Sunday, April 21, 2024

Big Box Small Scissors #ShadowshotSunday

 Friday, I ordered a pair of small scissors from a local office supply store.  They had to be mailed to me because they were out of stock at the store.

They came yesterday.  I'm happy about the young woman in the store who gave me excellent service and the store that provided quick shipping at no extra charge.

But not so happy about the box they came in.  A little too big, perhaps? Isn't Earth Day tomorrow?

Joining up with #ShadowshotSunday at the blog of Lisa's Garden Adventure.

We'd love to have you come out of the shadows and join Lisa and other bloggers who participate.  It's fun, and I think you'll find other blog posts on Lisa's blogs that are well worth the read.

Tomorrow, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge resumes with the letter S. 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Rochester (New York) Redux #AtoZChallenge

 Rochester, New York, is New York State's fourth largest city, with a population of about 211,000.  It was the birthplace of a number of businesses known worldwide, including Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb.  

A number of famous people made Rochester their home, including social reformer, writer, newspaper publisher, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass (who started his life in slavery) and abolitionist, women's rights activist and suffragist (including an arrest for daring to vote in a Presidential election) Susan B. Anthony.  

Yes, I've blogged about Rochester for Blogging from A to Z before, but this city deserves another mention.

Today, I want to take you to two parts of Rochester - the historic East End and one of the United States' first public arboretums, Highland Park.

The historic Little Theatre, which opened in October of 1921, and, today, shows indie and other movies.

I now have an ID on this East End building I featured in my "K" A to Z post, thanks to Tom at Tom the Backroads Traveler:  "The Hiram Sibley Building was built in 1925 at the corner of East Avenue and Alexander Street in Rochester, New York. It was named in his honor by his son Hiram Watson Sibley, and designed by Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott of Boston."  (Hiram Sibley, among other things, was a founder of, and first president of, Western Union.  Are any of my readers old enough to remember telegrams?)

One of many decorations on the outside of the East End garage.

Let's move to Highland Park.  These pictures were taken April 9.

Outside the Lamberton Conservatory, which we visited in 2016.  It's well worth the time.  Unfortunately we were on our way out of Rochester and didn't have time to visit this time.

However, here is a picture I took inside in 2016. 

The glacial terrain of Highland Park makes for beautiful hills and valleys.  Rochester, like many other places, is ahead of what should be blooming at this time of year.

Weeping cherry.

Highland Park is known for its Lilac Festival each May.  I wouldn't be surprised if they have lilacs in bloom before the end of the month.  In fact, for April Fools Day, they posted on social media that their lilacs were in full bloom.  I hope they didn't trick anyone out of the area!

Hopefully, I'll see their lilacs in bloom one day.  I think I was last there for the lilacs nearly 30 years ago.

"R" day at the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Queens #SkywatchFriday #AtoZChallenge

 In June of 2023, my spouse and I made a short trip to Queens (one of the five boroughs of New York City) to attend a wedding.  Let me take you along for some pictures of the sky, and also a renowned botanical garden.

 Sky pictures for Skywatch Friday:  Welcome to Queens. 

Along the highway.  Many people who visit New York City only see the tall buildings of Manhattan. There's a lot more to the city.

For example, Queens neighborhoods. This one, according to my phone, is called Fresh Meadows-Utopia, which may lead me to a post another time.  Meanwhile, enjoy all these foods jammed in together on one block. So New York City.

Finally, a plane against the sky.  The Queens Botanical Gardens is along LaGuardia Airport's flight path, so it is noisy.  Quite noisy.

For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, pictures from the Queens Botanical Gardens.

They are noted for their roses, which were in full bloom.

More roses.

Potted plants

"Q" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected.

Also joining Yogi and other skywatching bloggers for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Pollinator Pleasing #AtoZChallenge

For today, let's visit a pollinator garden on the edge of downtown Binghamton, New York.

Why a pollinator garden?

Sometimes, alas, Nature's creatures need a little help from humans.  It's not because Nature's creatures are helpless, but, rather, because we change destroy the environments they need.  Hence, this Pollinator Friendly Garden fills an increasingly important need.  Even in a downtown.  No, especially in a downtown.

Let's take a look at this garden, which we visited during a music festival in September of 2023.

New England asters, a fall flower.
Salvia, and ornamental grass.
Goldenrod against a blue sky.
Zinnias.  In a normal year, I would have seen monarch butterflies, but I didn't see one.  Not one.

One last look.

It doesn't take much room to create a pollinator friendly garden.  Even if you have a small urban plot of land there may be something you can grow, including a lot of ornamental flowers:  alyssum, black-eyed Susan, cosmos, lavender, zinnias, and more.

