Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shays Rebellion

I wonder if my neice's teacher knew what a wonderful day was being created for us when the assignment to do a gravestone rubbing of Daniel Shays' grave was given to the students. My sister-in-law knew this would be a perfect Uncle Don day, and added me to the jaunt! My little speech about damaging gravestones was quickly set aside with the information that the current stone was quite new, having replaced the original relatively recently! Daniel Shays was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and shortly afterward became upset that the the new country he had fought for, was not treating the former soldiers very well. I'll let you read about it here, and here, but I'm amazed that some of the same issues seem to be a problem in 2007 as well!
But this is a story about our adventures in the Union Cemetery in Scottsburg, NY. Maeve got her rubbing, and presumably her class credit, but we got a lot of other things. Wyatt was reluctant a first, but when unleashed in the cemetery, was soon asking to borrow my camera, and was off on an adventure. Some of these pictures are his. And Maeve didn't seem too eager to leave after getting the rubbing either.
Anne, who is always interested in lots of things, even found a Scottish link to her thistle and her friend Buck.
We also discovered that graveyards are places of life too. A couple of daddy long legs were engaged in courtship atop the grave of someone whose last courtship was long ago, and a hillside of mushrooms was quite glorious!

Many mysteries too. Were these two toys favorites of the people resting beneath the ground here, or were they offerings of young friends who missed them, or was the road grader perhaps intended to help Michael Bryan Masten dig out in the afterlife much as the ancients left their dead stocked with food and tools for use in the next life?

And among many thoughts about who all these various people were, we wondered especially about Willard and Luella. Why are they not buried here despite earlier plans, or are they alive and well, having great adventures somewhere in these surrounding hills? At 147 and 151, they would have some stories to tell!
And, in a day when we only allow plaques on the ground, and no live flowers, Union Cemetery in Scottsburg, NY is a marvelous place. Neatly trimmed, adorned with flags and live flowers, and with conveniently placed water faucets complete with jugs to carry the water to the flowers, Union Cemetery is still in use. Kids come to study history, lots of more recent stones without their end dates are here waiting, and even some 2007 graves, including one with fresh dirt, and the remnants of a flower tossed on maybe only a week ago?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miscellaneous Bike Ride Stuff

A bit of nature on the Genesee River as I rode by. A magnificent old tree at the George Eastman House
One corner of the front porch at the George Eastman House
Not sure what it costs to get inside, but you can sit on a nice rocking chair on the front porch for free!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Back to Artwalk

Here is a great shot of the folding mechanism of a non-folding umbrella bus shelter! The guy below seemed uncertain about Artwalk, but didn't really have any option but to just think we were all strange?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A day with my dad and friends

My good friend Marty Schlabach switched careers a while back, and became a librarian. Now he is in charge of a couple of great libraries! The entomology library at Cornell University (I earned a lot of my way through Cornell working there) and the library at the Geneva Agricultural Experiment Station - a great institution that does research on many aspects of agriculture. Marty's brother Bert, and other family and friends, along with Dad and I went to the 125th anniversary celebration, and had a lot of fun. We learned about trying to keep lady bug smell out of wine, bugs out of the broccoli, and why peaches taste better when ripe?

That is Dad and Beth (of Bert and Beth) below, and below --- Dad playing Vanna! I love that katydid on the sign ---- ????? I think it is a katydid?

Maybe I should have stayed with Entomology?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Under the bridge

Went the other way on the bike path tonight, and while I certainly knew about the new bridge, I hadn't seen it from these angles..... and most of the thousands of folks who drive overhead will never see the wonderful brickwork below. Maybe I should add another "label" for these posts. I guess a lot of what I like about my bike rides is seeing another side of life. Sort of an "under the bridge" kind of angle on life?

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Artwalk every fall is a great event in Rochester, NY. Lots of folks just hanging out, kids making art, artists demonstrating their techniques, poets, dancers, storytellers, and this year - the unveiling of a brand new bus stop (shelter)! After about a three year process, the bus stop is complete, and to make up for the bright sunny day, the fire department obliged with a simulated rain - sort of like they do in the movies. That umbrella bus shelter is just too cool for words! I'm not sure if it will work, but hopefully my video of some folks "singing in the rain" will convey some of the wonder of it all! Just click on the link below these two still pictures! If you are in Rochester, check it out, along with two others ..... one at the Memorial Art Gallery, one at Gleason Works, and this one in the middle at 822 University Ave........ just cruise up and down University Ave and enjoy the art!

Singing in the rain in the new bus shelter!

Snail High Rise

If anyone knows why 7 snails climbed up the thistle in our yard over the past few days, please tell me. This beautiful specimen is exactly 4 feet off the ground. In addition to why, is the question of how they manage to get up there without benefit snail doctors with little snail syringes of antitetanus serum? Smaller than the snails - about the size of a dime or penny, are the two little fungi fruiting below.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh the joy of an empty canvass

Another interest as I ride along the canal bike path is the grafitti to be found - mostly on the supports for bridges that carry traffic over the canal, and are right along side the bike path which mostly goes under said bridges. Sometimes the local graffiti patrol comes along and "beautifies" the cement with a fresh coat of nicely opaque grey paint. Fairly quickly the local art patrol comes along and makes the cement wall cool again. Sometimes these folks just make a mess (in my opinion) but more often that not, the results are very colorful, creative, and a lot better looking than grey painted cement! This bridge carries a big expressway at least 4 stories over our heads as we pedal below. I only wish the graffiti folks had some really portable ladders to make the other 80% of the wall accessible! I fully admit to not being sure what these pieces say, so if it is offensive, I apologize, and ask only that you observe the great colors, shapes, and flow of this work! The bottom 3 images are closer shots of each of the three pieces shown in the first image..... if I did it right, you can click on the bottom three and see much bigger versions!

Bird in the hand

I rescued this little fellow from the stairwell at out studio today. How did he get to the third floor in a windowless stairwell? Over the years a lot of birds have come in the window by mistake, but this is the first one on the stairs! I put the bird outside, but I'm afraid it was too tired to make it? Below is a much smaller flying thing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Maya the wise

How can one who has been here for less than 8 weeks look so much like a wise old woman? Perhaps it is spending a lot more time sleeping than everything else put together!
Lots more things for tomorrow - including some more insect shots, and some wonderful graffiti, but for today Maya has my heart!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Maya - 7 1/2 weeks

Dad and Maya awake. Dad and Maya asleep!
I think the pictures say it all ..... nothing more to add.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Big and Little

Not sure how tall this is, but that is Cheryl, Wyatt, and Maeve standing beside it - above. Built by Albert Paley and Klein steel - partially from the scrap left over from other Paley projects - it looks to be maybe 100 feet tall? Local newspaper article about it here.
And on the small side of the equation below is Maya at 6 weeks..... out for breakfast, but she deceided to sleep through it. Didn't even wake up when we posed her with her new sunglasses!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Off the main drag!

I love checking out things off the main drag. We drive through places, always sticking to the main street through town, or often even just whizzing by on the interstate - maybe not even seeing there was a town off to the right. Took some time tonight to wander some back streets. Found the above (detail below) brick work on the old downtown Main St.
Somebody put curtains on the porch here!
And these folks have a caboose parked next to their driveway!

Not your usual graffiti!

Found on the back side of the High Falls Brewery buildings along the path to the High Falls overlook in Rochester, NY. Sort of like Pluto, High Falls is an oft overlooked place, but while not as tall as some, the 99 foot drop is pretty spectacular! I'll try to add some stories and pictures soon.