A Londoner's musings from rural Western New York - and sometimes elsewhere
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Update on the Jungle
Friday, August 21, 2020
And Into the Harbour (Harbor)
The other day there was absolutely no wind so we pretended we were in a power boat and took a cruise around Buffalo Harbour. Here we are going under the skyway and on the left is an operational grain elevator - most of them are rusting hulks left over from when Buffalo took in all the grain from the prairies and was one of the world's major cities but this one produces Cheerios breakfast cereal - when there is a wind and it's in the right direction the treacly aroma wafts across the harbour.
I have been collecting bizarre boat names, of which there are many. Boat owners seem to love plays and puns, some of them not very salubrious. Yes the one in the middle really is called Breakin' Wind.
And here's Feelin' Nauti on the left.
"Seanile" I can sympathise with. I'm sure it's not owned by a politician.
Sail La Vie. Oh dear.
Here's the sailing school with the sweetest little huts, all different colours, just like the English Riviera.
Out past the historic lighthouse.
Here's a close-up. It was finished in 1933 and has a fascinating history which you can read more about here - it's one of the prettiest sights on the waterfront. It almost makes up for the Skyway and the Marina Ugly Tower, (which I can't bear to photograph again - a brutalist monstrosity) but not quite.
And back in our own marina, a few more boat names. Speaking of not very salubrious ...
Of course, what would you expect from a powerboater?
Aqua Maureen is a bit more like it.
More fool him. Not getting the art of going nowhere, slowly, at great expense. (Especially on a day like today.)
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Into the Woods
Dateline: Cattaraugus County, western New York state
In all the time I've been here I'd never before been to the State Forest. Or rather the State Forests. These pockets of wooded idyll are dotted around the landscape. Occasionally you see a rustic wooden notice, bump along a country lane and find yourself lost in the simple splendour of nature. No car park, no visitor centre, no manicured trails, camp sites or collections of cabins. Best of all, no sentry box asking you to cough up some money as happens in the State Parks. The State Forests are a simpler, wilder experience. And when you see a path like this....
Of course you're never truly free of the scourges of modern life. The barrier to stop cars going up the path had suspicious ruts on either side. The local citizenry on those noisy off-road tractor things probably. But they weren't there today.
Plus you can never really get away from the strange times we live in. What does that piece of paper say?
Wouldn't you know. Even out here.
And another of the special charms of rural America. Roads signs used for target practice.
If you don't believe me, look at the other side.
But we'll definitely be back to the State Forest again. Just don't tell too many people about it.