Monday, December 31, 2012

A Visit to Lake Alexander

The day was crisp and clear.  It was a fine day to get outside and get some snowshoeing in!

I decided to hike up to Lake Alexander.  In the summer it is quiet and green...

Now it is cold and white.

I headed up the trail, climbing for a while.  The snow was powdery - perfect for snowshoes!

Enjoy the scenery!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Another  6 inches of snow.  It has been falling all day.  Magic . . .

Enjoy . . .

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cold Comfort

We spent the Christmas holiday visiting warmer climates than those around here.  It was snowing when we left here, but traveled to the Caribbean.  We enjoyed warm weather and palm trees.

It was nice to feel a warm sun on our faces and to see green plants.  Still, I felt slightly empty.  I guess I am a traditionalist.  I just like the snow and want a white Christmas.

We came home to the remnants of a snowstorm  We got about 10 inches of snow.  I had to brush the car off at the airport, drive home on sloppy,slippery roads.  It was about 10:00 PM when we got home, and then I had to plow the driveway enough to get the car into the garage.

I awoke this morning and finished the snow removal.

I finally got to use the snow blower I bought last year. I prefer plowing with the tractor, but the snow blower really helps with heavy piles.

I noted the deer had been traveling through the yard.  I think their population has really increased around here this past year.  We never had problems with them in the garden in the past, and had rarely seen their tracks until the lean-times in the late winter.

I finished up the shoveling, filled the bird feeders, and then came inside to enjoy a pot of coffee.  Surprisingly, I found it just as relaxing being in the home enjoying the snow as I did sitting in the sun down in the Caribbean.  

To each their own...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Northern Pike

This is the time of year I get some free time to do a few projects in the workshop.  Nothing fancy, just some puttering around working on a craft or two.

I had seen a primitive norther pike carving at the Shelburne Museum gift shop a while ago.  I decided to make one.

It was a little chilly in the workshop.  I could see my breath condensing, so I turned on the propane heater.  When we get into February, I will need to wear gloves, even with the heater (I should insulate the workshop one of these years...).

I got a 20 inch a piece of (relatively) straight grained 2 x 4 and drew out the basic shape.  I roughed out the pattern on the band saw.  I will need to make the fins with either thin panels or metal sheeting.

On to the draw knife.  After about 20 minutes I had a nice pile of shavings and a rough shape.    

The propane gave out just as I was ready to start to plan for the fins.

Time to go refill the propane tank.  The pike will have to wait . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Small Town Christmas Shopping

We went to the big box stores two weeks ago for some holiday shopping.  It was okay, but I just don't get a sense of the season when I walk through a shopping mall.  We then went shopping last weekend in Owego, NY.  It has a nice, old-town feel.

The sidewalks are decorated.  There are all sorts of local, small, unique stores.

There were choral groups and bands playing.  The sounds of Christmas music filled the area.

The architecture in the downtown is interesting.  You have to remember to look up.

  You never know what you'll find around the corner - maybe even an old ghost sign!

I'd rather be shopping in a small town!  How about you?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The First Coating of Snow

We've had snow flurries and some blustery weather the last few weeks, but not enough to really stick.  We got about an inch of snow yesterday.  I know a lot of people don't like to see the first real snow, but it makes me happy.

The creek is running well.  The water is too warm to start freezing yet . . .

The lichens on the rock wall by the ramp to the hay mow seem just fine in the cold . . .

The old barn sleeps peacefully . . .

The garden beds are also asleep.  We planted garlic bulbs in late October and were surprised they already sprouted!  We had warmer-than-normal weather in early November.  I'm sure the garlic will be fine next spring.

The temperatures are expected to rise over 50 degF the next few days.  I like to see the snow.  It helps set the mood for the holidays . . .

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting Ready

We have had cold temperatures and snow flurries the last few days.  The winterizing chores are done, and we look to the holidays and the winter.

All is quiet around the yard.  I hear the the calls of Chickadees in the trees.  All is still . . .

Like clockwork, we put up our Christmas Tree.  It is an old family tradition to put up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Hundreds of ornaments, each with a memory and a story.

Most of our holiday shopping is done (we hate the crowds at the mall).

Now to start on the Christmas cards . . .

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Red and White

We spent the last few days visiting our daughter and her family in Indiana.  The drive out there took us through rolling hills and farmland across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.  A good opportunity for some casual barn spotting.

I was amazed at the differences in the barns in Ohio and Indiana.  Most of our barns are red, though there are a few white ones, like this beauty which is about 5 miles from our place -

This white barn is found in Ohio (isn't it obvious!).  A classic gambrel-roofed barn.  I like the state pride the owner demonstrates!

More white barns . . .

This is not to say that red barns weren't around.

Though most of the red barns were older, there were some new ones.

There was a trim detail on many of the older barns I noticed.  Here are two examples that have it.

Do you see it?

If you look closely at the doors, you find that they are trimmed in a circular white pattern like a Paladium window.  I have never seen this here in New York!

It seems the white barns in Ohio and Indiana where typically newer than the red ones. I wonder if new manufacturing methods drove the greater availability of white paint?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Roaming Around

I felt like taking a drive and stopping on the side of the road to capture some photos.

People are surprised by the number of maple sugar shacks about.  There are quite a few sugar maples in the area.

I have never lived in an area with so many farms and barns.  I read somewhere that there are more barns per square mile in this part of the country than anywhere else in the USA.

Many of these building are slowly decaying.  This building was covered at some point with asphalt shingles.  My barn was covered this way.  I never quite understood the benefits of this type of siding.  It tended to fall off over time.

Other structures are racked and will succumb to the pull of gravity . . .

The tamaracks (American Larches) are at peak.  These trees will be the last to drop their needle-like leaves. This stand really popped against the hillside not that all is left are 'sticks'.

I came across an abandoned truck in a tall stand of knotweed.

It was a 1960's era REO.  They combined with the Diamond T company in the 1970's to form Diamond REO.  REO was named for Ransom E. Olds, a founder of the Olds Motor Company (later Oldsmobile). Diamond REO is now defunct.  I wonder how long this truck has sat there?