Friday, January 30, 2015

Florida, travel day 1: Slipping Out of Syracuse Between Storms

The message on this sign was entirely visible to the eye; does it pulse and fool the eye?
We stayed overnight with Rick and Andy in West Chester, 
home to the famous foxes of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Colorful Day at the Feeders

On this gray day we see our resident Northern Flicker, a Red-bellied Woodpecker 
and one of the many Cardinals.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Repurposed Firehouse

From the JCB Properties' website, taken from an article in the Syracuse newspaper on September 1, 2009:

Built in 1915, the Engine 14 fire station at Solar and West Division streets had not been used by firefighters for a long time. The city stopped using the building as a fire station in 1961.

The building retains its original tin ceiling panels, brick interior walls and six large wood lockers where firefighters stored their gear.

It also still has a tower where firefighters hung their cotton-jacketed fire hoses to dry.

JCB Properties is a development company. They've done a nice job.

The Pickle Table at Brooklyn Pickle

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rap-Shaw is Built on Fragile Glacial Till

One can see, when the water is at its lowest during the winter, just how thin the soil is on our islands.

To comprehend how the recent geology of this region was shaped, we have to accept the work of glaciers unimaginably deep and more or less permanent in any human terms. Eskers are a remnant of glaciers, and they are found frequently in the Adirondacks and any place where there were glaciers. How many times have we found ourselves on a road called The Hogsback?

Glacial meltwater creates tunnels under or through the glacier. These rivers will carry debris scraped from surrounding higher exposed rock and carried away within the glacier. Such a river is often large and powerful enough to carry debris. Eskers are the tall narrow ridges, created on the glacier's underside by these streams or rivers: river bottom contained within or under the glacier. They are comprised of rocks tumbled along and then left behind and exposed as the glacier melts and releases most of its energy to the sea.

After the last glacier retreated 10,000 years ago or so around here, the North-Western quadrant of what became Stillwater Reservoir contained a river that ripped during the spring run-off and otherwise meandered in meadows through finely stratified glacial till between eskers. Today, the Beaver River is interrupted by a big hydro dam that created Beaver River Flow, or Stillwater Reservoir. Many of these eskers have been stripped of soil by annual level fluctuations and by wind-fired wave action, leaving long bare piles of round boulders. Many of the boulders strewn about the pond are gigantic, straining imagination considering the power of moving water.

This rock jungle is unpredictable to the uninitiated and dangerous to motor boats. Esker sides are steep, so fancy underwater radar warns too late.

The two islands that comprise Rap-Shaw are esker remnants. They are fragile and are gradually, literally, losing ground.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Snowshoes! Heading for Rap-Shaw!

In all of December there was no day when the ice was surely thick enough to make it to camp. We went up to Stillwater just the same, on December 30. I have to count going to the garage on the mainland as a trip to Rap-Shaw? We always knew December is the tricky month, and after three years the weather finally won.

This is from January 13, 2015. It was quite a different scene this day, and the ice was at least a foot thick. Next you will see just how low the water is.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chalk Expressionism

 More of Stephen's chalk art at Freedom of Espresso

Friday, January 16, 2015

Church in Altmar

Altmar-Riverside United Methodist Church

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chainsaws in Trees!

Watching this crew of professional tree guys cut down and take away 6 trees along our lines made for a very interesting day. The man in the tree is light, athletic and strong, and he understands ropes and safety, takes no chances, is thoughtful, and plans way ahead.

We have fireplace wood for the rest of the winter. Come summer we will have the sunny yard for which we have longed for years!

Extra bonus: the ground froze overnight, after thawing through all the rain over the weekend, so the garden suffered minimally. Lucky break for us.