The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge’

DeRuyter Lake Getaway: DeRuyter NY to Warren PA

We returned home from DeRuyter Lake on July 1.  We made three stops on our way home.  

Our first stop was at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, where we drove on Wildlife Drive. We saw several Great Blue Herons and a Great Egret.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Crazy Hair Day
Great Blue Heron at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Our second stop was for breakfast at Magee Country Diner in Waterloo NY.  We ate here in May, on our way home from our week-long vacation in the Auburn NY area. It was on our route home again, so we stopped for breakfast.

Our third stop was at Letchworth State Park.  Our Empire Pass provided free admission into the park. We entered via the Mt Morris entrance and exited via the Portageville entrance, stopping for photo opportunities.

Great Bend Overlook at Letchworth State Park
Inspiration Point

As we crossed the stone bridge, we saw a couple people bent down peering over the edge.

These two frogs caught their (and our) attention.
Inspiration Point
Upper Falls at Letchworth State Park
Middle Falls at Letchworth State Park

This concludes details of our DeRuyter Lake vacation.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 1

The Finger Lakes are a group of eleven long, narrow, roughly north–south lakes in New York in an area called the Finger Lakes Region. The eleven Finger Lakes, from west to east, are: Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Canadice Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canandaigua Lake,
Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, and Otisco Lake.

We have visited the Finger Lakes Region often over the past 20+ years. We have seen four of the eleven Finger Lakes: Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, and Cuyuga Lake. During the week of May 25 through June 1 we added Owasco Lake and Skaneateles Lake to our list of Finger Lakes that we have seen. This blog post and several that follow will provide photographs and details of our visit to these two eastern finger lakes.

We left home at 7:42 am on Wednesday, May 25, en route Scipo Center NY via the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

We arrived at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge around 11:42 am.  

the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

I got my National Park Passport cancelled with a rubber-stamp ink marking that recorded the name of the wildlife refuge and the date of our visit.  We drove the Wildlife Drive two times.  The highlight of our visit was a Sandhill Crane family, two adults and two babies.

Sandhill Cranes
Two Adults and a Baby
Sandhill Cranes
Two Adults and a Baby
It looks like the one adult is looking back for the second baby.
Sandhill Cranes
Two Adults and Two Babies

This was our first ever sighting of sandhill cranes. How exciting! We had hoped to see the sandhill cranes again on our second drive around Wildlife Loop. Unfortunately, we did not see them.

From Montezuma we drove to Auburn, to Emerson Park, where we ate a picnic lunch (tuna salad with crackers snack set, snack size fruit cup and cookies). 

This was our view, at Emerson Park on Owasco Lake, as we ate a picnic lunch.

After lunch we went for a walk in Emerson Park. We spent an enjoyable few minutes watching Canada Geese at the water’s edge.

Emerson Park is about a 9 minute drive from our Airbnb.  We arrived at Airbnb “Casa Esperanza on Wykoff Road” in Scipio Center NY at approximately 3:20 pm.  Our host, Mickie, met us.  She showed us around the house and gave us a dozen fresh eggs from her farm and a bottle of wine (how nice!). Mickie lives in the next house up the road from the Airbnb.

After we had unpacked the car and got settled in, we left to pick up groceries at Wegmans in Auburn.  We did our shopping and returned to the Airbnb.  We cooked dinner together — sloppy joes, macaroni & cheese, and green beans.  For dessert we had Klondike ice cream bars.

After dinner Bob started a campfire. 

We had a fire our first night at “Casa Esperanza”.

 

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!

East Syracuse NY to Mt. Morris NY

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area.

We checked out of the Best Western East Syracuse, after breakfast, on Monday July 3, and were on our way home shortly before 8:00 am.

On our way to East Syracuse on Saturday, we stopped at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.  We stopped at the wildlife refuge once again on our way back home. I am so glad that we visited Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. I put my new camera lens to good use, as we drove around Wildlife Drive.

