The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Eagles’

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!

Sunday Dinner Ride

We spent the afternoon and part of the evening of Sunday, June 14, riding with our 2 Scoop CycleTherapy friends. We met Paul, Debbie, John, Carol, Scott, Donna, Mark, Faye and Bill at the North Warren Playground parking lot at 12:30 pm.

We put on our rain gear, as it started to rain shortly before our 1:00 pm departure time.

Carol getting a little help from John in putting on rain gear.

Our final destination was Sprague’s Maple Farms, located in Portville NY.

We made one stop, in Eldred PA, on our way to Sprague’s. A few of the ladies used the stop as a potty break. It didn’t take long for us to reach Sprague’s from that stop.

Eldred PA stop

It was 3:30 pm, when we were seated and our dinner orders placed. Bob ordered a pork chop dinner. I ordered a breakfast entree: scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes. The pancakes were unlimited. I couldn’t even finish the three pancakes that came with my meal!

After dinner we started our ride back home.

Getting ready to leave Sprague’s Maple Farms

We stopped at Marilla Reservoir in Bradford PA, where I planned to take a group picture of the eleven of us at the covered bridge.  We got sidetracked, though, when we saw an eagle in a tree.

Eagle in Tree

We heard thunder, while at the reservoir, and changed our planned route home. We backtracked a short way and took Songbird Lane to Route 770 to Route 59. This was a faster way home than taking Route 346 to Route 321. It rained on our way home. I had taken off my rain gear when we arrived at Sprague’s.  I did not put the rain pants back on, when we left Sprague’s.  I got wet and cold.  As soon as we returned home, I took a long, hot shower and went to bed.  The next morning I awakened with a sore throat, runny nose, a cough and a hoarse voice.  It took the better part of the week to feel better!

Eagles!

On our way home from Niagara Falls, NY this past Sunday we stopped at Chadwick Bay in Dunkirk, NY, where we saw at least a dozen eagles hanging out in trees along the edge of the bay.  Several trees were occupied by eagles.  The trees had anywhere from one to three eagles in them.

Chadwick BayI drew an arrow on the map displayed above to show you where we saw the eagles.  We pulled off a few times along Lake Shore Dr W to observe the Eagles.  Very deep snow piles along the highway and in Memorial Park provided a good buffer zone between the Eagles and from where we observed them.

 

We saw both mature and immature eagles.

Both of these photographs are heavily cropped.  I could kick myself for not bringing a tripod and my long lens with me the past weekend. We were in the car and had plenty of room for my camera bag and all lenses.

In-Flight Eagle

 

 

Nature Center Visit

I spent a couple hours the morning of July 22 at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary, located in Jamestown NY.  The Audubon Center is less than a 1/2 hour drive from my home and is one of my favorite local destinations.  I enjoy walking along the nature trails and photographing whatever happens to catch my eye.

 

Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Snake!

Snake’s Head!

Geese

“Liberty”

No visit to the Audubon is complete without seeing “Liberty”.

I happened to be at the Audubon Center, when Liberty was given her lunch.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at photographs of what caught my eye during this visit.

 

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.

Snowy Owl and a Visit to the Jamestown Audubon Center & Sanctuary

I drove to Riverside Road, near the Jamestown Audubon Center & Sanctuary, hoping to see a snowy owl.  I saw a snowy owl there on Tuesday afternoon.

My first snowy owl sighting!

A snowy owl has been seen there or at other nearby locations all this week.  I didn’t see the owl this morning.

I made a return trip to Riverside Road early in the afternoon. Other people were there, hoping to see a snowy owl. Once again, I did not see the owl.  I don’t know if anyone was fortunate enough to see the owl today. Someone should have sent an invitation to the owl to be in the field between such and such hours! All was not lost for me, though. I drove to the Audubon Center & Sanctuary and went for a walk.

I was the only one walking the trail to Big Pond; so peaceful! The walk would have been perfect had it not been so cold. The bright sunshine did very little to keep me warm!

While on my walk, I saw and heard lots of sparrows.  The sparrows, in mass, were flitting back and forth between brush and trees.

This little guy stayed still for a second, long enough for me to get his picture!

I mentioned the bright sunshine.  My eyes feasted on the beauty looking across Big Pond.

It was a picture-perfect day.

Before leaving the Audubon Center I visited with the eagle, Liberty.

An eagle called Liberty

Liberty was found in the state of Washington, with an infected cut on her left wing. She cannot be released because the muscle damage in her wing prevents her from flying well enough to hunt in the wild. Liberty can fly short distances inside her habitat.

An eagle called Liberty

Liberty has lived at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary since June 2002. A group of volunteers take good care of her.

Saturday’s Critters #5

This is my first “Saturday’s Critters” post.  As you can tell from the blog title, I am joining the critter party a few weeks late.   My blogging friend, Eileen, began this weekly meme on Saturday, December 7th.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 1st, a Facebook friend posted that he had viewed several eagles just below Kinzua Dam.  Bob and I made a quick trip to Big Bend Recreation Area, just below Kinzua Dam, and saw at least six eagles.  That is the most eagles I have ever seen in one place.  It was a very exciting sighting for me!

This is one of several eagles that we viewed from the Riverside Watchable Wildlife Trail and Viewing Platform at Big Bend Recreation Area.

The eagles were across the Allegheny River, not very close to our viewing platform.  I brought my 70-300 mm (EFL 140-600 mm) lens with me.  I took several pictures.  The photograph shown above turned out the best.  Even zoomed in the full capability of my lens, I still had to do heavy cropping of the image.  This is the very first time that I took a decent picture of an eagle in its natural habitat.

If you’d like to see more critter photographs, please visit Viewing nature with Eileen.

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