Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week Nine - 43 to Go

Gary Paulsen knows adventure. Hatchet should be a yearly re-read for every reader looking for an escape from the ordinary. Brian's grit displays how one can draw on their inner strength in times of peril.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Sunday Drive

Downy Woodpecker

A downy woodpecker was lunching at the backyard suet cake as Michael and I got into the car for a leisurely Sunday drive.

Our first stop was Fair Haven State Park. Getting out of the car we walked down the road towards the pond. The only open water was 100 yards to the east of the bridge.

Several Canada geese, Mute Swans and a variety of ducks were on the fringe of the open water.

One Mute Swan appeared to be taking a snooze.

As we looked up a snowmobiling family approached and pulled up for a rest stop. This friendly bunch chatted with us as they observed the birds and the beauty of the shoreline.

Then with a hoot and a shout the snowmobiling family took off.

Observing the sign Michael and I ventured only as far as the beach.

There we took photos of the pier.

Back in the car we made our way over to Little Sodus Bay. About 300 yards out on the ice a group of ice sled racers were gathered. After J.J. plowed the frozen bay surface, racers gave it their best shot.

Michael and I went into the Little Sodus Inn. By the barmaid's suggestion we had a plate of barbecue chicken wings.

With a satisfied stomach we headed to the Montezuma Audubon Center. No one was at the MAC except a lone White-breasted Nuthatch at the bird feeders and three American Goldfinch clinging to the blue marten house.

Heading for home we went by way of Rt. 89. Near Tschache Pool we observed a Bald Eagle soaring. As we drove further south there were five Great Blue Heron roosting in a tree. We also saw three Red-tailed Hawks before reaching Rts. 5 & 20.

Great Blue Heron

Red-tailed Hawk

We drove to Mud Lock but there were no eagles. Stopping at the Cayuga train trestle we saw several ducks. However they were too far out to identify.

All in all an enjoyable trip.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week Eight - 44 to Go

If you are a Patterson fan, Michael Bennett’s latest case will not disappoint you. While the drama surrounding Bennett’s family may put you off, Carl Apt, a true monster, will keep you reading and rooting for his demise.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011


Owner: Erin Davies

Occupation: Motivational Speaker

Job Description: Fight intolerance

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Red's Sandwich Shop

Leaving The Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina for dinner Friday evening, we asked Jimmy, the night maintenance man, for recommendations for breakfast. Jimmy said that we had to visit Red’s Sandwich Shop where all the locals eat.

Saturday we took Jimmy’s advice and made our way over to Red’s. We were not disappointed. While the counter had stools open, the six of us wanted to eat together. The wait for a table was short. Our waitress was pleasant, efficient, and attentive. Our food came quickly and it was piping hot. The lobster benedict was the majority’s choice. The bill fare was modest for the amount of food and coffee we had.

Blueberry Pancake w/side of bacon

Homemade Cornbeef Hash Benedict

Sunday rather than try another restaurant we ventured back to Red’s with an additional four family members. Although the patrons were lined up outside the door, the hostess divided our group into fives and quickly found us a table and a booth. Out of lobster we switched to crabmeat benedict. Michelle, our waitress, did well. The only drawback was the girls had to put their coats back on since we were near the entrance and the cold gusty wind would blow at us when people opened the door.

Crabmeat Benedict

Satisfied Patron Leaving

Take Jimmy’s advise when you are in Salem MA and put Red’s on your breakfast menu.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sam and the Twisters

Sam Amato

Mark Bialczak, The Post-Standard Music Critic, eulogizes Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Famer Sam Amato, who died today in Winter Haven, Florida.

Sam & The Twisters

Come On Let's Go - Original Soundtracks (Sam and the Twisters)

Remember Sam Amato when he would bring The Twisters to Aus Donovan's ABC Lanes on State Street back in the '60s. Bill Cowmey and I along with Liz Donovan tended bar for the wall-to-wall fans who attended the Saturday night shows. If fact, the crowds became so large that Aus hired security guards and a guard dog to maintain. control. Sam & The Twisters could not only rock them but also bring them in.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (February 15)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

One day Amos awoke with the sniffles, and the sneezes, and the chills. He swung his achy legs out of bed, curled them back again and said, “Ugh. I don’t think I’ll be going to work today.”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week Seven - 45 to Go

Daniel Palmer's roller coaster thriller will force you to become a quick reader as you rush to get to the end.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

St. Hyacinth's Church

In the late 1890s and early 1900s Polish immigrants began arriving in large numbers in Auburn, NY. These immigrants were escaping the repressive government of the Prussians. The Polish community began worshiping at St. Alphonsus Church.

In 1905, The Rev. Stanislaus J. Szupa was sent to Auburn to establish a Polish-speaking church. The photo below shows the exterior of that church built on Pulaski Street and dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1907.

This building housed six classrooms and a living area for the nuns who taught at the school. In 1937 an additional six classrooms were added. This building continued to be used as a K-8 school until 1981. A shrine to Our Lady of Fátima adorns the front of the building today.

