Hello, my lovely readers! Here we are, almost at the end of April, in the very cusp of Spring. Old Man Winter has gone and has taken the snow away with him, praise the Lord, and lucky for me, my muse and inspiration and the darkness and the dreariness has been lifted from my head. Yes, I still have my moments, especially when my back hurts, that I feel down, but not as much as it is in the winter.
And introducing, my baby!
Polaroid IS2132-16MP 21X Zoom
This past weekend, my mother had me go along with her up to Camp Timbercrest in Randolph, NY, for a service weekend. Camp Timbercrest is a camp for Girl Scouts of Western NY-Southern Tier located on 900 acres of wilderness in the foothills of the Allegheny forest. Both Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts as well are welcome to attend camp. Both week long and three day camp sessions are offered. Girls can enjoy hiking, swimming, boating, and horse back riding. The camp houses campers in tents scattered throughout the hills, or in cabins or yurts. The entire facility is winterized and is available for year round camping.
Sign on Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.
This service weekend would run from Friday until Sunday at noon. Adult troop leaders were expected to be there by 10am Friday morning and the Girl Scouts from their troops were to check in about 5:30. The adult leaders would do the major cleaning that had to be done and just open up camp for the season and ‘air out’ the place and get it ready for the weekend. The weekend was full of plans for arts and crafts, hiking, camp fires, cooking, badge work, etc. My mother has a troop which my baby sister, Grace, is in, and my other sister, Amy, has a troop as well, so they were going too.
Graffetti on the benches at the tables in the mess hall in Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.
I myself didn’t really have any particular duties to do this past weekend. It was more of a retreat, just to get out of the house. I really didn’t want to go. I was worried that my back would hurt me and that I wouldn’t be able to do anything, etc. Friday afternoon my back did hurt me and I did have to take some pain medication and lay down so that killed the afternoon. I did bring my camera and my tripod and was hoping to get some great shots. My baby sister did take off with my camera whilst I was laying down and as I saw this morning whilst reviewing them on my laptop, took some amazing shots. She has a great point of view and is always taking some stellar selfies on her mini ipad.
Grace & I. Yes, it is quite blurry, but please bear in mind that we are in Mom’s truck driving down the expressway. This was on our way to Camp Timbercrest early Friday morning, 25 April 2014.
My baby sister and I were assigned to the Director’s Cabin for the weekend, which only had electricity. The yurts and the lodges had electricity and heating too. The weather was deceiving. The weather called for beautiful weather for the weekend. I had packed summer clothes for the weekend. I had brought only one heavy hoodie. I had also only packed capri sweatpants. What a big mistake. That night, temperatures dropped to the low 30s and it was sooo fecking cold! I was shivering, freezing cold. I suggested to Grace, that maybe we should pull our cots together in the middle of the cabin and unzip our sleeping bags and share them. She’s like, “like the Parent Trap?” And I am like, yeah, it would be warmer. So we did. And we huddled together for warmth. Now, Grace and I are 16 years apart, so I was only at home for maybe the first 3 or 4 years of her life, so this was like, a complete bonding experience for us. I love my Gracie to death. It was still a little cold, but we made it through. I slept right through breakfast the next morning and Grace was kind enough to bring my medicine, a cup of coffee, and surprise me with pancakes. I love pancakes!
I finally got up and my stiff body moving. I was still cold to the bone and went up to the main lodge where the mess hall is, Bellinger Lodge, to take a shower. Much to my disappointment(and a little anger) there wasn’t any hot water. It was just lukewarm. I was all ready to hop in and was shivering trying to get it to warm up and nothing. So I had to put clothes on and decided I would try again in the evening. I wasn’t very happy but I was determined to make it through the day anyway. I was able to get out a little bit as tolerated and get some beautiful shots of Keyser Lake.
