Category Archives: Fall

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


Happy Thanksgiving 2017 (Robinson Park, Agawam, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 23, 2017

Location: 428 North St, Feeding Hills (Agawam), MA

Hours: gates close at the park at 4 p.m. in the fall and winter.  During the late spring and during the summer, the gates and trails are open from sunrise until sunset

Cost: $8 for MA vehicle, $10 for non-MA vehicle

Parking: There are about 50 parking spots in the park itself at various designated parking areas.  There are also several entrances besides the actual entrance to the park (on North St and Feeding Hills Rd) where you can park for free but there are gates at these entrances and you have to walk rather than drive to the beach and fields in the park.

Time To Allot For Visit: 3 to 4 hours to hike the entire park

Size of the park: 800 acres, 5 miles of frontage on the Westfield River

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: walking trails, stream, beach, picnic area, fields, lots of wildlife, great for bikers, joggers, walkers and dogs


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

There’s something about fall, especially in New England.  The hot sun and fresh crisp air is invigorating.  And what better place to spend such a seasonable fall day than Robinson Park in Agawam, MA?

Going to Robinson Park on Thanksgiving has become a tradition for me.  Since it is so close to my relatives and it is such a big park with so much to photograph, it’s a wonderful place for me to take my camera and get close to nature.  It’s also a great way to work up an appetite for the big feast later.

If there’s one word I would use to describe Robinson Park it would be peaceful.  Especially today when many of us are reflecting on what we’re thankful for and spending some quality down time with loved ones.  Walking around and the park I felt as though I was the only there, partly because I probably was.  At least I didn’t see anyone during most of my time there

Except for the occasional dog walker, cyclist or fishing enthusiast, it was pretty quiet at Robinson Park today.


There was a lot of bird and chipmunk activity as they get ready for winter.

There was also a sign of more life to come at the park.


It’s rare to not see someone walking their dog at Robinson Park and today was no exception.  With it’s wide trails, plentiful bushes and trees and numerous side trails, it is a great place to take your pooch.


Cabo is a 2 year old Black Lab.


Papi is a 1 year old Pitt Bull Terrier mix.


Sophie is a 12 year old Mini-Datsun.


I have posted about this park previously.  To view my original, in depth post about this park from last year click here.

I hope everyone has a happy, peaceful and safe holiday weekend.


Jenney Grist Mill (Plymouth, MA)

Most people are aware of the more popular attractions in Plymouth, MA, such as Plymouth Rock and Plimoth Plantation.  But, there is another hidden jewel in Plymouth.


Located only a few miles from Plymouth Rock, the Jenney Grist Mill is a replica of the mill which was originally located in the Plymouth Colony.

When I went to visit the foliage was still peaking in the area.

But the real gem of the grist mill area is the pond.

Ducks, swans and a furry friend inhabit the area.



Callahan State Park (Framingham, MA)

If you have a dog or if you are a pooch lover like I am and you live in the Massachusetts area, then you must make a trip out to Callahan State Park in Framingham, MA.  In fact, they should rename it Canine State Park.

When I arrived at the park, shortly before 9 on a Saturday morning, the fairly ample parking lot was already almost full.  It did not take long to find some cute canines to photograph.  I had more trouble deciding which dogs to photograph.

Casey wanted to get an extra close up photo.


Lucky’s dad used a ball to get his attention.


Luna looked right at the camera for me.


Shelby wasn’t sure if he should play with his ball or pose for me.


Finn, an Australian cattle breed mix, wanted to say hi.  Right after I took this photo, he ran up to me and snuggled with me.


Heboo dressed for the seasonably chilly weather with a sweater.


Ella gave me a big smile for her photo.


Duke (on your left) and Pete (on your right) were busy looking at their mom/walker.


Gracie looked sharp!


This guy was  a great poser!


Leaves carpeted most of the trails and the foliage was not at its peak.  But, there were still so many pretty views.

















There is lots of open land for dogs to play or run around on.




There is a creek that runs across the park

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It began to rain, only for a few minutes, when I was at the creek.  It stopped just after I get a few shots of the rain making ripples on the water.

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Callahan State Park also has a pond.








There is a little island in the middle of the pond.





This rock caught my eye.


The dogs went in for swim and one of them even retrieved a stick.



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The park has a circular path which is great for joggers and anyone who wants to take a leisurely walk.  The Greater Framingham Running Club held a 5k/10k run the day I was there.



The runner in blue and yellow waved to me.  Who said runners aren’t friendly?


There are so many things you can do at Callahan State Park.  This radio plane enthusiast took his plane out for a spin.


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This father and son their bikes for a ride.


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Happy Halloween (Salem, MA)

It’s official.  I’m a  Salemholic.  Today was my third visit to the Halloween Hub of America this October.  But, what better place to spend this crisp autumn Halloween?

I have never been so happy while at the same time being packed in one concentrated area.

The costumes ranged from the absurdly cute


to the classics like witches


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The “Ghost Busters”


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The creature from Where The Wild Things Are


The sharks and banana from the Katy Perry halftime Super Bowl show


Edward Scissorhands (probably the costume of the day)


Willy Wonka (with an Oompa Loompa and Violet Beauregard).  I guess Violet still hasn’t learned her lesson about eating the “three course meal gum.”


Star Wars (I especially like how they mixed it up a bit and used Luke’s ty fighter costume rather than the robe you usually see him wear)

Darth Vader was understandably upset that he just missed Luke and company


Snape (I think he cursed me)


Alice Cooper




Jason (he brought his mommy with him, isn’t that sweet?)


Or, is this the real Jason?


and his buddy Freddy


Snap, Crackle and Pop (in that order) took time from eating breakfast to pose


Father Time didn’t look a day over infinity


I found Waldo (actually quite a few Waldos).  He wasn’t that hard to find!


The occult leader from the blockbuster hit, Eyes Wide Shut (or so I was told)


I told this guy I was curious if I could take his photo.  He didn’t get the play on words but he was friendly nonetheless


And, of course, a Halloween festival isn’t the same without Frankenstein


One of the best things to see is when a family or couple or group of friends get dressed up together.  After all, the couple that haunts together stays together.  Or, something like that.

Some came dressed as familiar characters like Beetlejuice and Lydia (is she not a dead ringer for Winona?)


and Ron Burgundy with Veronica Corningstone (he’s Kind of a big deal)


Mario and crew


The Joker (in crocs) and nurse


Elliott, E.T. and Gertie


Dorothy, Glinda “the Good Witch” and the “Wicked Witch”


Alice in Wonderland


Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf (I guess they patched things up)


Fred, Wilma and Pebbles


And some came dressed in these other creative costumes


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This guy was giving out free hugs


Believe it or not, he actually had a few takers

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But, the dogs stole the show!  Whether in costume or not, they all looked great!

Dogald Trump was there


Milo stood tall for his photo!


Goliath is a gentle giant


Named after the popular dish from New Orleans, Gumbo, a rescue from New Orleans, posed perfectly!


Sam, the “zombie dog” was the cutest zombie in Salem.


Zoe wished me a “Happy Halloween”!


Lucy was the fairest of them all


Due to the large crowds and the hectic atmosphere, I was unable to get the names of all the dogs from their moms and dads.  But, I did want to share their photos.


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A great day for everyone, 2 legged or 4 legged.  I will be posting a few more Salem blogs later this week mostly dealing with the memorials, statues and impressive architecture from the area and probably a few more dogs ( :  If I included all my photos from my trips in this blog it would have been even longer and I didn’t want to over do it.  Until next year, Salem!  Have a Happy and Spooky (well, not too spooky) Halloween!

Haunted Decorations (Salem, MA)

There’s something magical about Halloween.  It’s a time when adults can still pretend to be a kid again, even just for one night.  Even the most mature, sober person can forget their responsibilities and relive their carefree days just a little.

For the remainder of the week, I will be posting the remaining photos from my trips to Salem, MA.  In this edition, I am posting photos of the various decorations, some other miscellaneous things and, of course, a few dogs from my travels in Salem.

Salem is known world wide for getting into the spirit of Halloween.  Everywhere you look, there are decorations of the season.



Besides the vendors selling merchandise there are also games and other fun types of activities.  This particular activity was meant to see if people could maintain eye contact with a complete stranger and possibly make a connection, even on just a platonic level.  It sounds like a good ice breaker to me.  The comments about the activity on the board are very interesting and humorous.



Salem is also creative in how they tie the season to other causes like this witch who encourages people to keep Salem “wicked” clean.


Even Witch’s Brew Cafe got into the mix.


