The Beauty Around Us

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

Crazy Weather

This afternoon we went for a short walk in our neighborhood.

Looking Across Neighbors’ back yards to our house

I live in northwestern Pennsylvania. What crazy weather!  It is January 1st. There is no snow, and the temperature was 53 degrees during our walk. The weather is crazy, but I like it. I would love today’s weather, if the sun was out!

Happy New Year

Photo obtained here

On this New Year’s Eve, I am wishing a Happy New Year to my family and friends wherever you may be! Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022 filled with opportunities!

Some of You May Have Missed Seeing Three of my Blog Posts

It has come to my attention that some of you may have missed seeing three of my blog posts. Our Benezette weekend getaway was a good time, and I wouldn’t want any of my readers to miss the blog posts. I backdated all three posts to appear before Christmas, when our getaway happened. The link for the third post is here. There is a link in that post for the previous two posts. Enjoy!

Oh, I won’t backdate any of my posts ever again!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

There was a light dusting of snow on the ground on Christmas Eve morning. That was the extent of our White Christmas, as the temperature for both Christmas Eve and Christmas were well above freezing. It also rained on Christmas Eve for most of the day.

Our Christmas Tree

Sometime after I took this picture the pre-lit lights on the top half of our 4-foot Christmas tree stopped working. There didn’t appear to be any reason for the bulbs not to work. The fuse was good. Bob checked individual bulbs, as best as he could, for any bad bulbs or bulbs not seated properly. On Christmas Eve day we took off the ornaments on the top half of our Christmas tree, and Bob pulled the top half of the tree from the base.  He still wasn’t able to figure out why the bulbs wouldn’t light on the top half of the tree.  We removed the light string completely from the top of the tree.  He inserted a bulb contained in a plastic bag fastened to the string of lights. That bulb blew out immediately! It was then that Bob decided to remove the bottom string of lights as well.  Afterward we put the ornaments on the Christmas tree and placed it back on the end table in front of the living room windows.  So, on Christmas Eve, the only light on the Christmas tree was the star at the very top of the tree.  We will buy strings of lights, or possibly a new Christmas tree, next year.

We spent a few daytime hours on Christmas Eve with Stacey and our granddaughters at their home in Oil City, PA.  

Harper and Juniper had spent the previous night at “Big Grandma” Chris and Jay’s house.  We picked up the girls there at 1:00 pm.  The four of us arrived in Oil City around 2:00 pm.  We kept the visit casual.   For food we snacked on pizza, chicken wing dip and chips, breaded mozzarella cheese sticks, and beef franks in a blanket.   We exchanged gifts with each other.

Our granddaughters liked their Triceratops and Brontosaurus night lights. The soft silicone night lights change between a variety of colors
and giggle when they are touched.

Sometime after our gift exchange, Juniper asked if I wanted to go outside and watch her hit a ball. That activity allowed us to talk about sports. I asked Juniper if she would be interested in playing ball at school. Juniper said no, that she likes to come home from school immediately.

I LOVE this picture of our granddaughters and me!
Stacey, our granddaughters, Bob and I on Christmas Eve day

Stacey and the girls baked Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. We took home a dozen cookies, which we ate in their entirety before the end of the day. It is a good thing we opted to take only a dozen cookies! We left for home around 4:30 pm. We enjoyed our visit with Stacey and our granddaughters very much.

Bob and I spent Christmas, just the two of us. We liked the Christmas gifts that we got from each other.  I gave Bob a golf club and a gift card for a local golf course, baking utensils for his pizza oven, and a Type C Micro SD card reader.  Bob gave me a hardback copy of The Bowser Family History, a Ninja smoothie maker, USB flash drives with a carrying case, and a battery backup for my electronic devices.

For Christmas dinner Bob prepared a spatchcocked turkey that he grilled on the pellet grill. 

Bob splatcocked a turkey for our Christmas dinner.

The turkey was delicious!  Accompanying the turkey was mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and cauliflower, and cranberry sauce. 

For dessert we each had a slice of the frozen peanut pie that
“Big Grandma” Chris had brought to us the other day.  

It was a quiet, but nice, Christmas. We didn’t mind spending the day just the two of us.

I hope all of my readers had as good a Christmas as we did.

Merry Christmas

It is the morning of Christmas Eve. We have a White Christmas Eve morning, as there is a light dusting of snow on the ground. It doesn’t appear that we will have a White Christmas, as the weather forecast calls for rain and temperatures well above freezing today and tomorrow.

From Bob and me
Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 3

This blog post contains photographs and details of our third, and last, day of our weekend getaway. If you missed Days 1 and 2, you may catch up by clicking here.

On December 20 we drove home, leaving from Weedville around 8:00 am, after eating our oatmeal breakfast at the Airbnb.  We didn’t see any elk at the Airbnb during our stay, as we had hoped.  Elk are not predictable!  

Before leaving the area, we went for a drive to Benezette.  We looked for elk at places where we had seen elk the previous day and on Saturday afternoon.  There were no elk at the Mt Zion Historical Park.  There wasn’t any elk at either the Benezette Store campground or at the field past the Benezette Store.  We went for a drive on Winslow Hill.  We didn’t see any elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center or at the Winslow Hill viewing area.   As I wrote earlier, elk are not predictable.  We did see a few elk this morning at a couple other places, but not nearly as many as we saw the previous two days. I did not write down the location where we saw these elk.

Five Bull Elk
We believe these elk are the same ones that we saw
at the Mt Zion Historical Park the previous day.
A Bull Elk and Two Cows
Two Bull Elk, Sparring
One Bull Elk

On our way home we stopped at Joey’s Bakery in Ridgway PA for a mid morning snack.  The bakery items were slim pickings by the time we arrived.  We did find a couple to our liking, though, and purchased tea and coffee as well. 

We returned home around 11:30 am. We had a wonderful stay at ”Creekside Cabin”. Both of us agree that we want to spend more time at this Airbnb, possibly in the summertime 2022.

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 2

This blog post contains photographs and details of our second day of our weekend getaway. If you missed Day 1, you may catch up by clicking here.

We got up the morning of December 19th around 5:30 am.  We ate breakfast at “Creekside Cabin”.  Breakfast was simple fare — oatmeal and peaches with tea / coffee.  

We left at 8:30 am to go for a drive.   Our drive took us through Benezette, Driftwood, Sinnamahoning, through the Quehanna Wild Area to Medix Run. 

We saw seven bull elk at Mount Zion Historical Park. 

Five Bull Elk at Mt Zion Historical Park
Two Bull Elk at Mt Zion Historical Park

We saw two bull elk and many cow elk at the Benezette Store campground. 

We caught the last moments of the first bull elk chasing the second bull elk.

This was the first time ever that I heard an elk bugle!
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
This was the first bull elk.
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
This is the second bull elk.
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
I believe this is the second bull elk.

We believe this elk herd is the same herd that we saw at Ruffo Flats the previous day.

In the Quehanna Wild Area we stopped at two waterfalls — the Wykoff Run Falls and Table Falls. 

Wykoff Run Falls

Table Falls was a new-to-us waterfall.  Bob hiked down a steep hill to take some pictures and video of Table Falls. I didn’t hike. 

Bob hiking down Table Falls Trail
Table Falls (video by Bob)

I walked around to the other side of the Table Falls trail.

Bob waving at me from the Table Falls area

Bob returned to the parking lot via a different trail than the one he used to hike down to Table Falls.

Bob is hiking out of Table Falls,
not using the yellow-blazed trail.
This trail is steeper than the yellow-blazed trail!
It was a difficult climb!

While Bob was hiking, I found a scenic scene of my own.

This is Paige Run.
Paige Run feeds Table Falls.

We left Table Falls and drove to Medix Run, where we turned right and returned to Benezette.  We ate lunch at the Benezette Hotel.  We chose prime rib sandwiches and chips and, for dessert, apple pie. Our lunch was delicious!.

After lunch we drove to The Cross. We followed Route 555 west and turned right onto Gray Hill Road. Gray Hill Road turns into Mt. Zion Road. Continue going straight. You will see signs for the cross on your right. There is a small parking lot in which we parked.

The Cross is a place of worship. There are several benches in front of the cross where worshipers can sit, contemplate, pray, etc. It is also a place to memorialize someone. There are several memorials near the cross.

The Cross
Memorials Left at The Cross
I have photographed people at The Cross.
I can’t remember having my photograph
taken at The Cross.
Thank you, Bob, for taking my picture.

From The Cross we returned to ”Creekside Cabin”. We ate dinner at our Airbnb. We ate leftover ham steak, individual size pizzas and pudding.

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