The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘New York’ category

Nature Play Area

I have had this blog post in mind for almost two weeks, ever since my granddaughters and I visited our local Audubon Center.  I wanted to share a few photographs of my granddaughters, as it has been a while since I did so in this blog.  Also, I wanted to showcase the Nature Play Area at the Audubon Center.

According to its website the Audubon Community Nature Center “is a 600-acre wetland preserve that includes over five miles of trails, a native tree arboretum, picnic areas, a natural play space, and educational gardens for you to explore daily from dawn until dusk. … The Nature Center itself is home to the Blue Heron Gift Shop and three floors of interactive exhibits, including live animals, which inform and engage visitors of all ages. …  You can visit Liberty, a non-releasable Bald Eagle, in her enclosure near the [Nature Center] building.”

The Audubon Center is located approximately 12 miles from our house at 1600 Riverside Road in Jamestown, NY.  We walk the trails and visit Liberty frequently.  We have visited the Nature Center building, as well, but just a few times.  This blog post, though, is about the nature play area only.

The nature play area is located near the Nature Center building.

In Mar 2016 the nature play area had a tunnel made out of a tree and stepping “stones” made out of trees.

Mar 2016
Our granddaughters climbed through and on the tree tunnel.

Mar 2016
Bob and our granddaughters check out the stepping “stones” made out of trees.

I can’t recall if there was anything else to play on in the nature play area during our visit in March 2016.

During our visit to the Audubon Center on October 7th the girls found three new additions to the nature play area.

The girls had fun pretending they were stuck in this shelter.

The girls are sitting on Tank, a 12-foot and 1,500 pound concrete turtle.

Last fall, Tank the Turtle was created and donated to the Audubon Nature Center by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Block and Outdoor Living, Starbrick, PA.

Spotted Salamander

The most recent addition to the Nature Play Area is this spotted salamander, which was also created and donated to the Audubon Center by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Block and Outdoor Living.  The spotted salamander measures roughly 14 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail.  The spotted salamander had not yet been named.

 

 

Allegany State Park Day Trip

Well, we made it to Allegany State Park after all the day after our day trip to Letchworth State Park.  (See today’s earlier post about changing our destination, when en route to Allegany State Park.)

Allegany State Park is located near Salamanca, NY.  The park is divided into two sections: the Red House area and the Quaker Run area. The Red House Area is the northern half of Allegany State Park. Its attractions include Stone Tower, Red House Lake, the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge, and the Tudor-style Administration Building. The Quaker Run area is the southern half of the park. Its attractions include Quaker Lake, Science Lake, an Amphitheater, and Thunder Rocks.

Allegany State Park is a frequent destination for Bob and me, as the park is less than an hour’s drive from our house.

With the exception of one weekend camping trip several years ago, our visits to the park last only a few hours. We visit various attractions, which I photograph.  We sometimes shop at the gift store and eat lunch at the Red House Restaurant, both of which are located in the Administration Building. I would like very much to spend a weekend, once again, at Allegany State Park.

We entered Allegany State Park from Interstate 86 and entered the Red House Area on ASP Route 1.  We gained free entry by showing our New York Empire Pass.  It would have cost us $6.00, if we did not have an Empire Pass.

ASP Route 1 Overlook

Red House Lake

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

There is a new trail off ASP Route 3 that goes on the other side of Science Lake.  The trail was opened in late Spring or early Summer this year.  We hiked some of the trail, for the first time, during our visit to Allegany State Park.  I learned afterward that there is a kiosk at the front of Science Lake that provides information about “school in the woods” ruins that can be reached by hiking the Science Lake trail.  We didn’t hike far enough, so we didn’t see the ruins  … next time 🙂

Science Lake Trail Trailhead.  The creek feeds Science Lake.

The trail was well marked. The blue hiking sign indicates that the trail is easy.

Science Lake Trail; Science Lake in the distance.

The people who built this trail did an EXCELLENT job!

Feeding Science Lake

Science Lake, with fishing platform in the distance

Science Lake Trail.  This is another  instance of a well-built trail.

The trail was a bit rocky in places.  Some rocks were strategically placed, though, to keep one out of the mud!

