Search This Blog

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Street pond

Last week we had our first big snow storm of the season. People to the south of us (New York City, Washington DC, even Louisiana!) got snow but the major storms missed us until now. It's hard for the city to find a place to put the snow, so a lot of it ends up on the corner, out of the frame to the right.

It being late February, it warmed up above freezing, so the next storm dropped rain on us instead of snow. With the snow bank taking up a whole lane of the street, it was pretty difficult for the water to get past it. So it sat there. Here, actually, in my driveway.

It turns out that the angle I was at made for an interesting reflection, which qualifies this for inclusion over at Weekend Reflections. Thanks to James for continuing this very interesting series!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dividing line

Today is Friday, which means I get to see all the wonderful photos at Skywatch Friday - you can too, just click the link and enjoy photos from round the world!

I was struck at the difference above and beneath the power line. We've seen a lot of the upper half lately and I'm quite cheered to see some of the lower!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Group effort

When it snows a lot, say a foot (12 inches, 30cm) the snow plows have no choice but to push the snow off the street into your car. That results in a very large pile of snow blocking your car in, and that snow is packed and heavy. So it's a common sight to see neighbours help each other dig out. Snow blowers can only get so close to the car, so there's always a need for a shovel.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's snowing!

The snow was coming down at the rate of about an inch per hour. I tinkered and tinkered but never found the perfect photo. But I liked this 'mistake' enough to keep it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I went for a walk in Vale Cemetery to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, and found myself following someone's footprints. They lead to one of the small buildings, where I saw this small angel statue on the stonework near the door. What a beautiful thought.

Monday, February 22, 2010


A home made shrine appeared near the spot where yesterday's murder occurred.

Last night, the police cordoned off the street again, not letting people in or out of their houses. Something going on at the far end of the street - we saw the police use a battering ram to open the front door of a house down there. News people and other gawkers congregated outside our front door; the closest they could get to the action. The officer out front could not discuss what was happening.

This morning we found out that the police had executed a search warrant there, and that someone inside the house fired a gun. The bullet ricocheted off one officer and struck another. Both men are unharmed, saved by kevlar vests. The street is opened again; only that house is cordoned off now, and the police are still there. The police are not saying if the two events are related, but it seems too coincidental not to be.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today saw many of the local news organisations in our neighbourhood. The newspaper was the first to arrive, after them, the television crews. A man was shot and killed last night. Police are still investigating, but the man wasn't apparently from this neighbourhood. Drugs, a love affair gone wrong, mistaken identity, who knows?

It is a strange thing to be interviewed by the police and stranger still by the news organisations. I had no desire to go on camera in order to answer the stock questions, and no one seemed interested in trying to understand the history of the neighbourhood, how we have good people and bad like anywhere else, how we haven't as much money as some areas but we work to make it a better place just the same. We have our share of petty crime, but murder... no. Yes, I heard the shots in the night; so did the dogs, no I'm not happy about it but some things are out of one's control.

It is the city's first homicide of 2010. I hope it's the last.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Skywatch Friday

There is a community of photo bloggers who post photos of their skies on Friday. Well, it isn't the 'sky on Friday;' you know what I mean! We're called Skywatch Friday. Follow the link for many beautiful sky photos.

This is taken near the Albany Airport. There's some construction in the area and the hill has been cleared of all the trees and brush except for this one. The sky was really that dark.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Starting early

When I was a boy, I didn't have a camera. Film was expensive and so was film processing. My older kids didn't have cameras either - for the same reasons. But electrons are cheap when the camera is powered with rechargeable batteries, and so we let the 7 year old use the little digital camera. He's done some very interesting stuff; makes me a bit sad that my older two didn't have the chance to try their hand at it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Healthy cat

I've been eating yoghurt in the morning and Spot has been stalking me. Today I decided to give him the empty container. Apparently the smell was enough to entice him to put his whole head in there to get that last little bit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Twilight's last gleaming

The sky was so clear last night that I was able to see the sun all the way down. Well, sort of. We're in the Mohawk River valley, and the valley walls block the sun before it has set, but when conditions are right, the sun's rays skim over the tops of the trees and shine on our little hilltop.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Maker's mark

Through a light dusting of snow, the imprint of the people who made my sidewalk many, many years ago. They ought to be proud at how well it held up. Researching the name gave me a 1947 advertisement in the local newspaper:

Cement Work

Attention, Home Owners


Are now equipped to take care land-

scaping, sidewalks, curbs, driveways,

garage and cellar bottoms. 1741 Ave-

nue A 3-6190

That last is the telephone number. These days, we dial 7 digits.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shopping mall fountain

I went to Rotterdam Square Mall for the first time in what seems like years. A lot has changed; the carousel is gone, the book store too. One thing is the same: the fountain in the middle.

