Tag Archives: New England

Les Rang (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 10, 2020

Location: Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

Website: Les Rang

Summary: An illuminated art installation on Boston’s Seaport District lit up the otherwise bleak winter sky.

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Decorative lights during the winter are no big deal, particularly during the holiday season.  But one decorative light display stood out.  The light display, named “Entres Les Rangs” consisted of hundreds of sticks with reflectors that lit up intermittently.

Entre les rangs, which translates to “between the rows” in English, first debuted in Montreal.  It was such a hit, the display was taken over the border all the way to Boston.  It has also been displayed in Georgetown, MA and London, England.

Different sequences of blue, pink and purple lights lit up the installation.  The reflectors were actually being lit up by bigger lights that you may see in some of the photos which changed the colors of the reflectors.

I was hoping to photograph the display while it was snowing or just after a snow storm.  But, uncharacteristically for winter in Boston, there wasn’t much snow in Boston while the display was installed, especially on the days I was available to photograph the installation.  This is just one of the things that can go wrong when you’re trying to get that “perfect photo.”  But it’s not always possible to control the weather.  In fact, it’s pretty darn hard to do this.  Another time I went to photograph the display one of the sets of lights wasn’t working.  I (and I imagine a small army of visitors) emailed the DCR who was in charge of the upkeep of the display and a few days later it was up and running. Such is the life of a WordPress photographer.

It is unclear if this or any other display will be in the area next winter.  But, if they are I will be sure to photograph it.  Hopefully it will snow this time!

To view more photos that I do not post on my blog please like or follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  Thank you!

 

 


Tree Sculptures (Look Memorial Park, Florence, Northampton, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 3, 2020

Location: Frank Newhall Memorial Look Park, 300 North Main Street, Florence (Northampton), MA (half an hour northwest of Springfield, MA, and 2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Hours:

Cost:

Passenger Vehicle
$10

Buss, Van and Concert Parking
$15

Bracelets and Season Passes are also available.  Click on the link below for more pricing info

Admission Prices

Hours:

Monday-Friday

9am-4pm

Open weekends as well as some holidays such as Labor Day & Columbus Day
9am-5pm

There is a vehicle entry fee.  However, cyclists and walkers can access the park for free.  Also, those with a military ID or handicap placard can enter the park at no cost.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary:  4 tree sculptures sculpted by Harold Grinspoon have been donated to Look Park in Florence, MA, a village in Northampton.  Grinspoon and his team of artists, who operate out of nearby Agawam, MA, carved the sculptures.

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Look Park has always been known for the trees that tower above the visitors who come to cycle, jog or play at the 150 acre park,  But, there are a few unique trees there this summer.

If you want to avoid walking far at the park, the trees, which the park politely asks you not climb (wish I had known this beforehand), can all be found within a half mile distance and three of them (Entwined, Windows and The Beauty Of Nature) are clustered near each other.  The only sculpture which is located only a little farther away from the first three is “Chroma Quartet.”  Or, you can walk the entire loop (about a mile) and see them all while taking in the beauty of Look Park.

Four carved trees, carved and donated by Longmeadow resident and philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, are meant to bring some additional beauty to the park which is an especially welcome addition to the park during these times.  They will be on display at the park for two years.

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The first sculpture titled “The Beauty Of Nature”, which was sculpted in 2014, was made out of a cherry tree that stood behind Grinspoon’s home in Longmeadow, MA.  The tree was already dead but remained standing.  Grinspoon thought it was too pretty to cut down.  So, he repurposed it as a work of art.

The title of the work of art reflects Grinspoon’s belief in the ever changing possibility of nature reinventing itself.  The tree, which is part of his private SculptureNow collection, has also been displayed at The Mount in Lenox, MA.

This sculpture can be seen as you enter the park is located just past the main entrance.

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The second sculpture, “Windows”, can be found a short distance from “The Beauty Of Nature.”

Created in 2017 as part of Grinspoon’s natural series, “Windows” is composed of one reclaimed branch of a live oak tree.  The one long branch was quartered, separated and rearranged.  Grinspoon derived the name from the shapes and views you can see by walking around the sculpture and looking through the different frames of the sculpture.

“Chroma Quartet”, which was reclaimed from a live oak tree, can be found along the way to the children’s play area and, fittingly, the music venue.  It is named for its lively painted design and structural quality the artist felt evoked music.  The sculpture is meant to look as though it is vibrating with the pulses of background sounds.

