Category Archives: Rhode Island

Five Days Of Foliage Day #4 – Goddard Memorial State Park (Warwick, RI)

Date Of Visit: November 1, 2017

Location: 1095 Ives Road, Warwick, RI

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free (but there are fees to use fields, gazebos and other facilities)

Parking: There are several parking areas

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some areas of the park are handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Goddard Memorial State Park

Highlights: 490 acre park with a 9 hole golf course, playing fields, beach, performance center and equestrian show area with bridle trails.  The foliage isn’t bad either.

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To borrow a term coined by my northern Vermont neighbors, “stick season” is fast approaching.  Stick season is the fall and winter transition that occurs after the leaves have fallen but also before snow has settled on the trees.  This season is not just common to Vermont though.

Indicative of “stick season, I noticed many of the trees at Goddard Memorial State Park had already lost most of their leaves.  Yet, there were still some decent foliage opportunities along the shore of the beach and park.  The densely wooded Goddard has 62 deciduous (trees that have leaves that change) and 19 evergreen species (a species of tree that does not change color throughout the year).  So, there were a variety of trees to find foliage on.

Considered one of the best parks in Rhode Island, Goddard Memorial State Park’s 490 acres of land along Greenwich Cove and Greenwich Bay in Warwick, RI.

Goddard Memorial State Park has an equestrian show area and 18 miles of bridle paths for horse riders to enjoy.  While I was there I did happen upon a few riders.

I had never been to Goddard before.  I only learned about the park the day before after a quick search for the best parks in Rhode Island.  And the reviewers didn’t miss their mark.  The best part of the park may be the variety of activities and Goddard Park also has a 9 hole golf course, 11 playing fields, a canoe launch, a beach that allows swimming and a performance center.  With its pretty waterscapes, extensive hiking trails and picnic areas, Goddard is definitely a great place to take the family.

Read more view more photos about my trip to Goddard Memorial State Park here…

 


Beach Polo (Newport, RI)

Dates Of Event: February 25 & 26, 2017 (photos taken Feb. 25)

Location: Easton’s Beach (First Beach), 175 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI

Hours: 1:00 -2:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: Free (parking was free for this event but usually the beach charges to park at the beach)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: people on horses playing beach polo

 

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It’s not everyday you get to see polo.  It’s even less often when you get to see it on a beach.

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As part of their “Winter Carnival”, Newport Rhode Island held a polo match sponsored by the Newport International Polo Series.

Even if you don’t know the rules of the game (I don’t), it is still fun to watch the horses and players.  There was also an announcer who did the play by play and explained some of the rules during the game.

While there are some rules of the game I don’t know, the basic goal (no pun intended) is pretty basic.  Put the ball between the two orange cones.  The team in gold won 10-9 by the way.

The horses looked especially pretty with the wavy water along the beach.  Onee thing I noticed about the horses is how they will sometimes use their legs to kick the ball and help the player. Or, they are sick of the player getting all the glory and they may want to score a goal or two.

The players all seemed to really have a lot of fun but they also play hard.  And the game is not without risks.  One player had to be carted away with a leg injury after she fell off her horse.

Dogs like polo, too.  I was surprised and impressed how well the leashed dogs and horses coexisted.

 

 

The players and fans have a close connection.  At the end of the match, the players trot by on their horses and greet the fans.


Gun Totem (Providence, RI)

Date Of Visit: September 24, 2016

Location: S Main St, Providence, RI

Hours: Accessible everyday,  24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is on street parking and several parking garages in the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlight: concrete obelisk constructed with over 1,000 real guns embedded in the concrete of the structure

 

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I found this group of photos from a visit to Providence, Rhode Island last summer.  I was originally going to post it on my Facebook page.  But, since not everyone has liked my Facebook page (you really should), I decided to post it here.  But, I do periodically post additional photos, videos and other fun stuff on my Facebook page that I don’t post on WordPress.  So, think about joining it.  OK, enough shameless self-promoting.

Built from 1,000 reclaimed guns from the Guns For Goods gun buy back program, the Gun Totem is a 12 foot obelisk made of concrete and 1,000 guns.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the totem is located across the courthouse in Providence, Rhode Island.

Award winning artist Boris Bally created the monument in 2001.  The concrete was chipped away to reveal the guns giving the guns a fossilized look.  Or, as Bailey is quoted and saying:

“All aboriginal cultures, including this country’s own native American culture, build totemic structures to serve as venerated symbols of a clan or family… It will act as a monolithic, metallic warning and ‘mojo’ to ward off evil and violence so prevalent in today’s society. A crew of volunteer ‘archaeologists’ aided me in carefully chipping away areas of the concrete skin to reveal the ‘fossilized’ handguns beneath.”

