Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope Santa was good to you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Retro Christmas

Christmas is a nostalgic holiday. It reminds us of the time when we believed in the magic of Santa Claus an the unbearable anticipation of his visit.

It brings thoughts of Christmas past, deep white snow, time with family some of which may no longer with us, and treasured gifts.

And of course there is the story of a birth, over two thousand years ago, in a far away land, that has shaped our world and brought peace to so many.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saratoga Spa in winter

In the 1930's New York State built a complex of buildings at Saratoga Springs as a center for relation and rejuvenation in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains. The spa had mineral bath houses and many springs where patrons could "take the cure". Doctors were hired to prove the effectiveness of the treatments. Little scientific validation came out of those studies, but like so many things in life, it is faith that motivates people into believing what science cannot prove.

Today the spa remains and visitors from around the world are still attracted to the springs.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red barn

Why is it that so many barns are painted red? Is it just tradition?

It turns out that centuries ago farmers preserved the wood on their barns with linseed oil. Often they would add ferrous oxide, rust, to the oil for added protection from wood rotting mold and moss. The rust contributed a dark orangish red color which has led to the tradition of painting barns red.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tree of vines

Perhaps a transplant from Pandora?

I have never seen a tree like this. The trunk seems to be made up of vines, creating a unique texture. I will have to revisit this tree in the spring to better understand the structure.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Now that's a Christmas tree!

No lights, no tinsel, no colorful glass balls. Just big and tall and thickly coated with bright white snow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Closed for the season

I am guessing we will not see any birds in this nest for a while. Now that the bush branches are empty of leaves, and most of the snow has dropped from the thin branches, we can clearly see how much a bird nest can hold.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow bails

A few weeks ago the farmer was bailing hay, gathering the crop. Now his field is blanketed with snow, as are these forgotten bundles of straw.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mystery photo take 6

A hint of the season, but what is it?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Barns preserved

When suburbia overtakes a community there is a natural tendency by some to conserve the heritage that originally defined the region. What was once thought of as passé and inferior to progress is now revered as historical, quaint and even fashionable.

Friday, December 3, 2010


We continue to loose our small town specialty stores, where you would likely deal with the owner and be known by name. The draw of plenty of easy parking, large selection and lower prices have given us the big boxes, like Home Depot and Lowe's. Unfortunately this takes away from the community and rewards far away corporate headquarters.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What the heck?

It was cold this morning, only 24℉, the deepest freeze this year so far.

When I got to the office park where I work the geese that frequent the ponds were making a lot of noise, like something was wrong. So I stopped to watch and see what was going on.

A thin crust of ice had formed on the ponds, and it appeared the geese were suddenly aware that they could walk on water! You would think that Canadian geese would be well aquatinted with ice, but it appeared not to be so. They were shuffling along and seemed to be amazed by this miraculous change in their environment.

Then I looked up and saw a group of about 8-10 geese coming in for a landing (and unfortunately missed the shot). Their landing presented them with a surprise... as they landed each slid about 10 feet before coming to a stop.

I enjoyed the show.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


A beautiful and colorful collection of fresh flowers. But you have been deceived. This shop is a purveyor of artificial flowers. Even on close inspection the flowers remain surprisingly realistic, although not fragrant.

Flowers that do not wilt, loose their freshness and retain their colorful lasting beauty... there is a place for these works of art, but they are not a replacement for natures grandeur.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Strands of gold

They say that money doesn't grow on trees, but as this photo shows, apparently gold does!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Get to the point

Most churches have steeples, and most church steeples tapper to a point. But the point of this steeple is remarkable. If I could magically float up to the top I think I could prick my finger on it.

I have driven by this church for 30 years and still marvel at the sharpness of this spire.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Styrofoam snow

Not really styrofoam, but it looks like it. This is the first morning we woke to the white frozen water crystals. Not enough to bother about, but suggestive of the coming winter months.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Motion picture

OK, it's a still image, but there is a lot of motion in it.

This is what my ride home looks like now... well, maybe after too much caffeine.

