Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Bird At Last

I've been trying to attract birds to our new home.  Finally, with the new platform feeder I received at Christmas, I now have at least one junco who appreciates it.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quilt 35

Well not really a quilt.  I made this pillow for my cat-loving daughter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quilt 34

It is a good thing my husband likes this quilt, so it has a good home.  My daughter complained it was too psychedelic - I can't imagine why.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quilt 33

I finally got to use the long-arm machine to finish this quilt that I pieced last summer.  It goes perfectly on our new sofa.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Another Great Bike Ride

Yesterday we rode another section of the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath.  We found a good place to park, complete with portajohn, on the south side of Alexander Road in Princeton.  We had intended to ride north along Carnegie Lake, but taking the southern route meant we didn't have to cross Alexander Road and it looked inviting, so we figured we'd see how far we could get.  The path surface was quite good most places.  We ended up riding south about 4.5 miles, going under Route 95 and stopping when we got to the nice-looking bridge over Route 1.  We would have loved to ride further but had a time limit - more on that later - so we promised ourselves we would explore farther south the next time.  There is good parking at Quakerbridge Road so we could start from there.

After the ride we had dinner - at PJ's Pancake House on Nassau Street which was just so-so - then headed onto campus for a lecture by Hugh Herr, the head of the Biomechatronics Lab at MIT.  The Lab's work on artificial limbs is fascinating.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

More Biking

We rode the Henry Hudson Trail north from Freehold again today.  This time we continued up into Big Brook Park and did a total of 13 miles.

Trip to Oregon

Just some notes on my latest trip to Oregon.  I went sort of late this year - October 23-27 - because there was a quilt class I wanted to take earlier in the month.  The weather was quite rainy so we didn't make it to the coast.  Since my daughter was with me, I looked for hotels with 2-room suites.  The Holiday Inn in Albany advertised that but the room we got was basically one room with two beds.  I won't make that mistake again.  The Holiday Inn at the Portland airport did have 2 separate rooms, which was great.  But the hotel itself was pretty old so I wouldn't stay there again unless I needed the 2 rooms.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bike Ride

We have been doing lots of bike riding.  Most days we ride about 7 miles around the neighborhood.  Today we tried another bike trail.  We started at Allaire State Park and rode the Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway to Manasquan.  The round trip is about 11 miles all on a paved trail, though the eastern couple of miles are sort of rough.  An interesting feature of this trail is the 2 bridges over the Garden State Parkway.


We drove back to NJ from camp on September 9th.  Then on the 11th we drove to Cape May Point to spend several days with family.  We came back home late on the 15th and have slowly been catching up with things around the house but also doing lots of relaxing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Paddling Summary

Here is the summary of the 16 paddles I did in our abbreviated stay this year.
Ampersand Bay to Lake Flower
Bog River to Hitchens Pond and beyond
Dead Creek Flow
Floodwood Rollins loop
Floodwood to Polliwog
Hoel, Turtle, Slang, Long
Lake Clear
Little Tupper
Long Lake
Long Pond
Lower Osgood
Middle Saranac to Weller Pond
North Branch of Moose River
Oswegatchie River
Raquette River from Axton Landing to the falls
Raquette River from the Crusher to Follensby Pond

Paddling From Floodwood to Polliwog

We took our final paddle of the season today.  We plus J and C spotted a car on Floodwood Road at Polliwog Pond then put the boats in on Floodwood Pond and paddled down Fish Creek and around through Follensby Clear then portaged into Polliwog for a total of 8 miles.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Paddling the Bog River

The two of us paddled about 12 miles on the Bog River today.  We put in above Low's Lower Dam, carried around the Upper Dam, and paddled about 3 miles further upstream, then returned.  It was another beautiful day.

A mid-paddle siesta

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quilt #32

Monday, September 1, 2014

Paddling Hoel, Turtle, Slang, Long Ponds

We had a good Labor Day with friends today.  We put into Hoel Pond and paddled through Turtle and Slang and carried to Long Pond.  We had intended to picnic at one of the campsites on Long Pond, but the near ones were full so we headed back to the carry for lunch then retraced our steps.  We finished the paddle at the camp of friends on Hoel Pond and had brownie sundaes for dessert.  Yum.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Paddling Little Tupper

We had a wonderful paddle today.  The winds were forecasted to be calm, so the two of us headed for Little Tupper Lake.  We paddled 14 miles, taking most of the day with several stops.
It was nice to take the time to explore for a change instead of being with the group.  The weather forecast was correct and the still waters were beautiful.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Paddling the Oswegatchie

We led a paddle on the Oswegatchie River today.  We put in at Inlet off route 3 west of Wanakena and paddled to High Rock where we had lunch
with a great view
The group came to our camp for snacks afterwards.  It was nice to see everyone.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to Camp

We had a very nice visit in New Jersey.  We drove back to camp today and will stay for a little over 2 weeks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In New Jersey

We drove to New Jersey yesterday.  This evening we took part in the chorus' summer sing - "Elijah" by Mendelssohn.  It was great to sing again.  We'll head back up to camp sometime late next week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Paddling "Round the Mountain"

The group paddled 10.5 miles today, from Ampersand Bay on Lower Saranac to the park on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake.