In 1949 a rectory was built.

The present St. Hyacinth's Church was dedicated in November of 1964.

Information compiled by Sheila Tucker, Cayuga County Historian

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (February 8)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

“There’s a good possibility that Stan Ozburn was bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica on or around July twentieth,” said Hood. “That’s about five weeks before he started feeling strange and bad."

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Week Six - 46 to Go

If you believe Albert Hammond it never rains in California. And according to Joyce it never snows in Ireland. But confronting one's fears will set you free. Just ask Gabriel.
Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Bird Tour - Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake
Long Point State Park

Earlier in the week Chevrolet sent me a letter indicating there was a recall on our car. The passenger seat belt could malfunction if the car was involved in an accident. So I had an 8:30 AM appointment today at Gillespie Chevrolet.

After visiting Camerons Bakery to purchase a dozen assorted donuts for the staff at Gillespie made my way over to Union Springs.

Instead of sitting in the waiting room I walked to the Factory Street pond. There I observed 4 Gadwalls, 27 Mallards, 8 Redhead, 1 Red-shouldered Hawk (flew over the pond. Chased by a crow.), and 1 Eastern Screech-Owl (The famous Screechie was soaking up the sun in the entrance of his box.)

Eastern Screech Owl

Spent 20 minutes watching the ducks. Walked back uptown and decided to have breakfast at the Be Happy Cafe. Since all 15 seats at the counter were filled took a seat at a table for four. Next to me was a young mother and her daughter and a young girl, they would be joined by a gentleman. The waitress was Johnny-on-the-spot with fresh coffee and the menu. I ordered a Western omelet which came with home fries and toast (I choose rye). While waiting for my order to come I began the morning Democrat Chronicle crossword. The omelet came out quickly along with the offer of more coffee. Looking around I noticed a wall dedicated to family. There hang a baker's dozen of framed photos. There was also three shelves with supported military paraphernalia along a couple of framed portraits. Cashing out a gentleman, who appeared to be the owner, inquired if my breakfast was OK.

Be Happy Cafe

Upon returning to the Gillespie service desk Bill, the assistant service manager, noted that my car was finished and the seat belt was modified. No charge due to warranty.

Left Gillespie and drove south towards Long Point State Park. At the park observed 100+ Canada Geese, 50+ Mallards, 12 Buffleheads, and 8 Mute Swans.

Canada Geese



Mute Swans

Driving back along the Lake Shore road there were 6 Tundra Swans swimming just offshore.

Tundra Swans

Returned home safely. Another fine winter day.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

MAC Winter Photo Hike

View from inside the Montezuma Audubon Center

Arose on this my birthday to four inches of powdery snow. Helped Bradley shovel out his snow plowing customers. Knowing that I would miss the starting time for the photo hike, took my time in preparation.

Making my way to the MAC I observed three different Red-tailed Hawks on McDonald Road. One posed for me before it flew off.

Arrived at the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) a little after 10 AM. While putting on my snowshoes, Chris, the education director, pointed out the route that Naturalist Dave Spier was using this morning.

Passing the bird feeders two Butler Shock trustees who had just finished clearing the sidewalks of snow said Hello. One inquired about the birds that I might see today. Good question - told him that he would see more than I by standing quietly near the feeders. Heading towards the woods photographed a milkweed pod.

Once in the woods diverted from Dave's trail and headed to the observation deck. Due to the lack of wind the deck provided a vantage point to view the snow covered complex.

Went along the frozen pond and then into the woods. Caught up with Dave and his companions, Stephan (Seneca Falls) and Mario (Lyons) at the Wolf Tree. Dave was explaining how he was framing a shot by using a tree as the border for the left edge of the picture.

Wolf Tree

Since Dave and his party had already been out for over an hour they headed back to the center. I continued on the trail.

Climbing the hill by the pit, paused to take some photos.


Gnarly Tree

Acorn Leaf

The depth of the snow on the slope caused a wardrobe malfunction - my left snowshoe came off. Refastening the strap to my boot continued up the hill and out into the open field. The lack of wind helped my camera grip.

Returning to the center joined Dave at the window which overlooks the bird feeder. We observed a Black-capped Chickadee, 2 Tufted Titmouse, 1 White-breasted Nuthatch, 1 American Tree Sparrow, 3 House Finch, and 12 American Goldfinch.

But the highlight for me and a great birthday present was Dave's identifying and sharing the characteristics of the four Common Redpoll that were visiting the feeders today.

Redpoll - Female & Male

Leaving the MAC went home by an alternate route. Driving south on Rt. 89 just north of the Rtes. 5 & 20 junction saw the familiar Red-tailed Hawk. When I stopped the car it left its perch on a telephone pole flew onto the branch of a tree. After posing for me it went southeast into the woods.

Upon returning home YNN news announced that there was a fire at the Sherwood Inn. Joan took me to Doug's Fish Fry for my birthday dinner. According to Mark, Doug's owner, the Sherwood fire was under control and damage was minimal.