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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The Dutch Connection

It’s that time of year again! The forced spring bulbs are in blossom at the George Eastman House, and it was as gorgeous as ever this year. It was really tough getting a full shot like I have been able to in the past, because there were so many people there today.

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The pink flowers grouped together near the organ really caught our eyes:

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It’s just so great to see spring flowers – early!

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Especially when it looks like this outside, even though it was in the 40’s today!

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Just loving those pinks!

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(but not the guy looking at me taking the photo)

They usually have quite a few orchids, but they didn’t have as many this year.

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Yeah, taking a photo into a bright window doesn’t really work, but I had to capture more of the color:
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Ah, so easy on the eyes,
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Beautiful amaryllis:
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They had a musicale at 3:00, which was beautiful,
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and while listening, I checked out the different moldings from where I was sitting:
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All in all, it was such a gorgeous display of color, I felt like I couldn’t get my eyes full:
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Lights on the Lake

On Wednesday night we went to Lights on the Lake, sponsored by Wegmans.  Mind you, I paid $8 to get in, so I was going to enjoy myself.  I don’t know how many different light displays there are, but it seemed to go on forever.  Even the advertising was cute:

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Some were simple, but I love the backdrop of the trees and the lake:
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It was snowing, so it was hard to capture some of the lights, but I love this school of fish:
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Wanna watch the submarine races? Ha ha! This one is blurry, but I had to show it. Watching submarine races is code for making out by the lake.
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And that’s just what Santa and Mrs. Claus are doing:
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There were different themes: Santa’s Workshop, The Wizard of Oz, etc. There were birds flying around:
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And trees cast in different colors:
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Many of the light displays “moved” so we started taking video, which I won’t bore you with. There was a part dedicated to nature, which I totally enjoyed (bad photo, but I love the blue light):
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and as you can see, there was a sign to call if you needed assistance.
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Well, some poor, miserable creature decided he/she didn’t like it we were enjoying ourselves because he/she had to pass us even though we were pulled over (wah for him/her) and called the number, and we were eventually “escorted” out of the rest of the park by a park ranger, so I missed photographing some fantastic light displays.

But I did capture the end:
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So much for land of the free to enjoy yourselves to the max. But I did enjoy it as much as I could!

Some Days. . .

. . .just suck out loud and you have to do things to try to make yourself happy, like looking at photos of places you love to visit:

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Ginkgo biloba trees in Woodlawn Cemetery, Canandaigua

Dead Trees

In a certain place on the Thruway, on both sides of the highway, are these dead trees. I wonder what changed in the landscape on either side to cause all of this death.

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Dead trees on the north side of Thruway.  I see the same thing on the south side.

Watching the Sky, Woodchuck in a Tree, & More

It’s getting to that time of year again where when I leave for work the sun is just rising, and there have been some gorgeous sunrises this week.

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There’s also been some intense cloud action on the way home.

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Last night we walked in Mt. Hope Cemetery (in between the rain) and saw a woodchuck hanging out in a tree. We couldn’t believe our eyes, so I took some pics.

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I’ve never seen a woodchuck in a tree. What’s the deal with this?

The hyrangea shrubs were beautiful – starting to turn pink.

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We saw a couple of owl boxes.

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And a tree with interesting burls.

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Sassafras saplings just waiting for a hole in the canopy.

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Cicada exoskeletons were stuck to various places:

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Some of the trees are acting stressed this year, including horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).

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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.

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I love the symmetry of bridges.

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

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

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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:

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

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Here’s part of the ice on the east wall I mentioned above:
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We’re looking back at the Upper Falls, the Portage Bridge and the ice:
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I was on the search for Bloodroot, but saw tons of Skunk Cabbages along the west bank:
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I also saw an area with Coltsfoot (Tussilaga farfara), which is so exciting to see after winter!
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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:
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After eating we went to the Glen Iris Inn to the gift shop to buy their new self-guided driving tour book:
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And to see the Middle Falls:
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This fountain:
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was spraying on the evergreen, causing it to ice up:
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(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:
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I love the grain, and it smelled good, too:
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As my brother said, “this is pleasant,” and it truly was:
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Macro Challenged

I am so macro challenged with this camera.  I will practice until I get it though!

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Daffodil leaves!! Yay! Even though it’s only 30 degrees out today, soon there will be daffodil flowers!

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The focus is not on the crocus flower, but I had to show it to you anyway!! I do love the fact I can flip the screen up so I don’t have to lie on my stomach to get these photos.

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Lily leaves – soon there’ll be lily flowers!

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Shagbark Hickory twig, with too much sunlight, but I’m not complaining about the sun.

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I wanted to get the end, but instead it focused on needles further down. Okay, I’ll take the hint and back off.

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I love the detail it captures, even though it wasn’t what I was looking to get.

Practice makes perfect, right? And I need lots of it. I *will* get this camera’s macro feature down. Any hints would be greatly appreciated!

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:
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to simulate the real skaters that used to skate on the Erie Canal:
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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.

Friday after Thanksgiving

While everyone was busy going to the stores early in the morning, we were driving home so my brother could make it to an appointment he had in the afternoon. I was still half asleep trying to keep myself entertained by taking photos out the car window. These are the early ones, before the sun starting showing itself:

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I know this is blurry, but I love this bridge:

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And the hills:

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Here comes the sun!

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Gas prices are *much* lower in PA. They have a store called Sheetz there. It cracks me up to say it. It didn’t anyone else. So I was laughing by myself.  I’m good at entertaining myself:

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I’m still loving the hills:

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Even though traveling is rough, I’d rather be doing that than getting crushed in a crowd of people in some store trying to get the latest gadget on sale!

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