Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where in the World is Upstate NY?

Jodi at Bloomingwriter has challenged her blog friends to share a little about the area they call home, and several have taken up the challenge. You can find all the posts by clicking on her blog link. This is an interesting way for us to learn a bit about the vast and varied world we share with other gardeners.

Everyone has heard of New York City, but some people don't realize that it's only a very small part of NY state. Posted by Picasa

As you can see, NY City (AKA The Big Apple) is at the bottom tip. Once you get past the suburbs (roughly most of the cone shape), everything above that point is considered 'upstate NY' (that's my best guess).
It's actually a tourist's paradise, with loads of attractions: Two beautiful mountainous areas - the Catskills and the Adirondacks; the Finger Lakes area above Ithaca (the home of Cornell University), where there are wonderful vineyards beside gorgeous lakes; The Thousand Islands area is up the top on the St. Lawrence River; and the most famous of all, the spectacular Niagara Falls way out west, near Buffalo; not to mention NY state borders 2 of the Great Lakes - Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, with the historical Erie Canal stretching between Albany and Buffalo; Gorgeous Letchworth State Park, below Rochester, deserves a mention, with the Genesee river cutting a canyon through its 17 mile length. This gorge is known as
"The Grand Canyon of the East".

But centering in on our little corner of the world - we're in the brown area you see on this map. The CL stands for Central Leatherstocking. If you're curious to know what the other regions are called, this link will answer you questions. Posted by Picasa

The Leatherstocking area is rich in Revolutionary War history. We're close to the Mohawk Valley where many historic battles were fought. The picturesque village of Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is not far away and is packed with tourists during the summer months. This was also the home of James Fenimore Cooper, author of the well known book, "The Last of the Mohicans", which was also made into a movie. Erie Canal Village, in Rome, close to Utica, is full of history and a great place for a family day trip.
This is just a small sampling of the many interesting sights to see in this pretty area of central NY.
I did another post in April of 2006 about NY state which you can find here if you're interested in reading a little more about our area and seeing a few more photos of the farm.

Here's the sight we awoke to this morning...a winter wonderland! Most area schools were closed after another snowstorm yesterday and overnight. As tired as most of us are of the long, cold winter months, a world covered in fresh white snow never fails to delight me. It's gorgeous! The birds were busily filling their tummies at the feeders, and the breathtaking scenery beckoned me to pile on the layers of clothing, grab my camera and go outside to capture some of the beauty. It was hard to decide on just a few snow pictures for this post!

This photo was actually taken back in November, but I've included it to illustrate just how long our snowy season lasts. Sometimes we have snow in October and we can usually count on some in April too.

All good things come to those who wait, and spring does eventually bless us with bright green grass and dandelions....after the mud!

This is the time for field work on our farm....planting corn, oats and alfalfa. Posted by Picasa
We no longer have a dairy herd, so the crops are grown to sell.

In the nearby woods I find gorgeous patches of marsh marigolds and other wildflowers.

There are always geese honking on the river that runs below our farm. I see mating pairs and search for their nests, hoping to see the eggs, but haven't been lucky enough to find one yet.

If you look closely, you can see the river below the farm in this photo.

In July the orange daylilies bloom gloriously by the roadsides, beside the fields of corn. Posted by Picasa

The colors in our gardens change through the seasons. In June these early daylilies blend beautifully with the wild harebells.

Early July brings the first blooms of the Gloriousa Daisies/Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) and the Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum), among other lovelies.

A little later the mid-season daylilies add their Wonderful colors to the mix......

......and very soon the gardens are alive with blooms of every description!
Our soil here varies throughout the yard. That garden in the background, and the fence garden down by the road both have heavy soil with some clay which we're gradually amending. This triangular garden just across the driveway has much better soil, and further up toward house the soil is much drier. We're lucky to have wonderful compost heaps up behind the barn, and keep adding some each year to the gardens. Posted by Picasa

September brings a tinge of sadness, with thoughts of summer's end and another long winter to endure, but there are still some beautiful October days to look forward to before the frosts kill off all our wonderful color. We do sometimes get frosts in September, but last year, much to my delight, the hard frosts held off all through October.

But before we leave summer behind, let's look at the wildflowers around our neighborhood that make walking a pleasurable experience. The Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) and Goldenrod (Solidago) make gorgeous displays in the fields. No need to grow these in my gardens!

I love the mix of glorious greens against the clear blue skies. And there's our farm down the road.

This field of Goldenrod is still going strong in late summer. Posted by Picasa

The sumac is sporting its lovely dark red seed heads, and the hay has been baled.

September brings some of the loveliest days...

......but near the end of the month the first leaves begin to change.....

....and a couple of weeks into October our woods are alive with the blazing colors of Autumn, or fall, as it's called here in the US. Posted by Picasa

Here's that same lane shown in the picture above with the field of Goldenrod, but in this photo it's a month later.

The red behind our barn is Sumac in its fall splendor.

But here we are back to today's snowstorm, still yearning for spring, and the growing cycle to begin once again.

I find I can endure the long, cold months, with their snow storms, frigid winds, and even the wicked ice which makes walking a dangerous adventure, if I can only keep those dreams in my mind centered on the delights awaiting us when spring emerges once again after the long sleep.
Our gardening friends in the south covert our lovely summers, and we covert their mild winters, but all in all, I have to say this valley is a beautiful place to live and garden....which is why, after the winter is finally past, I can smile and say, "I love NY!" Posted by Picasa


Pam/Digging said...[Reply]

Your farm country is truly beautiful. Seeing the progression of your garden and landscape through the seasons is a treat.

Robin's Nesting Place said...[Reply]

You do have a long winter season, Kerri. I enjoyed reading about where you live and seeing your lovely pictures. I have a fascination with barns right now and really enjoyed seeing your pictures of the red barn. I think it would be so nice to live on a farm, or at least have some land.

Merle said...[Reply]

Dear kerri ~~ I did enjoy your photos and the various stages of your lovely
garden. Thanks for sharing that with us. I will be so happy for you when Spring arrives, no matter how pretty the snow looks. Thank you so much for your comments on my post and I am glad you enjoyed the kindergarten jokes and the quotes etc. Glad you liked the pic of my new hair-do.
Take care, my friend, Love, Merle.

jodi said...[Reply]

What a terrific post, Kerri. It's really neat to see your area through the year, and it's a lovely place, too, obviously. I'm so glad you took the time to do all this work for us, and show us a facet of your state I knew nothing about!

Kylee said...[Reply]

Kerri, this was a lovely tour of your part of New York. I've been to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, but that's about it. JFK, but that doesn't count! I love the hills. We are flat as a pancake here. But the farm photos look like home here. :-)


What a wonderful journey through the seasons of the year! And another chance to glimpse views of upstate NY. We're hoping to get back there this summer.

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

What a great post Kerri, One does forget that NY is more than NYC. Your area looks idyllic. I wish you could have felt how fast my heart started beating when looking at all that lush color through out the pictures of your garden through the year. Ha.... Just can't hardly wait for such things.

Barbara said...[Reply]

What a beautiful sightseeing tour around your home. I enjoyed it very now NY is for me not just the great and interesting City but also Kerri's wonderful home and garden! Thank you for all the explanations...

clairesgarden said...[Reply]

its beautiful!

Apple said...[Reply]

Brrr, it's cold today! We didn't get very much snow from this last storm. I hope we're done with ice for this year! Your garden through the seasons is a great way to show off upstate.

Susan said...[Reply]

Wow, thanks for the tour. So often we think of NY only as the big city, but your part of the state is beautiful.

Cherdecor said...[Reply]

I feel like I have been on a field trip already this morning. What fun! I love seeing other areas of the country where I have not been.

I loved looking at your lily beds. Only yesterday was I going through the seed catalogs looking for lilies. I have a few in my gardens but I can never get enough. I would like to walk around your gardens when they are in bloom and just drink in their beauty.

