Sunday, July 25, 2010

4 Tornados touched down in Chautauqua County Yesterday

Twister carves path of destruction
Tornado touches down in Chautauqua County community of Mayville

Roofs disappeared, buildings splintered, trees became kindling and cars were crushed.

Miraculously, no one was injured when a tornado carved a path of destruction in the Chautauqua Lake community of Mayville late Saturday afternoon.

The daunting twister set emergency agencies into action on many fronts as residents of a swath of the Southern Tier and northwestern Pennsylvania braced for a National Weather Service tornado warning.

In Mayville, the warning was on the money.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado touched down in Mayville at 4:48 p.m. Meteorologists are continuing to investigate further tornado reports, including a possible touchdown in Randolph.

Based on radar images and early reports, it appears that the tornado was quite "strong," said National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Thomas.

After ripping along Morris and Valley streets in the village of Mayville, the tornado took off across Chautauqua Lake, where it gained speed and targeted Chautauqua Lake Estates, an upscale development of two- and three-story condominiums. At least 10 homes were damaged.

The stark funnel cloud was first spotted on Hannum Road, just outside of Mayville, near Sherman.

Damage in Mayville was extensive. The roof of Chautauqua Liquors and an attached business was torn off. Trees were down on several streets, and power and cable lines were down.

On Morris Street, Anna Preston arrived home to find her yellow Ford Focus smashed by a large tree in the driveway of her family's home. Anna, who will be a freshman at Buffalo's D'Youville College, said the car was to be her ride to college.

Homes on Valley Street also were damaged extensively. Traffic was routed away from Route 394, the main street in Mayville. Several side streets were clogged with limbs and downed power lines.

After hitting Mayville the tornado headed across Chautauqua Lake to Hartfield and Chautauqua Lake Estates.

Rick Cole, second battalion coordinator for Chautauqua County fire and emergency services, said one couple inside a condo sipped wine as they watched the high-powered winds rip off roofs and tear away walls of neighboring condos.

Cole said a thorough search was made of the damaged condos, and he was amazed no one was injured. A kayak found its way through a second-story window of one unit. Other boats moored nearby also were damaged, as were docks.

Next to Chautauqua Lake Estates, at the Chautauqua Racquet Club, the roof was torn from half the building, exposing the inside.

At nearby Chautauqua Point Golf Course, owner Steve Elliott lost 24 golf-carts when a transformer on a pole crashed down onto the carts, triggering a chain of explosions and fires in the gas-powered vehicles.

Jim Bradford, groundskeeper for the golf course, said he had just filled up the tanks on the carts that morning. Bradford said most of the carts were new.

Elliott said no one was on the golf course at the time because of heavy rains earlier.

A building on the course also was fractured -- pieces of furniture, lumber and debris were strewn along a fairway.

Elliott said the twister headed across the street on a "dogleg right" trajectory and continued through a wooded area. Pieces of pink insulation were snared by tree limbs, more than 200 yards away from the condos.

Route 430 and Route 394 were closed near Mayville. Emergency crews continue to work to clear debris from the roads, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies said.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Marine Patrol Unit set up a perimeter preventing some boaters from launching on the north point of Chautauqua Lake, deputies said. From about a quarter-mile away, Bradford, Pa., resident Kristin Asinger saw the funnel cloud descend from the sky and touch down near Chautauqua Lake.

"As it got closer to the water, you could see it spinning," Asinger said.

When the funnel cloud reached the water's edge, it turned east and started to move across the land, Asinger said.

Asinger was playing cards at her parent's lake house when the family saw the tornado.

"We yelled for everyone to come and see it," Asinger said. "I'm glad it didn't came too close, I'm grateful for that. It was interesting to see."

Jim and Mary Conway of Shaker Heights, Ohio, were in their lakeside vacation condo near Mayville when the tornado tore off the roof and part of the walls.

"I jumped up and all of a sudden the windows were breaking, glass was everywhere and rain was hitting us," said Mary Conway.

Jim Conway, the president of a Cleveland-area beer distributorship, said several other residences in their development as well as a nearby golf course also were damaged.

A National Grid spokesman said the storm left 12,500 homes without power.