Looking across Science Lake

OH!  I see the kiosk that provides information about the “school in the woods” ruins!

The bridge over Science Dam was fenced off several years ago.

It would be nice, if funds were made available to make repairs to the dam / bridge.  A great loop trail would then be possible around Science Lake.

Bob hiked over to the bridge.  I stayed on the trail.  This is where we ended our hike.  We turned around and returned to the car.

One last parting picture of Science Lake

 

While we were at Letchworth State Park the day before, I remarked often about “so many people” being at the park.  My oft-spoken remark, while at Allegany State Park, was that there were “too many bugs”!  No bugs bothered us, while at Letchworth.  We should have applied bug spray, especially before hiking behind Science Lake.

Leaving Science Lake, we continued on ASP Route 3 past Quaker Lake.  We exited the park onto Interstate 86, just 10 miles south of where we entered the park.

Day Trip to Letchworth State Park

On Saturday, October 5, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by going for a drive.  We hoped to see some pretty Autumn colors.  Our original plan was to go to Allegany State Park, near Salamanca NY.  This park is about a 45-minute drive from our house.  We were about half way to Allegany State Park, when I asked Bob how far it was from our location to Letchworth State Park.  “Hey Google.  How far is it from my location to Letchworth State Park?”, Bob asked.  Well, we didn’t have a signal, so that question had to be repeated a short while later.  Instead of turning right onto Interstate 86, we went straight ahead, and that is how we ended up at Letchworth State Park instead of Allegany State Park.

Letchworth State Park is located 35 miles south of Rochester, NY. The park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, is a spectacular place. The park’s magnificent scenery includes waterfalls (three major ones on the Genesee River) and a gorge. We have visited Letchworth State Park many times over the years. We enjoy our visit each time we go.

We arrived at the park a little after noon, entering via the south (the Portageville entrance).  We have the New York Empire Pass, which provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to New York State Parks.  We made stops at the Upper and Middle Falls between the Portageville entrance and the Archery Field exit.  

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Rainbow at Middle Falls

We ate lunch at the Charcoal Grill in Perry, NY.  This is a great place to eat, if you are in the area.  There are three food places — the grill, a pizzeria and an ice cream stand.  We have stopped at the Charcoal Grill a few times, while in the area.  So far we have eaten at each food place, except for the pizzeria.  The pizza smells really good, though … maybe next time.  I ordered broasted chicken with coleslaw and french fries.  Bob ordered beef on weck and onion rings.  As always, the food was delicious. 

After lunch we drove farther north and reentered Letchworth State Park via the Mt. Morris entrance.  We drove south, making a few stops to take pictures of the gorge, before exiting the park via the Portageville exit.

Hogsback Overlook

The photographs (and video) that follow were taken in the Great Bend area of the park.


We watched several rafters go down the Genesee River.

Not much color yet

This was the most color that we saw, while at Letchworth State Park.

Many people took advantage of the nice day, as we did.  The park was full of people!

We had a wonderful day.  We returned home around 6:00 pm.

Maine Vacation: Utica NY to Warren PA

We checked out of the Red Roof Inn in Utica NY, and we were on the road by 7:00 am.  Neither of us slept well last night, but our lack of sleep was no fault of the hotel or other guests.  We were just restless (to get home, I believe).

We ate breakfast at the Port Byron Diner in Port Byron, NY.  Bob ordered an omelet with potatoes; I ordered chocolate chip pancakes with scrambled eggs and bacon.  Breakfast was filling and delicious.

After breakfast we drove to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, where we drove around the Wildlife Loop.  We saw an eagle today and a few other birds.  There wasn’t much activity.  We prefer coming to this wildlife refuge in the Spring.  I talked with a man who was photographing the eagle.  The eagle had not left his roost in 1 1/2 hours!  We spent about 30 minutes waiting for the eagle to fly.

Eagle on its roost

I thought for sure that the eagle was going to fly.

What a stubborn eagle!

Leaving Montezuma, we drove to UBREAKIFIX in Buffalo.  Bob had arranged to have his Google Pixel 2 phone repaired.  The thumbprint sensor quit working.  He was quoted a price of $80-100 a couple weeks ago and told the work would take a couple hours.  Today he was told the cost of the repair would be $150 and would take 3 hours to fix.  Bob opted not to have his phone fixed.

