Friday, May 31, 2013

Early Morning Light

Chapman Farms, Niantic, CT

The rhododendrons are blooming.  If we had a spring here in southeast Connecticut, it didn't last very long.  Today the  temperatures reached the upper 80's along the coast, making it feel like summer.  I'm not complaining though.  I snapped this picture on the way to work this morning.  Have a nice weekend and thanks for looking.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weather Vane

Portland, CT

I came across this weather vane in front of the gift shop at the Arrigoni Winery.  It sat atop a cupola, which was sitting on the ground, allowing me to get pretty close to something one usually sees at quite a distance.  I've been learning a little bit about Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro, and experimented a little with this image.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wine Truck

 Portland, CT

If one were to just look at this truck, you'd think this winery has been in business for generations.  The truck appears to be rather weathered, even down to the  name on the door.  Still this truck does have a certain bit of charm, even if it never did haul these wine barrels around this winery. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Arrigoni Winery

Portland, CT

Connecticut is developing a wine industry, and a number of new wineries have opened in the last decade or so.  On a recent Sunday drive my wife and I came across this winery located in Portland, CT and of course we had to stop for a tasting.  I learned the winery has only been open for about a year.  I didn't see many acres of vineyards and was told they have grapes planted, but they haven't matured yet for harvesting, so the wine they produce here come from grapes purchased from other areas, including the Finger Lakes region of New York.  It might be another year or more before they'll have locally produced wine available here.  I don't consider myself an oenophile but having tasted the wines here, I think I can safely say that California has little to worry about in terms of competition, at least from this winery.  Being such a new winery, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and might return to taste again after they've had a few years of experience.  I think this wine barrel is pretty cool though.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mill Pond Park

Mill Pond, Newington, CT

A combination of bad weather and not enough free time when the weather is nice has conspired against me in finding good reflections.  This one I thought looked good enough to link to Weekend Reflections.  If you like interesting reflections, check them out.  It's a holiday weekend here in the US and the unofficial start of the summer season here.  Hopefully the weather will get better, and more reflections will present themselves to me.  Have a nice weekend everyone. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Whale Art

Mystic, CT

A community art project a number of years ago resulted in the creation of a number of "painted" whales which were displayed prominently about the New London Area as a way to increase the tourist business.  Some of the whales from this effort found permanent homes and can still be seen today.  This  one was seen outside of a bookstore in Mystic.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Union Station

New London, CT

In today's age of digital photography, it's easy to get a little carried away in post processing.  I'm fascinated with the amount of effort software companies have put into their programs in order to re-create the looks of classic films.  Having had very little experience with film, I'm not sure if the digital versions resemble the classic films or not.  It took a lot more skill to get these types of effects and often hours in the darkroom.  Now, with the right program, and few mouse clicks I can easily sample dozens of effects until I find one that I like.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013


New London, CT

I happened to be in the right place at the right time to photograph this Amtrak train as it pulled away from New London Union Station.  This is one of many Amtrak trains that travel the Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC and Boston daily.  The tracks are shared with local commuter trains which carry passengers from the cities along the coast of Connecticut into New York City.  Last Friday one of these commuter trains derailed near Fairfield, CT and collided with another train.  There were some serious injuries, although no fatalities.  The damage to the tracks was extensive, and the NTSB is now investigating.  Needless to say, train service along the Northeast Corridor has been disrupted, and it might be weeks before service is resumed

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tasting Room

Saltwater Farms Winery, Stonington, CT

I love the big wooden doors serving as an entrance to the tasting room at Saltwater Farms Winery.  The winery itself sits on an old airport and the tasting room is a restored hanger.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cemetery Chapel

Stonington, CT

I think this is a chapel, but it has seen better days.  The windows are boarded up and it looks like it hasn't been used in years.  I thought it might be a mausoleum, but I could find no name on the structure.  It dominated the landscape in this corner of Stonington Cemetery

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fisher Island Ferry

New London, CT

Although really a part of New York, Fishers Island has closer ties to Connecticut.   It lies just 2 miles off the coast of southeast Connecticut and is serviced by this ferry on a daily basis.  

Monday, May 13, 2013


New London, CT

I know I have posted pictures of the Eagle recently, so excuse me for revisiting this subject again.  These tall ships are impressive to see, and I can't seem to get enough pictures.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Four Generations

On this Mother's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate and honor all the mothers in the world with this post of my favorite mothers.  Of course, I am a little biased.  From left to right:  My wife, (mother of my two wonderful daughters), my mother,  and my daughter (mother of my grandson).     I wish I could take credit for the photo, but I've never been very good at photographing people.  This particular photo was taken at a recent family gathering by my sister, using my camera though.  

