Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hot pepper

From the garden, the last hot pepper. A month ago, I was taking these beauties for granted. Today, it's a gem. My attitude changes with the season.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wild aster

Taken at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar. We visited their Fall Festival. They pack a lot of neat outdoor things into a fairly small space.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Fog is somewhat unusual here, but this is the season when it's most likely. Well, I seem to remember it that way. One of these days I'll go check the National Weather Service and be sure!

This is looking down Maple Ave toward St John's Cemetery, one short block away.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


While playing in the park, this cicada fluttered down onto my son's back. He was startled at first, but his natural curiosity won out and he quickly picked it up to show everyone in sight.

It was getting late in the afternoon, and the light wasn't good so I was forced to use the flash. Too bad, as this fellow has beautiful markings. Unlike some insects which are too small to observe detail without magnification, these are as big as a child's finger, so they're easy to observe.

This cicada seemed content to rest on my son's fingers for a bit, then we transferred him to a nearby tree. I don't know much about them, other than my Mum always called them singers. They don't appear to bite; I've handled many of them. They all have a strange beauty about them. Maybe it's those perfectly clear faery wings...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A view of one of the pine trees in Central Park. There is a fairly open stand of them across from the Casino, shading the swings. I love the bark on these guys, and how far up the first branches are.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tiny flowers

These tiny flowers were growing in Central Park. I saw them near the stream that flows out of Iroquois Lake. I was there for the Fireplug 500 dog / animal shelter fundraiser. Our dog likes to walk, and she lead me to these delicate beauties!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dog's eye view

The Animal Protective Foundation sponsors an annual event called the Fireplug 500, to raise money for the animal shelter. Although the goal is a fundraiser, it's also a social event, with many people bringing dogs just to get together. There were vendors and information booths. Located in Central Park, the weather was wonderful this year!

This is what it looks like from their perspective.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Went to soccer practise and while wandering round the outskirts of the field, came across this orange jewelweed. Sometimes called touch-me-not, it has seed pods that burst when touched, sending the spring-loaded seeds away from the mother plant. This is a very common sight around here; anywhere there's a bit of dampness with some sun.

This is the time of year when the flowers are most often noticed, after the other wildflowers have begun to die off. Children (and the occasional adult!) love to wander through the bushes, touching the seed pods to watch the seeds fly through the air.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Big leaves

The broad leaves of this ornamental plant struck my eye. Each leaf is over a foot long! Quite unusual for this area. I believe this is the Common Taro, Colocasia Esculenta. A native of the tropics of Asia, it's grown here as an ornamental. The tubers are dug up before winter and stored inside, to be planted again in the spring. Around here, we call it Elephant ear.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to school

It's back to school for students in the public schools and also in college. This is the time of year when we see many students move in from out of town, out of state and out of the country to attend classes at Union College.

Welcome back!

I'm off for a bit and I didn't take enough photos to pre-post in my absence, so no new posts for a bit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Eye level

When I was at the airport, several National Guard helicopters came in to land at the attached base. It's not that often I get to see helicopters at eye level!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A good day to ride

A collection of motorcycles on a nice, sunny day: somewhat rare recently. We're between hurricanes, and although we don't get often struck directly, the remnant tropical depression tends to dump lots of rain on the area.

The bikers are getting those last summer rides in, before the autumn chill closes in.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Canada Geese

In Central Park, back away from the main action is a baseball field with a wide swale around it. For the past week or so, this flock of Canada Geese has been foraging here. They summer here, raise their families and then fly south to warmer climes when autumn approaches.

This is a very iconic image of this area, and of these geese in particular. There will always be at least one goose standing tall, watching for strange activities (like photographers!) whilst the rest feed or relax.

I have to admit they seem more beautiful to me when in flight - on the ground they leave quite a mess. They are a very common sight here anywhere there is a small body of water with a clearing nearby. Watch where you step!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Airport art gallery

Larry Kagan manipulates tangled masses of steel into meticulously wrought linear constructions that reveal surprising images when strategically lit. Kagan's seemingly simple combination of metal and shadow yields the illusion of an object that is at once convincingly present, yet nowhere to be actually seen. The incongruity between the sculptural form and its shadow is mystifying and presented with all the finesse and apparent effortlessness of a magician's performance.

