Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good-bye Friends

The last couple of days have brought sadness when I think about some wildlife that I've come to enjoy. Monday, as I drove home from work, I saw a Mallard duck that had been hit by a car laying in the middle of the road. As I kept driving, it just kept bothering me so I turned around and moved it off the road. It was right by my work and I just didn't want to see it every day get more and more smashed. So I moved it but as I started driving away, I notice a female Mallard looking around in the grass near by - my heart sank and I realized that this male that I had just moved was the partner to this female and the couple was one that I had been enjoying while at work. It was so sad, and even as I write this I can't help but cry. It makes me think of when my turtle (Gordon) died last year. It wasn't so much him dying (although that was dreadful) but it was seeing Gordon and Flash having their last moments together. They would put their front arms in front of their faces and touch claws. I don't know what it meant but I just knew that they enjoyed one another and had a bond, and once Gordon was gone, so was that connection. It's just so sad and I can't help but feel sadness for these animals that loose their companions. It's no different with people, although hopefully animals have a better time at it, I guess. But who knows. Some think I'm silly for getting so emotional over animals, but for some reason my heart can't seem to distinguish between an animal or a human. If I make a connection with anything - human or animal, it becomes a part of me forever. It's just a weird time I think. Then to add to the sadness, this cute little bird nest that I've been watching at work got destroyed. It was a nest in the grass and I had warned the mowers about it and we put a stick up to remind them, but someone didn't know about it and that was the end of the eggs. And then the baby foxes, I've heard that a few have been hit and that there is possibly that just one is left. AND to add to all that, I found out this morning that someone went over the gorge I work at last night and didn't make it.
Sometimes my heart just sinks, but it goes out to others and also helps me to be grateful for my own life and how precious this world really is. There is a circle of life and things happen - it's a fluid process and continues on and on. Remember to be thankful and to truly appreciate things in the present....

A Taste of Keuka

Over Memorial Day weekend, Mike and I headed to Keuka Lake to visit with both of our parents. I amazingly got the weekend off last minute, so it worked out really good. Both of our parents came up on Friday night and we all stayed at Mike's parent's cottage.
Here's a bunch of pictures as an overview of the weekend:

This is the Tree House (aka - Scott & Roxie's cottage).

Every year they have birds that build nests all along their porch roof. I think there were 8 altogether!

A cute little inch worm. I love these little guys. The gypsy moth caterpillars were really starting to come out too.

Mike and his dad relaxing on the dock. We all decided to go for a boat ride. It was actually really warm and we timed it perfectly to get back right before a storm came through.

My parents relaxing before the boat ride.

A hoy captain!

A cute little nest I found in their yard. It was hanging by a thread so I know it was abandoned.

Mike and his ma :)

Lately when we drive home from Keuka, we tend to travel right after it gets dark. This leads to a wide variety of wildlife that crosses our path. Two times ago it was like the "ride for your life" because we literally had around 20 deer run in front of us at different times. It was surreal - plus an opossum, cat, fox...and it seems like something else too. So for this last trip home we were on the alert but instead were greeted by 58 toads in the road (all spread out over several miles), a bat which came about 6 inches from our windshield, a cat and a rabbit! The toads were really out because it had just rained. It was pretty cool, and I think we managed to dodge them all. This one in particular was right in front of us and I decided to get a closer look. After I got my picture I picked it up and moved it off the road. But it didn't even move, I guess I blinded it with my flash, or else it was deep in thought. Kind of strange.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Internet Lows with Spring Highs

Well, we still don't have the internet up and running yet, but hopefully by the end of the week.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. We've been working (Mike a little more than me), but my schedule has been weird. I've only been having one day off at a time, so I keep feeling like I can't catch up. But it will start getting better soon. We finally got our cars inspected and received our real licenses in the mail. Very Exciting!
We've really been enjoying the emergence of spring. Last week everything just seemed to finally pop! It's just so beautiful!

Here is a Cherry tree out front of our apartment - smells soooo good every time we walk by!
I finally caught a picture of the red-bellied woodpecker that visits our porch. We have a couple of feeders up and have a lot of bird action. It's like we live in a bird sanctuary sometimes!

