Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week Fifty-Two - The End for 2012

Find a child (yours, grand, neighbor). Show them the cover. Read this wonderfully written and idyllically illustrated story together.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Krebs

Photo by Rob Howard

For over a 100 years a land mark in Skaneateles NY The Krebs was closed in October 2010. But thanks to renovations The Krebs may be reopened.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week Fifty-One - 1 to Go

 A continuation of Zero Day. But The Forgotten includes a simpler storyline and a weaker supporting cast. Puller is no Reacher. While Baldacci should be commended for taking on the topic of human trafficking, the perils of Puller are too far fetched and filled with gratuitous violence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Birding - Sampson State Park

Beginning on Sunday, December 9, Cayuga Birds' emails lit up regarding a Townsend's Solitaire seen at Sampson State Park on East Lake Road at the Kendaia West Road Spur.

On Tuesday December 11, Diana Whiting found the bird and took some photos of it feasting in the juniper bushes.

So for my weekly birding trip decided to travel to Sampson State Park.

Making my way south on Rt. 89 took a detour on the Lower Lake Road. The shoreline was cluttered with Canada Geese and Trumpeter Swans.
Back on Rt. 89 continued south until County Rt. 124. Actually flying by the seat of my pants. It has been a long time since my daily travels to Romulus. Came upon Rt. 414 and turned right. Then left onto Rt. 336. Discovered this interesting tree on the north side of the road.
Took a left turn onto Rt. 96A and continued until the park entrance came up. Drove around the traffic circle and on the way to East Lake Road spotted this bird.
Coming upon the gate at the end of East Lake Road met Joe and Betsy from Nassau County and Jane Graves. They told me that the Townsend's Solitaire had been sighted earlier in the day and if I was patient it would come out again. In the meantime other birders, Joe Mitchell from Buffalo and his traveling companion, Anthony from East Hampton, Bob from Victor, two fellow from Ithaca, and Steve from Rochester, joined the search.

At 10:35 AM, Anthony found the Townsend's Solitaire high in a tree towards the Seneca Lake shore. He was able to get some photos. I was able to sight it with my binoculars.

Behind us a group of Cedar Waxwings gathered in a tree along the roadway.
Then at 11:53 AM Steve alerted me with a whistle and there just above his head was the Townsend's Solitaire in a deciduous tree. Got a very good look. Took a photo (Joan just bought me a new camera, Olympus SZ-14, which I was using for the first time today).
Thanks to Steve (picture below) another life bird for me.
Waved Good-bye to the park sentry and headed home.
As I was making the turn at the junction of Rt 336 and Rt. 96A a flock of several hundred Snow Geese flew over heading for Cayuga Lake.
At 3PM Glenn Wilson shared his photos of the Townsend's Solitaire on Cayuga Birds.

Another fun day following the birds.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week Fifty - 2 to Go

Good News - Woods is back. And Stone Barrington brings all his friends with him. Fast read.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week Forty-Nine - 3 to Go

Moves at a good pace. As usual, Alex finds himself in bad situations. The holiday setting provides fresh nuances to Cross’ character.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week Forty-Eight - 4 to Go

Written with a high schooler (Young Adult) in mind. The pandora's box approach should keep the easily distracted young reader engaged.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week Forty-Seven - 5 to Go

Unbelievable fun. Forget that recent Grisham books left you cold. This one will rekindle why you looked forward to the newest Grisham novel.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week Forty-Six - 6 to Go

In this tenth entry in the Rizzoli and Isles mystery series, Gerritson continues to develop her characters, especially Detective Barry Frost. Great smart suspense.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week Forty-Five - 7 to Go

Worth a 1000 Words

Mark Bowie's photographs brings the Adirondack Park to life. This book is a must for the bookshelf of both old visitors and new visitors-to-be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Week Forty-Three - 9 to Go

Thriller fiction at its best. As Yogi once said, “It’s not over till it’s over.” Read it. But hold on tight.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Taughannock Falls State Park

Over breakfast this morning suggested that we go on a road trip.  Told Joan that a birder in Interlaken has had a Rufous Hummingbird visiting his bird feeder. So after dining we were off.
Photo taken by David Nicosia.

There was one problem with my suggestion. Only knew the birder lived on Powell Road.

Great ride down Rt. 89 on the west side of Cayuga Lake. The leaves were at peak. Driving the length of Powell Road proved unsuccessful. There were no groups of cars along the highway. Saw a couple cleaning up their yard. Asked them if they were aware of a Rufous Hummingbird sighting in the area. Indicated that hummingbirds have been in their yard over the years, but did not know of any recent sightings.

So It goes.

But the day was not a complete lost. Continuing on to Ithaca. We came upon the back door to Taughannock Falls State Park. The parking lot was overflowing. We squeezed into a spot. Along with a multitude of walkers, runners, and hikers, we proceeded to an overhead bridge.
Returning to the parking lot, turned right and drove down the hill. Came upon a overlook site with bathrooms. We stopped. This area was even more crowded than above. Among the many dog walkers Joan chatted with a Greyhound owner.
The trip through the City of Ithaca went well. This city usually is a puzzlement for us. The journey home up the east side of Cayuga Lake was as colorful as the west side. At King Ferry we made the decision to go by way of Rt. 90.