I remember that it used to be taller than this, but my son tells me that the height depends on the day - sometimes it is much taller than this. It was a good excuse to work on my Tenin Technique though! It's hard to make out at this angle, but there are many coins in this fountain, each one a wish to bring someone good luck.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Happy Chinese New Year! Xīn nián kuài lè!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday is a photo blog project showing the skies all over the world. Click the link to see the wonderful photos!

Although I see clouds like this a lot, it seems I rarely have my camera to hand. Well this time I did!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wild cherries

We were supposed to get 6 inches of snow yesterday but as it turned out, the bulk of the storm passed to the south of us and we got just a dusting. Enough to make these wild cherries look pretty.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just started

The news has been filled with the plight of the people in Washington DC and Virginia. They got quite a lot of snow and unlike us, don't have the equipment to deal with it. Up here, we've had very little snow this year. A storm is moving through today and tonight though, and the forecast is for 6 inches (15cm) by tomorrow morning. That's pretty easy for us to handle; especially since we don't have high snow banks.

The snow started minutes before I took this photo. I wanted some way to show the snowfall but quickly realised it's not as easy as it sounds to capture snow falling! I took this by pointing the camera at a black car's door so the snow would show up. It isn't what I wanted, but I thought it was an interesting effect.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The birds!

The birds came for a visit to scrounge through the grass to see what they could eat. They keep clear of the squirrel who apparently has the same idea. This is about how far apart the houses are in my neighbourhood.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Newest resident

Our little one has decided he wants to be responsible for a pet, and so he is the proud caretaker of a hermit crab. Hermit crabs haven't the personality of a cat or a dog, but he(?) seems to hold the interest of a 7 year old.

He's already changed shells - to a smaller one!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Frosty window

The temperature was up, now it's back down. This old house isn't exactly weather tight, so we get frost on the inside of the outside window, if that makes any sense.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday

It's Friday, and since I'm an irregular member of Skywatch Friday, that means a photo of my sky. Follow the link for photos from round the world!

I woke up this morning with Battle of Evermore running through my head. Strangely enough, not any of the Led Zeppelin versions, but Heart's cover. That is probably too much boring information, but that's me!

The salient bit is this snippet of the lyrics:

I hear the horses' thunder
Down in the valley below,
I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon,
Waiting for the eastern glow.

The apples of the valley hold
The seeds of happiness,
The ground is rich from tender care,
Repay, do not forget, no, no.
Oh, dance in the dark of night,
Sing to the morning light.

I think Robert Plant must have lived in a place very much like Schenectady.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I really appreciate Gerald's photos of Hyde although I'm terrible at telling him so. I'd like to emulate him but I'm not sure Schenectady has quite the same air that Hyde does. Anyway, this is a typical view of a typical side street when we get a dusting of snow. The main street is plowed and salted several times an hour, even in this light snow, but the side streets look like post cards!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Even in February, the wan Sun manages to warm up the snow banks enough that they melt a bit during the day. These ice stalactites grow just a little every day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We have a fair amount of ice and snow here, so we spread salt (or sometimes calcium chloride) to help keep the roads and sidewalks clear. That salt dissolves into the water it liberates, and flows everywhere. The water evaporates eventually, leaving the salt behind, as a ghostly record of where it was.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Theme Day: Wood

The first day of the month is Theme Day in the City Daily Photo Blogger community, and this month's theme is wood. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Here in Upstate New York, I am literally surrounded by wood. Most houses are made of wood, there are forests with growing wood, fallen wood, decayed wood. Wood lies in piles at the lumber yards and home improvement stores. I have wooden window casings, stair cases, doors, jambs - it's just about impossible for me to look anywhere and not see wood.

Which made this theme a wonderful challenge. How on earth does one 'see' wood in a different way? Some way that reflects Schenectady? As you might guess, often it's the most familiar of objects which reveal themselves in the most startling of ways. For me, today, it's the ubiquitous telephone pole.

A squirrel lead me to this 'discovery.' It's at the end of my driveway. I walk past it many times every day, and it took a squirrel running up it for me to see it this way. As an added bonus, it uses the Tenin Technique, although in the vertical dimension rather than Eric's usual horizontal format.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin