Entries to Win Afghan

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Seneca Park Zoo - Birds

More snow and cold here. We did go out for an appointment for Irene and a few errands, but I think you should see more zoo pictures. I believe all these birds were new to me, except the Snow Geese at the end. Also, they are all from Africa, except the geese.

The first two are pretty awesome. Who knew there were starlings so gorgeous? This is the Golden-Breasted Starling. Take a look at his shoulder. The back is that shade of purple.

golden breasted starling

And here is the Superb Starling. Like our starlings it has a lot of vocalizations. Keep in mind that these pictures are all through glass and mesh, so they aren't too crisp.

superb starling

Next up, we have a wading bird, the Cape Thick-Knee. I think you can see how it got that name.

cape thick-knee

Here's a Buffalo Weaver. Weavers get their name because of the elaborate nests they build.

buffalo weaver

These are White-Faced Whistling Ducks. I know, you can't see their faces very well. But what I love are the feathers on the side

white faced whistling ducks

And, just as we were getting ready to leave, I found they have a pair of Snow Geese in a pond near the gate. I love watching them fly over in the wild, and I think I can identify them, because they sound so different from the Canada Geese. I didn't realize they have that black "lip." So pretty!

snow geese

I finished a fairly long chapter today! Now I'm only about two days behind on the writing schedule I need to keep.

See Mammals
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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Seneca Park Zoo - More Mammals

Since we've been snowed in here all day, you'll get to see more pictures from the zoo. I can't complain. It's not as cold here as it is at home. About zero with some snow. But the area here is not getting hit like the Midwest this time.

I'll start with the star of the entire zoo visit. This was my first time ever to see a red panda, and he was eating and walking around before he settled in for a nap, so we actually got to watch him do things. The female slept through everything. They are at least as adorable as they are portrayed.

red panda

The gray wolves were mostly pacing around although they did lie down after a while and seem more relaxed. It was an interesting time to see them, since the chapter I'm writing is about the one hike on which we saw a family of wolves.

gray wolf

The baboons seemed intent on showing us their behinds, but at least I can bring you one in profile.


The African animals are housed inside for the winter. I couldn't get a good picture of any of the elephants, and this is the best I could get of the white rhino.

white rhino

The giraffes were a lot of fun to watch. And if they'd been eating I could have gotten pictures without wire, but I guess they weren't hungry.


Another exhibit I really liked was the naked mole rats. They are strange creatures. They were displayed in a connected series of burrows with windows, a lot like a complex hamster cage. I didn't get any really good pictures. There are about six of them in this shot. I remember when they were discovered. I was taking the National Wildlife Federation magazine at the time, and they made quite a stir.

naked mole rats

If tomorrow is more of today, you'll see zoo pictures again. But I am getting some writing done.

See Seneca Park Zoo- Big Cats
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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Seneca Park Zoo - Big Cats

Since the next two days are supposed to get brutally cold we decided to go to the Seneca Park Zoo today. It was around 20 degrees, and we just bundled up and it was fine. Since we don't plan to do much the next couple of days I'll spread these pictures out. Today... here are some big kitties.

Let's begin with the snow leopards. They were pretty awesome. I know they are fearsome predators, but when we came back past their enclosure, they were both asleep, the female was in a green turtle-shaped sandbox filled with straw. She looked pretty much like a really big house cat.They seem to get along fine now, but we understand they did not get along at all when they were first put together.

snow leopards

I didn't realize how long their tails are.

snow leopards

The lion enclosure was harder to get pictures without wire, but I managed a few. The male climbed on this rock where there were pieces of food for him to find.


He had two females with him. Here's the best picture of one of them. Later, he spent quite a while sort of growling. It sounded more like he was getting ready to barf, though. Kinda funny!


We thought we weren't going to see the tiger, but she was pacing around when we came back past her cage. No way to get rid of the wire for her.


Lots more really cool stuff. It's a small zoo, but I saw several animals I'd never seen before. Stay tuned for tomorrow.

See Rest Day
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Monday, January 28, 2019

Rest Day

Today was a rest day for me. Irene and I hung around her house all morning, then went and did errands in the afternoon. Here's Irene's current dog, Abby. She's huge and fuzzy and a really nice dog.


One of the errands was to get bird feed. Gotta keep those feathered friends happy, especially since the cold is supposed to hit here on Wednesday.

hanging bird feeders

The last errand of the day was to get pizza. Loaded pizza. Oh yes!


A little writing occurred. Only 1100 words so far, but I'm going to try for more before sleep.