You live in a beautiful part of our country. The snow is beautiful too as God has planned it so in order to help us get through the oft times cloudy days. There is something about freshly fallen snow that is so serene, so clean, and so invigorating at the same time. God is good.

Thank you for putting this little tour together for us to enjoy. You are a sweetie!

John said...[Reply]

Kerri: enjoyed all the pictures, and the NY State report.

Jeanette said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri.BRRRR you have a long winter snow season. love all your spring photo.s and the last one with snow against the house would make a lovely xmas card,,,

Val said...[Reply]

Its such a delight to go right through the seasons with you. And lovely to see the area around your house - it reminds me to do the same, and take photos through the year too.

Just gone out with the camera and done just that!

Feeling the touches of spring here - I'll send it over to you. Wont be long now!

Giddy said...[Reply]

From one snowbound girl to another - thanks for the great tour and the summer pictures. I see by your map, that we've probably passed close by you on our way south last year. We were thinking of driving again, but with the price of gas and the time it takes to drive, I think we'll just fly this time, even though I really dislike flying.

We are awaiting our 18th snowstorm this weekend. Sigh. At least the sun is shining today, and I take pleasure in that.

Stay warm, dear friend. Spring is only a few short weeks away!

Susie said...[Reply]

Good morning dear Kerri,
You put so much thought and work into this post with all your research, links and photos. I know it must have taken you a long time.
I loved each and every photo of your beautiful area throughout the seasons.
I'd love to New York in person someday.
Hope that happens..

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

Oh, Kerri, those are wonderful pictures. It was such fun reading your post and, yes, it is nothing like NYC! New York acually does have land and a sky??? If you only visit the city you would never know that. I had heard that you had gotten another snowstorm in your area so it was fun to check out the pictures. Thanks.

ladyk73 said...[Reply]

Hello! I am a gardener from Western New York. I found it thrilling that the map you posted had North Tonawanda on it! I live between Buffalo anf Niagara Falls and I live a couple blocks from the river. I love snow too!
Lovely pictures!

kate said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,

This was a fun tour through your part of the world. Your farm and countryside are really gorgeous - even covered in snow, all is lovely.

What an informative post too ... now I have a much better sense about NY state.

katydidnot said...[Reply]

i'm so happy to have found all of these garden blogs.

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

Thank you for telling us more about the area you live in, Kerri - it does sound like a vacation destination.

I've been reading your blog for 2 years so the beauty of your farm shouldn't surprise me...but usually we just see it a week at a time! It's overwhelmingly lovely seeing the span of the whole year at once.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Moi said...[Reply]

no matter what season your neck of woods is always beautiful, Kerri.......loved the way you presented all the seasons here.....i have so many friends from a friend currently in Cornell, have two friends in Buffalo, a coupla in Syracuse and a coupla in NYC......and now my current boss is from Upstate NY too! He went to Buffalo to school and worked in Rochester (guess where??? yes for Xerox :DD) before moving here to Peoria!!! :)

vonlafin said...[Reply]

Kerri, Thanks for stopping by my blog. It is nice to meet you, and your garden. I have always wondered exactly what "Upstate New York" meant, now I know! :)

Reflection Through The Seasons said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri.....
What a wonderful post, full of interesting facts and stunning pictures. I have so enjoyed doing a full circle ‘reflecting through your seasons’ and what contrasts each offers. Your countryside is beautiful!

Thanks for the geography lesson about New York state.... You’ve taught me lots....

Weather in Wales has gone from being very mild and spring like the early part of the week to dull and windy today. The forecast promises a cold spell again. Have a great weekend and keep warm. Love - Marion

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...[Reply]

Talk about a borrowed view! Lovely countryside & such lush rolling hills - thanks for the tour & the summer shots. I'm also buried under way too much snow.

Barbee' said...[Reply]

What a fine idea for a wintertime post. You took us through a complete cycle of yearly seasons in your part of the world. Clever you!

I enjoyed reading the part about N.Y. and it brought back memories of a great vacation. Our younger son lived in the Albany area several years, now he lives here. About 5 years ago we visited him. He took us all over the state. We visited all the places you mentioned. It was beautiful! Until then I had never realized how large New York state is! I had always thought of it as small. It is a wonderful state for vacations.

