Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

2356Hours EDT

The Way You Look Tonight

Walking up the eastern terminus of Paderewski Drive on the approach to Buffalo Central Terminal (1929) in Buffalo, New York.

495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, New York: 28 June 2014

part of the Buffalo Central Terminal album

Operating as a passenger train station for fifty years, Buffalo Central Terminal (1929) in Buffalo, New York is a wonderful art deco facility featuring a fifteen-floor octagonal tower and high-ceilinged concourse with marble, tile and arched windows. A local landmark since its inception, the terminal has endured years of disuse, the stripping of its fixtures and damage from trespassers.

Built as a major transportation hub, two decades of prosperity were followed by a rapid decline in the 1950s as automobile and aircraft travel became popular. Buffalo Central Terminal continued operating, however the 1970 bankruptcy of Penn Central Railroad and Amtrak's 1979 decision to bypass caused the terminal's closure.

Unfortunately in 1981, the concourse bridge over the Belt Subdivision railroad lines was demolished to accommodate tall railcars. Later placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the slow and uphill restoration process of Buffalo Central Terminal did not begin until August 1997 when the property was transferred to Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.

Central Terminal Restoration Corporation Logo

Nearly two decades later, there is still an enormous amount of work to be done. Helping to fund the refurbishments, Central Terminal Restoration Corporation occasionally conducts limited public tours. I was luckily able to take one and although it was briefly mentioned soon after, I have yet to document the awesome experience of visiting Buffalo Central Terminal.

That article is currently in pre-production as I process photographs and conduct research, but my building excitement over a return to that Saturday evening in June 2014 necessitated this teaser in the meantime. For example, imagine my delight at discovering a vintage postcard featuring the same composition as the first photograph I took on the day of my visit.

The postcard (8C-K360) was produced in 1958, printed by Curt Teich and Company utilizing their Curteichcolor (1949) process and distributed by Ernest Gunzburger of Buffalo. The photo was taken from the center of the approach road to the terminal, the eastern terminus of Paderewski Drive — renamed in 1941 to honor Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860–1941).

I did find a few other postcards but they have different artwork. Pleased with my postcard photo, I decided to create a triptych by processing it three different ways. The standard version was developed using my normal process. The second is a moodier cut that highlights details and emphasizes the brooding clouds. Finally, the third variant is rendered in black and white.

The Duet In Quiscalus Major

Two boat-tailed grackles (Quiscalus major) squawking at each other on a small wooden pier at the city marina in Cedar Key, Florida.

302 Dock Street, Cedar Key, Florida: 13 October 2014

part of the Manatee Springs State Park album

At the end of a visit to Manatee Springs State Park — see "The Creatures of My Dreams" — we took a brief detour to Cedar Key, Florida, a little over thirty miles south of the park. We had a great lunch at Ken's Cedar Keyside Diner, which I just discovered closed in December 2014 not long after our visit, before browsing the other local businesses along Dock Street.

There was not much activity at the City of Cedar Key Marina, but I did photograph several birds in the area including these male boat-tailed grackles. Squawking and posturing in close proximity, showing glossy black feathers with iridescent blue and purple hues, they did not appear to be fighting so were possibly competing over a female or having a territorial dispute.

The Raptorial Buteo Lineatus

A juvenile red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) observing the area from atop a light pole within a residential neighborhood in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Altamonte Springs, Florida: 07 September 2015

part of the Red-Shouldered Hawk album

A young red-shouldered hawk paid a visit to my old neighborhood in Central Florida earlier this week, possibly searching for its next meal in the grasses surrounding homes. Mom spotted the hawk first, alerted me and then fetched her camera. She shot about a dozen frames and then handed the camera to me.

Since she had already gotten good coverage from a short distance, I decided to move even closer to the light pole upon which the hawk was perched. Rotating its head in a rather mechanical way to gaze in different directions, the hawk took note of my presence but seemed rather more concerned with its own business.

I was able to stand directly beneath the hawk without it fleeing, however our luck ran out after I moved beyond the pole to capture different lighting. Before I could even compose my shot, the hawk decided to fly into a tree across the street. I captured two blurry pictures of the departure, but the hawk is mostly out of frame in each.

My albums are teeming with wildlife photography, typically taken at one of Florida's many wonderful state parks.[1] I cannot however recall an instance of being this close to something less common than a cardinal or raccoon in such a suburban setting. Hawks like this had better watch out though, as Florida now prefers to solve the issue of increasing human-caused animal interactions by allowing the additional hunting of those infringing species.[2]

  1. Florida state parks are wonderful, that is, so long as the current government does not succeed in their efforts to transform our parks from relatively unspoiled nature preserves free of hunting into commercialized revenue streams free of conservation or natural value.

  2. The Florida black bear "conservation" and management program now includes a special hunt scheduled for October 2015. This was the reaction by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to several close calls occurring in one region. They believe that the solution is to kill hundreds of bears statewide while simultaneously refusing to regulate that rural homeowners use bear-proof garbage cans.