Charlotte at Night

Feb 13, 2012 in Photography

wpid-roofs-icon-2012-02-13-15-32.jpgYesterday evening was about the first chance this winter to take some snowy pictures. And, it being evening and all, an opportunity to continue my quest to take after dark pictures. I was meeting with Cindy later on in Charlotte to discuss the new features to the Day Rides, now called Impromptu Rides, web site, and so went over a little earlier armed with camera and tripod.

I’ve taken pictures there a few times before. It has a certain scenic appeal. I first hiked around the lighthouse and the (defunct?) train station and then up to the pier. There I saw that the snow and the dark clouds inspired photographic inspiration upon another couple of photographers as well. There is something about the snow, the fading natural light and the emerging streetlight.

You’ll find the photos on Flickr. As part of its move to iCloud, Apple is phasing out the MobileME photo gallery I had been using. Which reminds me that I have till June to through the blog posts and fix what will become dead links to photo albums…

Sodus Bay revisited

Dec 19, 2010 in Photography

wpid-sodus-winter-2010-12-19-11-00.jpgLast year on a sunny November day I drove to Sodus Bay for a photo excursion. A year and a month later I decided to see how things would look now. At least that became the plan. I started driving out from Webster along Lake Road to take pictures of what I would see there. But nothing really struck me other than the too obvious snowy christmas postcards. In part this is caused by traveling by car: you’re just going too fast and don’t really see anything. I prefer to walk (or bike) around then you see things that otherwise stay hidden. Thus I arrived in Sodus Bay village without having taken a picture yet and so made the theme of the trip the contrast with last year’s effort.

I am still on the black & white streak although I’m throwing in one color photo at the end of the album in the gallery. I just like very much what the Nikon camera does in the B&W setting.

Honeoye Falls and Canadice Lake

Dec 24, 2009 in Life

Honeoye-Falls.jpgOn Tuesday it was sunny, cold and there was still snow on the ground – the perfect inspiration to take photos. Photos to then use to help my migration from iPhoto to Aperture.

This excursion further more enabled me to take photos of an area I’ve long wanted to photograph, an area where I am often enough, frequently with a camera on my person but I never take time for it: Honeoye Falls as we pass through it on our club bike rides. Every time we ride through the village and past the waterfalls I think “oh, that looks nice, I should photograph this.” But, as some know, I don’t like to stop while cycling if there’s not a cycling specific reason to stop. The result is that in this blog you seldom get to see the terrain we cycle through but instead more often these lunch time pictures.

So instead of Maximilian (ehh, the road bike) I took Dr Frits (ehh, the Mini Cooper) plus of course camera, tripod and much matters.

Sunny winter afternoons are perhaps my favorite days to go photograph because the sun hangs so nicely low in the sky causing the light to stroke over the landscape. The waterfalls were, except for a few streams of water, frozen over. It always amazes me that water flowing so swiftly can freeze.

From Honeoye Falls I went to Canadice Lake. Many of our club rides go past this lake along a lovely quiet bumpy road. Past the lake I turned Dr Frits left onto Reynolds Gull Road, an unpaved road that winds over the hill ridge to the side of Canandaigua Lake. But before getting there I turned right onto Canadice Hill Road through Spencer State Park. In September a bike ride took us this direction and I remembered it being quite beautiful.

The Falls and other photos are in the gallery.

On the way back I stopped in Lima for a drink and walked into a local pub. I sat down at the bar, peered over to the tap station to see what they had on draft and ordered a Labatt Blue.

Next to me an elderly chap and a woman in her thirties were having a bit of an odd conversation. She was, or was pretending to be, very in love with him asked him to have another drink with her. Said he that he needed to phone to see if he can stay out this evening and dug out his cell phone. He finished his call, put away the phone and said that he needed to go home to cook dinner.

He got, started towards the door but lingered at the pool table. In the meantime she started softly singing “Hepatitis, he has hepatitis”. One of the billiards players called out for her to shut up. She kept singing. Another one called to the bartender to call 911 and have her thrown out.
She leaned towards me saying: “He has hepatitis.”
“That is fascinating,” I mumbled.

