Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I had never seen a lacrosse game before yesterday. Syracuse University has a winning team. After reading John McPhee's recent article in the New Yorker I wanted very much to go.
Pre-game warmup taught me a lot about different moves and how the ball goes into play. It is a hard, fast game and I enjoyed watching it a lot. I will go again. 
There are several more home games, both men's and women's. 
Later in the spring the season starts at the Onondaga Nation, where they play an even harder and faster game, box lacrosse, about which John McPhee also wrote in the New Yorker a year or two ago.
I recommend both articles as well worth reading even if you never plan to go to a game, though it may make you, too, want to.
Syracuse beat Villanova 20-6.  I had a tremendous experience and a lot of fun trying to capture some of the action. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Upstate Children's Hospital

While we were away in St. Louis on our 16 month sojourn, Upstate opened the Golisano Children's Hospital. What a surprise, a delicious exciting surprise. Wow! Just wow!
Now if the hospital would just open the promised acute care psychiatric beds for children. Children with private insurance needing these services must go to Saratoga or Buffalo at a time when they most need to be near their families. That the hospital missed this opportunity remains a serious oversight.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amur TIger

Napping in the sun in January, this huge cat ignored me until he was ready to leave this spot, when he suddenly turned and swiped at the glass before loping off to visit his kin. I don't tend to believe much in interspecies communication, certainly not between humans and wild animals, and I am not prepared to say that it was all in play. I respect these cats a lot and am glad for every shred of wild instinct they retain. These Amurs belong to a critically endangered species.  

Friday, March 26, 2010

Erie Canal

The Erie Canal opened in 1825 creating a critical route for expansion of trade and travel across upper New York "from Albany to Buffalo" and beyond into the Great Lakes and westward. At that time Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan were called the Northwest Territories.
The canal was dug by hand mostly by newly landed immigrants, 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. There is very little left to see of the earliest canal, for it was widened and deepened, and in places relocated. The historical route that remains holds water and is used for canoeing, and the towpath is well maintained for walking and biking. 
This series of pictures taken at the aquaduct near Fayetteville shows the modern narrow passage for small craft over Limestone Creek; the modern cement work of that passage; modern cement that blocks the canal from falling into Limestone Creek; and two shots of the towpath crossing the creek which flows beneath three arched sections. In these and the second picture you can see the original flat stone supports for the canal bed, constructed of planks, as it crossed the creek. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lake Ontario

At Sandy Island Beach at the eastern end of Lake Ontario the dunes are tall, and a mile of them at the northern end of this section are protected by the the Nature Conservancy, the DEC and a Friends group. Migrating and nesting birds come here, and the natural habitat of beach grasses are gradually being restored.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lake Ontario

Do you know what this is? I followed the track for most of a mile, along the beach until it finally went up into the dune (unless this is is where it came onto the beach to go in the other direction). Is it an injured animal or an animal dragging something?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lake Ontario

We live an hour from the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The lake plays a large role in the amount of snow we get each winter. Unless it freezes over, or in large part, the winds pick up moisture and drop it to the east and southeast. The wind fishtails, so it can be snowing here and not 15 miles north of here.
At this, the eastern edge, at Sandy Island Beach near Pulaski, ice barriers form through the winter. They become covered with sand from wave action as they form, and they are slow to melt because of this covering. 
Last week Joli and I took a long walk along the shore, all the way to the South Sandy Pond outlet. Tomorrow you will see that Joli doesn't mind water temperature one bit.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


A demolition saga is winding down here that started back in late February when heavy snow damaged this hundred year old building and sent loose bricks onto the interstate margin necessitating closure of the northbound lane and creating bureaucracies of consternation between city and state as to who will pay how much, all of which took a while and meantime the interstate remained closed and the NCAA tournament quarterfinals were bearing down on SU, until Wednesday when all was forgiven and the megapincer and a team of smaller but still very large Tonka Toys showed up and went at it, and who knew that some of the work is quite precise and delicate, requiring more than one perspective?  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clark Reservation

Lots of honking today as each male goose of several pairs staked out territory. There is still a bit of ice on the pond and the shaded parts of the path at the bottom of the basin.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Clark Reservation

