Tag Archives: animals

Baby Animals On The Shaker Village (Hancock Shaker Village,Pittsfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 13, 2019

Location: Hancock Shaker Village, 1843 West Housatonic St, Pittsfield MA

Cost: Adults    $20 ($18 for Seniors, AAA members, MTA cardholders, and active and retired U.S. Military)
Youth     $8 (ages 13-17)
Children (12 and under) are free

Hours:

Hours mid-April through late-June 10am-4pm

Summer and fall hours July through October 10am-5pm

Parking: There is one average sized parking lot with additional lots for overflow parking

Handicapped Accessible: The Visitor Center, restrooms, galleries, store, cafe, and all meeting spaces are wheelchair accessible. Compact-dirt pathways and boardwalks throughout the Village provide access to the gardens and grounds, as well as the mile-long Farm & Forest Trail, which also features interpretive signage. Some buildings in the historic Village are wheelchair accessible via ramp, including the Round Stone Barn and the Trustees’ Office & Store. Keep in mind, however, that most buildings in the historic Village are NOT wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available free of charge with advance reservation

Pet Friendly: No, but service animals are allowed.

Website: Hancock Shaker Village

Highlights: historic homes, animals, educational tours, demonstrations

Summary: The baby animals have arrived at Hancock Shaker Village.  In addition to the baby animals, there are tours of the historic homes and educational opportunities for visitors at the village.

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Spring in New England can only mean one thing: baby animals at Shaker Village!

Each year, dozens of animals arrive at the museum for the new season. The animals are housed in the appropriately named Round Stone Barn.  The barn, which was built around 1839, was burned to the ground December 1, 1864.  One hundred tons of hay, ten bushels (roughly 93 gallons) of provender and two adjoining sheds went ablaze during this fire.  It was rebuilt during the mid 1870s.

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Sheep, goats, pigs, chicken and other animals were present during my visit.  People were encouraged to go into the pens with the animals and pet them or take photos.

But, there weren’t just babies at the village.  Older animals, in some cases the mom and dad of the babies, were also at the museum.

Being located so close to the mountains and countryside of New York (we actually drove through New York for a brief period of time), the views from the farm were beautiful.

The farm also includes historic homes.  The self guided tour has signs with information about each house with background about each place.

One of my favorite buildings is the Blacksmith’s shop.  The Shakers made all of the metalwork used for their buildings.  In the Blacksmith’s shop, which was built in 1874, a blacksmith conducts demonstrations of how they make the hardware they use.  He was the third generation blacksmith in his family and the last.  No one else in his family wanted to continue the blacksmith trade.

There is also a room with tanning vats, a cider press and a turbine.

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But my favorite buildings from that era were the homes, offices and stores.  The Trustees Office and store and family living quarters housed the souvenirs people would buy during their visits.  It was also the place where people on business trips could place orders for goods.

The buildings and sheds on the farm give the premises a very old time feel.

There was also a play area for children where they could play with toys from that era and play with other toys.  There was also face painting, horse rides and a balloon shaping artist.

The only really difficult part of the photography session, besides the animals moving when I took their photos, was photographing the blacksmith.  It had all of the elements of a challenging photo shoot: low light, motion when he used the tools to make the hardware and the fire which was in stark contrast to the low light in the room.  I wanted to show the flame on the stove and the light on the tool he was using.  So, I didn’t want to boost the ISO or aperture too much.  So, what did I do?

The hard part for me is when there is motion and low light.  You want to use a fast shutter speed to photograph motion (500 or higher).  But, when there’s not a lot of light you need to use a slower shutter speed.  I didn’t have my tripod with me (and the museum doesn’t allow tripods on their property).  So, I used a fast shutter speed (500) and lowered my aperture to the lowest setting (3.5).  To make up for the lack of light I boosted my ISO to 2000 which is pretty high.  I knew that I could add noise reduction to address the noise or grainy photo from the high ISO in the editing process (which isn’t without its drawback that I will address in a future post).

It was important to capture the motion without seeing any blur and I wanted to make sure the fire looked as realistic and was an accurate display of what I saw, so I went with a high ISO.  Even if I did have my tripod with me it wouldn’t have been very useful as I needed a fast shutter speed rather than a slow shutter speed to capture the motion of the blacksmith.  You can always adjust the image by using noise reduction and using a higher or lower contrast and exposure setting when you edit in LightRoom or PhotoShop, although you do want to get the best photo as possible in the camera to avoid having to edit it too much.  I did end up using a low exposure in LightRoom to show how dark the room was when I took the photographs and to highlight the light from the fire.