So reads the card next to this amazing sculpture.

Schenectady has a small local airport, but passenger traffic goes through the Albany International Airport. I had to see someone off today, and so had the opportunity to visit the art gallery on the second floor. Local artists are displayed here, and it's worth the trip to see the talent our area has.

Raindrops on cabbage

A simple close-up of water droplets on my cabbage in the garden.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Roots & Wisdom

Roots & Wisdom is a local program that teaches kids (and adults!) about gardening, caring for the land (so we can grow next year, too!) and community (by donating to local food pantries.)

This particular garden is located in the Mont Pleasant neighbourhood. The kids grow organic vegetables and flowers and sell them locally.

My family has been buying local food for as long as I can remember, and we also buy shares in a larger co-op farm about an hour south of here. Call me old fashioned, but there's something more... human about eating food that wasn't tended by machines. My grandfather was a small farmer, so that might colour my views somewhat!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Low water

In the spring, the Mohawk River rises as the ice starts to break up. The loose ice jams up at the railroad bridge below this point and the water just builds up here. We're looking upstream here, toward Schenectady Community College and the Western Gateway Bridge.

As you can see, we're in no danger at the moment; the park where this is taken (Riverside Park) begins to flood at 223 feet, and starts getting into people's houses at 224.

The markings on the sign are height in feet above sea level. The National Weather Service has set the following guidelines for official flood stages:

Major Flood Stage:227
Moderate Flood Stage:225
Flood Stage:223
Action Stage:218
Normal Stage:213

Historical Crests

(1) 232.90 ft on 28 Mar 1914

(2) 229.20 ft on 19 Mar 1936

(3) 228.90 ft on 28 Mar 1913

(4) 228.00 ft on 20 Jan 1996

(5) 227.70 ft on 15 Mar 1929

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lawrence the Indian

This is Lawrence the Indian. Well, not really. He is representative of a friendly Native American who lived here when Schenectady was burnt by the French and Indians in 1690. Although we don't know his actual name, this statue was raised in his memory in 1887. He was one of the very persistent trackers of the raiders and helped identify the culprits.

Although today we think of 'Indians' as a single, cohesive people, that wasn't the case at all. There were many different peoples, and they weren't necessarily friendly with all the others. 'Lawrence' was a Mohawk, a Dutch ally, and the raiders were Algonquin and Sault from Quebec along with the French, who wanted to disrupt the Dutch traders. The Indians came along to revenge Iroquois attacks on their lands, fueled by British ammunition. Schenectady was unlucky enough to be isolated and northerly enough to be a target.

The location of the statue marks one corner of the fort that was built in 1705 after the settlement was rebuilt.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Theme Day: Sister City

It's Theme Day for the City Daily Photo blogs!
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Photograph by B. Boevink. Used with permission.

Schenectady, NY's sister city is Nijkerk, The Netherlands because the founder of our city, Arent Van Curler, was born there in 1620. Today there are almost 39,000 people in Nijkerk, compared to almost 62,000 in Schenectady. There's a construction boom in Nijkerk compared to here - over 200 new houses built in 2005. That may not seem like a lot, but imagine trying to find 'new' land in a place that's been around since 1413!

Nijkerk is a bit far for me to travel to get a photograph, so I browsed Flickr, looking for photographs in and around the city. Mr Boevink was kind enough to let me use his photo of his new house under construction for theme day. I pondered a bit on what sort of photo I wanted to use; there are many wonderful photos of beautiful Dutch girls in traditional costumes, windmills, clog shoes... but I thought I'd rather use a bit of actual city life as it's happening right now.

Looking at the photo, I can see our designation as sister cities is more than a mere formality. My brothers and sisters in Nijkerk have the same weather I have here! I hope this doesn't slow construction... When I saw the houses in the background, I was struck with the similarity to some of our houses here in Schenectady. I know it's crazy to compare a photo of a single house in Nijkerk to a photo of a single house in Schenectady, but the theme is 'Sister cities' and so I hope I'll be forgiven for deliberately looking for similarities!

