Part Two of Exploring the Back Roads of Snow-Covered Easton NY

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Welcome back!  Today I bring you Part II of "Exploring the Back Roads of Snow-Covered Easton in Washington County.  I can't believe how well received Part I was!  I guess I'm not the only one in love with the back roads of Easton.  I have plenty more photos to share with you in Part II today.  If any of you recognize any of these farms or know the owners, I'd love to hear from you.

Look at the size of this silo!!! 


 Probably my absolute favorite building in all of Easton is this colorful but nearly collapsed out building.  If there were ever a building I'd want to buy and preserve, it would be this one.  With it's leaded glass windows, angled wood design on the door and colorful wood stain, I could look at this one all day.


On the same property, this treasure has already collapsed.......
 And this one.... another favorite of mine below.  Don't even ask me what it is that captures my heart!

For more photos of this cemetery, check out my previous posts, links at the end of this post.



 If you look closely at the photo above, you can almost make out the Buddha below, looking pretty happy despite his snowy blanket.









 And the ever beautiful Buskirk covered bridge!
It makes me so sad to see so many barns, some already collapsed, some not far behind, and think of the difference views that will be seen years from now on these same back roads.  It's such a shame so many are being left to ruin.  All the more  reason to visit Easton and surrounding Washington County now! Right off Route 40, just wander off the main drag to explore the side roads and see where they take you.  Some of our favorites are Herrington Hill Road, Brownell Road, Meeting House Road and Wells Road, just to name a few.  I use my phone's GPS map to get us back to civilization when we get too far off the beaten path. Easton NY is gorgeous in every season!  Don't forget, you can click on any photo for a better look!  If you haven't seen enough, check out some of my previous posts feature Easton using these links: (Click to read)
You'll see many of these scenes in each of those posts, minus the white stuff!  Thanks for reading Life as I See It.  I hope you'll stick around for more adventures and that you'll take some time to check out my blog directory for past adventures all through the Northeast.  Until next time.....take some time to collect moments, not things.  Memories last a lifetime!



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Exploring the Back Roads of Snow-Covered Easton in Washington County

Friday, January 27, 2017

I may be in the minority when I say that I'm pretty excited that we're having a white winter.  Last winter was so brown and dismal, it was pretty challenging finding things to photograph.  This year our little but consistent snowfalls are giving me just enough snow cover to make the landscape interesting.  It's no surprise that we're taking advantage whenever possible to get out and not only enjoy the views, but to catch some photos to share with you.  This week we headed to one of my favorite destinations, Easton NY, in Washington County.


If you've been reading the blog for even a short while, you already know what a beautiful place Easton is.  With over 30 farms, Easton is the most agricultural town in the region.  It didn't take us too many visits to realize it's also one of the most picturesque towns in the region in any season and we particularly love it in winter.  In fact, we first discovered Easton a couple winters ago and have been longing to enjoy its snow-covered landscape ever since.  This Wednesday was the perfect day to do so, its trees laden with newly fallen snow.  Even the back roads were still snow covered!

As always I took way too many photos to share in just one blog post, so I  hope you'll stick around for Part II of Exploring the Back Roads of Snow-Covered Easton in Washington County.  For now, come along on our winter journey through the back roads of Easton, NY.
This is one of our favorite roads (forgive me for not remembering the name).  If you read my autumn post on Easton, you'll see the same vantage.  It was a pretty grey day but we found plenty of color in the many, many red barns along our travels.





 Does this sprawling, snow-covered landscape above not look like something from a dream?  

 I loved how the snow was lining the branches on the bush above.  This old structure is on the corner of an intersection where an old white horse lives.  On our last visit, his bangs were so matted that from a distance they stuck up making him look like a unicorn.  John has named this corner, Unicorn Corner.  Here's the horse .... his tangled bangs have been trimmed.



Easton NY


This next photo comes with a funny story.   As we were driving along, I spotted this barn.  As always, John dutifully pulled off the road and since the barn was on his side of the car, he opened his window and I stretched to shoot the photo as quickly as I could so we didn't get hit by any oncoming vehicles.  As I moved the camera away from my eye, I spot this elderly gentlemen walking up the driveway of the barn.  I'm sure he was wondering why the heck I was taking his photo!  I should have stopped and complimented his barn, but in my surprised state, we just drove away.  His none-too-pleased expression may have contributed to my hasty getaway.


 I love so much about this next photo - the rise in the road ahead, the glimpse of a red barn below the hill, the remnants of last summer's harvest and the snow covered trees in a distance.










