Stay-cation – Day 2

After coffee and some delicious home-baked apple muffins, we hit the road for a couple of not-too-far-away nature-y places.  First, the Alder Bottom Wildlife Management Area – where I took a very random assortment of pictures.

IMG_6492Alder Bottom

IMG_6424Northern Crescent
Northern Crescent

IMG_6432 White Pine at Alder Bottom
Big Old White Pine

IMG_6440Blister Beetle
Blister Beetle

IMG_6469Bear Scat
Bear Scat

This picture was just down the road from the parking area:
IMG_6495 Alder Bottom

Next stop was Chautauqua Gorge.

IMG_6521 Maple branches reflected in Creek
I take way too many pictures of reflections in the water… or shadows in the water…

IMG_6542 Crystal Clear Waters

…or leaves in the water.

IMG_6531Leaves on the Creek

IMG_6534 Reflections on the Creek

IMG_6540 Autumn in the Creek

IMG_6599 Gorge Abstract - Reflections in Creek

IMG_6626 Leaves and Waterfall

IMG_6632 Leaves in the Rushing Water


And then there are the rocks…

IMG_6566 Rock Detail

IMG_6621 Fossil

IMG_6649 Fossil

The forest provides lots of interesting images, too.

IMG_6535Red Maple Leaf in Ironwood Tree

IMG_6567 Banks

IMG_6592 Running Strawberry Bush
Running Strawberry Bush

IMG_6554 mushrooms on mossy log

IMG_6622 Precisely Punctured

IMG_6617 Christmas Fern
Christmas Fern

IMG_6556Leaves in the Grass

IMG_6559 on the banks at the gorge


IMG_6500 Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel

IMG_6502 Witch Hazel Shadow
Also Witch Hazel

IMG_6518 Lichen

We also drove up to Luensman Overview Park – just for a look, not for a hike.

IMG_6659Luensmann Overview Park

On the way back to Kat’s for dinner, followed by “art crimes” we stopped by a beaver pond on Stebbins Road. I took a lot of pictures, but got stuck in the processing on this one:

IMG_6677 Stebbins Road Beaver Pond Color
It’s upside down.

Then I turned it Black and White, just for fun:
IMG_6677 Stebbins Road Beaver Pond BW

There are many more pictures from that place… but that’s all I’ve processed so far…

Roast Beef dinner followed by collage-making rounded out the evening. (Maybe I should scan/photograph my masterpiece…)


I finally managed to get over to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute to see some of Julie Zickefoose’s paintings and sketches.  My daughter Emily and I went.  Emily is a big fan of Julie’s dog, Chet Baker.

One painting in particular was fun to see because of a series of 4 posts Julie had put up on her blog about the process of painting it.

Eastern Phoebe by Julie Zickefoose

I wanted to put links to each post here, but I found it hard to do…  This link will get you to the first three:

And this is the final of the four posts:

(I don’t want to say anything bad about other blogging platforms, but permit to say that I really like WordPress!)

It was also very fun to see Julie’s first watercolor made at age 12, and her first bird painting made for her grandma at age 16.

The exhibit is at RTPI through January 31, 2009.  Don’t miss it.  It’s called “Letters from Eden” – same as the title of her new book, which is also on sale at RTPI.

Got Art?

Three StatuesWhat do you do with a farm that has become unproductive or unprofitable?  Larry Griffis had an idea after visiting Italy and seeing the way sculpture was incorporated into landscapes and cityscapes.  So he returned home to create the United States’ first sculpture park in Cattaraugus County, Western New York State.

I’ll show you some pictures…  But I can tell you right now, pictures simply will not do the place justice.  If you will be anywhere near Western New York, give yourself a treat and visit in person.

“You never know what you’ll find next.  And once you find it, you’re not always sure what it is.”  That’s what my husband said recently during a visit to Griffis Sculpture Park.

What is it

There are reportedly over 250 statues by over 100 artists on this property which is split into two sections.  The portion off of Rohr Hill Road can be visited free of charge.  The Miller Valley Road entrance has signs encouraging you to use the honor system with regard to the suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Even the donation box is a piece of art!


When I visited again this week with a van load of teens, we stuffed some bucks into the yellow box, then entered and took these pictures:

There's a chair inside

Skipping Along with My New Boyfriend

How Many Kids will Fit Inside the Statue

Jeff Tames the Wild Preying Mantis

Climbing the Tower

Unfortunately, the official website for the park seems to be in a state of transition and incompleteness.  But with persistence, you can find the place:

Griffis Map

Mapquest or Google 6902 Mill Valley Rd., East Otto, NY 14729.  Then plan a visit.  You won’t regret it!

Woman in the WoodsLearn more: