Danelle Visits Deanna in New York — 9/17-22/2021

I had some airfare available from a cancelled conference about a year ago.  I also had a little extra vacation time coming, so over the summer, I started thinking about where I might want to go for a little solo trip.  I didn’t have to think long.  I’ve been missing my friends from my days at LREC, especially Deanna who moved away soon after I started working on my PhD.  I sent a quick message and next thing I knew, I was off to New York!

Deanna and her husband Guy have an amazing place just outside of Ithaca.  They put me up in their little cottage which they call “The Tiny House.”  They lived in it themselves when they first moved here and have been using it as a guest house, but are starting to make it available as a rental.

The Tiny House is perfect for a getaway for two, with a bed up in the loft, a full kitchen and bath, and a cozy living room with a wood-burning stove to take the edge off on the cool evenings. While I could have slept just fine with the extra blankets, I loved sleeping with the windows open to hear the critters, feel the cool breeze, and still have crackling warmth from the stove. The stash of books and board games would have been great for a rainy day, but the weather smiled on us, so they stayed on the shelves.  One of my favorite things was the jeans quilt they had on the sofa. I gave it to Deanna as a wedding present years ago, so it was fun to see it in use!

There is a small pond in front of the Tiny House which is home to dozens of little salamanders and other lovely critters.  There is a path all around the pond as well as other trails that go into other parts of their land.  It was wonderful to sit on the deck in the morning with a warm mug of tea and just soak it all in!

The day I arrived in New York, Deanna and I just visited.  The next morning, I walked up the path to her house (which is the lovely place surrounded by prairie in the photo below) and we went into town where I helped her set up her stall at the local farmers market.  Deanna grows and sells native plants.  I meant to get a picture of her in her booth, but we got too busy talking.  It wasn’t a busy market, but she made a few sales and had a chance to meet more members of the community who are interested in sustainable landscaping.

In the afternoon, we went into Ithaca to walk along the lake.  It was definitely a good day to be out sailing!

The next day, we went to a street festival in Ithaca, had lunch on a restaurant patio, and did a little shopping in the local boutiques.  We ended the evening roasting marshmallows on a fire in Deanna’s magical fire pit.  Something about the fire pit’s location relative to the trees, the hill, and the prevailing wind direction allows the smoke to almost always go up!  We didn’t have to evade the smoke the whole evening.  We must find such a place for our future fires at home!!

The next morning, we spent a little time planting some of Deanna’s unsold plants in part of her reconstructed prairie.  These additions will add to the diversity of the and help prevent erosion in the area we put them.  After that, we took a short road trip to visit a few of the gorges and waterfalls in the region.  We started out with a hike along Buttermilk Falls.  We went up the Gorge Trail and then down the Rim Trail.  It was only about 1.5 miles of hiking, but we went up and down about 450 feet in elevation.

We also visited Treman Park to view another fall going into a “swimming pool.”  During the summer, the water is deeper and the people enjoy this more natural alternative to the chlorinated pools.

We spent the afternoon and the next morning hiking around on Deanna’s property until it was time to head to the airport.  The rest of the photos are nature shots for those who can’t get enough of the beauty around us.  It was the season for violet and gold flowers and bright blue skies.  And if flowers aren’t your thing, I think you’ll still like the shot at the very end.  I hope to bring the whole family out here someday!