Tag Archive | snow

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Winter ~

As we continue on with the weekly Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, we are into the third of the seasons series with “winter”.  When I originally proposed this series to Cee, I think it was way back in March or April, and we in Central New York were struggling to come out of the winter blues that had held us captive for too long.  I, personally, was depressed and needed a “boost” of color and spring thoughts or photos.  Now that we’re into summer, we’re looking back at the cold weather that started it all!


Hope you enjoy my little trip down Memory Lane of winter 2012-2013!  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Snow Geese on Cayuga Lake ~

After Friday morning’s jaunt out to Cayuga Lake State Park to photograph the wildlife gathering there, I decided to take another crack at it today ~ only this time I went out at dinner time, and Al went with me.


Snow Geese Cayuga Lake 2

The lake was, yet again, inundated with white snow geese, as well as Canadian geese and a variety of ducks.  However, like before, they were all engaged in the middle of the lake ~ quite a distance away for me to test my optical zoom.  This time, I remembered to bring my winter gloves (fingertip optional), and I set up my tripod on the boat launch and watched.  It was still bitter cold as the wind whipped.  The mass of white geese looked like a strip of white snow on the center of the lake, and they all moved as one.  I looked away for a second, and when I looked back they had all begun to lift ~ all at the same time!  What an incredible sight!

Snow Geese Cayuga Lake 3

The above photo is a bit blurry, as I think the wind caught it a little bit and/or it shook from my trembling cold hands!  But you can clearly see the black tipped wings of the snow geese.  There was another photographer out there when I got there, and when he saw what I saw, I thought he was going to have a coronary right there!


Snow Geese Cayuga Lake 1


Here’s a look at them as they pass overhead.  They were honking up a storm ~ a very different sound than the Canadian goose.


Snow Geese CayugaLake 3-17-13 017


These two uncharacteristically lagged behind (maybe they were secretly “Graylag geese”).  Anyway, the flight of the flock didn’t last for long.  It seems they just lifted themselves for a bit to get more comfortable, then they settled back down for the evening.  Those few seconds that they filled the sky over Cayuga Lake were sure exciting!

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Winter Wandering ~

Today I just didn’t want to stay cooped up in the house, since we’d had all that new snow over the past 24+ hours.  I wanted to take a closer look at things through a lense.  I had some morning shopping to do, so I incorporated that into a long, random drive around a couple of counties to get some interesting photos.

Pin Oak

Pin Oak

My first photo was taken before I even left our driveway this morning while it was still snowing.  We have three lovely pin oak trees in our back yard.  The other two are compliant and lose their leaves in the fall… but this one never seems to want to give up its leaves until the new ones arrive in the spring and start pushing the old, dead ones off the branches.  Not even the windiest, stormiest of days will persuade this tree to let its leaves fall.


Rushing waters in Throop, NY (pronounced ("Troop")

Rushing waters in Throop, NY (pronounced (“Troop”)

I really enjoy photographing water any time of the year, but there’s something about the icy coldness of winter waters that I find hypnotic and intriguing.

Blanket of snow

Blanket of snow

A smaller “offshoot” from the larger creek in Throop.  The soft blanket of snow looked inviting, even if cold.

Ice fishing on Cayuga Lake

Ice fishing on Cayuga Lake

I don’t know what possessed me to drive out to my old “stomping grounds” in Cayuga, New York, except that it’s on the shores of Cayuga Lake, which I knew could hold some interesting photo ops.  Often there are water fowl on the edges of the lake, but today I found some ice fishermen/women camped out on the ice.  Not my idea of a fun time, but who’s to judge?  To the left of this shot I took a photo of several more such “blinds” dotted along the length of the frozen over lake ~ however, that photo was blurry and not useable.  I drove over to nearby Montezuma Wildlife Refuge to see what wildlife I would find there today, but the only thing stirring there was a caretaker who was plowing the driveway… everything else was snowed in.

Beau Vine Chop House

Beau Vine Chop House

Last, but not least, I had to snap this photo as a sort of tongue-in-cheek chuckle and tribute to Auburn, NY.  This is the Beau Vine Chop House at the new Hilton Garden Inn just off State Street in Auburn, NY.   I don’t know if the creators of this establishment just didn’t realize the local hilarity of the name of this place, or what?  Anyway who is familiar with Auburn, NY, located in rural Cayuga County, knows that Auburn is a thriving, albeit small city and the hub of the county ~ which is mostly farm land.  A major source of income and employment in Cayuga County is through dairy farms which provide milk and beef through the cows that are raised there.  Cows = bovine.   So, perhaps it’s actually fitting that the name “Beau Vine” is used for a chop house in the middle of Auburn.  I’m sorry, I just can’t take it seriously.

Till next time … TTFN ~

      Tamara Eckstadt

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

How To Tell If You’re an Upstate New Yorker, by Jeff Foxworthy ~

I, personally, being a native of upstate New York, found nothing unusual about any of these observations.  And I can unequivocally confirm that every one of them is true.  Read on and lol!
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  * *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Jeff Foxworthy
on Upstate New York

If  you consider it a sport to gather your food by
… drilling through 36 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Upstate New York..

If  you’re proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights a year because Saranac Lake is the coldest spot in the nation, and Syracuse
gets more snow than any other major city in the US, you might live in Upstate, NY.

If  your local Dairy Queen is closed from October through May, you might live in Upstate New York.

If you get 131 inches of snow in a week and you comment that ‘winter’s finally
here’, you might live near Oswego in Upstate New York.

If you instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the year, you might live, bundled up, in Upstate New York.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance, and they
don’t work there, you might live in Upstate NY.

If  you have worn shorts and a parka on the same day, you might live in Upstate New York..

If  you have had a lengthy phone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Upstate New York.


“Vacation” means going South past Syracuse for the weekend.

You measure distance in hours.

You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

You often switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day and back again.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both

You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend/wife knows how to
use them.

You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.

You can identify a southern or eastern accent.

Down South to you means Corning.

Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new shed.

You go out for a fish fry every Friday.

Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

You find 10 degrees “a little chilly.” and 55 is shorts weather.

Until we blog again…  TTFN!
~ Tamara Eckstadt