Below are some of the photos of the blacksmith which show how I had to adjust the settings to capture his motion and the light from the fire.  As you can see from the photo, the high ISO (2000) allowed me to capture both the motion of the blacksmith as he used the pulley to add oxygen to the fire to keep it going and you can see the sparks clearly from the fire.  The noise reduction tool unfortunately can take away some of the details.  But it was a give and take.  I used the noise reduction to get rid some of the grain from the high ISO knowing that some of the features (like the background) may be a little dull.

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2000 ISO, 18 mm, 3.5 aperture, 1/500 shutter speed.

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2000 ISO 18 mm 3.5 aperture 1/500 shutter speed

I had to use a fast shutter speed (500) to capture the motion of the tool he was using without getting any blur and I sacrificed my ISO (technically I probably could have used a lower ISO, and I do have some photos of the blacksmith with an ISO of 1250).  I think I was playing it a little too safe with the high ISO

I ran into the same situation photographing the animals.  The barn was not well lit and the animals move around a lot.  I just had to use a high shutter speed (500 or 1000) and a low aperture (3.5 for most shots) and I was able to keep the ISO relatively low (around 400 for most shots) .  Again, I was able to use the settings in LightRoom to add color and bring out some contrast in the photos.

Shooting outside was not too hard, especially since I had some cloud cover which prevented sun glare and other issues you can run into when the sun is bright.  However, I have to fess up that I did have a 640 ISO (I should have bumped it down to 100 or so) because I forgot to adjust it after photographing the animals i the barn.  So, always check your settings when you’re changing locations at a photo shoot!

 


The Farm At Carter Tree Hill (Marlborough, CT)

Date Of Visit: July 22, 2017

Location: 86 E.  Hampton Rd, Marlborough, CT

Hours: the website says to call for hours (860-906-7866)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is free parking for a couple dozen cars.  More parking may be available in nearby lots when they have special events

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Family-friendly working farm with an eatery, general store, bed and breakfast, carriage house for events and farm animals

Tips:

  • It’s easy to miss the farm if you’re not looking for it

Website: The Farm At Carter Hill

Now that I have posted most of my posts from Salem up (I may have a few more to post later), I am catching up posts about places I visited this past summer and this fall.

One of the more enchanting places I visited this summer was a place I found by happenstance.  During a trip to a park in Connecticut, my passenger and I noticed an old pickup truck parked by the side of what appeared to be a farm.

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Tucked away off Route 66 in Marlborough, CT, Carter Tree Hill Farm has a farm, general store, barn used for entertainment and  events.

The animals in the farm area are very playful and friendly.  They really seem to like to play on their car.  My favorite part of the farm, the farm area has several goats, chickens, ducks and even a peacock.

It was late July during my visit and the flowers were in bloom.  Vibrant flowers were scattered around the farm and gardens.

The peak time to visit Tree Hill Farm is probably during the warmer seasons and fall.  It must look very pretty there during the autumn with all of the leaves on the trees changing color.  I also think it must feel good to be able to spend one of the first mild spring days there drinking a beverage outside after one of our long cold winters.

During the summer, Carter Tree Hill Farm shows movie on their projection screen.

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The Carter Tree Hill Farm consists of a general store, outdoor eatery, bed and breakfast, ice-cream and outdoor pavillion for weddings, carriage barn for private parties or events and Hogs Breath Tavern as well as an animal farm.

The friendly staff made us a coffee and pored me an orange juice at no charge and allowed us free rein to explore the property.

The affable staff at Tree Hill Farm work hard to keep the garden and flowers clean and pretty.  You can tell they take a lot of pride in their work by the way the property is kept after.  We also spent a while talking to a worker about how much he loves to work on his plants and vegetables at the farm.

There is also a an old time filling station (not in use) and a barn where you can buy home made jellies (try the marmalade), other snacks and other merchandise at Carter Tree Hill Farm. Look at that gas price!

With its ample space, colorful plants and flowers and barns and animals to watch, Carter Tree Hill Farm is a great place to bring the entire family.