After freshening up at home Joan took me to Doug's for dinner.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week Forty-Two - 10 to Go

Lee Child uses Math as a countdown right up to the last page. Jack Reacher uses Math to solve every obstacle as it presents itself.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Denise Nolin, Maureen Quigley, Agnes Humphrey-Copes, Sandra Karas and Maddy Apple

Having ran off-Broadway for 3,672 performances, audiences are familiar with the story - an emergency at the convent of the Little Sisters of Hoboken forces five nuns to hold a fundraising variety show.

Each time this musical comedy is performed the audience’s parochial schools memories are rekindled. Directed by Ed Sayles, this production was no exception. Joan and I along with a tour bus of senior citizens laughed from beginning to end.

The artistic highlights for Joan and I were Maddy Apple’s (Sister Mary Leo) elegant choreography and Agnes Humphrey-Copes’ (Sister Mary Hubert) booming vocals.

Also, Sandra Karas (Sister Mary Regina, the Mother Superior) was a standout. As Debbie Walzer, Democrat and Chronicle reviewer, stated "Her comedic timing is impeccable, and her facial expressions are powerful and ever-changing. It can only be a matter of time until Karas’ skills are shared on the Broadway stage."

Other shows of the 2012 season:
Kiss Me Kate
9 to 5
My Fair Lady
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week Forty-One - 11 to Go

Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone had style and wit.  Michael Brandman writes a good story but fails to capture the essence of Jesse. Perhaps the Estate of Robert B. Parker needs to thank Brandman for his effort but move him aside. But lets hope the Estate does not abandon the Jesse Stone brand.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mums - the Word

Fall - Pumpkins?
Fall - Indian Corn?
Fall - Gourds?
No - Fall is Mums.
Fall has arrived. Let your eyes take in the bursts of color. 

Mums - the Word - Too!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leaf-Peeping 2012

Pig Rock
Speculator NY

The tradition of leaf-peeping has been one of our passions since Joan and I first got together. Fall is our favorite season. While it is pleasant to observe the leaves near home.
Skaneateles - Guppy Falls - 2008

There is no better place to relish Fall’s magic than in the Adirondacks.
Inlet Beach 2009
Francis Lake 2011

After being unable to purchase a Danny’s sub since the deli was not open at 9AM, we set off seeking the Fall foliage. As we we got closer to the Utica Thruway exit we saw our first indication that it was going to be a good day.

Heading up Deerfield Hill towards the Rt. 8 turn towards Speculator the leaves projected a colorful if somewhat subdued display. After leaving Poland the day cleared and the leaves came out in all their splendor.

Decided to have lunch at the Oxbow Inn. Glad we did. Although the Waiter/Bartender was a one man band, he did good. Our order - California Wrap (for Joan) & Mt. Snowy Burger (for me) - came quickly. Both were appealingly presented and my burger was piping hot. We both commented on how tasting our lunch was especially the crispy fries.
Oxbow Lake
Oxbow Inn
Leaf-Peepers at Oxbow Inn

We stopped at the Speculator Beach. The picnic tables as well as the benches were being used with the exception of one. We sat there for some time allowing our lunch to settle. A little old lady approached us with a smile and a tract. Evidently Friday must be her day for evangelizing. Everyone from the bikers sitting on the bench next to us to the middle-age women eating their lunch on the picnic table behind us cordially accepted her gifts.
Speculator Shoreline
Cottage on Speculator Lake
Alien Visits Speculator
Heading out of town on the way to Indian Lake we stopped to rephotograph the Pig Rock.

Before reaching Indian Lake we pulled over to a scenic spot.
Indian Lake Scenic Overlook
Indian Lake Scenic Overlook
Leaf-Peepers at Indian Lake Scenic Overlook

Driving through Indian Lake we looked for the 1870 Bed and Breakfast. We did not locate it.

After turning south at the Blue Mountain intersection we took a pit stop at Blue Mountain Lake. Met a gentlemen from Liverpool. He is a season ticket holder for Syracuse basketball. During our conversation both of us expressed hope that the Syracuse football team would be successful this evening.  (They were 14-13.)
Blue Mountain Lake
Blue Mountain Lake
Leaf-Peepers at Blue Mountain Lake

Pulled into Inlet Beach. Checked out our geocache and Holls Inn (Too bad Hans has passed - not the same inn that Joan worked in). After the mandatory visit to the Rochester Bar, Joan picked up some brochures at the Tourist Center and then we headed for Old Forge. Across from the Old Forge Hardware we phoned Doc and Judy. Getting the answer machine we proceeded towards Utica as it began to rain.
 Fourth Lake - Geocache
Fourth Lake
Rochester Bar

We had dinner at Cavallo’s in New Hartford. The place was packed - the bar with thirty-somethings and restaurant with the Friday fish crowd. Our waitress was excellent. Her service was speedy and efficient. Joan has Chicken Parm and I had Eggplant Parm. Both meals as usual were good Italian.

The drove home went well. Although traffic was heavy everyone moved swiftly without applying pressure. Another great chapter to this leaf-peeping tradition.
 Til' next year.