Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Eastern Comma Butterfly

P. comma_2

Where’s Waldo the Eastern Comma butterfly? As Steve was out perusing a vineyard this past week he came upon the fairly common eastern butterfly.

P. comma

Here’s a close-up. Nice comma and camouflage Waldo.


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Lamoka Lake


We had the chance to take the canoe out for the afternoon this past Sunday. You may recognize the canoe in the banner as being the family canoe that use to reside at the camp in Old Forge. The canoe now belongs to Dale, but we are canoe sitting until they can get it to Tennessee. Until then, we thought we would take advantage of having it in our possession. We found a little lake in the Southern Finger Lakes in a paddle guide that sounded like a perfect outing. It was called Lamoka Lake.



Once we got out on the water there was an Island calling to be explored.



A quick internet search indicated that there were suppose to be some pretty big bass in the lake but we didn’t have much luck finding any of them.


Sean had taken the opportunity to throw out a line while we were beached on the island.

skipping rocks

Nathan took the opportunity to go for a little swim and to skip some rocks.


It was a wonderful day to be out on the water. We also felt more confident about putting a canoe on our car a setting out for a day trip from home such as this. We can see ourselves doing this more often in the years to come.

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morning fishing

This year, fishing took a higher priority than it has in past years. Dale can be thanked for that, as he has inspired the boys to want to fish more often.

Steve has been particularly interested in bass fishing this summer, and he has been determined to get himself photographed holding a big ole bass by the mouth. He caught one that fit the bill when we visited Long Lake over Memorial Day weekend, but there wasn’t a camera or anyone to get his picture with that one.

The second night of the Rollins Pond trip, Steve decided to throw a few casts just after sunset and another opportunity for that photo-op presented itself. As he landed the fish he urged Nathan to run up the hill to the campsite and grab the camera. When he returned he was ready to snap the picture.


This was Nathan’s first attempt at the photograph. At this point the bass was nicknamed “Bassquatch”. Steve tried to continue to hold the fish by the lip and help Nathan get the camera set so that the flash would go off.

bassquatch - 2

Steve struck the classic fishermans pose with the fish and Nathan snapped away. As Nathan tried to show Steve the picture of his fish the bass made a valiant flip and flop from the grasp of Steve’s fingers, eluding Steve of the postcard picture with a big ole bass. As you can clearly see though, the 15-20″ bass was certainly a memorable catch.


Tuesday morning was by far the best fishing of the week. Sean in particular had a great day. He  caught too many pumpkin seeds to count, and a few perch and a small bass.


On Saturday night Steve and Nathan headed out for a dusk fishing excursion.


Boy it was worth it too. Nathan landed this 13″ bull head all by himself. He still hasn’t stopped talking about it.

I think the boys have found a new pastime.

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Boys Being Boys


Nathan has been enjoying his “boyhood” as he has been practicing a lot with his Lacrosse team. Here he is in the black shorts defending his goal during a scrimmage.


Sean has been having the itch of a “hunter gatherer” as this picture demonstrates an eagerness to get the garden started.


We received  a wonderful invitation from Dale to travel over to Canandaigua Lake for a fishing outing for the boys.


Dale had the catch of the day with this 1lb. 5oz. bass.


Sean finished a close second with this 10 oz. crappie.


Nathan’s catch of the day was two bucks that he caught blowing around the parking lot at Applebees!

Here’s to boys being boys….arr arr arr!

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Sean celebrating his 10th birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. 


Nathan racing by on his new skate board…oh dear.


Sean took his support for the Syracuse Orange to the next level.


If you look closely, his new braces are sporting the SU colors.


After a lot of hard work, Nathan earned his Wolf badge.


Nathan (and Steve) recently built a new bird house for our yard.


It was hung with care on Tuesday evening.


…and to our delight, the house had its first traffic on Thursday. 

Also on Thursday, Nathan’s class reenacted the Last Supper in costume.  Click below to link to his teacher’s web site and see Thursday’s slide show, and several others!http://www.myteacherpages.com/webpages/SSchading/

We hope you have a wonderful Easter!

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Stephanie spotted and planned a wonderful outing for the family this past Sunday. We went snowshoeing at the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, NY. The program was called stories in the Snow and included a brief presentation by a staff person about tracking wildlife, and a guided tour around the area by snowshoe.


Just having had several inches of Snow made for great snowshoeing and animal tracking conditions. Above are some of the numerous rabbit tracks that we encountered on the walk.

As we made our way around the trails an extraordinary story unfolded in the tracks in the snow. The “story in the snow” took an exciting turn when a “perfect stepper’s” tracks joined the “hoppers” tracks.


As we followed the tracks out of the woods into this opening Sean proclaimed to the group, “Its a murder scene!”

Yes the “perfect stepper” tracks that had been accompanying the rabbits tracks were those of at least one coyote. The story that we followed ended with the coyote getting its meal. The person guiding us described our outing as one of the best of the year for the amount of tracks that we encountered.

It has really inspired us to want to get out and enjoy nature and the snow more this time of year.

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After our return from the Mountains a few weeks ago, Steve found a book at the library that was inspired by the trip to the Adirondacks. The book was called “Forest Under My Fingernails: Reflections and Encounters on The Long Trail.” by Walt McLaughlin.

As Steve was reading he found the authors reflections to be a wonderful reminder of the feelings of being in the Adirondacks, even though the author was reflecting on a trip that he made up The Long Trail, which runs the length of Vermont.

We thought that the following passage goes well with the picture above that Sean took of his own dirty feet.

“The forest is under my fingernails. A mountain stream runs through me. My skin smells like the rotting leaves underfoot. I inhabit these woods no less than the fleeting deer or chattering chipmunks. Three weeks on the trail and I belong in this green universe. The wind brushes over my face. I’ve given enough blood to the many biting insects to qualify as part of the grand design. My feet follow an unending path cutting through yellow lilies and bunchberry. My spirit soars high overhead, among the few wispy clouds. My heart sinks deep into the earth, as solid and unmoved there as the dark grey bedrock. My progress northward is deliberately slow, in celebration of the simple earthy pleasure of absolute immediacy. All heady presumptions have been stripped away by the wild. Today, this hour, this moment, I am a woodswalker. Nothing more, nothing less. And that once-and-future life of mine back in the lowlands is only a vague concept, a fading memory.

“The mountains are fountains of men as well as of river, glaciers, of fertile soil,” John Muir once wrote. An unspeakable force flows from these rocky promontories, catching me off guard. I am re-created by it. This mere slipping between forest shadow and light is reason enough to be in the world. I inhale the freedom of the hills, exhale all paltry concerns. My walking stick has the airy strength of a prophets staff. Every pilgrim has his or her wilderness. This one is mine. I count my blessings as I walk-foremost among them just being in such a wonderful place. God is great. God is generous. The forest shouts timeless beauty. Here and now, it is impossible to be anything but fully alive.”

– Walt McLaughlin

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