 "P" day at the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Outdoor Art #AtoZChallenge #WordlessWednesday

Today, for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and Wordless Wednesday, outdoor art installations from August of 2023 in North Bennington, Vermont.  This is an annual event called NBOSS and what you are about to see are works from the past 20 plus years this event has been held.

Here are some samples of more than 40 art installations we viewed during a visit in early September of 2023 after attending Bennington's annual Garlic Festival.

Gomorrah, originally built in 2000 by Stephen Davidson, who died in a car accident in 2003 at the age of 37.  Friends rebuilt the art in 2018 after a tractor-trailer accidentally knocked it down while backing down a driveway.

Blue Profile, by Liz Howe.

Fittingly called No. 2.  I don't have the artist's name for this.

By a restored train depot which is now the North Bennington town hall, a commuter waits for a train that is more than 50 years late.

Octopus's Garden by Joe Chirchirillo.

Trojan Horse. 

Angel of Death by Jack Howard-Potter.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

"O" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Not (in Vain) #AtoZChallenge

 In blogging life, one can pre write a post but something comes up that you really want to talk about - this is one of those times.  My intended post for today will be published at a later date.

CONTENT WARNING - injuries, dying, death, organ donation.

Last week a man I know (not well but I know others who knew him better) started to walk across an intersection I, and many others, have crossed many times.  It's in front of a department store in downtown Binghamton, New York, an area with a lot of pedestrian traffic.

He never made it across.  He was hit by an SUV traveling in the other direction that made a left turn, hitting him.  The SUV left the scene at a high rate of speed, according to witnesses. The police caught up with the driver, a 17 year old boy, later that day.

The pedestrian arrived at the hospital with a severe brain injury and internal bleeding.  The hospital did what they could.  The family was summoned.

The next day, the pedestrian was declared brain dead.  He was only 45.   But, his story does not end there. 

Why?  Because he was also an organ donor.

I can not imagine what the pedestrian's family has gone through since they were notified of the accident.

I also never knew the process for what happens in a situation like this. What I found out, from someone who knew him better, is that the pedestrian (we'll call him the donor going forward) was kept on life support a couple of more days after he was declared brain dead.  

Then, when it was time, a special ceremony called an Honor Walk was held.   This ceremony is explained at length here, but basically, all available hospital personnel line up from the donor's room to an operating room, and the donor's family accompanies the donor to the operating room.  Special music or other honoring gestures can be requested by the donor's family.

His gifts from his untimely death in a hit and run accident might benefit more than one person.

My drivers license has the organ donation endorsement, because I made this decision years ago. It's an intensely personal decision.

If you are curious about religion and organ donation, and haven't made your decision yet, there is a lot of information online, including this discussion, that may help you.

One man's life was taken in a tragic accident, but his death will not be in vain.

May he rest in peace and may his family find peace in his final sacrifice.

"N" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Meme (Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2024) #AtoZChallenge #GardenBloggersBloomDay

(If you are looking for my Music Moves Me post, please click here.)

It's "M" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  It's also the 15th of the month, when I join garden bloggers from all over the world who show what is blooming in their homes or flower gardens. So my M post is also for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, brought to us by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

My A to Z theme this year is Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected, so why not show you what's blooming in my zone 6a (recently upgraded from 5b) flower garden in the Southern Tier of New York?

Spring arrived early this year, despite some recent efforts on the part of the weather to reinstate winter.  But spring is fighting back and it will eventually win.   Yesterday was springlike, though, with several thunderstorms through the afternoon.  We even got some soft hail.

First, let's go to my backyard.

I used to have three different types of brunnera, but this year I am only seeing two of them. 

This one is brunnera Jack Frost.And my regular brunnera.  I love their blue flowers.

Another brunnera.

Purple lenten rose.

A red and yellow primrose, which we originally got from my late mother in law's yard.

Perennial vinca. 

This is a spring ephemeral, bloodroot. Sanguinaria canadensis, which is a native wildflower.  We bought this years ago at The Plantsmen Nursery in Ithaca, New York. It only blooms for a brief time and this year, apparently, only for a day.  My spouse took this picture on April 12 and I'm breaking a GBBD rule to show you this.

Now, to the front, where bulbs rule.

These hyacinths were bought, forced, at a supermarket several years ago over a span of two or three years.  I planted them after they bloomed indoors, and they've come back.  They don't look as good as freshly planted ones but they smell as sweet.  Here's some in white.

Pink hyacinth.

 One purple hyacinth opening up.



A species tulip.

Thanks go, as always, to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the 15th of the month Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Why not visit Carol's site and see what else is blooming?

"M" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme:  Gardens, History, Art and The Unexpected.