 


Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary (Tiverton, RI)

Date Of Visit: December 14, 2016

Location: Seapowet Ave, Tiverton, RI (about an hour south of Boston and about 30 minutes  southeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free but donations are appreciated

Hours: Trails are open dawn until dusk

Parking: There is a lot which can accomodate about 5-10 cars

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Trail Difficulty/Size: 50 acres of easy but narrow trails, I couldn’t find a description of the trail lengths but it can’t be more than 4 or 5 miles total

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: No, Audubon sanctuaries are not pet friendly

Highlights:easy trails, blinds to hide behind bird watch, wildlife, streams and bodies of water, birds, scenic

Web Site: Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary

Trail Map: Emilie Ruecker Trail Map

As a preface, I am trying to post about as many of my trips from earlier this year before the end of the year.  So, I may be posting pretty much every day until the new year and into the beginning of the new year to catch up and start fresh in 2017.  Lucky you… ( :

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Tucked away just over the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border is a serene little trail with lots of surprises.

One of the cutest surprises are these blinds that you can hide behind to photograph or observe birds.

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The trails at Emilie Ruecker are easy enough to navigate and they are mostly loops so it is easy to stay on the trail. There are also maps displayed throughout the sanctuary.  The trails can be narrow in some areas.  Also, if you go on the red trails, it’s easy to go off track.  Just keep looking for the color coded trees to stay on track.

One of the cool things are the openings along the trails that allow you to get closer to the water so you can view the ducks and other birds.

You’ll also find the occasional bench to rest at.

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Although there is lots of wildlife at the sanctuary, the highlight for me was the beautiful scenic views.

If you look closely, you may see the outline of a deer just behind the branch of this tree.  Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t focus in time to get a better photo.

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Much like this deer, the birds at Emilie Ruecker were hard to photograph.

The birds in the water proved more easy to photograph.

These birds were very easy to photograph, as long as I kept my distance.  They were hanging out on the other side of the road across from the sanctuary on some farm land.

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Water Fire (Providence, RI)

Date Of Event: September 24, 2016 (next and last Water Fire of the year is Nov. 5)

Location: Memorial Blvd, Providence, RI

Time Of Event: First lighting is a little after sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking lots and garages in the area.  Off street parking is limited during the event

Dog Friendly: Yes

Web Site: Water Fire

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Originally an award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans in 1994, Water Fire has become a staple of the Providence entertainment scene.  Initially, the Water Fire display was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence.  There were 11 braziers, or hot coal baskets, that were lit at the first Water Fire.  There are now over 80 in the three rivers of downtown Providence.

It was another warm summer day when we arrived.  Summer’s last gasp.  And there was plenty of outdoor pre-Water Fire entertainment.

The first braziers are lit right after sunset (around 7 pm when I went).  People on boats, some in the fashion of gondolas, float by during the festival and music is played during the event.

It was a cool evening.  But the warmth of the fires kept us warm.

This man kept going by and throwing flowers to various people.  I didn’t get one.

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Of course, Providence looks beautiful with or without the water Fire lighting.

It was also Chinese Culture Night.  Steeple Street had booths with information and games about Chinese culture.

The next Water Fire is scheduled for Nov. 5 (bundle up if you go).  It will be your last chance to attend the event this year asit is the last Water Fire event of the year.  They usually start up again in the spring of each year, usually in March.

Dogs are allowed at the Water Fire event.

Oakley is a 4 month old Australian Cattledog

Raleigh is a 6 month old American Staffordshire Terrier with a special talent (see the videos below)

Below are some videos from the Water Fire event:

A dragon in the water!  Part of the Chinese Culture Night

A human on a skateboard:

wait for it….yes a dog on a skateboard…

Someone playing with fire

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Coggeshall Farm Museum (Bristol, RI)

Date Visited: June 18, 2016

Location: 1 Colt Drive, Bristol, Rhode Island (about half an hour from Providence and 1 hour from Boston, MA)  (401) 253-9062

Hours: presently open Tue-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 15 – April 15
Open Weekends, 10 am to 4 pm
Open February 16 – 21, 2016 for February vacation

April 15 – December 15
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Cost:

Weekdays

Adults: $5
Seniors: $3
Children (3–12): $3
Children under 3: Free

Weekends

Adults: $7
Seniors: $5
Children (3–12): $5
Children under 3: Free

You can also purchase a membership for unlimited visits, free access to special events and discounts at their gift shop.  If you plan on going more than once or twice a year and especially if you go with your family, the membership is probably the best rate:

 

Individual membership: $25

Couples: $35

Family: $50

Parking:  There is a space for about 4 or 5 cars across from Coggeshall Farm.  You can also park at Colt State Park, which is adjacent to the farm but you may have to pay a fee to enter the park.

Size: 48 acres

Time To Allot For Visit: About An Hour

Dog Friendly: No (except for guide dogs)

Highlights: living museum, character actors, farm animals, historic style homes

Coggeshall Farm Museum

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You often find the most wonderful places in the most unexpected places.  On an otherwise nondescript trail at Colt State Park used for cycling and running, lies a farm frozen in time.

Established in 1973, the Coggeshall Museum Farm features interpreters and authentic reenactments of farm life in the year 1799.  Every last detail from the tools they use to the bedding (mostly hay) is authentic to the time it represents.

