Category Archives: photos

Christmas By Candlelight 2022 (Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA)

Date Of Event: December 17, 2022

Location: Old Sturbridge Village, 29 Stallion Hill Road, Sturbridge, MA

Hours: Held annually, November 25, 26, 27, and December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30. Christmas by Candlelight runs from 2:00 – 8:00 pm.

Cost: $32 for adults and $16 for youth (4-17)

Parking: Free ample parking is available on site

Summary Houses are decorated in traditional style while period style actors bake, make ornaments, play musical instruments of the day and tell stories of days of yore.

Website: https://www.osv.org/event/christmas-by-candlelight-2022/

Have you ever wondered how some of the earlier settlers of New England celebrated the holidays? Then Old Sturbridge Village has just the thing for you.

Luckily, you can see see an accurate display of how New Englanders celebrated Christmas during the 1830s, 1850s and 1870s (except for bonuses like having indoor plumbing and electricity in homes and other modern day comforts) at their Christmas By Candlelight event. One of the biggest attractions is the Center Meeting House, especially during the evening.

The Center Meeting house was used for meetings, elections and sermons. During my visit they were playing music at the Meeting House.

Many other homes were also decorated for the event.

Everything from the furniture and the way the curtains were hung was true to that era, Even the character actors were dressed in clothing of that time.

This worker at Sturbridge was making stockings

As the light was waning and I didn’t want to use a flash in this environment, even though it would have helped bring out some of the features of the people and the settings, I used a prime lens with a low aperture so I could photograph in the low light conditions.

There were also people making decorations, knitting hats and baking holiday treats

There were also musicians performing traditional holiday music

As the sun set on Sturbridge Village, I was able to capture

In case you got cold, there were open fires for people to warm up

Sturbridge Village also showcased acres of lights and decorations

But not all of the lights were on trees and houses. Visitors also wore festive lights to get in the spirit of the event!

Each year Sturbridge Village holds a gingerbread home contest. They have showcased some incredible works in the past and this year was no different. It was a nice way to end the visit


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.


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 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.


Sunrise In The Sunflowers (Coppal House Farm, Lee, NH)

Date Of Event: August 6, 2021 (the annual event is usually held the first Sunday in August)

Location: Coppal House Farm, 118 N. River Rd (rt 155) Lee, NH (about 45 mins southeast of Concord, NH, or one and a half hours northeast of Boston, MA)

Cost: The prices vary depending on when you go and your age. Prices can be found at the link below

https://www.nhsunflower.com/sunflower-festival-info

Parking There was lawn parking for about a couple hundred cars

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No this was not a dog friendly event

Website: https://www.nhcornmaze.com/

Summary: Coppal House Farm hosted their 7th annual Sunrise In The Sunflowers Festival

Summer, sunrises and sunflower. Who could possibly ask for more?

On August 1, he Coppal House Farm turned their farm into a sunflower paradise.

I arrived at Coppal House Farm bright and early for the “Sunrise In The Sunflowers” event which is particularly popular with photographers of all skill levels. I was surprised to see such a healthy crowd at 5:30 am. As the name of the event would suggest, the sunflowers really do pop with the rays of sun beaming on them. Initially, I was shocked to see the sunflowers were not facing the view of the sunrise. But, then it made complete sense as the sunbeams really hit the flowers and brought out their beauty. This time of day (the golden hour) is the optimal and, in my opinion, only time to photograph these flowers (except for possibly sunset).

I didn’t realize there were other types of sunflowers besides the yellow sunflowers that are so prominent.

There were also several props and decor for people to pose near for portrait shoots.

But there weren’t just sunflowers at the house farm.

There were a variety of different flowers at the farm.

There were also a few spooky trees at the event.

If you do visit Coppal House Farm don’t forget to buy a sunflower to take home or view the animals at the farm.


Summer Still Life With Lobster And Fern (Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 23, 2021

Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Atlantic St, Boston, MA

Hours: The mural is accessible all day but the official park hours on the Greenway are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some metered parking spots (metered parking is free on Sundays in the city) and several parking garages in the area

Dog Friendly: Yes

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

Highlights: Mural created by Daniel Gordon

As you inch back to a re-opening, a sure sign that normalcy is a new mural on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. And what better way to celebrate a rebirth and promise than flowers, lobster, watermelon and other staples of spring and summer in New England!

