Friday, September 22, 2023

Bennington Battle Monument Skies #SkywatchFriday

Vermont is not a state of skyscrapers.  

The Bennington Battle Monument in Bennington, Vermont, is the fifth tallest structure in the state of Vermont at 306 feet (93 meters).  It was dedicated in 1891 and commemorates a battle fought during our Revolutionary War. (In contrast, the tallest building currently completed in Vermont is only 124 feet high (11 stories)).

There is an observation area inside at the top.  The first two times we visited Bennington, the elevator was out of order.  This time, on September 3, it was working, and we went up.  We were fortunate - it was closed for much of the summer because of flooding in many part of Vermont and the need for maintenance.

I forgot to note the direction I was looking at for each photo, but in at least one of them, you are also viewing New York State.  The shadow here is the shadow of the monument in the afternoon sun.

Here's an August 2022 photo of the monument.

The blocks are made of limestone.
We were fortunate to have a somewhat clear day.
Now that we've seen the view from all four directions, do you want to see the observation deck from the inside?  Of course you do.

As you would expect, there wasn't a lot of room up there.

Another interesting find:  fossils in the limestone blocks.  This picture was taken outside near the bottom.

Traveling is always an adventure.

Joining Yogi and other sky loving bloggers for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Fall Is Nearly Here

Say goodbye to summer - the long days, the songs of birds, watermelon, a relaxing of life, no fear of frost or early snowstorms.

Autumn begins on Saturday but the signs of fall precede it.

No filter was applied to this picture.  I don't know why it has the orange cast, but it came by it naturally.  I don't think it's the several orange cauliflower (that are really orange) in the photo.

This tiny garden on the Vestal, New York rail trail pays tribute to someone who died in 2002.  It was redone recently with those rocks (possibly because it was being invaded by Japanese knotweed) and a fall display lives there now.

Japanese anemone, which blooms each September.  It's one of my final perennials to bloom.

Beets at a farm market's stand.

Peppers.  Some supermarkets here sell potted ornamental pepper plants in the fall but we got this ornamental purple pepper from a nursery near Syracuse, New York back in the spring.

Pumpkin spice everything.  Incidentally "made with verified rescued pumpkins" is a real thing.  Fruit and veggies that doesn't look perfect, too often, ends up in landfills here in the United States.  Why?

We can't stop it.  Autumn is nearly here.  Our trees aren't turning yet, but once they start, I'll be caught up in that beauty.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Pollinator Garden #WordlessWednesday

Pollinator garden, downtown Binghamton, New York, September 16, near Confluence Park (where the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers meet).

Welcoming sign.

Stiff goldenrod (according to my iPhone Plant ID app).

Hostas, ornamental grass and a purple flower that I can't remember.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

New Berlin Library and Museum #4CLSRoadtrip

Today, on the Four County Library Road Trip in New York State, I take you to a small village in Chenango County called New Berlin.

This is one of several small libraries that incorporate a museum.

It took us two tries to get to this library.  The first time, we didn't get there in time and the library had closed.  But the return trip was worth it.

I didn't take notes on the art and other objects I found there so you'll just have to guess along with me. I couldn't find much information online.

What a beautiful clock.

I'll just let the exhibits speak for themselves.

Next time, I take better notes.

Besides the museum, this little library does a lot for its local community - summer concerts, children and teen programs, bike helmet programs, book clubs, and more.  It was an eye opener to find out just how important these small libraries are in the lives of their patrons.

Another small town New York State gem next week.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Huckleberry Friends and Glory #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and it's time for music.

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers?

The Music Moves Me bloggers blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please!)   Our head host is Xmas Dolly, and our co-hosts are Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and yours truly.

You are welcome to join our Monday music group.  It's so easy. All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video.  No music video? Your post may be removed, or may be labeled *NO MUSIC*.We alternate theme weeks and no theme weeks.

For the month of September, our guest host is Sandee from Comedy Plus.  For today, the last summer of 2023 Music Moves Me, Sandee asks us to blog about Movie Songs.