In Randolph, authorities received reports of downed trees, a roof torn off a building and a tractor-trailer overturned. A National Weather Service field team is to arrive today to investigate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Buffalo News

Thursday, July 22, 2010


People for the American Way - Results of a poll conducted by Hart Research Associates for People For the American Way revealed that Americans across the political spectrum are intensely concerned about corporate influence in our democracy and disagree with the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

In addition, more than three-quarters of voters said that they support a Constitutional Amendment if one is necessary to limit the amount that corporations can spend in elections. A similar majority are inclined to support a candidate who has spoken out in favor of an amendment. The support cuts across party and ideology, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in support of the measure.

The poll reveals:

* 85% of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system today while 93% say that average citizens have too little influence.
* 95% agree that "Corporations spend money on politics mainly to buy influence in government and elect people who are favorable to their financial interests." (74% strongly agree)
* 85% disagree that "Corporations should be able to spend as much as they want to influence the outcome of elections because the Constitution protects freedom of speech." (63% strongly disagree)
* 93% agree that "There should be clear limits on how much money corporations can spend to influence the outcome of an election." (74% strongly agree)
* 77% think Congress should support an amendment to limit the amount U.S. corporations can spend to influence elections.
* 74% say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to support a Constitutional Amendment limiting corporate spending in elections.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sirus Rising 2010, Brushwood, NY

This was Brushwood's 16th Annual Sirius Rising festival. It is a great place to go and enjoy the opportunity to participate in creative expression and personal growth. Sirius Rising is an eclectic weeklong festival that nurtures creative and spiritual potential by bringing together, involving and teaching the community. The experience encourages participation in the universal creation process, opening participants to the unique relationship between the Land, the community and the festival at Brushwood. If you are interested in participating in workshops, drumming and dancing around the fire, or simply relaxing with friends or family in the great outdoors, Sirius Rising is the place to be. I have been going for many many years.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Great Garden Year

I am delighted with this season's weather although I could have done without that hot spell we just had last week. We have managed to get just enough rain in this part of Chautauqua County the gardens are thriving without and excessive amount of watering. I have Cherry tomatoes already and the plants are filling in splendidly in my new rock garden.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More photos of Sundrops

Common Names in English:

Dandelion-Leaved Sundrop, Evening Primrose, or Yellow Moonflower

Latin name:

Oenothera acaulis aurea

We watched this blossom open last night.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yellow Moon Flowers Oenothera acaulis aurea

Common Names in English:

Dandelion-Leaved Sundrop, Evening Primrose, Oenothera acaulis aurea

My friend Colleen gave me some of these and my first one bloomed tonight. I am so excited!

Charming yellow flowers are striking against the rich green lanceolate leaves. Flowers appear in early summer and are fragrant. Four winged seed pods are produced after the flowers and are quite attractive

These flowers bloom in the evening between 8:30 and 9:30 pm from May through August I am told. Blossoms will come out after dark and be spent by noon the following day. Each plant will produce several blossoms each week throughout the four months. Another favorite name for them is yellow moonflower for obvious reasons. Mine were transplanted to my garden from some flower boxes that my friend Colleen planted them in. They had bloomed so we were not sure how they would take the shock of being transplanted into my rock garden but one bloomed in a exactly a week after being transplanted.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Call for Vending at 5th Annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival

5th Annual
Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival
Gathering of the Clans

Vendor Invitation

The 96th Highlanders Pipes & Drums Inc of Jamestown, New York cordially invites you to this year’s
festival held Saturday, August 28, 2010, from 9:00AM to 10:00 PM, at the Mayville Lakeside Park, Mayville
New York. The festival will have Closing Ceremonies at 6:00 PM. You may tear down after the closing
ceremonies or remain open during the Ceiliah which will be from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Featuring the Celtic
Band, Lochside Celtic Band from Niagara Falls, New York. We will have coffee and donuts again this year
while you’re setting up. Our attendance was up last year and we are promoting the festival on Group One Media
Radio Stations aired throughout Western New York and North Eastern Pennsylvania. We are also on Time
Warner Cable throughout western New York this covers: Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Niagara, Erie, and
Alleghany Counties, plus Warren and Bradford area in Pennsylvania. This should increase our spectator levels
again this year.
Each vendor will have a
reserved area of a min of 10 x 10, and will receive four admission tickets in the mail. Registration forms have
to be in by July 20, 2010, to be assured a spot at the festival. If you would like to take an advertisement in the
festival program, please fill in the appropriate area on the registration form and send camera-ready copy of ad
with the form and check covering complete cost. We guarantee that our Vendor site fees will not increase as
other festivals have done. Our fees will remain at this level as long as we are Chairmen.
If you have any questions, please contact us at the phone number, or email address listed above.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Jeanie Shiffer Co-Chair
Doug Clark Co-Chair
William MacLaughlin Co-Chair
96t0h Highlanders Pipes & Drums Inc
P.O. Box 3324
Jamestown New York 14702-3324
EIN# 26-1555646
Email: /

Sunset on Lake Erie

Sunset on the Lake Erie shore near Westfield, NY

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rain in Summer

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

The sick man from his chamber looks
At the twisted brooks;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

From the neighboring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And commotion;
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Ingulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.

