The July temperatures had come down into the high-80’s(F), and it was sunny and dry. An excellent day for a drive away from the ‘burbs.
So, off we headed to Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY.
We debated taking Puppy Cody along, but we hadn’t been to Chestnut Ridge since before the COVID-19 pandemic and weren’t sure how crowded it might be. Cody doesn’t like a lot of strangers around. We also had forgotten to take folding chairs, so our visit was not as long as it could have been.
Pretty much everyone who visits Chestnut Ridge starts at the top of the hill where the toboggan slide is. From there, you have an excellent view of the Buffalo, NY skyline. Despite the fact that we have been going to the park since our courting days more than 40 years ago, the view never gets old:
We were disappointed that the porch swings had all been taken down, probably because no one wanted the duty of sanitizing them. There was a single picnic table outside the lodge building, which made for a nice, stable mount for the camera.
There was a haze over Buffalo, and my camera only as a 35X zoom – and bear in mind that the distance between that Chestnut Ridge hill and downtown Buffalo is approximately 17 miles. Considering all that, I think the close-up turned out well:
I wasn’t quick enough, or skilled enough, to catch a photo of the hawk swooping over the lodge. Perhaps next time.
After the requisite visit to the toboggan hill, we drove through the park. It was surprisingly empty. Even the largest shelters were not being used. The people we saw were mostly jogging, strolling, or simply driving through:
And the deeper into the park we went, the less people there were. Just the way I like it.
(LOL. The second photo was actually taken from the same spot; it’s just a view in the other direction, which looks emptier.)
Despite the heavy woods in the deeper paths, we saw no furry animals. Looking down at the ground, however, I spotted this very tiny baby toad. It was only about half an inch long, so I had to use the macro setting on the camera. The silly thing kept hopping into and under the grass, which made any photo difficult, but I did my best:
Then I happened to look up into bush next to where I as standing, and I saw this teeny leaf beetle (I would be surprised if if measured even a quarter-inch long). The camera was already set to macro, which made the shot so much easier:
As I mentioned, we had failed to take folding chairs and by now my legs were getting tired. We had already driven through the entire park, so we headed home, stopping on the way to pick up some excellent take-out food. We had debated eating in the restaurant’s patio, but decided we’re still not quite ready for that.
Once home, we discovered a potential invasion from the neighbors:
Nothing like a couple of guard-Unicorns! Looks like they’re almost on top of the fence, doesn’t it? But, in fact, they’re at least 50 feet away. It’s amazing what the right angle and a zoom lens can do.
If that’s the worst we can expect from our neighbors, I count my blessings on having moved onto the street. Our house may be old, decrepit and stinky, but at least coming home after a nice drive isn’t likely to turn into some kind of police drama like it did in the old neighborhood.
As usual, stay safe and healthy, everyone. Hugs to all.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio