Friday, February 28, 2014

Stoddard Hill State Park II

Ledyard, CT

My time at Stoddard Hill State Park in Ledyard, CT afforded some fine reflections on this overcast, winter day in December.  With this picture, I've exhausted my supply of recent reflections and so this weekend, I'll be on the lookout for some more reflections to share here as well as with Weekend Reflections.  Enjoy your weekend and thanks for looking.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Package Store

Colchester, CT

This package store is located right next to the antique shop featured in yesterday's blog post.  It's obvious by looking at these two buildings side by side that they once served  a far different purpose.  Some hints to the previous lives of these buildings can be seen in the photo below.  
Together these buildings made up the end of the line for a railroad spur that connected the town of Colchester to the Airline Railroad.  The package store was once  a passenger station, while the neighboring antique store was once a freight depot.  If you look closely to the left of the street light post, you can see the switching signal still there. The Airline Railroad was built in 1873 as the shortest route between New York and Boston and has fascinating history the details of which I'll leave for another time.   In 1875, the town of Colchester paid $25,000 to lay track from the town to connect to the Airline Railroad, and for over 80 years passengers and freight were carried down this spur to these twin depots.   Today the old Airline Railroad is now a linear state park trail.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Life at 85 mm

Colchester, CT

I recently purchased a Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8 G lens to add to my collection.  As an exercise this past weekend I used only this lens on a photo outing.  I have used the Nikkor 16-85mm DX f/3.5-5.6 for many of my previous photos, and have relied on that zoom lens to frame my pictures, many times at a focal length of 85 mm.  I guess I never really appreciated just how telephoto 85 mm is.   With the new lens, I didn't have the luxury to zoom in and out to get proper framing, so I had to work a little harder to get good framing.  Oftentimes I found myself way too close to the subject which led me change my composition or choose some detail to focus on as a subject.  Many times I couldn't include the entire scene before me.  It was an interesting exercise.  The lens did provide some nice close up images.  Later this week,  I'll tell a little more about this interesting antique store in Colchester, CT.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow and Benches

New London, CT

It's been a hard winter all around this part of the country.  I think even the benches can't wait for spring to arrive.  Although it was warm this weekend, more cold weather is in the forecast for later in the week.

Monday, February 24, 2014


New London, CT

While on a recent visit to New London I came across this tire on the facade of this building.  The building itself looks in pretty good shape, and now housed a woodworking business.  I doubt the tire shown here has anything to do with woodworking, and must have been held over from a business which might have previously occupied this building.  My guess is that at one time this building either was a car dealership or a service station of some kind.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Day

New London, CT

New London's daily paper is The Day, with offices right in the downtown area.  The paper was founded in 1881 and today is held in public trust remaining an independent newspaper to this day.  Profits support various non-profit organizations within the primary circulation area of southeastern Connecticut.  I think that is a very unique arrangement for a newspaper publishing company.

The sculpture serving as The Day logo contains the Latin phrase Mare Liberum, which can be roughly translated as Freedom of the Seas, or The Free Seas.  Captured in this logo is the long history New London has with the sea.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Norwich and Worcster RR

Norwich, CT

There is a rich history of the railroads in New England,  characterized by many regional routes, leases, mergers etc, which make it pretty hard to  follow exactly what happened to any individual line.  I know there was passenger service to Norwich, probably as late as the early 1970's, but today, as far as I know only freight trains use the tracks through Norwich.  This memorial marks the site of a freight house destroyed by the great hurricane of 1938 that was part of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad. Nearby there is this great old building looking like a train station, and still is kept in pretty good shape, although I'm not sure for what purpose.

Recently there has been a proposal put forth to restore passenger service connecting New London, CT to the south, through Norwich continuing on up through central New England.  It sounds like a great idea and maybe this station could be put to use once again. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Stoddard Hill State Park

Ledyard, CT

Located in Ledyard, CT, Stoddard Hill State Park is a small state park which isn't quite as magnificent as the more popular state parks I have featured in previous blog posts.  The park consists of about 55 acres with some trails and a boat launch which provides access to the Thames River.  The park has about 2000 feet of frontage along the river and provides some great views of the river, including this reflection.  If you like this reflection, please check out other fine reflections from around the world at Weekend Reflections.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Old Theater?

Norwich, CT

I'm wondering if this building was ever a movie theater?  I'm not sure if it's being used now or not.

The Wauregan

Norwich, CT

Built in 1855, The Wauregan was, at one time,  the finest hotel between New York and Boston.  While on a campaign trip in 1860, Abraham Lincoln stayed at a room here.  The building came very close to demolition, but a preservation movement saved the building and restored it to its former glory.  The building now houses modern apartments but like a number of buildings in downtown Norwich, is still struggling financially.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Post Office Buildings

New London, CT

Norwich, CT

You don't see post office buildings like this much anymore.  I thought it would be interesting to compare the post offices from both Norwich and New London.  I would guess they were built about the same time.  They are both beautiful structures, and although I haven't been inside the Norwich Post Office, I can say that if you ever visit New London, you should really visit the post office there.  There are some magnificent murals inside, and it's like taking a step back in time.   Recently postal rates went up to 49¢ to mail a letter first class.  I would like to think that a small portion of that insures that these old buildings will still be maintained. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Buckingham Memorial

Norwich, CT

I'm not a native to Connecticut, so I'm constantly learning about the history of the state.  On my photo walks, I'll photograph sites, buildings and other things that I find interesting.  I'll then try to find out something about these photos to share with my readers here.  Many times in my research,  I'll come across some fascinating facts, and I'll find other historic sites that I file away for a future photo walk.  I had often wondered about the building being guarded by this canon on my trips through Norwich.  A quick search via Google turned up a wealth of information. The building is pictured below and currently houses a number of city offices, and is also home to the Norwich Historical Society.

