Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Quirky #AtoZChallenge

There are a couple of letters that give A to Z bloggers heartburn (the other is X), but Q, for me, was easy this year.

Quirky. One dictionary gives this definition "Characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits."

Quick, let's quietly go for it!

Taken from the public road - the Pittsford Mushroom House

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned the Mushroom House in Pittsford, New York, just outside the entrance to Powder Mills Park.  I honestly wish I had the money to afford this house, although it would not be an ideal place to do my flower gardening.  But still.  It's in a secluded location right next to a lovely park.

This is the Johnson City Pagoda.  Completed about 1929, this was originally a pump house built to draw water from a large underground water reservoir to cool several of the Endicott-Johnson shoe factories.  C. Fred Johnson, who was put in charge of the construction, liked the Japanese style of architecture and asked his workers to build it in that style.  

The walls are the real quirky part of this.

The park this sits in today (not its original location) is called - no, wait for it:  CFJ Park, for Charles Fred (C.  Fred, as he is remembered locally) Johnson, in walking distance of our state vaccination facility.

These pictures were taken in 2017, before the Pagoda was restored.

Let's move now to Brooklyn (a borough of New York City) for a moment.  This piece of art (some of the right side is chopped off) is called "Coney Island Baby" and dates from 2004.

Still in Brooklyn, the Atlantic Avenue/Barclay Center subway stop is a treasure (it's also on the National Historic Register). I want to go back one day post-COVID and take more pictures - I wasn't feeling well the day I was there in 2018.  I saw this, though, which looks like an art installation more than a piece of graffiti.  I will call it "quirky".  Sorry it isn't bigger; the place was rather crowded at the time.

Wrapping this up, let's return to my area of New York State, with this garden shop.  The nursery it's located in is one I've shopped in for years, but this structure - well, nothing wrong with recycling, is it?

"Q" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme "New York State".

Monday, April 19, 2021

Parks #AtoZChallenge #MusicMovesMe

It's "P" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and it's also Monday.  It's time for Music Moves Me!

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only , please!)   First, there is XmasDolly, who hopefully will join us this week.  Her co-hosts are: Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, and me. Each month we have a guest host and this month we again welcome DrillerAA of Driller's Place.

His theme:  "You Pick". So please take a seat and park here for a while for my tunes and parks.

I am picking songs about parks so I can work that in with my A to Z theme, which will be about parks in New York State. (My A to Z post directly follows the music).

The songs themselves aren't about New York State parks. 

Palisades Park would be a total natural for this theme except that it was located in New Jersey not New York.  Still, lots of New Yorkers went there for a fun afternoon.  Here's Freddy Cannon's original from 1962.  As a bonus, this video has the Palisades Park theme song that anyone who lived in the New York City area in 1962 remembers.

Chicago's Saturday in the Park, from what I've read, was inspired by New York City's Central Park.

There is a MacArthur Park in Binghamton, New York but this is not the park this Jimmy Webb song is about. (The song's location is MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California). I fell in love with the Richard Harris original in 1968.  I bought the single and must have played it thousands of times, but so many people consider it one of the worst songs of all time that I decided on the Donna Summer cover.  She even pronounces it "MacArthur's Park" like Richard Harris did.

Let's just pretend it's about MacArthur Park in Binghamton.  RIP Donna Summer, who died from (some news sources report but this may be in doubt) 9/11 related lung cancer.  Summer was in New York City on that day.

One more - Itchykoo Park, sung by The Small Faces in 1966.  Not New York, but still.

How about some pictures of New York State Parks?

Powder Mills Park, in Pittsford, New York, is a Perfect fit for "P" day.  This park contains trails, and a fish hatchery which is free to view.  Near the entrance to the park is the Mushroom House, which is hard to see.  It is a private residence and should not be trespassed on.

Otsiningo Park, in Binghamton, New York lies along the Chenango River and is a favorite walking spot for many, including my spouse and me.  Our community garden is also located in this park.

Highland Park in Rochester, New York, is noted for its lilac festival in May.  It will be held this year but scaled down.  This picture was taken in September of 2016 in one of the flatter areas.

Steeplechase Park, in Coney Island (Brooklyn, a borough of New York City) was a 15 acre amusement park which closed in 1964.  All that's left of it is the parachute jump.  I have been told that the parachute jump was a favorite ride of one of my father's sisters.  She did tend to be a bit of a daredevil.

The Coney Island Cyclone was part of another amusement park, Luna Park, at Coney Island.

And that's a wrap! Next week, due to the A to Z Challenge, I will be posting on Sunday and not Monday, so please join me then!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Springtime in Mid April

 A short post today, with some pictures for your enjoyment from the Binghamton, New York area.

Taken today, a Star Magnolia.  They are finishing up their bloom.

Early cherries have finished their bloom. This is from Wednesday.

A closeup.

Trees blooming at West Middle School, the alma mater of Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame.  It was dreary out but I love this Art Deco style building so much.

A robin's nest in progress on my patio overhang.  This is the third year of nesting and we'll have to co-exist for a while.
A mourning dove in my yard, poking around the brunnera.  We do need to thin the brunnera out some more once it stops blooming.

We are more than halfway through the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Tomorrow, we resume with the letter "P".  Be Prepared for more beauty of my native New York State.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Outdoors #AtoZChallenge

 "O" is an easy letter for those blogging about New York State (like me) in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  There are so many place names beginning with "O", thanks to the Native Americans in our area.  In fact, too many.  I found this to be such a challenging letter that I decided to provide a variety of "O"s and other Outside sites.

Oswego - a college town on the shores of Lake Ontario. One of SUNY Oswego's  most famous alumni is TV personality Al Roker. 

Oswego has a Peace Garden to celebrate the peace between us and Canada after the War of 1812.

A farmer's market in their historic downtown.

Otsiningo Park in Binghamton, New York - you have to love a park with a plaque like this.

Owego, New York - the Baker Fireman's Fountain, recently restored due to fundraising efforts by the Owego Hose Team.

One Tough Cookie, campus of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America, that is), Poughkeepsie, New York.

One last Outdoors photo. An Outstanding view of the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie, New York.  Maybe it belongs under "P", but if you don't say so, I won't, either.

"O" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  New York State.

Friday, April 16, 2021

New York Skies #SkywatchFriday #AtoZChallenge

Today is "N" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and is also SkywatchFriday.

How about some beautiful New York State skies?  My theme for A to Z, after all, is "New York State", which leaves things just a little open.

So many places afford views of sunsets, but one of the best is Kershaw Park in Canandaigua, New York, along Canandaigua Lake, one of the Finger Lakes.

Another is Breitbeck Park in Oswego, New York, along Lake Ontario (one of the Great Lakes).

But urban sunsets and skies have their charms, too.  These next few pictures were taken in downtown Brooklyn, New York.

Brooklyn is one of the boroughs of New York City.

These were taken around Christmastime, 2018.

Once you are up above street level, the perspective changes.

 Who says I don't love New York?

My final picture is the sky in my area of New York State on Wednesday.  There was just something about the way the clouds looked, contrasted against the leafing out trees.

Join Yogi and the other sky loving bloggers who meet up every Friday to celebrate #SkywatchFriday.

"N" day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  New York State.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Monthly Meme - Garden Bloggers Bloom Day #AtoZChallenge

For 10 years now (this coming June, I believe) I've been participating in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, a monthly meme.  On the 15th of each month, flower gardeners from all over the world (and I Mean that literally) show what is blooming in their yards and/or houses.

In my zone 5b yard in the Southern Tier of New York State, we have gone from garden famine to garden feast in one month, although snow is forecast for tonight (hiss boo!).  In fact, some of my flowers are already gone - crocuses and my earliest jonquils.  

But it's time for a massive celebration, as flowers are back in force!  Where do I even start?

Lenten Rose. My white one has finished blooming and now my purple one is in its prime.

Here's a new one I purchased back in March, in golden hour light.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is a member of the poppy family.  Its flowers are so short lived alas - another day and they probably would have been gone.  This low growing shade loving native plant is so welcome as an early bloomer.

Brunnera.  I have two types.  This is Jack Frost, a variegated variety.

Non-variegated.  Both have tiny blue flowers, which I like putting into small bouquets.

 My one trillium, which must be going on 10 years old. I bought it at a plant sale in Ithaca, New York. Its flower has never opened.  Will this be the year?

Primrose.  We got these plants years ago from my late mother in law.  These must be an old fashioned variety, but reliably bloom each year.

Part of spring are the wonderful flowers that sprout from bulbs and corms.

Hyacinths.  My white one isn't included - it isn't fully open.


Grape hyacinths are just now coming up.

Species tulip. (the first of my other tulips should open soon).

And the annuals.  First, pansies.  A couple of these were fall planted and are blooming now.  The others were purchased a week ago.



Finally, blooming indoors, is a small pot of Bravo Impatiens, waiting for the last frost date for planting outside.   Or maybe not, they seem so happy indoors on a north window. These came from cuttings I took in the fall.

Thanks go once again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this Monthly Meme.  Why not follow this link and read some other beautiful blooming blogs?

And thank you for visiting my blog!

"M" day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  New York State.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Lakes #AtoZChallenge #WordlessWednesday

New York State is rightfully proud of its Finger Lakes.  These are a series of natural lakes that were formed during the retreat of glaciers around 10,000 years ago.  Each has its own distinct personality.

If you like wine, you have (no doubt) heard of the Finger Lakes.  If not, let me introduce you to some of them.

 Ithaca, New York

 Cayuga Lake may be the best known of the lakes.  Nestled at its south end is the City of Ithaca and, at its northern end, Seneca Falls.  Seneca Falls was possibly the real life Bedford Falls of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and was also famed for its role in the Women's Suffrage movement of the 1800's and early 1900's.  Yes, women in the United States have a lot to thank Seneca Falls for.

Seneca Lake is the deepest of the Finger Lakes at some 618 feet (188 meters).  This picture was taken in Geneva, at the northern tip of the lake.  The west side of the lake is home to Watkins Glen of race car fame, and so many wineries you can practically walk from one to the next.

Canandaigua Lake and Skaneateles Lake, in my view, tie for the prettiest water.  This picture of Canandaigua Lake

Skaneateles Lake means "long lake" in the language of the Onondaga Nation.  Its village is a beloved tourist attraction and hosts summer homes of some of our wealthier citizens. 

My favorite of the lakes, however, is Keuka Lake, also known as the "crooked lake" or the "Lady of the Lakes".  It's shaped like a lopsided Y and has two northern points and one southern.  It also has one of my favorite wineries (not that the others are bad; this is just my favorite), Dr. Konstantin Frank.

There are more lakes, but these are the ones I have pictures of.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

"L" day at the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  This year's theme: New York State