Waterway/Lightway/Greenway (Boston, MA)

Date Of Event: October 17, 2019 (postponed from October 10, 2019)

Location: Milk St, Rings Fountain at Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA

Summary: Lights illuminated the Greenway while 30 people danced along the Greenway and along the fountains.

Website: Waterway/Lightway/Greenway

Lights, camera, dancers!

As part of the 10 year anniversary of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the workers at the Greenway Conservancy planned a very colorful event.   Thirty dancers frolicked along the Greenway while seven different colored lights illuminated the fountains.  New lights were installed specially for this celebration.

The event began with a pretty water display.  Normally, the lights at the Greenway are white.  But, for the first time, colored lights were installed at the Greenway for this special event.  This event was held twice earlier in October.  But those events weer held during the daytime without colored lights.  I thought a night time display would be much more interesting.

After a few words from the creator of the event, Peter DiMuro of Public Displays Of Motion, there was a pretty fountain display.

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Interpretive dancers began moving along the grassy greenway.

The highlight (no pun intended) of the event, was when the dancers made it to the brightly colored fountains.

The dancers, aged 14 to 75, were equipped with umbrellas while they danced along the fountains.  They creatively used the umbrellas and light to make some very pretty colors.

There’s no word on whether the Greenway will conduct another display like this.  But, if they do I will be there, umbrella in hand.

This one was particularly challenging to photograph.  I used a higher than usual ISO (between 300 and 1,000) with a fast shutter speed (500 and higher) to capture the water as it shot up in the air and the dancers.  While I did have a flash I used it sparingly.  For one, I think the flash was frowned upon giving the fact the darkness mixed with the light from the fountains made the event so pretty.  I also think it wasn’t necessary, especially since I could use PhotoShop to bring out the colors.  I was also able to hide mistakes by utilizing the darkness ( :

Shoots like this are hard since you want to use a fast shutter speed to capture motion, yet you often want to use a slower shutter speed in low light situations.  So, I compensated with a higher than usual ISO to capture as much light as possibly.  While it varied throughout the shoot, I generally used a lower F stop (around 4.0).


20th Annual Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic (Hampton, NH)

Date Of Visit: Sep. 6, 2020

Location: Hampton Beach, 160 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH

Hours: Open daily dawn to dusk

Parking: The main parking area and and Ocean are closed during the sand sculpting festival. Visitors can park in one of the lots in the area. Parking costs 10 to 30 dollars depending on when you park

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: sand sculptures, street performers,

Summary: Despite the Covid 19 pandemic, the show must go on at the

The next time someone tells you to go “pound sand”, say Ok and head over to Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Festival!

Yes, not even a pandemic can stop the sculptors from showing off their creativity and skills, with the proper social distancing measures taken.

I decided to photograph the sand sculptures a little different this year than I have in the past. Instead of going to the beach early in the morning or during the competition, I waited until the evening when the sculptures are lit up. The photos of the back of the sculptures were taken earlier in the day. So you may see some beautiful images of the sunset in the background of those photos. The sky looked like it was on fire.

The festival, which usually takes place at the end of June, was postponed until Labor Day weekend this year due to the COVID19 outbreak.

First prize went to Meliniege Beauregard (http://sculpturebeauregard.com/) of Quebec, Canada, for her sculpture “Second Star To The Right And Straight On Till Morning”. Beauregard also won first place in last year’s competition.

Abe Waterman (http://www.abewaterman.com/) of Prince Edward Island snagged second place for “Yesterday’s Serenade.”

Third place was awarded to Thomas Koet of Satellite Beach, Florida for his sculpture ” Eye Of The Beholder.”

Karen Fralich (http://www.sandscapes.com/bio_krn.html) of Toronto, Canada, won fourth place with “Just Breathe.”

The coveted “Governor’s Choice”, selected by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, went to Cgris Guinto (https://ussandsculpting.com/chris-guinto/#.X17IImhKjOg) of Key West, Florida.

Although the remaining sculptures did not win a prize, they were still all very impressive. It must have been very hard to select this year’s winners.

Rusty Croft (https://www.rustycroft.com/) of Carmel, California, sculpted “Mood Swing.”

One of my favorites and perhaps one we can relate to was “It’s Overwhelming” by Justin Gordon (https://www.elwindesigns.com/) of Groveland, Massachusetts.

