Serenity Sunday – The Beauty of Buffalo at Times Beach



A trip to scenic Times Beach, Buffalo, NY… soak in the calm of the water, the blue of the sky… not the gray, snowy Buffalo the media typically portrays. I personally like this area for the snow, but Buffalo has so much more than the white stuff. You will see gardens around the area on Wednesday Walks. Up next, a garden fit for your wedding photos.


Times Beach Nature Preserve where the Buffalo River converges with Lake Erie

Times Beach was a 50 acre former disposal facility operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Now it is a four habitat zoned refuge for more than 240 different bird species. The preserve is part of a flyway for migratory birds and provides habitat for many breeding birds and animals (lots of deer). Four distinct zones that make up the preserve are woodlands (lots of deer), marshlands, uplands and a silt flat. Getting a theme here? Deer…



The shore is stone rip-rap, but there is also a beach with coarse sand.


Do you feel relaxed yet?


Did I convince you that Buffalo has a gorgeous waterfront?


With boating…


And bike trails…


How about meadows for a picnic?


Here is the beach with a lounging goose.


Lots of bird life… how about a slice of bird life…


OK, I had to add a few birds… it was impossible to avoid them, but you have to admit watching ducks and birds in flight is pretty relaxing.


And I had to throw in a beautiful, but gratuitous, cloud filled sky too. Blue on blue…


Hope the tour gave you a deep relaxing breath of clean Buffalo air.

And on a more serious note, did you know there is a place in the US off the coast of California where honeybees are being removed because they are not native. I was really surprised by this. See this post on Monarch butterflies by Death of a Million Trees, for the project killing off honeybees. It was a small excerpt in the article, but I asked for more information in my comment.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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53 Responses to Serenity Sunday – The Beauty of Buffalo at Times Beach

  1. Emily Heath says:

    About the honey bees being killed issue – as I mentioned in my reply to your comment on my blog, I think improving the foraging and nesting habitat available to native bees will give native bees a better chance than exterminating honey bees.

    In some Scottish islands there have been projects to remove hedgehogs, but then that was because the hedgehogs were clearly eating the eggs of birds. Honey bees are obviously not predators of native bees, so the argument must be that they are competing with native bees for forage and the native bees are losing out. If that is the case, why not look into providing more flowers which are favourites of native bees? Perhaps because that’s a harder and more time consuming option than destroying honey bee nests.

    • The honey bees are not only competing for floral resources, but also nesting habitat. They can certainly outcompete native bees for tree hollows and other nesting sites. They are much more aggressive on flowers as well, and because of their colonies can reach much higher densities. Also, as generalists, they visit most flower species, thus making it difficult to provide forage that is solely for the native bees. This is the concern, also, in Australia.

    • milliontrees says:

      You are asking the right questions and you are guessing at the right answers.

      Nativists tried to prove that honeybees were competing with native bees, to the detriment of the natives. However, there is no empirical evidence to support their assumption. Here is a report on the scientific literature about the impact of honeybees on native bee populations:

      Science reassures us that many of the dire predictions of native plant advocates are not actually observed in nature when scientific studies test their theories.

    • I think what most surprised me was that all non-native plants and animals were being removed from this one location. I suppose if it is an area of small acreage, it would have issues with foraging for all bees. I have to look up more information on this and see how the project is progressing or if it is successful in their mission.

  2. I feel relaxed anytime I am near water. I enjoyed seeing more of the shoreline in your area. I like how they have combined the modern world (wind turbines and biking paths) with the natural areas for the wildlife. I always enjoy your bird photos!

    • I guess since I added the bee information for the interest of readers, I should have mentioned this site is rich in native bees and the site is COMPLETELY man-made from a former dump site. They have added native plants, but also non-native flowers as well. Next year when Spring rolls around for bird migration, I will photograph more of the vegetation. Joe Pye weed was very common but so was non-natives like QAL. They also had some annual flowers for color for the two-legged visitors. The site does marry the natural areas with the recreational areas well. Nice observation, Karin.

  3. Randy Hyden says:

    We so want to visit the Buffalo area and the finger lakes! Maybe in `14. I keep alerts on my email for flights, but family and business obligations keep us grounded a lot. Thanks for the virtual tour.Honey bees seem to be healthy in east central Texas. Monarchs are down this year though. I still have hopes that November will bring more. They certainly were here strong last year.

  4. Marina D says:

    These are lovely pictures, my hometown is Buffalo and I always appreciate those who capture the beauty of it. People always put down Buffalo but we really do have some beautiful places as you’ve displayed here! 🙂

    • I am not originally from this area, but I have been like the Visitors Bureau in promoting it. Traveling around this area with my job, there is so much history and beauty that, like you said, is not in the national news like the blizzards and three-foot snow falls. I have shown many of the areas natural gems, and some of the things done in the city, like Garden Walk. But I also show the ice and snow from here in winter. I think it is beautiful and when the cardinals are in a snowy spruce, that is such a pretty sight.

  5. Beautiful views of Buffalo. You are right, I always see it in snow.

  6. Sonja says:

    Thanks to all of you for chimming in on this worthy subject and thanks, Donna,for your photos –you are a one man band for the attractions of Buffalo which, you have demonstrated so well, has much more than snow to offer. Great blog, I look forward to every post.

    • I have traveled around the country quite a bit and there are many places I could find myself living. I think when one has an appreciation for nature, beauty can be found almost anywhere. The greater Buffalo area really does have much to offer, but there are other places like this around the country too with nature sites and beautiful waterfronts. I just think this area gets the short end of the stick too often with the media. They even joke about the residents of this area too. Buffalo needs positive PR. Niagara Falls is pretty as a tourist site if one does not go into the City. But I think Buffalo has a really nice city with much to see. Niagara Falls City did at one time before I ever lived here, but they should be ashamed of how this city faltered. In architecture school, I did my urban studies projects in Buffalo, not the Falls. I lived here for almost 30 years and it has gone down hill the whole time.

  7. Karen says:

    Just what I need, a relaxing stroll. Amazing this was created on a landfill, it is a beautiful area.

  8. Pat says:

    What lovely shots. Is that some kind of kinetic sculpture in the fourth photo?

  9. alesiablogs says:

    great post and what a conversation! I say ,”people keep to yourself and leave the bees to themselves!” Of course I do get onto my children for not making their beds!

  10. Sue Link says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us. They each have captured a beautiful moment in time. I especially loved the one of the deer with the fawn hiding behind his mother in the grass!

  11. Beautiful photos! I just love the waterfront. It would be great if we could get a swimming beach in downtown Buffalo. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the tests will show that the water is clean enough for swimming.

    • Why is it that Ontario has swimming beaches at Lake Erie? Same body of water. I took photos this summer of people in the water over in Canada. Were they swimming illegally?

      • I don’t know. I remember talking to someone who is originally from Canada (the Toronto area, as I recall) who said they would never swim in Lake Erie because the water is dirty. It probably has to do with where in Lake Erie you want to swim. You can swim in Lake Erie at Woodlawn Beach– unless there was a heavy rain and the storm sewers overflowed into the sanitary sewers. In that case, raw sewage flows into the waterways and the water at the beach is contaminated by things contained in human feces such as e. coli. I don’t think Beaver Island Beach on Grand Island ever has that problem (technically, that’s the Niagara River, though the waterways are connected). The proposed swimming beach at Gallagher Beach in downtown Buffalo may be contaminated with PCB’s from industry that used to operate in the area. I don’t know enough about the different kinds of contaminants and the water flow to explain why one area is safe for swimming and another isn’t.

        • Thank you. I rarely go into any lake, sea or ocean. Ask my friend Carolyn. All the places we went that there was swimming, it took a lot to get me in the water. I am more a land person. I got stuck in a rip tide in Costa Rica. My friend Anna knew what to do being from Central America herself, so I am here today. This is why I know very little about swimming the waters here.

  12. What a beautiful place!!! Yes, you did convince me!! 🙂

  13. I love this place Donna and had not heard of it before…gorgeous sky and waterfront coupled with gorgeous naturescapes….perfect.

  14. I breathed a deep sigh when I clicked open your blog and read your words and saw your images. Yes, you’ve convinced me Buffalo would be a great place to visit–except in winter, but that’s true of southern Wisconsin, too. 😉 Actually, winter in either place isn’t so bad…it just lasts too long.

    • You are right, our winters are generally long too. It has to do with Lake temperatures and blowing wind. We have a late start to Spring most years, but many times we have warm weather in December too. Not too cool here yet.

  15. debsgarden says:

    I enjoyed reading your post and all the comments! Yes, it was relaxing until I read about the extermination of honey bees! That got me stirred up a bit. Wiser are those that that took a waste disposal facility and created a nature preserve from it! The shoreline is breathtaking, but to my southern blood it does look chilly.

    • Not too chilly, but compared to the South…I would have to agree. Some of my clients have Florida homes for winter and summer here though. The way the temperatures have been rising in the last few years, it seems like Florida weather in Buffalo!

  16. Your pictures are convincing that Buffalo Beach is a nice place to visit. Thanks for the tour. Blessings, Natalie

    • Times Beach is a great bird watching reserve. I have to get there next year for migration. It is only down the road from Tifft Nature Preserve so that is why I miss going most trips into Buffalo.

  17. Brian Comeau says:

    I have to admit when I hear of Buffalo I think snow too. Ironic for a Canadian isn’t it.Looks like a beautiful place all year.

  18. I live close to Puget Sound and the ocean and I spend a lot of time at both, there is something that is so curative about being there, something that allows you to connect to the best part of who you are…I loved your photos.

  19. Lovely. I would really love to visit Buffalo, especially during the garden walk. You keep giving more reasons to go there.

    • A trip for Garden Walk Buffalo really is worth the time. There are over 360 gardens open throughout the city and you will see a few of them coming up on Wednesday Walks. The color is almost unmatched.

  20. Fergiemoto says:

    Such a beautiful place!

  21. A.M.B. says:

    Wow, I had no idea that Buffalo had all of this! It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the area. I could probably watch the ducks and geese in flight all day.

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