This is one of our favorite views, looking south from Second Pond.
We went through the locks on the right; not over the dam.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Another Raquette River Paddle

Today we paddled another section of the Raquette River.  We put in at the "crusher" access point, at the top of this map, and paddled upstream, toward the bottom of the map, and back again for a total of about 10 miles.
 Among the many sites are interesting, undermined tree roots.
The cardinal flowers are in bloom
and there was LOTS of pickerel weed.
We decided to see how close we could get to Follensby Pond, at the bottom of the map, which has been acquired by the Nature Conservancy but is not yet open to the public.  As can be seen on the map, the area is quite overgrown so we paddled a very serpentine track for over a mile to get to the dam that marks the beginning of the lake.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Brownies Kaboom

No, that is not a new dessert recipe.  It is more like an anti-dessert.  I put a double batch of brownies in an "ovenproof" Pyrex dish into the oven.  Fortunately, we were sitting nearby a bit later when we heard a muffled explosion from the vicinity of the oven.  I opened it and found glass shards and brownie batter all over the oven.  Fortunately, we reacted quickly, turning off the oven and pulling out the rack and placing a cookie sheet underneath to catch what was not already on the bottom of the oven.  After the oven cooled we cleaned and cleaned and hopefully got up all the glass.
I guess our guest is not getting dessert tonight.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Paddling the North Branch of the Moose River

We had a great paddle today - 12 miles down the North Branch of the Moose River.  We put in off Rondaxe Road in Old Forge and took out at Mountain Man where cars had been left.  The gelato at the ice cream place in Inlet on the way home was good too.  The only down side is that we drove about 2 hours each way, but the paddle was worth it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


This morning was the annual loon survey, so we were on the lake at 8 AM looking for loons.  I found the residents - 2 adults and a chick - and watched them for about half an hour.  Then later in the morning W saw a doe with a nursing fawn on the driveway.  My approach spooked the mother but the fawn ducked in next to the woodshed long enough for me to take a picture.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Paddling Middle Saranac and Weller

The two of us paddled about 9 miles today.  We put in at South Creek
paddled through Middle Saranac Lake
and into Little Weller where we saw this amazing sight.  We couldn't tell what we were seeing so we got closer than we should have to this loon on a nest, which was trying to look like a log.  We backed off as soon as we realized what it was, but I got a great telephoto shot.
Then we paddled into Weller Pond and explored, lunching at campsite 85.  The white water lilies (Nymphaea odorata in the Nymphaeaceae) are in bloom
and so are the pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata in the Pontederiaceae).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Paddle to Raquette Falls

Just the two of us put in at Axton Landing and paddled upstream to Raquette Falls and back, for a total of 12 miles.
We saw lots of ducklings, including many baby mergansers.  Can you tell how many are in this picture?  We never did get an accurate count.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Orchids at the VIC

We walked at the Paul Smiths VIC today looking for orchids, and we found them.
Rose Pogonia (Pogonia ophioflossoides)
Calopogon (Calopogon pulchellus)
White Fringed Orchis (Habenaria blephariglottis), which was just starting to bloom.
And this was the first time this season we had seen pitcher plants in bloom (Sarracenia purpurea)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Paddling Long Lake

We had a beautiful paddle today.  The weather was perfect with bright sun, moderate temperatures, and little wind.  We put in at the beach on Long Lake and paddled south to the carry and then back for a total of 9.5 miles.

While exploring a stream we came across lots of these flowers.  The common name is Swamp Smartweed,  Polygonum coccineum in the Polygonaceae.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Paddling from Wanakena into Dead Creek Flow

Cindy and I started in Wanakena and paddled down river and into Dead Creek Flow.  I hadn't remembered how large the bodies of water are, but the wind cooperated so it was not a problem.  We made it to campsite 39 and then turned around for a total of about 9 miles.  I used the GPS, but this sign must be handy for some folks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Catching Up

We drove to camp on June 24th, in time for a Wayfarers party on Wednesday.  On the 27th I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival, which was great as always.  Today we joined friends on a bike ride on Cedar River Road near Indian Lake.  W managed the whole ride but the heat and the hills were too much for me so I turned around about half way.  I'd like to try it again when it isn't so hot.  I was surprised to discover when I headed back to the car that we had been going uphill most of the time, so the ride back was fairly easy.  Then we went to our friend's for lunch.  It is great to be back though it took some time getting used to being here again.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quilt #31