Retreat Farm (Brattleboro, VT)

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 350 Linden St, Brattleboro, VT

Hours: Open Wed-Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed Mon & Tue)

Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, free admission for children under 2

Trail Size/Difficulty: roughly 1.5 miles, Easy

Fitbit Stats: 1.59 miles, 3,327 steps, 297 calories burned

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Parking: There is parking for about 20 vehicles in the parking lot

Website: Retreat Farm

Retreat Trail Map: Retreat Trail Map

Highlights: animals, educational, trail, family friendly

Tips:

  • Don’t forget to take the roughly 1.5 mile Nature Trail behind the farm
  • you can get in the pens with some of the animals
  • if you do go on the trail, try going up the “Skyline Spur” trail
  • follow the signs to the Nature Trail or Lil’ Lamb Loop to access the shorter mile long trail behind the farm
  • Located right next to Grafton Village Cheese Co

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It’s easy to find Retreat Farm.  Just follow the pinwheels.  If you’re lucky, you might even be able to take one home.

The signs and some of the advertising for the Retreat Farm tout it as a “children’s farm” but it is fun for the entire family.

Retreat Farm has a variety of birds and animals in their barn.  They also allow you to go into the animal pens of some of the animals and pat some of them.

There are also three piglets: Basil, Olive and Rosemary.  They moved around a lot.  So, it was hard to keep track of each one.  But, I am pretty sure Rosemary is the first one pictured with the white and brown pattern.

Carlos, an 11 year old Brahma-Red Holstein bull, has been a resident for some time at the farm.  Standing over 7 feet tall, Carlos is truly a gentle giant.  In fact, he is so gentle visitors can feed him by hand.

Naturally, there are lots of toys and activities for children to partake in and places for adults or younger people to sit while their children or nieces or nephews play.

There is also a short trail (about 1.5 miles) behind the farm.  The trail is actually part of a much longer 9 mile Retreat Trail.  But, as long as you stay on the trail behind the farm you should not end up on this larger trail.

I found people of all ages and fitness levels on the trail.  It’s pretty straight with a few inclines.  But, I would rate it as being easy.  There is one very shallow and narrow stream that you will have to cross.  You can basically walk right through it.  So, it’s not a big obstacle.  The views are very nice on the trail.  There are also various plants planted along the trail such as False Solomon Seal.

If you do decide to go on the shorter trail and avoid the 9 mile trail, follow the signs to the Nature Trail or the Lil Lamb Loop.

Along the main trail, there is a side trail wit a staircase called Skyline Spur.

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The short flight of stairs take you up to an area where, during the winter, there is a ski jump.  This ski jump will be used as one of the venues for the Olympic trials for the next Olympics.

Pets are allowed on the trails behind the Retreat Farm, which are open to hikers and snow shoers year round.  I saw this cute dog on the trail.  Avive, a friendly 2 and a half year old Irish Setter, greeted me when I got off the Skyline Spur trail.

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One of the gems of the much longer Retreat Trail is the Retreat Tower.  It’s not very far from the farm.  Due to time constraints, I could not take the trail to the tower.  However, Brandy Ellen and her companion were able to hike to it, take some photos and provide a good synopsis of their hike and a summary of the history of the tower. It has quite a storied and sad past.

Take A Hike…

 

 


Family Farm Fest (Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 15, 2017

Location: Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd.
Sturbridge, MA

Cost: Adults $28.00
Seniors (55 and over) $26.00
College Student (with valid college ID) $14
Youths (4-17) $14.00
Children age 3 and under Admitted Free

(if you do visit again within 10 days of the purchase of your ticket, your second visit is free)

Hours:

March – April
Open Wednesday – Sunday | 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Open Daily | April 15 – 23 | 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

May – October
Open Wednesday – Sunday | 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

(hours vary upon the season)

Parking: Free parking with the purchase of a ticket is available for about a couple hundred cars.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes.  Old Sturbridge Village offers handicapped parking, and , upon request, wheelchairs for some visitors.  Only about half of their historic buildings are wheelchair accessible

Web Site: Old Sturbridge Village

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Warmer temperatures and longer days of sunlight are not the only things coming to Old Sturbridge Village.  The baby animals have also arrived!

Just in time for April school break, Old Sturbridge Village is home to a variety of barnyard animals.  It is always a treat seeing the baby animals at the living history museum.

