Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maka Rouge, Singer-Songwriter

Sweet music performed at Hanover Square for the Blue Rain ECOFest.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spotted Sandpiper on Stillwater

This solitary bird near Beaver River on Stillwater Reservoir is, I believe, a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper in later summer plumage. I don't claim to be an expert of any sort, so if anyone can correct or confirm me, I will be grateful.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rap-Shaw From the Barge

As a volunteer searching for invasive aquatic species on Stillwater Reservoir, I spent an overnight at Beaver River so that I could take a survey of the upper part of the flow, and also so that I could, it turns out, get a good look at what naturally grows in Stillwater. I found no aquatic invasives . I did find a single patch of purple loosestrife and tore it out. That bit of shoreline will bear keeping an eye on.

Getting to the hamlet of Beaver River requires going by boat or foot in the summer, or one can get a place for one's car, with canoe on top, on the barge, as I did, and drive the last 6 or so miles on the 6-Mile Road from the landing to the village.
This is a view of Rap-Shaw, summer respite on Stillwater for 60 cooperating families including us, as the barge passes by on the way to the landing.

I stayed overnight in modest accommodations owned by the Thompson family and ate in their very comfortable restaurant. I met or re-met several welcoming BR folks. I like BR because it is a unique and special place, remote, quiet and nearer to interesting parts of the upper Flow. Since wind is a huge factor for a canoeist on this body of water, being closer can be critical for access. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Laying Asphalt in Binghamton

My father was a mechanical engineer. I am most certainly genetically predisposed to find interest in mechanical operations. 

These guys probably found it hot, physically challenging and dirty. 

Here's to the people who do the hard work!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Jane Hotel in NYC

The Jane is a hotel find in NYC. Near Chelsea and just 2 blocks south of the southern end of the High Line, next to the Hudson  River in the far west Village, it is a perfect place for a solo traveler on a budget. My room was $90. The rooms are tiny, with a built-in single bed (or bunk beds for 2), AC, and communal baths.The cafe off the lobby, Gitano, is open convenient hours and serves good food. 

Major west side subway stations at 14th St. are close by, as is the Chelsea Market.

People working at the hotel and cafe are all reliable and friendly. The hotel is small enough that one can forget about the anonymity of NYC's monstrosity hotels, which adds elements of comfort and safety.

There are a few rooms of a more normal size and price and with private bath, and still the advantages of the Jane are many. 

Doing travel reports isn't usually my speciality, but I think this place is wonderful and recommend it highly given the limitations I mentioned.

I rode the train to Penn Station, walked three blocks south and west to the top end of the High Line at 30th St. Twenty blocks of High Line beauty later I was a mere two blocks from The Jane. Perfect.

I took a Megabus home. The schedule worked better for me than the train, and it is nice having the choice. The price is unbeatable, the stop in NYC is right behind Penn Station, and therefore even closer to the High Line than the train.

Neither train nor bus ticket was more expensive because it was one-way. 

New York is so big that I prefer to go there with a very finite list of things to do. This trip worked out very well. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Views from the High Line

Click to enlarge, to see cops dressing down the garage owner whose friend is boiling over.

Solstice, NYC style.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New York Harbor from the High Line

The buildings of Ellis Island are on the right.

Commuter ferries cross the harbor and all up and down the East and Hudson Rivers all day long. These are in addition to and far outnumber the Staten Island ferries and ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. And there is the Circle Line for going all the way around Manhattan. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

At the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Sapsucker Woods, Ithaca

An antique collection of hummingbirds, 98 of them, all different, In a mahogany case. Click on the picture to full screen for fantastic effect!
The collection was given to Cornell by a Rochester family, descendants not of the collector but of a traveler who fortunately had the means to bring them from Panama. Mounted long ago, more recently restored, they retain their wildly irridescent feather coloration.

A great blue heron, one among a reproducing group, is very alive and preening in the pond at Sapsucker Woods.