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A Walk in the Woods (a few photos and a few words)

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“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


So I went for a bike ride and then a walk in the woods yesterday. It was overcast mostly, and on-again off-again drizzle for the morning, but then it cleared. I’ve written in previous posts how Buffalo is fortunate enough to have two nature sanctuaries within it’s city limits. The one pictured here is Times Beach Nature Preserve, which is the smaller of the two. During the summer months when Queen City Bicycle Ferry is in service it is so simple to get there (it cuts off about 6 miles of a bike ride in a two minute boat ride). Other than some sort of an unidentified insect crawling up the sleeve of my shirt and biting me 4 or 5 times, it was a really wonderful walk. I was amazed at the wildlife one can see a mere 4 miles from my front door. Anyhow, click any photo for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

A few of the beautiful animals I saw at the zoo yesterday…

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Urban Simplicity

A few things I saw while riding my bike today…

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I rode my bike to Tift Nature Preserve this morning. And it is really interesting on a few levels. One is that the nature preserve is located within the city limits but when there you have the feeling of being in the country. And to get to it (by bike) one has to ride through an industrial section (which is also teeming with wildlife) and past the Outer Harbor. Anyhow, I took a bunch of photos, here’s a few of my favorites.

Urban Simplicity.

Stalking Lucille…

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Okay. So first a couple of things. Lucille is not a person, it is this bird…a great blue heron. I posted about her somewhat recently here. And to be honest I am not sure if Lucille is even a female bird, I just named her that because she (it) looks so incredibly graceful. She nests somewhere on Bird Island Pier (click here to see a map). I first got a glimpse of her last year when I was out taking these photos of the Peace Bridge at night. I was riding my bike back up the breakwall and as I passed her she flew in front of me and I almost fell of my bike (its a bit creepy being out there by yourself at night). Anyhow, I went out there again today in search of her…and yes she was there. And she toyed with me (I really believe this). She would let me get about (I’m guessing) 50 feet from her, close enough to snap her photo, then fly off and land down the wall. And then the same scenario would take place. To get a clearer picture of this breakwall (if you haven’t been here), there is about a two mile “public” section that is somewhat maintained that runs parallel with the Niagara River and the Black Rock Channel and it juts out into Lake Erie. But where the public area ends it keeps going for another mile or so. And this is where it gets really interesting…sort of feral. I ride my bike to the end of the public area, lock it to a railing, and walk the rest of the way out. It’s un-maintained, crumbling, and full of birds (hence it’s name). It is narrow for most of the way (as seen in some of the photos), and you have to descend and ascend broken areas, but it widens out at the end (as pictured in the first image below). The photo below is taken at the very end of the pier looking back. Even though it is only about 1/4 mile off shore it is quite literally another world; it is quite breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed at its beauty all I could do was sit down and pray, mediate, and give thanks. When I opened my eyes after meditation I half-expected Lucille to be sitting next to me, but she remained elusive. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Urban Simplicity.

After the rain…

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Urban Simplicity.

A Great Blue Heron and a Brace of Ducks…

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This morning was so beautiful (as was/is the rest of the day. I had to work for just a few hours in the afternoon and evening and really didn’t feel like going in. To wash away the “work blues” I rode my bike over to Bird Island Pier to take a few photos. If you are reading this post from another area of the world, I have to describe this “pier” to you. It’s a break-wall more than a pier really, and it just out into Lake Erie. And if you hop the railing and continue walking out to where you are not supposed to (as I did this morning) it goes out even further (a total of two miles I am told) to the intersection of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Buffalo Harbor, and the Black Rock Channel (click here to see the map). It really is quite breathtaking when your out there. Anyhow, along the way I saw so many ducks, but also the great blue heron that is pictured. It would only let me get a hundred feet from it before it would fly away. But I did manage to get a few shots of it. It was quite magnificent to watch. Any how, I thought I’d share a few photos.

Urban Simplicity.

Cinq Fleurs…

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Urban Simplicity.

Droplets and leaves and leaves and droplets…

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Urban Simplicity.

Pictures of a park at sunset, and a few words, too…

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Okay. So before I talk about these photos I have to get on my high horse for a minute regarding bicycling (sorry, but I haven’t done this in a while). I had to run a couple errands this evening (which entailed going to a big box store at the very edge of the city) and the pictures you see here are part of my route there…if I would have taken a car I would have had to circumvent all of this beauty…for me on a bike it’s not always about the destination so much as it is about the journey. I’ll get off my soapbox now.  Anyhow, this is beautiful Delaware Park, located in the heart of the city. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed–among many others–Central Park in NYC). It’s an oasis, really. And I feel really blessed to have this available year round. On my way home the light looked just right–almost magical–so I snapped a few photos and thought I’d share. Click any for a slightly larger image.


Urban Simplicity.

Plus de fleurs…

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Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while riding my bike today…

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After rushing around a hot kitchen today cooking and serving a Mother’s Day brunch I needed a little relaxation time so I went for a ride with my camera. I went to Forest Lawn Cemetery, and I know this may sound odd but it is really beautiful…and it is also an unofficial bird sanctuary. The image above, and the last one below, are of Mirror Lake. Those of the geese are pretty self explanatory. I also thought it was interesting in that while I saw a lot of geese walking around with their little goslin, there were also a fair amount of birds of prey hovering overhead (not sure what they were but they were large and looked menacing). The only grave I photographed is the one pictured below…and I chose this one because it made me think of a Hobbit grave. Anyhow, it was a pleasant ride and just what I needed. To see previous images from this cemetery click here or here.


Urban Simplicity.

It feels like spring (finally!)…

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Urban Simplicity.

After the Rain…

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Urban Simplicity.

The cardinal is back, and also a quick note…

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Well, the cardinal is back…or at least he’s showing himself to me again. And he’s letting me get closer to him…I really think he knows or remembers me and knows that I mean no harm. I’m not sure where his mate has been though. Maybe she’s sitting on a nest of eggs. I also didn’t realize there was a spiritual significance to cardinals until someone mentioned this to me (but isn’t there a spiritual significance to everything). Anyhow, if you’re interested in seeing some of the info about them, click here or here.

I also wanted to mention that I will be away from my computer for the next four or five days so it will be a few days before I post again. Until then, Peace.

Urban Simplicity.

More Birds…

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So you may be getting tired of pictures of birds that I post on this blog. Sorry. But, I enjoy them. And what I think is pretty incredible is that they are all taken in the city center…nature in the city. Anyhow, I shot these today while out running errands on my bike.

Urban Simplicity.

Another red bird on another single digit day…

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You may have gathered by now that I enjoy taking photos of nature in the city of all kinds, including birds. Anyhow, this is one I’ve posted before (but these photos are from today). Its one of a few cardinals that live in the garden of my place of employment. It was–again–another frigid day, and I’m not sure if this is the reason or not but he let me get pretty close. Anyhow, I shot a bunch of photos and thought I’d share a few.

Urban Simplicity.