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May 21, 2012 - 11:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, alexander, Stafford.

During the storm this afternoon, it seemed like a good time to drive around and look for pictures. 

Above, a farm on Brown Road.

Gilhooly Road

The view from Brookville Road

Brookville Road

Also on Brookville Road

Stafford Country Club

Prole Road

May 15, 2012 - 11:16am

It was a beautiful morning and on the spur of the moment, I decided to drop in on the Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant and take some pictures of birds at the facility. Here are six shots from this morning.

Previously: Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant, one of city's hidden treasures

May 13, 2012 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, photos, urban renewal, dowtown.

A few weeks ago, we ran pictures of the destruction of Downtown Batavia by local photographer Antoinette Dempski. That prompted Todd Jantzi to share these photos with me. Jantzi owns Bontrager's and came across two sets of photos in a box of auction items. He gave one set to the Holland Land Office Museum and kept the other for himself. He doesn't know who the photographer was.

May 11, 2012 - 2:15pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in photos, schools, education, alexander, nature.

This is the stone pathway that leads into Alexander Elementary School's outdoor classroom (see the May 2 article, "New classroom will give Alexander students a place to learn in the great outdoors," for more details).

On Wednesday, the school held an open house for community members. A group of fifth-grade volunteers manned the various learning stations and explained to visitors what each one was all about.

The path led to a bridge that fords a stream, which visitors crossed in order to reach...

...Station B: "The Gathering Area," which McKenna Moran described as a "beginning and ending point" for students and teachers.

Here are some more close-up pictures of what that will look like:

This area will also include a storage bin for educational materials about nature, as well as for stories about nature written by the students.

"We find that when kids come out into nature it opens up their creativity," said teacher Ellie Jinks, who affirmed that the outdoor classroom can be used for all academic subjects.

Kolbee Koch and Jacob Przybylski had the job of explaining the "Messy Materials" station, which will give kids the opportunity to engage in unstructured play. Koch said it will also include "seasonal materials," such as pumpkins.

Alyssa Dudley and Haley Alvord hung around to talk about the "Building Area," which is where students will be able to work on their math, visual and spatial abilities by building models "on a scale impossible indoors" (according to Dudley) using blocks and other natural materials.

Taya Townley manned the "Wheeled Toy Area," which is kind of self-explanatory. The photo below gives an idea of what it will develop into.

Nick Allen staffed the "Sand and Dirt Digging Area," which will have a large, in-ground planter surrounded by stone in the center. Students will use this space for "digging, planting and plant care" opportunities.

Paige Cumming's job was to help showcase Station L, where kids will hone their "music and expressive movement" abilities. This area will include a 100-square-foot, handicap-accessible stage and two installed musical instruments.

Cumming said that students will also be able to use this space to put on performances.

And here is the "Bird Watch Area," which is for the observation of wildlife. Landscapers will plant a variety of vegetation to attract wildlife, in addition to installing bird feeders and similar structures.

As an additional educational perk, the classroom includes signs identifying the types of trees that grow there:

(This is a Norway spruce. The letters on the sign were more visible before the picture was resized.)

The school district is working on this project with the help of the Nebraska-based organization Nature Explore. This will be the first certified Nature Explore outdoor classroom in Western New York, and it is designed to benefit students of all learning styles.

But it is not meant only to benefit the school district. According to Sheila Hess -- an Alexander parent and employee of Conservation Connects, which is also involved in the project -- people in the community will be encouraged to use this space as well (for picnics, a place to bring the kids, etc).

For more information, visit the Alexander Central School District's Outdoor Classroom Page.

Supplemental Photos

A drawing of what will eventually be the arch of entry:

Footprints in the pathway:

May 6, 2012 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos.

Doug Yeomans took these pictures last night during the "supermoon." As Doug notes, the moon should be pretty spectacular again this evening.

Below, Doug caught a reflection of the moon off the roof of a couple of barns.

May 5, 2012 - 6:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos.

A tree in a field of dandelions on Wortendyke Road, Batavia.

April 25, 2012 - 9:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, alexander, trees, Gilhooly Road.

Passing down Gilhooly Road late this afternoon, I spotted these two trees on the side of a hill and thought they were pretty interesting.

April 23, 2012 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, weather.

Snow continues to fall on Batavia. We've had two or three inches so far. It's slushy and wet and is barely sticking to paved surfaces at this point.

April 20, 2012 - 8:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, BARNS, photos, bergen.

On the way out of Bergen this morning I spotted this horse eating dandelions in front of one our area's more attractive barns, so stopped and made this picture.

April 17, 2012 - 10:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos.

Here's a slice of this evening's sunset taken off Stegman Road, Batavia.

April 16, 2012 - 9:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, alexander, weather.

After the tractor fire on Dorman Road in the Town of Batavia, I drove over to Cookson Road -- some of which is unpaved. I stopped in this wooded area and decided to make a picture. What may be notable -- by my memory, the past couple of years, this area has been knee-deep in water. When I was in California, we would have called this a drought condition, but according to U.S. Drought Monitor, we are not currently in drought conditions.

