Tag Archives: dogs

Happy Thanksgiving 2017 (Robinson Park, Agawam, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 23, 2017

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

Hours: gates close at the park at 44 p.m. in the fall and winter.  During the late spring and during the summer, the gates and trails are open from sunrise until sunset

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

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

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

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

Dog Friendly: Yes

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

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cabo is a 2 year old Black Lab.

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Papi is a 1 year old Pitt Bull Terrier mix.

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Sophie is a 12 year old Mini-Datsun.

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

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

 


The Devils Chase 6.66 Mile Run (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 28, 2017 (annually, the last weekend of October)

Location: Fort Point St, Salem, MA

Highlights: over 1,000 costumed runners competing in a 6.66 mile race

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With the appropriate “Run Like Hell” tagline, the annual 6.66 mile race spooked up a wide variety of creepy racers.

Keeping with the Halloween theme, most of the runners dressed in their favorite Halloween-themed garb.

 

Over 1,200 runners, many in costumes, participated in the race.  Runners came from all over New England, New York region and even points farther.  The competitors had the option of running the 6.66 mile (roughly 10.7 k) race or the shorter 3.33 mile race (roughly 5.4 K) course.

A fog machine gave the finish line a eerie look and a d.j. from a local radio station kept the spectators entertained.  The finish line had some interesting items hanging from it. The spectators came dressed up for the event as well.

 

Don’t let the kids in the last two photos fool you.  They ran in the kids race and they are fast!

In fact, even though there weren’t as many kids running as there were in the adults and teens race and their race was shorter, I think I enjoyed watching them all cross the finish line and celebrate.

There were some competitive runners (the winner ran the 6.66 mile course at a 5:46 per mile average clip) and some who ran for fun and to challenge themselves.  Every runner received a well deserved “participation medal” when they finished the race.

I love the different expressions on the faces of the runners.  Some are determined.  Others are laughing and waving.  But, they all had a fun or a rewarding experience.   I  still can’t believe how hard it must have been to run the race in some of those costumes and still keep a smile on your face.

Some people ran with their dogs.  Others ran with their strollers in tow.

Watching all of the competitors pushing themselves or just enjoying their run with their friends (that is something I never understood – I never really ever enjoyed  any of my runs) in the mild October air, made my competitive juices flow and made me miss my competitive running days.  You know, before I picked up a camera.  But, after seeing everyone have so much fun during this run, I may have to try this race next year!

Rafa, a 1 year old Belgian Malinois, stopped by to watch the runners.

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Below is a video of some of the runners.

 


Halloween In Salem – Part II (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 31, 2017

Location: Salem, MA

Welcome to Part II of my photo blog post from my Halloween in Salem series.  If you want to view part I you can find it here.

There were so many amazing costumes from my visit to Salem on Halloween.  But, I have to say this was my favorite.

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What better day to get married than Halloween?  This couple got dressed up for their big day!  Congrats and best wishes to this lovely couple!

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During my day in Salem, the people continued to arrive in a variety of costumes from the cute to the scary to the down right bizarre.  But, it was Chucky that really put a scare into me.   He always scared the heck out of me!

Even though there were some duplicates in terms of the costumes (such as the Hocu Pocus costumes), they all had their own flair and style.

While it’s great photographing all of the people in their costumes during the daytime, things really get going during the evening.

Salem really does come alive at night during Halloween.  As people get out of work and begin to celebrate, the city comes to life.  Besides, Halloween really is best celebrated in the evening. Even the costumes seem to look cooler and more scary as the sun sets and the evening descends upon the city.

The city closes down many of the side streets at 4 p.m. and they close the garages from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. So, if you don’t leave by 7, you’re stuck there for a while!  It’s strange seeing the sity streets so desolate and walking down the usually busy streets.

There are bands that play well into the evening (the residents must love that) and the evening culminates with fireworks at 11:15.  I was long gone by then.

