The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘New York’ category

A New-to-Me Waterfall

The other day an article about New York waterfalls appeared in my Facebook newsfeed.  The article showcased several New York roadside waterfalls.  Scrolling through the article, I noted we have seen about half of the featured waterfalls.  The waterfalls that we have not yet seen are a few hours away by car, except for one — Bournes Creek Falls in Westfield NY.

We decided to go for a drive in search of wildlife and that particular waterfall.  We didn’t see any wildlife, but we did find the waterfall. Bournes Creek Falls is located along West Lake Road, not far from Barcelona Harbor on Lake Erie.  I have noted the location of the waterfall here on Google Maps.  There is no parking area for this waterfall; however, there is room to pull off on the berm of the road.

Bournes Creek Falls consists of two drops, totaling about 12-15 feet in height.

Bournes Creek Falls, the first drop

It is obvious that Bournes Creek Falls is a roadside waterfall from the background noise heard at the end of this video.

Three Birds of Dunkirk

We went for a drive yesterday, to Dunkirk NY and back home. We noticed some road changes en route Dunkirk since the last time we made this drive. A second lane (passing lane?) had been added for a short distance on NY Route 60 north of Sinclairville.  That second lane had been added to both sides of the road. A roundabout had been added in Fredonia at Routes 60 and 20.

We stopped at Dunkirk Pier to check out photo opportunities. I captured a couple pictures of cormorants.

Cormorant in Lake Erie at Dunkirk Pier

Cormorants in Lake Erie at Dunkirk Pier

Since our last visit, enhancements had been made to the pier.  Next time we visit, I will try to remember to take pictures of the pier.  Until then, please click on the word “enhancements” and see the pier by watching the video in the article I shared.

There is a Tim Hortons not far from the Dunkirk Pier.  We picked up lunch at the drive-through window and ate in an unpaved parking lot between Clarion Hotel and Tim Hortons.  The parking lot overlooked Lake Erie. After lunch I took a couple pictures.

Seagull in Lake Erie at Dunkirk

Nine Canada Geese Flying High Above Lake Erie in Dunkirk

From Dunkirk we drove to the Barcelona Harbor Pier in Westfield NY.  We drove around the pier but saw no opportunities for bird photography.

From Westfield we drove back to our home in Warren PA.

It was a chilly and windy, overcast day. Even so, it was good to get out of the house for a few hours.

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 –

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