The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Jamestown NY’

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.

 

 

Ducks, Geese and Seagull

On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown.  We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl.

I published two prior blog posts about our drive.  The blog post was about Barcelona Falls at the Daniel Reed Pier.  The second blog post was about seagulls and geese that we saw, while at Lake Erie.  This third, and final, blog post is about the ducks, geese and seagull that we saw at McCrea Point Park.

McCrea Point Park was my favorite stop.  We saw ducks, seagulls, and geese.  I took a few pictures of geese flying away from me.  The lighting was getting dim, so the ISO was higher than I desired.  The bird-in-flight pictures did come out OK.  A big HIGH-5 for my new camera!

Two ducks

Canadian Goose

Seagull

Two more ducks

Flying Goose

Flying Goose

An Eagle Called “Liberty”

This morning I finished sorting through, editing and uploading photographs from Deborah and Brian’s wedding.  Now it is time for me to catch up on my blog writing.  I have much to share with you.  This is the first of at least seven catch-up blog posts!

On Sunday, June 25, needing a break from reviewing the wedding photographs, Bob and I went for a drive.  We ended up at the Audubon Community Nature Center, located in Jamestown NY, where we went for a short walk.  At the end of our walk we visited with Liberty, the resident eagle, for a few minutes.

_LG22215Liberty, just before she flew to a nearby perch in a tree.

Liberty was found in the state of Washington, with an infected cut on her left wing. Liberty 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. Liberty has lived at the Audubon Community Nature Center since June 2002. A group of volunteers take good care of Liberty.

 

National Train Day

Today is National Train Day.  There are at least two events in my local area commemorating National Train Day.

It is a rainy and chilly day, a day that I didn’t feel like spending too much time in the outdoors.  My husband and I did drive to Sam’s Club in Jamestown, NY this morning.  We usually go shopping at Sam’s Club once a month.  We stopped in Falconer, NY on our way home.  A photographer friend shared the fact that the locomotive that will steam into Jamestown at noon today prepares for its journey in Falconer.  Hence, the reason for our stop in Falconer.  I am happy that we made the stop.

_LG21564 4x6
American Viscose Company of Roanoke VA had Locomotive #6 built in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works Philadelphia, PA. It was scrapped in the early 1960s to Gem City Iron & Metal Company of Pulaski, VA. Number 6 was purchased by Scott Symans of Dunkirk NY in 2004 and completely restored to operating condition between 2004 and 2007.

_LG21566 4x6

The following video, captured by a drone, shows Viscose Company #6 steaming into the Jamestown Railroad Station at last year’s National Train Day event.

An Afternoon Walk at A Nature Center

More walking is in our future, with BOTH of us now owning a Fitbit.  My Fitbit Flex arrived from Amazon on Tuesday, and Bob purchased a Fitbit Charge HR at Walmart on Wednesday.

We went for a walk at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY yesterday afternoon, soon after Bob came home from work. We walked for approximately 2 miles (1 1/2 hours), following mainly the Yellow and Orange Trails.  What a beautiful afternoon for a walk!

_LG20828 4x6One of several small ponds at Audubon Center & Sanctuary

We walked around Big Pond and Spatterdock Pond.

_LG20829 4x6This is Big Pond.
Water used to fill the pond.
This article explains why the water level is low at Big Pond.
I look forward to when water fills Big Pond once again.

_E141605 4x6A pair of Geese on Spatterdock Pond.

_LG20830 4x6Spatterdock Pond

 

_LG20832 4x6I spotted this butterfly, while walking around Spatterdock Pond.

_LG20836 4x6Spatterdock Boardwalk
and Photo Blind overlooking Spatterdock Pond
This boardwalk is one of my favorite features at Audubon.

The highlight of our walk was seeing a muskrat toward the end of our walk.

_E141614 4x6a muskrat!
I had never personally seen a muskrat.

Bob and I each have a goal of 10,000 steps each day.  Since Tuesday afternoon I have walked 24,283 steps.  Since Wednesday afternoon Bob has walked 27,065 steps.  Yesterday, I *almost* reached my goal with 9,754 steps!

An Unplanned Daycation

When I awakened the morning of Wednesday, October 1, I discovered that Bob had taken the day off work. Bob said that he didn’t feel like going into work, so he called his boss and asked would it would be okay if he took a vacation day.  I decided, also, to take off work (editing wedding pictures) so that I could spend the day with Bob. We went for a ride on the motorcycle.

Our first stop was for gas at Kwik Fill. Our second stop was at Tractor Supply, where Bob returned an item that he had purchased yesterday. Our third stop was at Wegmans in Jamestown, NY. While Bob was inside the store buying a couple bags of bean coffee, I was outside taking pictures of the pumpkins on display.

Pumpkins at Wegman’s

Pumpkins at Wegman’s

Pumpkins at Wegman’s

Our fourth stop was at Van Tuil Photo & Imaging in Erie PA, where I purchased a camera bag. I have purchased so many camera bags over the years.  I can’t seem to find that one perfect bag.  I hope that this new camera bag serves its purpose well for some time to come!

From Van Tuil’s we rode to Presque Isle State Park.

We ate a picnic lunch at the lagoon picnic area.

Lagoon

We have visited Presque Isle State Park numerous times in the 16 years that Bob and I have been married.  There are still many places that we have not explored on the peninsula.  The lagoon picnic area was one such place.  What a lovely spot for a picnic!

Lagoon Goose

After lunch, we rode rest of the way around Presque Isle State Park. We then began our way back home.

We made three  stops on our way back home. Our first stop was while en route Findley Lake, NY.

We pulled off the side of the road so that I could take a picture of this pastoral scene.

In Findley Lake, after a refreshing glass of iced coffee and a cookie for Bob and a glass of iced tea and a muffin for me, we took a very short walk along the main street.

Swartz Mill

At one time a horizontal water wheel furnished power for both a saw mill and a grist mill at this site.  This vertical waterwheel has been constructed near the site of the original. I believe the only purpose of the present waterwheel is that of a tourist attraction.

Findley Lake

Our last stop before returning home was at Chautauqua Institution, where we admired the color Autumn foliage across Chautauqua Lake.

Looking across Chautauqua Lake from Chautauqua Institution

It was a wonderful unplanned daycation for Bob and me.  Before too long we will be putting the motorcycle away for the Winter.  I am happy that we were able to take advantage of this beautiful day by sharing an activity that we both enjoy!

Susan and Chance Visit the Audubon Center

My friend Susan’s 11-year-old grandson spent the week of July 20th at his grandmother’s house. On July 25th I met Susan and her grandson, Chance, at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary in Jamestown NY. Chance wanted to see a snake. Susan knew there was a good possibility that he would see a snake at the Audubon Center, as she had seen a photograph of the snake that I had seen there earlier in the week. Susan preferred to not go to the Audubon Center alone (she does not like snakes!), so I agreed to meet the two of them at the nature center.

Susan and Chance near entrance to Nature Center Building

Susan and Chance at entrance to Bob’s Garden —
an herb, kitchen, and butterfly garden
named in honor of one of the Audubon Center’s
early founders, Bob Hallquist.

Susan and Chance

Chance sees a snake.

Chance wanted to see a snake. He saw two snakes! This is the first snake that Chance saw.  I enlarged the hole and the snake so that you can actually SEE the snake.  The second snake that Chance saw was a short distance from here.  It was lying in the weeds.

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