Category Archives: photography

Pilgrim Mother Statue And Fountain (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 18, 2022

Location: 72 Water St, Plymouth, MA

Located just a stone’s throw from the another famous attraction in Plymouth, the Pilgrim Mother Statue and Fountain is perhaps one of the lesser known attractions in the town. However, it has a an interesting back story and rich history.

The statue, which was a gift from the Daughters of the American Revolution to celebrate the1921 Tercentenary Anniversary of Plymouth, was meant a tribute the the women of the Mayflower who suffered a harsh first winter in Pawtuxet. Of the 18 women who boarded the Mayflower, only 5 survived the first winter, The serious look on this statue’s face is evidence of these harsh times.

Across the street from Plymouth Harbor, the statue keeps a watchful eye.

Sculptor Carl Paul Jennewein, a German born American sculptor, was commissioned to sculpt the Pilgrim Mother statue in 1920. Jennewein used granite from Deer Island for the base and bowl of the foundation. The statue is made from Knoxville, Tennessee, marble.

The Daughters’ 34th Continental Congress have described the statue as being of a “mature woman” who is “strong yet modest” and “sweet, gentle and kind.” The fact the women and men of the Mayflower made it through these difficult conditions is proof of these qualities.


Creepy Clown & Devil’s Chase Race 2022

Date Of Event: October 22, 2022

Location: Salem, MA

Clowns, devils and zombies oh my! These were just a few of the costumes people wore to the annual Creepy Clown and Devil’s Chase road race at Salem Willows last weekend.

Over 1,000 runners participated in the annual race. All participants were given these cool medals while the top performers were given additional awards,

The clowns started their 3.33 mile race first. While costumes were not required, they were encouraged.

One of the things I noticed is how many runners were smiling and having fun while they were running. As a runner I can say I don’t recall smiling or enjoying myself while running. Who knew running could be so much fun

Living up to the name of the race, some of the devils were dressed to scare for their 6.66 mile race!

Not all of the costumes were scary though. For instance, there were these cute participants

The spectators also dressed up and rooted for their favorite runners.

There were also some inspiring participants in the race this year.

Team Hoyt ran in the event

And a visually impaired runner also completed the race


22nd Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic (Hampton, NH)

Date Of Event: June 19, 2022

Location: Hampton Beach, 169 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH

Cost: Free

Parking: Metered parking is available at Hampton Beach. Since this is a popular event, parking is also available at various lots usually for $20 for the day during this event, although prices fluctuate based on the time of day and parking availability

For more parking information see below

https://www.hahttps://www.hamptonbeach.com/directions-parkingmptonbeach.com/directions-parking

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Websites:

https://hamptonbeach.org/events/sand-sculpture-event/

https://hamptonbeach.org/events/sand-sculpture-event/contestants/s:

Summary: Sand sculptors from all over the globe competed for the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting grand prize

It may seem strange to talk to about sand sculptures and the beach during October. But, what better way to feel warm and cozy during these colder days than looking back to this annual summer event.

The theme for this year’s sand sculpture event, which began in 2000 was “The Greatest Show On Earth.” All of the competitors contributed to sculpting the main sculptures for this theme.

I made two visits to the beach to view the sand sculptures which may explain the difference in light and shade in the photos.

I am posting the photos in the order they were located on the beach abd including info about each sculpture whenever background details were available..

“Transition” – Rusty Croft (Carmel, CA)

4th Place

As is evident by the gravestone like sculpture, this sculpture is a tribute to a loved one who has “transitioned.” This sculpture placed 4th in the competition. As I was photographing these works of art I found it

“Primal” – Chris Guinto (Captain Cook, HI)

Chris, originally from Florida but currently residing in Hawaii, is no stranger to the competition or to winning awards. He won the Sculptor’s Choice Award in 2021.

He described his dinosaur skeleton (or as he called it “spineasaurus”) coming to life. As you will see as a common feature of these sculptures, the attention to detail is incredible.

“I Am Life” – Melineige Beauregard (Hawaii)

1st Prize and People’s Choice

Melineige, who won the competition in 2017, repeated her standard of excellence with “I Am Life” bringing home first place.

She said the sculpture was based on the “flower of life” design that is present in all of nature and life. According to Melineige, this pattern connects us all through flowers and nature. The front side represents the “flower of life” while the back side represents the death and destruction that is also present in our lives.

“Knowledge Is Limited. Imagination Encircles The World” – John Gowdy (Italy/New Jersey)

This sculpture, based on a quote by Albert Einstein, uses symbols like books, an owl and pen and paper to show the different ways to express knowledge. Again, the attention to detail is amazing.

“Wyvern Whisperer” – Greg Grady (Derry, NH)

Governor’s Choice Award

Grady, another regular competitor and founder of the sand sculpture event, said the inspiration for the sand sculpture the Wyvern (pronounced (why-vurn) Whisperer was his son. His son asked him to make a dragon and they settled on a two legged dragon (wyverns are 2 legged dinosaurs) and he modeled the smaller figure on his son who likes to play “super hero.”

“Linked” – Bruce Phillips (San Diego, CA)

Bruce, from San Diego, CA, said his sculpture represents people and working together.

“Trolls” – Karen Fralich (Ontario, Canada)

2md Place

The meaning of this sculpture seems straight forward. Troll-like figures hug, offer treasures and act friendly to the crowned figure while they attempt to stab and mock him to his back

“Entropy” – Carl Jara (Lyndhurst, OH)

3rd Place

“Entropy”, in short a randomness or disorder in the system, certainly does show a disorder and randomness. Jara’s sculpture placed 3rd in the event.

“Let There Be Peace On Earth And Let It Begin With Me” – Justin Gordon (Groveland, MA)

“Hierarchy Of Needs” – Abe Waterman (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

Unfortunately, Abe’s sand sculpture collapsed due to weather conditions. So, a photograph of the sculpture was put in its place.

The sand sculptures are usually kept up for a week (in this case until June 26). The sculptures are also lit up for night viewing.


Stanley Park Braille Trail (Stanley Park, Westfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 4, 2021

Location: Stanley Park, 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA (about 2 hours west of Boston, MA and 1 hour northwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours:

Official Season: Stanley Park is open to the public (7 days a week) from 7:00 am until dusk daily (1/2 hour before sunset) until the last Sunday in November. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.

Off-Season: Gate 1, across from Westfield State University’s Woodward Center, is open year-round from 7:00 am until dusk daily, weather permitting. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several free parking lots at Stanley Park, The main parking lots are located off Western Ave

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: A braille trail has been installed at Stanley Park

Many of us have heard of “rail trails” (formerly use railroad tracks transformed into hiking trails). But, few of us may have heard of a Braille Trail.

As we progress and develop a more universally accessible society, most parks and attractions are making efforts to ensure their trails and buildings are more accessible for all. Stanley Park is no different, Enter the Braille Trail at Stanley Park.

The Braille Trail at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA, was built and designed by Scout Jeremy T Trottier of Troop 821 as part of his Eagle Scout project. Jeremy, 15 at the time he began this project, has always wanted to become an Eagle Scout and he had been working hard to reach that goal. Besides, it’s in his blood. Jeremy’s father and uncle are both Eagle Scouts.

The trail, which is meant to give the visually impaired an enhanced experience at the trail, is located at a serene, shaded, usually quiet area of the park where a lot of the wildlife is active. The sounds of nature and wildlife are meant to enhance the experience for the visually impaired.

The 300 foot path is connected by a series of 3 wooden stations attached by a rope with placards containing information about the trail and park in braille and print.

There is also a bench at the end (or beginning) of the trail.

Jeremy fund raised to generate the $1,700 to pay for the plaques and other materials to create the trail; It was completed and officially dedicated September 9, 2017

In case you’re wondering, yes, Jeremy realized his dream when he was officially awarded Eagle Scout on January 13, 2018.


