American Clock And Watch Museum (Bristol, CT)

Date Of Visit: July 1, 2017

Location: 199 Maple St, Bristol, CT

Hours: April 1st through Nov 30th

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Closed Easter and Thanksgiving. Winter months by chance or by appointment.

Cost:

Adults $5.00
Seniors/AAA $4.00
Children (8-15) $2.00
Under 8 Free
Group tours available by appointment.

Parking: There is room for about 15 to 20 cars in the parking lot

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: clocks, watches and other time measuring devices from various eras and places, outdoor garden with a sundial

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Storing more than 5,500 clocks, watches and other timepieces, the American Clock And Watch Museum has one of the largest collections of watches and clocks in the country.  They generally switch out their clocks seasonally which makes it a great place to visit continually throughout the year.  I had been clocking the place for a while but it was my first time visiting.

While their total collection of clocks and watches numbers over 5,500, thy only display about 1,500 at a time.  They switch some of the clocks and watches every few months.  I’m sure they do it in a very timely manner.

The collection of clocks range from the beautiful to the bizarre.  I wonder how many times people have stared at these clocks and watches.

The biggest current attraction at the museum now is the classic kitty kat clock.

I could spend all day there, especially in the room with all of the grandfather clocks (many of which are from the Bristol, CT area)

Each clock and timepiece has a story behind.  They all have a card explaining when and where they were made and some interesting background information about the time piece.  I found the information and history of the timepieces to be just as interesting as the clocks themselves.

For instance, this clock was called “the grip” because the clock’s movement was so small it could be fitted into a large pocket watch case.  As is the case with many of the timepieces there, it was made in Connecticut (Forestville to be exact).

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The clock below is a tribute to baseball.  If you look closely at the clock you can see the baseball players and coach in the design around the face of the clock.  This clock was sold in 1875 by the American Clock Company in New York, NY.  The movement was made Noah Pomeroy, of course, from Bristol, CT.

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“The Philosopher” is a brass mantel clock with an 8-day movement made by the Ansonia Clock Company in Brooklyn, NY in 1855.  This is another interesting bit of information I learned at the museum.  Some clocks, especially the older clocks in their collection, had to be rewound.  Generally, clocks had either one day or eight day movement.  Clocks with a one day movement, obviously, had to be rewound every day.  However, saying a clock had a 8 day movement is a bit of a misnomer as it would have to be rewound every week (not every 8 days).

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I know.  Who knew a clock and watch museum could be so interesting!?

The museum also has old pocket watches, wrist watches and stop watches on display.

As you can see by the photos, Ingersoll played a major part in the watch making business, particularly pocket watches.  Keeping with their Connecticut ties, Ingersoll watches were originally supplied by the Waterbury (CT) Clock Company.

There are also several displays of watch and clock related items and historical exhibits.

This particular exhibit shows all of the different parts in watches and clocks.

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These educational displays showed how watches were made and the evolution of timekeeping.

The biggest clock in the museum hangs from the first floor to the bottom (or basement) floor.  It is a Tower Clock built by Seth Thomas in 1915.  It still keeps time and it is wound every 8 days.

One of the best parts of the museum is not even in the museum.  Attached to the clock and watch museum, the sun dial garden typically has a sun dial (it was not installed in the garden during my visit), flowers and a bench to take a break from all of the clocks and enjoy the day. if you need to take a timeout.  It really is a great place to pass the time.

Today’s featured link is Rena Tobey’s  blog.

Rena is a creator, curator and teacher among her many talents.  She made a visit to the American Clock And Watch Musseum in April of 2015. As I mentioned before, they do often switch out their clock and watch collection.  So, you will see some different clocks and watched that I did not photograph (although I did see quite a few that we both photographed).


Windsor Lake (North Adams, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 1, 2017

Location: George’s Fair Way, North Adams, MA (almost 3 hours northwest of Boston, MA and 1 hour east of Albany, NY)

Hours: gates close at 6 p.m. not sure when they open.

Cost: $5

Parking: There is room for about 30 cars or so in the parking lot

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some areas are handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly:No

Highlights: lake, boat launch, wildlife, beach, campground, play area for children, fishing, concession stand, Frisbee golf course

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One of the many lakes in western Massachusetts, Windsor Lake is one of the lesser known lakes in the area.

With its sheer beauty and family friendly activities, the $5 entrance fee (there is an additional fee if you park your RV or camper at their campground) is well worth it.  If you are a resident you may also qualify for a parking sticker.

