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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Today is the official date of Memorial Day in the United States. Originally, a day to remember the fallen soldiers of the US Civil War, after WWI it was expanded to remember all the fallen US military in all conflicts.

Lest we forget.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

After the rain

Raindrops on a blade of grass after the storm passed. The reflections in the drops were accidental but I liked how they came out.

James at Newtown Area Photo is hosting a collection called Weekend Reflections. Have a look at the marvels people find!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Skywatch Friday

It's a sunny day in Schenectady and the birds are singing from every tree!

A group of photobloggers post a photo of their skies each Friday - it's called Skywatch Friday. Click the link to see photos from round the world.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tree blown down in a storm

I used to wonder how large trees could be knocked down by the wind, but after seeing some of these old maples I guess I wonder how they stay up!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


At least I think it's a butterfly. Moths have feathery antennae I think. Hm. This critter was more interested in flitting about than in standing still for a portrait, so I feel lucky to have got this one. The late afternoon light seems a good match.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My camera does such a nice job with macros, I tend to try them a lot. I liked this close-up of our irises.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cardinal taking flight

I'm blessed by living in a city where birds and other wildlife are all around me. There are two pairs of cardinals with nests in the area - I see them almost every day, although I haven't spotted the nests yet. Taking their photo has been something of a challenge, given my old camera (it has great macro capability. Zoom, not so much.) If I'd taken this with my old film camera, I probably wouldn't have kept the print, but somehow, with this camera, I found this a keeper.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


There's a bullfrog poking his head out of the water here. It might seem like Where's Waldo? but I guess that's the point of natural camouflage! He's still young. I hope he eats lots and lots of those bugs that have recently hatched!

James at Newtown Area Photo runs a Weekend Reflections collection. It's amazing what people can do with a common theme! Click the link to go see... Thanks, James!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Skywatch Friday

This is the clock tower of City Hall on a day when the sky had many interesting clouds.

A group of photobloggers post a photo of their skies each Friday - it's called Skywatch Friday. Click the link to see photos from round the world.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bugs have hatched

Well the natural cycle is about complete. The insects have begun to hatch. This is down on the Cowhorn Creek, in Vale. They wouldn't stay still for their portrait! I bet they're getting the next generation ready...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Maintenance pays off

I would have been happy never to have seen one of these things in use, but I won't be complaining when the city comes round and flushes the hydrants this summer!

The fire crews were able to get enough water to put out the big fire even though they had at least 4 trucks hooked up to the hydrants on 2 streets.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

4 alarm fire

Last night around supper time we saw billowing clouds of dark smoke. From here, it seemed as if the corner store was on fire. Walking down there, it was clear that the store was OK, but the building on the south side of State Street was not.

This same building, the former White House Flea Market, had a smaller fire several weeks ago, and was boarded up. Tonight, the attached house was on fire, and it spread.

At least four units were called to the fire: Schenectady 1 and 2, Stanford Heights (Niskayuna) and Carman. There were 3 ladder trucks, like the one in the photo as well as 2 pumpers. Fire crews are still on the scene this morning.

Very fortunately, all the involved buildings were abandoned or unoccupied, so no one was hurt. Arson is suspected.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Difference of opinion

One of these poles is vertical. I hope!

I don't know what criteria the power company use to determine when their poles are too old, but whatever those criteria may be, they've kicked in. National Grid are replacing most of the poles in the neighbourhood. They use a big augur to drill the hole for the new one, drop it in, transfer the wires to the new pole and chop the top off the old one.

The poles carry many utilities - electricity, cable television, telephone and the surveillance cameras used by the city. Until all the others move their stuff, the old pole stands - slightly askew - next to its newer sibling.

We never call them power poles though, always telephone poles.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Not only the clear blue sky, but a male and female cardinal, too.

A group of photobloggers post a photo of their skies each Friday - it's called Skywatch Friday. Click the link to see photos from round the world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Enjoying the sun

We bought several flats of plants on Mother's Day, and now that the cold snap is over, they're going outside to harden off. Hopefully we can get them in the garden this weekend. It's not easy finding room for 5 flats of plants on our porch!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rainy iris

The temperatures dropped to near freezing for the past 2 nights, and fortunately all the flowers here in the city made it OK. The orchards were burning smudge pots and even had helicopters fly overhead to stir the sir enough to keep the very cold off of the trees!

I had to reach through the fence to take this photo, and didn't notice until this very minute that my sleeve is in the way. Sorry!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maple seeds

Maple trees flower early and produce seeds quickly. The seeds are carried in wings that every child here has thrown up to watch spin slowly to the ground. They come in all sizes ad colours, and it turns out, they're edible after cooking!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Our family has a tradition of buying the new plants for the garden on Mother's Day. We try different greenhouses, but every year keep coming back to Pigliavento's over on Lydius Street. Family operation, beautiful plants; who could ask for more?

The little one has a habit of smelling every blossom. I wonder where he picked that up from?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Skywatch Friday

It's Skywatch Friday, the day when many photo bloggers from round the world post a photo of their sky. Click the link to see many more!

I haven't posted a sunset in a while so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Got some rain yesterday. The first real thunderstorms of the season rolled through. Lightning, hail, wind and lots and lots of water. That seems early to me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Muguet de mai

My Lily of the Valley are just beginning to flower. The French have a tradition of giving these on May day; they call them muguet de mai. They smell so sweet; it's a great way to start the day with the scent of these flowers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lilacs in bloom

One of the neighbours has a lilac bush, and with the warm weather over the weekend, it sprang into bloom. You can smell the flowers up and down the street!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Theme Day - Statues

On the first of the month, the City Daily photo bloggers post photos representing one particular theme. This month, the theme is statues. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

This was a difficult theme for me because I was torn between some of the beautiful statuary in the nearby cemeteries, the memorial statues scattered hither and yon, or this perhaps most easily recognised statue in the US.

This small copy of Lady Liberty is located at the intersection of State Street and Washington Avenue, in a small spit of land that used to be the very southwest corner of the Stockade. Today, it's a bus stop.

We aren't the only city to have a replica...
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