Glacier Pond in nearby Clark Reservation is another plunge pool created by a torrent of water running off the retreating glacier some time ago. Green Lakes, featured here earlier in the year and currently on my heading, are also plunge basins, deep and cold and green. This park is a wildflower treasure chest, and the season is just around the corner.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Icon of Tipperary Hill

My Irish mother Jo introduced me to this cultural icon at the heart of Tipperary Hill many years ago. Rock-throwing protesters forced the city to give up trying to keep the red on top. 
She told us her great grandmother ran away from a convent in Ireland. If she hadn't done that, surely I wouldn't be here now.
My mother, though a life-long Democrat, got Ronald Reagan's sense of humor. That is about all she liked about him.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stillwater in Winter

Joli, our Border Collie, at Stillwater.

The flow was once a forest with two sizable streams meeting down toward where the dam is today. Lumbering in the 1800s took huge trees like this white pine. The stumps are covered by water during the summer. Hazards like this and great piles of rocks near the surface, maybe eskers left by the retreating glaciers, keep the power boaters away for the most part, making this lake great for fishing and canoeing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rap-Shaw in Winter

We went to Rap-Shaw for an overnight on Saturday. Stillwater is still frozen solidly though the water level will begin to rise over the next weeks and the ice will be gone by the end of April.

A couple of the cabins are insulated, and the wood stoves are more than adequate for heat and cooking.

If you followed my St. Louis blog, then you already know that this Adirondack spot is an important refuge for us, quiet and beautiful, and close enough to Syracuse for short stays. Joli loves it here too. She has free range of the island.

Friday, March 12, 2010

'49 Ford

Forty-nine Ford (please correct me if I am wrong) north of Watertown, NY. The expenses of switching to modern farming practices and the difficulties of farming in the north country probably sent this farm into abandonment. In addition, the area is underlain very shallowly by natural stone pavement resulting in a very thin layer of soil.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Homage to Eric Tenin

I bent the rules. This is not in my town but Paris, the city of Eric Tenin, originator of City Daily Photo. 
This is one of many water features in the large public space beside the Pompidou Center, by the great Niki de Saint Phalle.
I'm sure Eric knows it, and I hope he likes it as well as I do. Thanks!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Morley Trinity Episcopal Church

Trinity Episcopal Church in Morley, NY. The village of Morley is located along the lower Grasse River near Canton in northern NY. The chapel was finished in 1871, built to be an exact replica of a 13th centruy English Gothic chapel familiar to an early settler.

We were in the north country for three days as Ed's work takes him to regional hearing points. The Syracuse SSA region extends from Canada to Pennsylvania, and from east of Utica to west of Corning. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Winter Aconite

We find this already blooming when its snow cover melts away. For us it is the first perennial, quickly followed by snow drops. Although we can easily have a lot more snow here through March and well into April, and even into May, this show has begun and cannot be stopped.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Summit Ave. Watercolor

The downstairs bathroom needed more privacy, so I installed a panel of translucent plastic. I love the Impressionist view it creates. In the strong morning light, the scene yesterday was good enough to photograph. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maple Syrup

One of my favorite signs of spring in the Northeast.  Mr. Leonard at 85 makes maple syrup every year. I have been buying from him for years. 
Of course I didn't see him last year because we were in St. Louis, but I thought about him. 
I found him at the Regional Market today selling the first syrup of this season. 
When I told that we lived the past year in St. Louis, he told me that he has moved about 20 feet in his whole life. 
Also, when he turned over the farm to his son, he and his wife visited all 50 states and he still feels there is no place like home, which is in the hilly country south of Cortland.
Mr. Leonard and I, if we are related, have to go back a long way.  We have discussed this and only know for sure that our relatives crossed the north Atlantic at least a couple of hundred years ago.

I bought a gallon. My downfall.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring in Syracuse

A sure sign of spring! SU basketball! Gigantic blue and orange flag on top of the State Tower Building!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Witch Hazel

Spring comes so fast. If you blink, you miss it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Passageway

A long second story connector between hotel and annex, with glass-roofed Z-shaped turn...nice touch.

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