Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ellie Mitchell Pavilion

Rocky Neck State Park

Located in Rocky Neck State Park, the Ellie Mitchell Pavilion was built by the depression-era relief agencies during the 1930's.  Workers used native stones, and timbers from each of Connecticut's state forests and parks.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Fall River, NS

I met this fellow outside of Oliver's Pub in the Inn on the Lake.  He looked so happy we were there, that we had to stop in for a drink or two.  I love his expression. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

North Stonington, CT

I came across this family cemetery while walking through the woods near my home in North Stonington, CT a number of years ago.  The cemetery was over grown with brush, and as you can see covered with leaves from the previous autumn.  I found it interesting that although this plot was far removed from any main roads, fairly deep in the forest, and somewhat neglected,  someone remembered to decorate this particular grave with a flag.  Only parts of the inscription can be read, but from what I can make out, this soldier/veteran died on January 29, 1761, which pre-dates the American Revolution. His name was William. I can't make out his last name. It's the oldest grave of a veteran I've found, although I'm sure there are some older around these parts.  I thought it was appropriate to post this today so that we never forget all those who fought and died for our country. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Inn on the Lake

Fall River, NS

Readers of this blog might be wondering if I'll ever run out of pictures of Halifax and it's surroundings.  I promise I'll return to pictures around southeast Connecticut shortly.  Due to an unforeseen change in our trip, we needed last minute accommodations.  Fortunately there was one room left at this inn.  If you ever find yourself in Fall River, Nova Scotia, I highly recommend this inn.  It's very unique.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Signal Masts

The Citadel, Halifax, NS

These masts look like they should be on a sailing ship rather than a part of fort.  I wondered what possible role they could play here, since it was pretty obvious to me that this fort was not going to sail away.  It turns out these are signal masts and served as a method of communication from this fort to other forts and the ships in the harbor.  By hoisting various signal flags on these masts, messages could be sent to anyone who could understand the code and could see the signal flags.  It was a pretty effective means of communication long before the telegraph, telephone, radio and the internet. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fortress Wall

The Citadel, Halifax, NS

I  know nothing about the design of 19th century fortifications, and unfortunately during our visit to Halifax, The Citadel was not open for the season.  It was possible to walk the grounds, but none of the regular exhibits nor re-enactments were open.  So, I'm not really sure what rooms were buried under the earthen works seen along this wall.  I would imagine the rooms stored ordinance for the canons perched above and other supplies for the fort.  The rooms must have had fireplaces for heat as evidenced by the number of chimneys seen along this wall. Or perhaps these stacks provided a source of fresh air to the rooms buried below.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Soldiers' Barracks

The Citadel, Halifax, NS

The current Citadel in Halifax was completed in 1856 and is the fourth fortification built by the British to protect the city of Halifax and the important harbor.  The first fortification was built back in 1749 and quickly fell into disrepair due to the harsh climate.  A similar fate met the next two forts built here.  Finally a more permanent fort was built which has been restored to its Victorian-era glory and is now a Canadian National Historic site. Despite the strategic importance of Halifax to the British none of the forts built on this site ever saw any battle.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Halifax, NS

Halifax, NS, Canada

These pictures show Halifax as seen from the top of Citadel Hill, the site of Fort George, a National Historic Landmark of Canada. The fort gave some pretty nice views of the city below.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Figurehead II

 Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS

This figurehead is in the process of being carved at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.  Nearby was the original figurehead which was being used as the model for this one.  The original looked in pretty sad shape and was probably well beyond repair.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Captain Farquhar

Captain James Augustus Farquhar

According the placard nearby, Captain Farquhar was a Nova Scotian, master mariner, salvor, sealer, and ship owner.  His business and wharf were located a few yards from where the current Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is located.  He must have been a very prominent business man in Halifax, to have his statue  standing in the museum.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS

I find ship's figureheads both fascinating and somewhat spooky at the same time.  They appear very lifelike and often have haunting expressions.  They would adorn the bows of sailing ships, and I think were supposed to bring good luck.  Those who created these figureheads were very talented artists in their  own right.  The top picture is from the St. Patrick, a ship wrecked off the coast of Nova Scotia in September of 1841.  The bottom figurehead is from an unknown ship.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

