Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Turkey Vulture Entertainment

A few weeks ago, we had an impromptu dinner with a couple friends. It was that night when we were in the kitchen that we noticed the large birds circling over our house and landing in the trees across the street. It was quite the show with the birds flying in one by one to roost for the night. It was definitely kind of spooky, but so cool! Without binoculars it was hard for us to figure out exactly what kind of bird it was, but occasionally they would fly towards us and we could see a flash of red. They had to be turkey vultures!

Every night since, the vultures gracefully fly in and settle in the trees for the night. I've read that they generally eat dead animal carcasses and serve an important role in the ecosystem because by eliminating the carrion, they prevent infection and disease. That's all fine and dandy, but it makes me wonder if the trees directly across from our house have an abundance of dead animal flesh on the pine needles below, definitely not a happy thought. Of course, my imagination always gets the best of me and the vultures probably just think the pine trees provide a nice place to sleep for the night after they are done foraging.

Last night, Drew finally dug out the binoculars and our friend Lori came over just in time for the aviary show.

If you are interested in watching our nightly turkey vulture entertainment with us, stop by between 6 and 7 pm. Oh, and beer and wine is always welcome.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Breakfast at Chair 6

My pre-school playmate and prom date came for a brief overnight visit. He arrived late at night and would be leaving first thing in the morning, but not until we had a proper breakfast and shared some laughs. So, I brought him to Chair 6 in Lake Placid.

When we arrived, the cook was also working as the server. We contemplated ordering the same thing because it would make his morning a little easier, but when we saw that the other tables food was coming out quick and everything looked so good, we changed our minds.

The server/chef arrived without a pen and paper and when Phil ordered the "BIG 6" the server said, "I'm good, but not that good." So, he returned with a pen and jotted down the complicated BIG 6 order which included choice of pancake (sweet potato), soft taco (sausage and cheddar), one egg (over easy), home fries, choice of bread (everything bagel), and breakfast meat (bacon). I had to write it down also because that's a whole lot of food for one breakfast meal.

I found Phil to be savvy about his meal. He took the egg and bacon and made a bagel sandwich out of it, ate his pancake, and took the soft taco to go.

I had the "Bunny Hill" and ordered it as a sweet potato pancake, over easy egg, and sourdough toast. I love their sweet potato pancakes, especially when they are a little crispy around the edges and the real Adirondack Maple syrup soaks right in. Delicious!

When we finished I asked Phil how he would describe his meal and he simply replied, "Good, home cooking." Honestly, I wouldn't have cared how breakfast turned out, it was the company that mattered.

Seeing Phil is a rare occasion, but when I do, I realize just how lucky I am to have a friend that can still make me laugh after all these years.

My Pal Phil

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Else Can a Lady Ask For?

Jay Mountain


Cedar Run Carrot Cake

= A Very Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Endangered Phone Booth

Fellow readers, I have some very sad news to report. The phone booth along the Ausable is on the endangered list and may soon become extinct. Yes, that's right the phone booth, a four walled little building meant for you to have private phone conversations in. Or maybe if you are a teenager, to make prank phone calls from.

There are still a few cellular holdouts left in this world and what would they do without the phone booth that shelters them from the Adirondack weather? I have to admit that I am one of those people that only has a cell phone, no land line. What would happen if my cell phone went dead or we were without electricity for several days and couldn't charge my phone? I fear that some day soon I will be without having the option to use the phone booth and will have to buy a phone charger for my car. I realize that this is not just a regional phenomenon, but something that threatens many areas. For instance, Manhattan has just four phone booths left.

For this to also happen in our neck of the woods saddens me to no extent. Yes, there are pay phones to use, but the phone booth is a symbol of simpler times and I would hate for this to disappear.

Jay still has a phone booth on the Village Green. This is a beautiful telephone booth that still has the accordion door and I think that back in the day, when you closed it, the light above would turn on. Surprisingly, it lacks graffiti and the only noticeable wear was a rusty hole on the outside.

It was here that I tried using the phone inside and discovered that it was completely dead.

My phone booth quest continued in Keene Valley where there is a phone booth next to their grocery store and public parking lot. This one is lacking a door to close and I wonder if it may have been broken from a car backing into it because I noticed that there are yellow cement posts protecting it.

Keene Valley is one of the towns in our area where there is little to no cell service and many hikers rely on this phone booth at the end of their journey. I thought I'd give the phone a try inside and it looked more promising than the one in Jay. Definitely more modern with calling card instructions and how to charge a call to your credit card.

Unfortunately, there was no dial tone. I could tell that the phone wasn't dead, because there was a little bit of static on the other end, but I was unable to reach an operator. I reported this inside to the Keene Valley Grocery so it could get fixed before hiking season kicks in.

I cruised through Lake Placid and saw a few pay phones, but no phone booths. I remembered seeing a phone booth in Ausable Forks, but couldn't find it. Of course, I used my cell phone and called my friend to help me locate it and were informed that it had recently been removed! Our friend that had lived a few houses away from the phone booth had no answers, just that it was gone. She knew that my heart sank and the next day sent me a text message to my cell phone of a phone booth in Keeseville.

After spending the afternoon tracking down phone booths and becoming disheartened with the results, I have decided not to restrict my search to just our area. There is a gem of a phone booth in Ray Brook between the Ford dealership and the campground. That one is a must see!

As a graduate student in England, the phone booth became my second home to call family and friends when I needed privacy from flat mates and I don't know what I would have done without it. So, it is here readers that I am professing my love for the phone booth and will now attempt to save one phone booth at a time!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trusty China City

In case you ever wanted to know, China City on Main Street, Lake Placid never seems to let me down.
I can always count on them for making my stomach satisfied with their Bean Curd in Hot Garlic Sauce along with an order of Cold Sesame Noodles.

I am also pleased that the order comes in heavy duty plastic containers that can be re-used for future leftovers besides Chinese take-out. Way better than the old styrofoam that would leak. Even though everything is placed in a plastic bag, it won't be thrown away either because how could I throw away a bag that has a smiley face and tells me to "Have a Nice Day"?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Woodland Girl

As a kid, my paternal grandfather used to tell me these elaborate stories about how I was found in the woods on a log and had been raised by woodchucks. There was no stork that dropped me off, it was the woodchuck that could chuck wood that gave me a bottle. I don't really remember all the details on how I was placed in my parents care after being some magical kind of baby in the forest.

Anyways, my fascination with woodland creatures grew stronger when these human parents of mine gave me Woodsey's Log House to play with.
I felt some kind of connection to these squeaking squirrels in overalls, like they were distant cousins of the woodchuck family that I once belonged to. I know this was all make believe and that I wasn't really brought up by furry animals that live in the woods, but today the strangest thing happened.

I had a running date with a friend that recently moved to Wilmington with her family. We had never run together before and I was excited to explore the side areas of town. Jen and I checked out one of the campgrounds and found ourselves on Woodland Circle.

It was here that we went up a small hill and saw a young girl walking by herself.
We kept running on this trail and eventually it looped around. We kept on chatting away and didn't think anything of the child we just saw because it seemed like she was just going back to her family's cabin or something.

When we came back to the fork in the trail the girl was sitting on a log crying. Jen, being the mother was very calm and asked the girl where her parents were. She didn't say anything, and it was here we noticed she was petting a woodchuck! There was absolutely no one around to witness this other than Jen and I. No tents, no RVs, nothing. The campground was deserted and all I could think about was my grandfather's tall tale.

Jen stayed with the girl and I ran off towards the road as fast as I could to get some help for this girl all alone in the woods, but when I got back to the campground office there was nothing but a big old sign that said,