The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Snake’

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 6

On Day 6 of our vacation (Thursday, April 11th), after eating breakfast, we went to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove, rather than ride our bicycles.  It was a chilly and windy morning, with a temperature reading of 49 degrees.

We saw NINE wild horses in the lighthouse parking lot and watched as they walked down Beach Access Road to the Wildlife Loop. 

Wild Ponies in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Pony in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Ponies in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Ponies Walking Down the Beach Access Road Towards the Wildlife Loop

Wild Ponies Walking Along the Beach Access Road to the Wildlife Loop

There are 8 wild ponies in these two pictures; however, we saw a total of 9 ponies.

Wild Ponies Walking Toward the Wildlife Loop

One of 9 Wild Ponies Making its Way to the Wildlife Loop

This was the straggler, the 9th wild pony.

Seeing the horses was really cool.  We have always seen evidence that the horses have been on Beach Access Road, but had not seen them there before.

Before leaving the Wildlife Refuge, we visited the Assateague Lighthouse.

Assateauge Lighthouse

The Assateague Lighthouse stands 142 feet high.

After visiting the lighthouse, we returned to the warmth of our vacation home.  Bob turned on the heat for the first time since our arrival.  For the next few hours I washed, dried and folded two loads of laundry; we ate lunch (ready-made lasagna and cheesecake); and we relaxed, enjoying the peaceful setting of our Airbnb vacation home, Tranquil Shores.  

Around 3:00 pm we left for one more visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We drove around the Wildlife Loop three times.

Wildlife Loop Snake

Wildlife Loop Great Blue Heron

Wildlife Loop Cattle Egret

Wildlife Loop Turtle

Turtle Crossing the Road at Wildlife Loop

Wildlife Loop Little Blue Heron (adult)

We drove also to the beach and back, along Beach Access Road.  We were saying so long, until next time, to a place that we have grown to love.

Leaving the Wildlife Refuge, we picked up a 12-inch sub at Subway to share for dinner and went to Island Creamery for ice cream.  Yes!  We ate dessert first.

Returning to our vacation home around 5:00 pm we discovered piles of dirt had been placed in the deep holes (craters in some instances LOL) on the road to Tranquil Shores.  Thankfully a resident pulled in after us.  We didn’t know if we should drive on the grassy area to the right of the dirt piles (to go around them).  She told us it was okay.  According to the resident, the piles of dirt will be graded the next day.  I passed this information to our host, as I thought he might be interested.  Our host replied: “I’m so glad we finally have it getting done. Last winter was so hard on the road!  Corralling all the neighbors to pitch in was a project in and of itself!”  


The Rain Day That Wasn’t

Shortly before 9:00 am on Sunday, May 27th, we left our home in Warren PA, en route Letchworth State Park in New York. We arrived at Letchworth State Park at 10:45 am. The Castile entrance to the park was manned that morning, so our Empire Pass saved us the $10.00 entrance fee. We drove to High Falls and walked from there to Middle Falls.

_LG26121Walking towards the Upper Falls


Upper Falls

_LG26126Upper Falls

The direct link for this video of Upper Falls may be found here, in the event it doesn’t appear (or play) on your device.

We saw a snake on our way to the Middle Falls.

_LG26134Garter Snake seen on trail between Upper Falls and Middle Falls

_LG26136Middle Falls

_LG26139Middle Falls

IMG_20180527_113140Bob and I at Middle Falls

Returning to our car, we drove to the Council Grounds. The Council Grounds preserves a portion of the native heritage of the Genesee Valley.

_LG26143Log House Built by Mary Jemison


Next to the log house is a fenced-in area, in which stands a memorial to Mary Jemison.

_LG26153Mary Jemison Memorial
The remains of Mary Jemison are buried in this enclosure.


Mary Jemison Memorial


Mary Jemison Memorial

_LG26148Seneca Council House


The final structure standing on the Council Grounds is a viewing platform.

_LG26152Viewing Platform
I believe, at one time, that this viewing platform provided a place from which one could
contemplate the view over the Glen Iris towards the railroad trestle and Upper Falls.
From this viewing platform I contemplated the view of the Council Grounds.

_LG26149Contemplating the View of the Council Grounds

From the Council Grounds we drove to Inspiration Point.


We passed by a Civil War Monument on our way to Inspiration Point.

