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 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.

Memorial Day Ride

We went for a short motorcycle ride with our friends, Susan and Dave, on the morning of May 26 (Memorial Day).  We met at 8:00 am at a local fuel station and rode to Findley Lake, NY.  The purpose of riding to Findley Lake was to see that village’s Main Street Memorial Day parade.

 

mosaica1b5617cee3432d6a0c3cd8fd40f5dd6e9f9b142Findley Lake Memorial Day Parade

 

We would have watched the parade in our hometown of Warren, PA; however, Warren doesn’t have a Memorial Day parade.

After the parade, we rode into Jamestown.  We stopped at Tim Horton for coffee/iced tea and donuts.  We carried our Timmy purchases across the street, to Riverwalk Park.  After consuming our purchases, we went for a short walk along Chadakoin River.

Located at the base of this sculpture is a marker that reads: “Before white men came to this area the Indians blazed a trail between Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua over which they, early explorers and settlers, portaged their canoes. At the Chadakoin River rapids the canoe was portaged again. Here is where the explorers rested and started a settlement which is now the City of Jamestown.”

Riverwalk Park
Our friends, Susan and Dave

After our walk in the park, we rode back to Warren.  We returned home around 12:30 pm.

 

Snowy Owl

UPDATE:  I am linking this post to Eileen’s meme, Saturday’s Critters.  Today is Saturday’s Critters #8.  You may view more critters by visiting Eileen’s blog, Viewing nature with Eileen.

 

There is a snowy owl irruption.  Perhaps you have been as fortunate as me to have spotted one or more of these magnificent birds.

I saw my first snowy owl on January 14th

Most days since then I have driven from my house to the various places in the immediate area where the snowy owl has been spotted.  I wanted to capture a closer picture of the snowy owl and, if possible, lower to the ground.

Today my husband and I went for a drive in search of the snowy owl.

We spotted an owl sitting on top of a utility pole,
across the street from where I took my first snowy owl picture.

We drove a little farther north, where a snowy owl had been spotted on other days.  We looked but didn’t see any signs of an owl.  The snowy owl blends in well with the snow, so we might just not be seeing it.  We decided to do a U-turn and return to where we had spotted the owl sitting on top of the utility pole.  The owl wasn’t there; however, we spotted it just across the street on another utility pole.  The utility pole it was perched on was the same pole where I had first seen the snowy owl on January 14th.  We parked along the side of the road.  As I was getting out of the car, the owl flew off the pole to the field behind the pole.  I walked across the field to a wire fence.  I searched the ground for the snowy owl.  After a couple minutes, I spotted it!

 

What a magnificent bird!

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.

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