Memorial Day Weekend 2019 Pam and I visited Athens, first settled in the 17th Century by an ancestor through her maternal grandmother. Click me for more about the Van Loons. Jan Van Loon is 10 generations removed from Pam and her siblings and is one of 1024 (512 pairs) of ancestors. Whatever became of the other 1022 people (and all those in between) Pam was there with me that day to enjoy the experience of walking around town and talking about Jan Van Loon’s connection to herself.
Click any photograph for a larger version
We stopped for a very enjoyable latte at Bonfiglio and Bread on 2nd street. As we ambled south on 2nd street Pam spotted someone to talk to and I proceeded with the goal of the Hudson River, visible at the bottom of the street.
I noticed this architectural specimen and turned to capture this side in a good light and was lucky to capture a young co-admirer of its style with whom I assume is her Mother. Athens, developed as a “National Register Historic Site,” is a charming place to stroll and admire.
Yesterday I did a Red Cross blood donation at an elementary school on Hudson Street here in Ithaca. Henry Hudson, the first European to sail up the river that now bears his name, is memorialized this way across New York State so much so it is unusual to find the “Riverfront Park” named as such.
The city of Hudson, in Columbia County directly across the river named its park “Henry Hudson Riverfront Park.”
“Peace and Quiet“
The Athens Park is a gathering place for the village with a large swath of grass, a short boardwalk, benches and generous shade trees along with river…….
The photograph captions will speak for themselves for the rest of today’s post. Enjoy!!
This day, as our hill turns to snow globe, I remember this early morning, March 2007, on the edge of spring.
As winter changed to spring I noticed the first greening of the limbs and, each November, the eerie form of the limbs revealed. I call the tree an “elm” though I am not certain. There are other lone survivor elms nearby, the leaves are right for an elm. Some elm species/specimens have the same shape.
Yesterday, Pam and I headed to the peneplane behind our home to enjoy the Finger Lakes terrain graced by fall colors. The day before I noticed the Japanese Maple leaves had turned from maroon to vermillion. While waiting for Pam to get ready, I capture the following two shots.
This tree was planted by my father and mother in-laws. Developed over the centuries by the Japanese, specimens reached England in the 1820 and spread from there. It is not strictly accurate to call the color vermillion, since cinnabar finely ground produces the pigment for which the color is named, when the sun strikes the leaves vermillion is a metaphor for the impression made.
The scientific name for these trees is Acer palmatum with common names Palmate Maple (for the shape of the leaves “like a palm tree”, as for the scientific name), Japanese Maple or Smooth Japanese-Maple (for the bark).
We drove under the clouds, enjoying the rare dramatic shafts of sunlight and I gave up, finally, tying to time my shots. Here is the view from Connecticut Hill.
The previous photos were taken with a hand held Sony Alpha 700 with variable lens. The next two are with an Apple iPhone I had a hand when Pam and I returned home for a walk around the neighborhood to witness the transformations.
We were surprised by this orange maple, never recalling this shade before. Like our Japanese Maple were assume it is a non-native ornamental.
Our Japanese Maple is a challenge to capture photographically as it grows beneath a larger “nut” (don’t recall the kind at the moment) tree. We are working together to improve that, so I don’t have an overall photograph.
Here is our neighbor’s Japanese Maple. They have a story of carrying this tree, as a sapling, on the bus from Long Island. I love the impression of dark limbs among the clouds of red foliage.
This photograph (the “far” of the “near and far”) is from a remote corner of Chiricahua National Monument, during the trip mentioned in my post, “History and Ghosts of the Triangle T Ranch”. To get there, I drove over a mountain pass to a location was featured in an “Arizona Highways” I read long ago.
I call this photograph “Red Dragon,” the formation is known as a “maple ”
dragon”, from the long sinuous form of the tree limb. Known for this reddish orange autumn color, this is a Big Tooth Maple, AKA Canyon Maple. Scientific Name Acer grandidentatum (as in “big tooth”). It is a wild specimen, living along the north fork of Cave Creek. It is a area well know to avid bird watchers and ornithologists.
I originally published these blossoms as “wild rose”. It was my Facebook friends who pointed out these are hawthorn flowers. The key to identification was the shape of the leaves.
In correcting my mistake, I learned the young leaves of Hawthorn are excellent for salads. Wonder how the fairy folk, associated with single hawthorns (as in the following photograph from the Hill of Tara), react to picking leaves from their trees? I didn’t hear of the practice during our time in Ireland.
My mistake was understandable, in botany the hawthorn is in the same family as the rose. The flowers are similar, having five petals. The “haw” in hawthorn is from the Old English word for hedge, as is this linear standoff the tree lining the way up to the Loughcrew Cairns.
I read these votive offerings are made at Beltane, in which case these are fresh from placement May 1.
The following year Pam underwent double total knee replacements, never the less, she was great company for all our adventures on the island. Even this steep climb.
We marveled at the hawthorn hedges in field after field. I first notice them from the World Heritage Site, Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne, “Palace of the Boyne”). Here is one on the Dingle Peninsula, on the other side of the island.
October 23, 2006 was the 75th anniversary of the War Memorial, dedicate in 1932 to the memory of Cornell’s 264 casualties during World War I. The War Memorial building group is formed by the Army and Navy towers and the cloister connecting them.
The Story “War Memorial with sunbeams”
This view of the War Memorial and the west campus housing complex is across Libe Slope.
Taken late on an October Friday afternoon as hurricane Sandy approached the east coast, the view looks across Ithaca to the distant ridge of Connecticut Hill.
Click photograph for my Online Gallery “Finger Lakes Memories”
On a sunny autumn morning we set out, my soon to be three grandson Sam and I, to the Lime Hollow Nature Center near Cortland for an adventure. For the first time I brought a newly purchased iPhone 7 instead of the usual slr camera. The phone can be carried in a pocket and is simpler to us, to allow me to give full attention to Sam.
At the start is a large, today sunlit, field with an “art trail.” There are various anthropomorphic transformations on the trees and a very large sculpture of a blue face. Here is a tree from another place near here, to give you an idea.
I do not point out the tree faces to Sam. His Mom likes to say he enjoys being frightened and, when the blue face came into view, he turned back and said, “home.” Sam was mildly anxious, so I carried him and tried to turn him up the trail away from the face. He turned to keep an eye on it while I assured him it could not move. This and a climb up a 230 foot hill were the only times he didn’t walk the half mile to a open grassy knoll with a bench.
There we sat for 30 minutes, still and watching, Sam and I talked about our sightings:
1. The sunlit sky of clouds, from a milky blue towards the north to, overhead, a bright robins egg blue.
2. A circling hawk, shadow crossing over us.
3. One blue jay in a maple turning red, loudly calling over and over.
4. A little while after a second jay, landing in a tree turned yellow, drawn in and giving answer.
5. A monarch butterfly’s steady progress south. Such a strong gliding path.
6. A yellow butterfly who did not leave us, fluttering round and round.
7. Four honking Canadian geese flying north east, turned to check out a nearby pond, the returned to the original heading.
8. The sound of wind through the trees, listening to the sound made by each tree.
9. The late season golden rod, now dried gray.
10. A distant chittering red squirrel.
11. Distant peeper frogs in the swamps at the foot of the hill.
Sam did not want to leave the bench, eventually we headed on to the pond the geese checked out.
I used the “panoramic” feature of the iPhone 7 for this shot. On the hill we were sheltered by trees and bushes from the steady northeast wind. Here, on a bench by the pond, that direction was open to the wind. The sun kept us warm. It was clear why the geese did not land, the water surface was deserted, filled only by rippling wind driven waves.
On our walk back we sat on a bench on the edge of the art trail field, the blue face out of sight. A woman, the only other person encountered, emerged from one of the trails cut from the brush, camera in hand. She was collecting images for a Cortland Historical Society publication and asked to take our photograph. “OK,”, I said and gave the story of living here for 25 years in the house on Fall Creek where my son’s family lives now. She replied, “My daughter is in San Francisco. We don’t know who will have our house when we are gone.”