_LG26157The monument was decorated with flags in honor of Memorial Day.

_LG26167Inspiration Point

_LG26169Both the Upper and Middle Falls are visible from Inspiration Point.

We left Letchworth State Prak, after visiting Inspiration Point. We used the Castile entrance both entering and exiting the park.

It was around 1:30 pm, when we exited the park. We drove to Perry, New York and ate lunch at the Charcoal Corral.

20180527_170355735_iOSthe Charcoal Corral

The Charcoal Corral is a go-to place in Western New York for great char-grilled food and entertainment – including a drive-in, miniature golf, a video arcade, and much much more.  They have a restaurant and drive-in combo with an eat in dining area and an outdoor dining area. They also sell pizzas and ice cream. They have an arcade and putt putt golf. On select days they have inflatables for the children, cruise nights, talents shows and more. I wish we lived closer to the Charcoal Corral, as this would be an excellent place to bring our grandchildren.

In the photograph displayed above, the restaurant at the far left serves char-grilled food.  Pizzas are sold in the center, and ice cream is sold in the Ice Cream Parlor.

20180527_170711456_iOSInside the Charcoal Corral Restaurant
Food is ordered at this counter.
You have a choice to eat indoors or outside.

I ordered two pieces of white broasted chicken (breast and wing) with macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and a dinner roll. Bob ordered a taco salad. Our food selections were good, and the price paid was a good value.

After lunch, we walked a couple doors down, to the Ice Cream Parlor, and had ice cream for dessert (a twist custard cone for me and a peanut butter sundae for Bob).

We returned to Letchworth State Park after lunch. We entered via the Mt. Morris entrance at a little after 2:00 pm and made our way south through the park back to the Castile exit. We made several stops on our way south.

_LG26175We stopped at the Mt. Morris Dam Overlook.

_LG26177We stopped at the Hogsback Overlook,
which is so named because
the ridge jutting into the canyon resembles a wild boar’s high hunched spine.

We made three more stops before leaving Letchworth State Park.  We stopped at the Tea Table Overlook, Wolf Creek and the Big Bend Overlook.


The Tea Table Overlook is several hundred feet above the Genesee Valley Gorge floor. The Genesee River flows through the gorge.



Wolf Creek


One of the views from the Big Bend Overlook

We departed Letchworth State Park at 3:30 pm and began our drive home.

Upon reaching I-86 we decided to take routes 280 and 59 home. I was driving at the time and had been driving for only a short time. My knee started to hurt, with the pain radiating into my calf. I guess I overdid the walking, while at Letchworth State Park.  It was past time for Extra Strength Tylenol, which I take every 8 hours, as needed, whenever we are riding the motorcycle, driving the car, or doing a lot of walking. We pulled into the parking lot for Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park to change drivers. Who do we see in the parking lot, a few of our local motorcycle riding friends — Paul and Debbie, Scott and Donna, and Craig Myers out on on Sunday ride. Paul said they were on their way to Bob’s Trading Post for ice cream and asked us if we wanted to join them. We said “yes” and tagged along.

_LG26198Following our friends to Bob’s Trading Post

20180527_224758515_iOSBob’s Trading Post, with an eye-catching car parked in front of it

20180527_224036104_iOSPaul, Donna, Debbie, Craig, Bob, Scott and I at Bob’s Trading Post

After ice cream, Bob and I returned home via Longhouse Scenic Drive and Route 59.  For the first time I heard Longhouse Scenic Drive referred to as “LSD”.  What a hoot!

Bob and I returned home around 7:30 pm. I don’t know what time the others returned home, as we left a few minutes before they did. I don’t know what route they took home.

It was a long, but great day. The weather was much better than expected. We expected cloudy skies and an all-day rain with some thunder. We saw very little rain today. It was cloudy at times, but sunshine was plentiful too.

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.

P7256614 4x6Susan and Chance near entrance to Nature Center Building

P7256615 4x6Susan 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.

P7256607 4x6Susan and Chance

P7256605 4x6Chance 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.

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.


P7226466 4x6


P7226479 4x6

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P7226504 4x6

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P7226508 4x6I 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.


Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #5)

Our fifth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Ritchie Ledges.  The Ledges Trail is approximately 2 miles long.  The trail begins above the ledges and then drops down below them.  It was noon by the time we arrived at Ritchie Ledges.  It was hot, and we were hungry.  In addition we learned that one of the trail attractions, the Ice Box Cave, was closed in an effort to slow the spread of a disease to the park’s bat population.  Given the heat of the day, our hunger and the closure of the Ice Box Cave we opted to cross the meadow from the parking lot and visit only the Ritchie Ledges Overlook.


I used Microsoft’s Snipping Tool to cut out the Ledges Trail portion of the map that is provided on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park website’s map page.

From the parking lot the walk across the meadow to the bottom left corner of the map didn’t look far.  Walking across that meadow with the noon day sun directly above you was far enough!

E8042086 4x6This view was our reward for crossing that meadow to Richie Ledges Overlook!

I DEFINITELY want to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the fall.  Imagine how beautiful that view will look with autumn foliage!

And, oh yes, I would like to walk the Ledges Trail, if only to view these magnificent rocks at their base.

Ritchie Ledges

We encountered a reptile, while at the overlook.

Thank goodness it was only a baby snake!

This is a Northern Ringneck Snake.

The snake was shedding its skin.

Here is a close-up picture of the snake’s head.

I wonder if the snake is having lunch, while it is shedding its skin?  That’s a black ant on its head!

We spent a little over 30 minutes at Ritchie Ledges.  From Ritchie Ledges we left the park and ate lunch at a nearby Texas Roadhouse.   We both ordered salads and a beverage.  Something we have to learn to do is carry water with us, when hiking.  We always forget to do this.  Well, I went through two large glasses of iced tea rather quickly and couldn’t finish my salad.

If you missed our first four stops in Cuyahoga Valley National Park you will find links to each stop in the list shown below.  I will share photographs from our sixth stop in my next blog post.

Stop #1:  Boston Store Visitor Center

Stop #2:  Brandywine Falls

Stop #3:  Blue Hen Falls

Stop #4:  Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Springtime Nature Walk

On Wednesday, April 7th, Valerie C. and I visited the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, New York. We arrived shortly before 10:00 AM and didn’t leave until around 1:00 PM. There are three trails at the Audubon Center. We walked part of each trail. We saw geese, an eagle (too far away for a good picture), ducks, various birds, reptiles and amphibians. Valerie saw a deer. She caught a glimpse of its white tail, as it passed in front of us a good ways down one of the trails that we were walking.

These are two of the many geese that we saw on our nature walk.


This snake was lying curled up on top of a low bush. We wondered if it was dead. We passed by it again towards the end of our walk. The snake was still lying on top of this bush; however, it had changed its position. No, it wasn’t dead! After seeing this snake the first go-around, we saw three more snakes!

My friend Valerie

We were walking on this boardwalk a short time after taking this picture. At the same time that I noticed on my right what appeared to be a long snake curled up on top of a low bush, Valerie saw a snake in the water to her left. These snakes were much closer to where we were walking, and I raised my camera to take a picture of the one closest to me. The plan was to take the picture and get the heck out of there! As I raised my camera, the snake uncurled. It wasn’t one snake; it was two snakes! They looked as though they were slithering, quickly, towards me ONTO the boardwalk! I didn’t give it a second thought. I touched Valerie’s shoulder, said emphatically “they’re coming!”, and pushed my hand gently on Valerie’s shoulder. It didn’t take much to get Valerie moving. We both made quick steps forward, all the while watching behind us. The snakes didn’t go on the boardwalk; they slithered into the water. Seeing four snakes during one nature walk was more than enough for me! I really wasn’t that pleased when we saw that first snake. At least that one was farther away, and it wasn’t moving!

Toad ?

I think this is a toad, as it appears to have a bumpy skin. This was the only amphibian that we saw. We heard lots of them singing or as they jumped into the pond when we walked by. We didn’t see any turtles. We kept looking for turtles because I had hoped to take a picture of several of them sunbathing on top of a log or a rock.

This bridge caught my attention. I loved the reflection of the bridge in the pond.

Reflecting Bridge

While we walked through the forest, I smelled Spring … an earthy fragrance.

I tried to capture the smell of Spring in this photograph.
Can you smell the earth?

Before leaving the Audubon Center we visited the eagle called Liberty. I took a picture of her screeching. Neither Valerie nor I had heard an eagle’s cry before. That was so cool!


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