July 4, 2009


Southwick Beach State Park., originally uploaded by iMachias.

The fourth of July is usually celebrated on a sultry, warm, summer day at a picnic with family and friends. Many times this celebration is in the backyard or perhaps at the local state park. Independence Day brings to mind thoughts of pitchers of lemonade, the smells and sizzles of the barbecue grill and the spectacle of fireworks against the night sky.

The weather this summer has been a little dicey thus far. Despite the holiday, today was no exception to the rule as Mother Nature granted us a day typical of the end of mid part of May with temperatures in the upper 60s, a smattering of showers and a good stiff breeze.

So naturally as we were out on a random drive we made the last minute decision to go to the beach.

We ended up at Southwick Beach State Park. Earl and I have been here many, many times, continuing the tradition my family had during my childhood years. I love Southwicks. It is my favourite state park in the entire state. It’s like going to the ocean. All that’s missing is the salt.

Wikipedia has a fine entry about Southwicks and the neighboring Lakeview Wildlife Management Area.

The wind was very strong. The waves were high, loud and menacing. The beach was closed to swimmers. There were two family reunions in progress, well away from the sandblasting of the wind coming over the sandy beach. Earl, Jamie and I (it was Jamie’s inaugural visit to Southwick) walked a mile or so up the beach into the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area. Once we crossed the dunes into the marsh area the wind was gone and the temperature went up several degrees. We relaxed as we walked the nature trails along the marsh and took several photos (which are available here.)

After an hour or so at the beach we made our way up to nearby Watertown, where we went to the movies to see Ice Age 3. It was a good way to escape reality. We all enjoyed the movie.

Afterwards we took the back roads home, driving along my beloved NY Route 177.

Today it was all about relaxation. Mission accomplished.

Maple Ridge Wind Farm.

Maple Ridge Wind Farm.

The Maple Ridge Wind Farm outside of Lowville, New York is the largest wind farm in New York State. It is made up of 195 wind turbines and is located on the Tug Hill between 1600-1800 feet above sea level. The location takes advantage of the winds from Lake Ontario.

Maple Ridge accounts for three-quarters of all wind power generated in New York State.

This photo is taken along my favourite road to drive in the state, NY Route 177 in the Town of Harrisburg.

Maple Ridge Wind Farm.