 

I have already made multiple visits to Old Sturbridge Village (click here to view my original post about my first visit there in July of 2016) and I am sure to make many more visits when they have fun events like this one.

Although they did not have as many animals as the Strawbery Banke Musuem’s baby animals exhibition, Old Sturbridge Village still had a wide variety of animals to view and, in some cases, pet.

Many of the animals, particularly the little ones, were pretty tuckered out after all that traveling and playing.

Meet Jake (on the left) and Patrick (on the right).  They are donkeys who were rescued from a farm in Texas and are looking for a good home, if you’re interested!

In the fields in the middle of the common area, there were chickens, alpacas and pigs and other animals in their pens.

This mommy hen was digging for food for her chicks.

There were also living actors playing parts of the people from that era (the 1830s).  They also interacted with the audience and they were very informative.

Fun fact: it took a shoemaker about one whole day to make…that’s right one shoe.  One.  Well, I guess it’s a “fun fact” unless you’re one of the shoemakers.

Okay, nerd alert: I could listen to these living actors (I hope they’re “living”) all day.  But, I couldn’t spend too long as I had photos to take and only so much time to spend there.  One day, I plan on just spending the entire day and taking it all in.

These aren’t real actors in case you were wondering (although in the first photo, the woman looking mannequin looks like a ghost).  These mannequins are dressed in common attire of the day.

The kids got a blast out of the firing of the musket (he was shooting blanks).

Thiss gentleman was building the frame of a house, with a little help from some friends.

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking photos of the beautiful buildings and landscapes at the village.

 


North American Alpaca Show (West Springfield, MA)

Dates of Event: March 31-April 2, 2017 (photos taken April 1)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, Mallory Building, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA (2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Cost: Free

Parking: ample parking is provided, free of charge, at the rear and side of the Mallory Building

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Alpacas, Alpaca shows, products made from Alpaca fleece

Web Site: North American Alpaca Show

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Known for their seemingly ever present signature smile and calm demeanor, alpacas are one of the more popular animals in the New England area.  Alpaca farms have been springing up more and more in the Northeast area.  In fact, the New England Alpacas Owners and Breeders Association (NEAOBA) lists 85 breeders in the New England and New York area.  Many of these breeders and owners met last weekend at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.  The owners and breeders came as far away as Phoenix, New York and parts of Maine and Vermont.

Besides being absolutely adorable and generally calm animals, alpacas are said to be very smart animals.  They often tend to pack together, you know like you expect from alpackas.  Okay enough word play.  For now.  As you can see from the photos below, they do like to be close to each other.

But, I did manage to get a few Alpacas on their own to photograph which was hard to do since they were all packed in there together (I told you I wasn’t done with my word play).  There are so many different colors and sizes.  Fun facts: the average alpaca can grow to be 150 to 175 pounds!  They also have a life span of 15-20 years and can grow to be as tall 3 feet at the shoulders and 4.5 feet tall by the head.

I also liked this “Alpaca photo bomb”

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Alpacas are shown and judged (they all received ribbons from to last place) and they are generally calm while they are being shown, except when their personal space is encroached.  But, overall they were very graceful.

Some of the alpacas appeared to mouth the metal fencing of their pens.  This is not uncommon.  In fact, one owner said he keeps baby teething rings for his alpacas and they enjoy using them.

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Most of the alpacas were very friendly, albeit a little guarded.  But, once they warm up to you, they were very social.  In fact, they seemed to pose for me.  That is what I noticed most about them.  They seem to have a lot of personality.

There were also several people selling many products made from alpaca fleece.  They sold a variety of products made from  alpaca fleece.  They were even selling alpacas made from alpacas (fleece). Being an animal lover, I inquired about the shearing process and I was informed that it is a simple, quick process that does not hurt the animals.

One of the cool things about these cuties is how they communicate to each other in a variety of ways such as through posture, the movement of their tails and some of them even make a noise the owners and breeders call “humming”.


