The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘Friends’ category

Outside is Safer

According to medical experts COVID-19 transmits more easily when inside closed areas, where there is less ventilation or room for airflow.  Generally, your risk of contracting the virus is remarkably lower when you are outside. This is because there is more space to separate from others and there is more natural airflow.

Bob and I went for a walk in our neighborhood this afternoon.  A neighbor’s backyard scene caught my eye.

What a great way to watch TV (golf in this instance) with friends!  

The temperature was around 45 degrees.  These two men look toasty warm, don’t they?

Summer Picnic

This past Saturday afternoon  we went to a picnic at our friends Mark and Faye’s house. Mark and Faye provided hot dogs and all the fixings, clams and corn on the cob.

This is how Mark cooked the corn on the cob.

Those attending the picnic brought a dish to pass.

Bob and I brought a cheese and pepperoni tray with crackers.

The food was plentiful and tasted great.

Scott looks like he is enjoying an ear of corn.

It rained, while we were at the picnic. The rain fell lightly at first but gained momentum. We had quite a heavy downpour that lasted a few minutes.

It is raining!
Note the red car with its top down!

The rain caused people to scatter. Some people took shelter inside the garage; some people took shelter in the shed; a few people took shelter under a tree; and some people took shelter under two canopies.

 

What’s a little rain, when you are having fun!

 

After about 20 minutes of rain, the sun returned.

Thank you, Mark and Faye, for hosting a great picnic.  We had a great time!

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

Bob and I, along with two other couples, went on an all-day motorcycle ride on Saturday. We left home at 7:30 am and returned home about 12 hours later. We rode 266 miles.

We rode to Leonard Harrison State Park in Wellsboro. We made two stops en route the park. Our first stop was in Smethport, along Route 6.

Smethport, PA

We had just ridden over several miles of Route 59 that was tarred & chipped. This stop was to stretch and to commiserate with each other about having to ride over a road surface that had been recently tarred and chipped. Bob, Paul and John were driving at speeds to minimize the effects of fresh tar and chips to the motorcycles. People passing us drove too fast, disregarding what could happen, as they sprayed chips in our direction. Bob heard gravel hit our motorcycle. He thought the gravel hit the windshield. When he checked, he didn’t find a ding in the windshield. Bob said if the motorcycle sustained a ding, he will find it when he washes the bike. I hope none of the motorcycles received dings from flying gravel.

We did see immediate injury from a flying piece of gravel, though.

Paul was hit in the cheek with a flying chip. He sustained a small cut. Thankfully, his injury wasn’t any worse!

Our second stop was a fuel stop at Sheetz in Coudersport.

There is a very pretty park near Sheetz in Coudersport.
The park is where I took this very nice photograph of Debbie and Paul.

Oh no!  Not again!
We had no alternative but to ride on this road.
We were on the road leading into Leonard Harrison State Park.

We took our time admiring the view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, while at Leonard Harrison State Park.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Leonard Harrison State Park

John, Carol, Bob and I

It was John and Carol’s first visit to Wellsboro. They liked the ride to the park, as well as the views from the park itself.

From Leonard Harrison State Park we rode into Wellsboro and ate lunch at the Wellsboro Diner. The diner was crowded, when we arrived. There was a booth available in the main part of the diner and a round table in the gift shop area. We chose the round table, as it provided more room and was in a quieter location. Everyone except for Bob ordered cheeseburgers and fries. Bob ordered a steak sandwich and onion rings. Lunch was very good.

On our way back home we made three stops. We made a fuel stop in Port Allegheny and we stopped for ice cream in Mt. Jewett. In between those two stops we visited Kinzua Bridge State Park. We walked across the Kinzua Skywalk.

Kinzua Skywalk

Remains of Kinzua Bridge, after tornado

It is quite an experience to walk out onto those blocks of glass.  I am smiling here.  I wasn’t smiling a few minutes before this photograph was taken.  I probably had a look of surprise on my face at that time, as Bob, Paul and John jumped up and down on the block of glass that I was standing on!

 

Paul is peering down to the forest floor below the bridge.

All six of us on the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

We hung around the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk for a while. It was fun to watch and listen to people’s reactions, as they contemplated whether or not to walk on the blocks of glass from which you could see way, way down to the forest floor.

Oh, I almost forgot.  While riding en route Port Allegheny, Bob had to dodge flying square pieces of slab wood. He rode over one. Thankfully, we didn’t blow a tire and, more importantly, none of us were injured!

We had an amazing day with great friends. We enjoyed the ride, the laughter, the fun and making memories with our friends. Bob and I have visited Leonard Harrison State Park many times since we were married. We have enjoyed the beauty there together, alone.  Saturday was the first time that Bob and I were able to share the beauty of the view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from Leonard Harrison State Park with friends.

First Friday

According to a Wikipedia article, “First Friday is a name for various public events in some cities (particularly in the United States) that occur on the first Friday of every month.”  My hometown of Warren, PA hosts First Friday events. Downtown businesses come together under a fun theme, with special discounts and offers, on every First Friday.

Bob and I, along with friends, attended this month’s First Friday event in downtown Warren.  The theme of this month’s First Friday event was classic cars, hot rods and vintage bikes.  Our friends Paul, Shawn, Dave and George rode their vintage bikes to the event.

I took this picture shortly after our arrival on Liberty Street.

 After parking our motorcycles we walked along Liberty Street, admiring the cars. I took only a few pictures of the cars that participated in this First Friday event.

There was a good turnout for this month’s First Friday event.

After admiring the cars parked along Liberty Street, we ate dinner at The Plaza Restaurant.  Later in the evening we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream.

John and Carol at Dairy Queen

Paul and Debbie at Dairy Queen

Bob and I at Dairy Queen

It was a very enjoyable evening out with friends!

Two Birthdays Celebrated

Bob and I attended a birthday party this evening. The party celebrated the birthdays of two of our friends, Corky and his daughter Debbie.

This is Debbie and her husband with one of their children and some of their grandchildren.
Debbie is in the front row, second from the right.

This is Corky with two of his children and some of his grandchildren.
Corky is in the front row, first man on the left.

Bob and I attended Corky and Debbie’s birthday celebration five years ago too. https://thebeautyaroundus.com/2010/08/04/two-birthday-celebrations-one-party/

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

In the late afternoon on Friday, July 24th, a friend posted a status in the 2 Scoop CycleTherapy Facebook group, asking if anyone wanted to go to Springville, NY to the vintage motorcycle museum at Northeast Vintage Cycle. Bob and I said that we would go. We left home at 8:30 Saturday morning and departed from Herb’s house in Scandia at 9:00 am.

We rode to Springville, making one brief stop (a stretching break) along Route 219 in Ellicottville, NY.

 

There was a pretty flower bed near where we stopped in Ellicottville.

We located Northeast Vintage Cycle without any difficulty. Unfortunately the store/museum was closed and will be closed for the next two Saturdays, while the owners attend vintage motorcycle shows in the area.

We turned around and rode back to Ellicottville. Prior to reaching Ellicottville, we stopped at Griffis Sculpture Park (Rohr Hill Road Site) in Ashford Hollow.

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

We walked among the towering sculptures set in fields and woods just off the road.

Rohr Hill Sculpture

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

It was Herb’s first visit to Griffis Sculpture Park, and he enjoyed the visit. A question that kept coming to mind, while he walked in the park was “why?”.  This Wikipedia article provides the following explanation for “why”.

“The idea for an outdoor sculpture museum came to artist Larry Griffis while he was touring Italy with his family. While watching his children play on the ruins of Emperor Hadrian’s villa, Griffis realized the value of interactive art. As Simon Griffis recalls, his father said, “This is absolutely remarkable. Look at my kids. I’ve taken them to the finest museums and galleries but they’ve come alive in this environment where they can interact and they can smell the flowers and they can touch things.”

Upon returning to the United States, Larry Griffis looked at many possible sites for the park, but had a vision that included site-specific terrain. He required a combination of valleys, woods, lake and open space. Kissing Bridge Ski Resort and Lewiston’s Art Park were possible candidates for the vision, but were passed over by the artist.

In 1966, Griffis purchased 100 acres…of Ashford Hollow in the Southern Tier of Western New York and placed 15 of his own 25 feet…welded steel works on a hillside along a country road. The Ashford Hollow Foundation acquired another 325 acres…and drummed up commissions for additional sculptures.”

 

We made a fuel stop in Ellicottville, and then continued on Route 219 to Bradford, PA. In Bradford we turned onto Route 346 and headed toward the Allegheny Reservoir.

We stopped briefly at Marilla Reservoir.

Marilla Bridges Trail

It was Herb’s first visit to Marilla Reservoir.

 

From Marilla Reservoir we stopped for lunch at the Giordano’s Corydon Hotel. We planned to stop at The Willows, but the place was packed FULL of motorcycles and motorcyclists participating in the annual Kids & Cancer Benefit Run. Lunch at the Corydon Hotel was a good choice. Herb and I enjoyed our burgers. Bob enjoyed his Cajun Chicken Salad.

Our last stop before parting ways was at Kinzua Dam.

Kinzua Dam

Herb headed home via Dorcan Road. Bob and I decided to take a ride to the other side of Kinzua Dam.

We got up close and personal to Kinzua Dam, the closest I have ever been!

We returned home at 4:00 pm. We rode 196 miles. It was a beautiful day for a ride. The ride was most enjoyable, even though its original purpose was not realized.

Blueberries

I picked blueberries with Bonnie for a few hours this morning. I met Bonnie in April through the Facebook group “You grew up in Warren, PA if …”.  Bonnie wanted to make a photograph I had shared in the group her Facebook cover photo and didn’t know how. Bonnie lives a couple miles from my house.  I drove to her house and showed her how to make my photograph her Facebook cover photo.  We have communicated on Facebook ever since.  Today was the first time we have done something together.

We picked blueberries in a field along Fox Hill Road in Russell. The blueberry bushes are located about 2 miles up Fox Hill Road, on the left hand side.

The blueberries are priced reasonably at $1.50/quart.

Bob and I picked blueberries in this same field in August 2009.  At that time the price of blueberries was $1.25/quart.  The price didn’t increase much at all in the past 6 years.

Payment is on the honor system, with a locked box provided for dropping in the amount of money for the number of quarts picked.

Bonnie, picking blueberries

Mike, who owns the blueberry bushes, was there this morning, and I talked briefly with him. Mike has owned the blueberry bushes since 1982.  He said the bushes were a lot smaller then.  In the photograph displayed above, you see only a small fraction of the blueberry bushes.  If I remember correctly, Mike says he purchased a lot size of 15 acres.

There were plenty of plump, ripe blueberries available for picking.  As you can see from the photograph displayed above, there are many more berries still to ripen.  I picked 4 quarts; Bonnie picked 5 quarts. I froze all 4 quarts of my berries.

 

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