Despite its scenic backdrop, well maintained beach and convenient boat launch, Windsor Lake still remains one of the hidden secrets of the northwestern region of Massachusetts.

Since it is such a natural beauty, it is very easy to capture the beauty of lake Windsor.

The trees, plants and flowers at Windsor Lake highlight the beauty around you at every turn.

There are also two play areas for children, picnic areas and even a concession stand at the lake.  And, yes, I so wanted to hit that pinata below.

Fishing and rafting or boating are popular activities at the lake.

There are also a variety of birds, insects and other animals evident at the lake.

Today’s Nomad featured blogger is WordPress blogger, poet artist and North Adams based Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts student Erica Barreto.  Erica posted about an interesting event called The Creativity Capsule that was hosted at Windsor Lake earlier this year.


The Amazing World Of Dr. Seuss (Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 3, 2017

Location: 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA (2 hours west of Springfield, MA)

Hours:

Monday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday:
 11 am–5 pm

Holidays: Closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Cost: One ticket gives you access to all 5 of the museum buildings (including the Dr. Seuss Museum).  You cannot buy one ticket for just one building.  Since it is such a popular attraction, tickets for the Dr. Seuss Museum are times for one hour and only 200 people during each hour time block are admitted at one time.  You can purchase advance tickets on their website (see below)

Adults: $25
Seniors (60+): $16.50
Youth 3–17: $13
Children Under 3: Free
Students: $16.50

Springfield Residents (with valid ID): Free – youth included

Parking: There is parking for about 50 cars in the main parking lot in front of the Springfield Museum and about 50 more in the lot across the street

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, there are elevators in the museum.

Highlights: art, statues and other items related to Dr. Seuss

Website: The Amazing World Of Dr. Seuss Museum

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Oh the places you’ll go and the things you will see at the Amazing World Of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, MA.  The museum, which opened June 3 of this year, is like walking into a Dr. Seuss book.

The museum is a tribute to Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, who was a Springfield, MA native.

From the moment you enter the museum, you are bombarded with vibrant colors, familiar characters and a sweeping sense of nostalgia.

 

 

The Amazing World Of Dr. Seuss is a two floors with a basement.  Each room on each floor has a theme. Fairfield St, Readingville and Oh The Places You’ll Go are a few of the rooms on the first floor.  The first floor of the museum is dedicated to many of Dr. Seuss’ characters and his books.  Children, and the occasional adult, get the opportunity to play games based on his works.

 

 

The first floor also has a section dedicated to Young Ted in Springfield which celebrates his time in Springfield, MA.

 

 

The basement floor has more Dr. Seuss memorabilia and artwork as well as an activity area where visitors can make their own Dr. Seuss works of art.

 

 

The second floor mostly has letters, mementos and photos from Dr. Seuss’ lifetime.  There must be hundreds of writings, cards, works of art and other memorabilia from his early days and from others writing to him  It’s very interesting seeing some of his early work before he became famous and hit his stride as an artist.

 

There is also a display that shows the process of how they make the statues located at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Garden which is located just outside of the building on the museum’s property.

 

There is also a Dr. Seuss statue I missed when I first first photographed the statues at the museum.  This statue is tucked away to the side of the museum.

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Today’s Nomad link is Paper Clippings.  Paper Clippings is Denise Ortakale’s WordPress blog.  She recently had some of her work displayed at the Springfield (MA) Museum as part at the Cats In Hats exhibit.  I wanted to photograph this exhibit.  But, since it was the work of other artists and not their own exhibit, the museum did not permit people to photograph the exhibit.  I am glad that Denise has posted her work so I can share it with everyone else.


New England Carousel Museum (Bristol, CT)

 

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Date Of Visit: July 1, 2017

Location:95 Riverside Ave, Bristol, CT

Hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10-5
Thursday: 10-5
Friday: 10-5
Saturday: 10-5
Sunday: 12-5

The Museum is available any day of the week for special tours and facility rentals; even when closed to the public. If you’re interested in visiting the Museum Monday – Friday please call (860) 585-5411

Cost:

Adults $6.00
Seniors $5.50
Children $3.50 (age 4-14)
Children $2.00 (age 1-3)

All admissions include one ride ticket for the indoor carousel.

Parking: There is parking for about 15 vehicles in front of the building.  There is also street parking available on Riverside Ave.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: carousel horses, working carousel, tours, family friendly

Website: New England Carousel Museum

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As a child, I always loved riding the Merry-Go-Round and looking at all of the beautiful horses on the carousel.  Living in the city, it was bout as close as I was going to get to a horse.  It was always the highlight of my trip to the amusement park, especially since I never was a fan of the roller coasters.