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So, it was another spooky and fun day full of surprises.  Until next year…maybe I’ll see you there then!

Lest I forget, there were so many beautiful dogs in Salem during Halloween.

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Freddy, a 7 year old Himalayan therapy dog, was tired from visiting patients earlier in the day.

Bubba is a 6 year old Mastiff and Doberman mix.

Romeo is a 14 week old Bernese Mountain dog.  He may look small now.  But, trust me, he’s not going to stay that size for long!

Galaxy is a 10 month old Pit Bull and American Bulldog mix

Bear is a 6 year old Siberian Husky and Border Collie mix.  His guardian said he is known as “The Dog Of Salem!”

Sophie is a 7 year old Black Russian Terrier.

Wilby is a 6 year old Sato dog from Puerto Rico.

 


Halloween In Salem – Part I (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 31, 2017

Location: Salem, MA

 

There’s no better place to be on Halloween than Salem, MA.  You might think I don’t have any second thoughts about the celebrations that celebrate a dark time in our history.  However, I have a different take on it.

I do actually have some mixed feelings about it, though, given the history of the witch trials in Salem so many years ago. It’s a quaint, pretty seaside city with a rich history and things to do all year round that transforms into a party town for 31 days.

But, I love the city for so many more reasons than just the pageantry and fun of their Halloween celebrations although I do find some of the novelty items to be a  bit distasteful.

My take on the whole commercialization and atmosphere of the season, though, is that we have taken a dark time and, despite that awful time, we’ve been able to turn a negative mark on the city into a time of fun and revelry.  I do think it’s important to remember the tragedy.  But I am also glad people are able to have fun and bring commerce and happy times to the area.

I thought I would begin this photo blog of my day in Salem with some couples and friends who have dressed up as a duo.

I think it’s funny how people walk by these, at times, bizarre outfits and act like it’s just another October day in Salem.  Definitely nothing out of the ordinary to see here.

I am always surprised by the creativity of the costumed visitors in Salem.  The “Cereal Killer” gave me a good chuckle.  And the Joker below was the best version  of him I saw during my visits, not just because of his look but his personality and the way he acted like him.

One of the more popular things to do in Salem, especially on Halloween, is have a psychic reading.  Each year, psychics flock to Salem to offer their services at the Psychic Fair.  There are also psychics who give readings all year round.

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The past few years I have arrived in Salem early in the morning on Halloween so that I can see as many people in their costumes as I possibly can.  And, this year, it paid off.  I saw these cute little trick or treaters walking through Essex St.  I think they trick or treat at some of the local businesses in the area.

And, yes, there were plenty of dogs in Salem for Halloween.

Alfie is a 1 year old Schnauzer mix.

Luna (on the left) is a 3 year old rescue Terrier mix.  On the right is Dobby, a 4 year old Golden Doodle.

Adele, dressed up as Beetlejuice, is a 10 month old Great Pyrenees.

Omid, Persian for “hope”, is a German Shepherd  rescue from Iran.  Omid was abused while he was in Iran and, after being hit by a car, he was left for dead.  But, a man saved her and brought him to a shelter.  Eventually, Omid was adopted by a family in the United States.  Omid is an inspirational example of how we should never give up and how things can change for the better, even in the darkest of times.  You can read more about him and like him on his Facebook Page.

You can also learn more about his story and see videos of him as a pup at the following YouTube videos:

Omid Video 1

Omid Video 2

These cuties got to see Salem in comfort and style.

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Thank you for stopping by and reading Part I of my photos of my day in Salem.  I may have to post 3 parts to include all of the photos from my trip.  Stay tuned for part II!

Please check out my Facebook page here.


Halloween Costumes – Part II (Salem, MA)

Dates Of Visits: Throughout October, 2017

Location: Salem, MA

With the record breaking crowds this Halloween season there were so many opportunities to photograph some really cool costumes.

I always go to Salem with the same thought.  “Less is more.” I try to focus on the best of the best costumes.  The problem is that so many costumes are great for different reasons.  A simpler, basic costume could be much more interesting and funny than an elaborate costume.  And, even if you were to focus on only the elaborate costumes, well, they are around every corner as well.  So, I d photograph a lot of people.  But, I also think everyone I photograph is “photo worthy!”

This post may have a little more gory costumes than I usually post.  There’s nothing too bloody and I kind of feel weird mentioning it.   But, I also understand some people might not be into that thing.  I have grouped the photos into categories.  So, you can skip the “creepy” group if you’re not into that.  After all, I don’t want anyone to have nightmares later.

Once again, out of all of the costumes that impressed me, I think the couples and friends who dressed up together are some of the best.  It’s great to see people get into the spirit of the season.

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This Nightmare Before Christmas couple posed with their beautiful dog, Bruiser, a 5 year old boxer.

These couples, families and friends did a great job with their costumes.  The funny thing is I have seen some of these people in my previous visits to Salem through the years.  I am pretty sure the “Three Blind Mice” in the bottom row visit Salem on Halloween yearly.  I love that they take so much interest and passion for celebrating Halloween!

This guy is another regular in Salem during my visits here.  he definitely comes up with the coolest costumes.  Spolier alert: his costume for Halloween was just as, if not more, amazing.

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Clowns and other creepy costumes have also been popular this Halloween.

 

 

My favorite costumes, though, are the fun ones.

It’s definitely not an election year.  I only saw one person dressed up as a politician and this person is not even in office anymore.  He also took up smoking.

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Costumes of the witches from the movie Hocus Pocus are a popular costume choice which makes sense since some of the scenes from that movie were filmed in Salem.

 

As Halloween drew to a end, it was only appropriate for Mr and Mrs. Clause to make an appearance since that is all we are going to hear about for the next few months.

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These beautiful dogs are Calvin Ruckus, a 5 year old Australian Cattle dog (blue heeler) is on the left and Bean (or Corbin), a 5 year old Australian Cattle dog (red heeler) is the happy fella on the right.   You can follow them at calvin_n_bean.

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This brave cat Oliver (5 years old) and his friend Hedy Lamarr (named after the Austrian/American actress and inventor), a 5 year old Chihuahua Weimaraner, took to the streets of Salem.  Oliver has similar marking as my cat, Bailey and she probably would have hid in the back of the carriage like Oliver did.

 

I know Halloween is technically over.  But, I’m going to extend the Halloween theme on my blog for a little while longer.  Stay tuned for my Halloween related posts coming soon.  I spent pretty much all day in the city on Halloween and I have lots of Halloween goodness to share with everyone!  I also have a few other extra surprises coming up.

Please check out my Facebook page and consider liking it.  Thank you to everyone reading and a big thank you to everyone who stopped to pose for these photos!


Halloween Costumes – Part I (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visits: Throughout October

Location: Salem, MA

 

What would blog posts about Salem during Halloween be without photos of people in costumes?  I had been holding off on posting my photos of people in their costumes until the end of the month.  So, I have plenty of photos to show and I may take a few more tomorrow.

These are always my favorite posts of the Halloween season.  The creativity and care people put into their costumes is very impressive.  Plus, the cuteness factor was on 100 in the photos of the families in costume.

There are so many people that dress up in some really cool costumes.  So, I will have to break it up into multiple parts.  I will try to post every day this week so I can include them all in my posts this week.

In this first installment, I am going to begin with the performers and people who are regulars in Salem during this time of the year and a few other visitors in costume.

Along Essex St, a pedestrian walkway that is shut off to traffic during the Halloween celebrations, there are a number of people who dress up and pose for photos with visitors (donations are appreciated).  Some of the characters that are represented on Essex St are the Addams Family (Pugsley couldn’t make it this year).  I didn’t notice it until now but it looks like they even got “Thing” in the photo.

 

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Frankenstein also has a rather elaborate display.

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There’s this scary werewolf.  I thought I saw a woman in a red hood here a second ago.  Oh well.

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Spider-Man helped this little girl shoot a web!

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This is what I love so much about Salem this time of the year and the performers.  They have so much personality (even the quiet ones like Mike Myers)

Speaking of Mike…here he is.

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And of course Pennywise.  Written on his tip jar is, “Tips to help find George Appreciated.”  Good to know my money went to something worthwhile.

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There were other famous characters who made special appearances during my visits.

The entire cast of the Nightmare Before Christmas somehow all made it there together.

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There are several other performers who don’t have a name or aren’t emulating a famous character (at least not that I know of).  But they are still pretty scary!

Witch costumes are also very popular in Salem.

Not all of the costumes people wear in Salem are scary of shocking though.  Some are down right cute.  It’s great seeing families get into the spirit of the Halloween season!

There were also lots of couples, or friends (I’m not judging or assuming here) who dressed up for their trip to Salem.  There were so many cute, spooky and fun couples!

Dogs have a great time in Salem too!

Maggie is an 8 month old German, Short Haired Pointer,

Stayed Tuned For Part II and Happy Halloween!


Halloween Decorations (Kittery, ME, Portsmouth, NH & Salem, MA)

Date Of Visits: Throughout October, 2017

Locations: Kittery, ME, Portsmouth, NH & Salem, MA

Over the years, businesses and people have both embraced Halloween as being much more than just a day to pull pranks and dress up in crazy costumes.

Halloween has become a season rather than a day and there may be better place to experience the spirit of the Halloween season than in New England.

Below are just a few of the Halloween decorations I have seen in my travels in New England these past few weeks.

Every year during the Halloween season, the owner of this house on Derby St decorates his or her home.  The decorator also has a place to donate money to the Lion’s Club.

When I stopped by October 1st, there was only a few decorations up.

However, the next time I visited, the following week, there were a lot more decorations up.  This home is another staple of the Halloween season.  Frankly, it would feel weird walking past the home this time of the year without seeing the elaborate display.  The bugs really creep me out!

To see the display from last year, you can click on my blog post from last year.

There was a special visitor in the yard during my visit.  A neighbor was walking her cat in the yard.

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This house on Hawthorne Blvd always has some interesting decorations and nick knacks on it property.  This tree was decorated with a variety of bird feeders.

Many of the homes in Salem get into the Halloween spirit.  These are a few historic homes and private residences that were decorated for Halloween.

Many of the businesses in Salem decorate for the busiest season of the year.

Witch’s Brew Cafe (156 Derby St) decorates their windows each year with different popular horror characters.

Mercy Tavern (148 Derby St) also had some fun artwork on their windows.

Dave Engs Flowers ( 136 1/2 Derby St,) put some spooky statues on his building.

These customers at Rockafella’s (231 Essex St,) must have been waiting a very long time for a table.

Witch Tees ( 172 Essex Street Suite 127) had a very useful mirror.

The Purple Scorpion Body Piercing & Tattoo (140 Derby St) dressed up their shop for the holidays.

I am actually not sure if Fivehands Curiousity Shoppe dressed up their store storefront for the season or if it always looks like this.

So, contrary to some people’s opinion.  I am not a vampire.  The person that looked in the mirror before me, though!

You might expect people and businesses in Salem to decorate their homes and buildings.  But, Salem isn’t the only place people like to decorate.

Of course, it’s hard to pull over some places to take photos of decorations and it’s not usually worth it if you’re in a hurry.

But, I was able to pull over to the side of the ride on a quiet road in Kittery, Maine.

Cause nothing says “Happy Halloween” like creepy dolls that look like zombie children.

These creative “pumpkin people” were on display throughout Portsmouth, NH.I found these particular decorations on State St in Portsmouth.

At least they look very happy.

I also noticed this witch on a telephone pole in Salem, MA.  It’s one of my favorites but I think it’s up all year long.

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This lucky dog, Dolly, got carried around the mall!