Monday, September 26, 2011

Old Cemeteries

In addition to old cars, I like old cemeteries.  Okay - I like lots of old things.  But, I digress.

On my way home from the Fall Festival, I stopped at this small, old cemetery that is down at the end of my road.  There are fewer than 100 stones in this lot, and none are terribly recent.  Most are from the 19th century, and most are in pretty poor repair.


Is the earth reclaiming this stone, or was it vandalized 
and only this short piece remains?

It's always sad to see the stones of infants and children.  

Several stones were embraced by trees.

And a good number of the stones had willows on them:

There must be some significance to this, because there so many.  So, I did a little quick research, and it turns out that in the first half of the 1800s, there was quite a revival of interest in all things Greek (just look at the dresses and hairstyles of the time...and architecture).   This carried over into cemeteries, with urns and willows featuring quite prominently on gravestones.  Apparently willows were the symbol of the Greek goddess of the underworld:  Peresphone.  Not only that, but Orpheus was said to have carried a willow branch with him when he went into the underworld.  Willows, it seems, were the most popular gravestone image up until about 1860.  This certainly is supported in this cemetery.

I also came across a reference that said that willows were used to signify the graves of Iroquois.  Hm.  This isn't Iroquois country, so I think we can rule this out.  And I don't recall anything from Iroquois stories that suggested that the willow held any particular significance to the Iroquois nation.  Does anyone know about this?

This last marker, well, I just thought the name was unusual.  I've heard of Althea, but never Altha.

And she was all by herself - no other family around.

Clinton Township Fall Festival

A friend told me that this last weekend was the Clinton Fall Festival.  With autumn in the air, I was in the mood for a fall fest, so Saturday morning I decided to check it out.  It was less than 20 miles away - a good deal.

Well, who knew it was such a popular event!  

Upon arrival at the outskirts of town, I blew right by the first venue:  the antique car show!  Turned around and headed back.  Good thing, too, because it was one of the few places where there was parking.

I love old cars.  They have character.  They are fun.  They have beautiful lines.  Today's cars, by comparison, are pretty darn dull and boring.  Here are some shots of my favorites.

I loved the reflection in this tire, but had a hard time getting it - 
people kept walking by!

Now, I think this window visor is great!  Why don't we have these today?
From Dad:  G'pa R had a car with the windshield visor.  It helped to keep snow off (almost - there was a gap between the rear edge and the car body) but it never was designed to be raised or lowered.

This person obviously had a thing for tigers (how many can you count?):

Update from Dear Ol' Dad:  Esso gasoline had an ad campaign re: putting a tiger in your tank -- and one could purchase tiger tail (imitations) to hang out of the trunk and over your bumper.

 Fins!  Lots of fins...and lots of land yachts!

 I love these!  So beautiful!

And how cool is this vintage van!

We had VW buses when I was a kid, but they didn't quite look like this one:

The placement of the license plate on this truck caught my eye.  I've never seen on like that before.

After viewing the vehicles, I grabbed the shuttle bus to the rest of the festival, which was downtown.

There are a lot of neat old buildings here, including an old wool mill that I had a great view of from the bus, but when I walked back past it later on, I was too short to get any decent shots.  Perhaps I'll try on another visit.  Meanwhile, here is the clocktower downtown:

There were dogs of all sizes and shapes out and about at the Festival.  Lots of puppies.

And, to wrap up, here are some shots of vendors - they capture the flavor of the season.

This last image is a booth of "Witches' Hats."  And it was probably one of the most popular booths there!  I saw many women, of all ages, walking around wearing their newly purchased black hats. And no, I didn't get one, but I was tempted...a little.  No, instead, I bought an old-fashioned washboard.  I got a lot of strange looks for that, but, well, y'see, sometimes you have to wash things in the sink, and, while doing just that this last week, I found myself wishing I had one of those old washboards.  Ask and you shall receive, eh?  I count myself very fortunate.

Friday, September 23, 2011

That's a Lotta Watta!

I just received the Long Lake e-Newsletter and on it was this photo.  It doesn't say, but I'm presuming this was taken after Hurricane Irene hit. (Update - nope.  This was from the flooding this spring, back in April.)  That's the Adirondack Hotel in downtown Long Lake - and that's Long Lake lappin' the front porch.  Normally, about where the person is holding the camera is the town beach, which looks across Route 30 at the Hotel.  Do you see a beach?  A road?  Nope - the lake flooded right over both!  And here I thought Keene had taken the worst hit!  Looks like Newcomb was surrounded by damage, but squeaked by with only a token amount of rain.

Here's a video I just found from when the water started to recede:

And here's another this one from the Long Lake, NY blog:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Stuff

Earlier this week, while on our evening walk, I noticed a sulphur buttefly deceased along the side of the road.  I didn't think much of it - we often find butterflies and moths who had terminal encounters with vehicles.

But then I found another.

 And another.

And groups of them!

I only found two survivors, and this one I'm not sure actually made it.  What in the world happened?  On the way home, I counted 44 bodies in about a quarter-mile stretch.  This was not normal.  The only thing I could think of was puddling.  This road is a dirt road, and we'd recently had a fair bit of rain.  Could all these butterflies have been puddling, and then gotten run into by vehicles that either didn't see them or didn't care?  I can think of no other explanation.  

On a cheerier, note, however, we also saw this kestrel!  It really liked this oak tree (lots of birds do, especially starlings, which nest in its many cavities).  It soared around a bit, then came to rest in the tree.  Took off, flapped around, returned to rest.  I'm glad to see this bird - I haven't seen a wild kestrel for many years - just the merlins in the Adirondacks.

Meanwhile, at work, we had someone bring us this mystery caterpillar:

We looked and looked in our caterpillar ID books, but to no avail. I finally sent this shot off to BugGuide and the answer came back "dogwood sawfly."  Not a moth or caterpillar at all!  It turns out that this larva is quite a pest of dogwoods.  The adult is a fly, but looks somewhat like a wasp, but it's the larva that does the damage.  Now, I didn't see it listed as a non-native insect, so, although it does damage to dogwoods, it must be a native insect, and therefore, part of the circle of life for our native plants.  If you have ornamental dogwoods, well, that's something else.  Go native - the plants and their associated critters are used to each other.  You will get some damage, but that is natural!  Plants are food - not museum specimens.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grab a Tissue

Every day when I come home, and every morning when I leave, there is someone who is there for me - my dog Toby.

These days, however, his age is really showing. He's got quite a hitch in his get-along, stairs are a real challenge. He often stumbles when we walk, and tall grass is a nightmare.  He drinks water like there's no tomorrow, which is unusual for him (when he first came to live with me, it practically took an act of congress to get him to drink). His bladder isn't what it used to be.

Despite all this, he is always there for me. Any pat on the head, any kind word, he appreciates it.  Even if I don't toss the ball any more, and our walks are short, and I'm out of the house all day, come home late and soon got to bed - he still seems to appreciate the time we have together.

It is hard to know if "it is time."

Anyway, today I saw this video, and it beautifully demonstrates why we love our animals so. Sure, it's all anthropomorphic, but it is beautiful...and I challenge anyone to get through it with a dry eye.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Very Cool Caterpillar

How cool is that!?!

You can read all about it on my other blog here.  (I posted the video on this blog as back-up in case it didn't post over there.)