The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Fireworks’

Maine Vacation: Our 4th of July

Our Fourth of July was different this year.  We didn’t attend an Independence Day parade.  We didn’t host (or attend) a picnic.  We didn’t even eat picnic food.  We did, though, go see a fireworks display.  It wasn’t a typical Fourth of July holiday for us, but we still had a very enjoyable day.


Bob went for a hike this morning at Dodge Point Reserve near Damariscotta. 

From the parking area, Bob followed a portion of the shore trail from Brickyard Beach to Pebble Beach, then back up to the old farm road returning to the parking area. Bob reckons he walked about 2.5 miles.  There were a few muddy areas, but Bob managed to navigate around / through them without getting muddy.

While Bob was hiking at Dodge Point Reserve, I was relaxing back at Pioneer Motel.  My main activities were reading and attempting to get a good photograph of a resident bird.

This picture is as good as it got. Bob says that this bird is an Eastern Phoebe.

Late this morning we drove to Thomaston to go to the Maine State Prison Showroom.  The showroom is an outlet for the crafts made by the inmates of Maine State Prison. 

The Window Display at Maine State Prison Showroom caught my eye!

We bought a yo-yo and a lighthouse bird feeder.  The merchandise is priced fairly and reasonable throughout Maine State Prison Showroom!

This is the bird feeder that we purchased at the Maine State Prison Showroom.

Leaving the showroom we followed Route 97 to 220 and back to Route 1, thereby seeing more of Mid-Coast Maine.


We ate lunch at Damariscotta River Grill and then returned to Pioneer Motel.

This evening we watched the fireworks in Boothbay Harbor from the Fishermen’s Memorial Park in front of Our Lady Queen of Peace church.

Waiting for 4th of July fireworks

The fireworks display was excellent.

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


Fourth of July Festivities

Our hometown of Warren, PA throws a big party for the 4th of July holiday. Festivities began this year on Saturday, July 2.   We didn’t participate in all of the 4th of July festivities.  I will share with you the events in which we did participate.

We rode to Betts Park on the afternoon of July 3.  We arrived there close to 2:00 pm and stayed for about an hour. We saw the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Birds of Prey exhibit.

Budweiser Clydesdales

The Clydesdale horses pulled the Budweiser wagon through the parking lot a few times.

The Tamarack Wildlife Center Birds of Prey exhibit included three owls and two hawks.

This is Jasper, an Eastern Screech-Owl.  Jasper was found injured in the middle of a country road near Albion, PA and brought to the Center for medical care. With damage to one eye and ear, he was not able to be released and required surgical removal of an eye.

This is Willow, an Eastern Screech-Owl.  Willow and her family of three owlets were rescued from a city park in Erie, PA when the tree limb holding their nest was cut down. Her story received coverage in local newspapers and television. The owlets survived with no permanent damage and were released on Presque Isle once grown; their mother, however, suffered a wing fracture that would prevent her return to the wild.

This is “Spirit” the white Red-tailed Hawk.
Spirit is not releasable due to injuries he suffered when caught in a leg hold trap.

This is Sophia, a Barred Owl.  After being hit by a car, Sophia was brought to Tamarack to be treated for a broken wing. She healed well enough to have limited flight.  However, because the break occurred near Sophia’s elbow, she is now unable to fully extend her wing, and cannot fly well enough to survive in the wild.

This is Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk.
Alice was found on a farm in Cochranton,
unable to fly because her wrist bones had been severely damaged.

We saw the Betts Park fireworks display from the grounds of the Warren Manor Nursing Home, with friends visiting a family member who is a patient there.  The nursing home provided hot dogs, chips and pop for patients and their guests at a reasonable cost of $2.00 for all.  Three types of cookies were passed around to everyone as well.  I thought it quite nice that the nursing home does this for its patients.


On Independence Day we watched a parade and attended a picnic.