In the country, on every side,
Where far and wide,
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide,
Stretches the plain,
To the dry grass and the drier grain
How welcome is the rain!

In the furrowed land
The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
Lifting the yoke encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread,
They silently inhale
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapors that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man's spoken word.

Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures, and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.

These, and far more than these,
The Poet sees!
He can behold
Aquarius old
Walking the fenceless fields of air;
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled
Scattering everywhere
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.

He can behold
Things manifold
That have not yet been wholly told,--
Have not been wholly sung nor said.
For his thought, that never stops,
Follows the water-drops
Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
To the dreary fountain-head
Of lakes and rivers under ground;
And sees them, when the rain is done,
On the bridge of colors seven
Climbing up once more to heaven,
Opposite the setting sun.

Thus the Seer,
With vision clear,
Sees forms appear and disappear,
In the perpetual round of strange,
Mysterious change
From birth to death, from death to birth,
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth;
Till glimpses more sublime
Of things, unseen before,
Unto his wondering eyes reveal
The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel
Turning forevermore
In the rapid and rushing river of Time.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Torenia fournieri , Bluewings or Wishbone Flowers

Torenia (Torenia fournieri) is a low growing flowering annual plant. It is also known as bluewings or wishbone flower. Torenia is related to snapdragons and foxglove. This resemblance can be seen in the shape of the flower. While blue is a common color for torenia, the velvety flowers are often white on the bottom with a color such as pink or purple on the upper parts. There are also sometimes yellow spots on flower petals. The stamen inside the flower looks like a wishbone to some.

This dainty looking flowering plant is actually very tolerant of shade, humidity and heat. Using torenia is an excellent way to bring color to shady areas. This flower is also good in containers, edgings, rock gardens, borders. Some people like them in hanging baskets as the plant will hang over the side when they spread. Other gardeners even grow it indoors as a houseplant. Native to Africa and Asia, wishbone flower has a compact growth habit and can also do well in full sun.

Types of Torenia

Consider the local climate and personal preference when selecting which type of torenia to grow. Most types of torenia grow between eight inches to a foot tall. The Happy Faces Mix torenia is bred in warm areas of Taiwan and can stand up to summer heat. Dutchess Mix is mostly white, shades of blue and some pink. Clown Mixture grows in a wide variety of colors and is also heat tolerant. Blue Summer Wave is almost completely blue, except for gentle streaks of white. It is with this variety that the name “bluewing” is particularly fitting. Many home and garden centers carry the more common types of wishbone flower, but for something special buy seeds from a catalog and start them indoors.

How to Grow Torenia

Torenia seeds are slow to germinate, so plan to be patient. Start the seedlings indoors about ten to twelve weeks before the last frost date. The seeds very tiny so scatter them on the surface of the soil and only cover them lightly. Germination of these seeds can happen in about ten days, but the can also take up to three weeks to emerge. When all danger of frost has passed, plant the seedlings or purchased plants outdoors, about six inches apart. Torenia does best in moist, well drained soil that has a neutral pH. The wishbone flower spreads quickly and will sometimes reseed itself.

Caring for Torenia Plants

Keep the wishbone flowers well watered but do not let them get soggy. Even though the wishbone flower plants like humidity do not overwater them. Conversely, they are also susceptible to damage from conditions that are overly dry. If the weather is hot and windy make sure to water the plants more often. Torenia will flower better at the end of summer when the weather is warm and hot, but not as intense as it is in mid-summer. Fertilize the plants with a mixture high in potassium. This will give the torenia the nutrients to flower more abundantly.

by Catherine Mezensky

The Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri)
By Brenda Hyde

Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri) is a dainty and delightful little flower that can take heat, humidity and shade. There are not many annuals that can accomplish that! You can usually find torenia available as a bedding plant, but you can also start from seed inside. You'll need to do this in the winter, 10-12 weeks before the last frost. If you are in a mild climate you can grow torenia year round as long as it doesn't get below about 28-30 degrees.