El Corazón/The Heart of Holyoke (Holyoke, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 13, 2022

Location: Holyoke, MA

Hours: The murals are accessible everyday

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available throughout the city (mostly on Main St, High St, Clemente St and Hamilton St)

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: 10 murals and a variety of other art displays are located throughout the Holyoke area

Website: https://www.exploreholyoke.com/guide/beyond-walls-tour-holyoke-2022/

El corazón de Holyoke está vivo con murales. The heart of Holyoke is alive with murals.

Sponsored by the Nueva Esperanza, Inc in cooperation with Beyond Walls, the new murals in Holyoke, MA, named “El Corazon are meant to both give a voice to the artists in the neighborhood as well as give a glimpse into the culture of the community.

While most of the murals are clustered together on or near Main St, Clemente St and Hamilton St you will have to either walk quite a ways or drive to a few of the far flung destinations on High St. I wanted to take in the environment and experience the area. So I parked on Main St and walked to all of the murals. They were pretty easy to find.

All of the murals posted below are on the website attached above. I am including the murals in the order I visited them.

Collaborative Mural by Repoe 9 + Teck 3%

 341 Main St

“Iguana Boina” (Iguana Beret) by Rafique

363 Main St

“Ojitos Lindos” (Cute Little Eyes) by Bikismo 

387 Main St

“Yagrumo” by Vero Rivera

398 Main St

Transition of the Ancestors by Frankie Borrero

401 Main St

“La Danza” by David Zayas

57 Hamilton St

“Father And Baby Moose” by Bordalo II

44 Clemente St

If you look closely, you may notice the mixed media used to make this mural

“Seguimos Tostando” by Golden305, Bikismo + 305Ange

453 High St

“Tun Cutum PÁ” by Don Rimx

147 High St

I also found some other art in my travels around Holyoke


Breathe Life Together (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 16, 2022

Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA (1 hour and 10 mins southeast of Concord, NH and 1 hour northeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free

Parking: Metered street parking is available. There are also several parking garages in the area. Visitors can also access the mural by taking the redline or commuter rail to the South Station train stop.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/problak

Summary: A new mural, “Breathe Life Together”, adorns a building at the Dewey Square section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Boom boxes and track suits have made a come back. At least they have at the mural at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The mural, made with acrylic and aerosolized paints, the mural is meant to “honor and ask you to join the conversation about the past, present, and future of our communities in Boston, reminding us what we can do together” according to artist Rob “Problak” Gibbs.

A native of Roxbury, MA (Boston, MA), Gibbs uses graffiti to chronicle and immortalize the culture and history of the “Golden Age of hip hop.” Rob considers graffiti to be a form of hieroglyphs as well as a way to document and pay homage to underserved, underheard communities in the city.

Literally and figuratively rising from the grass, the young girl in the mural is a reminder of the past and our future.

The mural is located across from the South Station MBTA train stop on the red line. It is expected to remain there until the spring of 2023 when a new mural will be painted.


The Blue Trees (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 23, 2022

Location: Salem, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: street parking and garage parking is available near the exhibit

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: The Blue Trees, an outdoor art exhibit, is adding some color to the streets of Salem, MA

If you have been seeing blue trees in the Salem (MA) area, don’t buy new glasses or make an appointment to see your eye doctor. You’re not seeing things. The trees in Salem have turned blue. At least some of them have.

The Blue Trees exhibit is the brainchild of Konstantin Dimopoulos, a conceptual and social artist originally from Port Said, Egypt. The Blue Trees are meant to draw attention to the deforestation happening around the globe. The environmentally safe watercolor used on the trees is temporary and is harmless to the trees, surrounding environment, people, waterways and wildlife. It will be washed away with the rain and other weather conditions. There are currently 27 places to see these blue trees including Houston, Sacramento, Vancouver, Singapore, Germany, Australia and, of course, Salem.

The trees were painted in time for Earth Day of this year and I was fortunate enough to see one of the painters at work.

The trees, which are part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit, can be found by the museum on Essex St.


2021 Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown Race (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 23, 2021

Location: Fort Ave, Salem, MA

Summary: Runners from all over the region competed in the 6.66 mile Devil’s Dash or the 3.33 mile Creepy Clown race.

It’s that time of the year again in Salem, MA.

Devils, clowns and other scary characters came together in Salem MA last weekend to compete in the Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown race.

The race started with the Creepy Clown 3.33 mile race. The Devil’s Dash race started shortly after the clowns race began. The Devil’s Dash was a hellish 6.66 miles. Although it wasn’t required, participants were, of course, encouraged to wear a costume. And many of the runners got into the spirit of the event!

I’m still confounded how people can smile while they’re running. That, to me, is the truly creepy part of the race.

People of all ages could participate in the race. But, the little runners are always the most fun to photograph

It’s also fun to see families or groups of people running together. I was lucky to see some

The race wasn’t just for people. Pets could also participate in the race. Or, they could root on their favorite runners.

Although the race was a rimed event with standings, all of the participants were winners in my book. In fact, all of the participants walked (or ran) away with a medal for their efforts.


2021 Salem Zombie Walk (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 2, 2021 (held annually the first weekend of October)

Location: Salem, MA (about 45 mins northeast of Boston, MA and 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)

Summary: An assortment of zombies, mad scientists and other costumed revelers roamed the streets of Salem, MA in the annual Salem Zombie Walk

The annual Salem Zombie Walk in Salem, MA, has quickly become one of the most popular events in October.

There were young zombies, which are both the creepiest and cutest for me to see!

Zombie families (one of my favorites)

A zombie dog

and whatever this lady is holding

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Although the event is called the “zombie walk”, there weren’t just zombies at the event. There were werewolves and mad doctors among other spooky characters

The zombies began their walk at Salem Commons in Washington Square. They continued throughout the heart of downtown Salem, shrieking, gyrating and moaning the entire way.

It’s always nice to see familiar, friendly faces at these events. Throughout the years, I have attended and posted blogs about the past few zombie walks and I often see familiar faces there. This zombie is a regular at the yearly events and he always has a monster with him. I hope to see him and all the other zombies next year!


2021 Westfield Fair (Westfield, MA)

Dates Of Event: August 20-22, 2021

Location: Westfield Fairgrounds, 137 Russellville Road, Westfield, MA

Cost:

General Admission: $8.00
Seniors: $6.00
Children under 12 FREE with a paid adult admission

$2 per car for parking

Parking: There is ample parking available on the fairgrounds

Pet Friendly: No except for service pets

Universally Accessible: Yes

Website: http://www.thewestfieldfair.com/

Summary: A fun filled family friendly event in Westfield, MA

It may seem like summer is winding down. But don’t tell that to the visitors at the Westfield Fair.

Thousands of people from the Northeast flocked to the 93rd Westfield Fair last weekend which featured a variety of fun events and activities for the entire family.

One of the more popular events at the fair is the Junior Dairy show where a group of young ranchers got to show off their cattle handling skills.

Some cattle needed more encouragement to comply.

I was impressed at how the kids managed to handle such large animals with relative ease.

Another one of the more popular attractions at the fair is the animal petting barn. For one dollar, visitors can feed the seeminlgy always hungry goats, pony and other animals.

Although the truck pull and demolition derby are popular events, the kids also get to show off their driving skills at the Kids Power Wheel Race.

There were also a variety of events and activities for children including face painting

And a beauty pageant

There was also a play area, motorized ride on toys and fun activities for the little ones.

It was good to see people having fun in such a fun, wholesome event, especially since the event had been canceled last year. But, it didn’t go off without a hitch, unfortunately.

Usually, the fair runs from Friday through Sunday. But, the festivities for Sunday were cancelled due to Hurricane Henri.