Sunday, May 29, 2011

walkway over the hudson

The other day my husband and I took a stroll along the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park which links the City of Poughkeepsie (Dutchess County, NY) with the Town of Lloyd (Ulster County, NY).   Before the walkway became the world's longest elevated pedestrian was known as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge.  In 1974 it was crippled by a fire and fell into disrepair.  In October 2009, the bridge re-opened as the Walkway State Park after a two year construction effort.
maps to take as you start across!
When we got there we were happy to see there was plenty of free parking.  Walkway Ambassadors and volunteers were also available with maps and to offer visitors information.  There were even places to buy a snack if you wanted to take a break after your walk across!  Oh....and leashed dogs are welcome!
Tom & Mel ready to go!
along the way pictures are posted showing the transformation from rail to trail

looking out over the Hudson River
Mid-Hudson Bridge

flag at the center of the walkway....we turned back here on this chilly spring day :)

Oh, and I took these photos again with my current favorite i-phone app....Hipstamatic!  It was a fairly grey day, so the camera/lense I was using actually really helped give my pictures a little extra pop!  Such a fun app to play with!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

spring green

I'll be honest with you, spring is not my favorite season.  I enjoy it because it takes us out of the bitter cold of winter, but in New York, it is all too often a very damp and chilly season in itself.  Right now, it is particularly rainy...those April showers just keep on giving and giving.  Late this afternoon there was a break in the showers and I took a nice walk around my yard.  I do love seeing all the new growth that is popping up and discovering all the flowers I forgot were even there.  I had my i-phone in my pocket so I took some shots with the app I am most recently obsessed with, Hipstamatic.  You can see some photos from my trip to DC that I took with the app last month by checking out the post spring sculpture series.  The walk really made me appreciate all the rain...without it the flowers would not have had a chance to poke up out of the ground, the trees wouldn't be blooming and everything around me would not be that lush, spring green.  I couldn't help but smile as I took these photos, so I decided to share them with you so you could hopefully have a smile too :)

looking up at the lilac tree...the smell is incredible

bleeding hearts

dogwood bloom...the tree is near the end of blooming but is still one of my favorites

our fern garden

peonies...look close and you can see the ants helping the blossom open

lilly of the valley...smell is just so sweet

my husband's bamboo...started with one clump, now has spread along the wall

stairs to a cottage covered with moss and grasses

Seeing these stairs reminded me of a book I had just read to classes when I was substitute teaching in the library.  The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown, is about how flowers and a garden can survive in an old, rundown city.  The author was inspired by the High Line, which is an abandoned, above ground railway in NYC that has since been turned into a public garden and park.  The children loved hearing the book and we had a great discussion after about how nature can grow and take over abandoned buildings, sidewalks, stonewalls, etc.  The students even have a community garden at their school that used to be an old tennis appropriate!  Oh, and if you ever get a chance to visit NYC... put the High Line on your list of places to visit, it is a must see for sure!

What do you have growing and blooming in your yard?

Friday, May 6, 2011

learn something sweet and new

My bff & cookie decorating extraordinaire is at it again!  She is offering another one of her cookie decorating parties next weekend in Hoboken, NJ.  This Spring themed workshop not only includes the "sweet" cookies and decorating also get one Sweet Dani B Class Kit....How sweet is that?
Dani will share all of her expert tips, techniques and advise while you get to ice away on your fabulous cookie creations.  Of course you get to take home whatever you don't eat :) 
Don't worry, Dani will also have some of her own pre-packaged cookies for sale which make perfect gifts and favors!

What a unique Mother's Day gift or just the perfect opportunity to learn something fun and new!

To find out more about Dani's others products and services such as event design, paper goods, online videos, and cookie favors...check out her entire website here

Oh...and I'll be there joining in on the sweet day as well.  Mel's Peanut Butter Bisquits are making their sale debut and part of the proceeds will be donated to the Yonkers Animal Shelter to help with the day to day needs of the dogs in the shelter.  To read more about the story of "Mel's Bisquits" check out my blog post from February.

Hope to see you Saturday, May 14 at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ for one SWEET afternoon!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a unique museum experience

We had a very unique and memorable experience today at the Hammond Museum and Stroll Garden located in North Salem, NY.  This gem of a place is located in northern Westchester County and I have been fortunate to have visited the museum and garden once before to take in the art exhibits and walk in the garden.  The mission statement boasts that the Japanese Stroll Garden provides a place of natural beauty and tranquility, to delight the senses and refresh the spirit. It is a place where aspects of Eastern and Western culture can be appreciated through art exhibitions, concerts, special events and educational programs in order to promote global awareness and understanding.  Today the museum was holding a very special (free) event, their 46th Annual Blessing of the Animals and Land. Since we adopted our dog Mel in December, he has brought us nothing but joy and happiness every day.  We thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for him, to receive a blessing along with the land at the Japanese Stroll Garden.  In attendance were several Officiating Clergy providing an Interfaith Ceremony.

Mel taking a stroll in the Stroll Garden before the blessing began with my husband Tom

Posing for portraits by the waterfall

Animals and people being led into the garden at the start of the blessing

The officiants gathered in the center of the the pond at the start to welcome everyone with a Buddhist you can see it was a beautiful spring day!

Pets and their owners gathered around the pond.  Many brought their dogs, but some had cats, birds, and even a pet hedgehog was present!

We found a nice place in the shade under a tree

It was very peaceful

Mel even participated in the guided meditation

After the group blessing, the officiants came around and met with owners and their pets to offer each pet an individual blessing.  

We are very grateful for having the opportunity to attending the blessing today with Mel and are so pleased the Hammond Museum provides such unique and diverse events for the community.  Please check out their website to see the upcoming events, exhibits and classes offered.