More calls for 911 and for her to be quiet rang through the bar.

Realizing the time, I finished my beer and left 🙂

Conklin’s Gully hike

Dec 20, 2009 in Life

conkins-gully.jpgMark and Chuck organized the first winter hike this Saturday. At first when Mark’s email arrived and spoke casually of a 9am start just outside Naples I wasn’t immediately motivated but I did yesterday succeed in answering the 6:45am calling of the bedside alarm.

I threw the snowshoes in the car. In Rochester the snow levels weren’t very high to require them but that could be different 45 miles south. It turned out there was a bit less snow there than in the city so hiking boots sufficed. The temperature was around -6C/20F and with virtually no wind keeping the chill factor at bay, this was quite manageable. A group of around 10 was gathering at the parking area at the bottom of Parish Hill road. But no Mark yet. And we needed him for the route. We could make something up, of course. Then a cell phone rang; Mark overslept but is on his way, we should start, he’ll catch up.

So we started the hike up the hill towards the top of the gully. And while we were admiring the view at the top of that climb, Mark made his appearance. With the group now complete we marched on towards High Tor from where there’s a great view back over Lake Canandaigua.

Circling around we came to the top of the gully on the other side. From here there was a good view on the frozen waterfall. Later in winter it is common to see ice climbers climbing up the waterfall. A scary undertaking if you ask me but I made a mental note to come back with camera and all in a few weeks. It amazes me that fast falling water can freeze.

Halfway I had a fun chat about animal tracks in the snow. Being a city boy I have no idea what prints belong to what animal; they could all be wolves as far as I’m concerned. My dad’s efforts notwithstanding – he grew up on farms – I’m also not very good with flora. I recognize oaks, tulips and roses and that’s about it. Oh, and Christmas trees, especially if they have lights in them.

More photos from the hike in the gallery.

Skate The Bay

Feb 10, 2009 in Life

skatethebay.jpgThis Saturday saw the successful launch of the Skate The Bay speed skating marathon on the bay at Webster, NY. It was a close call; it seems the weather gods are not fully behind the event. Last year it was planned and organized for the first time but then a week before thaw set in. This year the race was held but only just. It starting thawing the night before. Luckily there were 16“ of ice so if one ignored the slowly increasing layer of water one could race just fine.

I missed the first half of the 50km marathon. Its start time of 9am overlapped with the broadcast of the Allround World Championships speed skating in Norway and I couldn’t resist its pull to see/hear how van Deutekom and Kramer et al would do. For several of the marathon racers the distance was quite a distance. There was one very brave soul riding on hockey skates. After the marathon the 1km community race took place. It was a lot of fun to see the young kids sprint away. I put under the steel for a little while as well. Not easy. Natural ice is so much harder than the artificial ice at ice rinks and having had no maintenance for the last 12 years or so my skates aren’t exactly sharp. Still, it was fun.

Originally I planned to also watch the Sunday events but with the high temperatures I didn’t think that was going to be much fun: soo much water. But still, it was great that on the second try the race did take off and together with the organizers I hope this will become a regular stop on the calendar.

Pictures in the gallery.

December Storm

Dec 28, 2008 in Photography

storm.jpg“Ik waaide bijkans uit m’n hempie”

After the cold, very snowy winter weather it was suddenly a comparatively warm but stormy day this third Christmas Day. I got up at 6:30 to watch on-line the second day of the Dutch speed skating championships. Then grabbed the camera and drove to Hamlin Beach and Charlotte Beach on the coast of Lake Ontario. The wind gusts made me think of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. The wind came from the south and so some of the gusts almost blew me into the lake while balancing to take some of the pictures. The interaction between the clouds and the sun tempted me to play with the photo settings when editing the pictures on the computer; I hope I didn’t overdo it but stormy, gloomy weather just seems to scream for black&white or sepia.