Another popular sculpture was “Squid Pro Quo” by Carl D. Hara (http://www.artcleveland.com/personal.html) from Cleveland, Ohio.

“Lady In Repose” by David Andrews of Wisconsin was one of the more creative sculptures.

Last but certainly not least, perennial competitor and founder of the sand sculpting festival, Greg Grady (https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalSculptures) sculpted “I Believe.”

Grady also won an award from all of the other sand sculptors. Since Greg helped found the sand sculpting festival some 20 years it has grown in popularity and has been a big boost for the tourism and business industries in the area. For all of his efforts, the other sculptors presented Greg with this trophy.

The theme of the festival was the “Enchanted Land of the Sand.” All of the artists, named the “Grady Bunch” after founder and sculptor Greg Grady, helped created these sculptures. I waited until it got dark and the sculptures were lit up to photograph them. In retrospect I should have waited later. But I did have a long drive ahead of me and it was a long day. Next year I’ll wait a little later though. They do look so much better at night when they are lit up.

Speaking of the night time, the night life at Hampton Beach was vibrant despite some of the bars and clubs being closed. As you may see from the photos, the crowds were sparse compared to previous years.

The city closes down the main street where the sculptures are located and people are free to happily roam the streets. The drivers who are detoured because of this closure don’t share this sentiment I am sure.

The festival is a dog friendly event just not on the beach. At least not until the summer season ends. Bailey, a 1 year old English cream Golden Retriever, and Tucker, a 3 year old Yellow Lab rescue, enjoyed the sand sculptures, even though they were more interested in their treats!

Unfortunately, the sculptures were set to be up only until Sep 13. But, in a clear note of optimism, there has been talk of the next sand sculpture festival being even bigger and better to make up for this off year. See you there!

 


September 11th Living Memorial (Framingham, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 6, 2020

Location: Cushing Memorial Park, 80 Dudley Rd, Framingham, MA (about half an hour from southwest from Boston, MA or 1 hour northwest of Providence, RI)

Hours: Open daily dawn until dusk

Parking: Free parking for over 100 vehicles is located at the entrance to the park and another nearby parking lot

Summary: Located at in the heart of Framingham, MA, the Cushing Memorial Park pays homage to the 17 victims from Framingham, MA. who were lost during the September 11 attacks.

Although it may seem like it occurred yesterday, tomorrow will mark 19 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since the flights that were involved in the attacks departed from Logan Airport in Boston, MA, many communities of Massachusetts and New England were directly effected. One of those communities was the city of Framingham, MA.

Seventeen people from Framingham, MA, lost their lives on September 11. In an effort to memorialize these victims, the city constructed a place of remembrance at Cushing Memorial Park.

Seventeen trees, for each of the 17 victims from Framingham, with plaques containing the names of each victim on the ground in front of each tree. A yellow and a white floral arrangement adorn the plaques. A gazebo with benches inside for people to sit and reflect is located on a slight incline along the memorial.

The grass circular “void” between the planted trees on the left and those planted on the right of the gazebo is meant to represent the seventeen lives that never reached a natural conclusion. The designers planted maples, pines and the seventeen trees to represent strength, beauty, unity and the continuation of life. While those who passed are no longer with us, the trees planted in their memory will live on for many years to come.

To the left of the gazebo and trees is a plaque with an explanation of the design of the memorial and the details of the memorial of remembrance.

One tree stood out from all of the other trees at the memorial. Off to the other side of the pedestrian corridor is a Callery Pear tree that was seeded from the Survivor Tree at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. The seed for the tree was gifted from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. It was dedicated on September 11, 2019.

A granite marker with bronze engravings of the names of the seventeen victims sits in front of the gazebo.

As I took these photos and walked along the trails of the manicured lawns and throngs of people playing, walking and laughing at the park I noticed that many of the people may not visit or think about the memorial except during the annual ceremony at the park. It also occurred to me that as time passes many visitors to the park may not have even been alive when these attacks took place. But this memorial and the names of those lost will remain through the passing of time.


Cape Cod Canal Part II (Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 1, 2020

Location: 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA

Hours: Open daily dawn til dusk

Cost: Free

Canal Distance 7 miles each way

Parking: There are roughly 100 parking spots at the beginning of the canal as well as a parking area near the end of the canal for another 50 vehicles at Scusset Beach State Reservation

Universally Accessible: Yes, the canal path is paved and accessible to all

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: scenic, wildlife,art, fishing, crabbing, boating, art

Summary: The 14 mile (7 miles each way) canal path is full of scenic views, abundant wildlife and even a little art

 

I wanted to start the new year off the right way. So what better way to celebrate 2020 than with a long hike along the Buzzards Bay side of the Cape Cod Canal? Little did I know this would be one of the few outings I would undertake for a while. There was so much potential and optimism for a happy and healthy new year. How little did we know just how things would change.

The first attraction you may notice, besides the bridge, at the canal is the Fisherman statue sculpted by David Lewis . The bronze statue is a tribute to long time Cape Cod fishing enthusiast and lure maker Stan Gibbs. Gibbs often fished along the canal.

One of the popular attractions at the canal is the railroad bridge which still operates to take trains across the canal.

The railroad is an engineering marvel that took years to complete. People worked tirelessly to make this bridge operational often times taking risks to make sure the job got done. And I still have dishes in the kitchen sink that need to be washed. So, I am in awe of their dedication.

I tried to get tot he canal as close to sunrise as possible (it was New Year’s Day after all). But, it’s definitely work the extra effort if you can get there in time for the sunrise or sunset. The views of the canal early in the morning are stunning.

The trail along the canal is 7 miles each way. So make sure to pack some comfortable walking or running shoes if you do try to make the trip in one visit.

It was an unusually warm January day when I set out on my hike. There wasn’t too much wildlife present except for the occasional bird.

There is also some art along the canal (about 2 miles into the trail). The art was made by the Americorps of Cape Cod in 2012. It was a surprising and welcome sight.

The birds in the water and air aren’t the only birds at the canal. These works of art were displayed along the trail. I couldn’t find any more information about who created these works of art. But they were much easier to photograph than the birds in the air and water.

Off the beaten path (specifically up a stairway along the side of the canal trail) there was this memorial to the submariners who are still on patrol.

Although the Canal is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts, since it was January 1st and not really typical fishing weather, I did not see anyone fishing during my visit. But, I did see this man pulling out an empty crab pot.

The highlight of the canal walk for my was the end. And that’s not because it meant the walk was over. I did still have to walk back after all. The views of Cape Cod Bay from the jetty are breathtaking. The only advice I would give is to be careful walking along the rocks of the jetty, especially if they are icy or wet from rain or a storm. But I could (and did) spend a while just staring out into the bay. The breeze can be pretty strong at the end of the jetty even during warmer days. So maybe bring a sweater if you do venture out there.

The jetty is located next to Scusset Beach. Parking is available for this beach. So you don’t have to walk all the way along the canal to get there. After walking so long along the canal path it was exciting to see a different landscape.

Since it was an unusually warmish day for January, and the beginning of a new year, I saw a lot of people visiting the canal. The day did start in thew 20s. But, this is New England and “warm” can be relative. So it was a “warm” day for January in New England (it eventually warmed up to the 30s and 40s).

One of the dogs I saw at the canal was Tushy (yeah like a “butt”). Tushy is a 5 year old mixed (mostly Shepherd mix) breed.

I also saw Lulu, a 3 year old English Bulldog.

The next time I go to the canal I want to travel like Lulu!

If you missed part I of my visit to the Cape Cod Canal, you can find it below:

https://newenglandnomad2015.com/2020/08/12/cape-cod-canal-part-i-bourne-cape-cod-ma/

 

 


Cape Cod Canal Part I (Bourne, Cape Cod, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 1, 2020

Location: Bell Rd, Bourne, MA

Hours: Open daily dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: Free parking is available at the beginning and end of the trail There are roughly 40 to 50 parking spots in two small parking lots at the beginning of the path of the canal

Highlights: scenic, wildlife, boating, cycling, fishing

Summary: the Cape Cod Canal, constructed from between 1909 and 1914, the 6 miles (on the Bourne side) has some beautiful views and many opportunities for recreational activities or bird watching.

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Altjough it’s a haven for cyclists and fishing enthusiasts, the Cape Cod Canal has so much more than just running. cycling and fishing to enjoy along the canal. in fact with its beautiful views and wildlife, the Cape Cod Canal has a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy.

I arrived at the canal just in time for sunrise. Like most places, the canal is so much different during sunrise. It’s almost like it’s a completely different place. It’s so serene and quiet.

One of the bridges, ironically called the Railroad Bridge, was built to transport trains along the canal. It is still in function to this day.

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One of the more popular activities on the canal take place in the water. Boaters of all types of water crafts cruise along the canal.

Just be careful to not get too close. I’m sure the boater did this on purpose. But the cool water felt good. Luckily my gear didn’t get wet.

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There is also a wide variety of bird life along the canal.

Since there are a lot of fish in the canal the birds spend a lot of time hunting along the canal. And sometimes they find a fish or two.

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But birds aren’t the only animals along the canal. If you’re lucky and you look at the right spot at the right time you might see some other surprises.

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This seal was swimming in the canal. Since the canal opens up to Cape Cod Bay, it’s not uncommon to see them there.

But the biggest attraction for most of the visitors to the canal is the fishing. In fact, it was pretty hard to find an area to photograph without a fishing enthusiast being in the shot. The fishing enthusiasts do get there early. The canal was pretty packed with them by the time I had arrived at 5:30. One of the people told me he got there at 3:30.

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I didn’t see many of the fishing enthusiasts catching anything but colds and the feels.  But this guy did catch one pretty big fish!

And, for those of you who do care he did release it back to the canal.

Most of the fish in the canal are bass, herring, mackerel and whiting as well as other smaller fish.

My favorite part of the canal is the beautiful views along the canal. I walked the entire 6 miles each way and the path is pretty flat. Just be careful of all of the cyclists and runners. And don’t forget to wear comfortable walking or running shoes. The path is closed to motor vehicles.

The canal is dog friendly. I saw this cute 10 month old Alaskan Shepherd Bernese mix named Dorothy along the canal.

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The canal has two sides of course. So, stay tuned to the second part of my Cape Cod Canal trip!


Les Rang (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 10, 2020

Location: Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

Website: Les Rang

Summary: An illuminated art installation on Boston’s Seaport District lit up the otherwise bleak winter sky.

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Decorative lights during the winter are no big deal, particularly during the holiday season.  But one decorative light display stood out.  The light display, named “Entres Les Rangs” consisted of hundreds of sticks with reflectors that lit up intermittently.

Entre les rangs, which translates to “between the rows” in English, first debuted in Montreal.  It was such a hit, the display was taken over the border all the way to Boston.  It has also been displayed in Georgetown, MA and London, England.

Different sequences of blue, pink and purple lights lit up the installation.  The reflectors were actually being lit up by bigger lights that you may see in some of the photos which changed the colors of the reflectors.

I was hoping to photograph the display while it was snowing or just after a snow storm.  But, uncharacteristically for winter in Boston, there wasn’t much snow in Boston while the display was installed, especially on the days I was available to photograph the installation.  This is just one of the things that can go wrong when you’re trying to get that “perfect photo.”  But it’s not always possible to control the weather.  In fact, it’s pretty darn hard to do this.  Another time I went to photograph the display one of the sets of lights wasn’t working.  I (and I imagine a small army of visitors) emailed the DCR who was in charge of the upkeep of the display and a few days later it was up and running. Such is the life of a WordPress photographer.

It is unclear if this or any other display will be in the area next winter.  But, if they are I will be sure to photograph it.  Hopefully it will snow this time!

To view more photos that I do not post on my blog please like or follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  Thank you!

 

 


Tree Sculptures (Look Memorial Park, Florence, Northampton, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 3, 2020

Location: Frank Newhall Memorial Look Park, 300 North Main Street, Florence (Northampton), MA (half an hour northwest of Springfield, MA, and 2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Hours:

Cost:

Passenger Vehicle
$10

Buss, Van and Concert Parking
$15

Bracelets and Season Passes are also available.  Click on the link below for more pricing info

Admission Prices

Hours:

Monday-Friday

9am-4pm

Open weekends as well as some holidays such as Labor Day & Columbus Day
9am-5pm

There is a vehicle entry fee.  However, cyclists and walkers can access the park for free.  Also, those with a military ID or handicap placard can enter the park at no cost.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary:  4 tree sculptures sculpted by Harold Grinspoon have been donated to Look Park in Florence, MA, a village in Northampton.  Grinspoon and his team of artists, who operate out of nearby Agawam, MA, carved the sculptures.

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Look Park has always been known for the trees that tower above the visitors who come to cycle, jog or play at the 150 acre park,  But, there are a few unique trees there this summer.