I hope all the mothers have a very nice Mother's Day. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Farm Buildings

Haley Farm State Park, Groton, CT

This is what remains of the some of the farm buildings on Caleb Haley's Farm.  I'm not sure what type of buildings these were or what purpose they served on the farm.  I'm glad the space is now preserved as open space, thanks to the fund raising efforts of the Groton Open Space Association and the Connecticut Forest and Park Association who together raised the funds necessary for the state to purchase the property and protect if from further development.  It officially became a state park in 1970.    Somewhere I think Caleb is happy with what has become of his farm and stone walls.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Trail and Coyote Notice

Haley Farm State Park, Groton, CT

Just before I walked the trail in the first picture, I came across the notice about coyotes being spotted in the area. Perhaps due to the old Warner Bros Looney Tunes  cartoons featuring Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner, I've always associated coyotes with the wild west, certainly not southeast Connecticut. I have heard though that they have made quite a comeback in this state despite the fact that to my knowledge, there are no road runners here in Connecticut.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I actually saw one near my condo in an area much more populated than what is shown here.  I did keep my eyes open during my hike this day, but didn't see any coyotes, nor road runners, for that matter. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trolley Trail

Groton, CT

There are a number of bike paths/foot paths which criss cross Haley Farm State Park.  One can walk for about a half mile through the park from the park entrance and the trail meets up with G&S Trolley Trail, which follows an old trolley line that connected Groton and Stonington.  The trolley operated from 1904 until 1928.  The City of Groton has renovated parts of the line and it now serves as a bike path connecting Groton to Haley Farm State Park.  I came across this section, which I believe is part of the trolley line, outside of the state park.  In researching the G&S I found out that the power for the trolley line was provided by the power house located on the west bank of the Mystic River.  This power house was was the subject of a previous post in this blog.   It's amazing what one learns when doing a little blogging research. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One Left Over

Haley Farm State Park, Groton, Ct

Although Caleb Haley built many stone walls on his farm, he didn't use all the boulders here.  Perhaps this one was too big, or didn't fit into any of his walls.  In any event, there are still an awful lot of boulders strewn about this state park.  That's pretty typical all over Connecticut, though.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stone Wall II

Haley Farm State Park, Groton, CT

Here's another example of Caleb Haley's talent for building stone walls.  I'm not sure if any of the stones had to be cut or not.  They must have been shaped a little to get such a good fit. Either that or Caleb had a great eye for finding, sorting, and knowing just where to place each boulder he found. Still, it must have taken quite a bit of time back in the late 1800's to construct this wall. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stone Wall

Haley Farm State Park, Groton, CT

Caleb Haley's hobby was building stone walls.  He would extract boulders from through out his property and move them in place with an ox-drawn stone puller.  The results of his handiwork can still be seen throughout the park.  The walls were used to separated a number of pastures.  Some of the stone walls are in remarkable shape.  I'm sure he had no shortage of boulders here.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Haley Farm State Park

Groton, CT. 

I grew up in New Jersey, lived in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and now Connecticut.   By far, Connecticut is the smallest state of the five states in which I've lived.  However, here in Connecticut we have 107 state parks.  For a state this size, I think that's pretty remarkable.  I don't know how many state parks the other states have.  I guess I never paid too much attention to them back when I lived elsewhere.  This week I'll be featuring pictures from the Haley Farm State Park.  Part of this land was once owned by  the first governor of Connecticut, John Winthrop Jr.  Ownership passed through many hands, until it was farmed by Caleb Haley in the late 19th and early 20th Century.  These are some of the remains from his farm buildings.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nathan Hale Schoolhouse

New London, CT

Nestled between modern parking garages, office buildings and a downtown "festival" area, this 18th Century schoolhouse looks just a little out of place.  Connecticut patriot and Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale taught here in 1774 and 1775, before enlisting in the army in 1775 to fight for our independence.  Having graduated from Yale University at the age of 18, he previously had taught in East Haddam, CT before moving to the big city of New London.  At least when I was in grade school we learned of Hale's famous last words,  on being hanged as a spy against the British on September 22, 1776.

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country"

I still hope they teach that in todays schools.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hidden Pond

Plainfield, CT

I found this pond behind a rest area along I-395 near Plainfield, CT.  The trees were just beginning to show signs of turning green.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Latham Chester Store

Noank, CT

This building is one of two buildings owned by the Noank Historical Society and located right next to the town beach.  Noank has a long history of ship building and once was home to The Palmer Shipyard, the largest builder of wooden boats on the Atlantic Coast during the late 1800's.  Noank also has ties to the history of early aviation, as can be seen by the plaque found on the front of the building.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013