Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Oswego, NY Has It All, In All Seasons!

If you haven't been to Oswego, you might want to put it on your list of places to visit in Central New York.

Oswego City Hall

Oswego has it all, in all seasons! Fishing year round, boating, historic sites, parks and recreation, farmers market in the summer/fall, super-modified racing, and other activities for all ages.

The City of Oswego is also known at The Port City of Central New York. Oswego is in Oswego County and is located in northern-central New York on Lake Ontario. The State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego is located on the lake just west of the City.

History: The British established a trading post in Oswego in 1722 and it was later called Fort Ontario. Fort Ontario is now a State Historical Site. The Fort is currently open to the public and is now undergoing renovations.

The Fort also houses the Safe Haven Museum.
"Safe Haven was the only Official U.S. Government activity to Rescue Jewish refugees during the Second World War, for victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The refugees were brought from Italy, but deliberately only from other parts of Europe. They were all fleeing from the Nazis. They were deliberately chosen so that some were non-Jewish to allay anti-semitic fears.
They were placed in Fort Oswego, behind barbed wire, and given no official status, and were told they would be returned to their homelands after the war, and would have no rights as regards entering the United States. In fact, due to political pressure, at the war's end they were allowed to stay in the U.S.A."  
. . . From Wikipedia

"The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum is dedicated to keeping alive the story of the 982 European refugees who were allowed into the United States as “guests” of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Holocaust in World War II. They were temporarily housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York from August 1944 – February 1946."
. . .From the Safe Haven Museum Website

The Oswego Canal connects the Erie Canal at Three Rivers (Oneida, Seneca and Oswego Rivers) to Lake Ontario at Port Ontario.

Lock in the City of Oswego. The Oswego River has seven locks.

Oswego Public Library

The Oswego Public Library was built in 1855 with funds that were donated by Gerrit Smith, who was an abolitionist, prohibitionist, and businessman. The library is on the National Register of Historical Places and the building is one of the oldest libraries built in New York State to serve continuously as a library.

The War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden is at the Leotta-Seaway Trail Park and the gateway to the Oswego Harbor Rail Trail. There is a pedestrian bridge and trail that crosses the Oswego River and Harbor. The park includes benches to enjoy the view, and there are panels to read about the history of Oswego and the War of 1812. The colors of the flowers reflect the local schools' teams colors: Orange and green for SUNY Oswego and red geraniums in honor of the sacrifices made by the Oswego Patriots.

Oswego is also home to the Port of Oswego which was also once a major railroad hub for several major railroads (the New York Central Railroad, the Deleware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and the New York, Ontario and Western Railway. The tunnel from the former Ontario and Western Railway is used as a rail trail.

Fishing anyone?

And SNOW!!!

One of the highlights of the year in Oswego is Harborfest. Harborfest is an annual free four day event that occurs the last full weekend of July. They have amusement rides, live music, entertainment, and art and crafts for children, and other venues as well. Check their webpage for the schedule and events.

Fireworks in the Harbor. Photo by Robert  J. Clark. Printed with permission 

The fireworks again will be presented by world renowned Fireworks by Grucci: Fireworks by Grucci.

And a visit to Oswego would not be complete without at stop at Rudy's on the Lake on the west side of SUNY  Oswego for a fish sandwich or hamburger hots or hot dog hots.

City of Oswego
Oswego Speedway is a nationally known racing facility.
State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego)
Visit Oswego, NY
Safe Haven Museum
Oswego, NY (Wikipedia)
Oswego Public Library
Oswego Canal
War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Oswego NY

Hope you get a chance to visit Oswego in the upcoming months!

Feel free to leave a comment. . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Winter That Wasn't!

If you're from the Central/Northern New York area you're probably wondering what happened to winter? Well, it's not over yet, and around here you never know what to expect.

We started off in October with a bang of a snowstorm, that melted. Got some more snow in November and that never made it to Christmas, and then another little snow about two weeks ago. And now that's all gone, too. As a matter of fact we just have a couple of little snow piles around here and there. Most of the snow is gone from the fields.

Our neighbors' (Sam & Nancy Weber) farm from their back field.

Of course I'm not complaining, but I feel sorry for those that love their winter sports of downhill & cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and photographing beautiful winter scenes. The snowmobile trails around our house were opened for a few days and then they had to close them for lack of snow. The ski slopes can not make snow when the temperatures are above freezing so there is not much of a base and they are lucky if even half of their trails are open.

It certainly must be an easy winter for the deer to get around. When we did have snow on the ground, my husband noticed several areas in our back yard where the deer had bedded down.

We've noticed several hawks, osprey and eagles in the area. As long as they can get food they will stay in the area. Same for some of the other smaller bird species. We've had Goldfinches that were around most of the winter.

Goldfinch (Male) in their winter plumage. They are much duller than they are in the spring/summer.

A frequent visitor for us this year has been the Tufted Titmouse. This was a surprise to me because we have seen them on occasion in the past, but they never stuck around. They would peck at some food at the feeder and you would never see them again, but this winter they've been around since fall.

Tufted Titmouse

We've also had some Purple Finches and House Finches visit the feeders. Last year we had the Red Polls visit, but they didn't stick around and I haven't seen any this year yet.

Purple Finch - Male

Top to bottom: Tree Sparrow, Chickadee, Purple Finch (female on left, male on right)

The woodpeckers have been feasting on the suet. We have the Hairy, Downy, and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers. We can hear the Pileated Woodpecker in the back woods, but he hasn't made an appearance yet. I have not known them to visit suet feeders too often so I don't expect to see them at the feeders, but they do like dead trees and we have a few of those in our yard for them to build nests in.

Red-bellied Woodpecker - Female 
We are expecting some very cold temperatures this coming weekend (Feb 13-14, 2016) and what concerns me is that with the lack of snow cover, which helps insulate your plants in winter, you might find that some of your tender perennials might not make it through to the spring. As a matter of fact, yesterday I found one of my purple primroses blooming in the backyard. They love the cold temperatures and will bloom in the early spring and then also may re-bloom in the fall. The cold temperatures won't bother some of your plants like the primroses and also if some of your spring bulbs have already started to show up.

Purple Primroses blooming in February 2016. 

Are we going to have an early spring? I'm thinking that we probably will. A friend of mine that lives closer to Syracuse has already had Robins and Redwing Blackbirds in her backyard. If you have any birdhouses around your place now is a good time to clean them out. Some of the male birds that migrate usually return first before the females and look for suitable nest building sites.

If you like to try your hand at starting your own seedlings now is the time to order or purchase your seeds. I usually don't plant many seedlings. I really don't have the room for them. It's much easier for me to purchase the plants from the nurseries in the spring. I have started perennial and annual seeds right in the ground in the spring after the ground warms up and the danger of a frost has passed. Don't start them too early or a late frost will kill them after they start to sprout. Some annual seeds take a long time to germinate so those wouldn't be feasible to start outdoors in this area. Check the package for the length of germination and the also how long before the first blooms appear.

Now that the days are getting longer, and there's not much snow around, I'm getting excited about spring. It won't be long now. Time to get all those indoor projects done that you haven't gotten around to yet. Once that nice weather comes you won't want to be inside!

"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again."
~ Lewis Carroll 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

Thanks for stopping by. 
Feel free to leave a comment.