Sunday, May 31, 2009


I found this great graffiti under the Ford Street Bridge - picture of the bridge below. I really enjoy most of the graffiti I see on my bike rides. The bikeway goes under a lot of bridges along the way, making for lots of large canvasses for creativity. Lots of folks seem to "cheat" with the use of stencils --- probably mostly because it makes for a speedier getaway?? This piece makes the best use of stencils I've seen, and conveys a great message!
The Ford Street Bridge is just about exactly 1 mile from our house, and my bike rides begin and end on either end of this bridge, with just a mile of traffic concerns on each end of the trip! The Riverway bike trail passes under the ends of this bridge over the Genesee River - very close to downtown Rochester. The Riverway connects to the Canalway, and I can go miles and miles!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not sure why?

I'm baffled as to why fire hoses would be color coded? Different sizes, pressure capacity, lengths? The yellow one looks bigger? It sure makes for a colorful image! I resisted the urge to "clean-up" the yellow hose with photoshop!

It is definitely nice to have emergency ready folks standing by at some of the bigger shows we do.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Maya Wednesday!

Another wonderful day at the playground with Maya (our granddaughter if you are new to this blog), and a jackpot winner of a photo! Click for larger image.
Thank you for this wonderful life!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BIG frogs

We were at the Northampton show this past weekend again. There is a medium sized pond located at the end of the main building, and all weekend the frogs - several varieties - were booming out their mating calls. Finally on the last day, I got to see some of them, and get these shots. The fellow (Rana catesbeiana - the american bull frog) above must tip the scales at 3 pounds! All the pictures are clickable for a closer view.
The one below looks almost like a cartoon, but that's a real frog!
Below - the reason all those frogs were booming out their mating calls across the pond.Below - the female - the one on the bottom - has expelled her eggs, and the male is adding his sperm over them to create the next generation of frogs! Moments later they swam off into the sunset their main task in life complete!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nature in the back yard again.

The "lowly" Spirea. Very common, but so beautiful. Each of those little flowers is about 3/8" across at best. Detail below.
I always feel bad when I trim things back, but they always seem to come back stronger and more beautiful than ever.
I hope there is a lesson for the economy here!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More nature in the back yard

Our "little" Scotch Broom used to be about 2 ft tall -- now it is taller than me, and looks more like a forsythia! Just a bit more pale?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Busy Maya

It is amazing how long Maya can busy herself with the task of filling and emptying containers. Now that it is nice weather, sand in the sand box on the porch has replaced water in the kitchen sink! She was quickly distracted though when Grandpa brought out a glass of water for the almost dead pansy in the corner of the porch. I started to water the poor thing, but Maya ran over and said "Maya do", and she quickly took over the task! The perfect use for her filling and emptying skills!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Maya - Happy Grandpa!

Finally got Grandpa in the picture! Maya loves the swings -- "Happy Maya"
Grandpa loves to push! - "Happy Grandpa"

Maya expresses pretty complete ideas these days!
One of her favorites is "Happy Maya" - and of course the perennial favorite - "No" - usually uttered quite calmly, but firmly. I think she might be Casey's kid? If so, she will soon just look at you with her own version of the Casey "surely you're kidding" look!

Video of "Happy Maya" below.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some History - 1990's I think

Found some pictures while "cleaning" my office a bit - actually looking for something, and throwing out/organizing some while hunting. I still haven't found what I'm looking for, but I have throw out 8 large boxes of stuff including a charger for something unknown - I found the unknown thing today, but too late - the charger is gone!

Go here to see some more pictures - mostly of the folks working for me at the time. If you know anything to add to the captions, please feel free - just be nice!
Back in the day my beard was brown??? I've still got the tape measure, and the nerd pocket - including file cards, more pens than I can use at once, and a comb.... whatever happened to that yellow comb? And a yellow watch too? No cell phone back then!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I love license plates!

Not the best picture - taken through my windshield while waiting at a light. Notice the reflected rubber duckies! Definitely the best idea though, and a good one to follow yesterday's entry!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Number 400!

This 400th blog entry is dedicated to my old high school science teacher Richard Hunt! With apologies to my other favorite teacher of all time - Ellie Macklin - Dick Hunt is a wonderful teacher and friend. He was a great teacher and friend to me back in 1961, and is still a great teacher and friend to me today.

Here is the most recent thing he sent me You can see that he has never given up teaching despite being retired for many years.

Dick will know immediately why the cockroach picture, but for the rest of you, with his guidance, I did a very complex science project with some very big cockroaches. The results were mixed at best, but I learned a lot! I know some of you are not big fans of my love of insects, but #401 will be non bug related - I promise!

Yes - I did take the cockroach picture - a couple of weeks ago - I won't say where except it was not at my house! If you are a fan of good bug pictures, click on it for a really good view!

Horray - the "open the link in another window" thing worked! Thanks Salena and Maeve!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My mother's name is Violet

These are definitely ones to click on for a bigger image!

I'm not normally a big fan of flower pictures. It is just so easy to take a good flower picture -- God made them so beautiful that it is hard to miss unless you forget to focus, or you move the camera, or you use the flash when you shouldn't. And you are usually outside where it takes so much more effort to get the lighting wrong. So, I won't take any credit for these two shots, but offer them as a reminder to look closely around you ---
It's Spring!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Somehow I missed the 4 generation picture today

My Mom (and Dad) above, and my granddaughter below..... at the South Wedge Diner on Mother's Day. Despite the fact that Maya was definitely "under the weather" this morning, she broke out with the giggles in between a couple of unhappy times. She actually managed to not lose it even though she was obviously not feeling her best! Maya's appetite was definitely in good shape --- maybe she was giggling over the sight of all the empty plates she helped make that way????
Thank you Mom.
Thank you Cheryl.
Thank you Linda - Deanna's Mom
And mostly
Thank you Maya!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Nature in the Van????

