Archive for the ‘Neat places’ Category


Zoo Visit

May 25, 2012

Last week a friend and I took our kids to the zoo. It was a perfect day because it was warm, but not hot, and there was a light breeze. It also wasn’t mobbed with people, so we had a great time. Here are my captures for the day.

She just LOVES having her picture taken!

Sunning herself, or major attitude?

This is, I suppose, what I get for asking the (almost) teen to pose as a butterfly…

My friend’s daughter was much more compliant!

She also decided to be a turtle. Mine wouldn’t get in the turtle shell. She said she wouldn’t fit, but I have seen grown men inside that turtle shell, so I am sure she would have fit. If husband had been with us, I am pretty sure he would have gotten in it, although he would not have let me photograph him!

Outside the rhino enclosure; I couldn’t resist…

There is a new Africa exhibit and I found the lions to be pretty awesome! Perfect caption for this one, “Isn’t my mane incredible?!”

Safari girls!

Joe’s relative The seals thoroughly enjoyed playing to the small crowd that had gathered to watch them. This one was playing coy, then went inside.  The other one came up out of the water, looked around at all the people, then sort of fell over into the water. It was obviously enjoying the attention. 


Fiddler’s Fair Part II

August 16, 2010

I realize that the post I put up earlier today had the Fiddler’s Fair in the title, but contained no pictures of the fiddlers. Sorry, I will try to rectify that in this post.

It was a rather rainy day, so we were content to sit inside a large barn-like structure and listen to the groups that played in there. This group played almost exclusively hammered dulcimers. The music was wonderful despite the fact that we kept hearing that it was difficult to keep the stringed instruments tuned properly due to all of the humidity in the air.

Immediately following them was a trio of men. Apparently the guitarist that normally plays with the group was ill and couldn’t be there, so a couple hours before their set, the band found a guy to fill in. I never would have known he wasn’t actually part of the group normally. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the hammered dulcimer player. He struck me as being very ADD, but also very talented.

As we were sitting in the nice dry barn, it began raining outside and I caught this musician trying to close his umbrella, which had been protecting a bango from the rain, before entering the building. I thought it was a neat picture, very indicative of the weather from the day.

Throughout the day, there were opportunities for the guests to get their hands on some of the instruments and give them a whirl. Mark wanted to check out the hammered dulcimers, so once the group shown above was finished, we headed over to a tent to learn a little about them. As the woman began talking to Mark, I quickly became lost. Despite the fact that I took flute lessons for a couple of years, and can pound out a tune or two by ear on the piano, I am not terribly musically inclined. As she began speaking of fifths and thirds and arpeggios I decided that they may as well be speaking a foreign language, for all that I could understand. Mark, being a guitar player, seemed to eat up the information and figure out the structure of the instrument. When she handed him the hammers, he produced some beautiful sounds. Mom and I decided that we would have sounded like two year olds pounding on the strings.

Near the end of the day, there was square dancing in the main tent. Although I was required to square dance in school, it was not something I would have chosen to do. I do however, enjoy watching it.

I thought this older couple was so cute. They seemed to know the dances, so I imagine this wasn’t a “new” experience for them.

One of my friends from college met us at GCVM with her daughter, grandmother, sister, brother in-law, and their two girls. The girls, after watching for a little while, decided that they could figure this square dancing out. So up they went. Fortunately, there was a gentleman whose purpose, apparently, was to assist those who were new to this style of dancing to figure out the steps. He helped the girls a little, but they soon picked it up and were doing a great job for their first time out.

I think the smiles on their faces are proof of their enjoyment!

After watching the girls for a little while, I sat down and set my focus on a slightly smaller subject.

Isn’t she a cutie!?

I was trying to keep these two posts organized, but I had so many pictures, that I missed a few that should have been put into the last post, or are just random. I’ll just put them in here, even though they are a bit random. It’s been a busy couple of days and I am so tired I can hardly see straight.

My little? girl!

Michelle sat for a minute while Mom and I went into one of the houses in the village.

Michelle and Erin. I called to them from across the room and these are the resulting faces.

Ben didn’t want me to take his picture, I guess.

I forgot to put these two in my last post. They were cute and much nicer than the nasty goose that tried to bite me.

This (wax) man was in the insurance office in the village. The door to the room where he was sitting, was slightly ajar, but could not be opened any further. I tried a few times to get a good shot, but the opening was not wide enough for the flash to fire without interference and it was way too dark for no flash. So I opted to go with black and white, hoping to get across an antique feel. What do you think?