Actually this night traffic was movings slow... a rubber neck delay... and so to amuse myself I took out my constant companion and fired off a few slow shutter speed photos.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Concrete quilt

You would think that a concrete brick wall would absorb moisture more-or-less evenly, but here's proof to the contrary. In this case it forms a concrete mosaic of a quilt. I wonder why?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Faded glory

Gone the red, the orange, the gold.
In its place the browns, the blacks, even mold.

But still there's beauty to behold.
The shapes, the contrast, the muted tone.

And in a season yet untold.
Fresh growth will spring, to succeed the old.

It is easy to believe that what is today, is what will always be. But life moves in cycles. What seems like reality is only a passing phase. What fades will soon be restored.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wheel of misfortune

At first I though this building had a steering wheel! But everyone knows that buildings do not have steering wheels... they have rudders.

Actually this is a fire system valve handle. Essentially a file hydrant built into the wall. It is one of those things you hope you never need to use.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another reflection

Almost looks like a Photoshop trick, but no, it is not.

Leaving work the sky had this great pink and blue light. Walking over to the pond I was able to capture not only the sky, but the mirror image on the surface of the water.

A minute later and it was gone.

Timing is everything, and being lucky is sublime.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Frosty rocker

So this is how it often works...

I am on my way to work, trying to be observant. I see something unusual, in good light, or unusual... or just something unexpected... but I drive by.

Iv'e got to get to work.

Then something in me clicks, I slow the car down, and simultaneously let out a low sigh!

I turn around... and drive back.

So why is there a frosty bright red rocking chair on the curb in the middle of a pile of leaves? I have no idea.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fog settles in Tryon

In the valley distant is modern day Ellison Park. This morning a thick fog covered the hollow below, creating a dreamy drive through the park.

This lawn, now a county golf course, was once a thriving town occupied long before there was a Rochester. In fact 200 years ago this was the major trade center between Queenston in Canada to the west, and Oswego to the east.

The "Lost City of Tryon" was comprised of a five-story warehouse, flour mill, customs house, a tavern, a distillery, a shoe factory and a number of houses. But once the Erie Canal was built the regional focus quickly moved to Rochester and the Port of Charlotte.

It is hard to believe that here on today's silted and slow moving Irondequoit Creek, large schooners once docked, enabling trade and commerce for the region.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beauty or ugliness?

Both can attract your attention.

And they can sometimes be hidden in the other.

So I try to take the time to find the beauty in the ugliness. And ignore the ugliness in the beauty.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big doors

These are the lower gates of lock 33 on the Erie Canal. They are within easy walking distance from my place of work. In fact, if the south wall of the canal was to break, my car and likely me would be under water. There was a canal break a number of years ago a bit farther to the east, and cars and offices and homes were flooded. Fortunately that does not happen often.

These gates are the doors that allow boats and barges to enter and leave the lock. Gates are located on each end of the lock. Once the doors are closed on both ends, the water level can be raised or lowered solely by gravity.

The locks were also symbolic doors when the original canal was built in 1821. It created a doorway to the Great Lakes, and by extension, opened the continent allowing relatively fast, inexpensive and convenient travel. It is the canal that made Rochester a city, along with many other towns in its path.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The leaves have abandoned these trees, but the birds certainly have not.

In fact there are hundreds of them. Perhaps it is a family reunion? Maybe they are grouping together in preparation to their migration south?

At any rate as they say, "birds of a feather, flock together."

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Calumet

Calumet is the what the French called the American Indian peace pipe. So it is ironic that this building, called "The Calumet", once housed the Buffalo chapter of the Klu Klux Klan. It is equally astonishing that the KKK even had a following in this northern upstate city.

The Calumet is a distinctive art nouveau designed glazed terra cotta building constructed in 1906. It presently houses an upscale restaurant, and was recently purchased and will be restored by a law firm for their offices on the upper floors.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Eastern sunset

Everyone knows that the sun sets in the west, but if the sky is right, and the clouds are right, you can see the sunset in the east. This is of course because the sun on the western horizion is throwing its warm late day colors onto the clouds in the east. And this can result in some magic.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dusty miller

This time of year dusty miller takes on a slightly different look, perhaps foretelling the snow that could be with us in a matter of weeks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A fixer-upper

This reminds of a Sunday drive many years ago a with my family. We saw an old broken down house and made some negative comments about it. My Dad then said, "Oh I don't know... I think it has possibilities!" Then he smiled and added "Possibilities of falling down!"

