Saturday, January 6, 2024

Granddaughter Rachel gets married in Rochester

Leucistic and Northern Cardinal

Winter is still late to arrive…and stay white outside. This morning [Jan. 1,] it is white, but just enough to cover the leaves. Out in Webster on Saturday morning [Dec. 30,] they were getting lake effect [snow,] but it was not sticking to the unfrozen ground. It brought several birds to the feeder my son had out behind his pool which was good entertainment before going to the wedding in the afternoon. My grandson, Nathan, and I [captured] several bird photos, trying to catch a good one of the leucistic male Northern Cardinal [at] Jason’s feeder.

We got a few good looks and photos [of these birds.] There were [also] over twenty English Sparrows, one Slate-Colored Junco, one Red-Bellied Woodpecker, two Blue Jays, a few House Finch, two Black-Capped Chickadees, two Mourning Doves, and eight to ten Cardinals, including the pink one. In the yard, there were two American Robins picking worms then over two hundred European Starlings covered the front yard, but I did not get a picture of that as the mail truck came through and scared them away.


The hedge behind the pool was sometimes covered with many different colored birds, and the cardinals stood out with their very red color. The Red-Bellied Woodpecker would come in and get a seed and take it across the creek to a certain tree and pick out the inner white seed. The lake effect squalls just added to the scenery, as there were big white flakes coming down.


The snow stopped before we had to go to the wedding, but there was a light rain falling the rest of the day. We all got in our fancy clothes (men in suits and ties, and the ladies in their beautiful dresses.) We got to the venue, the Jackrabbit Club in Rochester, which is where both the wedding and reception were held. It looked like it was a former warehouse converted into a big hall with a bar, complete kitchen, and [a] big dance floor. My son-in-law, David, introduced Karen and I to Chris’ parents, aunts and uncles, and his grandfather who was a little older than me.

Wedding ceremony

Granddaughter Rachel’s wedding ceremony. Photo by Gary Lee.

The wedding of Rachel Bills and Chris Tanea was about to start, but I got to see both of them before the wedding. Rachel had a couple tears in her eyes when I hugged her, but I had a tissue. The complete wedding party was only a little over sixty people. Little great-granddaughter, Milly, was [the] flower girl and danced up a storm for a while after the ceremony. Deb Roschetzky, Rachel’s aunt was the Officiant who married them. Groom, Chris Tanea, was up in front as members of his and Rachel’s family were seated. The wedding party of six came down the aisle and Father of the Bride, David Bills, brought Rachel down the aisle, gave her a kiss, and shook Chris’ hand.


Aunt Deb led them through the ceremony with only a couple more tears of joy shed. They exchanged rings, Deb pronounced them husband and wife, and they sealed it with a kiss. [The] reception was held with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, as all greeted the new couple. [This was] followed by speeches by Father David, sister and Maid of Honor Emily, and Best Man and best friend Conor Healy with a toast to them and all. Salad was served and then we picked up our dinner selections, which were all great. Soon after the music started…so did the dancing. I saw many [people] switched to sneakers rather than dancing in the heels and fancy shoes they were wearing. That went on for a while, and desserts and coffee were put out as the dancing went on until last call at 9:45 p.m. It was a great celebration for my granddaughter Rachel and Chris’ wedding, and I wish them many happy years together.


On a sad note, this (the first day of the year) a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit the east coast of Japan, causing much damage and a tsunami with a four-foot-high wave. Forty-eight people were killed, and several people were still trapped under buildings that had fallen. There were several aftershocks, and a large fire which burned several blocks in the city of Wajima.


Closer to us, there were five earthquakes within nine hours along the California coastline. [There was] one only four hours before the Rose Bowl football game, which number one Michigan won in overtime over Alabama, 27 to 20.

Still not much snow in the forecast, with some cold nights, but that’s another story. See ya.


Photo at top: Leucistic and Northern Cardinal. Photo by Gary Lee.

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Gary lives with his wife, Karen, at Eight Acre Wood in Inlet where he was the Forest Ranger for 35 years, working in the Moose River Wild Forest Recreation Area and West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. Now retired, Gary works summers for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, observing, catching and banding loons. The author of a column Daybreak to Twilight in local papers from 1986 to 2019, he now writes his Outdoor Adventures a weekly blog. In 2008, Gary coauthored a book with John M.C. “Mike” Peterson, "Adirondack Birding- 60 Great Places to Find Birds."

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