If you want to avoid walking far at the park, the trees, which the park politely asks you not climb (wish I had known this beforehand), can all be found within a half mile distance and three of them (Entwined, Windows and The Beauty Of Nature) are clustered near each other.  The only sculpture which is located only a little farther away from the first three is “Chroma Quartet.”  Or, you can walk the entire loop (about a mile) and see them all while taking in the beauty of Look Park.

Four carved trees, carved and donated by Longmeadow resident and philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, are meant to bring some additional beauty to the park which is an especially welcome addition to the park during these times.  They will be on display at the park for two years.

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The first sculpture titled “The Beauty Of Nature”, which was sculpted in 2014, was made out of a cherry tree that stood behind Grinspoon’s home in Longmeadow, MA.  The tree was already dead but remained standing.  Grinspoon thought it was too pretty to cut down.  So, he repurposed it as a work of art.

The title of the work of art reflects Grinspoon’s belief in the ever changing possibility of nature reinventing itself.  The tree, which is part of his private SculptureNow collection, has also been displayed at The Mount in Lenox, MA.

This sculpture can be seen as you enter the park is located just past the main entrance.

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The second sculpture, “Windows”, can be found a short distance from “The Beauty Of Nature.”

Created in 2017 as part of Grinspoon’s natural series, “Windows” is composed of one reclaimed branch of a live oak tree.  The one long branch was quartered, separated and rearranged.  Grinspoon derived the name from the shapes and views you can see by walking around the sculpture and looking through the different frames of the sculpture.

“Chroma Quartet”, which was reclaimed from a live oak tree, can be found along the way to the children’s play area and, fittingly, the music venue.  It is named for its lively painted design and structural quality the artist felt evoked music.  The sculpture is meant to look as though it is vibrating with the pulses of background sounds.

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“Entwined”, which was sculpted in 2017 from a reclaimed live oak branch, can be found by the tennis courts and main parking lot by the main entrance.

The branch that was made into “Entwined” was cut in half lengthwise.  The twisted form of the sculpture created the overlapping design.

This sculpture was previously exhibited on the front lawn of the Agawam Corporate Center in Agawam, MA, for two years in a natural finish before Grinspoon decided to paint it before it was installed at Look Park.

Look Park also has a wildlife sanctuary, fields to play in as well as a train that may be in operation soon!  So, pack up the kids or dog and take a trip to Look Park and take in these beautiful sculptures!

 

 


Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail 2020

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Date Of Visit: June 26, 2020

Location: Yarmouth, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: Free parking is available at or near each of the locations of the sand sculptures

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: 17 sand sculptures are located throughout the Yarmouth, MA, area.  The sculptures are located conveniently at places of business and other popular landmarks like Yarmouth Town Hall and the visitor center in Yarmouth.While it is possible to walk to some of the sand sculptures, the only way to see all of the sand sculptures in a timely fashion is to travel by vehicle.  The sculptures will be around until Columbus weekend (Oct, 12)

Website: Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail 2020

Map: Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail 2020 Map

Sculptor: Tracy Fitzpatrick at Fitzysnowman Studios.

Yarmouth, MA, has some unusual tourists this summer.

The sculptor Tracy Fitzpatrick at Fitzysnowman Studios has created 17 sand sculptures located throughout Yarmouth once again for everyone to find and enjoy.  The 20 year tradition is a socially distancing friendly activity that is fun for the entire family.

Don’t worry if we get some rain or stormy weather.  Barring any vandalism, the sand sculptures will still be there throughout the summer.  But, vandalism can be an issue.  In fact, last year, when we went to visit them, three of the sculptures had been damaged.  So, I didn’t even bother posting the photos.  However, all of the sand sculptures were intact during my visit this weekend.

The reason why these sculptures don’t break down so easily is because they are built with finely ground quarried sand, which has sharp edges and stacks like sugar cubes.  This sand tends to keep its integrity unlike beach sand because beach sand doesn’t stick together as well because it is often rounded by wave-action and includes bits of oddly shaped seashells.  The sand sculptures that were built last year were built so sturdy they withstood 110 mile per hour winds during two tornados in the area.

Each sand sculpture is created one at a time, typically in a single day. Work usually begins in late May and continues throughout the month of June.  The sculptures were expected to be completed by June 26, the very same day I went to view them.  They are planned on being up until Columbus weekend (October 12).