It was a very interesting exercise to look through various web sites about Nijkerk and read up on the goings-on there. It was very interesting to see how similar the two cities are, even in 'mundane' matters like a growth plan; thinking about how the city will look in ten, twenty or even a hundred years from now. Even our weather seems similar, although we get more snow than Nijkerk does...

Looking through Google Earth, I see there's a lovely fountain in the centre of the city:

View Larger Map

For comparison, a similar view of the smaller fountain at the centre of Schenectady:

View Larger Map

Many thanks to Mr Boevink for sharing his photo of his house-to-be with us, and Groetjes (greetings) to all my brothers and sisters in Nijkerk!!

Here's a list of everyone participating in Theme Day this month:
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon,
American Fork (UT), USA by Annie,
Arradon, France by Alice,
Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB,
Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar,
Aurora, South Africa by shelagh,
Avignon, France by Nathalie,
Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin,
Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia,
Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan,
Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon,
Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi,
Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA,
Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah,
Brighton, UK by Harvey,
Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham,
Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis,
Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt,
Budapest, Hungary by Isadora,
Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine,
Busan, Korea South by iamnbinb,
Canterbury, UK by Rose,
Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que,
Château-Gontier, France by Laurent,
Chateaubriant, France by trieulet,
Chateaubriant, France by Bergson,
Cheltenham, UK by Marley,
Chennai, India by Shantaram,
Chennai, India by Ram N,
Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle,
Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic,
Darmstadt, Germany by Elsch,
Edinburgh, UK by Dido,
Edmonton (AL), Canada by ,
Evry, France by Olivier,
Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly,
Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie,
Gothenburg, Sweden by Lo/David,
Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange,
Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme,
Helsinki, Finland by Kaa,
Helsinki, Finland by PPusa,
Hobart, Australia by Greg,
Honningsvag, Norway by J.,
Hyde, UK by Gerald,
Hyde, UK by Old Hyde,
Istanbul, Turkey by mustafa34,
Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005,
Jerusalem, Israel by Esther,
Karwar, India by Yogesh,
Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin,
Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine,
Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse,
Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo,
Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl,
London, UK by Ham,
London, UK by Mo,
Madrid, Spain by Tr3nta,
Mainz, Germany by JB,
Manila, Philippines by Anthony,
Mashhad, Iran by Meead,
Menton, France by Jilly,
Mexico City, Mexico by Poly,
Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg,
Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch,
Misawa, Japan by misawa mama,
Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly,
Monterrey, Mexico by rafa,
Muizenberg, South Africa by Pentaxjunkie,
Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu,
Nashville (TN), USA by Chris,
Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben,
New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary,
New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser,
New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •,
New York City (NY), USA by Kitty,
New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless,
Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl,
Nice, France by Angelaj,
Norwich, UK by Goddess888,
Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla,
Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash,
Paris, France by Eric,
Paris, France by Elsa,
Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben,
Pensacola (FL), USA by P J,
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay,
Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie,
Philadelphia (PA), USA by Andrew Foderaro,
Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon,
Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise,
Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar,
Portland (ME), USA by Corey,
Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl,
Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03,
Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka,
Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams,
Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos,
Rouen, France by Bbsato,
Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter,
Saigon, Vietnam by Simon,
Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes,
Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate,
Salem (OR), USA by jill,
San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia,
San Francisco (CA), USA by Burd Zel Krai,
Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck,
Seattle (WA), USA by Kim,
Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck,
Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound,
Seoul, South Korea by Phil,
Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia,
Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa,
Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny,
Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie,
Singapore, Singapore by Keropok,
Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia,
South Pasadena (CA), USA by Laurie,
Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey,
Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth,
Stayton (OR), USA by Celine,
Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo,
Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC,
Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge,
Sydney, Australia by Sally,
Sydney, Australia by Julie,
Sydney, Australia by Ann,
Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David,
Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga,
Telluride (CO), USA by mtsrool,
Tempe (AZ), USA by angie,
Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas,
Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine,
Torino, Italy by Fabrizio,
Torun, Poland by Glenn,
Turin, Italy by Livio,
Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2,
Villigen, Switzerland by z,
Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl,
Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin,
Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential,
Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb,
West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria,
West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara,
Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto,
Willits (CA), USA by Elaine,
Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,
Blog Widget by LinkWithin