Sunday, May 31, 2015

Corning: Bento Ya Masako

The Japanese restaurant in Corning continues! We found this gastronomic treasure on Market Street four years ago when we were in Corning every month. 

When the sign and balloons are on the street, go on up the long steep stair and prepare for a treat. The owner opened somewhat sporadically, usually two or three lunches a week, so we couldn't always go. But when she was open, we went!

On our way to Lewisburg PA for Ed's 45th college reunion we decided to go downtown rather than around Corning, and there was the sign and the balloons. Our lucky day!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Adirondack Scenic Railroad Track: Work Near Carter Station

Although this is somewhat of a telephoto shot, 
the track is really not straight, just as it appears here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bald Mountain Near Old Forge

Bald Mountain is the first mountain for many children around these parts. It's less than a mile each way, and the rock scramble along the ridge to the fire tower, more than half the hike, is really fun! The views of the Fulton Chain are superb.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sisyrinchium at Chaumont Barrens

Blue-eyed grass, 
There are several species of blue-eyed grass in New York. montanum is the most prevalent, growing in every county. My general rule is to pick the most likely unless there is proof otherwise.

I love the word, and the plant is a little gem!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chaumont Barrens: Prairie Smoke from Bud to Bloom

Chaumont Barrens, a very special environmental niche in Northern New York, hosts rare and beautiful plants that most people will never see. The plant community has a tenuous foothold in the cracks and low spots on ancient limestone bedrock. The Nature Conservancy protects this place. Here is what they have to say about it:

Chaumont Barrens Preserve is one of the last and finest examples of alvar grasslands in the world, and is a link in the chain of North American alvars forming an arc from Jefferson County through Ontario, and all the way to northern Michigan.
Alvar barrens are highly unique, prairie-like landscapes that rest atop a foundation of limestone bedrock. Scientists disagree on the reason there is so little soil on alvars—they may have been swept away during a cataclysmic drainage of glacial waters, or swallowed up by abundant fissures in the limestone.
In any case, what remains is a flat rocky terrain of grasslands, limestone woodlands, cedar forests, pavement barrens and globally rare plant communities. Alvar communities are adapted to survive extreme conditions: shallow soils, regular spring flooding, and summer drought.
This particular landscape developed after the last glacier retreated from this area some 10,000 years ago. Melt water pummeled the landscape, cutting deep fissures into the bedrock. Over time, a striking, linear pattern of vegetation – including many prairie-type plants that are rare in New York – grew on this shallow soil. The resulting vegetation mosaic includes fossilized bedrock, deep fissures, rubbly moss gardens, and patches of woods, shrub savannas, and open grasslands.
The bedrock found throughout Chaumont Barrens is about 450 million years old. Scientists say that at that time, Chaumont was at the bottom of a shallow tropical sea near the equator.
If you look closely, you can find the remains of primitive marine animals, such as cephalopods, that lived in the ocean. These creatures were the top predator of the marine food chain and are related to the modern day squid and octopus.
Find a lot more here about alvar barrens, found in Michigan, Ohio, Ontario and New York

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ottawa: RCMP Musical Ride

RCMP Commissioner's Inspection of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride
the first public performance this season, on Thursday, May 14. 
A cloudless day, mild temperatures, incredible riding!