There is a place you can go so the very same kinds of carousel horses we rode on as children.  And, you might also get a chance to actually ride on a Merry-Go_Round while you’re there.  I’m not horsing around either.

The New England Carousel Museum is deceivingly big.  From the outside, you wouldn’t even notice the museum was there.  In fact, I drove by it the first time I went looking for it.  The museum features hundreds of carousel horses and other types of carousel animals in their 10,000 square feet of space and several rooms with carousel horses and other items from carnivals and amusement parks.  Most recently, they added a carousel on their second floor.

 

 

Some of the carousel horses have been donated.  Others are being held while the owners are moving or while their homes are being worked on. Yes, some people actually have carousel horses in their homes!

The carousel horses range from the traditional horse to swan, egret, giraffe and even a cat among other animals.

 

 

There are even some carousel horses in the form of mythical characters.

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The craftsmanship and attention to detail are incredible.  Most of the horses have placards that give a little background to their history and the artist who created the animal.  For instance, this “Irish Horse” was carved in 1917 by David Lightfoot for the Philadelphia Toboggan Company.  The Irish theme was indicative of the Irish Nationalism that was a major influence in the eastern part of the United States during that time.

 

 

This “Sweet Horse” was carved by Daniel Muller in 1895.  The horse, which is over 120 years old, is still in its original paint.  It also has all four legs in the air which is another unusual feature of the horse.

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This particular carousel horse was originally part of the carousel at Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT.  Lake Compounce, which opened in 1846, is the largest water park and Connecticut as well as the oldest continuously running amusement park in the United States.   This horse was taken down from the carousel at the amusement park in 1911 when the carousel was replaced with a newer, more up to date (at that time) carousel.  It now resides in the Carousel Museum.

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There are many more interesting stories and facts about each carousel horse.

The carousel museum just doesn’t have horses.  They also have a swan, egret, dolphin, zebra, elephant, cat and rabbit among other carousel animals

 

 

Photos of carousels and amusement parks line the walls of the New England Carousel Museum and they have other items from amusement parks as well.

 

 

I even manged to photograph a dog there!  This realistic sculpture of a Siberian Husky is located near the carousel.  You may notice how one eye is brown and the other eye is blue.

 

 

The knowledgeable and friendly staff at the Carousel Museum give guided tours and explain how the horses were made.  Some of the factoids I learned during the informational session: those tails on the carousel horses…yup they’re real.  They are actual tails from horses.  It is true that some carouse horses do have wooden, carved tails.  But, the horses with actual tails most likely got their tails from a horse that had passed on.  Also, most carousel horses were only painted on the outside because that was the only side most people would see and that would save them money.

 

 

The highlight of the museum for many people, especially the little ones, is probably the carousel ride.  And, yes, I did go on it.   The carousel is located on the second floor (there is an elevator for those who can’t or don’t want to take the stairs).  It’s a great way to end a fun visit!

 

 

Below are two videos I took at the museum.  The first video is of a motorized replica of a carousel made entirely out of paper clips.  The work of art is called “Paper Clip Fantasy” and it was created by Eugene Burnstein of Lakewood, New Jersey.

The next video is a video of the fortune telling machine at the museum.  Yes, it still works and it even gives out fortunes.

Since some of you may be wondering what the fortune said, I have included some photos of it below.  The front side of the card said to hold the fortune in front of a mirror to read it.  I was able to decipher it without looking into a mirror.  It says “love me and the world is mine.”

 

The Nomad’s link of the day is faye_fares.   Faye is one of the tour guides at The New England Carousel Museum and she is also a very talented artist.  She’s an artist, photographer and model.  Some of her work takes 4 to 9 hours to complete.  You can follow her Instagram account here.

Please connect with me on Facebook and Instagram

 

 


Three Sisters Sanctuary (Goshen, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 4, 2017

Location: 188 Cape St (rt112), Goshen, MA (about 45 minutes northwest of Springfield, MA and an hour and a half southeast of Albany, NY)

Hours:  Open 7 days/week, 8:00 am – Dusk

Cost: a $10 donation is suggested.  Children under 12 are admitted free

Parking: The parking area next to Three Sisters can accommodate about 15-20 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: There is limited wheelchair access.

