Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Crazy Times

(This is a grey petaltail dragonfly. It's pretty rare, but really likes the micro-climates that are unique to the gorges in the area.)

Sorry for the lack of posts. Things have been hectic. My mom and Aunt Nene just visited and we had a really great time. (pictures and more to come). Work is crazy and I am working on a reptile program for tomorrow night. I really need to do a lot to get ready and of course my boss just told me today that she is going to come watch it. SOOOOO - off to work, but hopefully by Thursday I can make a real post. Hope all is well - Ithaca is HOT!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Belgium Comes To Cooperstown

The biggest and best Belgian-style beer fest in the country comes back to Cooperstown, NY. Celebrating the finest imported Belgian and Belgian-style beers.
Belgium Comes To Cooperstown
This past Saturday, Mike got to go to a really cool brewfest for work. (I had to work :(, but I'm getting over it!) Anyway, it sounded like a really good time. He even took some pictures to share!

This is the brewery - with some tents set up to the right.

Tasting Area

They had camping there too - they really lucked out - the weather was perfect!

He got to reunite with some Dogfish folks too - here is Mike with Brian C. (a DFH brewer.)

Fun Cuts

I'm trying to get back into doing more papercuttings, but sometimes I find I get a little bit of "cutter's block" :) I had an evening to myself on Saturday and decided to do a couple of quick designs. Overall, they came out good - although the second one has a few issues. I won't point them out though.

Gone Red

So I decided to break down and dye my hair once again. I haven't done this for years (minus a few highlights I had done last year.) It was scary but I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Unfortunately our camera just stopped working, but as a matter of coincidence I just got a hook-up to transfer my phone pictures onto the computer. Good deal :) It's hard to see the color good - but you can get a little feel for it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Turtle Woes

Today in between my gorge tours, I was at the upper parking lot of Buttermilk Falls. I had just finished my lunch and was heading back to the car, when I saw this baby snapping turtle in the parking lot. It looked pretty dry and was a good distance away from water (not to mention sitting in the middle of a PARKING LOT!) So I took it on a little hike to Lake Treman and released it in the pond. I hope it was a good spot for it - I sent it on its way with good wishes from myself, Flash & the late Gordon. The poor thing seemed pretty tired. It didn't struggle much at all (which is kind of strange for a wild turtle.) It did put up a good effort with trying to deter me with some nasty stank though! Turtles have many ways to protect themselves, and putting out a strong stink is one of them. It took a few washings to get rid of that funk, but all is good now!! It was a baby snapping turtle. Funny thing is that I caught my first snapping turtle last year at The Peninsula. It was a little smaller and a bit feistier! Here are some pictures of the one from last year (they're a little better because they're with a real camera - the first one - from today is with my phone.)
And here is the biggest snapping turtle that I have ever seen in the wild. It was also at The Peninsula. Unfortunately they "re-did" that lake over the winter and dug it up. I hope that all the turtles survived - I know for a fact that there were several who called that pond "home."
This guy must had been close to 3ft from head to tail tip - maybe even more! HUGE!!!!

Potter Prescence

Last night we had a Harry Potter Party to celebrate the release of the new book and movie. It was at Buttermilk Falls State Park. We invited the Cornell Raptor Program to come and do a presentation. Then we made wizard hats and wands. It was a really great turn-out with over 100 people. Good times all around!

Red-tailed Hawk

Barred Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl - not native but still pretty cool!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Arts Fest Once Again!

Last weekend we traveled home to State College, PA. This is one of my favorite times of the year - Arts Fest. The downtown and campus gets covered in booths of fine arts and crafts, food and live music. It can be a really fun time. Unfortunately we made it into town late Saturday night, so we only had Sunday to enjoy it, but we got to see the whole thing. Of course my favorite stand was a papercutting stand. The lady was really nice and had some good advice about mounting papercuts. Here is here website: www.jupisart.com
I had actually seen one of her pieces when Mike and I went to a traveling papercutting show in Rockville, MD (about 2 yrs. ago.) I thought it was so awesome that I took a picture of it:

She mounts the cutting onto plexiglass in a shadow box type frame - such a neat result. She actually owns her own framing studio in Harrisburg.

