Saturday, November 22, 2014

Spiders and Snow

     A few days ago as I stepped into the shower I was greeted by a sizable daddy long legs spider.   I am not afraid of spiders but I don't necessarily like them either.  By the time my shower was over the spider was washed down the drain.  Good riddance!   So, I can imagine some of my friends who detest winter are disappointed when they open the door in the morning and are greeted with several inches of snow.    Our recent snowfall certainly is an example of that disappointment for them.  However, just as the spider washed down the drain, the forecast for rain may wash much of that snow down the drain.
    So what purpose spiders and snow in God's universe.   They are both loved and loathed by different people.   I first asked myself, "Why spiders"?     As a skier it is obvious the snow is provided for renewing water supplies and certainly for downhill skiing.  But spiders?   Well, maybe they are useful.   How about the beauty of the finely crafted spider web glistening with dew in the morning sun?  And probably in the order of ecology they contribute to a greater system we can only partially understand.    On the practical side, I understand the study of spider web material reveals possibilities of making very thin and strong strands of material.
   Let's get back to snow.  Although most of the public groan when hearing about the next snow storm, the skier delights in the news.  No loathing on the skiers part.  Just the hope for a powder day and great condition at the local ski area.  What a diverse people we are!  It is good to be tolerant of our differing likes and dislikes.   Yes, some can loathe both spiders and snow, or love them both.   Or they can love one and not the other.   Meanwhile, I am enjoying the anticipation of the next ski season.   A recent visit to Greek Peak gives me hope for an early start as I observed the beauty of snow making in full force.
Glorious Day for Making Snow

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Construction Entertainment -Agriculture Conflict

   This morning I decided to take my daily constitutional walk along Route 13 in South Cortland to observe close hand the many construction projects under way.  I find it entertaining to watch construction projects and drive-by's do not give me sufficient time to savor the scene.  Over the last year or so we have had a plethora of new construction projects sprouting up.   The first project past Bennie Road headed south on Route 13 is a new Cannon Pool business building on the right.   Next on the left one will encounter the construction of the building for the Tractor Supply Company.  Directly across the road from Tractor Supply is the new Byrne Dairy yogurt plant opened earlier this year.   Continuing down the road on the right you will see the building in progress for expansion of  the Pyrotek Corporation.   And finally at the intersection with Gracie and Webb Roads a new Sunoco convenience store and gas station is nearing completion.
   The scenes were bustling with workers digging, paving,  and erecting elements of the buildings.   Construction machinery abounded.   A beautiful day when humans were creating new venues for manufacturing, sales and production of useful products.  At the same tine I was enjoying all the construction activity I was conflicted about the loss of fertile and productive land for agriculture.   Over the past several years there has been a creep of structures over taking some of the best agricultural land in Cortland County and perhaps even in the State of New York.  Yes, it is zoned commercial now and perhaps we should expect this to happen.   The question for me is,  When will it swallow up the the corn and soy bean fields that extend beyond this current spate of construction?  I am reminded that we can expect the world population in a few short years to expand from 7 billion to 9 billion  before it levels off.  I guess I will always lament the loss of valuable agricultural land to other uses,   Meanwhile, I am grateful I still have both the pleasure of observing creative building projects and watching crops growing of the remaining prime agricultural land.  Lets continue to applaud the land owners who put land into a trust that preserves our rural landscape.
Byrne Dairy- Yogurt Plant
Steel Erection at Pyrotek
Soybeans Have Been Harvested
Sunoco Station -Opening Soon
Tractor Supply Nearing Completion