Monday, December 7, 2015

My 366-day photography project: week eighteen

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas. The decorations are being put up. Santa Claus has already visited Town Hall. There's only one thing missing... snow! As far as I am concerned, that is OK. If it begins snowing on Christmas Eve, I will be very happy. A lovely snowfall does make for a pretty Christmas. I don't need any previews! So, on a snowfree December 1st, I was on my way to Town Hall to interview Mary Cooke. She is the town supervisor, but I was interviewing her in her role as president of the Friends of the Grand Island Memorial Library. My article was about the retirement of Library Director Lynn Konovitz, who has served in that role for 32 years.

On my way to Town Hall, I noticed three men digging in the ground. Could they be looking for buried treasure?


If you find a pirate chest, I told them, it's mine. I've already staked a claim to it.

The men assured me that, in all of time that they've spent working on sewers, they have never once found a pirate chest. If they did, they might be retired, too!

Of course, this area might be a little too far inland for a buried pirate's chest, unless the pirate ship was very tiny and was able to traverse Woods Creek. In that case, the pirates could disembark and find a suitable burial spot for their gold coins and precious and semi-precious stones.

Arrrggghhh! Matey! Methinks that me has been watching too many pirate movies!

My treasures seem to be found in nature. The deciduous trees are bare but the evergreens are still quite lovely. 

At the Tops plaza, I found a store with a lovely window display. Pretty cupcakes...

but they aren't edible. I think that they might actually be some sort of soap. For delicious cupcakes on Grand Island, you need to go to the Baked Cupcakery on Whitehaven Road. They sell an assortment of cupcakes. Every day, they produce different flavors. Yum. Completely delicious. The Baked Cupcakery has had some success. They entered a contest and were given the title of "Best Cupcakes in Western New York." They recently opened a second shop in Williamsville.

It's the Christmas season at the Town Commons, adjacent to Town Hall.

The Eagle has landed!!!

At the Town Commons, a tree was planted in memory of Jim Tomkins, who was a strong advocate for Grand Island's natural environment. He was a member of the Conservation Advisory Board, and he is certainly missed.

This is Jim's tree.

This is the Christmas tree in Town Hall.

A closeup of the tree and ornament.

A yard sports all sorts of snowmen and Santa Clauses. 

Mmmmm, strawberries are always delicious and nutritious.


I went to Stella Niagara to paint on Thursday, December 3rd. This painting is not quite complete but here it is anyway. I will crop some of it and will add highlights and make the snow cones round again.

On Thursday evening, I went to my friend Carmen's house for her annual open house. Inside her living room, she had created a boutique of Mary Kay products.

Things tend to look very attractive when placed on a mirror.

Carmen's daughter Katie told me many stories and she played the piano for me. It was a true pleasure to hear the stories and the music.

On Friday, I had some errands to run. On my way home, I took a picture of the creek. You'll notice that the lawn has been mowed to the edge. There is increased risk of soil erosion when the lawn is mowed to the edge of the creek. A better choice would be to install a buffer zone of native plants. Joe Pye Weed, black eyed susans, and others would be good to plant. They will attract bees and other pollinators. Milkweed is good because it attracts butterflies. 


On Saturday, after tap dance class, I went to my friend Ellen's house in Buffalo. She had two guest dogs, both lovely golden retrievers. 

On Saturday evening, we went to the Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College to hear the concert of the Canisius Chorale, directed by Frank Scinta. The music included Christmas music and a variety of other music. Ellen's daughter Amelia is a member of the chorale. 

This building was formerly St. Vincent de Paul Church. It had fallen into disrepair and it was renovated by Canisius College.



Singers waiting for a cue.

This is the floor. 

On Sunday afternoon, I went to mass at Saint Luke's Mission of Mercy with Ellen and Amelia and Amelia's friend, Mary. Ellen's son Joseph also came along.

The mission of mercy was established by Amy Betros and Norm Paolini in a closed Roman Catholic Church on the east side of Buffalo. The church was built between 1928 and 1930 and it was closed in 1993. In 1994, Saint Luke's Mission of Mercy, an independent mission within the Roman Catholic tradition, opened. To find out more about Saint Luke's mission of mercy, click on their website.


Ellen's son Thomas is a student at Saint Joseph's Collegiate Institute. He is a member of the Swing Choir and the Varsity Singers. They sang at the mass and they presented a concert afterward.

Thomas and me.

Thomas and his mom.

Would you believe that this is a cookie?

Late at night, I was having fun with my camera, instead of going to sleep. I discovered that I have a fisheye setting in the camera. I took a picture of the inside of the dishwasher and got this perspective.

Camera as toy.

Different settings produce different views of the same object.

I think that this one is especially cool.

Here is the bear with a fisheye view of it.

Next week: The adventure continues! Close to home, yet still an adventure!

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