Monday, May 31, 2010

The Parade

On a weekend filled with parades of all shapes and sizes, I attended the Memorial Day Parade that was held in Glen on Monday. It's small, short and not especially exciting, but it does, after all, celebrate the meaning of the day very nicely. There's a short memorial service at the conclusion of the parade.

All I can say is, "Thank God for all those men and women, who, throughout the years, have been willing to sacrifice their lives and their comforts to guard and protect this country. I am grateful and applaud them all.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Macro Assignment

Our group's assignment was "macro". I finally remembered it the night before it was due, and this is the best I could do since it was evening and the light was rapidly fading. I don't like doing macro with flash, so I hustled outside to catch the last of the beautiful evening light.

I loved that I used such a slow shutter speed with this one because you can see the second hand in three different places.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Train Crossing

On my way to yet another Little League game this afternoon, I got caught at a railroad crossing. Normally I get really frustrated at the delay that this causes, because just about three blocks away is a street with a bridge that goes over the tracks. I, however, in my effort to avoid the traffic that's usually on that street, choose to go the other way and cross the tracks. Most of the time it's okay, but once in a while, like this afternoon, I get stuck.

Today happened to be one of those days when I left the house with time to spare!! So when I heard the clanging bells and saw the guardrails go down, I just shrugged.

While waiting for the train to go by, which turned out to be a short passenger train (as opposed to one of those freight trains that is about two miles long), I realized I had the perfect opportunity to grab some shots with my camera--which serendipitously happened to be right on the seat next to me within easy reach.

I saw something that I've never seen before. The train stopped before it reached the intersection, a worker got off the train and proceeded to place some flares near the guardrails.

Then the train began moving across the intersection, ever so s...l...o...w...l...y...

Then I noticed a train on the other side of the intersection. A worker got off and motioned me around the railings and across the tracks. Very strange...

Then off to the Little League game.

Monday, May 24, 2010

And It Begins Again

Last summer I hiked once a week with three friends of mine, beginning in May. The goal was to hike the highest of the 46 High Peaks in NY State, Mt. Marcy. We did it in August, but it was basically the "hike from hell", and we all vowed that we would never do it again.

This past March, I emailed my friend and asked her if we would be hiking once a week again this year. I held my breath, waiting for her answer, hoping against hope that she would say no. But, alas, that hope was dashed to pieces when she said, "sure, we're hiking again this year". Aaargh!

So, it begins again. Today was the first hike of the season. It was an amazingly beautiful day--one that gives a hint of what heaven will be like. Three of us drove up to Ticonderoga, booted up, donned our backpacks, grabbed our walking sticks, and began.

The total distance was about 5 miles. Not an extreme amount of elevation, but this was, after all, the first training hike after a winter of relative inactivity. We were all really happy to see the car at the end of the hike.

We had a good time, but I'm sure glad I'm sitting on my couch right now, with the hike as a past memory...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Pot That Cleans Itself

A friend that lives in Canajoharie called me this afternoon and asked if I could help her find a spot to take photos of her daughter the afternoon of her prom. While scoping out a good location, we came across these kids jumping into the Pot.

"Canajoharie" means "the pot that cleans itself". The water flows down across the rocks, falls into this pool (pot), swirls around several times and then continues down the river bed.

Just goes to show, it really is possible to learn something new every day.

On my way home, I had to pass this barn again. I've driven this road many times and always admired the barn, but today I saw that it didn't winter too well this year. Another heart-breaker. It was truly a beautiful structure in it's day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Opening Day

Today was opening day at Old Ft. Johnson. While many of the historic sites in NY are closed until the state budget gets settled, Old Ft. Johnson is up and running because it is privately funded. The Ft. was open and there were several reenactors showing off their skills for the benefit of the public.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Lunch at Ruby Tuesdays today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


After entering my house through the back door this afternoon, I decided to go check the mail. As I stepped onto the driveway from the front door, I saw something move. The something was this snake. I would have said "eeeek!, but I'm not especially afraid of snakes. (If it had been a rat, that would have been a different story)

I don't remember ever seeing such a large snake in my yard before, so I was pretty interested to see what it would do. Naturally I didn't have my camera with me. I usually carry it most places with me, but really, just to get the mail...?