Chestnut Hill Reservation (Allston/Brighton, MA)

Date Visited: September 24, 2016

Location: Beacon St, Brighton, MA

Hours: open everyday dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a free parking lot next to the reservation that accomodates about 100 vehicles, there is additional metered off street parking

Park Size:20 acres, 1.5 circular trail loop

Time To Allot For Visit: 1 to 2 hours

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: nice views, reservoir, easy circular trail, popular with cyclists, joggers and dog walkers, lots of birds and other wildlife, shoreline fishing is permitted

Lowlights: trail can get congested

Web Site: Chestnut Hill Reservation

Trail Map: Chestnut Hill Reservation Trail Map

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Created in 1870 on marshes and meadowland to provide the city of Boston with an additional water supply, the Chestnut Reservior, the reservoir now acts as a pretty body of water encircled by a 1.5 mile circular trail loop.  The reservoir was taken off line in 1978 and is no longer needed for a water supply for the city of Boston.  But, it is still maintained as an emergency backup source for water.  Now, a plethora of birds and other aquatic animals thrive in the reservoir.

While the reservoir itself is only located in the Boston area, Chestnut Hill area of the park, which includes parts of Boston, Brookline and Newton, includes a swimming pool, skating rink.

The reservation has some beautiful views of the Brighton/Allston, Chestnut Hill and surrounding areas.  The clouds provided a pretty, albeit threatening, touch.  There are pretty flowers along the trail and, as you can see from some of the photos, the circular loop around the reservoir is very easy with only subtle, if any, inclines.  You can see the two skyscrapers of Boston (the John Hancock Tower – the glassy blue colored building on the left – and the Prudential Tower – the brownish building with the long antenna on the right).  You can also see the stylish top of one of the buildings of the Boston College campus in the first few photos of this group.

There is also an abundance of wildlife at the reservoir.  Mallards, Cormorants, Canadian Geese and a variety of other birds inhabit the reservoir.

This Cormorant had just got his or her lunch.  In the last photo the Coormorant had eith er lost the fish or just swallowed it (you can choose to believe whichever makes you sleep easier tonight).

Birds aren’t the only inhabitants of the reservoir.  Turtles and other aquatic animals occupy the reservior as well.  It’s a little hard to see butt at the bottom of the second photo there is a huge turtle.

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Since it was such a nice day outside, there were a variety of dogs at Chestnut Hill Reservation.

ViVi, a 4 year old Beagle and Cocker Spaniel mix, showed off her talents of doing a pirouette and playing patty cake to beg for treats.

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Buster is a 9 year old English Lab and Retriever mix, or the best combination ever!

Bella is, appropriately enough, a 2 year old toy poodle.  Doesn’t she look like a toy?

Luke, a 2 year old Lab, was a little shy but warmed up to the camera nicely.

Please check out my Facebook page to see other photos, videos and other content that is not included in my blog

and look for me on my Instagram page @new.england.nomad_

Thank you!

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:

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Dorrs Pond (Manchester, NH)

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Borderland State Park (North Easton, MA)

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The Nature Trail And Cranberry Bog At Patriot Place (Foxborough, MA)

 


Kennard Park Sculpture Trail (Newton Centre, MA)

Date of Visit: September 24, 2016

Location: 246 Dudley Road, Newton Centre, MA (there is also an entrance on Farina Rd)

Hours: open daily, dawn to dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a designated parking area for about 6-8 cars.  People park on the side of the entrance when the regular spots fill up (see below for photo of parking lot)

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Park Size: 100 acres (conservation area is 32.2 acres)

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Highlights: Easy trails, sculptures displayed around the park (until Nov. 11th, 2016), wildlife, pretty trees and flowers

Lowlights: small parking lot

Web Site: Friends Of Kennard Sculpture Trail

Trail Map: Newrown Conservancy Trail Map

As if Kennard Park wasn’t pretty and interesting enough on its own, sculptures have invaded the park.  The Kennard Park Sculpture Trail is a diverse display of art with social , personal and political messages.  But, hurry if you want to view it.  It is scheduled to be on display until November 11th of this year.

I want to give credit to 52 Sundays-Halpern Blog for posting a blog about this amazing exhibit.  Stop by and check out halperns’ blog!

The sculpture trail includes sculptures from 15 different artists.  There are sheets of paper hanging from the exhibits or near the exhibits which give information about the artist and some of his or her inspiration behind the sculptures or art.  The sculptures may not seem to go in order numerically if you start the trail from the parking area because there are several sculptures and works of art on the front lawn.  I am listing the sculptures and pieces of art in numerical order based on the map key which is available at the park.  Free handouts for the trail are located on one of the tables at the entrance.

