Tag Archives: Montezuma Audubon Center

Oh, ho, ho December!

14 Dec

The holiday bells are ringing and I’m squeezing a post in while I wait for my car to be serviced. Festive gatherings are making me jubilant and inspired!

As sugary delights taunt me, I’m adding in additional exercise and fun. Socializing and being physically active increase energy unlike the negative effects of too many holiday treats.

At a recent party, another guest revealed that he had followed my blog but he had never received it! It was a friendly reminder to get back here.

Joining the National Audubon Society as an environmental educator this spring has been an exhilarating realization of my work and education. Working with Audubon to achieve our mission to conserve habitats for birds in the face of climate change is tangible work of great value for so many reasons. Delivering educational programming to children and adults at the Seneca Meadows Education Center and Wetlands Preserve is a true delight and honor. Audubon’s work teaching people about birds and how to help them directly achieves the goal I’ve state here; to connect people to the places where we work and play.

A volunteer potluck dinner at the Montezuma Audubon Center this month surpassed my expectations. Guests were surprised with a feast of venison and veggie chilis, chicken french, ordeurves, mashed potatoes and numerous desserts; including cream puffs shaped as swans! We talked about rare bird sightings and favored nature preserves, how fun our field trips are and the latest environmental news. Volunteer work ranges from gardening flower beds, running a store register to setting up and breaking down for events. The opportunities to meet others sharing the same interests and to learn are abundant. MARSH works in the Montezuma Wetlands complex area, while I often arrange events along Lake Ontario’s shore, cleaning beaches and collecting water chestnuts, for example. Working alongside others interested in helping birds, increasing positive feelings of engagement and widening our understanding of issues is proactive.

Many volunteer opportunities are in the warmer seasons but there may still be opportunities to contribute and get outside. Researching these organizations and learning about their work can help us remember Spring will come again!

Another place that protects water quality and provides habitat for wildlife and rescued domestic animals is Cracker Box Palace at Alasa Farms, on the southern shore of Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario. An animal sanctuary situated on a Genesee Land trust property, this historic farm is comprised of diverse lands beside the bay. Over 200 rescued farm animals call this property home, relying on three or four staff members and numerous volunteers. A network of trails is available for visitors to experience protected lands including bay views, forest paths and waterfalls in a stream salmon rely upon.

Amazing places surround us, ripe for our discovery and stewardship. Wild, silly, creative people are all around, yearning to engage-to be involved, be valuable and valued-to share joy. These gifts of the season, I wish for us all.

For those who might need a tangible gift, South Shore Artisans in Fair Haven, NY is full of locally made creations. Drop in to find durable pottery, colorful, joyous paintings, and much more throughout the co-op’s three rooms. Avoiding waste and supporting local artists are actions with more benefit than we may remember. Happy Holidays!

 

Looking Back and Looking Forward

30 Apr

On this wet, last day of April in upstate NY,  I’m pleased to recall an assortment of fun recent events and to forget snow for now, while enjoying the blossoming wild flowers.  Crimson and white trillium brightened my morning last week at a favorite hiking spot.

Trillium bud.

Trillium bud.

Mother Nature offered a bit of warmth and sunshine before many April showers. The peepers came out to close our Saturday barbeque with song, while a hazy moon sat high above our campfire and wooded pond.  We shook off our social skills like our warmer weather clothes, only to retreat once again indoors.

One wet morning I happened upon the Montezuma Audubon Center on Rte. 89 north of Savannah.  My pup and I explored a new hiking trail that looped around north of the center.  Our curiosity was heightened as we looked around each bend, through the trees, at the forest floor and up at the sky.  Our impromptu visit was so refreshing that the center and its grounds may be one of my new favorite places! This Saturday, May 3, a Wildlife Festival will be held at the Montezuma Audubon Center.  Live animals including a Bald Eagle named Liberty will help attendees learn more about wildlife. Find out more details here.

My tolerance for weather may be much greater than many others.  Winter hikes and rainy treks are a reality for some, for others such experiences are far from fun.  Plans for a beach cleanup, 4OG,  along the shore of Lake Ontario were postponed due to rain.  Hopefully a bit of sun and warmer weather will make our event more fun for the little ones and their parents.  Many thanks to GreenStar Co-op for their financial support! It only seems natural to feed volunteers who come together to clean our shores.  GreenStar is committed to sustainability and our local food system.  Apples from Little Tree Orchard in Newfield, filled my basket and I was awarded 2 wooden nickels for bringing my own bags.  I tossed the tokens in bins marked with the names of local charities.  I know the Cayuga Dog Rescue scored 5 cents that trip.

Excursions around the region have offered as much variety as the weather patterns.  “Lean Forward,” a digital art show at The Mill Art Center and Gallery, entranced me with the breadth of techniques and subjects.  Long-time fans of digital art will appreciate the advanced techniques and sentiments expressed via digital media in this show.  A second and third visit are high on my list of things to do.  Dinner at The Rabbit Room made this show’s opening reception even more rewarding.  The Parisienne gnocchi is one of my favorite dishes anywhere.

Ryan William Vineyard was also an unexpected stop yet I am quite thankful to have visited this farm winery on the south-eastern side of Seneca Lake.  The wines offer complexity and flavor that hint at the care given to both the grapes and wine production process. The Late Harvest Riesling amazed with apricot flavor and residual sugar near 17%!  This wine does well in the bottle, making it a wise choice for special occasions.

There is so much to be enjoyed in the Finger Lakes! What are you looking forward to as summer nears?