The Finger Lakes region of New York State has just experienced its first week of beautiful clear blue skies and warm temperatures in the sixties. It’s just amazing at what the power which comes from our sun does to us humans and to all of the plants and animals that thrive here in the Finger Lakes. I grabbed my camera and made a tour around Canandaigua Lake.
It’s still very early and the usual flowering bushes like the forsythia have not begun to bloom. Like me, there were a few folks who took advantage of the sun to get out of their homes. The marsh grasses at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake have not yet awakened even though the first day of trout season has already passed. The boat dock bounces up and down gently with the waves of the water. It’s still too early for much boating activity. There was a couple who came to try their luck at fishing off the end of the dock at Woodville. They too like me had had enough of being stranded inside their house and felt the need just to get out outside and breath some fresh air.
I drove up to the Overlook at South Bristol on Route 12. The hills are still covered with dormant trees but the grass is beginning to green. I could not help but notice the home that has solar panels on the roof top just below the Overlook. The Seneca Indians which lived in this area before the white man came completely relied on the sun to supply them with roots and plants to eat, and with meat that came from the animals that they hunted and the fish that they caught in Canandaigua Lake.
Today, we are hopelessly tied to the electrical wires that supply the energy which we use to illuminate and heat our homes, power our modern appliances, and to communicate with our neighbors and friends. But as I drive around the Finger Lakes, there are more and more people who are attaching solar panels on their roofs, or erecting a “garden plot” of solar panels located near their homes to reduce their dependence upon the electrical power lines.
The transition to green living in the Finger Lakes has already begun. If you were building a new home here in the Finger Lakes, solar panels would almost certainly be a part of your home – just as much as insulating your home is a part of our homes today. The two forces of reducing our need for electrical power and using the sun to supply our remaining power needs are on a rapidly converging course.