The first sculpture by Jean Blackburn is called Kennard Web.  She states she is fascinated by the age of trees and their ability to adapt or effect their environments.  She also states she would like to create a “weave of connections” through this art work.  The work of art would make visible the singular configuration of the community of trees at this time and place.

The second set of sculptures, by Paul Walker, are called the Nattural Balance Benches and Bridge Bench.  These tables and bench are a combination of rough and refined, accordiing to Walker’s write up.  They are natural and hand made.  They are comprised of black walnut is in Newport Bay and sediment stone with stainless steel posts.

Murray Dewart’s sculptures are the third work of art on the trail.  His sculpture entitled, “Pavilion Of The Sun” is meant to convey something aspirational, both spiritual and monumental.  The Sun Pavilion has the promise of something ceremonial and celestial, open to the sky.

The welded aluminum 15 foot gate is powder coated and installed in three sections.  On the inner face of each column inside the pavilion is a mirrored surface of stainless steelthat reflects the sunlight with the faces and bodies of the visitors.

Dewart also has a bright red aluminum gate as part of his exhibit.

The Propeller Bench by Kit Clews is the fourth exhibit on the sculpture trail.  The Bench Propeller is an ultralight cooling station.    Kit imagined a tree branch with a gently spinning propeller in place of leaves which are create cooling breezes whilst they lounge together under the kinetic propeller tree.  As the spinning wheel turns, visitors are free to visualize “whirled peace” and perhaps, someday, “the wheel thing.”

The fifth exhibit is a “Reflection on the Ornithology of Naturalist-Conservationist Frederick Kennard and Memorial to Extinct Species” by Charlet Davenport.  As the name suggests, the exhibit honors Frederick Kennard’s interest in birds and to the extinct species of birds who used to roam these woods.

The exhibit includes eggs with names of extinct species on them (the very same eggs, except they are not real, that Kennard would collect) as well as porcelain forms in the shapes of Japanese lanterns which are meant to mimic the paper lanterns which were used as ornaments during the times of Frederick Kennard.  A stoneware birdbath is located next to each tree.

Biomimicry Rain Harvester by Allison Newsome is the 6th exhibit on the trail.  Her sculpture is made of steel, cast bronze rain chains, aluminized steel culvert and garden hose.  It is a functional sculpture that harvests rain water.  It holds up to 700 gallons of water and it has a hose attached that can be used for gardening and help in conserving the use fo town water by using the water it collects instead.  Biomimetrics is the immation of nature to solve complex human problems.  Biomimetrics is a combination of “bios” which is Greek for life and “mimesis” which means to imitate.

Marek Jacisin’s “Visual Playground” (the 7th exhibit) is meant to transform that part of the park into a visual playground.  The sculpture recreates elements of a board game.  The pieces of the exhibit are the player pieces of the game and the park is the board, according to Jacisin.  Jacisin was aiming (no pun intended) to provide a stark contrast with the black and white spinning circles and the asymmetrical shapes.  Jacisin goes on to explain that “nothing is ever as it seems.”

Once your eyes refocus, you can make your way to the next exhibit (exhibit number 8).  Zoe Friend’s exhibit may be hard to find if you don’t look hard enough.  Somewhat off the main trail, past the parking area and closer to the office, Zoe Friend’s exhibit “Bromeliads” is a tribute to her mother.  While researching charm bracelets, Zoe came across her mother’s old charm bracelet and she wanted to create something that would showcase some of the things her mother loved such as fuschia flowers.  Specifically, Zoe remembered how the rain cascaded off the flowers and how they clung to the very ends of the stamens after a shower, cementing them as the perfect crux between the rain chain and the her mother’s charm bracelet.

The ninth exhibit by Caroline Bagenal is called “Strata.”  If, like me, you begin the trail at the area closest to the parking area, this may be the first sculpture you see.  The elements of the Strata sculpture were inspired by the park itself.  Bagenal states she was first attracted to the land of the park and the apple trees in front of the house as she first came into the park.  She was also attracted by an old well on the corner of the property and the old stone walls she passed by while walking through the park.  She also learned part of the park used to be used as a landfill which lead her to the idea of making an exhibit with levels of both “man-made” and “natural” levels.   As you can tell the sculpture includes natural things as well as man made materials.  Layers of thought, time and place are included in her sculpture.  She specifically chose the perennial garden to display her art because it suggests a clearing but with encroaching woods.  Even the books she chose to include in the sculpture such as a book by Robert Frost and a building construction book seem to add meaning to the exhibit.

“Color Notes” by Anne Spalter is the tenth sculpture on the trail.  Spalter’s exhibit includes three pieces; digital wallpaper, video work and exterior sculpture.

Digital Wallpaper is meant to be a main conference room with a large-scale kaleidoscope composition that integrates images of the wooded area during winter.  The video work is a “color piano” video that uses color notes from winter and fall creating an abstract piece that calls attention to the changing seasons.  The exterior sculpture aspect of the sculpture are meant to highlight the transparency of the “keys” with the colors of nature showing through.

Peter Diepenbrock’s sculptures are the eleventh part of the trail.  Peter’s art consists of four pieces.  His collection, called “Buddhati’s Dream: The Transference”, includes

“The Lost Boy”

“Spirit Ship”

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Spectral Shift II

and “Pegasus”

Peter’s intent was to create a strange otherwordly environment of alien-esque artifacts with fragments of alien intelligence or presence set in an otherwise perfectly quiet, natural environment.

To my surprise and delight, Peter was there to discuss his art and some of the details about his sculptures.  In fact, the artists may be appearing from time to time at the park to meet people and discuss their works.

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The twelfth exhibit is “Totems” by Deborah Putnoi.  “Totems” is in part an interactive exhibit.  Rocks and signs with words and phrases of good advice such as “breathe”, “imagine and “be open” are strewn throughout the trail and on trees.   People are encouraged to draw their own art based on the nature they see on the totems and on paper which provided.

Putnoi, who grew up in Newton and presently lives there, wanted to make a piece that is subtle and doesn’t detract from the nature.  The stones are meant to reflect aspects of the layered and embedded history in the toen as well as the history of the trail and space.

 

The next exhibit (number thirteen on the sculpture tain) is by Marco Vargas.  Marco’s sculpture was inspired by Ehecatl; the Aztec god of wind whose breath gave movement to the sun and gives life to the lifeless.  His love is symbolized by a tree that grows in the place where Ehecatl arrived to Earth.  Since Kennard Park is a natural zsetting, Vargas wanted to use natural materials to his sculpture.  He used red mud where graffiti hexagons draw the god of wind.  He also used branches and logs.

The fourteenth exhibit on the trail is “Sacred Space” by Carolyn Kraft.  Carolyn’s work of art is a reflection the beauty of nature and how we can appreciate it in our life.  She loves to make dwellings of nature from nature.  Carolyn thinks we can find contentment and be more connected to earth through her art.  Inside the hut are chairs made of stone with moss on them.  The beads which hang in the area change color based on the direction of the sun.

The fifteenth and final work of art is “Silent Spring” by Mary Dondero.  As the title would suggest, Mary’s art is based largely on Rachel Carson’s ground breaking book, “Silent Spring” which revealed the indiscrimate use of pesticides and how it affected our environment, particularly birds.  Mary’s exhibit includes 200 shimmering white objects at the base of the tree, all silent.  Most of the bird objects are clustered near an almost dry brook or stream.  She included ceramic hands in the stream-bed.  The hands may appear to be ripples of water when the water returns to the area.  Her goal was to imply that it is by our own hands that these songbirds have diminished in population.  Although it is explicitly explained in the paper explaining the art hanging near the exhibit, I interpreted the cloths on the rocks on the ground to be dead birds, perhaps due to the use of pesticides and other detrimental human made causes.

Besides, the works of art, there were many other pretty and interesting things at the park.

And, of course, there were dogs at Kennard Park.  With its easy trails and spacious areas to roam, Kennard is an ideal place to take your dog for a quick walk.

Frederick, a 4 year old Chihuahua rescue, had to take a big stretch before he began his walk..

Sally, a 3 year old Golden retriever, walks the trail almost everyday.  She was more interested in playing with her stick than looking at the art.

Truffles, a 6 year old Italian Waterdog, lied down and took in the art at the park.

Pika is a 12 year old Border Collie.  The name Pika is derived from the name of the pica font style.

Below is a video of Peter Diepenbrock’s Spectral Shift sculpture.  In the background, you can hear him discussing his art.