Honestly, people love traveling all over the world to explore and find beauty in the landscapes of foreign lands.  I've never experienced that kind of wanderlust but driving through this countryside, I can't help but marvel at the profound beauty that is right here in our own state.  In the three hours that we drove from back road to back road, circling the area between Easton, Cambridge and Greenwich, we were mesmerized by the sights before us.  So many farms, some old and in decay,  yet so many still in operation.  This is for sure God's country - Washington County, New York.   Stay tuned because this is only half of the treasure of photographs I want to share from our trip.  Please share this post with your country loving friends and come back soon to Life As I See It!

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Searching for Light Amidst the Darkness

Sunday, January 22, 2017


What a week this has been!  I've been around a pretty long time and in my life I've seen and experienced some pretty unforgettable things.  I've witnessed some historical events that changed the world, but none of them - not even 9/11 have had quite the same effect that the events of these past few months and this past week seem to have had on humanity.  
I am not someone people would call political.  In fact, some might say I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to politics.  In some ways, they would be correct, but I am not immune to politics.  Today I think it's pretty safe to say no one is immune to politics.  On the same token, most would agree I am a pretty positive person.  By that I mean I mostly choose to focus on the positive things in life.  I choose to be happy and not dwell on negativity or the dark side of life.  Everyone would agree that I love Facebook.  I look to Facebook to connect with friends, old and new.  I use it to promote my blog and share my photos.  I look to it to share in the joys that I and others share on social media.  But this week, and even the weeks leading to the election, I have had to search hard to find joy and positivity there.  Facebook is now filled with anger and negativity.  It's filled with political rants, name calling,  and accusations.  It's filled with criticsm and harsh words between friends.  It's become a place where freedom of speech has encouraged and allowed otherwise peaceful, considerate people to become empowered to speak without guilt, to feel justified to insult, and to ignore manners they surely have been taught.  
I don't blame Facebook for this.  I don't blame the political system.  In fact I really don't know who to blame.  What I do know is that my heart is filled with sadness.  It's filled with disappointment and fear.  It's filled with disbelief that this great country that was once known as the greatest country, the land of opportunity, is now filled with a nation full of outspoken, angry and fearful people who are responding in such a hate-filled way.  I wonder what message this is giving the young people - our children and our grandchildren.  
Regardless of who the new president is - we live in a democracy.  President Trump was elected, perhaps not by the majority, but by the system that this country has accepted for years.  He alone cannot rule this country. He cannot be a dictator.  Do you think the country would be responding  differently if Hillary had won?  I wonder.  It seems that she evoked a great deal of hatred and anger by Trump followers too.  Have we just reached a time in history where this is how we handle conflict?  Has all the violence in the world become so common that even the peacemakers now respond with hatred and disrespect?  What must we as a nation look like to other countries - the countries who our military are in conflict with and the countries who have looked up to us.  How can anyone look up to us when this is how we behave.
Let me be clear, I am not speaking of the women's march (although I did see some signs that may have been in poor taste).  Peaceful protests, speaking out for one's rights is one thing.  But lashing out, insulting, disrespecting is never useful, not in our own family, not in the workplace, not in politics even though that is where it seems most prevalent.  We are teaching the children of our nation that it's ok to behave this way.  Our children are on social media, they watch the tv, they are seeing everything.  How can they feel safe?  How can they feel pride?  What can we expect the future to hold when this is how the people they are taught to look up to behave?  I am not condoning President Trump, his disrespect for women, or any of his bad behavior.  But we cannot change bad behavior using bad behavior any more than we can stop a toddler having a temper tantrum by having one ourselves.  Yet that seems to be what is happening.  
Instead of criticizing everything we see - the president's hair, his son, his wife... we need to focus on the issue at hand. We need to remember what made America great.  We need to teach our children that we can't have a tantrum when we don't get what we want.  Mr. Trump may not be who we hoped would win the election.  Doesn't every election turn out this way - some of our candidates lose?  That's life.  Sometimes we got a teacher in school that everyone knew as 'the dreaded teacher'.  We would walk into the first day of that class with negativity and dread remembering all the horror stories friends told us about that teacher.  And sometimes that teacher turned out to not be so bad after all.  I remember the first day on a new job.  As I was introduced to everyone in my department, everyone - about 20 or so people, said, "you're working for Dr. Gilmour?" with a look of disbelief and dread on their face. You can imagine how I felt.  I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.  Well, as it turned out, Dr. Gilmour was the best boss I ever had.  He was tough and demanded perfection but he was also fair and kind and caring and I credit him for making me the secretary I was because he didn't accept less than the best of me.  It wasn't always easy, but it is something I've always been grateful for experiencing.
This has been a rough few months for this country and I am not delusional to think that everything forward will be perfect, or even totally fine.  But I do know that it won't be any easier to handle if we continue to face it with doubt and negativity, hatred and distrust.  Media of all kinds have gotten outspoken and rude and this has made us feel like it's ok to look at others with criticism, to judge and to critique.  We judge what people wear, who they marry, where they work - or don't, how they raise their children, what labels they wear.  We are so busy looking for the weakness and flaws in others, we forget to look in the mirror and realize who we have become.  We cannot return this nation to greatness by breaking each other down.  We need to build each other up.  We need to be supportive, not destructive.  We need to remember that freedom of speech does not give us the right to destroy others.  Two wrongs don't make a right and name calling never fixed anything.  The only way we can improve the climate in this country is by bringing about some peace and positivity, by having faith - in God, in the system and in your neighbor.   And it would be nice if a little of that leaked into our Facebook feeds too!  The message in our sermon at church today was this, "God made us a Masterpiece - so we could do good things to bring glory to God."  Today ask yourself if you feel like a masterpiece.  Ask yourself if you are doing good things and if you are bringing glory to God.  If you think religion has nothing to do with all this, maybe you've uncovered part of the problem, the thing that is missing.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, how about trying to spread a little kindness today. both in your immediate surroundings and on Facebook!  Let's remind ourselves, the world hasn't ended, a president has taken office. If something as tragic as 9/11 didn't destroy us, but instead could bring this country together, then one person alone cannot defeat us. This nation is stronger than one person.  Maybe we should have hope, hope that President Trump will rise to his position and become who we need him to be.  Even some criminals can be reformed with the right circumstances and support.  Oscar Wilde put it well when he said, "Every saint has his past and every sinner has a future".  Maybe even Mr. Trump can redeem his past and secure our future. God Bless America!