Here is the sand sculpture (they do one every year). This one was named "Classic Toys."

Our nephews were also in town for this whole week. We also got to see David & Jeannie real quick on Sunday before they headed home.

We had some fun times together with Evan and Conell. We miss them already!

On Monday, Mike and I took Evan for a hike "in the woods" at Alan Seeger Natural Area. This is one of Mike and I's favorite spots. It's actually an old growth forest with a ton of wild rhododendrons growing - so beautiful!

I guess we did a good job :)

We also got to catch up with Tim, Louie, Jim, and finally got to meet Jim's girlfriend Jess. Zeno's did the job - good times.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thank You

I'm thinking that most of you know by now that I did not win the laser cutter :( But I just want to thank all of you who made comments and gave me your support. I'm not big on asking for help, so it really meant a lot to me to have so many responses! And although it was a long shot, I can at least feel like I gave it a good shot. Some day I know I will invest in my very own laser cutter, so it's just a little longer of a waiting period now. No big deal! Thanks again - I truly appreciate it!!!

Nature Shots

Here are some more pictures from Buttermilk Falls State Park. There are so many trails to hike there - you can get a serious workout! And it's so beautiful!

Milkweed - I think they have one of the coolest flowers - this is the only plant that Monarch Butterflies eat. The milk in the leaves are toxic and when the caterpillars eat the leaves, they become poisonous. There are actually butterflies who imitate the coloring of Monarchs so that they have a better chance of not being eaten.

Burns Sisters Band

Every Saturday night starting last weekend, the state parks host a concert series at Taughannock Falls State Park (where I used to work.) I guess it's a pretty big event so Mike and I decided to check it out. The band was good and the weather was hot! I even went swimming in the lake before the concert. Overall a fun time, I think we will definitely be heading back there as much as possible.

Another crazy sidenote - you're allowed to drink in the state parks here. They even sell wine at the concerts and the Cayuga Wine Trail is a sponsor.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Flames a Flying!

Ithaca had their fireworks display last night. Mike and I ventured down to a park by the lake and watched the celebrations from afar. It was pretty nice, although it is definitely hard to compete with the State College display and with watching the fireworks while sitting on the beach in Rehoboth. But it was nice to see some, and the best part is that I got this awesome shot! I unfortunately have to work tomorrow (while everyone else is off), but I can't complain for getting paid holiday pay.

International Tree Climbing Day

Did you know that the last Sunday of March is always International Tree Climbing Day??? Well, I didn't either, but that means that in 2009, that will be my birthday!! I think I shall have a super-dooper-tree-climbin'-celebration!! (All are invited - please consider this your official invitation!) Anyway, over the weekend our dear ol' friends from State College, Louie & Jim, graced us with a visit to the beautiful town of Ithaca! It was really great seeing them. We showed them around some of the gorges, Ithaca Beer Co., Robert Treman State Park, downtown, and Taughannock Falls State Park. It was a full weekend and complete with some good ol' fashion tree climbing.
Louie, Mike, Jim

Cayuga Lake from Taughannock Falls SP

Ryan & Jim in a tree

Chris up a Sycamore

Buttermilk Beauty

Last Saturday was my first day to give gorge tours at Buttermilk Falls. I was pretty nervous but I ended up with two groups of great people. I was quite grateful! I then gave another tour today. I was thinking it would be a pretty slow day. It was a little dreary this morning and when I arrived at the park there was no one around. I then recruited one couple and felt pretty good with the two of them. I thought, this will be a nice relaxing tour. THEN about 10 mins. before my tour started, everyone and their mother showed up! I ended up having close to 35 people! Talk about a change of emotions. But everyone was really nice and I think they all had fun. Crazy times! So here are some pictures of Buttermilk Falls State Park. The actual buttermilk falls are pretty dry right now so I got the photo above off the web.

Pinnacle Rock