The numbers of the locations of the sand sculptures are listed alphabetically on the map.  However, it would not make sense to look for them in the order they are listed on the map.  I am listing the locations based on the way I found them during my trip. Of course, you can travel to each sculpture in any order you choose.  But, I decided to go to the Taylor Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port first because it is the location that is the farthest away from the other sand sculptures.  Then, I tried to do a loop to visit the rest of the sand sculptures until I checked them all of my list.

I have included the addresses and landmarks where each sand sculpture can be found.  However, I could not find the exact addresses of some of them.  So, it’s tricky getting to some of them.  But, finding them is part of the fun!

I am listing the locations in the order I found them, mostly.  I am also including the number that corresponds to the sculpture number on the map in parenthesis.  But, I must admit some of the sculptures don’t seem to follow in order on the map and I actually stumbled across some of them by mistake (although that may have more to do with a lack of map reading skills on my part).  Unfortunately, due to how the sculptures are scattered throughout the area, you may have to backtrack to see them all in an orderly and efficient way.  Lastly, don’t forget to enter the Yarmouth sand sculpture photo contest!

(14)  Taylor Bray Farm

108 Bray Farm Rd N, Yarmouth, MA

(13) Strawberry Lane (Route 6A) Yarmouth Port, MA

(9) Kinlin Grover Real Estate

927 Route 6A, Yarmouth Port, MA

(8) Just Picked Gifts

13 Willow St, Yarmouth Port, MA

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4) The Cove At Yarmouth

183 Main St, West Yarmouth, MA

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(10) Route 28 Visitor Center

424 Route 28, West Yarmouth, MA

(1) Aiden By Best Western at Cape Point

476 Route 28, West Yarmouth, MA

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(11) Salty’s

540 Main Street, Rt. 28, West Yarmouth, MA

(3) Candy Co (my favorite store on the trail!)

975 Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA

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(7) John G Sears & Co Inc (no, this isn’t a selfie)

1221 Old Main St, South Yarmouth, MA

Dogs like the sculptures too

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(12) Seafood Sam’s

1006 Massachusetts (Route) 28 South Yarmouth, MA

(17) Yarmouth (MA) Town Hall

1146 Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA

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6) Hearth ‘n Kettle (the fish are also wearing PPE but they’re not distancing!)

1196 Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA

(2) Bass River Golf Course

62 High Bank Rd, South Yarmouth, MA

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(5) Dunkin’ Donuts

436 Station Ave, South Yarmouth, MA

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Today Real Estate

487 Station Ave, South Yarmouth, MA

(16) Wendy’s

32 Old Town House Rd, South YarmouthMA

Wizzil Story Walk (Salem Commons, Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: March 28, 2020

Location: Salem, Commons, Washington Square, Salem, MA

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary, 18 placards tell the story of Wizzil, a horrible hag who wants to add some excitement to her life.  Without giving away too many spoilers, her parrot suggests she amuse herself by making someone else suffer.  Hilarity ensues.

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It definitely seems like this whole “socially distancing” thing is working.  During my quick, socially distanced visit to Salem, MA, there was hardly a soul in the area.  In fact, many people were probably curled up with a book.

Salem Public Library has brought the best of both worlds to the Salem Commons.  The Storywalk, which was based on the children’s book Wizzil by William Steig and illustrated by Quentin Blake, was created so that families could enjoy the outdoors while still reading and laughing as a family.

The 18 signs are placed within the socially distanced spaces recommended by the government.  They were prepared by the Children’s Room staff at the Salem Public Library.

If you do go, there are some ground rules.  First, you must give each visitor a 6 foot zone of space for social distancing purposes.  Visitors are also discouraged from touching the signs.

You can read the story below.  I have I have posted the photos of the placards in the order of how they were placed at the common.  You may have to expand the screen to read the lettering since it is so small.  Or, better yet, go to the Commons and read it for yourself!

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Below are some photos of Salem Saturday morning.  It was very desolate and I was half expecting a zombie or some other undead being to come around one of the corners.  I was in Salem after all.  It was just me and this very hungry squirrel.

 

 


“The Fisherman” (Cape Cod Canal, Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 1, 2020

Location: Cape Cod Canal, 70 Main St, Buzzards Bay, Bourne, MA

Hours: The statue is accessible everyday,  24 hours a day, although the hours the canal is accessible may be different

Cost: Free

Parking: there is a parking lot for about 100 or more cars at the base of the trail of the canal.  There are also various parking areas along the canal.

Summary: Dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Cape Cod Canal, “The Fisherman” sculpture of Stan Gibbs stands next to the main parking lot to the entrance of the Cape Cod Canal trail.

