Friday, May 30, 2014

Onondaga Lake Parkway and the Train Bridge

The parkway runs between the north side of Syracuse and the village of Liverpool with Onondaga Lake to the west for the entire distance. It is always, in all weather and at all times of the day and night, an interesting and beautiful drive. I take it every chance I have.

The road was built on the route of the Oswego Canal that ran from downtown Syracuse to Oswego long ago. The canal passed beneath the train bridge. Keeping that bridge over a highway without redesign created a serious hazard for over-height vehicles. It has been the cause of several truck and bus fatalities, and many more serious and costly oversized vehicle collisions.

Today it is extensively marked from both directions by flashing lights and giant signage. Obviously no over-height vehicles are allowed, yet driver reliance on GPS, and/or failure to read the signs of danger ahead still have allowed crashes to occur. 

On Sunday mornings during the summer, the parkway is closed to all traffic and opened to bikers, boarders, bladers, skaters, baby strollers, walkers and runners. 

I took this photo from the first of three airplanes we are taking today to get to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Psyched would be putting it mildly!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gaillardia (variety unknown)

[At least I think this is gaillardia. It you have other or further thoughts, please let me know.]

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Flame Restaurant

Tash demonstrates the door of the pizza oven. He built all of it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lesser Scaup [we think] at Stillwater Reservoir

This large flock of Lesser Scaup is taking a breather at Stillwater Reservoir before going on to parts north! This is a migration zone, not a summer destination for these guys.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Green Lakes: Large Silo Foundation

The many fields above the lakes hold historic agricultural treasures: foundations and machinery, hedgerows and lanes.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Green Lakes: Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis
With its wings seemly at rest, it looks a bit like a penguin.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ottawa: Intrepid Traveler

The Ottawa River is high, fast and complicated. Yet this single traveler moves cautiously but easily upstream aboard a big and fully loaded kayak. It looks like he is on a long camping and paddling trip on this challenging river. The water is still very cold, too. I am full of admiration though would be reluctant to try what he is confidently doing.
He is below Parliment Hill heading upstream. Chaudière Falls in partially visible in the left distance.
Just beyond him, at the line, the upriver water is pushing hard up against the eddy in the foreground and then powerfully diving downward under it. You could get badly caught up in that!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ottawa: Chaudière Falls

High water on the Ottawa River: tall swells and white water, complicated currents, strong and fast flow. Not a river I would care to test!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ottawa: Tulips!

All of us in the northeastern part of North America had a particularly hard winter. In Ottawa, that meant the tulips were late. Never mind. What there were, were brilliant, and the days were sunny and warm. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gatineau Park: Pink Lake

Gatineau Park, just east of Ottawa in Quebec, contains this absolute gem of a lake. It is unique in the park and highly protected, as it is meromictic, like Green and Round Lakes near us in central NY.

The National Capitol Commission describes this phenomenon:
The lake is meromictic, meaning that, unlike a normal lake, its upper and lower water levels never mix. Normally a lake’s water mixes completely each year during the spring and fall and because of water density, water and air temperature, and the wind. The mixing of lake waters distributes nutrients and oxygen evenly throughout the lake.
Pink Lake’s waters do not mix because it has a small surface and bowl-like shape and is surrounded by steep cliffs that protect it from the wind. This is why it is called “meromictic.” There is no oxygen in the deepest seven metres of the lake.

The NCC website page on Pink Lake is here.
Here is an short article on meromictic lakes.
For technicians, a long detailed discussion.
Google will yield much more on the subject.

There is beautiful trail around the lake.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chelsea QC: Needlework at Oree des Bois

At the lovely restaurant Oree des Bois in Chelsea Quebec, right next to Gatineau Park across the river from Ottawa, is a collection of fine needlework. 

The restaurant serves delicious meals perfectly prepared with regional food.

Does anyone know what these are? Ornaments to be worn on women's wrists?

Thursday, May 8, 2014


For inexplicable reasons, laundry is inexhaustibly interesting to me as subject matter.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Elmwood Park: Stone Walking Bridge

An original stone bridge, one of many treasures that make this park so special.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Elmwood Park: Hidden Stairs

The Syracuse city website describes the history of Elmwood Park thus:

Elmwood Park has an unusually long and interesting history. The wealth of history associated with this site can be traced to 1796 when Elliot Herrin transferred title to Comfort Tyler. In 1806, a furnace was constructed on the site to cast shot and shells for the War of 1812. In 1880, the land was used for farmland, but by 1889 the property was transformed into William Pardee's "First Class Temperance Pleasure Resort." At that time, it covered about 17 acres and had two artificial lakes, picnic shelters, dance pavilions, a restaurant, concessions (such as a cigar stand and an ice cream parlor), amusements (such as Swan boats, rifle range, merry-go-round and the like), and the natural attractions of bluffs, stream and wildflowers. It was described as a "delightful spot, first rate, handsome, pretty and safe, an ideal place for a day's outing..."

In 1927, the natural beauty of Elmwood Park was clearly recognized and the park was developed with respect for the picturesque qualities of its rugged landform, forested slopes and natural water features. It was to be "a good example of the naturalistic park where beauty of the landscape is the predominating factor…a delightful unspoiled area of land surrounded by high-class residential property." As such, the design of all the incidental structures - bridges, walls, weirs, stairs, curbs, etc. - were to be in a rough and ready vernacular of rustic stone, natural borders or unfinished, heavy timber. Today the park's 65 acres continue to attract those delighting in picturesque scenery.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mountain Goat Run 2014

After Mountain Top, coming down the steep hill to Onondaga Ave. 
Visible above are still other runners crossing Mountain Top.