One torenia can cover a 12" square area if planted in the garden, but you can plant them closer in containers. They make great plants for windowboxes, pots and hanging baskets as long as you don't allow them to dry out between waterings. Moisture and shade in very hot climates are a must for torenia. Given this they will bloom constantly from early summer until frost if deadheaded.

When you water torenia, the soil should be moist to the touch, but not soaked. Fertilize every 2 weeks or so, especially in containers. When the plants are small pinch shoots off gently to encourage them to bush out. Plant them in groups for a charming display.

Torenias are described many ways, but I personally think they are a little like small, short snapdragons in lovely contrasting colors. They only grow to about 12 inches tall, and some new varieties are trailing as well. If you live in a climate with frost, be sure to dig up at least one of the torenia plants 6-8 weeks beforehand and bring it indoors. They can also be grown indoors as a houseplant!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Hay-MakingUpon the grass no longer hangs the dew;
Forth hies the mower with his glittering scythe,
In snowy shirt bedight, and all unbraced,
He moves athwart the mead with sideling bend,
And lays the grass in many a swathy line:
In every field, in every lawn and mead,
The rousing voice of industry is heard;
The haycock rises, and the frequent rake
Sweeps on the fragrant hay in heavy wreaths.
The old and young, the weak and strong are there,
And, as they can, help on the cheerful work.
The father jeers his awkward half-grown lad,
Who trails his tawdry armful o'er the field,
Nor does he fear the jeering to repay.
The village oracle and simple maid
Jest in their turns and raise the ready laugh;
All are companions in the general glee;
Authority, hard-favour'd, frowns not there.
Some, more advanced, raise up the lofty rick,
Whilst on its top doth stand the parish toast
In loose attire and swelling ruddy cheek.
With taunts and harmless mockery she receives
The toss'd-up heaps from fork of simple youth,
Who, staring on her, takes his arm away,
While half the load falls back upon himself.
Loud is her laugh, her voice is heard afar:
The mower busied on the distant lawn,
The carter trudging on his dusty way,
The shrill sound know, their bonnets toss'd in air,
And roar across the field to catch the notice:
She waves her arm to them, and shakes her head,
And then renews her work with double spirit.
Thus do they jest and laugh away their toil,
Till the bright sun, now past its middle course,
Shoots down his fiercest beams which none may brave.
The stoutest arm feels listless, and the swart
And brawny-shouldered clown begins to fail.
But to the weary, lo — there comes relief!
A troop of welcome children, o'er the lawn,
With slow and wary steps approach; some bear
In baskets, oaten cakes or barley scones,
And gusty cheese and stoups of milk or whey;
Beneath the branches of a spreading tree,
Or by the shady side of the tall rick,
They spread their homely fare, and, seated round,
Taste every pleasure that a feast can give.

by Joanna Baillie

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper Scientific name: Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'

Newly Planted, Young Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper

With it’s strong forming abilty, Japanese Garden Juniper makes a wonderful groundcover when it is allowed to hang over a wall, or allowed to cover a slope.

This evergreen perennial groundcover is a prostrate plant, which usually grows between 6”-12” tall and up to 5’ wide. The branches tend to intertwine and form a dense mat. The bright, bluish-green leaves are arranged in decussate whorls of three; all the leaves are juvenile form, needle-like, and are only ¼” long.

With time a mature plant can build itself up in height from the production of overlapping layers of foliage. In the winter the leaves often take on a slightly purplish color.

This species prefers full to partial sun and can tolerate a wide variety of soils and sites. It can be staked intially in order to form a cascading shrub. It is best left unsheared.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ebony Jewelwing

Calopteryx maculata
Ebony Jewelwing

Like its several relatives in the Broad-winged Damselfly family, Ebony Jewelwings like to live alongside clear flowing water. In the case of Ebony Jewelwing, the preference is for small to large creeks or small rivers, especially those flowing through forests. Unlike some of its relatives, however, the Ebony Jewelwing may leave the creekside behind and flutter off into nearby meadows.Ebony Jewelwings can be seen flying from May to August. They eat large numbers of gnats, aphids, flies, and other insects.

Predators of jewelwings include birds, bats, and dragonflies. The young naiads may be eaten by fish, turtles, and other insects, such as Large Diving Beetles. My husband took this photo in Ohio near the Great Serpent Mound.

The Rams Horn

The Rams Horn on Facebook