Saturday, September 30, 2017

This Little Piggy

I swung by the farmers' market this morning and got a huge haul of courgettes (zucchini as my neighbours say), beans, extra-sweet tomatoes, carrots, miniature pumpkin pie and not one but two of the world-beating butterleaf lettuces. I have to make the most of it - only a few more Saturdays to go.  And I had to hurry to get back for United vs Palace.  But the star of the show

was Pop Tart, 2 weeks, held by proud dad John Policastro of  Flanigan Farm which will be  familiar  to  blog readers.  Sadly, she lost her mother, Poppy and her siblings and is being hand-reared on milk mixture before going on to solids. I'd never stroked a piglet before and Pop Tart's ginger mop was deliciously soft. Best of all were the tiny pink trotters (see below).

Best of luck little one -we're rooting for you!  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Up the Lane: Aster Times

Dateline:Cattaraugus County

The blog has returned from some lengthy travels and was surprised to find how hot it is here. Friends inform me that they're finally getting the summer they were cheated out of earlier in the year. I took a walk to reacquaint myself with the lane and found the asters out in force.

You've got to applaud those asters.

The ones in our garden manage to dodge being weeded and then pop up merrily fringing the trees and blending beautifully with the mass of yellow black or brown-eyed Susans, as if saying, "Told you to give as a chance!"
  The weather yesterday morning could be described as "warm fog."

The leaf colours aren't really out yet

Except for the odd sumac but the forests and roadsides still have the "tapestry look".

More of those cheeky asters in the hedgerows.

 And it was so noisy - woodpeckers hammering, bluejays shrieking, drips dripping, acorns plopping, insects chirping and the patter of cloven hooves on the tarmac. (Look carefully)

Our motion detector light went on this morning - probably one of the above casing the joint for suitable winter meals.  Actually, just after I took this pic, a car came down the road. He didn't know how lucky he was. 
Their static friend has new headgear

  Presumably in praise of  "soccer" .   Or perhaps an American football just doesn't balance so well. Meanwhile the trees make pretty patterns.

And still look very green.

 Though I fear not for long.

 Next up: surprises in the garden. Watch this space.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Long Way From London

Sunday afternoon at Buffalo lakefront and the tourists are queuing up for their trip on Miss Buffalo.

Having decided it was a bit too windy for our little Titanic 2, we went to check out the much-lauded new nature reserve areas.

I wonder why all this "be safe" business is so beloved iof Americans. It seems to me a touch pessimistic. At the beginning of the summer hols our local high school posts a sign saying not, "Enjoy Yourselves" or "See You in September" but, "Have a Safe Vacation". What do they think might happen?
Anyway, here's a map of what you can see at the nature reserve. I think this may be an example of  "interpretive signage."

Well there's some grass.

And some pretty flowers.

A path.

A no doubt lots of interesting birds. But it all pales into insignificance next to the most exotic sight I've seen in Buffalo.

Wow! How about that! As hubby would say. It made me feel homesick for London

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Very Vermont

On a fleeting visit to Burlington, Vermont, the Green Mountain State, we sauntered to the marina, which is on Lake Champlain.. Just like in Buffalo, there was more to add to my weird boat name collection.

A pretty sight against the blue sky.

Here's another one.

A lovely-looking little ship too.

Burlington has a railway line, still used a bit and a grand old stone station.

Now how's this for a view from your back garden? Just about perfect!

And they grow their own hops too..

Church Street Marketplace is Burlington's historic Shopping Central. 

But the lake is nicest of all.

With scenic coves and mountains in the distance.

And more ridiculously sublime views. I'm told Lake Champlain has a monster called Champ, who pre-dates Nessie. Can you spot him? I thought not but we did spot a couple of dogs gambolling in the water wearing designer lifejackets as a precaution.

And talking about sublime. Guess what we saw at the airport?

Yes, a proper little yoga studio, complete with mats and a meaningful pile of pebbles for you to cuddle, or whatever you do with them. I suppose it's meant for nervous flyers.

As you can see, it had glass walls. Personally I would have to be extremely nervous before tying myself into lycra-clad knots in full view of passing fellow-passengers. But someone must use it.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Marina Madness

Sailing out of Buffalo Marina on one of our few days on the water this tempestuous summer. Now what was that in front of us, moored near the Ugly Tower?

It was a swanky yacht from somewhere in the Caribbean. You do sometimes see them in the summer. Perhaps he'll be cruising the Great Lakes. Most of the boats around here are a little more modest, including our own Titanic 2.

It was a windy day. Even the Spirit of Buffalo had only one red sail up.

And here's a very Buffalo scene - the Moondance Cat, sponsored by the local TV station, jolly revellers aboard, cruising past an old grain elevator.

Then we saw something bizarre.

Was it a water spout? That's a sort of wet tornado in reverse. You sometimes get them on Lake Erie.
No, on closer inspection it was a gush of water from a giant hosepipe with a person standing on top of it.

Doing all kinds of acrobatics - or is it aerobatics?

Evidently this is a new extreme sport.

Whatever will they think of next?