Speaking of the insurance office, there was the funniest letter in there. It was a letter that was supposed to have been from the era of the building. The insured was writing to the insurer to let him know that his horse, barn, and many livestock had died in a fire that he was sure was punishment from God for his poor church attendance. As I stood reading the letter, I could hardly contain my laughter. He went on about each of his animals and whether or not he thought they were worth anything, like the pigs with worms, or his old nag, who was apparently very cantankerous, and whom he had named after his wife. It was a very amusing letter, even though he had lost much.

This stove was in the outer part of the insurance office. Pretty cool looking!

Bachelor’s buttons, growing along the side of one of the roads in the village.

We had a fun and very tiring day. My mom brought some sandwich and salad fixings, so at one point we went to the truck and Jeep for a bite to eat. While we were there, Erin asked if she could spend the night at my parents house. A quick call to Jeff confirmed that she could, so she was ecstatic the rest of the time we were there. I had turned off my cell phone last night to charge it and when I turned it back on this morning, I found a text message from Erin (using Michelle’s phone) that had been sent at 11:56 pm, just to say “hi!”. I guess the girls had quite a fun time building a fort in Michelle’s bedroom, watching cartoons, and just staying up late. When we met this afternoon so I could bring Erin home, she looked as though she’d fall asleep at any moment. She was wishing she could have stayed another night, but then later decided she was glad to be home. Jeff sent her to bed a half hour early because she looked like she was going to fall asleep in her dinner! She’s such a funny kid!


GCVM Fiddler’s Fair

August 16, 2010

Typically, the Fiddler’s Fair at the Genesee Country Village and museum is on the weekend around my Mom’s birthday. For some reason, it was a week early this year. One of my out-of-town friends and I decided a few weeks ago that we should meet there this weekend, so she and her family and my Mom and her family, and Erin and I all met there around noon. There were 12 of us in all, so we split up and checked everything out.

I have to apologize for the ridiculous number of photos, but I absolutely love taking pictures in the village there. I’ll start with some of the buildings in the village.

The next few pictures are from the Cooper’s shop. They were working on repairing the garbage barrels. Not terribly romantic (in the words of the Cooper) but necessary. This is one of my favorite places in the village because of the wood shavings everywhere and the smell of the wood.

After visiting the Cooper, we wandered over to the Blacksmith. Fortunately, Erin and I went early in the day before it got terribly hot and humid. I imagine it would have been intolerably hot otherwise.

This enormous bellows is connected to a pipe that runs down the side (outside) the chimney and then through the chimney to deliver air to the fire burning on a huge fireplace. The blacksmith told us that in order to work the metal they sometimes need a fire in excess of 2000 degrees F, which would not be attainable without the help of the bellows.

He had some interesting pieces on display, but the one that caught my attention was a horse shoe on a horse’s hoof…

…without the horse attached. This particular piece was rather disturbing to both my sister and my daughter. Silly girls!

The Mercantile is where Erin was most interested in going, as she remembered that they sell candy there. What once was penny candy, now costs 3/25

This was from the Doctor’s office.

I thought this pitcher, in the back of the doctor’s office was pretty cool.

Stone fences always get my attention and there are a few of them in the village. This one was right outside of a little church.

These were 2 windows that were in the church and I must say, I am very pleased with how these pictures turned out.

Pretty cool organ in the back of the church too.

This insanely tall (at least 10 feet) corn was behind the Blacksmith’s shop. I guess that’s corn on steroids, or something!

A trip to the village wouldn’t be complete without a peek at all the animals. There were two young (yearlings maybe?) cows in a field by themselves and they were a lot of fun. They apparently like people, so they came right over to us.

After offering several types of grass and plants nearby, Michelle discovered that these guys really like one particular plant…

…a lot!

Across the road from the youngsters were these guys. Not so excited to see people. They just kept eating, paying us no mind at all.

As we wandered down to the barn, we saw some ducks and geese and decided to stop and look at them. The ducks were very cute and nice. The geese, on the other hand, not so much.

This one may look all innocent, but it tried to goose my knee!

Then it hissed at Michelle. It was actually pretty funny because Michelle took a picture on her cell phone, just as I jumped back from the nasty thing, so she has a pretty funny picture of me and the goose.