The parade was in downtown Warren and marked its 69th year.  We watched the parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, at the southwest corner of Hickory Street Bridge, across from Kwik Fill.  We watched the parade with our friends Paul, Debbie, Scott and Donna.  Our daughter and granddaughters were IN the parade. Harper and June rode their tricycles in the parade. The girls rode behind the Lather Salon van, until they couldn’t ride any longer.

Harper and June tuckered out just before reaching the Hickory Street Bridge.  They rode their tricycles a long, long way.

Harper and June rode rest of the way in the parade in the back of the Lather Salon van.

The parade began at 11:00 am and ended around 1:45 pm.  The following slideshow contains about half of the photographs that I took, while watching the parade.  The slideshow is about 8 1/2 minutes long.  I hope that you find it enjoyable!

At 3:30 pm we went to our friends’ house for a picnic, which was attended by ten additional friends as well as family and other friends of our hosts. We sat around a campfire, enjoying each others’ company, as well as hot dogs and a variety of dishes brought to share. It was a comfortable and relaxing couple of hours and a great end to a wonderful 4th of July holiday.

An Overnight Stay in Niagara Falls

We spent the night of Sunday, June 23, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Niagara Falls, Canada.  Our hotel accommodation was a room on the 37th floor, with a great view of both the American and Horseshoe waterfalls.

Our view from Room 3710

We spent our entire stay at or near the hotel.  We did not walk alongside the falls.  We have visited the falls so many times over the years.  It was nice for one time NOT to be among the crowd of people at the falls.  We had lovely views of the falls, though, from our room as well as from a walkway between our hotel and the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Horseshoe Falls
(view near the Niagara Falls Incline Railway)

The incline railway is currently being upgraded.  When the incline reopens, it will be enclosed and passengers will be able to ride it year round.

Fallsview Casino Resort

We watched this fountain for several minutes.


American Falls

Skylon Tower

The pedestrian bridge crosses over Murray Street.  We enjoyed the view of the American Falls, while standing on this bridge.

Looking down Murray Street

We returned to our room, after our walk.  I went straight to the window overlooking the falls.

American Falls
See the rainbow lying across Niagara River?

A manager’s reception was included as part of our hotel package.  After a short rest in our room, we rode the elevator to the 9th floor, where the reception was held. We enjoyed complimentary alcoholic beverages and snacks.  We didn’t eat too many snacks, as we planned to go straight to dinner from the manager’s reception.  We ate dinner at TGI Friday’s, which was located in the hotel on the lobby level.  Bob ordered a fish dinner; I ordered a chicken dinner.  We both enjoyed our meals.  The portions were hearty, so another walk was in order after dinner.

The tallest building is Embassy Suites, where we spent the night.

When we returned to the hotel, night was beginning to fall.

Can you tell that I liked this water fountain?

Falls illumination

At 10:00 pm we enjoyed a fireworks display from the comfort of our room.

Neither Bob nor I had seen fireworks over the falls before. The sight is something we will not forget!

Fireworks displays are held, weather permitting, at 10:00 pm every Friday, Sunday and on select holidays  through Sunday, September 1st.

I will share one last photograph with you.  This is the view that greeted me, when I opened the curtain on Monday morning.


What an enchanting view to wake up to!

Before checking out of our hotel on Monday morning, we enjoyed a complimentary hot breakfast.  We had a choice of made-to-order omelets or a variety of selections from the buffet.  Breakfast was very good and made even better because we sat alongside a floor-to-ceiling window with a view of the falls.

We crossed over Rainbow Bridge into New York.  Our hotel package included $50.00 free slot play at the Seneca Niagara Casino.  It wasn’t our lucky day; however, we didn’t spend any of our own money playing the slots.

What a nice night away, one that I hope to repeat some day in the future!

A Day of Riding

Our hometown held its Independence Day parade on Saturday, July 3. We didn’t attend this year’s parade, opting instead to go for a motorcycle ride. It was such a gorgeous day, too beautiful not to ride! I hoped to see a parade in one of the towns that we drove through, but we did not see one.

