Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congers Lake ~

Minutes before I shot this video, a lone cormorant was standing in this spot. When he flew off, I approached the shoreline. Seconds after I shot the video two white herons performed a quick aerial ballet. This lake is a bird lover's paradise.

Friday, June 26, 2009

And The Rains Keep Coming

A few hours at Congers Lake Park is a real treat.

In between thunderstorms we walked for a few hours at Congers Lake Park. The sun was busy trying to dry things out.

The park is dedicated to children who died nearby, in the worst school bus accident in the history of New York State. It was over 30 years ago, and the crash led to all sorts of new rules for bus safety and bus drivers.

The park is any kids dream, no matter what age you are. There's a great skateboard park ... and great wide smooth paved trails for those who are confined to wheel chairs.

Besides roller hockey games, birthday parties are held at the park, and they include 1 hour on the roller rink.

This is a park for everyone.

Some teens had the same idea we did ~ to get some good old Vitamin D before it started storming again. Sure enough, by the time we got home, it was hailing, and after the hail came another thunderstorm.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain Rain Rain & Rain, Plus Rain.

This week was very rainy, but my friend Nora and I managed to enjoy a 179 acre park just around the corner from her house. Owned in the early 1900s by the well-known movie producer Adolph Zukor, this park in New City offers a fitness trail, hiking trails, horseback riding, a horse corral, nature study, soccer, and cross-country skiing.

I had never heard of a rain garden, but have planted things like this in times of drought. I'd never thought about using the technique in flood prone areas.

The reason we walked over to the park was this bit of blue sky. We figured we might have an hour of sun to frolic in.


To see a great map of the park click here!

We started off jogging, but there were slippy muddy patches, so we walked.

It's a lovely trail, very well marked and maintained, and there are optional exercise stations (the exercises are easy, so it's fun.) We did the ten jumping jacks but it began to thunder. We opted to stay on the trail and just get wet. Of course we were thoroughly drenched. (It was worth it, but note to self: buy rain togs for hiking!)

Although Rockland County is New York's smallest county, it is just loaded with all types of parkland. Kennedy Dells and Monsey Glen are two places that are gems, and most people don't even know about these two lovely wooded parks.

Wildlife is plentiful in these parks, so it isn't hard to spot Deer, Rabbits, Raccoon, Squirrel, Groundhog, Chipmunk, Hawks... you may also see or hear or smell Skunk, Woodpeckers, Crows, Thrush, Warblers, Vireo, Pigeon, Doves, Canada Geese, Woodcock, Mallard Duck, Fox, Owls, Porcupine & Beaver.

A pretty place, with pretty trails, sports fields, and a working farm uses one area for crops. Plans for the future at Kennedy Dells includes an arboretum, more gardens, and more guided hiking trails.

A wonderful place to picnic and spend time with friends~ Check it out the next time you're passing through Rockland County.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Paltz NY

The Liberta Bridge

Bevier House ~ part of a row of Stone Houses

Interior of Hasbrouck House ~ beautiful wood beams, furnishings, and a collection of pewter.

Huguenot Cemetery

Detail: Hasbrouck House

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cochecton Center, NY

The Last time I passed through here, the general store was open, and gasoline was five dollars a gallon. I always make a point to stop at these stores and buy something, even if it's just a snack and a coke. I love these old stores and hate to see them go out of business.

The location is a quiet drive right past sort of location, though.

A little local history.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Neversink & Bittersweet

The Village of Neversink, NY in the 1920s.

The Villages of Neversink and Bittersweet, New York were situated between the Village of Liberty and Grahamsville (near the junction of Rt. 55 and 105) There were orchards, farms, schoolhouses, churches, general stores, barber shops, dressmakers, a bowling alley, tavern, and other businesses. For summer residents there were boarding houses, an ice cream parlour, a casino, and restaurants. Square dances were held year-round and people came from far away to attend these, as they were famous for attracting the best fiddlers and other musicians. Neversink even had its own brass band.

Today a reservoir sits where the villages were.

You''ll have to use your imagination to see what lies beneath.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Almost ... we're on the Quickway heading to the Swan Lake area for a few days in the Catskills.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Village of Sleepy Hollow

The waterfront is much nicer now that the General Motors Factory is completely gone. It used to take up this space and a great deal of space to the north of this snapshot. It came down a few years ago and has been replaced by boats and parks and condos with public access to the water.

The headless horseman is the logo around the village-- you'll see him everywhere.

I don't know the backstory on this. I'm guessing school crossing guard since a school is right behind the tablet.

It was a pretty sleepy village ~ not many people around.

I don't get it... why does soccer rate an exclamation point, while the other activities do not?

Music & Dancing!
Historic Boats!
Crafts! Yay!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last Day in Newburgh

The city's large grassy hill and the Newburgh Beacon Bridge in the background.

So many properties sitting empty, waiting for restoration. Since most places have been cleaned up and many contractors are busy here, it felt hopeful.

My friends asked why I want to go back to Newburgh. I found it to be a very interesting place. (I also want to check out Washington's Headquarters, and spend some time at the Manuscript Museum.)

Tall ships have been wandering up and down the river all week. This weekend the big flotilla will arrive in Newburgh for a festival.

William Street near Ann Street.

There are some serious buildings in Newburgh. Sadly some great buildings were lost during the urban renewal "removal" programs of the 60s and 70s, but many gorgeous buildings remain.

I saw so many groundhogs (and rabbits, too-- running around right downtown.) This might be due to so many well-fenced vacant lots filled with tall grasses and shaggy areas here and there.

I found the many vacant lots interesting as well as this pattern left behind.

This huge vacant lot was just one of several. Despite the economy, things are being built.

Other lots remain simple grassy areas where just one or two condemned buildings were removed.

Another historic building waiting for funds. (The modern library is on the right.) The library has a great staff and a good collection.

There's also a wonderful manuscript library / museum.

The original library is now a church.

Broadway is probably the widest Main Street in the state. It doesn't take much imagination to see that Newburgh was once a grand town.

Newburgh's situation on the river, halfway between NYC and Albany helped it to thrive in the past. In the 1930's the new invention, Television was tested by over 500 local families. The sets were met with enough enthusiasm that the RCA company decided to move forward with the technology. Many of the little items that are now manufactured in China were once made in the city. Newburgh also manufactured hats, silks, cottons, woolens, perfumes, soaps, and many luxury items. There were plenty of machine shops, leatherworks, and factories for shipyard equipment. Tools and auto parts were manufactured here as well as furniture.

A farm market and the Armory.

An old furniture store front on Broadway. Spending two days in Newburgh wasn't enough. The town has a fascinating history and there's much more to see.