We used to have geese, when I was a kid, and they were the absolute best guard “dogs” we ever had! They would hiss and chase and if they didn’t get close enough to bite, it was fairly likely that you’d step on at least one of their “land mines.” Great animals for keeping people away, lol!

The ducks were much more enjoyable to look at.

As were the sheep, even though they were so warm they were panting.

Since I took so many pictures that I want to share, I think I will add another post, or two, later today with the rest of the pictures.


High Falls

August 8, 2010

Yesterday Jeff took Erin and Kyle to an open skate. Sarah and I didn’t feel like going so we stayed home. I napped for a while, until Jeff got home, woke me up, and said we really should get some food for dinner. We dedcided to get something grillable for dinner tonight, and just grab some take-out from King and I for last night. As we were driving through the grocery store parking lot, I saw a vehicle that looked familiar, but before I could say anything, its horn was honked and my mom began waving to us. Now, this is a little odd because it’s not like my parents live that close by. They live about 45 miles away, but on more than one occasion, we have “run into” them at unplanned times and locations. Since they had just gotten home from a week long camping trip, I never expected they’d be wandering up my way. My mom’s Amish friend had a baby very prematurely and was staying nearby, so my mom wanted to go visit with her. Michelle and Ben have friends in a band that was playing nearby, so they wanted to go see them. While the kids were watching the band, my mom and Mark wanted to see the laser and fireworks show at High Falls, as they had not seen it before. Jeff and I went a few years ago, but Jeff thought it was kind of lame, so he had no interest in going again. I wanted to go, but didn’t want to drive down there alone so I asked my mom if they could pick me up after they met with her Amish friend. They agreed, so we went to the show.

These are definitely NOT my best pictures ever! I don’t take pictures at night very often, and I have neither a monopod, nor a tripod, so I am still fairly low on a steep learning curve.

After the brief show, we wandered along Brown’s Race and checked out the old mill.  We decided we really should go back during the day and check it out. There is a rich history there that is, to a large extent, being preserved.

I had a blast showing my parentals around. Mark has a great little GPS unit, but true to my CPS (Jeff’s name for my navigation skills) abilities, I had better routes! We must go exploring again sometime!


Ganondagan Part III: Flora

August 3, 2010

If you haven’t seen the first two posts about our Ganondagan visit, you can see people here, or culture here. We took a walk on a trail through the woods and some fields and there was a ton to see.

It was a gorgeous day, if a bit warm, and the sky was ever-changing.

Jewelweed, my mom tells me, prevents the rash from poison ivy from forming.

I couldn’t resist a picture of the raspberries and Sarah couldn’t resist a taste of them.

There was so much to see and experience that we will have to go back at least a couple more times to see everything, I think. I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.


Ganondagan Part II: Culture

August 3, 2010

I had so many pictures from our visit to the Ganondagan that I have broken them up into 3 separate posts. The first was all pictures of people. The third will be flowers that I photographed, so this post is everything else. For lack of a better term, I chose culture because many of the pictures show just that, cultural aspects of the Native American people, both past and present.

We were visiting Ganondagan during a Native American arts and music festival so there were many vendors selling their wares. This particular table caught my attention because of all the colors and the wind making the feathers dance.

There was a silent auction going on and this was one of the items up for bid.

I wish I had been on the other side of these flags, so the words weren’t backwards, but again, bright colors, wind blown fabric, and my attention was all over it!

I was never a big fan of history in school, but when I was a little girl, I remember studying about long houses. I even remember making a model of one for a project. For some reason, the idea of a long house has always fascinated me. It’s probably just the construction I’m attracted to, but I’m not sure. Whenever I see a model of one anywhere, I have to check it out, study it, imagine life in it… Soooo, when I saw that there was one that I could walk into, I was thrilled! Here are my impressions of it.

This statue caught my attention while we were walking toward the long house. There is a plaque below it thanking people and organizations who generously donated money to make the long house possible.

Later in the day, Mom and I went around to the back of the main tent to get better pictures of the dancers. When we were finished and had turned to walk back around the tent, this is what we saw…

I’m not sure what prompted this little one to pose with the statues, but it sure was funny. He stood there for quite a while.

Throughout the day, this hawk kept flying around. Mom wondered out loud, at one point, how they got the hawk to fly around during the festival. It did almost seem as though the hawk was an intentional part of the experience.

One more Ganondagan post to follow; stay tuned for the flora…


Ganondagan Part I: People

August 3, 2010

After taking a trip to Corning Museum of Glass on Saturday, we went to the Ganondagan on Sunday. It is a Native American historic site, about 30 minutes from Rochester. Jeff has talked about going there for about 15 years, but we kept putting it off. Last weekend (July 24-25) there was a native American music and arts festival going on there, so we decided to make time and go. I invited my Mom along, as she really wanted to see/hear the Navajo code talker that was going to be there. I am so glad we went. I took over 300 pictures and the vast majority of them turned out, so I am posting about our visit in 3 separate entries, as there are way too many pictures for one.

I don’t believe these pictures need explanation.

This is Bill Toledo, one of the Navajo Code Talkers that served in the USMC during WWII. He is 86 years old, but don’t let his age fool you, he is as sharp as a tack. He stood for over an hour and shared story after story from the war. I could have listened to him for hours.

These Marines, shown with Mr. Toledo, stood with him the entire time he talked and barely moved. It was a very hot day and inside the tent it felt oppressive. I think I would have passed out if I’d had to stand there all that time!

Being a people watcher, I was fascinated by all the colors and textures in the clothing. The whole experience was great, but listening to the stories from Mr. Toledo was amazing.


Corning Museum of Glass

August 2, 2010

Erin’s 11th birthday was July 28th, which was also in the middle of a week of intense hockey camp. Figuring that last weekend would be the better time to do something for her birthday, I asked her what she wanted to do. She had mentioned the possibility of going to Corning to visit CMOG, but that was a couple of weeks ago. This time when I asked her, she said she wanted to go to my Mom’s house and swim with the kids. When I suggested going to CMOG, she was pretty excited, then when I suggested stopping at my Mom’s on the way home so she could swim awhile, she got really excited. So that is what we did. My mom, Mark, Michelle, Ben, my in-laws, Jeff, our kids and I all went. It was fantastic and the price was definitely right. All 3 adult couples had Entertainment books with BOGO coupons for the museum. We all also had AAA memberships, so it cost each couple $11.90 to get in and all kids, 19 and under, get in free. What a deal!

There was so much to see and do that I don’t think we covered even half of what was there. Photography was a challenge, as flash is not allowed. I took a lot of pictures, but many were too dark, or slightly out of focus, so here are a few of my favorites.

Yup, science nerd that I am, I had to take a picture of a Periodic Table in glass!

There was a children’s book that featured this guy, but I didn’t take the time to read through it. I think the dragon is pretty cool though.

Dale Chihuly makes the coolest things out of glass! I took about 15 pictures of this and wasn’t thrilled with any of them. What I wanted to do, should have done, was lay on the floor underneath this and photograph it. I also probably should have used the shorter lens, but it was late in the day, I was tired, and I didn’t figure I’d be able to get off the floor once I got down onto it. Oh well. I guess it’s an okay picture.

Not sure what this is, but it’s cool looking.

Jeff and Sarah decided this looks like something from Superman.


Since we were going there to celebrate Erin’s birthday, I bought her a ticket to make her own pendant out of glass.  We had to venture to a different building for this, so as we walked outside, in the oppressive heat and humidity, I snapped a couple of pictures. These colorful flags caught my attention. Everything there was pretty cool to look at. The grounds were pretty and the buildings all had interesting shapes and architecture, but it really was too hot to stay outside for long and take pictures!

While we waited for Erin’s turn to make her pendant, we checked out some neat glass pieces made by students of the glass center.

Although beautiful to look at, I think one might find a bite of this fruit painful…

An “eye”pod?

Behind the area where Erin was working on her pendant, there were several students blowing glass. We watched for a while, until everyone was hungry and overheated.

From glowing glob of glass…

…to not quite finished, glowing vase.

This just looks cool…or hot!

After our adventure at CMOG, we headed to my Mom’s house where the kids planned to swim. Jeff and I got there first and sat on the porch enjoying the peace and quiet of the Bristolwood, when it began rumbling, loudly! Then the thunder began cracking, and eventually, after everyone else arrived, it began to downpour.  It looked as thought the kids might not be able to swim, but then the sky cleared and they went in the pool for an hour or so.

I went into the kitchen and Michelle was washing dishes, so I kicked her out and finished them for her, so she could swim. As I was washing the dishes, I looked out the window to see Ben and Sarah with jugs on their heads. By the time I got the camera, Kyle had put one on.

Erin and Michelle enjoyed the hot tub while the rowdy kids played in the pool.

The frog guardian looked on as they played.

While the kids played outside, Angus posed for a couple of pictures.

Okay, so he was begging, not posing, but in the next one while he was begging, I called his name, and this is what he did…

We had a very enjoyable day, but when we left we had to take a detour, as two roads on the way home were washed out from the heavy rains. On the way, we encountered a dog that was wandering up the side of the road, then a little ways later, a guy walked up out of a ditch and onto the road. It was a rather bizarre ride, so I was quite happy to arrive home in one piece without having hit anything.


Boilermaker 15K

August 1, 2010

I don’t think I ever recall being as busy as I have been this last month or so. I had intended to post some more stuff from June, but time has slipped away and I have so many interesting things to tell about July, that I am going to forget trying to catch up and just move forward. The next several posts will summarize the month of July. Since we returned from Florida, in late June, we have had something going on every weekend and I don’t see much relief in sight since hockey starts in a couple of weeks. In addition to hockey, Jeff is returning to school at RIT to pursue his Master’s degree in Information Technology, Kyle will be attending MCC for business administration, and Sarah’s dance classes will resume in September. I don’t even want to think about how busy we will be!

On July 11, Kyle ran the Utica Boilermaker 15k, that’s 9.33 (hilly) miles. He had heard about the race and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. Utica isn’t exactly in our backyard, so we knew we’d need to spend the night nearby in order for him to make the 8 (ish) AM start. We quickly learned that all the close, good hotels fill up as soon the hotels make them available after the race from the previous year. That left us with two choices, stay further away or stay in a hotel that may have rentals by the hour. We opted for the further away choice.

We wound up staying in Rome, about 25 minutes away from Utica, in a reasonably nice motel.  The motel happened to be situated across the street from Fort Stanwix, so we wandered over to check it out. We checked it out on Saturday, after they had closed, and found out that admission is free, so after the race on Sunday we went back to the motel so Kyle could shower, checked out, and went to the fort for a brief visit. While we were there, a gentleman who worked there allowed us to go into a couple of buildings that had been roped off. One of them was a trading post, where he let Kyle pick up a coyote pelt. We also got to feel the pelts of several other animals. It was a brief, but interesting visit to the fort.  The pictures that follow are from both the race and our visit to the fort.

It was a beautiful day for a race. It started out almost chilly, then warmed to a reasonable, pleasant temperature.

I missed Kyle as he ran past us, so I guess it was a good thing that I took a “pre-race” picture.

Incidentally, the headphones he was wearing in this picture did not come home from Utica with us. After he had left us to catch a bus for the starting line, I got an annoyed phone call from him asking me what to do because a race official told him he couldn’t wear that style of headphone. They apparently only allow earbud style phones. I told him not to stress over it, and to just leave them somewhere. Apparently they were a pair of $5 headphones he had picked up ages ago, so he just threw them out. Fortunately the race is a very well put together one and they had bands playing all along the race course so he had music even though he couldn’t use his mp3 player.

This is the line, near the finish line, of runners waiting for the bus to take them to the start line. It was about 1.5 hours before the race and the line wrapped around the corner and to the next cross street.

This race is such a part of Utica that there are permanent mile markers along the race course and the finish line is a permanent structure right near the Saranac brewery. It was incredible to be a part of such a thing, even just as a spectator. It almost makes one want to throw on the running shoes and join the festivities….almost. Kyle had a great time, despite the headphone dilemma. In fact, we already have rooms reserved, near the finish line, for next year. Oh, I guess I should mention that his time was a respectable 1:15:13.

When we visited the Fort Stanwix site on Saturday, it was that magical time of day when the sun was low in the sky and the lighting was perfect for making my pictures glow.

This tunnel was apparently designed for the vertically challenged. Kyle is only about 5’9.”

What we toured is a reconstruction, in the same location, of the original fort. All that remains of the original, are a few crumbled bricks that had once been part of a fireplace.

The coyote fur on top is the one Kyle was allowed to pick up.

We had an enjoyable, if somewhat rushed, trip. Next year we will stay two nights, so we shouldn’t feel quite so rushed.


Slippery Rock University

November 10, 2009

We went to check out Slippery Rock University today. It is a neat looking campus. I am super exhausted after a long day riding to PA, then checking out the campus, shopping at the Prime Outlets, and finally dinner. I will post a few pictures I shot on the campus, then I am going to sleep!

main entrance

Admissions bldg

Building 1

bell tower bldg

Rock sign

I took a few more pictrures, but I am way too tired to edit! More tomorrow.