Archive | March 2013

Sure Sign(s) of Spring ~

 

Yesterday was the warmest, sunniest day I’ve seen around here so far this year.  Even though the robins are back, as are the red wing blackbird and even the gold finches, I heard the most convincing sound that Spring is here in our neck of the woods that one could ever hear!  The vrroooom start of a British motorcycle!

Al spent the mid morning with the garage door open, and I could hear the tinking and misc sounds of tools at work ~ metal on metal, for the most part.  Then, sure enough, within a couple of hours, the first roar came to life as he cranked up the 1967 Royal Enfield Interceptor.  Those who don’t ride British don’t understand that it’s not like you can just go out and jump on a motorcycle after winter is officially over, and take off down the road.  Well, at least not MY husband!  It is a ritual of checking levels of this, cleaning that, testing the other and then comes the cleaning.  He wipes down every visible (and invisible) piece of chrome on the machine before  being satisfied enough to even just start it!  It’ll be another couple of weeks before he’s ready to proclaim it “road worthy”.

1967 Royal Enfield Interceptor ("pig bike")

1967 Royal Enfield Interceptor (“pig bike”)

A friend of Al’s had this bike, in pieces in a box mind you, sitting in his barn for 30+ years.  He wanted to sell it, so he offered it to Al, who ended up paying $300 for it.  Yes, it had been kept in their pig barn all this time, like I said, in a box!   My husband, the avid enthusiast, had great hopes for fixing it up and getting it running.  I knew if anyone COULD do it, he would be the one to make it happen.

Jammer investigates the new addition to our motorcycle "collection"

Jammer investigates the new addition to our motorcycle “collection”

Above you can see the bike initially as he kinda put it together to see what he had to deal with.  Our Golden Retriever was insulted.  But, that was 3? 4? years ago now.  Al was successful in the rebuilding of this classis machine.  He has since learned that it is quite probably worth several thousand dollars as it is rare, indeed.

1969 Triumph Bonneville

1969 Triumph Bonneville

 

Triumph Cub

Triumph Cub

Two other members of our motocycle family include Al’s 650 Triumph Bonneville and his Triumph Cub ~ both rebuilt and with custom paint jobs by my husband.  I have my motorcycle license, and have had bikes previously ~ a Kawasaki KZ 440 was my first, then a Triump Legend 900 and lastly a Yamaha Virago 535.  I’m not sure if I’ve given up riding, or am “between bikes” right now.  Time will tell.

Even though it takes time and especially attention away from me when Spring hits and he’s out in the garage with the bikes for hours and hours at a time, at least I know the seasons have truly changed when the garage roars out with British enthusiasm somewhere between March and April each year.  THAT’S my sure sign that Spring is in the air!

Until next time… TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lines ~

Having missed the first two challenges in this category (Squares & Angles, Circles & Curves), I’m happy to be back with “Lines”!

Line of windows

Line of windows

Wrought iron fencing lines

Wrought iron fencing lines

Our 24' round pool has some interesting lines

Our 24′ round pool has some interesting lines

Line of storms

Line of storms

This last photo is my own interpretation of a storm front, or line of storms.  We got hammered with snow from this one!

Thanks, Cee, for the foresight of posting what’s up and coming!  I’m beginning to get inspired and motivated once again thinking ahead to the possibilities of your challenges!

Till next time… TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

The View from the Edge ~

Yesterday I got one of the maintenance guys in the building where I work to take me up to the 24th floor ~ the top floor ~ and open up the “outer ledge” so I could take some photos with a view.  The outer ledge is the area that is kept locked as there’s only a small rail that is between you and the 24 floor drop to the concrete below.  It’s a “privilege” to be allowed out there, though I was not unescorted.

It was partially cloudy and quite windy and cold, so I didn’t stay long.  It was an interesting view, but not as photogenic as I’d expected.  Maybe because it was so overcast, and I was preoccupied with freezing hands that had difficulty focusing the camera.  Also, everything is still so dismally grey going into Spring.

Downtown Syracuse, NY

Downtown Syracuse, NY

The War Memorial Building, Syracuse, NY

The War Memorial Building, Syracuse, NY

The Syracuse On Center, Syracuse, NY

The Syracuse On Center,  and Everson Museum (forground) Syracuse, NY

The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Syracuse, NY

The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Syracuse, NY

The SU Dome on the hill, Syracuse, NY

The SU Dome on the hill, Syracuse, NY

Look out below!