My friend Salena, of "The Daily Rant" fame, made quite a few comments yesterday. I love comments by the way! Hint! Hint! One comment was about my tomatoes in my kitchen window. Salena's kitchen is in the back of their truck --- She and Eddie drive a very nice new truck with quite a "sleeper" rig built in. Sleeper is not quite the right word, because they can cook, shower, watch TV, surf the internet, etc. etc. in their home on wheels, all while making money hauling goods around the country! Anyway, Salena told me about the basil she is growing in the window of her traveling kitchen... thus, I return the favor with my traveling plant - above! Folks at the toll booths love my plant.

If you are new to my blog, Salena got me going on blogging when I accidentally ( I firmly believe there are no accidents) found this entry, while Googling the word "Agida". I thought I knew what it meant, but went looking for confirmation. Salena set me straight on "agida" in the way only she can -- with a wonderful image, and a great story..... I was hooked --- on blogging, and on Salena's Daily Rant!

Thanks Salena!

She also showed me how to make those links open in a new window instead of sending you away from my blog, but I haven't mastered it yet, so please come back here after you click on the links to The Daily Rant. I'll forgive you if you don't come back though because she covers a lot of very interesting territory - literally, and literarily (if that is a word?)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bert Babcock is my Grandmother's Uncle

Recently my friend Marty Schlabach sent me an e-mail about a hand written diary from 1894 for sale on E-bay. He knew about my great great grandfather Henry's 1886 diary , and my blog about his family's daily life. I checked out the E-bay listing, compared notes with my dad and mom, and figured out that the new diary was undoubtedly written by my maternal grandmother's Uncle Bert Babcock. And, in an additional twist of fate, he was working for the brother of my paternal great grandmother!

Needless to say, I became an energetic bidder in this auction, and around 10PM last Thursday, I won the auction. Yesterday I picked up the diary..... in another twist of fate, the seller lives in Fairport, NY, a suburb of Rochester, NY where I live. In another small world story, one of her neighbors is also a descendant of Henry!
This morning I went googling for what I might find about Albert "Bert" Babcock. In yet another twist, an auction had recently ended for a photo of Bert Babcock, from Ingleside, NY, taken sometime around 1905 - 1918? By then he would have been in his 40's? While the original photo is gone, the auction page had a very nice digital image of my Uncle Bert! I've got no actual proof that the picture below is Uncle Bert, how many Bert Babcocks would there be from Ingleside, NY???? Mom and Dad knew him in later years - they were born at least 10 years after this picture was taken - but he was older, and had quite a beard by the time they remember him , so they aren't sure it is him, but I'm going with it. That sure looks like a Babcock nose to me!Starting January 1, 2010, I plan to do a blog based on Bert's diary, paralleling my current blog about Henry Cadmus Olney's diary. Based on the dates involved, Bert is about a year older than my great grandfather Bart - son of Henry.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Maya Wednesday!

Maya explored various ways of getting up and down today.... pretty much all successfully I might add!
Stairs were most successful, but while grandma and grandpa held their breath, she tried just walking down the hill, and succeeded nicely until she reached the sidewalk at the bottom.
She went back to the stairs on the next trip, but opted for the two hands on the rail technique!

All images clickable for a better view!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


A roll of plastic pipe caught my eye one day on my bike ride....

Monday, May 04, 2009


Photographer Hiroko Tanaka takes pictures of us for local newspaper at show in Philadelphia this past weekend. Shots of other photographers are fun!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ok - now Zoom in!

Zoom in to right where the wooden upper portion of the Pigeon House (from yesterday) meets the stone foundation part..... another structure with a series of holes -- sort of a miniature of the big structure, but made of mud from the nearby Erie Canal bank? Former home to the Pipe organ mud dauber! (Trypoxylon politum) The mud dauber wasp builds these intricate tubes (other species make less interesting "nests") to protect their young as they develop. The female goes out and finds spiders. She stings them to knock them out, but does not kill them. Her eggs are laid in the comatose spiders (between 3 and 15 spiders per nest). The babies hatch and nibble away on the fresh spider meat. After fully developing as larvae, they form a pupa in the tube, and wait.

A newly minted mud dauber wasp emerges from the mud nest - below. This one is a different species, but I couldn't resist this picture I found on the internet.
Below - an adult mud dauber wasp confronts the job of hauling a large spider to her nest. The male is back at the nest, making buzzing sounds and posturing if anyone approaches! This is a distinct possibility! Another species of mud dauber skips the "mud dauber" part, and just takes over used or unguarded nests, and thus saves a lot of work! Like this latter species, I borrowed the image below also.... this one is a fabulous one to click on for a close-up you won't forget soon!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Pigeon House?

Found this on one of my bike rides this spring.... I've put in 57.3 miles in April so far... more than I've ever done in April before. A combination of some pretty nice early spring weather, and my feeling so glad to be out and about and energized, after a winter of way too many doctor's visits, diagnoses, treatments, and days upon days of lethargy - or "cancer brain" as my sister-in-law Anne calls it!

A worker nearby told me that this is a very old pigeon house. Some digging on the internet got me nothing besides a close-up photo of one side of this pigeon house with it's 10 roosts. A call to Linda Palmeri - retired head of Parks and Recreation for the City of Rochester - and one of my granddaughter's other grandparents - yielded the info that there used to be more of these, and they were built/funded by the Audubon Society many years ago,
She also revealed that there are or were, a couple of bat houses, and a hummingbird house! I've got to see if I can find those?