On the pier at Charlotte Beach the little group of people you see in one of the photos were preparing for some streaking. Very, ehh, brave (?) with the still rather cold temperatures and the waves crashing over the pier while the two boys were running up and down it in the costumes Mother Nature awarded them. I got very wet feet next to the pier. Wanting to get close to the waterline for some shots I hiked forward only to discover that just a thin layer of sand had blown over the melting snow and ice leading to the waterline and so I sank down to my knees through the slush. Cold, yes. According to the temperature reader at home it was 40 degrees, much warmer than previous days and so I had zipped out the fleece from my winter coat…. Back in the car I was very happy with the heated seats (a feature that shows that God exists, I tell ya).

The pictures are here.

Snowshoeing

Dec 21, 2008 in Life

snowshoeing.jpgWith Mark and Dave I went on a snowshoe hike today around Clark Gully near Naples, NY.

It was a blast!

This was my second time on snow shoes. The first was yesterday afternoon; a short hike in Mendon Ponds Park to try them out after picking them up at Park Ave bike shop that morning. The weather was great. When I got up this morning, saw that more snow had fallen overnight and hearing all the storm talk on CNN I was a little curious how the day would play out. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. It was overcast when we started but after half an hour the sun broke through and we had beautiful blue skies.

Beautiful blue skies to accompany Dave and me on the well-marked trail that mr Frank had prepared for us, ahem. It was a mystery that we contemplated the whole hike: All of Mark’s bright-colored tags tied to the trees were gone! Who removed them? When? And why? We discussed many a well-founded conspiracy!

No matter though. Even while we took some ad hoc routes the hike was fantastic and not exactly knowing what route we were taking to get to the chimney waypoint and the waterfall just added to the fun for me.

Pictures in the gallery.

Crosscountry skiing

Dec 14, 2008 in Life

bristol.jpgYesterday I trekked to Bristol Mountain. Since two years they have a nordic ski area; two groomed trails, one easy and one not so easy. While the Bristol Mountain web site is a little sparse on details where exactly this area is, I eventually learned that the entrance is off South Hill Road (I could have phoned them but what’s the fun in that!?).

My TomTom knew the location of South Hill Road and after solving the mystery of having only one ski glove (decided that my winter cycling gloves should work too) I was off with the skies on the roof rack of Dr Frits. South Hill Road dead ends at the ski center. It was good that I knew this because this road winds on for quite a while seemingly going nowhere and clearly not on the snow plow route. I went in the ski center, purchased the trail pass and was about to put on the skies when I heard a familiar voice. Lo’ and behold, Wayne’s here skiing (downhill though, one of the lifts ends here) with (one of) his girlfriend(s). He enquired after my other half. I replied: “You haven’t heard? We’re not together anymore.”

Anyways, we chatted a little more mainly about Wayne’s cycling and skiing exploits as usual. Then I decided it was time to get active so stepped in the bindings, put on the gloves, gripped the poles and pushed off. Swoosh!

Well, a little swoosh. Or maybe just a tiny bit of swoosh. This was the first time of the season and while the trail was beautifully groomed, mostly flat and very quiet I was most rusty. Now, one may argue that this being only the second winter of doing this I never really was not rusty and if I was objective, impartial as I always am then one could possibly hear me agree with such an observation. But still, boy, it amazed me how much I was struggling. This was a 1.2 km loop which I did 4 times. Had to stop and pauze every few hundred meters. On the backside of the loop the trail sloped down through 3 or 4 nice, quite wide turns back to the ski center. The first time I couldn’t hold the 3rd turn ending up between the trees, the second time I fell crossing the skies, the third time I made it through by coming to a stop after the 2nd turn, pauze and then continue. The fourth I made it through slowly, slowly; by then rather tired. Each time, especially the left hand turns I was so very tempted to go “pootje over”, the speed skating cornering steps but I discovered a few years ago in Colorado how well that works on skies! In the meantime, there were about four good skaters doing the loop passing me many times effortlessly with good pace all of them doing the skate movement. Now, I know how to speed skate but on these skies I have great difficulty performing skate steps.

Still, I had a great time and it was gorgeous weather as you can see from the pictures. I am thinking maybe taking a lesson or two and get some help with the technique.

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