So I stood there for a minute or two, figuratively kicking myself for being empty handed. When the snake heard me (do snakes hear, or just sense??) it curled itself and just stayed in one spot. When it didn't move the entire time I was watching it, I thought it might be possible for me to get my camera and get back before it moved. If it was gone when I returned, it would have been one of those "oh well" moments.

So I stealthily sidled toward the house. The snake didn't move. Returning with the camera, the creature was still in the same spot. It almost seemed like it was waiting for me.
I took a couple of shots. Still no movement. "Aha, maybe I can get a little closer", I thought. So I scooted myself closer--the snake still made no effort to move away. It just continued to curl itself around and follow me with it's eyes as I walked around it.

Well, after about twenty shots, I decided I had taken enough.

I walked down to get the mail and left my cat rolling around on the rocks only feet from the snake. Neither seemed too concerned with the other. As I walked back, the cat meandered off into the bushes, and the snake was still there. I watched a little longer and then headed into the house, leaving the snake right where he was.

Very strange! Anyone know what kind of snake this is?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just In Time

A few days ago I posted some images from Yankee Hill Lock. I was surprised but happy that the gate was still open. Word was going around that the State operated sites were either closed or soon-to-be closed.

I never read the newspaper, but for some reason I decided to thumb through today's paper. On page 2, I saw this article.

Guess I made it to Yankee Hill just in time.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My photo club has chosen the categories for next year's monthly competitions. One of them is "Abandoned & Discarded, Images of Man's Forgotten Treasures". Now these monthly competitions won't begin until next October, but since I was itching to get out and get some images anyway today, I figured I'd try and get something that might work for the assigned topic.

Last year I went to this abandoned building and spent quite a while there, but because the assigned topic images must be made after May 1, 2010, I went back there today.

There's been some controversy over what to do with this huge, empty building. It's a beautiful structure, but would probably require mega-bucks to renovate. I'm sure there are other issues too, but it's basically, "tear it down vs. save it". There seems to be a stalemate, so the building just stands there, with a mere protective chain-link fence surrounding it.

So after stepping over the section of the protective fence that was laying on the ground, I knew I had hit the jackpot. I was up close and personal and could, this time, get some funky perspectives of the doors and windows.

After respectfully standing in one spot and taking several photos of different parts of the building, I took a deep breath and began walking around to see if I could find an open window. As luck would have it, I found a few and got some images of what were once offices in the building. As I was meandering back toward my car, I looked at this door that I hadn't seen before and noticed that it was open! OPEN, OMG.

Did I go in??? You betcha!! It was awesome. But those images are for the competitions. You'll have to come to the photo meetings to see them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


New York State is currently in the throes of a budget crises. Weeks and weeks overdue with the budget. The state-worker furlough plan bit the dust. Since you can't get blood out of a turnip, the money has to come from someplace. Ergo, some state-run amenities are closed.

When I arrived at Yankee Lock this afternoon, this sign greeted me although access to the property was open. There were several people wandering around. Some were fishing, some were skipping rocks on the river, some were just enjoying the beautiful scenery on a stunningly beautiful afternoon.

But...the building was closed and locked. The grass wasn't mowed. The restroom was off limits. Things looked pretty shabby and sad.

The picnic tables were still piled up the way they put them last Fall when the area was readied for winter.

There's no telling when things will get back to normal. Let's hope and pray that it won't take too long....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Game

Another T-ball game. Always on the lookout for some interesting photo. I love this sign--a real indication of where we live.

Lauren was so cute on first base--doing her ho-hum dance while waiting for the batter to hit so she could run to second base.