Friday, December 15, 2017


Branford, CT  2017

After a reaction is run chemists need to isolate the desired product from the reaction solvent and by-products.  One way to do this is to partition the reaction mixture between two immiscible solvents, in this case water and ethyl acetate.  You can shake both solvents in this funnel, and allow the layers to separate, much like oil and water separate.   The product of interest is more soluble in ethyl acetate, so it is extracted into that solvent.  Hopefully the water dissolves all the other impurities and is easily removed.  The extract is being dried here to remove some traces of water, before the solvent is evaporated as shown in an earlier post.  Most times my extractions are colorful like above.  When I'm lucky, they look very clean as below.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tools of the Trade - Rota-Vap

Branford, CT  2017

No synthetic organic chemistry lab would be complete without one of these.  The Rota-Vap is used to remove solvents under  a reduced pressure, or vacuum.  This lowers the boiling point of the solvents we use and allows them to be removed at reasonable temperatures under mild conditions.  The smoke you see in the bath is for effect only.  I accidentally spilled some dry ice in the water bath creating the classic chemistry lab/mad scientist scene portrayed in many movies.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Sculpture

New London, CT  2017

I've noticed that new sculptures are appearing in public places around New London.  

Monday, December 11, 2017

First Snow II

Niantic, CT  2017

Another picture of our first snow of the year in southeast Connecticut.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

First Snow

Niantic, CT  2017

It isn't officially winter here yet, but we had our first measurable accumulation of snow yesterday into last evening.  Some parts of Connecticut saw up to 5", but here near the coast, we only had a couple of inches.   Most of the snow had melted by noon.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam, CT  2017

Although this cabin is on the grounds of Gillette Castle State Park, it's a good brisk hike from here up  to the castle itself.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

St. Nick

Niantic, CT  2017

He's a comin'......  Can't believe it's December already.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Chester Hadlyme Ferry

Hadlyme, CT  2017

This ferry operates seasonally and crosses the Connecticut River between the towns of Chester on the west and Hadlyme on the east.  There has been a ferry operating at this site for over 200 years.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Niantic, CT  2017

This is new to McCook Point Park in Niantic this past summer.   

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wigwam Rock

Niantic, CT  2017

I'm sure there must be a story about this rock in Niantic Bay, but I could find no information except for its name on a map. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Rock Pile

Niantic, CT  2017

I think this is what is left after the last glaciers melted from Connecticut, over 15,000 years ago.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Coming and Going

New London, CT  2017

Posting to my blog won't be too regular in the coming weeks.  I haven't had much time to get out to photograph, and I have some other projects going on making demands on my time.  I hope to resume a more regular schedule in a couple of weeks.  Thanks for looking.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fox Farm Brewery

Salem, CT  2017

Located in Salem, CT, Fox Farm Brewery converted an old dairy barn which had fallen into disrepair into a nice brewery.  Their beers are pretty good.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Smoke 911

Middletown, CT  2017

Not something I've ever done, but if you enjoy smoking, this looks like your place.  

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pythian Building

Middletown, CT  2017

I was attracted to the black and green marble facade on this building.  First built around 1874 the building served as a hotel until purchased in 1905 by the Pythian Company.  The building then housed retail space on the first floor, offices on the second, and had meeting hall on the third floor for the Knights of Pythias.  The building was remodeled in 1938, adding the marble facade and large windows.  It's nice to see these older buildings getting good use today. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Middletown, CT  2017

No, it's not mine.  Mine is the blue Mazda 3 next to this Ferrari.   

Friday, October 27, 2017


Middletown, CT

This is a classic looking firehouse.  They don't build them like this anymore. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Barber Shop

Middletown, CT  2017

There's not doubting that this place is a barbershop.  It's probably the most colorful barbershop I've seen recently. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cigar Store Indian

Middletown, CT  2017

There wasn't a cigar store be found nearby this Indian, only a restaurant. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Clyde's Cider Mill

Mystic, CT  2017

This is a must see place during the fall if you're ever in south east Connecticut.  Clyde's uses an antique, steam powered cider press to make their apple cider.  They offer both sweet cider and a collection of "hard" ciders, or apple wines along with cider donuts, pies, breads, kettle corn, apples and other tastes of the autumn season.  It is a very busy place on weekends

Friday, October 20, 2017

Voodoo Grill

Mystic, CT  2017

This business fell on hard times.  It was once a pretty popular restaurant in Mystic.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Barley Head Brewery

Mystic, CT  2017

In the last ten years or so there has been an huge increase in the number of craft breweries that have opened in Connecticut.  This particular one opened this past July in Mystic and characterizes itself as a true neighborhood brewery.  I met the owner, brewer and chief janitor during my recent visit and sampled the brews on tap.  Being a "nano" brewery, which produces much less beer than a typical "micro" brewery, you can only buy the beer here, not in bars, restaurants or package stores.  He brews in 50 gallon batches, and even uses his own home grown hops in some of his beers.  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

TBM 930

Groton, CT  2017

This plane can be yours for a little over a million dollars, or so I've been told.  You can see the specs below. 

I think if you ordered today, you can have it time for Christmas! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Stearman PT-17

Groton, CT  2017

Over 10,000 of these bi-planes were made during the '30's and '40's and used to train US Army Airforce pilots and Navy pilots.  After the war, thousands of surplus planes were auctioned to the public.  Many were modified to serve as crop dusters and sports planes.  They are often seen today at air shows doing aerobatics and wing walker stunts. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

DC-3 (C-47)

Groton, CT  2017

The DC-3 first flew in 1935 and was built for commercial use.  It was converted to military use during World War II and was known as the C-47.  It transported troops, towed gliders, hauled cargo, parachuted both troops and supplies.  Over 15,000 of these planes were built and today it is estimated there are still 100-200 in operation.