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Part II of Winter Road Trippin' in Rural Montgomery County

Saturday, January 14, 2017


As promised, I'm back today with Part II in my Winter Road Trippin' in Montgomery County. Today I will focus on the Stone Arabia Amish community which we've visited several times over the past 15 months or so. Due to last year's scant snowfall, this is the first time we've been able to enjoy this scenic countryside covered in snow, and it was just as beautiful as I'd imagined it would be. Come along with me as I take you on a winter's tour of rural Montgomery County.
 So much to notice about the above shot - the sky blue doors on the house and side door of the barn, the snow covered corn stalks, and the streaks of clear blue sky peeking through the horizon.
 Perhaps my favorite barn in all of this Amish community (above and below).  Notice the buggy with its bright orange reflector inside the barn below.
 Below is the local Amish schoolhouse.  No school buses for these kiddos, just a buggy and one lone horse inside this small building.


Sorry for the blur in the photo above.  I try to be quick and non-intrusive since the Amish aren't keen on having their faces appear in photos.  Did you know that you can tell if men are married or single just by looking at their face?  Once a man is married, he grows his facial hair. Hence, this bearded gentleman is taken.  To the Amish, a beard is a symbol of humility, manhood and husband-ship.  Amish men do not wear wedding rings, they simply stop shaving.  Mustaches, however, are not allowed because of their association with the military.
 The distinctive barn below and in my lead photo, located at the corner of Route 10 and Stone Arabia Road, might be unoccupied but that doesn't hinder its beauty and charm.

 Below notice the blue door, customary pulled back white curtains and clothesline of laundry - a common sight most any day you drive through the Amish community.

 In the photo below, pay special attention to the large entry in the center of the barn.  Lying on the table is a very large hog about to be butchered.  You can see it a little better in the second photo.  I may have briefly considered a vegetarian diet after seeing this.


Above an Amish boy leading a team on a sled-like wagon and below, another riding bareback!  We've never seen that before.



Below, although dismal and grey, I loved the perspective of this fence against the cloudy sky above the quite visible landscape.
 And finally, a few shots left over from my previous post taken near the town of Florida, NY.


 Loved the lone bird atop the silo against the soft and dreamy sky.


 Caught this little red squirrel running up the tree as we approached.  He kindly posed while we backed up for a photo.
Frosty Foliage

Perhaps not the brightest or sunniest of days, but I enjoyed catching a glimpse of life among the Amish right here in our own state. I may not have any inclinations towards living the hard working, simple life of the Amish, and couldn't dream of giving up my modern conveniences, but that doesn't stop me from admiring and respecting their humble way of life. If you missed Part I of this two part series, just click on the following link: http://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2017/01/winter-road-trippin-in-rural-montgomery.html  To read more posts about the Amish in Montgomery county, check out my previous posts!
  (autumn views)
http://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2016/07/a-summer-visit-to-amish-new-york.htmlhttp://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2016/05/amish-country-in-springtime-photo-essay.html

Thanks for reading!  Come back soon when I share more Life As I See It!

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