At one time, this was the home of William Alfred Buckingham who served many terms as mayor of Norwich, was the governor of Connecticut from 1858-1866 and was a US Senator from 1869 until his death in 1875.  The house was later purchased by the Sedgewick Post No 1 of the G.A.R

You can read a much more thorough history of this building at the excellent blog, The Distracted Wanderer written by Linda, who knows a lot more about Norwich history than I do.  There you'll find some additional pictures, as well as many other places within Norwich that I'll need to visit on future photo walks.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

One More Bank Building

Norwich, CT

This bank building is one of the more distinctive buildings in downtown Norwich.  It was built in 1895 and originally was home to the Norwich Savings Society, which was bought out by Peoples United Bank.  Sadly after having a bank at this site for 118 years, People's United Bank decided to close this downtown branch this past year.  The building is currently for sale, and has been appraised at $1.33 million dollars.  The limestone building was designed to wrap around the corner and seamlessly integrate to other buildings to the right.  For some reason, those buildings were demolished years ago, so now this building now looks incomplete.  You can see the side or back of this building below.  I wonder what this corner in Norwich looked like before the buildings were demolished.

Unfortunately this building is pretty typical of a number of historic buildings in Norwich and represents the latest business to leave the downtown area.  I sure hope this building finds a new owner that will maintain it and preserve it.  But I have my doubts. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thames National Bank Building

Norwich, CT

I know very little about the Thames National Bank.  It's another example of a fine bank building built in  Norwich about 1905.  I'm not sure if the bank is still in existence or if was consolidated into larger banking operation.  It was hard to tell if the building is still being used or not.  I was attracted to the intricate designs along the top of the facade.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thames River Reflections

Gales Ferry, CT

Followers of this blog might recall a post from a couple of weeks ago featuring the Yale Boat House on the Thames River.  This photo was taken nearby and I was really interested in capturing the reflections of the sailboats to share with Weekend Reflections.  What I didn't realize at the time was I was also able to capture the boat house used by Harvard for their training for the annual Yale-Harvard Regatta.  If you look carefully beyond the sailboats, right in the center of the picture you'll see a white building with red doors,  and you might be able to make out the red cupola.  This is "Red Top", which is owned and maintained by Harvard University and used once a year for training their crew.  Unfortunately I could not get closer to Red Top on a later trip to this area.  It's not quite as accessible as Yale's Boat House.  Have a nice weekend and thanks for visiting. 

Chelsea Groton Bank

Norwich, CT

Now this is really what a bank building should look like.  It just looks like a safe place to keep one's money.  I'm partial to this particular bank, since I've done my banking with this bank for years, although not at this particular location but at one of their many local branch offices.   I hope that they continue to maintain and use this building for years to come.  It is truly a classic building.  The really do need to fix their old clock though. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Young's Block

Norwich, CT

I recently took a photo walk around downtown Norwich, CT.  I've posted some pictures from Norwich in previous blog posts, so on this particular walk, I was looking for some scenes I had not photographed before.  The downtown area has some buildings that have fallen into dis-repair as well as some buildings that have been restored to their former glory, which I'll feature in future posts this week.  I was attracted to this building due to the bright red siding trimmed in silver. This along with the large plate glass windows are reminiscent of a retail store I recall from my youth.  I would guess that at one time this had to be a Woolworth's, although I haven't been able to confirm it.  It's nice that that the building is still being used and that the original facade remains.  The clock even works.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stone Steps and Tree

North Stonington, CT

I've often mentioned and featured Jonathan Edwards winery in this blog and have stated often it's one of my favorite places to visit.  Not only are the wines good, but views from the tasting room can be spectacular.  There is a certain beauty to be found here in the winter time, even though the vines themselves are barren and waiting for the warmth of spring. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Robin Hood

New London, CT

Located adjacent to the sculpture I posted to this site earlier this week is this rather small sculpture entitled "Robin Hood", created by noted Russian sculptor Michael Dronov.  I was able to find out more at the other sculpture and have updated my previous post.  You can read about that one here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Block Island Ferries

Gales Ferry, CT

I'm pretty sure these two ferry boats are wintering here in the Thames River across from the Yale Boat house.  They normally operate between Port Judtith, RI and Block Island, RI.  There is a high speed ferry which operates out of New London, but I can't find any information on regular ferry service between New London and Block Island.  In any event, they made for a every nice reflection on this particular day, so I'm linking this photo to Weekend Reflections hosted by James.  Make sure you visit that site for many interesting reflections from around the world.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sculpture in New London

New London, CT

I need to to a far better job of noting the names and the artists responsible for public art works, since they should be recognized for their work.  This sculpture is located outside of the building housing our local newspaper, The Day, and as usual, I forgot to at least photograph the title of the work and the artist.  At the very least, I now have a reason to return to New London very soon to get more information on this particular sculpture.  I'm not sure what she's looking at.  With today's weather being what it was, she could be watching out for the next winter storm.

Update:  I returned to learn a little more about this particular sculpture.  I found  the title of the piece is "Renya" and it's by the late sculptor Ella Tulin, whose sculptures often depict the strength and beauty of women.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snowy Rocks

Madison, CT

Much of the coastline in Connecticut is very rocky due to the glaciers which reached this far south.  The action of these glaciers not only left behind the rocky coast line, but also formed Long Island to the south about 22,000 years ago.   I've photographed various sections of the coast in much nice weather but thought the snow covered rocks here looked good against the backdrop of the deep blue waters of Long Island Sound.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Madison Ice

Madison, CT

I don't think there was very much demand for ice on this particular day.  The temperature at mid afternoon was only about 15ºF.