Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (March 30)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

page 49 - Remains. That was the single word, or maybe the concept, that I couldn’t get out of my head, couldn’t shake if I wanted to.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week Thirteen - 39 to Go

Crime thriller which melds human greed and the tragedy of Katrina.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Road Trip --- Savannah/Montezuma/Port Byron

The main goal was to participate in the Dave Spier's Wednesday guided hike at the Montezuma Aubudon Center (MAC). Arrived at 7:30 AM to find no one in the parking lot. After spending 20 minutes alone got in the car and headed East. (Checking the Calendar of Events once home - noted that the program was actually scheduled to start at 10:30 AM).

MAC - Sandpiper Shallows

Plan B. It had been some time since I have visited the Richmond Aqueduct.

Parking at the beginning of an ATV trail off Chapman Road walked east on the old towpath. The towpath was surprisingly firm and dry considering the hard winter we had.


On the walk in birds were scarce. Saw a woodpecker and heard a cardinal.

The Seneca River was high in and around the aqueduct.

On the way out took a detour on an ATV path which cut to the North. There found a bridge made of wooden pallets, particle board and rough steps.

View from bridge

Crossing over discovered what appeared to be a well.

Back in the car drove to Port Byron. Decided to try Magdy's Eats and Sweets for breakfast. Tammy, my waitress, brought me a menu and coffee after I sat down. There were eleven customers present. Five more patrons would enter before I departed.

My breakfast of western egg and home fries (told Tammy that I did not want toast) was hot and tasty. The coffee was just right and Tammy kept my cup full.

Before paying the bill selected two donuts, a chocolate covered eclair and a glaze, to take home for Joan and Brad.

Once out on the street walked over to the mural. The mural, Tanner Dry Dock - Lock 52 Historical Erie Canal, was commissioned by Lock 52 Historical Society and painted by Dawn Jordan.

The early 1900's on the Erie Canal in Port Byron

Jordan's two sons in the foreground and a few of her ancestors in the boat

What now?

Returning to the car photographed the restored Port Byron Hotel.

The Port Byron Hotel, once called the National Hotel, was one the many public places in Cayuga County where African American men and women, many of them freedom seekers, worked on a daily basis, as an integral part of the life of the whole community. Port Byron was one of Cayuga County’s abolitionist hotspots.

Noticed a woman with her dog cleaning the small park in front of the hotel.

Introduced myself to Sue and her black Lab, Bianca. Sue has lived away from Port Byron for 30 years. Now back Sue is concern about keeping Port Byron presentable for visitors. Sue certainly made me fell welcome.

Although the road trip missed its intended goal it was a great ride.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (March 23)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

page 71 - Maybe what Sams was saying was true, but we all in this together only works if everybody plays by the same rules. Every city, every civilization, was balanced on a narrow point between civility and self-interest.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Montezuma Audubon Center - Wednesday Casual Photographers

Sandpiper Shallows

On this clear, bright St. Patrick’s Day morning, Naturalist Dave Spier conducted a photo walk around Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC).

This hands-on outdoor session demonstrated how to digitally document the plants, animals and habitats around the MAC.

At 9:00 AM, our group of five assembled inside the MAC foyer. After registration and explaining the day's activity, Dave led the group (Bob from Baldwinsville, Laurie from Ontario, NY, Gail from Utica, Anita from New York Mills and myself) out onto the grounds.

In the bird feeder area were a female downy woodpecker and a tufted titmouse. We walked on the trail toward the wood.

Trail Map

Before entering the wood, employing a tripod, Dave demonstrated how to photograph the typical path scene from another angle or position.

Upon entering the wood, Dave had the group circle around a tree to observe texture. Pointing out the advantage of side lighting.

Answering a question about white cards and gray cards, Dave noted that the palm of your hand is one stop brighter than gray. The use of the Histogram was also discussed.

While on the observation deck, a car drove between the Merganser Marsh and Sandpiper Shallows. Dave pointed out that it was the muskrat trapper.

Muskrat Mound


Before heading back into the wood, Carlton Gay, the trapper, and his wife visited with us. Carlton told of a fourteen pound female that he had captured this winter. According to Carlton the fur market is booming with China purchasing the pelts and reselling them to Russia and Italy.