April 10, 2012 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos.

It was a little crisp this morning, but still a fine spring day. As I walked our dog on Jackson Avenue, I took note of this tree with the nice background of the budding trees behind it and the wispy blue sky, so I went home, grabbed my camera and came back.

That said, there's a chance of rain and snow overnight.

April 2, 2012 - 1:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, outdoors.

I ended up taking an unplanned drive this morning, straying further then intended, and then when heading back toward the city, I spotted our outdoor columnist Jim Nigro by the side of the road, with his camera in hand. I stopped to say hello and he invited me to join him at one of his favorite locations for a little nature photography.

March 28, 2012 - 6:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Le Roy.

In Le Roy this afternoon, the line of trees with their white flowers looked particularly nice against the backdrop of the buildings of the village business district.

March 28, 2012 - 6:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Bethany.

Driving down Francis Road this afternoon, I spotted this stand of trees at the crest of the hill with the fluffy clouds blowing by in the background and thought it might make a nice shot.

March 21, 2012 - 11:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, weather.

It's hard to argue that spring is here. After all, Mother Nature has given her stamp of approval with blooms in abundance.

Above, the magnolia tree at the Holland Land Office Museum is starting starting to produce some color.

There's no surer sign that spring is here than the forsythia in bloom. It's time to prune your rose bushes.

A field of crocus have sprung up in front of a house on Oak Street.

March 20, 2012 - 11:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Batavia Down.

I think every picture I've seen of the Batavia Downs sign so far has been from the more straight-on position north of the track. Recently, I've been experimenting with angles more to the south.

March 20, 2012 - 11:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Tonawanda Creek.

Taken this evening off West Main Street, almost behind the Lambert's store.

March 18, 2012 - 2:07pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, photos, senior center, GoArt!, art, artists.

GoArt! hosted its first GoArt! Members Exhibition on Friday, along with its first Digital Art Exhibit. Both are intended to become annual events.

The above ink-on-canvas painting is called "Fiscal Policy" and was painted by Kevin Hammon, who lives just north of Le Roy. It was on sale for $350.

Here is Hammon with another of his canvas works, "Moon Light Drive-In" ($125).

Below are some of the other paintings on display at Seymour Place.

Oil painting: "Wolf Creek at Letchworth" by Rick Ellingham ($275).

Oil painting: "Route 5" by Joseph Deni ($400).

Kevin Feary, of Batavia, stands beside his oil-on-muslin painting, "Short Order Cook" ($580).

Artist (and City Councilwoman) Rose Mary Christian stands next to her untitled acrylic (not for sale) with Linda Sforno (left) and Roelene Christian.

"Country Cottage Needlepoint" by Joan E. Rotondo ($238).

Watercolor: "Sinking Ponds" by Rita M. Hammond ($50).

Pencil: "Silent Communication" by Judy Wenrich ($175).

Glass art: "Dragonfly Wide Bowl" by Heather Whitney ($100).

Glass art: "Peacock Bowl" by Heather Whitney ($120).

Acrylic and paper: "Night Out" by Kimberly A. Argenta ($100).

Acrylic: "National Geographic: Stampede" by Carole LaValley ($225).

Oil on muslin: "Upton Monument" by Kevin Feary ($580).

Oil: "Rusted & Weathered" by Rick Ellingham ($200).

Connie Mosher, of Albion, stands next to her Arizona-inspired oil painting, "Rugs on a Railing Near Sedona, AZ" ($500).

Pastel: "Alzheimer's--the Ultimate Identity Theft," by Sharon Jahnke Long (not for sale).

Earthenware, slips, glaze: "Cityscape II" by Moi Dugan ($425).

Pastel: "Twoo Wuv" by Sharon Jahnke Long (not for sale).

Woodcut: "Angus" by Rita Hammond ($50).

Clay: "Covered Jar with Wheat" by Jean Grinnell (SOLD).

Long Stitch: "Tiger Walk" by Joan E. Rotondo ($238).

To find out which of these--and other--photos are still for sale, contact Robin Upson, administrative assistant at GoArt!, at 343-9313, or email [email protected].

As this was going on, a reception for non-members' digital art was held next door at GoArt!'s satellite gallery in the Batavia Senior Center.

"Study in Perspective" by Natalie Buczek ($10).

"Katie" by Byron-Bergen ninth-grader Katelyn Simmons (not for sale).

"Guitar Rock" by Susan Meier ($45).

"Let It Be" by Daniel Cherry ($40).

Cherry displays his work, "Broken Treaties," with his sons, Jimmy and Daniel.

The digital artwork will be on display until April 27 at the senior center, at 2 Bank St. in Batavia. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For information, contact Joe Langen at [email protected].

March 7, 2012 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Tonawanda Creek.

Taken this evening on the Tonawanda Creek behind the Kiwanis Park on West Main Street Road, Batavia.

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