Jenn said...[Reply]

Great post!

New York State is a beautiful place and a camper's paradise!

Your farm is lovely.

A said...[Reply]

Hi Mom!

Great Pics! That guy in the previous post sure is handsome! Please don't send me to the vet.

Sandy said...[Reply]

What a lovely year long tour in pictures of what it's like to live in beautiful Upstate NY. You certainly do experience each and every season to its fullest. I loved this post Kerri and you certainly live on a beautiful farm full of splendor, and in an area rich in history & natural attractions.

Kylie said...[Reply]

Nice photos Mum. I'm yearning for spring too, and we got a little bit of it down here today. Went for a run in the park and it had to be 50 degrees out. Canada geese lazing about on the reservoir.

Nancy J. Bond said...[Reply]

You've made a lovely presentation, both with your photos, and with your heartfelt prose. Your seasons look very much like the changes we experience here in Nova Scotia. Thanks for sharing your corner of the world with us.

Alice said...[Reply]

Kerri - in the past two years you have posted wonderful photos on your blog with commentary to compliment those photos. I have loved every one and often marvelled at the time and effort you put into each posting so that we know where your photos are taken, what each flower and plant is called, the idiosyncrasies of the cats and birds, and made us feel that we really were visiting your farm and being welcomed to your home.

Yet, for some reason, none has moved me quite like this one - almost to tears. I know you love and miss Australia but your love for New York State and your surroundings shines through and makes me feel humble yet proud to 'know' you and Ross. The little glimpse of your home through the seasons has really brought your everyday activities and life into focus in a way that I've not experienced before.

Thank you, Kerri. I think I love NY, too.

Lissa said...[Reply]

This is a great post! I'll go off and do something similar for Central Saratoga today, since I have some interesting photos from various areas last year.

Windyridge said...[Reply]

This is a great description of another area of New York. I have linked to it in a post I will publish in my Other Side of New York blog tomorrow along with the post from Lissa.

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Thanks for the maps of NY. Some of my ancestors lived there.
Also I enjoyed the trip through the seasons with you. Oh yes, I know how tiring the snow becomes. Just remember that spring is not far off and the little birds will all be singing their twitterpated little brains out, while all the tulips and daffodils are bravely waving a happy spring hello to you from the thawed soil.
Hold on Kerry, Springs on her way!

WiseAcre said...[Reply]

This is one of my favorite geography posts. I enjoyed reading it as much as viewing the photos. (adding 1000s of more 'words')

Glad you mentioned the regions. Hard not to LUV NY when there's such a diversity.

Is it a sweet/sour thing no longer having the cows? I know I'll never miss the milking but the rest was a great lifestyle.

Cloudscome said...[Reply]

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for the tour.

Layanee said...[Reply]

That is beautiful country and you have made it more so with your lovely gardens.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...[Reply]

I'm from Binghamton originally, grew up in the hills, not too dissimilar from your view. The rolling hills are the only thing I miss, now that I live in the flatlands of downtown Buffalo. Thanks for the tour.

Yolanda Elizabet said...[Reply]

Thanks for that lovely post Kerri and all the wonderful pics of the area you live in. The Dutch still have ties with NY city or New Amsterdam as it once was called. I was surprised to find that I knew/had heard of quite a few of the things you mentioned.

Inland Empire Girl said...[Reply]

What a great post. I now understand a bit more about New York geography. We do have similar seasons, but because we sit in a mild climate area by Lake Roosevelt, we get spring a bit earlier. Not this year yet though. We still have snow also!

Cris said...[Reply]

Kerri, this is such an interesting post, I have been to Niagara Falls and Buffalo at the end of our exchange program, well, that was 20 years ago... Your pictures are stunning as usual, you have such an eye for photography! xxoxo

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...[Reply]

Just stumbled upon your blog. I'm in the Cap Region- so we're sort of neighbors. Great pics!