See Rochester Health and Wellness Show
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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Rochester Health and Wellness Expo

Spent the entire day at the Jewish Community Center in Rochester, NY. I guess the guy snapped this picture before I smiled. Sorry about that. Do you like my new vertical rack?

Rochester Health and Wellness Expo

It was a beautiful venue. The good news is that I did as well as anyone. The bad news is that it wasn't well-publicized and no one I talked to even paid for their table space. Including me.

Rochester Health and Wellness Expo

I did make some contacts that could lead to good things.

Rochester Health and Wellness Expo

There was a wonderful courtyard in the center. Even with the snow it was nice in the sunshine.

Rochester Health and Wellness Expo

Let's hope the other venues do really well on this trip.

See Rivertown Crossing Experiment
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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Along the Way

It was a good day to travel. Very cold this morning, but the roads were fine. I left just at sunrise and the sky coughed up a sun pillar. It actually got a lot prettier, but I didn't stop for another picture

sun pillar

The cold made frost patterns form on the windshield.

frost patterns

And then, a tiny rainbow appeared in the ice crystals dancing in the air right in front of me. After I took the picture it was like I drove right through it!


The sun came out mid-day, but it was still frosty.

frosty trees

I arrived safely at Irene's just before dark. We visited a bit, and I have the Women's Health and Wellness show tomorrow. So after that, we'll work harder at having a good time.

My back doesn't tolerate that many hours in the car quite as well as it used to, but no real complaints. And I'm here safe and sound.

See Packed
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Friday, January 25, 2019


Not much to say except it's quite unusual for me to really be ready to go early. Of course it's more like half a day late according to my original plan. But it's early for plan B.

The toner did not come, so I guess the delivery guy didn't like the driveway. The one part of that I'm really unhappy about is that I won't have any Devotions for Hikers to sell.

loaded hatchback car

In the morning I just have to put the electronics, food, and my clothes bag in the car and go. See you from Irene's.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Author-y Thoughts

book signing

I'm fully engrossed in packing, doing the last rounds of stuff, including trying to get all the tax stuff finished, and a bunch of stuff in the mail, and almost all of the tapes transferred to digital so they'll be with me on this trip. And I'm attempting to continue to write and if not actually typing, to keep thinking about what comes next and how it's all going to fit into an interesting chapter, blah, blah.

I'm actually writing the chapter that includes a little hike on the day that North Country Cache was launched, August 5, 2005, at the NCTA Conference in Petoskey. No pictures were taken today, so I'm bringing back this memory. My first book signing ever.

Of course, the toner cartridge didn't come, but now it has tomorrow to make it. I went out and did almost all the final errands, except for the stuff I still hope to get in the mail tomorrow.

It's a serious project to leave home for 6 weeks!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Snow and Yikes!

We actually got enough snow today to make it look like winter. Yippie!


Except I was too busy to take advantage of it. My plan calls for me leaving here on Friday morning to give me plenty of slop time in case of weather, but right now, I'd say that's not looking good. Saturday morning is acceptable, but I'm going to try really hard to get through the rest of this abominable list tomorrow.

My printer ran out of cyan toner, so I've ordered more and it's supposed to arrive tomorrow, but they don't always manage to pull off the one-day delivery. We'll see. It would be really good if it came. I need to print more promotional materials and more copies of Devotions for Hikers.

Trying to figure out how much stuff I need to take with me to continue the writing while traveling. The answer is: way too much (files, most hikes except the last two years do not have digital pictures so there are boxes of prints, maps). And I don't have all the tapes digitized yet. Have been doing them in order, but maybe I need to try to transfer a couple of the last hikes which have digital pictures. And if I manage to write the chapters to cover everything I'm taking I'll only be half done with the book. Not enough. Sigh. Can I write 16 chapters in March? I doubt it. Most of those are long ones.

Worst case, I take pre-orders at the NCTA Celebration in May, but I'd rather have the books. Yikes, yikes, yikes.

See First Snow
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

West Side Gang Tuesday

It's hard to believe I've been going to my writers' group since 2010. The critique group meets twice a month, and I'm usually there unless I'm out of town.

I didn't get any other pictures today, so this is what you get. But it's a good choice to demonstrate a quality day because their comments have helped my writing to grow so much.

West Side Gang writers' critique group

In other news: I wrote a short chapter and continued trying to organize my thoughts for the next one. Got the exhaust on the car repaired. Continued preparations for leaving.

See West Side Gang
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