The 52-week photography project: the world near by

The theme for week nineteen of the 52-week photography project is “back yard” (story). Dogwood Studios suggests: “Give us a glimpse into your daily life.”

Well, sure. It has been a week since I posted my week eighteen photographs, which were all about purple. Here are the images and stories of the week.

Tuesday, May 16th:

I went to the high school to vote in the school board election. At the school, there was an exhibit, featuring the artwork of students in the school district, from kindergarten through grade twelve.

There were drawings, paintings, and sculptures. The students had explored a great variety of styles in their projects.

Wednesday, May 17th: I documented the demise of a large ash tree as it was removed from Town Commons, in front of Grand Island Town Hall.

All of the ash trees in Grand Island have been infested with the emerald ash borer. There are many more that will die.

I also took pictures of a new tree being planted. 

Thursday, May 18th: I went to Buffalo by bus and visited the farmers market downtown.

It’s still early in the season so the farmers market was fairly small, compared with how many vendors come in the summer.

I bought a bunch of asparagus (my favorite vegetable). Then I got on another bus and went to the village of Kenmore to do a gardening job. Of course, I managed to get lost and I got off the bus before it went too far.

Still, I had to walk several miles to get back to where I was supposed to be. After working in that garden for a few hours, I rode two buses (and one car) to get home.

It took three hours for a trip that would, by car, take maybe half an hour. Western New York’s mass transit needs a lot of work to make it useful and even more work to get it into the twenty-first century.

Friday, May 19th: I interviewed Zumba instructor Nichole Becker.

She told me how she decided to become a Zumba instructor, as well as her motivations for planning a Zumbathon to raise money for Relay for Life and for a three-year-old girl named Hannah, who has a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.

Saturday, May 20th:

I joined a group on a hike through Buckhorn Island State Park that was being led by Dave, an expert on the natural world.

He showed us three types of wetlands in the park: marsh, vernal pool, and swamp and he explained their value in maintaining a healthy ecosystem for the plants and animals that need a wetlands sort of environment to thrive and to reproduce.

He also told us about some of the migratory birds that stop in the park on their way north. At this time of year, they are traveling from South America to northern Canada. Buckhorn Island State Park is considered an important bird area and there are many types of birds that can be seen there, including some that are considered to be endangered or threatened. One of the threatened species of birds that can be found in Buckhorn is the least bittern, which is the smallest member of the heron family. Buckhorn is the perfect place for the least bittern to visit; this bird likes freshwater marshes with tall emergent vegetation, such as cattails, sedges, and rushes, as well as woody plants. They also like access to open waters, which would be the Niagara River.

In the afternoon, I went to Tonawanda with a group from Saint Martin in the Fields church to see a musical performance called “The Drowsy Chaperone,” presented by the niagara regional theatre guild.

It was hilarious. Musicals aren’t real life. In a musical, people, at random times, start belting out dramatic songs about their lives and their lost loves. In this musical, they added the element of people randomly tap dancing in a large group. Well, that was definitely worth the admission price: an entertaining production that included elements of a musical play and a dance recital!

Sunday, May 21st: In the morning, I went to church. After the service, instead of a coffee hour, we had a reception to honor the church secretary, who was retiring after having worked at the church for eight years.

After church, I went to Nichole’s Zumbathon and danced and danced and danced… and nearly dropped!

It was hot in the hotel! But the Zumbathon raised $1,300!

Monday, May 22nd: I went to a friend’s house to start pruning her shrubbery. It was cold and windy.

My work was in the front yard. In the back yard, there is a beautiful view of Gun Creek. Just out of sight is the Niagara River.

What did you see this week? Do tell in the comments section.

Next week: Stay tuned for the next installment of the 52-week photography project.

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