We left Warren at 9:00 AM. We rode to Erie, PA by way of Findley Lake, NY.

First Glimpse of Findley Lake from Shadyside Rd. (southern terminus)

Findley Lake
It was a picture-perfect day.

Bicycle with Baskets of Flowers

a Bottle Tree

Findley Lake Anchor at Northern End of Lake

According to a plaque found near the anchor, the schooner “Mauntenee” was shipwrecked in Lake Erie near Ripley, NY during a gale storm on October 20, 1905. In 1906 George Fox transported the one-ton anchor using horses and a log cart to his Findley Lake home on North Road. He hung the anchor from the schooner’s life boat davit in his front yard. The Dunlap family later purchased the home and anchor. The anchor and davit were moved to this site in 1993.

From Findley Lake we rode to Presque Isle Downs & Casino. Earlier in the week Bob received a brochure from the casino, which stated that he had earned $35.00 in free slot play. Bob could use $7.00 free slot play each week for the next 5 weeks. Sunday, July 4th, was the end of the first week. Bob played the $7 in free slot play and lost. At one point he ran his winnings up to $14. Bob used only the free slot play; he didn’t spend any of his own money. We were at the casino for less than 30 minutes.

From the casino we continued on into Erie. We ate lunch at Steak ‘n Shake. Bob ordered a Frisco Melt with fries and a chocolate shake. I ordered a cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake.

After lunch we rode through Erie to Route 5, which we followed alongside Lake Erie to Rt. 394. By the time we reached Westfield, NY we were ready for for a break. We sat in Moore Park on a bench under a shade tree. The farmers market had ended shortly before we arrived. We watched as vendors took down canopies and loaded them and unsold merchandise into their vehicles. A short while later we walked across street to another park — The Lincoln-Bedell Statue Park. I have photographed this park in the past; however, I was always in a moving vehicle when I did so. This was the first time I was able to photograph the park standing still.

The Lincoln-Bedell Statue Park in Westfield, NY

This statue depicts a meeting between President Lincoln and Grace Bedell. In October 1860, eleven-year-old Grace sent Abraham Lincoln a letter urging him to grow a beard to improve his appearance. President Lincoln later met Grace.

Westfield Clock

We’re supposed to be at a friend’s house for a picnic by 4:00 PM; it’s time to leave Westfield!

We arrived at our friend Don’s house in Kennedy, NY around 4:15 PM. The turnout was smaller than expected. Ten of us enjoyed a picnic dinner of deviled eggs, marinated chicken, pasta salad, potato salad, and various desserts. I took a few photographs, but only Jank was in the mood for having his photograph taken. Because the others didn’t care to have their pictures taken, I will share only Jank’s picture with you.

Dog with Firewood

This is Jank. Isn’t he a beautiful dog? Jank belongs to Don, who hosted the picnic.

We returned home from the picnic a little after 8:00 PM. By 8:30 PM we were back on the motorcycle, en route Saybrook, PA. Saybrook is a small community located a short distance east of Warren. The reason we went to Saybrook was to see fireworks.

A Day of Riding
Please click on image to enlarge

This fireworks display was put on for a neighborhood block party. It was an excellent show, and we enjoyed sharing the event with Bob’s daughter, Stacey, and her boyfriend Mike.

Mike and Stacey, after the fireworks display

All total, we rode approximately 175 miles.

Independence Day Fireworks

Bob and I attended our hometown’s Independence Day fireworks. We watched the display from a different spot than we have in the past. Usually we watch from the park where the fireworks are set off. We are closer to the fireworks when we watch them from the park. We watched the fireworks this year alongside the Allegheny River. We were farther away from the fireworks; however, the reflections of the fireworks on the water added to the pleasure of watching the display.






I guess the grand finale wasn’t excitement enough for Bob and me. The most exciting thing happened as we walked back to the motorcycle, which was parked near a bar. We found the motorcycle surrounded by five police vehicles. I’m not sure what the commotion was all about. Our motorcycle, though, was safe and sound!

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