crabmeadow beach northport in october

It is hard to believe that October is here when you can spend a few hours at the beach. People were swimming. A fisherman was standing waist deep while he was casting into the LI Sound. Two kayaks drifted by and stopped to view some sea birds (not sure what they were!).

A good time was enjoyed by us.






old pictures of brittany

I have been looking at old pictures of Brittany Cronk Chilson (daughter) and these were digitized. I just felt like reposting them for everyone’s historical memory…. They are not recent. I did not take the one with Hilary Clinton — Chelsea (Hilary’s daughter) took the picture with our camera.

Here they are…

Hilary Clinton


Ani Difranco


Jian Ghomeshi (We would know him in canada from radio and tv, and from Moxy Fruvous)


These pictures bring memories back from years ago. Maybe next I will digitize some pictures from old vacations and swim meets.

This picture is almost 10 years old… he was so cute as a puppy and now he is an old guy.



Arctic shorebirds seen on Raquette River

Last Sunday, I went for a long paddle on the Raquette River. Bill L. and I left Raquette River Drive and we paddled around the oxbow near the Wild Center and returned. On the muddy shoreline, we spotted two birds, with long beaks. I said “Those birds look like beach birds”. They were picking through the mud with their long beaks. They were not afraid of the canoes which made me wonder where they were from.

When I returned to Binghamton, sunday night I read the Press and Sun Bulletin. Our local naturalist reporter had spotted the same birds (or so I surmise) on the river banks in Binghamton. He is a little more expert than I and decided they were pectoral sandpipers. By his desciption, they sound like the same bird. I checked the Cornell bird web site and the pictures matched the juvenile pectoral sandpiper.

the picture is from

Here is the article in the paper:

The Great Outdoors: Look up, around to appreciate passing shorebirds
Written by Rick Marsi

5:30 PM, Aug 23, 2013 |
If shorebirds are meant to be found at the shore, then why are so many right here? They’re here because August is migration time, when these birds go from Point A to Point B. We lucky souls find ourselves pretty much in the middle.
To be called a shorebird, you must frequent the shores of coastal or inland waters. Birds doing this include sandpipers, plovers and snipe. For those passing through Central New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania right now, Point A is a place they have recently left: high Arctic tundra in Canada and Alaska. That’s where shorebirds build nests during summer.
Point B is where they’re headed for winter. These destinations vary, but many birds passing through our area will spend the winter on coastal beaches and in marshes from the southeastern United Statesto the Gulf of Mexico.
Some shorebirds begin leaving tundra nesting grounds by late July. Such an early departure can be explained by the Arctic’s brief summer. This season is bountiful, providing endless sunny days and countless insects for feeding young. But it is short.
Thus, a shorebird pair makes haste in reproducing before taking an exit that will spare them impending cold weather.
On the river this week, I saw two pectoral sandpipers. They were foraging on a mudflat, probing muck with their bills — up and down like two sewing machines.
Plump little birds, maybe 8 inches long if you stretched them straight out — they sported beige and brown plumage on their backs and heads, pure white bellies and a distinctive brown streaked breast.
Not the most beautiful birds I have seen, but I still felt so good when I saw them.
Think of the journey they’ve already taken: flying thousands of miles down along Hudson Bay, over vast trackless forests of Canadian spruce, over Great Lakes and into New York. When they drop down to rest and find food on their journey, their landing spot might be a Finger Lake shoreline, or the bank of my small winding river.
They don’t seem in a hurry, with the Arctic behind them. They might linger here days, even weeks.
While they do, I will think of their tundra beginnings, somewhere around 70 degrees north latitude, in places so remote you can’t reach them on most of the planet.
Some Arctic nesting areas are accessible. And birders do visit them, despite long airplane flights, hordes of tundra mosquitoes and primitive living conditions. They put up with such hardships to see shorebirds in their breeding plumages, which are brighter than winter attire.
Page 1 of 2 Aug 29, 2013 09:50:19AM MDT
I escorted a tundra birding trip several years ago. Our destination: the northernmost coast of Norway, at the edge of the Barents Sea. Upon our arrival, the wind blew so hard, we could barely get the car doors to open. Yet, there on the tundra nestled a tiny sandpiper called the least stint, sitting on eggs in a gale.
I think of that shorebird at this time each year, when the first migrant shorebirds arrive. Wish them well as they pass through on one of the natural world’s most inspiring migrations.

Found the Cornell chocolate chip recipe “Straight Cookie”

Cornell cookie recipe (found!!!)

Someone wrote into our work queue that they were looking for a special cookie recipe. The website was askezra and it no longer exists. She remembers the cookies from 1985 when she was a student here. She knew it was in the column – Dear Uncle Ezra – Questions for Tuesday April 7,1998.

Using the (the Wayback web site for removed web pages) I found it! I figured it is a recipe worth saving and storing somewhere new. In fact, when I feel like baking maybe I will make these. Recipes from Cornell have always been good (maybe that is why they had a “Home Economics” department here)

Dear Uncle Ezra:
One of my favorite memories from my Cornell days (10+ years ago) was taking a study break and walking from Uris Library to the Ivy Room and getting a “Straight Cookie” (huge chocolate chip melt in your mouth cookie) on Tuesdays (or was it Thurs) nights. Is this tradition still alive? And – is the recipe available???
Many thanks!

Ana ’87

Dear Ana,
The cookies you recall so fondly are still available at the Straight although Ward Ganger, Manager of Willard Straight Dining, says the recipe has been modified over the years. Here’s the recipe from Steve Miller, the Straight’s sous chef:

Cream these ingredients together: 4 cups granulated sugar, 2 3/4 cups brown sugar, 3 3/4 cups margarine, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt. Then add 10 whole large eggs and 3 tablespoons of vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add *half* of these ingredients: 10 cups pastry flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 12-ounce packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 16 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 16 tablespoons of powdered milk. Mix. Then add the second half of the above ingredients and mix for two minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Check after 10 minutes of bake time and pull from the oven when done to your liking.

This sumptuous recipe makes four dozen large cookies! You may want to share some cookies and memories with your friends.
As Ward said, Bon Appetit!

presidential speeches in broome county revisited


Tomorrow, Obama will be visiting Binghamton University to speak with a crowd in a town hall style.  The room will be the Mandela Room in the University Union.  He is claiming his visit is about affordable education and he will talk about this with questions allowed.  Other political insiders say the Presidents visit is more of a campaign visit, supporting the democrats that are running for the House of Representatives in November.  One hot race is in Corning, but Obama will not be visiting there.. so maybe it is not all about the elections.  

Not very many presidents have come to the Broome County metro area.  Clinton came but I believe his speech was given at the airport.  As I recall, he was helping his wife in her bid for a NY Senate seat.

The presidential visit to be remembered was Ronald Reagan’s visit to Endicott.   Barack Obama may have chosen this area because of this visit, as he claims to be a big admirer of Reagan.  Ronald Reagan was loved here, and 20,000 people attended his speech at the Union Endicott football stadium.  This was on  September 12, 1984.

Times have changed and security is such a concern, no president will speak at a football stadium or even a large crowd.  

It should be interesting to see how the day comes to pass.  Most people are concerned with roads being blocked and other inconveniences.  Reporters are wondering how many people will show up to demonstrate for or against fracking.

Not many people seem too excited over the topic of affordable education, although students will be happy to address the cost and quality of a State University education.

Andrew Cuomo is staying away this time, unless he has a change of mind. 

Here is the transcript of the great speechmaker’s talk.  It really was a great speech and geared to Broome County .  At the time, I was not too interested in it, but in hindsight I can understand the nostalgia for this president.


This just in, obama stopping in rochester courtesy of NPR… he can do a last minute change


binghamton, ny woman letting it go