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Daylight Savings

Looking forward to Daylight Savings (March 8) and that extra hour of sunlight.

alarmclockOn March 8, we will move our clocks ahead one hour and begin enjoying an extra hour of sunlight.  It comes as a precursor to the vernal equinox on March 20, which surely means that our temperatures will begin to rise out of the deep freeze of winter (we say hopefully) and that Spring is truly on it’s way (even if it might take another month or so to take hold).

There is some debate over whether the change actually saves energy or not, but regardless, the longer daylight hours provide a much-needed lift to the spirit after the winter season – perhaps due to a little boost of vitamin D.

Although there are opinions on both sides (people seem to either love it or hate it), that extra hour in the evenings allow us to do more after our work shifts end – like enjoy a walk or a bike ride.  Statistically, due to the greater visibility during travel hours comes a decline in accidents on our roadways as well.  Although we might be ruffled by disturbances to our daily rhythms with that loss of an hour, it typically only lasts a few days.

So – as we head into Spring…enjoy a sunset after dinner, head out to your patio for an early BBQ night, take in an outdoor concert, or start preparing your garden!

 

 

 

 

Barn Quilt Trails

landisquiltbarnimageOld barns are a mainstay of the upstate landscape.  They are landmarks for locals when giving directions to visitors, and are a representative depiction of the idyllic country setting – a marker of our rich farming heritage.   One great way to view some of these old barns is to visit a Quilt Barn Trail.  These regional travel adventures were made famous by Donna Sue Groves, an Ohio resident and founder of the American Quilt Barn Trail.

 

Barn owners apply to participate in a Quilt Barn Trail in their region.  In most cases, the barn must be visible from the roadway and the road must be in good condition.  The barn owner paints a single quilt square usually 8’ x 8’ in size and affixes this panel to the side of the barn in a position where it can easily be viewed by the road.

What a wonderful way to connect art and the rural landscape!

For a Quilt Barn Trail in our region, visit the Schoharie County Quilt Barn Trail which was launched as an outcome of the damaging floods of August 2011.

landisquiltbarnimage2

These Winter Snows

228As much as we might get tired of our long winters here in Upstate NY (and understanding that ‘long’ is a relative term), there is no denying that a fresh blanket of the white stuff can make our region one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Although we might only get two or three really big storms each year, we do often get daily snowfall – just enough to cover things up and restore the pre-plow pristine white.  These light snows are a standard – they occur throughout the season and require only a quick daily sweep on a driveway or pathway to clear – no shovel or heavy lifting needed.

 

As we head into the months of February and March, we will begin to experience the daily cycles of freeze/thaw (barring any polar vortex events).  The sap will begin to flow and we will begin to find our landscape dotted with the spires and buckets of maple sugaring apparatus.  For more on Maple Sugaring see our post from last year here.

 

At the time of this writing, we are preparing for one of those larger snowstorms with about 10” currently being predicted.  This one is sure to require our shovels.  Although we are acclimated to these occasional storms, our thoughts go to safe roadways for travel, no power outages for our neighbors and warm places to seek refuge from the wintry chill. Despite this, we look forward to the silence that often comes with a larger storm and the beautiful and ethereal landscape that it will provide here in our area.

 

Winter Carnival 2015

wintercarnival2015Fireworks, parades, lip sync contests, food and chocolate and more!  This year’s Cooperstown Winter Carnival will take place from Feb. 6 through Feb. 8.

The Carnival is a long-time traditional winter festival, began in 1967 with the intention of offering a variety of activities for residents and tourists to Cooperstown during the early winter month of February. The CWC brings people out into the cold and gives them a reason to celebrate with their friends, neighbors, and visitors. Each year the CWC creates new and exciting events, while bringing the same traditions back that people have come to expect.

Learn about the history of the Carnival with some archive photos HERE.

Underwater Tourism

When Disney World opened in Orlando in the early 1970’s, there was a ride called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (it was removed permanently from the park in the 1990’s).  You boarded the Nautilus as a visitor and enjoyed a mock submarine ride around the ocean depths, visiting underwater caverns, volcano’s, polar ice caps and an abyss along with views of sea life from each region.  Today, only about 50 years later, the world’s underwater tourism market is becoming a reality – not through submarine rides, but through hotels and resorts that highlight their underwater features.

Below is an excerpt from an article from the NY Daily News that looks at this new tourism concept.   Pretty exciting!

underwatertourism
Deep Ocean Technology/Hotel Concept
(Excerpt from The final tourism frontier? Space and underwater vacations to become reality in 2024, report predicts)

Sojourns and site-seeing under the sea

Interest in underwater tourism is also growing and within 10 years will become a full-fledged market, the report suggests.

Polish company Deep Water Technology, for instance, has already designed a futuristic-looking luxury hotel made up of spaceship-like discs, built partially underwater to offer guests views of their marine surroundings.

Specs for the Water Discus Hotel, which are planned for Dubai and the Maldives, call for an underwater deck built up to 10 meter below the surface for aquarium-like views of the sea floor.

Look for the same underwater concept to be applied to spas, gardens and pools, the report says.

Between the two emerging types of travel — space and underwater — however, Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams said he’s betting that underwater tourism will become more mainstream given the prohibitive costs of commercial space travel.

“I suspect that mass underwater exploration and tourism will develop with greater pace than mass space tourism, and I suspect you would get more from it, because there is more to see down there than in space.”

“The Future of Travel 2024” was written by a team of 56 editors, researchers and futurologists around the world.

For the full report, visit http://skyscanner2024.com/.