Dog Friendly: Service pets are allowed

Highlights: unique pieces of art in a natural setting

Website: Three Sisters Sanctuary

 

The sign at the entrance to Three Sister Sanctuary states, “Where nature and art merge.”  That’s a pretty apt description of the sanctuary if there ever was one.

Three Sisters Sanctuary is no run of the mill art sanctuary.  Every piece of art is made of rock, plants, water, iron and other parts of the land in its composition.  In fact, sanctuary is a very good way to describe the place.  Three Sisters is more than just a place to look at art or enjoy the beautiful nature which surrounds the sanctuary.  It is a place for reflection, meditation and peace.

 

Richard Richardson, the owner and on site artist at Three Sisters created the pieces of art to foster a feeling of serenity, inner peace and spirituality.

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The name “Three Sisters” comes from Richard’s three daughters.  His three daughters gave him so much joy and happiness he wanted to give this joy and happiness to others through his art.  He says he did not find the garden.  The garden found him.  It helped fill a void in his life and it has brought him a purpose and meaning.

 

Richard’s use of old machines as well as other tools and spare parts is indicative of the unique style of the art at the sanctuary.

 

One thing you’ll notice in Richard’s works are his emphasis on people, particularly children, in his work. Looking at these works of art, you can’t help but stop and consider the effort and creativity it took to create such interesting and meaningful works of art.  It certainly does make you think about the many forms of inspiration and how we express that inspiration.

 

From afar, some of the statues look a little like something might see in a zombie movie.  But, they are all pretty harmless.

 

Keeping with his themes of spirituality and peace, you will also see angels and other spiritual figures.

 


Richard feels the presence of his older brother and his eldest daughter, who he tragically lost.  He says the art and nature both work to provide healing and peace while keeping the spirit of his brother and daughter with him.  Whether you are a spiritual person or not I still think you can at least find inner peace among the statues and other works of art.

 

Another common theme of the art at the sanctuary is the use of animals in his work.  Dogs, horses, butterflies and even a few mythical creatures are a few of the animals and wildlife

 

You may even run into a few real wildlife.  While walking along the sanctuary, I noticed this rather unhappy goose.  Unsure why he or she was making faces and noises at me, I went to take a closer look.  It turns out the mommy or daddy was just being protective.  It seemed appropriate that life would begin here and share in the peacefulness around them.

 

Some of the rocks at the sanctuary are said to give up energy and even be a source of healing.  In fact, if you stand in between some of the bigger rocks, it i said you will feel a certain energy and healing power.  One of Richard’s daughters who was helping him during my visit said she feels rejuvenated after standing next to the rocks.

 

Jut when you think you’re at the end of the art sanctuary, there are pretty cool statues and other works of art at the front of the sanctuary.

 

Richard has succeeded in making a sanctuary that is not only a place for art lovers to seek out unique pieces of work.  He has also helped create a place for people to reflect and find an inner peace.

Three Sisters Sanctuary also provides accommodations for visitors as well as ceremonies on their grounds.  The Nomad’s link of the day is a blog post by Kristin Chalmers.  She recently attended a wedding as the photographer and posted about Nicole And Kilean’s Medeival LARP Wedding At Three Sisters Sanctuary.

 


Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary (Attleboro, MA)

Dates Of Visits: May 20 & June 19, 2017

Location: 1417 Park Street, Attleboro, MA

Hours: Trails are open daily dawn to dusk.  Office hours are:

Summer:
Mon-Fri, 9:30 am-4:30 pm
Closed Sat & Sun

Spring, Fall, Winter:
Tues-Sat, 9:30 am-4:30 pm
Sun, 10 am-4 pm
Closed Mon

Cost: Free but a $2 donation is suggested for visitors who aren’t members of the Mass. Audubon Society

Parking: There is ample parking inthe main parking lot for about 40 to 50 vehicles.

Trail Size/Difficulty: 1.5 miles, easy

Handicapped Accessible: The nature center and rest rooms are handicapped accessible.  The trails at Oak Knoll are not.

Dog friendly: No, most Audubon trails are not pet friendly

Highlights: wildlife, pond, easy trails, geo-caching, summer camp for children, nature center

Website: Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary

Trail Map: Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary Trail Map

Located about a mile and  a half from Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary, Oak Knoll is a fun trail with with scenic views, abundant wildlife and a few other surprises along he way.

Spring was in the air and a rebirth of sorts was happening on the trails.  During my first visit, I found these two Northern Water Snakes getting friendly.  To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at.  But, I did think at the time I did hear the faint sounds of Al Green in the air.  The naturalist at the nature center told me you could tell they were mating by their interlocked tails.

