hey, I’m declaring winter is gone, let’s get that snow plowed out of there! I was ready with my hiking boots to slog through some deep water if I had to, just to find birds and skunk cabbage and other things. No place to park without getting towed. Okay, change of plans.

I went out to the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse on Lake Ontario which was built in 1822. The keeper’s house was built in 1863.

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The following information is from the detailed sign:

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A Heritage Harbor – The outlet of the Genesee River has always been an important location for commerce. Native Americans camped here, the first white settlers chose this site to build a cabin, and the bluff was also recognized as the best location for the beacon that marked the entrance to a growing lakeport.

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A Strategic Location – Charlotte was once a bustling commercial shipping port, the destination of sidewheelers and sailing vessels unloading supplies for a growing city and loading products from the region. Today the harbor is still an unimportant hub, but now it is used primarily by recreational boaters.

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Timeline (some dates were hard to read, so they may be off by ten or twenty years).

1781 First Light on the Great Lakes at Mouth of the Niagara River

1789 Lighthouses Become Federal Responsibility

1792 Hincher Cabin Built

1822 Lighthouse and Original Keeper’s Dwelling Built

1829 First Piers Built

1838 Pier Light Built

1856 New Lantern and Fresnel Lens Added

1863 Present Keeper’s House Built

1881 Light Remove from Service. Lantern Moved to Pier

1905 Lighthouse Saved from Demolition. Primarily by Efforts of Charlotte High School Students.

1984 Initial Restoration Begun

Daffodils in front of the Keeper’s House – another sure sign of spring – woo hoo!

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My next destination was Irondequoit Bay, but first I stopped along the Lake Ontario shoreline at Durand Eastman Park (which is a place for exploration for another day or two or three or . . .). Here’s the pier with the light mentioned above:

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Same gulls I’ve seen a million times now, but that’s okay, I like it when they spread their wings:

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The beach is a mixture of sand and ice-snow – it felt really nice to walk on sand again:

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Since this post is getting really long, I’ll save my blogging about Irondequoit Bay for next time! I got at least one new lifer there! Yay!

However, I will say this morning I woke up to the rusty gate sound of Grackles. Yay! The Grackles are back. Also the crows (thanks Susan). When I got home a crow was doing its thing in my yard:

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Forced End to My Strike

Okay, I was forced to end the strike. After going out and doing stuff today, I came home to “drip, drip, drip.” WTF. “Drip, drip, drip.” Oh crap. Water was dripping in via the sliding glass door molding. Don’t ask. I don’t know. I AM going to write to “Ask This Old House” because I can’t get anyone to tell me how to fix this. I mean *everything* is fixable, right? Oh, and yes, back to the forced end to my strike, I had to go out and get the snow off the roof. Maybe that was the problem, I don’t know. I’m too tired to think about it now. However, I *did* not shovel. Let me just say that it is so cold that snow is sticking to everything.

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Oh, so one of the things I did today was go to an employment agency that one of my friends works through. I walk in and the receptionist be-och says “whaddayaneed?” Huh? What. Do. I. Need? Not, “Hello, may I help you?” What. Do. I. Need? Hmmm, here’s my list of What. I. Need. It begins with people learning manners. I know some people don’t have manners anymore, but it still always shocks me.

Okay, the thing that generated me *going* in to an employment agency is I’m not getting any hits on sending in my resume, etc. to these places online or via email. I figure if they can see me, they’ll say “we have to hire her!” That and my list of wants keeps growing and growing and growing. . . the latest want being a DSLR! I mean, I can’t take fantastic photos with a point & shoot now can I? Well, I can try, and I will keep trying, but I *know* I can do better.

I’ve rambled on enough. I will be taking photos somewhere this weekend so I have something better to tell you and show you other than this tiring snow.

Here’s another Wisteria photo, this one from Wave Hill, taken on April 30, 2006:

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I sooooooooooo cannot wait until spring.

I’m on Strike. . .

. . . from shoveling snow. Okay, I shoveled the bit that plow-man shoved in front of the garage door, and I knocked the icicles down. But that’s it. Between working, I’ve been learning more about photography. And realized I was out of batteries to play with my camera. So I went to BJ’s. I love BJ’s. Mega batteries for real reasonable. Mega anything for real reasonable. Holiday and birthday cards for 1/2 price. (Relatively) cheap gas. Gotta love ’em.

It is so cold out the snow squeaks when I walk on it. It’s snowing sideways and getting bad again. I don’t care. I’m not shoveling squat.

Back to photography – I got the book “Understanding Exposure” revised edition by Bryan Peterson. I love it! I love his analogies, they really help drive home what Mon@rch has been teaching me. So now I’m feeling brave about using the M mode (manual) on my camera. Now for a subject besides snow to perform tests on. I’ll figure something out soon! Since I’m eyeballs deep in this book, I’ll leave you with a photo I took in May of 2005 at Brookside Gardens of wisteria:
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I can’t wait to see wisteria again. I can’t wait to see any flowers growing outside.  Soon – they’ll be here soon!

I’ve had enough. . .

snow.

Last night at 11:40 I had received 4″ I needed to shovel before I went to bed because it was due to snow all night. . .

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. . . and it did.  I have shoveled four times today, for a total of ~18″ here.

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Next in the forecast is lake effect snow over night. But for now it has stopped. And I’m going to bed. I’ve had enough of this day. Goodnight!  I hope everyone had a happy day!

Deer, Learning my Camera – finally

You know the drill if you’ve been reading my blog, I go to the bathroom, watch out the window which faces my backyard as I’m, well, you know, and see what I can see. Today I saw the two big babies and their mom! Right in plain sight. So I get done, grab the camera, and they’re out of sight except for part of this one (taken from far away through the sliding glass door):
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Some days I think I’m not going to blog because I have nothing of interest to say, but then these opportunities present themselves. Gotta love nature, always keeping us humans on our toes.

Last night I had dinner at Mom and Dad’s (mmmmmm) and then we went to see Fiddler on the Roof at Roberts Wesleyan College. I love that play, it is just a very long time to sit in theatre seats! I couldn’t wait for intermission to get a good stretch in (I didn’t think the guy behind me would appreciate me stretching in the middle of the play) and some fresh air.
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My seat was good except it was kitty-corner to the sound guy and I could see his mistakes – it drove me nuts to watch him and the play, too.

Today I started reading my camera’s user guide – what a concept, huh? So far I found a few mistakes I was making. I didn’t have the compression set to Superfine so my images haven’t been making me totally happy. Now that I did that, my flash card only allows 154 photos. Amazing how I used to think 36 photos would do me on a film camera. Now I know 154 won’t be enough at all because I can run through 154 photos real quick, especially when I’m on vacation!

Okay, before that, I learned how to do continuous mode (yeah, I know, it’s a *real* easy thing, I just never tried it) – I think some people call it sports mode. I can see a good use for this while trying to capture birds. Here’s some shots I captured of some birds on Animal Planet – I had to test the camera on the spot, you know:
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Now to find some real live birds to use this mode on.

And last for today I learned how to make movies. First I set it at the highest resolution and got about 11 seconds on my card (yes I ordered some bigger cards) and captured an elephant on Animal Planet. But then I figured I shouldn’t upload it to YouTube. I lowered the resolution per YouTube’s suggestion and captured it snowing. Oh, how exciting, I know. I made it quick. I have to learn to stop my living processes while I try to capture movies. Hmmmm.

I have so much more to learn about this camera! I can envision taking movies of the Gambel’s Quail or whatever else moves itself in front of me here or in Arizona.

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