I want to go back to my childhood for the first few songs.

Edelweiss is a song from The Sound of Music that enough people have thought it was an Austrian folk song, or even the Austrian national anthem.  I can't listen to it without tears. I am including it although, technically, it came from the 1959 stage play of the same name.  In the movie it was sung by Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews.

When I found this clip of four great grandchildren of the Von Trapps (who were an actual family that settled in Vermont after the war) singing Edelweiss, I had to include it as a bonus.

Moon River is a song from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, released in October of 1961.  This is the original, sung by Audrey Hepburn.  This songhas been covered countless times, perhaps most famously by Andy Williams.

Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers is from the movie Unchained - I never realized this was a movie song even before the movie Ghost.

Some great theme music has come out of the James Bond series of movies.  Here are a couple of favorites.   First, from 1973, Paul McCartney and Wings sing  Live and Let Die.

Duran Duran - A View to a Kill, from 1985.

And more recently, from the 2014 movie Selma, the stirring song Glory, sung by John Legend and rapped by Common.

One more if you have time - from 1985's The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds and their hit Don't You Forget About Me.

And that's a wrap!

Join me again next Monday for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

August Car Show #ShadowshotSunday

Once each month this summer a group at our local Wegmans (a large supermarket chain in New York State) held a car show.  The highly polished cars made for some interesting shadows and reflections.

Sharp and purple.

I couldn't get close enough to see this car's registration sticker but I'm guessing an early 1950's Olds.  I'm sure one of my readers will set me straight if it isn't.  I was trying hard not to get people in my pictures so my angles aren't the best.

Another view.

Red and black and some shadows just add to the look.
Under the hood.

Joining Magical Mystery Teacher for #ShadowshotSunday.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Not So Ugly Apple Honey Cake

It's time for reflection, apples, and honey.

It is Rosh Hashanah 5784, the first full day of the Jewish New Year - the year 5784 on our religious calendar.  This time is both festive and serious, as we undergo our annual review from Above and reflect on our behavior of the past year/seek forgiveness from those we have wronged/plan for how we can improve and better the world in the coming year.

As far as food, we celebrate with sweet and symbolic dishes.  Apples and honey are prominent in many households.  Last night, my spouse cooked a brisket with apple juice, potatoes and carrots.  For dessert, we had apple honey cake.

It's been a long journey.

When I was young, my Mom served a honey cake for Rosh Hashana that I did not like.  When I was an older teen and became interested in baking, I embarked on an odyssey to find a recipe for a honey cake I liked.

One of the challenges was that so many of the recipes made two loaves of honey cake.  By then, my Mom had passed away and it was just my father and me.  My Dad was diabetic and couldn't eat cake (that was back in the 1960's, when diabetic diets were different) so it was just me.  I put my quest on the back burner for years.

In my later adult years, I returned to the quest.  Although it's a large cake for one or two, I finally found the honey cake of my dreams.

Each year I make an apple honey cake, from a recipe I adapted from the excellent recipe published years ago by Tory Avery.  My cake most likely isn't as good as hers, because I cut down on the oil (thanks to Weight Watchers, which I've been a member of since 2012 with one short break).  Also, I don't put icing on it - I've never been a fan of icing.

It's a joint effort - my spouse shreds the apples and also takes care of removing the cake from the oven.

Getting the apples we wanted was a journey.  We live in an apple growing area and like to use a locally grown baking apple (at this time of year, our plan was Cortland apples).  But the apple crop failed this year due to a late frost- one local grower lost 80% of his crop.  We ended up using supermarket Ginger Gold apples.

The cake's top fell apart when spouse tried to remove it from the pan.  

This definitely isn't a baking blog picture.  To you, it may be an ugly apple honey cake.  I disagree.

To me, it is beautiful personal tradition. 

None of us is perfect.  We can strive for a better coming year.  

May life for you in the coming year be as sweet as this slice of cake.

To my blog readers of the Jewish faith, Shanah tova (good year).