On our way home from Buffalo we made two stops.  Our first stop was at Tim Hortons in Fredonia, NY.  We ordered coffee/tea, two cookies (for Bob) and an apple fritter (for me).  Our second stop was a fuel stop at Mobil in Fredonia, NY.

We returned home around 3:00 pm.  Bob drove 2,070 miles total, while we were on vacation.

This blog post concludes Day 10 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).  We are already talking about returning to Maine some day, perhaps in the fall.  We really enjoyed our stay in Maine!

Maine Vacation: Edgecomb ME to Utica NY

We departed Pioneer Motel shortly after 6:00 am this morning, on our way home.

Our first stop was for breakfast at McDonald’s in Bath, ME.  We had our customary bacon, egg and cheese bagel and sausage burritos meals.

Our second stop was at Cynthia and Larry’s house in Amherst, NH.  Cynthia is Bob’s sister.  We arrived at 10:45 am and left shortly after 2:00 pm.  We enjoyed good conversation and a delicious lunch. 

Our Lunch at Cynthia and Larry’s House

Our lunch was steak-lamb-turkey kabobs with potato salad and smoked bay scallops in a salad.  Dessert was brownies and lemon/raspberry bars.  Thank you, Cynthia and Larry, for the wonderful meal!

Shortly before we left to continue our drive home, I took a family picture.

The four of us and Weezie

We stopped for the night in Utica, NY at Red Roof Inn.   It was 7:45 pm, more than enough hours on the go!  After checking in, we drove to the nearby Denny’s Restaurant for dinner.  Shortly before 8:30 pm we returned to Red Roof Inn, where we stayed for rest of the night.

This blog post concludes Day 9 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Amsterdam NY to Peru VT

We set the GPS to avoid highways for our drive from Amsterdam NY to Peru VT.

Our first stop was for lunch at Sunset Grill in Ballston Spa, NY. Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.  Our lunches were good.  What caught my attention, though, were the salt and pepper shakers at the tables near us.

Salt ‘n Pepper Shakers

Our waitress said that the salt and pepper shakers were brought to them as gifts when patrons returned from travels all over the world.

In May this year Ballston Spa held its second annual birdhouse competition.

I like how the birdhouses are displayed in the park.

The Soldiers Monument is located at Front and Low Streets.  The monument lists the names of local soldiers from the towns of Milton, Ballston, and Malta who served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War.

The Soldiers Monument

The Soldiers Monument

The monument features a Union Army infantryman, known to local residents as “Civil Sam”.  Soldiers Monument was first dedicated on June 16,1888.  Over the years the monument fell into a state of disrepair.  Soldiers Monument was restored and rededicated in June 2013.

As an aside, I learned recently that my maternal second cousin, Dr. Naton D. Leslie, Jr., lived in Ballston Spa.  Naton died in December 2013.  I never met him.

Our second stop was at Buskirks Covered Bridge.

Buskirks Covered Bridge is 165 feet long and crosses over the Hoosick River.

Buskirks Bridge is in the town of Hoosick but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our third stop was at Eagleville Covered Bridge.  

Eagleville Covered Bridge is 100 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Eagleville Bridge is in the town of Jackson-Salem, NY but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our fourth stop was at Arlington Covered Bridge.

Arlington Covered Bridge is 80 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Arlington Bridge is in the town of Arlington, VT.  According to the people at this bridge, the river here was a fine place to swim.  On the other side of the bridge we saw lots more people in the water, swimming and using inner tubes.

The Norman Rockwell House is very near Arlington Covered Bridge.  We drove in front of the house.  I wasn’t impressed, so I didn’t take any photographs.

We arrived at our night’s accommodation, the Lodge at Bromley (Peru, VT), at 6:00 pm — 12 1/2 hours after leaving home.  After checking in and carrying in our bags, we went in search of dinner.  But, first, I took a couple pictures of the view from our balcony.

We could see Mountain Adventure Park from our balcony.

We had a corner room, so we could see the mountains across the road from our balcony too.

 

There are a few restaurants nearby.  The first place we went to — J.J. Hapgood — was very crowded.  We opted to turn around and go to Bromley Market Country Store that we had passed on our way to J.J. Hapgood.  The country store was closing, as we arrived.  We ended up eating at Raven’s Den, located in Manchester Center, VT.  It was an excellent restaurant choice.  We ordered a 12-oz prime rib dinner with split plate.  For an additional $19.00 we shared the prime rib and had full portions of the unlimited salad bar and three vegetable side dishes (carrots, green beans and corn on the cob).  Our meals were delicious; the service was excellent; and the split plate option was a good deal.  

This post concludes Day 1 of our 10-day vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Warren PA to Amsterdam NY

Our Maine vacation officially began at 5:30 am this morning, when we departed home.  We programmed the GPS to not avoid highways (and to avoid tolls) between our home in North Warren, PA and Amsterdam, NY.  The predominant routes (all Interstate) that we followed were I-86, I-81, and I-88.

The only deviations from our drive to Amsterdam happened when we went in search of a Mobil Fuel Station.  The most notable out-of-the-way drive for fuel happened in Oneonta, NY.  We passed Cooperstown All Star Village.

Cooperstown All Star Village

Cooperstown All Star Village Ball Fields

This out-of-the-way drive for fuel took us 6 miles out of our way.  When we reached the Mobil station, it wasn’t even a Mobil station.  It was a Mirabito station, as was the previous out-of-the-way fuel station.  Bob has $40.00 in his Exxon Mobil Rewards+ program account that he wants to use to pay for gas.  

The last 20 miles to Amsterdam were via NY State Route 30.  We arrived in the City of Amsterdam around 12:30 pm and spent an hour walking on the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge and in Riverlink Park.

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge Artwork

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
“Mother and Child at the Mohawk River” by Sculptur Dimitar Lukanov

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge

There were flower beds all along both sides of the bridge, which was very pleasant to see and smell.

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
Wheel of Life

Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
The beautiful Wheel of Life

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
More flowers

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge (as seen from Riverlink Park)

There were two imposing sights to see at Riverlink Park: the Painted Rocks of Amsterdam and the 9-11 Memorial.

Amsterdam, NY
Riverlink Park: Painted Rocks

The Painted Rocks of Amsterdam are Alice Manzi’s re-creation of a famous Mohawk Indian rock painting.

 

Amsterdam, NY
Riverlink Park: 9-11 Memorial

The 9-11 Memorial tells the narrative of that day, and Amsterdam’s connection to it.

Amsterdam, NY
Riverlink Park: 9-11 Memorial

This concrete and steel column from the P3 parking level of the North Tower survived mainly intact from the 2001 attack of the World Trade Center.  On the edging of the base are escribed two dates and two times: the date of the attack (September 11, 2001), date of dedication (September 11, 2015), the time that American Airlines Flight 11 turned south over Amsterdam (8:26 am), and the time it struck the North Tower (8:46 am).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wandering Together

A His and Hers Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Bicycling the beauty around us

This is a bicycling journal.

Chateaux des Fleurs

Sharing a world of joy with photos and words

THEVYPEFFECT

all about travelling in korea

National Parks USA

A tour of Public Lands & National Parks with T

Forester (Farster) Ancestry

The Ancestry of My Grandpap Roy Wilson "Pete" Forester (1915-1989)

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Skid and Sandy On The Road

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

vivacioushoopster

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

Brown About

The Motorhome Adventures of Joan and Stephen

My Mommy's Place

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

A Tree Falling

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

Mr. Bill's Travel Blog

Amputee Travel... let the adventures begin!

Viewing nature with Eileen

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

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Deep Thoughts

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

Rambling On

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

Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

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

PHOTOJOURNAL OF CORKER2

TRYING TO DO THIS WITHOUT A DEGREE!

Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

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

MY QUALITY TIME

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

Linda's Peaceful Place

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

Life's Funny Like That

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

JOYFUL REFLECTIONS

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

I'll give you a piece of my mind

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

Hospitality Lane

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

Gretchen's Traveling

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

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

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