I loved the houses and workshops at Coggeshall.  The homes and interiors were definitely the highlight of the trip for me.  The rooms were modest and fairly bare (and I thought my room was small).

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Even the papers and bills in the houses are accurate to those days.  They don’t accept them as legal tender though, in case you were wondering.

Coggeshall Farm Museum also has a variety of animals.  When I came to visit there were 2 steer, 11 sheep and several chickens, turkeys and other fowl.  I also got to see some newly hatched chicks.

When I asked how long they keep the animals there I was told they usually live 6 to 8 years and then they have a “retirement plan.”  Yes, everything gets used at the farm.

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There were several character actors working during my visit.  This gentleman was cutting wood to store (it’s never too early to get ready for long, chilly winter nights).  When I asked how long it would take to cut all the wood he said, “util it is done”.  Where has that work ethic gone?

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The grounds are well kept and very pretty.  They also have a large grazing area for the animals.

Then there was Moe – the resident cat and pest control manager.  He was very friendly and playful as you can see.  Believe it or not, the chipmunk he’s hunting and carrying so gently escaped only a little worse for the wear.

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Coggeshall Farm also lets the patrons partake in some tasks (such as cutting wood) as long as it is supervised and they  have many events throughout the year such as Arts On The Farm and Farm Camp.  Check their website for more details.

 

 


Green Animals Topiary Garden (Portsmouth, RI)

Date Visited: June 25, 2016

Location: 380 Corys Ln, Portsmouth, RI (about 15 minutes north of Newport, RI and 1 hour south of Boston, MA)  (401) 683-1267 

Hours: Open everyday  10-5 seasonally (May 21 – Oct. 10 this year but the dates may change each year)

Cost: $15.99 for adults, $6.99 for youth (ages 6-17).  There are discounts available if you provide an AARP card (I’m not quite that old yet) and if you have AAA and possibly if you’re in the military.  Take note that the Green Gardens is considered part of the Newport Mansions and their prices are based on how many houses you visit.  In this case, the price was based on a one house tour because there is only one mansion on the premises (the Brayton House)

Parking: Free parking for 24 vehicles

Dog Friendly: No (service dogs may be allowed)

Highlights: shrubs and bushes cut into shapes of animals and other shapes, pretty flowers and gardens, mansion (Brayton House)

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If you think the grass is always greener on the other side, you’ve never been to the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Located adjacent to the Brayton house, the Green Animals display is the brainchild of gardener Joseph Carreiro.  Carreiro began the topiary in 1905 and the 80 pieces of topiary have been in place at the garden ever since.

The topiary may be the main  attraction.  But the flowers and plants are also very pretty.  In fact, as much as I loved the different shapes at the topiary, I found the flowers and the garden near the side of the topiary to be just as appealing.

The website states there are 80 different shapes sculpted into the greenery (although I don’t remember seeing that many).  I have included the most interesting of these 80.

The Damask Rose Garden is featured at the entrance of the topiary.

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The topiary has shapes of all kinds of animals. Like this giraffe.

DSC_0306DSC_0303with her/his baby giraffe (the black dot in this and some other photo is dirt on my sensor which I didn’t notice until after I got home unfortunately)

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And this duck.

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This is a growly bear (it is standing on its hind quarters)

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Not all of the shapes are made in the image of creatures that are presently with us.  This dinosaur was one of the scarier shapes in the garden.

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This colorful shape is of a yew rooster

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I don’t usually get this close to lions.

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This swan peaked her head out among the other green animals.

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This appears to be a bird

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It was a little warm for a polar bear

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Reindeers aren’t just in the North Pole.

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There are even human shapes cut into the greenery.  This human is riding a horse.

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This police officer helped direct traffic around the green garden.  I am not sure if he is affiliated with the Portsmouth department.

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There’s even a mythical unicorn

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This baby bear just wants a hug

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There are even inanimate objects cut into the greenery.  For instance, you can take a seat in this chair if you get tired (I am just kidding, you’re not allowed to climb and/or touch the greenery)

One of the few birds who actually sits still long enough for me to photograph him

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I looked like this elephant was going to charge!

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I don’t mean to boar you with this piece from the topiary.

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The handout I received did not have a description for this shape.  it appears to be a train.

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This mommy and baby bear were sitting outside the Brayton mansion.

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There is also a pet cemetery located at the topiary.  Four pets of the owners are buried there.  This section is very peaceful and decorative.  The cemetery has a bench for sitting and reflecting and gravestones with the names of the deceased friends.  It is very tranquil.

The flowers and garden are well kept and have some very vivid colors. I thought it was cute how they had “scarepeople” instead of scarecrows.  I also liked the different chairs and wind vane and other decor around the grounds.

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There is also a fish pond with goldfish in it.

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I also liked the Brayton House.  They do not allow flash photography in the house (although you can take photos with your cellphone).  I don’t like how photos look on my cellphone so I didn’t take any photos in the house but it is a must see on the tour.