New camera lens, you ask?  I just realized that I hadn’t shared on my blog that I purchased a new camera lens.  I waited for well over 1-1/2 years to purchase this camera lens.  At first the camera lens wasn’t in stock.  Then I didn’t have the money available to purchase the lens.  Finally, everything came together to make the purchase.  I purchased an Olympus m.Zuiko ED 300mm f4.0 IS Pro lens, specifically for wildlife photography.  Coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter, I have an effective focal length of 840mm!  My new lens arrived on Friday, June 30, the day before we left on our weekend getaway.  I need to use the lens more to increase my proficiency in its use, but I am very pleased with the images that I captured at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandpiper
Osprey in Flight, with Seaweed Attached to its Claw
Are these birds American Coot?

The highlight of our visit to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was the sighting of two American Bald Eagles.  One eagle flew off to parts unknown, but one eagle landed in a tree not far from where we were on Wildlife Drive.

Bob took this photograph of me, while photographing the eagle.

And to think I didn’t want a moon roof, when we were car shopping. I didn’t want to spend the extra money. The car on the lot that we liked came with a moon roof. I am glad that we got a moon roof, because it enabled me to capture a couple good photographs of the eagle!

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle

My new camera lens is a keeper! These two eagle images are the best pictures I have ever taken of an eagle!

We sat and watched a group of Canada Geese farther along on Wildlife Drive.

Canada geese, quietly enjoying the pond

The quiet didn’t last for long!

Noisy Canada geese!
This duck had one of the Wildlife Drive ponds all to herself.
Great Blue Heron

We stopped once again to admire the newly installed eagle sculpture.

The eagle sculpture was built in honor of the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
The eagle sculpture is visible from Interstate 90.

Leaving Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, we drove to Mt. Morris, NY.  We ate lunch at Brian’s USA Diner.  We selected this restaurant for lunch, based on its positive reviews. Yes, as stated by reviewers, the service was quick and friendly. Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich with Onion Rings. I ordered pulled chicken in a hoagie bun with potato salad. The restaurant reviews indicated that the portions were large. I agree. My pulled chicken hoagie sandwich was huge! My potato salad was heaped high in a small bowl. At first, Bob’s Reuben sandwich looked average size. He said, though, that there was lots of meat in his sandwich, so much meat that he could barely taste the dressing. Reviewers raved about the taste of the food. The food tasted okay, nothing really to boast about. Nothing to complain about either.

After lunch, we drove to nearby Letchworth State Park.  I will share details and photographs of Letchworth State Park in the next (and final) blog post I write about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway.

Warren PA to East Syracuse NY

We departed home at 6:50 am, on July 1 (Saturday) en route the Syracuse NY area for a 2-night stay. It was thundering and raining, when we left home.

We ate breakfast in Frewsburg NY at Sally’s Deli & Catering.

On Saturday Sally’s has a breakfast buffet, beginning at 7:00 am. It was our first time there. I am glad that we chanced upon it, while looking for a place to eat. Sally’s is a tiny place, with a pleasant dining area. The breakfast selections that included scrambled eggs, bacon, corned beef and potatoes, potato casserole, sausage, French toast, pancakes, fruit, pastries and hot beverages were more than adequate. The food was delicious. We liked everything, with possibly the exception of the corned beef and potatoes. I am sure it was a personal taste issue in regard to the corned beef and potatoes.

The rain stopped, while we were eating breakfast. We caught up with the rain again a short ways west of the Friendship/Boliver exit on Interstate 86.  We drove in and out of rain rest of the way to Syracuse. For the most part, the rain didn’t last long.

Our next stop, after breakfast, was in the village of Honeoye Falls. The small village of Honeoye Falls is located approximately fifteen miles southeast of Rochester, NY.  The village includes a small waterfall on Honeoye Creek, which flows through the village and gives it its name.

Honeoye Falls, NY

This was our first time in Honeoye Falls. How we missed knowing about this village is beyond me. We have been within a few miles of the village many times over the past 19 years. Now that we know of its existence and how picturesque the village is, I am sure we will make a return trip to Honeoye Falls sometime in the future.

We stopped for lunch at the Clifton Springs Travel Plaza on Interstate 90. Our lunch at Burger King (a Whooper with Cheese meal and a Junior Whooper with Cheese meal) was much more expensive than the cost at home! I should have planned this trip better and brought along food for picnic-style lunches.

Before stopping for lunch a couple accidents had slowed traffic on Interstate 90. Interstate traffic was moving well, after lunch.

Around 1:00 pm we stopped at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We saw lots of geese, a few great blue herons, and several ducks.

Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Close-up Picture of Canada Goose
Duck Family

It thundered and rained about halfway around the 3.5 mile Wildlife Drive. We stopped near the end of the drive and waited out the rain. Near the end of Wildlife Drive is a new viewing platform and eagle monument.  It stopped raining momentarily, and I snapped a picture of the new structures.

New Viewing Platform and Eagle Monument

The eagle monument was built In honor of the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Soon it began to rain again.

We departed Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge around 2:00 pm. We were notified a few times of severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood warnings, soon after departing the refuge.  The rain and wind were pretty wild, as we made our way east!

We stopped at an indoor flea market, located in Elbridge NY along NY Route 5. We shopped, while waiting for the storm to get ahead of us. There was a nice selection of merchandise, reasonably priced. I came out of the store empty handed, though.  The stop served its purpose, as the storm did get ahead of us.

Storm Chasing

The white building seen in the photograph displayed above is the Inn Between Restaurant, located in Camillus NY.  The restaurant provided an excellent contrast against the dark sky.

We checked into Best Western Plus East Syracuse around 3:30 pm. Our room number was 225.  We turned off the air conditioning soon after entering the room. The room stayed comfortably cool throughout rest of the afternoon and evening. Our room was comfortable, but small.  The walking space between the furniture was narrow.  The bathroom was of moderate size. Our room included a microwave, refrigerator and single-serve coffee maker. There were both tea bags and coffee in the room for the preparation of hot beverages. In my experience tea bags aren’t always provided, along with coffee.  There is a beverage station in the lobby, too, where hot beverages may be obtained. I read that the hotel was recently renovated. Our room appeared to be fairly new. We spent 2 nights here, using reward points as payment.

We ate dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s, located within walking distance of hotel. We took the car, though, in case it rained. It didn’t rain. We both ordered chicken entrees, with the garden salad bar.

Rather than order dessert at Ruby Tuesday’s, we went to a nearby Dairy Queen and ordered small blizzards.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Rite Aid and picked up beverages and snacks. It was around 6:00 pm, when we made it back to the hotel. We stayed in for rest of the night.

Please check back later.  I will be sharing additional blog posts about our East Syracuse NY Weekend Getaway in the near future.

Lincoln NH to Warren PA

We took two days for our trip back home from the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  On the first day we drove from Lincoln, NH to Weedsport, NY.  On the second day we drove from Weedsport, NY to our home in Warren, PA.

On Thursday, August 4, we awakened early, which enabled a departure an hour or two earlier than expected. We departed the Rodeway Inn (Lincoln, NH) at 6:00 am, leaving the room keys in our room because the hotel office was closed.

Our first photo stop was in Woodstock, Vermont, after driving for about 2-1/2 hours.

“Bob, stop!  There’s a covered bridge!”
Taftsville Covered Bridge, seen as we were driving through the village of Taftsville

Taftsville Covered Bridge

Taftsville Bridge is a two span 189 foot long Multiple Kingpost Truss with an arch. Spans are 89 and 100 feet. This bridge was built in 1836 and is one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont.

It carries River Road the over Ottaquechee River in Taftsville Vermont.

Taftsville Covered Bridge spans the Ottauquechee River.

About an hour later we stopped for breakfast at The Maple Diner in Bridgewater, Vermont.

