Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sunflowers for Wishes

I'm a little late posting these pictures and for some of you they might look a little familiar.  Fellow Connecticut Blogger, Jack, who publishes the very fine blog Naples and Hartford in Season published photos from Buttonwood Farms and their Sunflowers for Wishes sales the very day I visited.  I guess great minds think alike.  We've been going to Buttonwood Farms for years, ever since I first moved to Connecticut in 2003.  For two weeks in July, the sunflowers are in bloom and they are sold to the public with all proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation.  It truly is an impressive sight to see acres of sunflowers in bloom.

There was a big crowd there when I visited and the lines were very long for taking hay rides through the sunflower fields, and for ice cream.  Buttonwood Farms makes their own ice cream and people come from far and wide, even as far away as Hartford for the ice cream.  There were walking paths through the fields which allowed for up close and personal sunflower pictures.

One thing I noticed as I walked around this field.... no matter what side of the field I was on, the sunflowers always seemed to be facing away from me.  You might see it in some of the photos above.  All the sunflowers were facing to the center of the field.  I thought they always faced the same direction.  

Griswold, CT  2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Big Top

South Windsor, CT  2015

The entire circus performance was held within this big top tent, which comfortably seats about 700.  Each performance lasts about 2 hours, with a 10 minute intermission and there were two performances for each of the two days that Circus Smirkus was in South Windsor.  Within 20 minutes after the final performance, the troupers were all involved in taking down the bleachers, riggings, circus ring, tent, etc, and getting it all ready to be loaded onto trucks for their next destination.  This year's tour will take them to 15 cities in New England over a course of 7 weeks where they will perform 66 times.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I've always admired jugglers, and wished that was a skill I could master.  It's hard enough juggling rubber balls, much less pins like this.  It also must be difficult juggling all these pins with each other in a group this size.  Nothing compares, however, to the gentleman below who can juggle with the performers below while on stilts which easily lifted him to over 25 feet above the ground.

South Windsor, CT  2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015


South Windsor, CT  2015

No circus is complete without some stilt-walkers.  I found it very clever how the performers transitioned from one scene to the next.  In this case the scene was a fancy restaurant, with the patrons pulled from the audience to sit at the tables below the chandelier.  Those on stilts helped the set up the chandelier.  It was a very pretty scene.

Friday, July 24, 2015


South Windsor, CT  2015

Once the show starts, there is no stop in the action.  Each year the creative team at Circus Smirkus creates, scripts, choreographs, writes music and produces a 2 hour circus show around a certain theme.  This year's show was entitled "Bon Appetit", so there were many "chefs" performing.  I was able to take pictures, as long as I didn't use a flash.  As you can imagine, it was very difficult to get proper exposure, white balance, etc with the constantly changing lights.  I hope to have captured some of the excitement of the performance with these photos.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015


South Windsor, CT  2015

This is Sarah, one of the performers with Circus Smirkus.  Not only do the kids perform, but they work before the show and during intermission selling popcorn, magic wands, ice cream and other circus goodies.  At no time did I ever see any of the performers not smiling.  They truly enjoy performing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Circus Performers

South Windsor, CT  2015

Circus Smirkus was founded in 1987 by Rob Mermin in Greensboro, VT.  It is an award winning, international youth circus which serves as a training ground for young men and women wishing to pursue a career in the circus.  The organization runs a circus residency program and a summer circus camp program.  On top of all that, they go on tour every year throughout New England in what is known as their "Big Top Tour".  This year, the traveling troupe of performers will perform 66 times over a 7 week period.  All the performers,  except one, are between the ages of 10 and 18.  Many have done many tours with Smirkus.  Some go on the professional circuses like Ringling Bros and Cirque du Soleil.  Before each show, all the performers are out mingling with the audience giving everyone a chance to get into the act.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Circus Smirkus

South Windsor, CT

Please pardon the brief interruption in blog posts over this past weekend.  I was tied up with a number of things, including being heavily involved in presenting Circus Smirkus to the community of  South Windsor.  My chief role was ticket chairman, so on the days of the show, I spent most of my time right inside that ticket booth.  I was able to get out to take a few shots, which I'll be sharing this week, if time permits.  In addition, I'll tell you a little more about Circus Smirkus.  The short story is, they put on a great circus performance, and the performers all range in age from 10-18. These kids are fantastic performers. 

Friday, July 17, 2015


Portland, CT  2015

I'm not sure what a lobster has to do with a local winery, but that's where I found this fellow.  I think he'd be happier in front of a Red Lobster, or seafood restaurant.   

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Simsbury, CT  2015

One of my favorite cars of all time.  I find it hard to believe that these Mustangs are now considered to be "antiques" having been first introduced in the mid-60's.  I remember them well and was even allowed on occasion to drive my father's Mustang.  If these are antiques,  that makes me just plain ancient! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

August Glory

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

This boat was built by the Great Lakes Boat Building School, Class of 2015.  They must be located in Michigan since the boat is carrying the colors of the University of Michigan.  The boat is a Cornish Pilot Gig and is to be delivered to the USS Constitution.  According to Wikipedia, a Cornish Pilot Gig is a 6-oared rowing boat made of narrow leaf elm, measuring 32 feet long with a beam of 4 feet, 10 inches.  Originally used as a general work boat carrying pilots out to incoming vessels, it is also recognized as one of the earliest shore based lifeboats responding to vessels in distress. Today there are many clubs around the world who maintain these boats and race them .

Monday, July 13, 2015

Breck Marshall and Friends

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

The Breck Marshall is a Cape Cod catboat, built at Mystic Seaport in 1987.  During the summer months one can book short sails aboard her around the seaport.  She looked very much at home amongst the other classic wooden boats docked and on display.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

Not every wooden boat is designed to be sailed on water.  

Saturday, July 11, 2015


There is a certain beauty and charm associated with wooden boats.  Their lines are classic and beautiful to behold, but I think I found an exception.  This particular boat is a beauty only in the eyes of her builder.

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

Certainly this is not a traditional style for a wooden boat but she does have a sort of quirky charm.  I guess it will sail.  If nothing else, it drew a lot of onlookers.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Interesting Design

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

Along with the "classic" wooden boats on display were a number of hand made boats, like the one pictured here.  This was part of the "I Built it Myself" exhibit which featured some pretty interesting designs.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

More Chris Craft

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT 2015

There seemed to be a lot more Chris Craft boats on display at this year's show.  They are all beautiful.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chris Craft - Two Views

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

I've always like Chris Craft boats.  They are classic boats.  If I remember correctly, this one was actually for sale.  It was built in 1950, and looked in great shape.  It could be yours for a mere $20,000, which I thought was a pretty good price, but I wouldn't know.  I was certainly tempted....

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

This sailboat was designed by K. Aage Nielsen and built in 1965 in Boothbay, ME by Paul E. Luke. She's designated as a K/CB Ketch and is 51' long.  A ketch is a sailboat having two masts,  the forward or mainmast and the aft mast which is also known as the mizzen mast.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

Some more shots taken at this year's Wooden Boat Show.  Some people come to just show off their boats, while others come to try and sell them.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fourth of July

Waterford, CT  2015

Niantic, CT  2015

Old Saybrook, CT  2015

Old Lyme, CT  2015

Clinton, CT  2015

Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 3, 2015

More of the Freedom

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT  2015

It was hard to get this 104 foot motor yacht all into one frame with the lens I had with me.  It might be the largest yacht I've seen, but I would have to say, it was the prettiest one I've ever seen.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

The "star" of this year's Wooden Boat Show at Mystic Seaport was the yacht Freedom.  Pictures hardly do this yacht justice.  It was designed by John Trumpy and built at the Mathis Yacht Building Co in Camden, NJ in 1926.  She's been totally restored and updated by McMillen Yachts Inc and includes room for 10 guests in 5 staterooms.  Fractional ownerships of this 104 foot fantail motor yacht are available, for a pretty hefty price.