Friday, May 30, 2014

Reflection Interrupted

Mystic, CT

I'm sharing this "partial" reflection with Weekend Reflections.  Here's to hoping your weekend isn't interrupted.  Thanks for visiting

Thursday, May 29, 2014

146 Main St

Norwich, CT

There are a number of older buildings in the historic downtown district of Norwich.  Some have been maintained well, and have undergone extensive renovations.  This one obviously is a work in progress.  Perhaps one day it will look as nice as the buildings around it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Harp and Dragon Pub

Norwich, CT

This looks like a scene I'd expect to see in Dublin, Ireland, not in Norwich CT.  I'm pretty sure the sign is translated as "A thousand welcomes".  I need to brush up on my Gaelic.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Parade 2014 - Niantic

The Memorial Day parade in Niantic (East Lyme) CT is no doubt typical of parades played out all across the country to celebrate Memorial Day.  It had all the elements of a Memorial Day parade.  Some of which I've highlighted here.  There was the local high school marching band.

Antique automobiles carrying esteemed veterans....

a pipe band....

another pipe band...

By the way, does anyone else feel that bagpipes should only be allowed to play "Danny Boy" and "The Minstrel Boy"?  Our patriotic songs don't translate well to  bagpipes.  Just sayin'...

There were politicians, in this case the Governor of Connecticut,  Dannel P Malloy who was kind enough to wave to me, even though I didn't vote for him.  He is up for re-election this year.

And finally.... just about every local business was represented.  

All in all it was fun time and a nice way to celebrate Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2014

Here in New England, there is no shortage of old burial grounds dating from the 1600-1700's.  Even though many of the headstones have weathered beyond recognition,  veterans of all the wars are remembered and honored on Memorial Day Weekend.  In many cases, the original headstones have been replaced with newer, more legible headstones so that we can always remember those who have fought for our country and defended our liberties.  The Old Stone Church Burial Ground in Niantic, CT dates from 1719.  There you can find veterans' graves dating from our early wars.  I visited the burial ground today to find the earliest war having a veteran.

There was this headstone for Elijah Smith,  a veteran from the War of 1812, a mere 200 years ago.

Not surprisingly I was able to find this veteran from the Revolutionary War, Joseph Miner.

Surprising to me was to find this veteran, Clement Miner, who fought in the French and Indian Wars, before our country was founded.  He wasn't the only veteran from that war buried here.  

It's nice that all of these veterans are remembered each Memorial Day, even for those wars fought before the founding of the United States.  There might be other veterans from earlier wars buried in other cemeteries throughout New England, but it was somewhat humbling to find these right here in Niantic.  Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

In New London

New London, CT

After a voyage of a little over 3 hours, the Charles W Morgan safely arrived at city pier in New London.  There was quite a crowd on hand to welcome her as she was gently nudged into the dock.  Currently she is on display and open to the public on May 24 and 25 as well as May 31 and June 1.  She'll depart New London on June 14, continuing her 38th Voyage which will include visits to Newport, RI,  Vineyard Haven, MA, the Cape Cod Canal, New Bedford, MA and Boston, MA. While in New London additional ballast will be added, and she'll be outfitted with sails.  I hope to see and photograph her under full sail.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Approaching New London

 Groton, CT

The Charles W Morgan is seen here passing two well known landmarks of New London.  The upper photo shows the Morgan as she passes the Ledge Light which marks the mouth of the Thames River. In the lower photo, the New London Harbor light can be seen.  By all accounts, the ship towed really well, and the voyage from Mystic Seaport to New London went quicker than expected, taking a little over 3 hours. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dock Reflections

Mystic, CT

The water was so still this particular morning along the Mystic River that it afforded this near perfect reflection of this private boat dock.  For other outstanding reflections from around the world, please visit Weekend Reflections.  It's a holiday weekend here in the US so I'm hoping everyone has a great weekend, no matter where you may live.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Mystic, CT

The Roann will accompany the Charles W Morgan on her 38th Voyage providing support for her crew.  This boat was also completely restored by Mystic Seaport and is one of the last remaining examples of an Eastern-Rig Dragger fishing boat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Whale Boats

Mystic, CT

No whaling ship would think of going on a voyage without a contingent of whale boats like the ones shown here.  The Charles W Morgan would have normally carried seven such whale boats on board.  To accompany her on her 38th Voyage, Mystic Seaport commissioned the construction of 10 whale boats from 10 different wooden boat makers from around the country.  All were made to the exact same specifications and were delivered to the seaport last summer.  They were rowed behind the Morgan  as she made her way down the Mystic River out to Long Island Sound.  No, they were not rowed all the way to New London, only to the mouth of the river from where they were loaded onto another boat and transported to New London.  Each of the 10 whale boats will spend some time on board the Morgan during the voyage.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Through the Bridge

Mystic, CT

With the Mystic River Drawbridge raised, the Charles W Morgan had no problems navigating through the channel.  The ship is 113 feet long and 27 feet wide.  The tallest mast rises 110 feet above the deck.  I find it amazing that the ship was built in only 7 months without any written plans.  The shipwrights back in those days just knew how to build these ships.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Approaching the Mystic River Bridge

Mystic, CT

After a brief ceremony at Mystic Seaport, the Charles W Morgan embarked on the first leg of her 38th Voyage, leaving Mystic Seaport for the first time in close to 73 years.  The ship was carefully guided down the river and beneath the historic Mystic River bridge aided by two tugboats, one in front towing the ship, with the other gently pushing from behind.  Her destination today would be the port of New London.  While docked there she'll be outfitted with new sails, and additional ballast will be added.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Charles W Morgan

Mystic, CT

The Charles W Morgan, is the last wooden whaling vessel in the world and has been featured in this blog on many occasions.  The ship arrived at Mystic Seaport in 1941 and has been a main attraction ever since.  Recently a complete restoration of the Morgan was completed taking over 5 years and at a cost of many millions of dollars. On May 17, she left the seaport under tow to be berthed in New London for final preparations before she embarks on her 38th Voyage.  I was able to get some photos of the Morgan, last weekend and will feature additional photos as she left Mystic Seaport this coming week.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rockwell Building

Norwich, CT

This "flat-iron" type building was built around 1860 and is named after John Rockwell, a local lawyer who lived with his family at the nearby Wauregan Hotel.  I'm not sure how John Rockwell became associated with this building however.  In 1890, building was the home of the Snell Business College.  Today it houses offices and retail space.  If you ever visit Norwich, try the pizza at La Stella's, located on the ground floor of this building.  It's pretty good.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mystic Homes

Mystic, CT

I'm sharing this with Weekend Reflections.  Have a nice weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Team

Norwich, CT

Despite a valiant effort from the Newington High School Baseball team, they fell to Worthington on this day, by a score of 4-2, in extra innings.  To paraphrase that epic baseball poem:

"There is no joy in Newington"

On a good note, however, Nick did not strike out.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

At First Base

Norwich, CT

Here's Nick at first base.  I wasn't keeping score, and didn't note if he got to first base as a result of a hit, fielder's choice or a walk.  He looks pretty intense, studying the pitcher.

The Pitcher

Norwich, CT

Baseball is a relatively slow game.  Most of the action occurs between the pitcher, batter and catcher. Those shots are easy to anticipate and capture.  It's very hard to catch the action when the ball is hit.  The kid has pretty good form.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Pro

Norwich, CT

I'm envious.  Check out that lens.  I guess you need a lens like that to do good sports photography.  I'm sure it can't hurt.  I know it's a Canon, and I shoot Nikon, but still, it must be nice to have.  I might have to postpone retirement a few years to afford it. ;) 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there.  I'm sure everyone thinks that their mom is the best mom in the world.  I'm sure they're right too.  I just wanted to share with you this picture of my mother, who truly is the best mother anyone could have.  I love you mom.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Catcher

Norwich, CT

This is no ordinary catcher.  Meet Nick Sanford, the catcher for the Newington High School baseball team.  Nick is finishing his senior year in high school and will be attending American International College next fall with a baseball scholarship.  Nick is the step-son of my oldest daughter, so I guess I can claim him as sort of an "unofficial" grandson.  In any event, he's a great kid and we're all proud of him.  I recently enjoyed watching him play against nearby rivals Worthington High School.  Here are some shots of him behind the plate.

After trying my hand at taking photographs of this game, I can really appreciate how difficult it is to to do great sports photography.  I'll be posting some more pictures of Nick and this game later this week.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seaport Reflections

Mystic, CT

The tall masts reflected here belong to the Charles W Morgan, a frequent subject of this blog.  The last remaining wooden whale ship is undergoing final outfitting and preparation for its 38th Voyage and will leave Mystic Seaport on May 17.  I'm sharing this with Weekend Reflections.  Have a nice weekend and thanks for visiting.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Volkswagon Beatle

Branford, CT

You don't see these classic VW's too much anymore.  This one was parked outside my place of work one morning.  It's looks in pretty good shape.  I'm no expert on VW's, but I would guess this one dates from the late '60's.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Old Bank Flowers

East Hampton, CT

Old bank building had a certain look of security about them and are easy to spot in any town.  It's nice to see this old bank building with a new use.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Comstock Covered Bridge

East Hampton, CT

There have been bridges at this location since the 1700's.  In 1873, the towns of Colchester, and East Hampton agreed to share the cost of a new bridge to span the Salmon River.  It cost a whopping $3,958.59 to build back then, which was a substantial sum for the times.  Laborers back then would get  paid a dollar a day.  The bridge has been restored a couple of times since then, the last time being in 2011.  It is one of only three remaining historic covered bridges in Connecticut.  Now I'll have to find the other two. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rock Outcroppings Along the Air Line Trail

Colchester, CT

No hike on any of the trails in Connecticut would be complete without some pictures of the various rock outcroppings and other geological features one can see.  Although other state parks in Connecticut have descriptions of the geology, I can find no such descriptions of the geology along the Air Line Trail State Park.  This could be due to the fact that the trail covers about 50 miles, and probably traverses too many different geologies to be adequately described in a couple of short paragraphs.  Ultimately it was the geology encountered when the Air Line Railroad was built that led to it's failure.  The various hills, valleys, and streams that had to be crossed limited the track that could be laid and prevented the use of larger and faster trains making the longer shoreline route between New Haven and Boston faster and more economically feasible.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Meet Lulu

As I started my walk along the Air Line Trail on my way towards the Lyman Viaduct, I noticed this cyclist, who started out along the trail about the same time I did.  She took her time riding, fairly slowly, but soon passed me and rode out of sight.  Not too much later, I noticed her coming back towards me, again riding slowly and stopping often.  As I approached her, she asked me to take her picture with her cellphone while on her bike.  I haven't mastered the skill of approaching strangers for a portrait just yet, but if they ask me to take their picture, then I'm very comfortable in asking them if I can take their picture with my camera.  So I used her cellphone for a couple of pictures, and then took a couple with my camera.  As is often the case when these situations arise, I didn't have the most flattering portrait lens on my camera, since I was using a wide angle zoom to photograph the landscapes along the Air Line Trail.  Oh well, one uses what one has and makes do, I guess. 

She introduced herself as Lulu and told me she came to ride along the Air Line Trail to learn how to ride her bike.  She never learned how to ride a bike in her youth, and thought the trail would be a perfect place to perfect her skills without worrying about riding in traffic or running into other pedestrians.   She wanted an additional type of exercise, to complement her running and thought cycling would be fun.  I emailed her my pictures.  I hope she likes them.  As she rode off,  I thought she was doing pretty well in learning to ride.  

Colchester, CT