While photographing fern spores, Dave showed how to brace the fern stem with a stick, how to change the lens so as to avoid exposing the lens to large amount of dust, and how to limit the light using his coat. As an aside Dave noted that light will come through the viewfinder.

On the trail Anita drew our attention to a butterfly and Laurie pointed out a bird that was soaring outside the wood. It was a turkey vulture. Dave described the difference between a turkey vulture and an eagle.

Leaving the trail and venturing into a swampy area, Dave photographed an Eastern Skunk Cabbage. There was an abundance of this first Spring plant so we all took photos.

Also nearby was a stunted yellow birch.

Close by too woodpecker activity.

Back on the trail Dave mentioned in a landscape photo the eyes tend to go to the bright spot first. Dave then directed our attention toward an eastern hemlock tree which were catching the sunlight just right.

Where’s Dave?

Some of us continued our walk along Trumpeter Trail. The wetlands provided good opportunities to capture reflection. There were 6 turtles sunning themselves. Ring-necked Duck and Mallards were languishing in the marsh.

On our way back to the Center an immature eagle made several passes overhead. A great way to conclude a most pleasant morning walk.

Passed this building on my way home. Ah! Tonight's menu - Irish potatoes & a corned beef sandwich with cole slaw and Russian dressing.
Erin Go Bragh

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (March 16)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

Page 149 - He stopped at a line of Verizon phone kiosks. He removed the vial of Ritalin that sat beside the 9-millimeter Browning at the bottom of the briefcase.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cayuga Community College Trail

On this bright afternoon I decided to walk the Cayuga Community College Trail.

On the path ahead of me was a man with his little white dog.

At the first pond there were 14 Mallard ducks, 5 Drakes and 9 hens.

On the trail there was evidence of ATV use and 3 chickadees. Halfway round passed a woman accompanied by her black Lab, Gabe. A lone woman hiker was entering the trail by the wolf tree.

As I was leaving a couple had parked and were entering at the trailhead.

Mount House

On this site on the northeast corner of Washington Street and Genesee Street a home was built for Robert Dill in 1809. Called Mount Home, the house and acreage upon Dill’s death in 1813 was sold to Abijah Fitch. Fitch turned the property over to the Auburn Female Seminary.

Auburn Female Seminary, a private school, was the first in Auburn to provide secondary education for young ladies. From its beginning there were never less than 140 pupils each term. The facility was destroyed by fire in September 1849.

On the site of the former Auburn Female Seminary, a home was built for Nelson Fitch.

Today 201 Genesee Street is used by insurance offices.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week Eleven- 41 to Go

In this thriller, Detective Michael Bennett chases Francis X. Mooney, a serial kidnapper, throughout NYC. Avid Patterson readers will not be disappointed.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Auburn Savings Bank Building

The Auburn Savings Bank building opened in 1875. Today the building, now known as the Phoenix Buildng, stands on the corner of South Street and Genesee Street.

View North from the Arterial

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (March 9)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

page 72 - For Blomkvist the golden rule of journalism was that there were also people who were responsible. The bad guys.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Week Ten- 42 to Go

Non-existent author Richard Castle.
Novel reads like the TV series - fun and quirky.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival - Otis Mountain

Saturday March 6th attended the eighth annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival at Otis Mountain.

The Mountaineer hosted this event. Their staff was in place to assist first-time skiers as well as veterans.

Staging Area

Ski Class

There were about 60 people at the event. Participants ranged in age from 6 to 60. Chili and corn bread made up the menu.

Tow RopeLine


Aerial Artist

Background articles:

Adirondack Daily Enterprise

BackCountry Magazine

Adirondack Almanack

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sartwell House

Sartwell House

This house is located on the northeast corner of South Street and Hamilton Avenue.

Built in 1881 for Charlotte Dennis, the widow of Cyrus C. Dennis, the first mayor of Auburn. It was then purchased by the Henry J. Sartwell family and remained in the family for several generations. Sartwell operated a dry goods store in Auburn and later manufactured shoes and boots. His widow, Amarilla Beardsley Sartwell turned the house to one daughter and then to another daughter, Mrs. Alonzo Beardsley Jr.

In recent years the Sartwell house was converted into apartments and restored.