Keyser Lake Camp Timbercrest Randolph, NY 26 April 2014
Before lunchtime, I got to talking to Helen, the lady who had volunteered to cook for the weekend. I went to school with her daughter for 2 1/2 years and we got to talking and I started helping her prep for lunch. She was making tacos and I offered to help her chop up lettuce and onions. One of the troop leaders had her girls volunteer in the kitchen and they were really young girls. They might have been as young as six or seven and I had two girls that I had to teach to chop onions. Now Helen was unable to find any chef knives, big knives, in the kitchen. She and several of the other ladies had looked all over the kitchen and had been unable to find them, so we were using steak knives to chop the vegetables. It was not fun and it was quite awkward. So I showed the two little girls the best I could how to chop the lettuce and onions. Then I let them cut the onions, making very sure they did not cut their little finger tips, but they did not last long for that onion had a very might odor and their little eyes teared up and irritated and that was the end of that. So I helped them wash up their eyes and sent them over to the other troop leader, Alex, a lovely young girl a few years younger than me, who was chopping up tomatoes, so she could show them. They fared much better over there :P
the kitchen in Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.
After a great lunch, I wandered aimlessly around the lodge, inside and out. Then, I asked Grace where Mom was and she informed me that she was out with the girls and that ‘bird man’ was here. The ‘bird man’ is actually Mark Baker, a licensed Falconer & Rehabber. He runs Eagle Dream Rehabilitation Center, Inc. He has falcons, owls, and many other birds. OWLS!!!! Well, you probably guessed that I haven’t been able to move very quickly as of late, but you can bank on it that I made it out of the kitchen and into the mess hall and seated next to Mom in under five seconds flat, pain or no pain :D
My Mom knows Mark personally and apparently he knows me as well and hasn’t seen me since I was a little girl. I don’t remember him. Mark had brought 4 owls, a falcon, a hawk, and this other little bird that is native to the western US. He had a Great Horned Owl that has a badly damaged eye and neck, a cute but shy little Screech owl that prefers to stay in his tree trunk, a beautiful Snowy Owl, and a serene Barn Owl. I loved all of them, but mostly the Barn Owl. She and I made eye contact for almost two minutes. It was like she was looking deeply into my soul. It was very kool, but very creepy at the same time too. Here are some pictures of his birds.
Barn Owl 26 April 2014
Great Horned Owl 26 April 2014
Me with the Snowy Owl 26 April 2014
Screech Owl 26 April 2014
Snowy Owl and Barn Owl 26 April 2014
the Falcon 26 April 2014
the Hawk 26 April 2014
the bird that is native to the western US
I have so many, many more pictures to share but as this is my personal blog, I want to keep it that way and put my photos on my photography blog, The Serene View.
Saturday night we had spaghetti for dinner and then afterwards, they decided to have a campfire. But it was too cold for me and I had had enough of the cold and got a quick, but finally warm shower and hopped into bed. Another cold night passes. . There was leftover pancakes for breakfast, which was an awesome start to the day. I was cold, chilled to the bone, and tired, almost ready to go home.
I snuck away after breakfast to go to almost the other side of the lake, tripod and camera in hand, to try to get some more pictures, and maybe to get that one awesome shot a photographer is always after. I sat for hours, it seemed like, taking pictures, and also fiddling with my camera. I was having issues with the shutter speed because it was too slow and my Mom wanted me to take a group photo of the girls before they left. After sitting down at the lake, I think I finally got it right. Though I cannot post the group photo of the Girl Scouts here, the photos came out great of them and I am very pleased and so is my mother.
I earned my Spring Camp badge for going this weekend! 25-27 April 2014
Whilst I was sitting down at the lake, there were 3 or 4 birds flying around and while I was fiddling with the shutter speed, I was trying to capture them in flight. And it was also hard too because the sun was shining on the screen of my camera and I was having a hard time seeing, but I think I got two awesome photos. And you can see them HERE on The Serene View. And I leave you with that. :)
I hope you enjoyed reading about my weekend at Camp Timbercrest. Camp Timbercrest is also available in the off-season for private rental as well as summer camp and you can learn more HERE.
To learn more about Mark Baker, Eagle Dream Rehabilitation and his rehabilitation program and other programs he offers, please visit his site HERE.
And don’t forget, to see more stellar photos of my weekend at Camp Timbercrest, don’t forget to visit The Serene View HERE to see more.
Stay tuned for more posts and please bear with me as I get back on the proverbial ‘blogging horse’. And thanks for sticking with me even when I didn’t post. It means so much to me and I appreciate it. :)