Other stores and attractions, many open only for the Halloween season, decorate for the season.

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Some stores have humorous names without even realizing it.  Of course, this is a name of a hole in a barrel that often contains alcohol.  But, it may have a double meaning..


This is why Salem is so great.  The people even  get into it.  This resident decorated his or her residency and put out a can for donations for the Lion’s Club.

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This ghostly figure was seen in Salem harbor.


Salem is also known for its art and not just during the Halloween season.  There is art everywhere it seems.  These paintings on Essex Street portray a mermaid and a fish-type creature.


The dogs in Salem also get into the Halloween spirit.  It’s hard to tell from a front view but Astro had tarantulas drawn on his fur.


Molly was quite the cute pumpkin.


Oz was dressed as a Cadaver dog for Halloween.


I will continue my Halloween in Salem themed photoblogs throughout the week.  Thank you for stopping by and Happy Halloween!

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New England Nomad

Haunted Happenings (Salem, MA)

Since it is Halloween is imminent and Salem is so well known for its Halloween attractions, I will be posting a series of blogs from the Salem, Massachusetts, area from my recent visits.  If I took a photo of you or your dog and I haven’t posted it yet, I promise I will post it very soon. Also, I want to thank everyone (4 legged and 2 legged) and their folks who agreed to have their or their children’s photos taken. If you’re reading this, I greatly appreciate it.

Today’s blog features some of the sites, people and dogs of historic Salem.

There is something about Salem, or really any busy town or city, in the early morning hours.  There’s a certain serenity in the early morning hours, especially when you contrast it with the throngs that will soon descend upon the town. While the city is still sleeping and the roar of vehicles seems a distant memory, street vendors prepare for a busy day and other early risers take to the empty streets.  In a scant few hours, these city streets will be jammed.

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There were some other early  risers on the streets of Salem as well.  I ran into Quincy while I was roaming the empty streets.


One of the things about Salem that attracts a lot of visitors, apart from the Halloween attractions, are the memorials and structures in the area.  This particular structure in the heart of downtown Salem is the East India Square Fountain.  In the warmer weather seasons, they often have water flowing in it.  Designed as an abstract map of Salem, the two levels represent the pre-Colonial and contemporary shorelines of Salem.

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A little farther down the road is the Revere Bell, a tribute to the citizens of Essex County which encompasses the most northeast section of Massachusetts, who have served in the armed services.

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There is also a pretty arch near the Revere Bell that with overgrown foliage.


There were lots of people dressed up for the season





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I also saw Chica


and Stanley during my visit


More photos from Salem and the Salem area to come…

Witch Trial Memorial (Danvers, MA)

When most people think of the witch hysteria that gripped the New England colonies in 1692 and 1693, they are likely to think it began and took place exclusively in Salem.  However, although they are known as the Salem Witch Trials and Salem largely takes the infamy of the witch hunt, Salem does not hold that infamous title.

Salem Village, now known as Danvers, has the infamous distinction of being the beginning of the Salem witch hysteria.  It is here in Danvers, Massachusetts, where a somber memorial stands as a constant reminder to remember this past and to never let something like this happen again.


Erected in May, 1992, the monuments lists the 20 people who were executed during the witch trials.


Each slab lists a quote of innocence from each victim.


The rays spilling in from the top of the memorial was a nice touch.



Some of the more poignant quotes listed on the wall are:

“Well!  burn me or hang me.  I will stand in the truth of Christ…” – George Jacobs, Sr

“Amen. Amen.  A false tongue will never make a guilty person.” – Susannah Martin

The memorial also has a sculpture of “The Book Of Life” on top of a table that has a tribute etched in the base.



Attached to each side of the book are chains.  Stark reminders of the pain they endured.


Someone left a flower at the memorial, a common occurrence at this memorial, particularly during this time of the year.


The memorial site has many pretty views to photograph from a variety of angles and the foliage added a nice touch.  The foliage gave a serene feeling in contrast to the moving memorial.






In front of the memorial, there is monument that lists the generous donors who made the memorial possible.  You may notice the red door on the house in the background.  This is not unusual for the area.  The houses in Danvers and the surrounding area were beautiful in their understated uniqueness and pretty yet rustic nature.


A sign, inconspicuously posted by the side of the road explains the origins and history of the site and surrounding area as well as the meaning behind the memorial.