Wildlife at Taughannock Falls

Last week at work a woman stopped in at the office and informed us that she had seen some baby foxes up the road. She was concerned that there was no mother because every time she observed them, there was no sign of a parent. So I stopped by on my way home from work and caught a glimpse of them. I also did not see a mother, but they seem to be in a healthy condition and look like they're getting along just fine. Hopefully they will be ok - as long as they stay out of the road. But they are so cute - probably weigh about 6-8lbs, and I think there are 5. If you click on the pictures you can see them better.

Congratulations Ryan & Sarah!

Mike's brother Ryan & his girlfriend Sarah got engaged a little over a week ago!! We're sooo happy for them and are so glad to have Sarah join our family! AND they are going to be moving up to Ithaca in just a couple of weeks!! We're really excited to have them so close - they've been living in Atlanta, which is entirely too far away :)
Congratulations you two!!!
We wish you the best with your engagement and upcoming move!

Oh Fiddleheads & Skunk Cabbage

I guess it was two weeks ago, I was driving North on Rt. 13 (which goes right by our place) - I hadn't done this yet, with no real reason to head that way, but as I was driving I realized that we live only a mile away from Cornell's Lab of Ornithology located in Sapsucker Woods. What this means is that there is this really cool forested area basically right next to our apartment complex that I had no idea about! So I decided that on my next day off I would head over there and check out the trails. It was a beautiful day and I was pleased with everything that crossed my path. I spent about 3 hours walking around and saw almost all of the trails. I'm looking forward to going back and showing Mike. What a great way to start my day there - as I walked up to the entrance there was a pair of Canada Geese and their little babies!! So cute! This is the actual building - it's mostly office/lab space, but it has a very nice visitor area with a gallery, library, gift shop and spotting scopes set up all over the place. Looking out from an observation area in the building. Fiddleheads and Skunk Cabbage everywhere! Nice paths :) HUGE tadpoles - probably bullfrogs. So sweet!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sad Without Juice

Sorry we've been slacking with the blog. Our internet access isn't doing so good right now - but we're working on getting it back up and running. Luckily our gym has wireless, but it's still a bit inconvenient. Hopefully by next week we'll back to normal. Lots has been happening - I'll try to update more later today.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Good Times

Our dear friends from Delaware - Dana, Bret & Justin - came to Ithaca over the weekend. It was so nice to see their smiling faces and to be with such great company. We're so grateful that they made the trip, it was such a good time.

Dinner at Kilpatrick's - they have the coolest booths there !

On Sunday we went to Taughannock Falls - these are actually above the main falls - but still an amazing view! We were on a bridge - here is the other side - awesome!

Ithaca Falls

Bret, Dana, Justin

Friday, May 4, 2007

New Job

Today was the second day at my new job as a Park & Rec Aide at Taughannock Falls State Park. The job is going good, I have a great boss and I feel like I'm catching on pretty fast. I have a feeling it's going to be a busy summer there - it is definitely one of the most popular parks in the area. Lot's of campers, shelter rentals, boat slip rentals and basic park stuff. I'll write more soon but time is tight. Enjoy some pics!

This is where I work.


Main Desk

My view outside

This is out back where I eat lunch :)

May I help you???? HA!

Thursday, May 3, 2007


"I've been to hell. I spell it...i spell it dmv
Anyone that's been there knows precisely what I mean......"

OK, so I don't know if most people know these lyrics but they're from a Primus song called DMV. I always can't help but to sing this song to myself when we make (what seems to be too often) our trip to the DMV. This, by far, is my most dreaded part of moving. I just hate the forms, the run-arounds, the mean attitudes, and feelings of helplessness. So after going through the usual trials of figuring out what to do, who to contact, and who to beg for the right information, we finally made it to the local office on Tuesday. both of our surprises, we got a great attendant and had quite a smooth run. And an hour later we walked out with our new plates and new licenses. (Although I had forgotten how far NY has fallen behind with their DMV technology - we only get paper licenses and will receive the real deal in the mail in a few weeks.) Anyway, it feels good to have that done, now we only have to get them inspected, AND THEN we'll be true NY residents!

Abner checking out Flash - he was pretty intrigued.

Here are some turkeys out in the back. I think they were going about their spring business :)