The Northern Water Snake can be dangerous.  Although they usually tend to avoid confrontations, if they feel threatened the snake can bite their predator or perceived predator and their bites can require medical attention.  This is why I always tend to keep my distance (these photos were taken with my telephoto lens) and from behind in most of the shots I took except for the one front facing photo.

During my second visit in June, I noticed this turtle on the trail.  Since it is unusual for a turtle to be in the trail and its even more unusual for a turtle to not flee when they see a human (I could have pet the turtle I was so close although of course I never would at least not int he wild), I notified the naturalist since I thought maybe the turtle might be injured.  The naturalist told me the turtle was most likely laying her eggs as they often do this away away from the water and it was that time of the year when turtles will lay their eggs.

The naturalist also informed me that turtles also tend to lay their eggs on warm areas, such as the side of paved roads.  This is one of the reasons why turtles often get hit by cars on the side of the road.  So, be careful while your driving this time of the year!

 

The trails at Oak Knoll are easy with some boardwalks that pass over red maple swamps and freshwater marshes.  There are a few very slight inclines.  But the trails are primarily very easy.

The main trail at Oak Knoll is a loop that leads to and circles around Lake Talaquega (say that 5 times fast).  There are some pretty views of the lake along the way.

I also spotted this geocache off the trail.  Apparently, a regular visitor at the sanctuary installs these geocaches from time to time.

There are a wide variety of birds and other critters at the sanctuary.  This colorful insect is a six pointed tiger beetle.  I think they call him Ringo.

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There was also butterflies, garter snakes and a variety of birds.

The nature center at the entrance to the trails has amphibians in tanks that are being taken care of while they are rehabbed or are there for educational purposes, particularly for the children who are attending the summer camp they host.  They also have some pretty flowers and trees on their grounds.

Today’s Nomad link of the day is the North Attleboro Fish Hatchery by Trails And Walks In Rhode Island.  Trails And Walks offers informative and detailed summaries of different trails in and around the Rhode Island area.  I appreciate the short but sweet synopsis of each trail and the posts always include one pretty photograph of the area.  I may have also used the website to find some places to visit!

 


Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary (Attleboro, MA)

Dates Of Visits: May 20 & June 19, 2017

Location: Park St, Attleboro, MA (behind the La Salette Shrine at 947 Park St) (45 minutes southwest of Boston, MA, and 15 minutes northeast of Providence, RI)

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free but donations are appreciated

Parking: There is room for about 10 cars in the lot next to the trail.  You may also be able to park at the Lasallette Shrine in front of the trail.

Trail Size/Difficulty: 3 miles total (.5 handicapped accessible), easy with a few gentle inclines

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, .5 miles of the trail are handicapped accessible with boardwalks, along the pond and vernal pool.  The rest of the trails are dirt, narrow and rocky and not handicapped accessible.

Dog Friendly: Dogs are not usually allowed on the Audubon trail but they are allowed in certain sections of the trail at Attleboro Springs (on the reflection trail I believe)

Website: Attleboro Springs

Trail Map: Attleboro Springs Trail Map

Highlights: wildlife, vernal pool,

Fitbit Stats: 2,712 steps, 242 calories, 1.19 miles

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Often overshadowed by the more well known cities and towns  south of Boston, Attleboro, MA, is one of the more underrated sections of Massachusetts.  It is also the site of two beautiful Audubon sanctuaries (Attleboro Springs and Oak Knoll) .  I decided to visit Attleboro Springs first.

Attleboro Springs is a little hard to find.  Basically, look for the La Salette Shrine on Park St.  The path to the trail is the very next turn after the shrine.

From the entrance to the park, one word comes to mind – charming.  A pavilion and map of the trail are located on the trail at the entrance.

The main trail at Attleboro Springs is the Reflection Trail.  The Reflection Trail encircles a pond.  A vernal pool with a vernal pool are also on the trail.  It is the easiest trail to take, although there are additional side trails.

Birds, frogs, tadpoles and other kinds of wildlife are abundant along the trail, particularly at the pond and vernal pool.

I love side trails and going off the beaten path.  So, of course I tried them.  There wasn’t much to see except a brook and a cool bridge on the side trail.

The Reflection Trail is very easy with few inclines or rocky terrain which makes it ideal for jogging on or taking walks on, particularly since it is a short trail (about 3/4 of a mile).