Revisiting the Rural Landscape of Carlisle NY

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sometimes the places we visit feel like a visit with an old friend.  Have you ever noticed that?  There are places in our lives...sometimes vacation destinations, sometimes old neighborhoods...places where we enjoy returning to because they are familiar.  Since I began this blog nearly four years ago, we've acquired a long list of these places, places I love to photograph, places with wide open views, and often requiring travel on dirt roads.  Luckily neither of us are troubled by muddy tires and dusty exteriors.  I was recently having a conversation on Facebook with a follower of my blog.  She happens to live in Easton, in fact, I've photographed her farm and included it in the photo book I made this year filled with over 100 photos from all around Easton.  As we conversed, she mentioned that her sister lives in Carlisle in Schoharie County and if we ever happen out that way and do a blog post, to be sure to let her know.  Later that evening I began replaying our conversation and felt sure we had visited Carlisle.  Sure enough after browsing my archives I found what I consider some of my favorite photos.....taken in Carlisle back in January of 2014, just a few months before starting my blog.  As you've probably already guessed, this prompted a road trip this Tuesday back to Carlisle.

One of the most exciting and memorable things about our first trip to Carlisle was the thrill of discovering a buffalo farm there.  Naturally we had to try to find it again.....not an easy task since, as you've learned, our trips are pretty random and not always documented when it comes to street signs. Luckily after some searching, we happened upon a lovely gentleman farmer who was getting his mail.  I told him what we were looking for and lucky for us he was familiar with the buffalo and told us where to find them.  The landscape, the farms, the run-down barns and houses, the windy roads and trees were every bit as I remembered.  Many of the photos I took in 2014 were the same shots I took on this trip.   I love doing that.....taking the same shot on different days, different seasons, etc...  I'm so excited to share Carlisle with you today.  Like many of the rural towns we visit, there isn't much about Carlisle online.  It was first settled in 1760 and established as a town in 1807.  Some say it was named after a resident, Carlisle Pierce, others say it was named after a city in England.  Manufacturing plows was an industry in Carlisle in the 19th century.  That's about the extent of it according to Wikipedia.  So, here are my photos from our first visit in 2014.  I'll share last week's visit my next post!

And here's a little sneak peek at our recent trip........
And that's just the beginning. I'm beginning to believe I must have some farmers in my ancestry because I can't get enough of the rural landscape and everything it has to offer. Stay tuned this week for Part II of our road trip to Carlisle. Aren't we lucky to live in such a beautiful state? Have a great week and if you're lucky enough to have a holiday tomorrow....enjoy! I know Spring is making a brief appearance this week, but I have to admit I'm a little sad to have the snow melt. It's made for some amazing photo ops this winter and I wouldn't complain if we have another storm or two before Spring arrives in earnest. Lucky for you...I have no connections with Mother Nature! Take care and come back soon to Life As I See It. Don't forget...for more posts like this, check out my blog Directory: Click Here for Directory  and to Subscribe to receive the blog in your email: Click here to Subscribe

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From Back Roads to Backyard Birds....Winter Provides Much Entertainment

Sunday, February 11, 2018

When I'm not on a dirt road chasing old barns, one of my favorite pastimes is watching the circus of birds that flock to our backyard Food Court.  Each day there's a non-stop parade of colorful birds coming and going, stopping for a little snack or for some....smorgasbord.  If you follow the blog, you know that this was an especially exciting year as we had our very first bluebirds....ever!!  I'm not sure if it's solely because we went out and got dried mealworms immediately, or just because we've got the largest number of feeders per square foot in the neighborhood, but I'm happy to report we still have at least 4 (I've only seen 4 at a time) who have stuck around all winter.  We got a bluebird nesting box and put it up hoping that one pair will decide to stick around once nesting season begins soon.

 If you're wondering why the need for so many feeders, just ask the birds!   Here at, we serve a pretty diverse variety of meal options to our feathered friends.  Diners will find a tasty appetizer of dried mealworms and Bark Butter Bits. For the main course we serve sunflower hearts, safflower seed (Rumor has it squirrels don't like safflower.  Don't believe the rumor - not true!)  We also offer a Mess-Free Mix from Wild Birds Unlimited, suet cakes as well as suet from the grocery store.  All patrons go crazy over our newest dining addition -  Bug, Nut and Berry Cylinder which includes mealworms, tree nuts, sunflower chips, peanuts, raisins, and cranberries. Oh and for protein, non-vegan patrons can enjoy Birdacious Bark Butter, also from WBU.  And let's not forget beverages.....all diners are invited to partake in a drink from a heated bath and take an opportunity to freshen up a bit after dinner.

Mr. Cardinal waiting his turn at the canopied safflower bar.

Hairy Woodpecker snacking on Birdacious Bark Butter

Of all the varieties, these little Goldfinch are the testiest and pushiest!

House Finch looking over the shoulder of Mr. Cardinal

Downy Woodpecker enjoying the cylinder with a puffy Goldfinch.

This smart guy sits on the mealworm cup hiding from Mr. Hawk!
Keeping one eye on the sky!

Bottoms Up!

Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Female Cardinal

Another first-time visitor - a Great Horned Owl

Cooper's Hawk - eyeing prospective meal options from above :(

Somebody is getting a scolding!

And these little guys never stop trying to outsmart the baffle!

Female Red-Bellied Woody grabbing a Bark Butter Ball
 I think you can understand why this group of sometimes unruly visitors keep us entertained.  It's amazing I ever get anything done.  I hope you enjoyed this change of scenery and had fun looking at my back yard menagerie.  How many different bird species did you count?  If you liked this post, you can see many more like it in my blog!  Just go to my Directory (Click for Directory) and look under the category "Animal Friends".  Besides birds, you'll see posts on llama and alpaca farms, goats, butterflies and much more.   To subscribe to the blog, click here: Subscribe
Thanks for reading!   Have a great week.  I hope my Life As I See It has a little part in making your life just a wee bit brighter!  So for now..........Happy Trails!

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