The Maple Diner

Great breakfast!  We highly recommend this small family restaurant, if you find yourself in Bridgewater, VT some day.

We passed through Killington, VT where we couldn’t miss the ski slopes of Pico Mountain. We stopped for gas in Rutland, VT. What a busy and congested city that is!

We stopped briefly at Moreau Lake State Park near Wilton, NY. Using our NY Empire Passport we gained admission into the park. We followed Lake Road from the entrance gate to the beach. There was a nature center located near the beach.  The beach and picnic areas were in heavy use, and we were not able to find any nearby parking.  We skipped the nature center and made our way back to the park entrance.  We made a photo stop near the boat launch area.

Moreau Lake

We passed through LOTS of small towns on our way to Interstate 90! We avoided Albany, NY. We skirted around Saratoga Springs, NY. We finally reached Interstate 90 W at 2:33 pm, about 10 miles or so east of Utica, NY (near mile marker 222).

We checked into the Rodeway Inn in Weedsport, NY around 4:00 pm.  This hotel used to be a Best Western, as it is still identified in the GPS and on Facebook.

The only meal we ate out was breakfast. We didn’t stop for lunch and opted to eat a picnic lunch, with food items brought from home, for dinner.

On Friday, August 5, we ate breakfast at our hotel, packed the car and left a little after 8:00 am en route home.

We made a few stops along the way.

Weedsport, NY
“Four Freedoms” mural

The four train cars on the mural are based on the four freedoms Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of in his 1941 State of the Union Address.

The four freedoms are:
Freedom of speech, Freedom of religion, Freedom from want and Freedom from fear.

Also in Weedsport are the remains of the Centreport Aqueduct, which is the centerpiece of a small park located along NY Route 31.

We walked the towpath (on the right) to the towpath bridge.

The towpath bridge was reconstructed to be nearly identical to the one built here in 1854.

Remains of Centreport Aqueduct, as seen from towpath bridge

We stopped briefly in Port Bryon.  While Bob took our Nissan Xterra through a car wash, I photographed a colorful mural.

Port Bryon, NY
Erie Canal Mural

We rode through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, in Monezuma, NY, where we saw a few species of waterfowl.  The majority of the waterfowl that we saw at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge were Canada Geese.

 

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
I cannot identify these flowers, but aren’t they pretty!

We drove through Ovid, NY and along Seneca Lake.  We drove through Watkins Glen. We had planned to hike the gorge but decided against doing so because of the heat and humidity but also dry conditions. When we passed by Hector Falls, just before reaching Watkins Glen, there was very little water falling. We had never seen Hector Falls so dry!

We stopped for a short time in downtown Corning.

Corning, NY

The clock tower was built in memory of Erastus Corning in 1883.  The clock tower is located in the center of town, just north of Market Street in Center Square.

We thought we would eat lunch in Corning, but opted instead to eat lunch a little closer to home.  All we did in Corning was photograph the clock tower, before continuing on our way home.

We stopped for lunch at Sprague’s Maple Farms in Portville, NY. I ordered a center cut pork chop dinner with baked potato, apple sauce, carrots and tossed salad. My dinner included two pork chops. I boxed one and brought it home. Bob ordered a Sugar Bush Club (a Triple-decker sandwich filled filled with turkey, country ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonaisse) with maple baked beans. We picked up a piece of peanut butter fudge for later, as we paid the bill on our way out. Lunch was excellent.

We returned home at 4:00 pm. We unpacked the car, putting away what we had taken with us. I uploaded to my computer the pictures that I had taken, while on vacation. I entered in Quicken our expenditures during vacation. Bob mowed the grass.  With the exception of doing laundry the next day, I took it easy. Bob took it easy as well. Being on vacation seems to be more tiring than being at home, as we are always on the go.  I have heard people say “I need a vacation after vacation”.  I agree!

This blog post concludes the account of our 7-day New Hampshire vacation.  I hope that you enjoyed your armchair travel!

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