A chandlery is a shop which supplied sailing ships with all the equipment, ropes, tools and rigging necessary to sail a ship back in the 1800's.  These shots were taken in  the restored chandlery of William Robertson and Son, which is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, NS.  This store was a fixture on the Halifax waterfront since 1840 and operated into the early 1900's.  The museum has  number of exhibits including artifacts from the Titanic as well as other shipwrecks.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Murphy's Restaurant

Halifax, NS, Canada

We tried to eat dinner at this restaurant, but the evening we were in Halifax, the restaurant had a private affair going on, and was closed to the public.  This restaurant has its own "party boat", moored right outside. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Container Ship

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I recently spent some time in Halifax, NS.  The city has a rich history, playing vital roles in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and both World Wars.  The city also is the final resting place for a number of the victims from the Titanic.  Today one of the main industries using the harbor and it's facilities is the container shipping industry.  This container ship was seen entering the harbor to be off-loaded of its containers, which are placed directly onto trucks for shipment overland to their final destination. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Osewegatchie Hills, Niantic, CT

I almost walked by this little fellow who appeared to sunning himself along the trail.  I was able to get off one quick  picture, before he flew away.  After doing a little research, I identified this butterfly as a Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa, a butterfly common to most of North America.  You can read more about it here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Glacial Plucking

Oswegatchcie Hills, Niantic, CT

Walking along the yellow trail I came across this glacier boulder.  I think this is an example of a process known as glacial plucking.  During the last glacier period here, about 24,000 years ago, the glaciers that covered Connecticut were constantly flowing to the south.  As temperatures warmed, water would flow into crevices within the rocks where it would freeze during the night and expand, thus causing the rock to split.  The constant movement of the glacier would "pluck" the split rock and move it a short distance from the the original outcrop. This process went on for about 5,000 years.  In this case it looks like a couple of rocks were plucked from the main outcrop, and fortunately formed a natural marker for the trail.  The rock itself is pretty typical of this area, a granite gneiss which I think is known as Potter Hill Granite Gneiss, which dates back to the Proterozoic.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yellow Trail

Osewegatchie Hill, Niantic, CT

The terrain along the yellow trail is pretty rocky in parts.  It it weren't for this tree, I might have lost the trail.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Osewegatchie Hills Nature Preserve

Osewegatchie Hills, Niantic, CT

This nature preserve is within walking distance of where I live and is a great place to take a hike.  The trails are well marked and I find the geology and rock formations fascinating.  I don't usually do a lot of post processing, but recently I've been playing around with some presets for Aperture 3 which are supposed to emulate various films.  Having not a lot of background in film based photography, I find it interesting that in today's digital world, a lot of effort is placed in trying to make our digital captures more like film.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Morgan Restoration

Charles W Morgan, Mystic Seaport

This is a view of the bow of the Charles W Morgan, and one can see which planks have been replaced.  It's a slow process to cut the timbers used, steam them and bend them into shape.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Charles W Morgan

Mystic Seaport

This structure was built to house the Charles W Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in existence, and a major attraction at the seaport.  She is currently undergoing a complete restoration and will be ready to sail in 2014.  

Friday, May 4, 2012


Mystic Seaport

The Amistad is a replica of the original slave ship of the same name built at the shipyard at Mystic Seaport, and made famous by the Stephen Spielberg movie.  Here she has been lifted from the water and is undergoing some repairs and maintenance.  The structure off the starboard bow of The Amistad houses the biggest restoration project currently underway at the seaport, and the subject of a future post. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lift Dock

Mystic Seaport

To restore and maintain the historic ships at Mystic Seaport, they are often taken out of the water.  This is a state of the art lift dock that is used to raise the ships out of the water.  From here they can moved along tracks to various parts of the shipyard for restoration and maintenance.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The Cangarda, Mystic, Seaport

This is one of the most beautiful boats I've seen.  It's a steam powered, 126 foot, luxury yacht, named Cangarda, built in 1901.  The original boat was almost lost and fell into so much disrepair, that the original hull was damaged beyond repair.  Careful laser guided measurements were made of the original hull and it was reversed engineered and totally reconstructed.  Today it serves as a museum and private yacht.  It also spent the winter at Mystic Seaport.  You can read more about its history here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Seaport Gazebo

Mystic Seaport

Even the town green at Mystic Seaport has a gazebo.