This isn't a great picture.  The quilt really is square, honest.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Great Bike Ride

We did another 13 miles roundtrip on the D&R Canal Towpath this morning.  We planned to park in the small lot on route 518 where it crosses the path, but it was full.  We parked instead in the large lot just south of 518.  We rode north to Blackwells Mills Road and then turned around.  There is also a large parking lot there, just west of the trail, complete with port-a-john.  The southern portion of the route was wetter than it was the last time we were there, due to yesterday's rain.  The northern portion was dryer with a better surface, but had large ruts that were hard to see and to avoid.  Not sure which was worse.  But it was still a very enjoyable ride.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Seward Johnson - continued

I am quoting here from a couple of the posters in the Seward Johnson exhibit.
"In 1982, Seward Johnson completed work on what would become one of his most renowned sculptures.  Double Check is the life-size bronze of a businessman sitting on a bench as he sifts through his briefcase, seeming to make final preparations for an upcoming business meeting in a nearby office building.  Shortly after it was completed, the work was installed in Liberty Plaza Park, in lower Manhattan.  The sculpture soon became a fixture in the downtown landscape and, for nearly twenty years, a symbol in honor of the thousands of people who worked every day in New York City's financial district."
"On September 11, 2001, the associations that millions of people made with Double Check day after day changed dramatically.  As the New York Times wrote about Double Check in the aftermath of the catastrophe:  With everything in ruins, one figure remained in Liberty Plaza Park across the street from the World Trade Center.  He was sitting hunched over, staring in his briefcase, a businessman who seemed to be in shock and despair.  Rescue workers, it was reported, approached him in the chaos to offer assistance, only to discover that he was not a man at all, but a sculpture.  Afterward, this sculpture became an icon, as newspaper and magazine photos showed it covered in ash and, later, by flowers, notes, and candles left there by mourners and rescue workers.   Double Check was a memorial to all those who perished --  The New York Times, January 16, 2004."

This is how the statue is represented in the exhibit at Grounds for Sculpture.

And now there is another sculpture, called Makeshift Memorial.  Seward photographed the items that had been placed by Double Check after 9/11 and reproduced them in bronze and welded them onto a casting of the original sculpture.  The new work is installed on New Jersey's Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, which overlooks lower Manhattan and the former site of the World Trade Center.

Seward Johnson and Grounds for Sculpture

We had a wonderful time at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township today.  A special exhibit of the sculptures of Seward Johnson is showing there into September.  Here are a few that show off his more whimsical side.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Biking

We just rode 8.7 miles round trip on the Henry Hudson Trail.  We parked off Dutch Lane Road in Freehold and headed north.  We turned around south of Rt 520 where the trail heads off into a meadow before stopping.  Since it is a beautiful Sunday morning, with temperatures forecasted for the high 80's this afternoon, there was a fair amount of bike traffic and walkers.  I imagine there are many fewer people on a weekday.
Yesterday we biked 7 miles just within our neighborhood.  And W swam in the pool for the first time.  Plus we walked in the neighborhood in the evening.  So we are finally getting some exercise.
While we were walking yesterday we took a tally of houses under construction - we counted 33 and that does not count another section where there are at least a few.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Great Bike Ride

We had a great day today.  It was a beautiful day for a bike ride.  We were somewhat constrained by the fact that W had a lunch engagement, so we started out for Princeton early this morning.  We parked the car on the east side of the Delaware and Raritan Canal just north of Route 27 in Kingston and rode up the Kingston Loop Trail to its end on Route 518.  That trail was ok though narrow in spots.  It obviously is not very well traveled.  At Route 518 we switched over to the D&R Canal trail that goes between the canal and the Millstone River and continued north.  The trail was a bit muddy in spots due to yesterday's rain but in general it was in very good condition and we didn't have trouble making way with our hybrid bikes.
We met this turtle on the path and later saw a couple in the canal.
There were pretty forget-me-nots along the canal at one point.
And remnants of a lock as well.
We finally turned around at the Griggstown Causeway, which shows on the map as Route 632.  When we got back to Route 518 we continued down the D&R trail and it was a mess.  It was not in nearly as good condition as the more northern section.  We are so glad we did not start there or we may have given up.  So next time we will drive to Route 518 and park in the small lot there and head north.  Our total travel distance was about 10 miles.  We should be able to go farther next time if we don't have any time constraints.
Then after W's lunch we went bike shopping.  We both ordered Trek bikes which we should get next week.  They will stay in NJ and we will leave our older bikes at camp.  Then we can ride wherever we are.