Helicopter Flight

Ann and I went to the Wellsville Airport for a fund-raiser for the Hart Comfort House of Allegany County. The Hart Comfort House is a place for people to live in in the last stages of life. The fund-raiser included a pancake breakfast at the airport, and there were helicopter and fixed-wing rides available. Ann and I took the helicopter flight first, and the pilot kindly flew over our home for photos.

Happy "Co-Pilot" Ann - she got the front seat

Happy “Co-Pilot” Ann – she got the front seat

Our house from the air

Our house from the air


Our house with surrounding forest

Our house with surrounding forest


After the flight

After the flight

Fishing Rowboat – Vermont Fishing Dory

I’ve been watching Adirondack guide boats since the late 1970s, and recently got serious about looking for a good used kevlar / fiberglass model from the Adirondack Guide Boat Company of Vermont (http://www.adirondack-guide-boat.com/). A clean used Vermont Fishing Dory (one foot shorter and a bit wider than their guide boat) turned up for sale in Maine. What better excuse to take a trip to the Maine coast? We brought it home last week, and it has been out rowing on Alma Pond twice. Both times a Bald Eagle flew overhead, and one time a pair of Great Blue Herons flew by. It is a wonderful boat to row – fast and stable for fishing.

MFO Article for New York Forest Owner Magazine

I learned about the Master Forest Owner (MFO) Program in early 2010 and it
sounded intriguing. I had owned forest land for a decade, and enjoyed
working in the woods on occasion for over 40 years. I had worked with a NYS
DEC forester and had a written management plan, but the more I learned about
forest stewardship the more I wanted to learn.

The MFO program was a perfect fit. We spent four days at Cornell’s Arnot
Forest learning about all aspects of forest management for both sawtimber
and wildlife. Fellow students were mostly NYFOA members and all shared a
love for forests. We enjoyed the classes and field trips, and were well-fed
every day. The instructors were knowledgable, enthusiastic and interesting.

Our committment to give back after the training was to make five visits to
other forest owners by December of the following year. I was able to make
six visits in 2011, and have made two 2012 visits as of March 6th. I met a
variety of interesting people and walked with them in their forests large
and small. Each forest is different, and each owner’s objectives are
different, but every one has shared the desire to get more out of their
forest ownership experience.

The MFOs are not foresters, just fellow landowners who want to share their
enthusiasm and training about forest ownership / stewardship. If you would
like to get independent inputs about your forest, contact a local MFO. If
you are willing to spend some time visiting fellow forest owners and want to
expand your knowledge of forests, I encourage you to apply for MFO training.
The training significantly broadened my understanding, and the opportunity
to share time with others in their forests has been a real treat. What
better way to sepnd a few hours a year than tramping around new woods?

NYS Master Forest Owner Program

New York has a Master Forest Owner (MFO) program in addition to the Master Gardener program.  MFOs are forest owners, not foresters.  They are volunteers who can visit other forest owners to share information based on the owner’s objectives and interests.  For more information, visit http://www2.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/mfo/

I have been a MFO for just over a year, and have enjoyed visiting eight woodlots in Allegany County.  There is always something to learn.

The Lewis Legacy – Descendents of Betty Washington and Fielding Lewis

I recently learned of a society of descendents of Fielding Lewis and Betty Washington.  Their Fielding Lewis was a first cousin of my Robert of Belvoir.  I am interested in their society as they have annual meetings to learn more about their history.  In 2011 they met in Williamsburg, VA.  They will meet again June 22 – 24, 2012 in Alexandria, VA.  In 2013 they plan a trip to England and Wales to visit sites of importance to the Washington and Lewis families.  I was delighted to be able to share information about points of interest in the Lewis family to the party that went to England and Wales in Oct 2011, and they were able to take many photos in the Abergavenny area.  If you are interested in this group, you can look them up at www.lewisfamilydescendants.org

Another Semester Wrapped Up

Finals are done and grades are posted!  Nearly all my students at Alfred University’s College of Business did very well, and I sure learned a lot from their questions.  Excel pivot tables were one of the most interesting things we worked on in MIS.

We have a four-week time to refresh and then Spring 2012 semester begins.

Custom Knife Maker – Claude Montjoy

Well made custom knives are a delight to hold, admire and work with.  My brother recently bought a bird and trout knife by Claude Montjoy, a deceased knifemaker from Laurens County, South Carolina.  The knife fits my hand perfectly, and is well proportioned for using.  If you are a fan of Claude Montjoy, I’d love to hear from you and learn more about this custom knife maker.   I was very fortunate to acquire 28 Montjoy knives from an estate.   The craftsmanship in these knives is simply astounding.

Family History Book Published

After years of being asked to write a book about my Lewis family history, I finally did it.  The book is available for $17.50 including shipping to the lower 48 states, and you can get a copy by writing me through the  “Contact Us” link above.

2010 Lewis Reunion Minutes Posted

Our minutes are online. Click on “Lewis Family” above to get to all the reunion information, including the 2010 photos and minutes.

Tree Fell On Our Bedroom

Talk about a bad start to a day! At 7 am on August 17th an intense storm swept through our town, and part of an oak tree came loose and fell on our roof. Over a year ago we had a tree surgeon remove three trees that we felt might be a future hazard. When we asked him about the oak tree, he said we did not need to take it down because oaks were very strong, the tree was very healthy, and it should be fine for another 100 years. Yeah, right!!!!

Fortunately, Aaron McGraw of Select Tree Care of Alfred, NY canceled his scheduled work for the day and came right out. He was a real artist in his approach to removing the tree without causing further damage. He studied the tree from several angles, chained the base of the fallen stem to the trunk so it would not fall, and rigged a pulley and winch to take weight off the end of the stem. It was simply amazing to watch him at work. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

This is the bedroom end of our home with the tree on it.

Stem swung off the roof using chain and pulley with hoist