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Buzzards Bay has long been known for the fishing enthusiasts who travel far and wide to try their luck in the waters of the Cape Cod Canal.  Now, there is a statue dedicated to the people who fish in these waters.  But, the 10 foot tall bronze statue sculpted by Cape Cod native and resident David Lewis is actually dedicated to one particular fisherman.

Legendary hunter, trapper, fisherman and lure-making expert Stan Gibbs, a frequent visitor to the Canal, is the impetus for this statue.  In fact, the people who decided to build this statue were member of the Stan Gibbs Fisherman’s Classic Tournament, an annual fishing contest held each September named in his honor.

Originally from Easton, Gibbs moved to Sagamore, a town in Bourne, MA, and just short distance from the canal.  It was there that Gibbs developed his love and skill of angling.  He would use his skill and knowledge of fishing to create lures, called Gibbs Lures, later in his life.

Dedicated in 2016, as part of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Canal, the statue shows Gibbs with two fish slung over his right shoulder and a fishing rod in his left.  A tablet rests on the block the statue stands on.  Engraved in it is the following:

THE FISHERMAN

A tribute to past present and future striped bass fisherman and the great cape cod canal.  Dedicated to local fishing legend Stan Gibbs 

 

Perhaps most importantly to the residents of the area, the statue didn’t cost the tax payers one dime.  The $80,000 price tag for the statue and surrounding area was funded through 7 years of fund raising.

The next time you stop by the canal, make sure to say “hi” to Stan!

As an addendum to my post, I apologize for my absence from WordPress.  I have been moving and anyone who has done this knows the time and effort involved in this process.  Things have settled down now and I will post more frequently.  I hope you all continue to view my content.  Since it is easier and less time consuming, I have been posting on my Facebook page regularly.  The link to my Facebook page is listed below.  Please connect with me on Facebook to see more content in a more timely fashion.  Thank you!

New England Nomad Facebook Link

 

 


Pumpkin Ball (Yankee Candle Village, South Deerfield, MA)

Date Of Event: October 18, 2019

Location: 25 Greenfield Road
South Deerfield, MA

Hours: Sunday–Saturday | 10 am—6 pm

Universally Accessible: Yes

Website: Yankee Candle Village

Summary: As part of their Fall festivities, Yankee Candle’s flagship store in South Deerfield, MA, held a celebration of all things fall.  A costume contest, ice carving, a haunted house and dancers were just some of the attractions at this event.

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Yankee Candle thrilled everyone with a Halloween/Fall event for all ages last month.

Dancers, costumed visitors and even a haunted house were just some of the highlights of this celebration of all things fall!

Yankee Candle decorated the grounds and store in proper fashion.

Meet Leona, a 1,732.5 pound pumpkin grown by Dan and Holly Boyce of Vermont.  Leona is the second largest recorded pumpkin grown in Vermont!

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Many visitors and workers got into the spirit of the season by dressing up in their very own Halloween costumes!  The black and white photo pays homage to George Romero’s classic 1968 black and white movie “Night Of The Living Dead.”  The zombies would later dance to “Thriller” as part of the dance performance.  There was a costume judging contest as well.  But I had to leave before the winners were announced.

 

The dancers at Kasaks Dance Academy performed during the Pumpkin Ball.  The half hour performance included dancing by each age group (starting with the youngest to the oldest).

 

Crawling out to the dancer floor, the last group of dancers danced to Halloween themed music ending their performance by dancing to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.

 

There was also face painting and a pumpkin decorating contest.

 

The fun wasn’t just in the store, though.  On the grounds of the shop there were alpacas, horse drawn rides, ice carving and a family friendly haunted house.

Joe Almeida of Sculptures In Ice carved a spooky ice sculpture at the beginning of the event.

 

 

There also alpacas from Grass Hill Alpacas.

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But, one of the more popular attractions at the event was the haunted house.  All of the proceeds from the haunted house ($5 admission) went to Dakin Humane Society, an animal shelter in Springfield, MA.  Inside the haunted house there were pumpkins, spiders, and other Halloween related decorations.

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After going through the haunted house, there were masks for visitors to put on for possible photo opportunities.  Two of the little visitors were nice enough to pose for me.

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Dogs celebrate Halloween too!  Scrappy, a year and a half old Chihuahua, was enjoying the unseasonably warm Fall weather.

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