The painting by Daniel Gordon, a Boston native who grew up in San Francisco, CA, and now resides in Brooklyn, NY, likes to use manipulation and distortion of imagery. In fact, if you look closely at the mural you may see hidden images among the painted objects.

In fact, everytime I look at this complex work of art I see something else.

The mural, which will be on display until May, 2022 when a new mural is expected to be painted, is located right across from the South Station train station and the Boston Federal Reserve on Atlantic St.


Paul Revere House (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 7, 2019

Location: 19 North Square, Boston, MA

Hours:

Open year round.

Summer:
Open Daily
April 15 – October 31: 9:30 am to 5:15 pm
Winter:
November 1 – April 14: 9:30 am to 4:15 pm

Closed on Mondays during January, February and March.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Cost:

Admission
Adults $5.00
Seniors and College Students $4.50
Children (ages 5-17) $1.00

Admission is Cash Only

Universally Accessible: No.  The historic home is not universally accessible.

Website: Paul Revere House

Highlights, historic home, character actors, guided tours

Summary: The Paul Revere House offers guided tours of the historic home.  A special visitor stopped by during my visit.

Photography is not allowed inside the Paul Revere House (which makes it particularly hard to post about my visit there).  However, there was a special guest during my visit.

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One of Paul’s besties, John Adams, happened to be visiting while I was there.  John regaled the crowd (don’t they look enthralled?) with his stories of his colorful past and his disdain for the British and French.

John also read a letter from his friend Benjamin Franklin.

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But, before too long, John checked his watch and he told us it was time to leave.

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Although I could not photograph inside the building, I did get some photos of the exterior of the building.

Paul Revere bought the he two story building, which was built in 1680, in 1770 .  It has four rooms and ninety percent of the structure, two doors, three window frames, and portions of the flooring, foundation, inner wall material and raftering are original.  The rooms have furniture and furnishings that look similar to those from that era.  There are staff members in the houses who give a historical background of the house.

People come from all over to visit the house.  These two visitors came all the way from Illinois!

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Rumor has it there may be another special guest there next Saturday (Sep[. 28)!


2019 Vintage Lawn Party (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: September 8, 2019

Location: Salem Commons, Washington Square, Salem, MA

Highlights: vintage party, swing dancing,swing music,lawn games

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Party goers of all ages and backgrounds gathered together earlier this month at the annual Vintage Law Party which celebrated the early 1900’s.

Although not required, vintage outfits were encouraged and many people came out in the vintage best.

 

Dance classes were offered by North Shore Swing.

 

The lessons must have worked because the dance floor was ablaze with swing dancers.  Eat your heart out, Gene Kelly.

 

Music was provided by Dan Gabel’s High Society Orchestra

 

And, of course, Patty supplied the vocals.

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There were also lawn games such as badminton, croquet and bocce.  There was also a referee for the croquet tournament

 

Bocce can be a difficult game with lots of lots of twists and turns.  These reaction shots how how a game can go in many different directions very quickly!

 

Ted and Jenna were the winners of the  Witch’s Wicket Croquet Tournament.

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The one photography tip I would give for this post is not about technique nor is it about equipment or anything photography related.  My tip is to be bold (which is good advice for just about any aspect of our lives) and not be shy.  Despite my photos of people and all of the wonderful people I have met, I’m not generally an overly social person.  So, it’s not my nature to go up to complete strangers and ask for their photograph. In fact, I think I missed a few good photo opportunities in the past because of my shyness.  Some people may find that hard to believe now.

I also think photography can be a solitary activity.  All you need is your camera.  But, my camera has helped me meet so many nice people I would never have met if I didn’t have a camera with me.  So, don’t be too shy or worry what somewhat might say if you ask to take their photo.  In my experience, they’ll most likely say “yes” or at least be flattered.  You may make their day!  The upside far outweighs the downside.  The worst they will say is “no” and they have every right to say that. It’s not personal.  Besides, it’s a good way to connect with someone.  You may not just get a good photo.  You may make a friend.