A downy woodpecker was lunching at the backyard suet cake as Michael and I got into the car for a leisurely Sunday drive. Our
first stop was Fair Haven State Park. Getting out of the car we walked
down the road towards the pond. The only open water was 100 yards to the
east of the bridge. Several Canada geese, Mute Swans and a variety of ducks were on the fringe of the open water. One Mute Swan appeared to be taking a snooze. As
we looked up a snowmobiling family approached and pulled up for a rest
stop. This friendly bunch chatted with us as they observed the birds and
the beauty of the shoreline. Then with a hoot and a shout the snowmobiling family took off. Observing the sign Michael and I ventured only as far as the beach. There we took photos of the pier. Back
in the car we made our way over to Little Sodus Bay. About 300 yards
out on the ice a group of ice sled racers were gathered. After J.J.
plowed the frozen bay surface, racers gave it their best shot.
Michael and I went into the Little Sodus Inn. By the barmaid's suggestion we had a plate of barbecue chicken wings. With
a satisfied stomach we headed to the Montezuma Audubon Center. No one
was at the MAC except a lone White-breasted Nuthatch at the bird feeders
and three American Goldfinch clinging to the blue marten house. Heading
for home we went by way of Rt. 89. Near Tschache Pool we observed a
Bald Eagle soaring. As we drove further south there were five Great Blue
Heron roosting in a tree. We also saw three Red-tailed Hawks before
reaching Rts. 5 & 20.
Great Blue Heron
drove to Mud Lock but there were no eagles. Stopping at the Cayuga
train trestle we saw several ducks. However they were too far out to
identify. All in all an enjoyable trip.
Making my way to the Montezuma Audubon Center
(MAC) using a counter-clockwise detour brought me to the Savannah
Spring Lake Road. There I observed a my first Red-winged Blackbird of
Arrived at the MAC at 10 AM. Workshop leader, Naturalist Dave Spier,
was busy preparing his presentation. Assembled in the conference room
were 11 participants, 4 women and 7 men (including myself).
Dave was having difficulty in aligning his new laptop with the screen
projector, he made the decision to take the group outside.
the bird feeders on the way to the wood, Dave mentioned that there were
100+ Red-winged Blackbirds on the ground around the feeders when he
arrived this morning.
Once in the woods using his fingers in the
snow Dave illustrated the subtle difference between rabbit and squirrel
tracks. Rabbits tend to form a Y pattern while squirrel indentations
resemble a butterfly. Dave mentioned that rabbits will seek safety under
logs and hollow areas made by bushes pushed over by snow.
some trail maintenance Dave tore a twig from a Northern spice bush.
Passing the specimen around for the group to smell Dave made the point
that rabbits having upper and lower teeth make a clean cut when they
forge on branches. Deer however having only lower teeth and a flat upper
plate tend to rip branches.
Noting a fallen limb that had been chewed by an animal Dave demonstrated the use of a tripod.
With the overcast sky producing poor lighting Dave decided to take the
group back inside. On the way in Dave pointed out this nest which may
have been used by a warbler.
n our absence, MAC Director Frank Moses had corrected the computer
glitch and Dave's presentation was ready. Dave used his projected photos
to make suggestions for capturing nature. Many of the participants had
questions for Dave which he answered often using his equipment as props.
the workshop I purchased a sub sandwich at the Wolcott Big M and
brought it to Bradley's home for lunch. On the way out of town stopped
at the Wolcott Falls.
This evening when the moon rises in the eastern sky it will not just be
full, the moon will be making its closest approach to Earth in 18 years.
no clouds (a stargazer's nightmare in Central New York) get in the way,
the moon will appear about 10 to 15 percent larger than normal.
best time to view the moon will be at sunset. According to the
Astronomical Society of Palm Beaches, the best way to view this super
moon will be by the naked eye, not a telescope. The lunar surface will
be too bright to easily discern mountains and craters.
Photographed 10:24 PM
Saturday, March 19, 2011
At 7:45 PM went outside to
view the moon, but it was partially hidden by the neighborly rooftops.
But this supper full moon appeared to be bigger and brighter than usual.
Whether its perigee of about 221,567 miles away optically increased the
moon's size by 14 percent or the moon's brightness by 30 percent could
not be determined by my observations. Unaware of this phenomenon in
March of 1993 tonight's viewing provided a moment of awe for me.
Photographed 10:26 PM
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Some astronomers believe a
super moon causes an increase in natural disasters on our planet such as
earthquakes. Though this theory is not likely to occur, it is not being
completely ruled out. This impending occurrence is said to have no link
to the recent Japan earthquake and tsunami.
Winky Dink and You was featured in the Ask AP section of the American
Profile March 10, 2011 issue. This stimulated my memory bank.
Dink and You was an early childrens' interactive television show. Its
interactivity made it innovative for the time. Viewers could purchase
Winky Dink kits which contained a magic window that clung to the
television screen with static electricity. Winky Dink and You was an art-themed children’s series that aired Saturday mornings on CBS from 1953 to 1957 with Jack Berry as host. Winky Dink and You was considered the first interactive TV show via a
“magic drawing Screen,” a clear piece of vinyl plastic that adhered to
the front of the television. For 50 cents, you could buy a Winky Dink
Magic Kit so you could assist Winky Dink and his dig, Woofer, on their
adventures. Using special crayons, you could connect dots shown in
various scenes and draw lifesaving props for the the wide-eyed cartoon
Our first family TV was in the apartment in Melone Village.
At the time Father was working at the headquarters of Sylvania's Picture Tube Operations in Seneca Falls. Believe Father purchased our first TV at work. Do not remember if we sent away for our Winky Dink kit or if someone
gave it to us. Do recall Terry and I following Jack Berry’s instructions
and saving Wink Dink and Woofer from disaster every Saturday morning.
Who would have guessed that such a simple concept would be so much fun?
The following is a email comment sent by Terry which includes his remembrance of Winky Dink: We
never had the green screen to put on our tv but Uncle John and Aunt Zoe
purchased one for our cousins on Lewis Street. I slightly remember seeing
it at their house. We lived on the left center in Melone Village. Paul
Hester (Mail Man) lived on the right to us. I don't remember our first
tv in Melone Village but remember father bringiing home a new tv in our
new home (77 E. Genesee St. 1953) the houes was built in 1853, the tv
was a Sylvania Halo-light. Father worked in the GTE division of