The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Bradford PA’

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.

Our 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.

This 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.

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

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

Marilla 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.

Our first stop was at Science Lake.

Quaker Lake

Bob, with Red House Administration Building in background

Bob took this photograph of me, with Red House Administration Building in background

Red 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.

We 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.

The 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.

Valent Dairy Farm, as seen from ASP 1 overlook

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.

Marilla Reservoir

Yesterday Bob and I went for a drive to Marilla Reservoir.  The reservoir is located along Route 346 in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

We walked the one-mile trail surrounding the reservoir.  The trail features three wooden bridges, one of which is a covered bridge.

The covered bridge

This was the view across the reservoir from the covered bridge.

After passing through the bridge, I turned around for one last photograph of the covered bridge.

 

The majority of the trail winds through woods alongside the edge of the reservoir.

A Bit of Color

The trail winds through woods.

Soon after we entered the wooded area, Bob followed a trail onto the ice. 
You might be wondering what Bob is doing out on the ice. 
He walked out to a hole in the ice and took this picture.

 

Ice-Hole

Bob said that the ice was 3-4 inches thick.

Do you see the ice fisherman across the reservoir from Bob in the first photograph of Bob on the ice?  You will see him again in this blog post.

I found this sign humorous, given the amount of snow on the ground.

The sharp curve, noted in the sign shown in the photograph above, led to the second wooden bridge.

Two views from the second wooden bridge.

Approaching the third wooden bridge

The third wooden bridge, after we had crossed it

Bob, on Marilla Bridges Trail,
soon after crossing the third wooden bridge

Remember the ice fisherman in an earlier photograph?

When we reached the other side of the reservoir, I was close enough to the ice fisherman to ask how many fish he had caught.  The fisherman said he had caught two trout and several perch.  I said it sounded like he had a good day’s work.  I asked the fisherman if I could take a couple photographs of him.  He said okay.

the Ice Fisherman

We arrived back at our car soon after talking with the ice fisherman.

This was our second visit to Marilla Reservoir.  Our first visit to Marilla Reservoir was in July 2012.  As we did last year, we enjoyed  walking this trail.  We hope to return again later this year.

Sunday Drive: Willow Dale Duck Pond

Bob and I went for a drive this past Sunday (July 22).  We made four stops, while on our drive.  On Monday I shared photographs from our stop at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir, as well as lunch at The Willows.  Earlier today, I blogged about our stop at Marilla Reservoir.  A few miles farther east on Rt. 346 towards Bradford, Pennsylvania, we made our last stop, which was at the Willow Dale Duck Pond.

According to the following two news articles, this duck pond was restored last summer.

July 29, 2011 – via Willow Dale duck pond gets approval for restoration – The Bradford Era: News – Willow Dale duck pond gets approval for restoration: News
Three months ago, Bradford native Steven Cavallaro was told it would be impossible to restore the duck pond adjacent to Willow Dale Cemetery …

October 9, 2011 – via Turnout high for grand opening of Willow Dale duck pond – The Bradford Era: News – Turnout high for grand opening of Willow Dale duck pond: News
Many people showed up Sunday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the newly-restored duck pond next to the Willow Dale Cemetery in Bradford …

The duck pond is gorgeous!

Willow Dale Duck Pond

Now for close-up pictures of some of the resident ducks.

Two Resident Ducks

Black and white duck

Black and white duck

One last duck picture

I thought it might interest you how this Sunday drive came about.

On Saturday, Bob rode the motorcycle to Erie, Pennsylvania, to check out the vendors at Roar on the Shore.  When Bob returned home from Erie, he showed me a video that he took of the Trevor Vines Freestyle Jump Show.  While the jumps were impressive, what impressed me the most was the brilliant blue sky.  Warren had been under cloud cover all day!  Well, I wanted to take a drive somewhere to find the sun.  We found the sun on our way to Salamanca, New York, where we ate dinner at Thunder Mountain Buffet and tried our luck on the one-handed bandits at the Seneca Allegany Casino.  (Luck was not on our side.)

Leaving the casino, we drove to Bradford, Pennsylvania, and took Route 346 out of town — a portion of the route that we had never traveled.   We passed by a duck pond, and I said “oh look at that!”. Then we passed by a reservoir with a covered bridge. I said “oh look at that!” Then we passed by The Willows, and I exclaimed “that’s the restaurant that Susan and Dave went to a while ago, the one by Willow Bay!”.   We decided to make a return trip to the area on Sunday to eat lunch at The Willows, take a walk around the reservoir, and see the duck pond up close and personal.   I am happy that we made a return trip.  What a great day we had!

Sunday Drive: Marilla Reservoir

Bob and I went for a drive this past Sunday (July 22).  We made four stops, while on our drive.  Yesterday’s blog post shared photographs from our first stop, which was at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.  A short ways from Sugar Bay we stopped for lunch at The Willows.  From The Willows we continued driving on Rt. 346 towards Bradford, Pennsylvania.   In only a few short miles we reached Marilla Reservoir.

We walked the one-mile trail surrounding the reservoir.  The trail features three wooden bridges, one of which is a covered bridge.

The covered bridge

The trail is wide and constructed of a tightly compacted crushed gravel surface.

 

This was the view across the reservoir from the covered bridge.

The majority of the trail winds through woods alongside the edge of the reservoir.

There is a gazebo, Madeline’s Birders’ Rest, located about half way around the trail.

This water bowl was located near the gazebo and right before the second wooden bridge.

Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the second wooden bridge; however, I did take a picture FROM the bridge.

View of covered bridge from second wooden bridge

I captured photographs of two butterflies and a dog on the other side of the second wooden bridge.

Butterfly

Happy Dog

I did take pictures of the third wooden bridge.

Approaching the third wooden bridge

The third wooden bridge, after we had crossed it

We arrived back at our car soon after crossing this bridge.  We enjoyed walking this trail.  I am certain that we would walk the trail often, if Marilla Reservoir were located closer to home.  It is a little over an hour’s drive from our house to Marilla Reservoir.

Sunday Drive: Lunch at The Willows

Bob and I went for a drive this past Sunday (July 22).  We made four stops, while on our drive.  Yesterday’s blog post shared photographs from our first stop, which was at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.  A short ways from Sugar Bay we stopped for lunch at The Willows Restaurant.

The Willows

The Willows was a new-to-us restaurant.  We first heard of this restaurant from our friend, Susan, who ate here in July last year.  Our first course was a salad, a bowl of Manhattan Clam Chowder and a loaf of bread.  We ordered different main courses.  Bob ordered steak and fries, and I ordered a beef cheddar sandwich with fries.  For dessert we shared a slice of peanut butter pie.  According to Susan, the food was “really good and everyone was real friendly”.  I couldn’t agree more!  I would add, too, that the service was excellent.

 

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