And we all had a laugh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wiltsie & Crump

This Pittsford landmark has been standing since 1886. Mr. Wiltsie and Mr. Crump are long gone, but their names are still proudly displayed on the top of the one time general store. What I have read is their establishment was one of the longest running stores of it's type in the state, but today the street level retail space is nothing so interesting.

124 years is a long time, not as old as the moon, but an enduring accomplishment.

And it is something to have your name live on for so many years. Not many of us will have that distinction.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Parking lot trees

I am fond of trees, especially in the fall. I am lucky to have this beauty outside my office building, in the parking lot. The trend toward having trees in parking lots is a great one. It adds a bit of nature in the middle of the asphalt slab, and in the autumn a nice touch of color.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Cold rain and stiff breezes stir dark skies...

This is the way October lets us know that the warm days are behind us,
and frigid days lie ahead.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perfect reflection

I have a Adirondack guidebook by Seneca Ray Stoddard that was first published in 1874 (mine is a modern reprint). I enjoy reading it not only because I love the Adirondacks, but because the language and style is obviously different than if it was written today.

There is a chapter on Lake Placid in which he describes the lake as "a pretty sheet of water". That phrase stuck with me, and this photo reminds me of it. This pond in the office park in which I work is often perfectly still and mirror-like early in the morning, and the reflections can be nearly perfect.

So this 136 year old book provides an inspiration for me. And other than a few details in the background, Stoddard might find the scene pretty familiar.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meet me at the corner

Two observations...

1. Although I have never been very fond of symmetry in photography, the square aspect ratio I use in this blog compels me to look for balance. And now I seek equilibrium.

2. This photo testifies to the difference between design by humans and design by nature. The linear straight lines are a total contrast to the organic living lines of the natural world. It is imposed design versus the unpredictable design of life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

False color

The thing about digital photography is that you can do almost anything. An autumn photo can become a strange spring-like image with a little fooling around.

Makes you wish more in our world was digital and equally malleable. Middle East conflict? Fix it in Photoshop.

Friday, October 8, 2010


It's a funny thing.

We use doors dozens of times a day but we don't' really think about them much.

We use them to go in... and use them to go out. Depending on which side of the door you are on it is an exit or an entrance.

They are a means of access, but can also be a means of denial by means of a lock. They can even selectively provide admittance, allowing fresh air in while keeping the flies out with a screen door.

When the weather is nice, we like to be outdoors... when it is too color or hot we like to be indoors.

Here we see a somewhat mysterious and hidden door that could be described as being “down and in”, which sounds a lot better than “being down and out”.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Clouds on the horizon

Anyone that visits this blog knows my fondness of clouds. These billows of water vapor endlessly reveal shapes that inspire my imagination, creating thoughts of distant mountains or pillowy cushions.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tree lanterns

Vessels of light
fail to bring bright.
The dark sky up higher
overshadows the fire.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Shut tight

These are real shutters covering a real window. Although it looks like the shutters are more-or-less permanently shut, in fact painted shut, they are practical protective coverings.

What I find strange is that many buildings these days have fake shutters. Panels that are mounted to the sides of a window pretending to be shutters. They are just a visual gimmick and nothing more.

So which is stranger... permanently closed shutters, or fake shutters?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

White tipped leafs

The contrast of white to green is amazing. It does not seem possible or natural, but nature has it's own way, and often astonishes us with the unexpected.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Victorian elegance

It is fun to live in a time gone by for a few days. Here in Niagara-on-the-Lake The Prince of Wales Hotel dates back to 1864 but has been updated and offers the best of the old and new.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mystery photo take 5

This one should not be so hard.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Green and orange

It seems every tree has a different way of transforming into autumn colors. The outer branches of this specimen have taken on brilliant oranges while the interior still remains deep forest green.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What kind of express?

Strange name. Strange tag line. Strange graphic.

To make the image bigger you can click to enlarge.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Color transition

As the autumn colors brighten, the summer colors fade. There is still beautiful color in this hydrangea, but the wedgwood blue of summer is all but gone, replaced with browns and pastels that portend the end of the season.

It seems that we too go though a similar transition as the seasons change. Our energy level drops and our outlook shifts as the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler.