I hear frogs many times I hike near water. However, I usually do not spot them. A friend I was hiking with spotted this guy first. He stayed there for a long time below a trail bridge as interested in us as we were with him.
Enjoy your weekend! Try to see things through someone else’s eyes.
When we stop seeing things through the eyes of others, we risk loosing the ability to help them see through our eyes.
It is not everyday that you get to witness an artist painting a mural. This week I was able to catch one after work. His name is Gabriel Castillo. He made this mural for a business in Yonkers, N.Y.
Yonkers borders the Bronx on the north side next to the Hudson River. Yonkers is a city that has been friendly to muralists. They have some murals on building walls near the main Yonkers Train Station.
Gabriel Castillo, besides being a muralist, is a comic book artist. I caught him on the tail end of working on his mural, and felt lucky to witness his work.
Gabriel is here proudly showing off his work. If you like this, check out his work on Instagram at:
Memorial Day is to honour those who died in the service of their country while serving in one of the military branches. How some small towns in New York honour those who served in the armed services is by putting up Hometown Hero banners along the main street of the town. The towns usually put these up prior to Memorial Day and may leave them up for a month or so afterwards.
Does your town recognise those who served in this way? How does your town honour those who served?
Do you need something to do this weekend? About 1.5 hours north of NYC by car is New Paltz, N.Y. Head to the New Paltz- Woodstock Craft Show at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.
This event run the entire Memorial Day Weekend. There is plenty of parking in the fields across the street. The rural road the fairgrounds is on does not get much traffic, so crossing with the fairgrounds staff is safe.
As with other craft fairs this event has food and drink vendors and many arts and crafts vendors under tents. At events like this, I have found the arts and crafts people are not always keen on having photos taken of their products, so I only included the one below.
Bar Fiore is a fresh cut flower bar fashioned from a horse trailer. They told me they get their flowers from two farms in the Rochester area. I picked out a few flowers and had them pick out the others and they arranged them into a bouquet I gave to my mother. Bar Fiore can be rented for private events. Their website is http://www.barfioreflowercity.com.
Mina Saffron carries saffron from Afghanistan. Saffron is a spice, but it has health benefits. It benefits the nervous system, the immune system and metabolism which may lead to weight loss. The family selling the product at the booth are recent refugees.
Some other vendors
Be Still is carrying handmade soaps and all natural mosquito spray. They have soaps such as Berry and Activated Charcoal and Tea Tree. They are based out of Pleasant Valley.
Horton House Scone Company makes gluten free baked goods. They had scones, muffins and some other items. They are based out of Amenia, NY.
La Shot Photography is a repeat vendor at the event. He carries prints, framed prints, and canvas prints from England, Ireland, France and other places. I am partial to his images of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, England and others the Cotswolds region of England.
You can buy tickets at the gate. This event happens twice a year at the same location: Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. It is a great event to attend and there are many other things to do in the area. For more information click on the link below:
I went on a long hike to a wetland area with a trail next to it on two sides. I did not know what I would see. This was private land with public access on their trails. They do have someone come by in a truck to make sure people are following the rules. The main ones are stay on the trails and keep your dog on a lead or leash. I did manage to get off a couple of quick shots on the fly of wood ducks.
I found them to be like other wood ducks- skittish around people. The female and the baby mostly hid amongst the plants. This was the only shot I could get on these two.
The male I was able to get off a few shots. He was walking back and forth on this log. There was a big nest in a tree in the middle of the water. I am guessing it was a hawk’s nest. I am wondering if they had more ducklings, but lost them to predators. These were taken from a long distance with a zoom lens and are heavily cropped. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors, and explore new trails.
You can’t soar like an eagle when you surround yourself with turkeys.
I saw wild turkeys a few times this week. Once two were crossing a hiking trail in front of me. I got a few pictures of one of them and kept my distance. The other retreated to to woods area.
The other I wish I got a picture of, but realise it is good I did not try. I see wild turkeys along a highway leading south to NYC frequently. I saw one running on the shoulder like it was commuting with the rest of us on the road, just outside NYC. It would have made a funny shot. It was running like a bank robber in Manhattan. Yes, outside NYC cars can go highway speeds, but it is pretty much impossible inside Manhattan. I guess that fits in with other news of the week.
Be careful who you spend your time with. Choose to be around those who lift you up and not bring you down. I think that explains the quote. Turkeys are probably used in the comparison because they spend so much time on the ground.
I went to a place to walk I have not been before. It was my second hiking location of the day and it was less than two hours to sunset. I was happy to see an owl flying in a field heading towards a woods. I followed it. I did not find the parent, but I found one owlet in a nest and one in a branch of the same tree. I could only get the one in the branch from very far away and with the wind it was hard to get a sharp shot.
I saw these from a distance. This are greatly cropped. A parent from flying tree to ground to tree nearby hunting. I am pretty sure this is the one in the nest.
It was very windy, but it was still great to catch these even from a distance. I could even faintly hear the owlets screech for food. This made my day! Take joy in the little things in life. Have a great week!
Rainbows have come to symbolise many things. They can symbolise new beginnings. They are used today to symbolise diversity and inclusion. Rainbows can signify the troubles of today will pass. In the bible is was a symbol of the promise of God to never destroy the Earth with a flood again. The following are some cemetery pictures with rainbows in the background.
We had a lot of rain storms this week, many brief. Therefore, we were lucky enough to witness some lovely rainbows. I tried to capture some of these at local cemeteries.
I think the meaning of seeing these in a cemetery could be the troubles of today will pass. Have hope.
I started hearing mayhem amongst the birds in the woods. Crows, a blue jay, some other bird with an annoying call were complaining loudly. I went towards the sound and thought maybe the owl or a hawk caught a bird. The following pictures were taken right before sunset in the woods.
I saw what I believe is the female owl sitting patiently looking up in the trees in the direction of the sound. It turns out the male owl had caught an animal. The birds slowly one by one flew away complaining. After things had quieted down I saw what looked like the other owl fly to a tree and make a short who sound.
The father owl then flew to a neighbouring tree. The mother owl flew over to the tree he had gone to first. The father had left an animal for the mom to eat. How nice of him! I could not tell what it was at first.
The mother owl was nice enough to take the animal and fly off to a neighbouring tree branch where I could get a better view. It appears to be a chipmunk. We are seeing more chipmunks and squirrels now, but not nearly as much as in past years it seems. Many people in this area are commenting the same.
The mother owl spent a lot of time trying to swallow this, give up, then appear to try to rip it or bite pieces, then repeat.
When she was done she flew to another nearby tree and perched for a while. I always feel lucky to see this pair. They have not been together much this year so far. I hope I did not gross you out too much. Enjoy the end of your week!
What may be a good time to find owls? It appears after a rainstorm at night. It seemed to rain much of the night here. They may have needed time during the day to hunt.
I found this one first. You cannot use the usually bluejays being ticked or chipmunks making noise to find them this year. There are a lack of those around as well as squirrels, which are all part of their diet. More hawks around I think is greatly culling the animal population.
This one’s mate was at a neighbouring tree not too far away. The mate is more stealth. If I cannot find him right away I give up and let him show himself to me on his terms.
After resting for a while, they started following each other around. One landed on a branch. When they other one tried to land on the same branch , the branch broke off and fell to the ground sending the owls in quick flight. The one owl was not putting up with having the other on the next branch it landed on. It forced them off.
So they ended up on the same tree. but different areas of it. I think they were wondering if they would see a sunset or another rainstorm. It ended up being another rainstorm.