The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent the day with my best friend — my husband, Bob.

We awakened early and watched a couple episodes of “House of Cards” before 9:00 am. “House of Cards” is an American political drama television series.  The entire first season, 13 episodes, premiered on February 1, 2013, on Netflix.  A second season of 13 episodes premiered on February 14, 2014.   Netflix announced on February 4, 2014 that the show had been renewed for a third season.  Both Bob and I enjoyed watching “House of Cards”.  We watched the last episode of Season 2 last night, after returning home from my birthday drive.  We look forward to Season 3.  It will be a long wait.

After watching a couple episodes of “House of Cards” yesterday morning, we went for a drive.  Our final destination was the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, NY; however, we made a few stops along the way.

P2233605 4x6Our first stop was at Kinzua Dam.

While at Kinzua Dam, we spotted a couple eagles standing way out on the ice.  I barely had time to get my camera from the back seat and exchange a 12-50mm lens for a 75-300mm lens, before the eagles flew off.  I need to learn how to capture good pictures of birds in flight. My pictures are grainy and blurry. Part of the problem is that I don’t have enough reach with my camera lens, even though my 75-300mm lens provides an equivalent focal length of 600mm. The other problem I have is focusing on a moving object, especially when I have only one opportunity to lock in that focus.

P2233600 4x6This is the best picture of an eagle in flight that I captured yesterday.

From Kinzua Dam we continued on Route 59 to McKean County, where we turned left onto Route 321.  This route was most picturesque, with the trees frosted with snow and the overcast sky giving way to blue skies.

P2233606 4x6

P2233607 4x6

P2233608 4x6

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Upon reaching the intersection of Routes 321 and 346, we turned right onto Route 346 (towards Bradford, PA).

P2233612 4x6Marilla Reservoir

After a quick photo stop at Marilla Reservoir, we continued on Route 346 to Bradford.  We turned left onto Route 4009, which we followed to Allegany State Park.

P2233614 4x6Our first stop was at Science Lake.

P2233617 4x6Quaker Lake

P2233618 4x6Bob and I at Red House picnic area,
with Red House Administration Building in the background

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P2233625 4x6Red House Administration Building

We started our drive outside the park from the Red House area.  We drove along ASP Route 1 to the park’s Salamanca, NY entrance.

P2233627 4x6We saw young deer grazing alongside ASP Route 1.

There is a scenic overlook just past the Salamanca entrance to Allegany State Park.  The overlook provides a spectacular view over the valley and to the hills in the distance.

P2233629 4x6The road seen in this photograph is Interstate 86.
In the distance there is a farm.
If you see yellow farm buildings, you have located the farm.

I have always wanted to photograph this farm. I admire it each time we pass it Interstate 86.  I never stopped to take a picture because of the fast-moving traffic. When I recognized the farm from the scenic overlook, I was so happy that I had my long lens with me.

P2233631 4x6Valent Dairy Farm

From the scenic overlook, it was only a few minutes’ drive to the Seneca Allegany Casino.  We arrived at the casino in the early afternoon. We ate lunch at Thunder Mountain Buffet.  The casino has a special promotion on every Sunday through Thursday through February 27–buy a buffet and get $15 free slot play.  Bob and I received $15 each. I received an extra $5 credit because it was my birthday (another promotion). Bob received an extra $10 credit on his card. We don’t know why, although I think it was because he had enough points on his card to qualify for $10 free slot play. According to the “Free Slot Day Every Day You Play” promotion, Bob should have received an email informing him of the $10 free slot play.  As far as I know, he didn’t receive that email (or he overlooked it).  We had a good luck at the casino!  I left the casino with $46 and change; Bob left with $19 and change. I didn’t spend a penny of my money. Bob did spend $33 for our lunches, which was my birthday present.   It was nice that he got back $19 of that expenditure.

It was a great day overall, one of my favorite birthday celebrations.

8 Responses to “Happy Birthday to Me”

  1. Michael and Conny

    Dear Linda,
    these are beautiful pictures.
    We are send all the best wishes to you und we say Happy Birthday.
    Michael and Conny

    Reply
  2. Denise

    Happy Birthday for yesterday Linda and what a great way to celebrate. Your photos are wonderful, what can I say other than the fact that I always LOVE your photos and you and Bob look fantastic. It’s great meeting blogging friends and I look forward to the day we can all get together.

    Reply
  3. Eileen

    Linda, sounds like a lovely way to spend your birthday. Love the eagle in flight, the deer and the pretty view of the dairy farm.. Gorgeous scenery and photos. Enjoy your week ahead!

    Reply
  4. Lorraina

    Happy belated birthday Linda! Mine was also this month, on the 22nd. We arranged for a fun 3 days in Las Vegas but our flight out of Bellingham, WA was cancelled due to snow and more snow and a back-up of the previous days cancellations so my day along with hundreds of other people didn’t happen as planned. glad yours was nice though!

    Reply
    • Linda G.

      Happy belated birthday to you Lorraina. Perhaps you can have a late birthday trip to Las Vegas.

      Reply

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