Letchworth State Park Fountain Freezes!

Frozen Fountain at Letchworth State Park

Frozen Fountain at Letchworth State Park

Last weekend my quild had a quilting retreat at Asbury Camp and Retreat Center on Silver Lake, near Perry, NY. Since we were so close to Letchworth state park, a few of us couldn’t resist a side trip to see the frozen fountain in front of the Glen Iris Inn

Glen Iris Inn fountain close-up at Letchworth State Park

in the park. We’ve seen it on the news and it really is quite a sight!  You can get an idea of the size by looking at the people next to it. Pictures never quite do it justice, but it gives yo an idea.

Doesn’t it remind you of cauliflower in this close up?  Oddly, the other side of the fountain is much smoother.

 

 

 

 

It’s been a busy week since I got back from retreat.  I’ll fill you in on the rest of the quilt retreat this weekend.

Before I go, I just have to share something with you . I entered a quilt in the American Quilter’s Society’s show in Syracuse this summer. This is a first for me. I won’t find out if my quilt made it into the show until the end of May. Wish me luck!

Things that make me smile:

  • Four days of quilting with friends
  • Hot cocoa on a cold night
  • Warm quilts on a cold night

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Silo City Vertical Tour

Silo City  Childs Street, Buffalo, NY

Silo City
Childs Street, Buffalo, NY

If you’re looking for something different to do in Buffalo, NY and you enjoy local history check out the great tours offered by Explore Buffalo.  Jim and I and our friend Bill went on their Silo City Vertical tour a couple weeks ago and we have nothing but good things to say about it.

Buffalo has a very rich history.  Because of its location on Lake Erie, Buffalo was important in industry and transportation.  The Buffalo River, which runs off Lake Erie and goes through the southern part of the city, has many grain silos along its banks.  Some are still working silos, but sadly, many are abandoned.  Ships would carry the grain from the farms so it could be stored and made into the food products that we buy.

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A large conveyor belt with scoops would take the grain from the ship to the top of the silo.  From there, conveyor belts on the top floor on the inside would move the grain along and fill each of the silo sections with the grain.
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There was a hatch for each silo segment.  This is the machine that would move along the conveyor belt putting the grain into the silo sections.

 

 

 

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How would you like to be the person who sits on this swing, gets lowered into a silo section, and scrubs the inside of the silo?  (I’m hoping the swing didn’t break while someone was on it!)

 

 

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One of the silos is used for an art show at least once a year.  This was left over from last year’s art show.  (Do any of my fellow quilters see inspiration here?  If you are an art quilter, then you probably see inspiration everywhere.)

Ohio Street Bridge over the Buffalo River (as seen from top of silo)

Ohio Street Bridge over the Buffalo River (as seen from top of silo)

We walked to the top of the silo on the left in the photo below.  Then we walked the length of the silo, went through the walkway at the top of the silo to the next silo over.  We came down through that silo and went into the malt house in the next building.

Silo City, Buffalo, NY

Sunset at Silo City, Buffalo, NY

After the tour, a buffet style dinner was served next to the river on picnic tables covered with red and white checkered tablecloths.  The table were set up under the awning under the walkway between the two silos in the picture above.

So, check out www.explorebuffalo.org for something different to do this summer! They have a great variety of tours, from historical to architectural to garden.  Many are walking tours, but there are also bus tours.  If you dread the idea of walking up a small staircase to the top of a silo, there’s a Silo City Grounded tour that looks really interesting too.

Things that make me smile:

  • The smell of Cocoa Puffs when driving home from work on the I-190.
  • Sunsets

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Bicycling along the Canal

The weather was too beautiful last Saturday to spend inside quilting.  After a little time mowing the lawn on the tractor, my boyfriend Jim and I went for a bike ride along the Erie Canal.  We started where Day Rd. meets the canal in Lockport and went past Gasport to Slayton Settlement Rd.  It was a little over 10 miles which is a good start to the season for me.  I prefer riding on bike paths over sharing roads with cars.

Mystery Flowering Tree

Mystery Flowering Tree

Within the first couple of miles we passed some trees with beautiful fragrant white flowers.  They reminded me of lilacs or wisteria because of their shape and strong fragrance, but I have no idea what they are.  I would love to find out, so if anyone knows, please leave a comment to let me know.

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Canadian geese with youngsters

Canadian geese with young

 

 

The path along the canal is also called a “tow path” because originally the boats that went on the canal were pulled by mules that walked on the path, towing the boats.

 

 

 

We are lucky to have many miles of great bike paths in our area.  While any township in the US can make a bike path, we have a real gem here in western New York.  We have water (from the mighty Niagara Falls to the serene Erie Canal), nature (both plant and animal), and a history (the grain elevators, the canal, etc) right here.  I’ve been told that you can ride the bike path along the Niagara River from Niagara Falls to downtown Buffalo.  I haven’t tried that trip yet, but it’s on the list.

A while back, I asked if anyone had any guesses as to where the Sunny Day title of my blog came from.  In 1969 a new show came to television.  I was born less than a year later.

“Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet”

Those words immediately got my attention every time I heard them coming from the t.v. For the next hour, my mom knew she could get some cleaning done because I would be completely absorbed and out of the way.

“Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?”

Oh, how I wanted to go to Sesame Street!  I wanted to play with Bert and Ernie.  I wanted to hold the caterpillers in the windowsill.  I loved Big Bird, and Snuffleupagus!  Even Oscar the Grouch was somehow lovable.  Forty plus years later, hearing the first few notes of the Sesame Street still brings a smile to my face.

When the weatherman tells us there’s sunshine in the forecast, don’t we all feel our spirits lift?  Who doesn’t love a sunny day?  When I decided to start a blog, I wanted to do more than share quilting and embroidery tips.  I wanted to give people something to smile about. For quilter’s it can be the tip or technique that makes a quilt come together easier, or it can be an inspirational quilt seen at a show.  For quilter’s and non-quilters alike, it can be a great recipe, an idea for a day trip in Western New York, a quote to make you laugh or cry or ponder, or a good book to read.  The possibilities are endless.  Thanks for joining me on my journey to spread the sunshine.

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Jim and I on Erie Canal bike path

Things that make me smile:

  • getting to drive the tractor
  • bicycling with Jim
  • goslings (well, any baby animals)

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie