Tag Archive | photographs

Big Chill in B’ville ~

Al and I ventured out in the bitter cold today to nearby Baldwinsville, NY, where I grew up and graduated from.  We wanted to take in the event they call “The Big Chill” on the banks of the Seneca River in Mercer Park.  The event is a fundraiser, combined with a “polar plunge” along with many other activities and food events.  They raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY, and the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce. 

We got there at about 11:45 a.m. for what was anticipated as a Noon start of the festivities.  They had a DJ at the gazebo who was playing 80’s tunes, and the fire department and ambulance squads were both on scene.  There was a couple of large tents where for $10 you could have all the “tastings” of local area foods that you want.  Tim Horton’s was there with a tent and giving away free hot chocolate ~ VERY popular! 

At noon, the DJ welcomed the sparse crowd with an announcement that the plunges would begin at 1:00 pm ~ another hour to wait in the sunny but frosty cold.

Swimming Hole!

Swimming Hole!

When we arrived, there were members of the local fire department in the icy water scooping out ice chunks and making a clean area for plungers to enjoy.  A backhoe was brought in to break the ice initially, then volunteers went in to “clean it up”.

Playful firefighter

Playful firefighter

 One of the firefighter/volunteers does a back float in his specialized suit while taking a break from hauling ice blocks, slush and chunks of ice out of the plunge area.  Moments before, he had been up on the ice at the edge of the hole, then jumped in.

Paramedics on stand-by

Paramedics on stand-by

Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corp kept watch just up from the water’s edge.

Junior Firefighters

Junior Firefighters

Baldwinsville firefighters heated up the area with a nice bonfire consisting of wood pallets and dried Christmas trees.  These young Junior firefighters stood by with an active hose trained on the fire, just in case it was suddenly necessary to put it out.  Later, they stood on both sides of the red carpet that led down to the water and gave high fives to the plunge participants as they exited the plunge pond.

Getting crowded

Getting crowded

Just shy of 1:00 when the plunges were to begin, the crowd edged toward the water waiting to see the spectacle.

Baldwinsville FD Team takes the plunge.

Baldwinsville FD Team takes the plunge.

Baldwinsville FD team exits the plunge!

Baldwinsville FD team exits the plunge!

 

Here you can see all of the ice chunks that had to be cleared out of the water before the plungers could begin.  Al and I left around 1:30 p.m. ~ my cheeks were just wind-burned and raw, although we’d both dressed in warm layers, the temp was around 7 degrees.  By the time the plunges began, the sun had gone behind clouds and the wind had picked up.

Hats off to these brave souls who take the plunge.  I don’t know how they do it!  The Mayor of Baldwinsville said that this year was the coldest it’s been that he could remember… and he’s done it every year since it began.

Till next we blog again … TTFN.

Tamara Eckstadt

“Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!” ~

 

Rosamond Gifford Zoo  in nearby Syracuse, NY, is advertising their “Winter at the Zoo” Photo Contest, which includes free admission to all photogs who bring a camera (not a cell phone camera) and a coupon you can get from their website.  So I decided to give it a try since today’s temps were to be around 40 degrees, and the long range forecast is for the teens for the rest of the month.  I called my eldest daughter and she brought my grandson, Liam, and they came along too.

As it turned out, all of the exhibits we wanted to photo were inside the zoo building anyway… except the elephants and wolves ~ but Spring is coming!   By far my most favorite exhibit was of the lions.  Syracuse has three; one male and two females.  When we first arrived at the exhibit, they were not yet out in their “paddock”, but we could see preparations were being made and they would be allowed out to see soon.   About 5-10 minutes later they were let loose into their enclosure, and we got to observe them relatively close up as they began their antics.

Male Lion relaxes at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Male Lion relaxes at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Male Lion reigns at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Male Lion reigns at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Lioness at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Lioness at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Male Lion shows interest in spectators at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Male Lion shows interest in spectators at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Pair of attentive lions at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Pair of attentive lions at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Big Cat Trio at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Big Cat Trio at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

 Before the cats come out into the enclosure, a zoo staff brings a spray bottle of “something” and sprays a variety of places like the rocks and some of the wooden logs etc.    The predators act like it’s catnip and relax and begin to play.

Lioness sizes up grandson, Liam, for lunch?

Lioness sizes up grandson, Liam, for lunch?

A plate of thick glass separates my grandson, 4-yr-old Liam, from this kitty who apparently thinks he’d make a great bite-sized snack.  I’m sure Liam was wondering if she was “pet-able”.

I think I’m going to submit a couple of the lion photos for the contest.  You’re only allowed to submit two.  They haven’t announced what the prize(s) will be yet… probably not yet procured.

      ~ I came, I saw, I blogged…. till next time.