Look out below!

"Art/Science Center"?  Syracuse, NY

“Art/Science Center”? Syracuse, NY

This last photo is a pic of what could be the most hideous building I’ve ever seen in my life, and does not “fit” into the typical Syracuse architecture.  That blue/green building is some sort of art/science center, if I remember correctly.  It’s ALL GLASS, and has already had to be repaired several times due to wind damage.  It’s only a couple of years old.

I’ve been invited back up to the 24th floor for July 4th fireworks.  I’ve been told you can see dozens of fireworks displays for miles and miles.  But I’m not going to wait that long to visit again.  Once the leaves are back on the trees, and there’s some color to be seen, I’ll go back up and see what I can see in a couple of months.  Spring is incredibly colorful and fragrant in the city.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my view from the ledge of the 24th floor.  Feel free to come back, and thank you for visiting.

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Easter Moon ~

After I finished taking photos of the Snow geese this evening, I looked to my left and caught a glimpse of what promised to be an incredible full moon rising through the trees of the hedgerow, just beyond our garage.  It was getting dark and pretty darn cold already, but I was determined to try taking some night shots ~ which I had never really accomplished before ~ using every option on my camera to see what I could do.  Al got me the tripod from the car (I had nothing on my feet but socks), and I began to set it up on the back deck in anticipation of something good coming from my efforts this evening.

Moon thru the trees 1

 

Moon thru the trees 2

 

Moon glow 3-26-13

 

And last but not least…

 

Moon through the trees

 

“For the Northern Hemisphere, this is the first full moon of springtime. We in this hemisphere call it the Pink Moon, to celebrate the return of certain wild flowers. Other names are Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, or Easter Moon. In most years, the Christian celebration of Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the Northern Hemisphere spring. So tonight’s Easter Moon heralds the coming of Easter Sunday on March 31, 2013.” from EarthSky.com.

I snapped around 40 photos of the moon itself.  I just couldn’t take my eyes off it.  Unfortunately, I was changing settings rather quickly and frantically, so I’m not really sure which setting I used for which photo.  I only know it was set on “Manual” for these best shots.  Anyway, these are my very first night shots.  I’m pretty happy with them, and I hope you enjoy them.  Leave me some feedback, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Chen caerulescens ~ Yet Again!

For the past couple of days, Al and I have been hearing more and more geese flying overhead, and landing in and around our back yard.  It’s not uncommon to have Canada geese stop and peruse the neighbor’s farm field, but then we started to see the Snow geese.  You may have seen my post from a couple of weeks ago where I traveled out to Cayuga Lake to take photos of the elusive birds when I heard they were gathering out there.  Little did I know that I would have the chance to photograph them right in my own back yard.  We’ve NEVER had Snow geese locally, unless it was a brief flyover on their way to better feeding grounds.  So when they started to land in the farm field, making their loud, unusual honking noise, things got pretty excited around here.  Needless to say, I took 55 photos… only two or three made the grade, barely.

 

Snow geese gather in our back yard/farm field

Snow geese gather in our back yard/farm field

This photo is dreadfully grainy, but at least it shows that they really did land in our back yard… that’s my pool in the right corner, and my pin oak on the left.  It started with just a few ~ 25-30 ~ but the more that saw the few landing, they all started to land.  We must’ve had a couple hundred in the end!  At one point, when they’d all gathered and seemed to be settling down, Al walked down just in front of and to the left of that tree and picked up a big fallen branch and began waving it at them.  As expected, they all lifted off at once!  I was so startled by the incredible SOUND of it ~ what a rush!  It was like a giant “whoosh” as their wings all took flight at the same time!  I got a couple of photos, but they were so grainy!

Snow geese take off and provide a sunset fly-by

Snow geese take off and provide a sunset fly-by

I did catch this shot just as they banked over our neighbor’s house and over ours too.  That’s the sunset in the back ground over our neighbor’s house.  And then they were gone.  I honestly don’t know what the “big attraction” is with Snow geese around here, but we see them so seldom and for such a short time.  They’re an interesting break from the “standard issue” Canada goose that we see year in and year out on a daily basis.  Hope you’ve enjoyed my little contribution on the subject of Snow geese… yet again!

Until next time, thanks for looking!  ~ Tamara Eckstadt