Monday, October 31, 2005

More from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Estate

Returned to the FDR Estate avec the family. What a great day! We had a picnic breakfast on the grounds with some friends, took in the fall foliage views from near FDR's "Springwood" home and then hiked down on the trails near the Hudson River. Can't actually see the Hudson River from anywhere on the property, with the trees fully dressed, but as one Ranger said, "If it's the River you want...head north to the Vanderbilt." We were ok with just a magnificent view of the trees. You take what you can get.

Note: those green-clad folks with the Canadian Mounty hats, aka, National Park Service Rangers, are serious about their jobs! Please don't pretend you're special guests of FDR's, there's no picnicking on the area with the million dollar view. But, you can pick the apples from his apple trees, so said the fun-loving Park Ranger we found. Come to think of it, he was wearing green but didn't have the hat! Could've been an imposter! I asked him jokingly, "So is it a Federal crime to pick apples in a National Park?" He said no and told us to pick all the apples we wanted. So we did. And let me tell you, Presidential apples are just some of the finest apples you'll ever have. Just don't pick 'em on a day when he's not on the job.

All kidding aside, it's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Stop by the Culinary Institute of America en route, park in their new parking garage, visit the Apple Pie Cafe & Bakery and grab a bunch of gourmet stuff to go for your picnic. You'll be the envy of all the visitors and the Park Rangers might even like you, too.

FDR fall foliage slideshow can be seen here.

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One very Presidential apple

Friday, October 28, 2005

FDR's Estate, Hyde Park

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View from FDR's patio, looking northwest across the Hudson River
apple orchards and walking trails are seen in the foreground

Quick walk around today at Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Estate in Hyde Park, NY. I've lived here almost all my life and never visited. In college, we used to skip classes and head for Vanderbilt's place, also in Hyde Park. The formal, terraced gardens and remote locations near the river were more appealing for us college students, I suppose. Tours of old buildings seemed a bit stuffy back then. My recent interest in history will take me back here soon, though. Much to learn about and what a view! They also have miles of trails down near the river that connect to the northern Vanderbilt Estate. This weekend is peak foliage here in the Hudson Valley...might have to battle the crowds and take a trip with the family.

click to enlarge

-FDR's home, Springwood, as seen from the lower hiking trail
-A view west across the Hudson
-From FDR's southern patio
-the Rose Garden, also FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt's gravesite
-Springwood, FDR's residence

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mohonk Preserve

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Nice field trip with my son's fourth grade class to Mohonk Mountain Preserve. They're studying New York state history and American Indians. They got to weave straw mats, make pinch pots from clay, play Native American games, grind corn and attempted to make fire. No one was successful unfortunately (and we could've used some heat...cold up there!), but my son and I managed a little smoke. And now my arm hurts. Fire-making elbow?

Great view from up there in the Shawangunks. To the west you can see the Catskills, their peaks topped with fresh snow from earlier this week. Nice trip. Wonder if I can drag the whole family out this weekend. With all the other leaf-peepers. Or maybe not. I can see leaves in my yard. And no traffic!

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail marker

Hiked up on the Appalachian Trail again recently. Been so much rain lately, I felt like I had to go or miss the entire fall. Lucky I a few nice autumn-looking shots before another batch of rain took the leaves down. Oh, and baseball season's over. That was a quick autumn.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Country Roads

A few shots from a country road near my home. I love these old barns. I like to peek in and see how they're made, see the joinery and the big, old wood beams. These are, literally, on their last legs, but they're still fun to look at. They certainly don't make them like that anymore.

I did some research on them and...I found nothing. But...I did find out that in 1777, General Gates marched Burgoyne's defeated British troops nearby this road on their way to the Hudson River. And...on another nearby farm, where I used to shop when it was a farm market (now it's a high-end furniture store), produced the four largest beef cattle ever raised on an American farm, the smallest, more than 3,300 lbs (an average today is about 1,225 lbs). When slaughtered they were mounted for display in the museum in New York City’s Central Park in 1870. And... at the nearby Trinity United Methodist church, where my kids went to bible camp this summer, built 1863, is a burial ground, and there lies Dr. George Huntington (1850-1916), the physician who identified Huntington’s Disease.

I love history that's not too far out your front door. There's another historic house nearby that I might have to make an appointment to see. Old Dr. Fink's farm and the Little Red Schoolhouse...sounds like there's a story there, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Locust Grove

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Had a nice lunch at Locust Grove, Samuel F. Morse's place in Poughkeepsie. Their gardens still have flowering dahlias and mums and the bees looked frantic on the drooping flower branches. I caught a ladybug taking shelter inside a giant dahlia...I hope she finds better shelter than that!

Took a book and camped out on one of the best benches this side of the Hudson River. I like the fact that this place has been here since the 1770's. Two school tour groups came by on the path and as I eavesdropped, I heard one teacher say that Mrs. Morse, Sarah Elizabeth Griswold, used to take her tea every day in the upper room of the mansion, enjoying the commanding view of the Hudson River. That was my view! Love that. Ok, I had Snapple iced tea, not real, but still. That's something...historic.

Related posts:

More from the Morse House

Locust Grove

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Ok, one more shot from the deck, looking east. I love when I don't have to go far past my front door to find something to photograph.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sun Day

The sun finally came out today after over a week of rain. Feels like we missed half of the fall with all the bad weather lately. Kids had some fun in the massive leaf pile in our yard. We're all trees here.

Sunday morning at home

Saturday, October 15, 2005

After the rains

Out and about today with the camera, finally, after over a week of rain. I cannot believe the flooding here! Here's some shots from around town.

Sandbags packed by the front door of Royco Auto Parts store in the Village of Fishkill.

Rushing water in the Wappingers Creek, Red Oaks Mill

Pumpkins and debris washed up along the new shoreline, Overlook Road.

Hudson Valley Garden Center was flooded after the week of rains.

A whirlpool forms above the flooded culvert in the marsh near Rt. 82 & Arthursburg Road, Lagrangeville.

The Wappingers Creek overflowed south to the Hudson Valley Garden Center, Overlook Road

The Wappingers Creek rapids at Red Oaks Mill. One week ago the creek bed was almost completely dry.

Route 9 in Fishkill was shut down from three lanes to one in either direction due to flooding from the Fishkill Creek.

The start of a beautiful sunset after the long week of storms.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

From the forest floor

fall fern
Appalachian Trail
Hosner Mt. Road, Hopewell Junction, NY

A fern and a haiku...

Carrying the weight
of boulders on my shoulders
tough tiny fern still grows

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Watershed, Appalachian Trail
Hosner Mt. Road, Hopewell Junction, NY

I like the connection of the leaves and water in this shot. Kind of a yin-yang quality...two energies interacting...a nice balance. Was a good hike, too, as I recall. The Appalachian Trail cuts through southern Dutchess County for about 30 miles, in through Dover, west over Stormville Mt. (where this shot is taken), down almost to the Fishkill Ridge and then turns south to Putnam County. Lovely, unspoiled hiking under mostly thick forest canopy and close to home...well, for me anyway.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Autumn Winds

Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!

Humbert Wolfe (1885–1940) "Autumn (Resignation)" (1926)