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“Entwined”, which was sculpted in 2017 from a reclaimed live oak branch, can be found by the tennis courts and main parking lot by the main entrance.

The branch that was made into “Entwined” was cut in half lengthwise.  The twisted form of the sculpture created the overlapping design.

This sculpture was previously exhibited on the front lawn of the Agawam Corporate Center in Agawam, MA, for two years in a natural finish before Grinspoon decided to paint it before it was installed at Look Park.

Look Park also has a wildlife sanctuary, fields to play in as well as a train that may be in operation soon!  So, pack up the kids or dog and take a trip to Look Park and take in these beautiful sculptures!

 

 


Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail 2020

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Date Of Visit: June 26, 2020

Location: Yarmouth, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: Free parking is available at or near each of the locations of the sand sculptures

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: 17 sand sculptures are located throughout the Yarmouth, MA, area.  The sculptures are located conveniently at places of business and other popular landmarks like Yarmouth Town Hall and the visitor center in Yarmouth.While it is possible to walk to some of the sand sculptures, the only way to see all of the sand sculptures in a timely fashion is to travel by vehicle.  The sculptures will be around until Columbus weekend (Oct, 12)

Website: Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail 2020

Map: Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail 2020 Map

Sculptor: Tracy Fitzpatrick at Fitzysnowman Studios.

Yarmouth, MA, has some unusual tourists this summer.

The sculptor Tracy Fitzpatrick at Fitzysnowman Studios has created 17 sand sculptures located throughout Yarmouth once again for everyone to find and enjoy.  The 20 year tradition is a socially distancing friendly activity that is fun for the entire family.

Don’t worry if we get some rain or stormy weather.  Barring any vandalism, the sand sculptures will still be there throughout the summer.  But, vandalism can be an issue.  In fact, last year, when we went to visit them, three of the sculptures had been damaged.  So, I didn’t even bother posting the photos.  However, all of the sand sculptures were intact during my visit this weekend.

The reason why these sculptures don’t break down so easily is because they are built with finely ground quarried sand, which has sharp edges and stacks like sugar cubes.  This sand tends to keep its integrity unlike beach sand because beach sand doesn’t stick together as well because it is often rounded by wave-action and includes bits of oddly shaped seashells.  The sand sculptures that were built last year were built so sturdy they withstood 110 mile per hour winds during two tornados in the area.

Each sand sculpture is created one at a time, typically in a single day. Work usually begins in late May and continues throughout the month of June.  The sculptures were expected to be completed by June 26, the very same day I went to view them.  They are planned on being up until Columbus weekend (October 12).

The numbers of the locations of the sand sculptures are listed alphabetically on the map.  However, it would not make sense to look for them in the order they are listed on the map.  I am listing the locations based on the way I found them during my trip. Of course, you can travel to each sculpture in any order you choose.  But, I decided to go to the Taylor Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port first because it is the location that is the farthest away from the other sand sculptures.  Then, I tried to do a loop to visit the rest of the sand sculptures until I checked them all of my list.

I have included the addresses and landmarks where each sand sculpture can be found.  However, I could not find the exact addresses of some of them.  So, it’s tricky getting to some of them.  But, finding them is part of the fun!

I am listing the locations in the order I found them, mostly.  I am also including the number that corresponds to the sculpture number on the map in parenthesis.  But, I must admit some of the sculptures don’t seem to follow in order on the map and I actually stumbled across some of them by mistake (although that may have more to do with a lack of map reading skills on my part).  Unfortunately, due to how the sculptures are scattered throughout the area, you may have to backtrack to see them all in an orderly and efficient way.  Lastly, don’t forget to enter the Yarmouth sand sculpture photo contest!

(14)  Taylor Bray Farm

108 Bray Farm Rd N, Yarmouth, MA

(13) Strawberry Lane (Route 6A) Yarmouth Port, MA

(9) Kinlin Grover Real Estate

927 Route 6A, Yarmouth Port, MA

(8) Just Picked Gifts

13 Willow St, Yarmouth Port, MA

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4) The Cove At Yarmouth

183 Main St, West Yarmouth, MA

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(10) Route 28 Visitor Center

424 Route 28, West Yarmouth, MA

(1) Aiden By Best Western at Cape Point

476 Route 28, West Yarmouth, MA

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(11) Salty’s

540 Main Street, Rt. 28, West Yarmouth, MA

(3) Candy Co (my favorite store on the trail!)

975 Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA

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(7) John G Sears & Co Inc (no, this isn’t a selfie)

1221 Old Main St, South Yarmouth, MA

Dogs like the sculptures too

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(12) Seafood Sam’s

1006 Massachusetts (Route) 28 South Yarmouth, MA

(17) Yarmouth (MA) Town Hall

1146 Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA

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6) Hearth ‘n Kettle (the fish are also wearing PPE but they’re not distancing!)

1196 Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA

(2) Bass River Golf Course

62 High Bank Rd, South Yarmouth, MA

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(5) Dunkin’ Donuts

436 Station Ave, South Yarmouth, MA

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Today Real Estate

487 Station Ave, South Yarmouth, MA

(16) Wendy’s

32 Old Town House Rd, South YarmouthMA

Wizzil Story Walk (Salem Commons, Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: March 28, 2020

Location: Salem, Commons, Washington Square, Salem, MA

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary, 18 placards tell the story of Wizzil, a horrible hag who wants to add some excitement to her life.  Without giving away too many spoilers, her parrot suggests she amuse herself by making someone else suffer.  Hilarity ensues.

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It definitely seems like this whole “socially distancing” thing is working.  During my quick, socially distanced visit to Salem, MA, there was hardly a soul in the area.  In fact, many people were probably curled up with a book.

Salem Public Library has brought the best of both worlds to the Salem Commons.  The Storywalk, which was based on the children’s book Wizzil by William Steig and illustrated by Quentin Blake, was created so that families could enjoy the outdoors while still reading and laughing as a family.

The 18 signs are placed within the socially distanced spaces recommended by the government.  They were prepared by the Children’s Room staff at the Salem Public Library.

If you do go, there are some ground rules.  First, you must give each visitor a 6 foot zone of space for social distancing purposes.  Visitors are also discouraged from touching the signs.

You can read the story below.  I have I have posted the photos of the placards in the order of how they were placed at the common.  You may have to expand the screen to read the lettering since it is so small.  Or, better yet, go to the Commons and read it for yourself!

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Below are some photos of Salem Saturday morning.  It was very desolate and I was half expecting a zombie or some other undead being to come around one of the corners.  I was in Salem after all.  It was just me and this very hungry squirrel.

 

 


“The Fisherman” (Cape Cod Canal, Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 1, 2020

Location: Cape Cod Canal, 70 Main St, Buzzards Bay, Bourne, MA

Hours: The statue is accessible everyday,  24 hours a day, although the hours the canal is accessible may be different

Cost: Free

Parking: there is a parking lot for about 100 or more cars at the base of the trail of the canal.  There are also various parking areas along the canal.

Summary: Dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Cape Cod Canal, “The Fisherman” sculpture of Stan Gibbs stands next to the main parking lot to the entrance of the Cape Cod Canal trail.

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Buzzards Bay has long been known for the fishing enthusiasts who travel far and wide to try their luck in the waters of the Cape Cod Canal.  Now, there is a statue dedicated to the people who fish in these waters.  But, the 10 foot tall bronze statue sculpted by Cape Cod native and resident David Lewis is actually dedicated to one particular fisherman.

Legendary hunter, trapper, fisherman and lure-making expert Stan Gibbs, a frequent visitor to the Canal, is the impetus for this statue.  In fact, the people who decided to build this statue were member of the Stan Gibbs Fisherman’s Classic Tournament, an annual fishing contest held each September named in his honor.

Originally from Easton, Gibbs moved to Sagamore, a town in Bourne, MA, and just short distance from the canal.  It was there that Gibbs developed his love and skill of angling.  He would use his skill and knowledge of fishing to create lures, called Gibbs Lures, later in his life.

Dedicated in 2016, as part of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Canal, the statue shows Gibbs with two fish slung over his right shoulder and a fishing rod in his left.  A tablet rests on the block the statue stands on.  Engraved in it is the following:

THE FISHERMAN

A tribute to past present and future striped bass fisherman and the great cape cod canal.  Dedicated to local fishing legend Stan Gibbs 

 

Perhaps most importantly to the residents of the area, the statue didn’t cost the tax payers one dime.  The $80,000 price tag for the statue and surrounding area was funded through 7 years of fund raising.

The next time you stop by the canal, make sure to say “hi” to Stan!

As an addendum to my post, I apologize for my absence from WordPress.  I have been moving and anyone who has done this knows the time and effort involved in this process.  Things have settled down now and I will post more frequently.  I hope you all continue to view my content.  Since it is easier and less time consuming, I have been posting on my Facebook page regularly.  The link to my Facebook page is listed below.  Please connect with me on Facebook to see more content in a more timely fashion.  Thank you!

New England Nomad Facebook Link

 

 


Pumpkin Ball (Yankee Candle Village, South Deerfield, MA)

Date Of Event: October 18, 2019

Location: 25 Greenfield Road
South Deerfield, MA

Hours: Sunday–Saturday | 10 am—6 pm

Universally Accessible: Yes

Website: Yankee Candle Village

Summary: As part of their Fall festivities, Yankee Candle’s flagship store in South Deerfield, MA, held a celebration of all things fall.  A costume contest, ice carving, a haunted house and dancers were just some of the attractions at this event.

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Yankee Candle thrilled everyone with a Halloween/Fall event for all ages last month.

Dancers, costumed visitors and even a haunted house were just some of the highlights of this celebration of all things fall!

Yankee Candle decorated the grounds and store in proper fashion.

Meet Leona, a 1,732.5 pound pumpkin grown by Dan and Holly Boyce of Vermont.  Leona is the second largest recorded pumpkin grown in Vermont!

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Many visitors and workers got into the spirit of the season by dressing up in their very own Halloween costumes!  The black and white photo pays homage to George Romero’s classic 1968 black and white movie “Night Of The Living Dead.”  The zombies would later dance to “Thriller” as part of the dance performance.  There was a costume judging contest as well.  But I had to leave before the winners were announced.

 

The dancers at Kasaks Dance Academy performed during the Pumpkin Ball.  The half hour performance included dancing by each age group (starting with the youngest to the oldest).

 

Crawling out to the dancer floor, the last group of dancers danced to Halloween themed music ending their performance by dancing to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.

 

There was also face painting and a pumpkin decorating contest.

 

The fun wasn’t just in the store, though.  On the grounds of the shop there were alpacas, horse drawn rides, ice carving and a family friendly haunted house.

Joe Almeida of Sculptures In Ice carved a spooky ice sculpture at the beginning of the event.

 

 

There also alpacas from Grass Hill Alpacas.

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But, one of the more popular attractions at the event was the haunted house.  All of the proceeds from the haunted house ($5 admission) went to Dakin Humane Society, an animal shelter in Springfield, MA.  Inside the haunted house there were pumpkins, spiders, and other Halloween related decorations.

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After going through the haunted house, there were masks for visitors to put on for possible photo opportunities.  Two of the little visitors were nice enough to pose for me.

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Dogs celebrate Halloween too!  Scrappy, a year and a half old Chihuahua, was enjoying the unseasonably warm Fall weather.

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2019 Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade And Costume Contest

 

Date Of Event: October 12, 2019

Location: Pickering Wharf,  Salem Maritime Museum, 160 Derby St, Salem MA

Summary: over 100 pets met up at the Salem Maritime Museum to show off their costumes and march in the Howl-O-Ween pet parade.

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Halloween isn’t just for humans.  The annual Howl-O-Ween pet parade showed off over 100 of these Halloween pet revelers.

Although I wasn’t able to get all of the participants names and breeds.  Below is a sample of some of the participants:

Pepper, Millie, Hobs and Rocky (all chihuahuas) were the three Musketeers and fun sized Musketeer.

Sadie, dressed as Jason Doghees I mean Vorhees, is a 12 year old Peekapoo.

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Lucy, 1 year old Puggle, was a roaring lion.  Lucy is a rescue from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA.  She was saved from one of the storms that recently hit Florida.

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Ralph, a Jack Russell and Mini Pinscher rescue, was a cute little pineapple.

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Triskit, a 3 year old chihuahua, was a parrot.

Buddy (on the left), a 8 year old chihuahua, was a lumberjack.  Pixie, dressed as Babe The Blue Ox (on the right), is a 6 year old chihuahua.

 

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One year old Penny Liu was dressed as a Chinese Mandarin.

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Calypso was an angel.

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Winston, a 5 year old Corgi, was dressed as Paddington.

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Reecey, a 13 year old half border, half husky mix, was dressed as a mutant ninja turtle.

 

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Olive, a 4 year old feist mix, was a bumble bee.

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Ziggy was dressed as Mr. Spock.  Live long and prosper Ziggy!

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Oso had a very special delivery for everyone!

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Jasper, a 2 and a half year old mixed breed, was a zebra.

“Sweep the leg!”  Dexter, dressed as Johnny from Cobra Kai and Oliver, dressed as “Daniel son” from Miyagi-Do.  They are both 4 year old French Bulldogs.

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Hazel (on the left) was dressed as a peacock.  Molly (on the right) was dressed as Cleopatra.

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Grayson was dressed as Lucy.

 

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Twix, the cowgirl, is an 11 month old Dalmatian.

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Opal, a 9 month old husky mix, was dressed as Hermione Granger.
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Benji, 10 years old, was dressed as Batman.

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Remus, a 4 month old mixed Lab, was dressed as Luigi.  If you watch the video of the pet parade below you may see his mom and dad dressed as Mario and the Princess from Super Mario World.

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Henry, a 2 year old, King Charles Cavalier, was dressed as a Cavalier.

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Seba the lion is a 4 year old Lab.

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The acrobatic Tilda was dressed as a ballerina.

Nissan (on the left) was dressed as Princess Leia.  Sirius (on the right) was dressed as Yoda.  They are both terrier mix shelter dogs.

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Hunter, a 5 year old rescue lab, was dressed as a skunk.

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Sequoia, a 3 year old cattle mix, was dressed as a blowfish.

The pet parents also got into the spirit of the event.

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Daisy and her mom were dressed as the Little Mermaid and Ursula.

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Nala and her family were the “udderly spectacular” cow family.

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Walt was dressed as Flounder with the Little Mermaid.

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Dumbo was dressed as an alligator.

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Brady and the rest of the family were dressed as Abu with Aladdin and Family

Not all of the pets at the parade were dogs, though.

There was this chicken.

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There were also these two very brave cats.

Scout was dressed as Peter Pan’s shadow.

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and this cat/lion hybrid!

Strider, a 10 year old fancy bearded dragon, was dressed as a clarinet.

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Unfortunately, I was unable to get the names of these cute pets below.

Although they looked great and the main point of the event was to have fun.  There were awards for best overall costume, most creative and the best costume with people.  Some of the winners of the costume contest were:

Ruby the Racehorse, a 2 year old pointer mix, won for best pet with humans.

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Adelphie, dressed as a time traveler’s backpack, won for most creative.

Butterscotch, dressed as spaghetti and meatballs, also won a pet with humans award. It wasn’t until later when they received their award did I notice the Lady and the Tramp tie in.

Nellie, dressed as a pin cushion, won for best overall costume.

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Last, but certainly not least, Tilda, 5 years old, was the Grand Marshall of the event!

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There was also a pet parade where all of the contestants could show off their costumes.  All of the more than 100 contestants and their parents or friends marched in the parade.


Waterway/Lightway/Greenway (Boston, MA)

Date Of Event: October 17, 2019 (postponed from October 10, 2019)

Location: Milk St, Rings Fountain at Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA

Summary: Lights illuminated the Greenway while 30 people danced along the Greenway and along the fountains.

Website: Waterway/Lightway/Greenway

Lights, camera, dancers!

As part of the 10 year anniversary of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the workers at the Greenway Conservancy planned a very colorful event.   Thirty dancers frolicked along the Greenway while seven different colored lights illuminated the fountains.  New lights were installed specially for this celebration.

The event began with a pretty water display.  Normally, the lights at the Greenway are white.  But, for the first time, colored lights were installed at the Greenway for this special event.  This event was held twice earlier in October.  But those events weer held during the daytime without colored lights.  I thought a night time display would be much more interesting.

After a few words from the creator of the event, Peter DiMuro of Public Displays Of Motion, there was a pretty fountain display.

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Interpretive dancers began moving along the grassy greenway.

The highlight (no pun intended) of the event, was when the dancers made it to the brightly colored fountains.

The dancers, aged 14 to 75, were equipped with umbrellas while they danced along the fountains.  They creatively used the umbrellas and light to make some very pretty colors.

There’s no word on whether the Greenway will conduct another display like this.  But, if they do I will be there, umbrella in hand.

This one was particularly challenging to photograph.  I used a higher than usual ISO (between 300 and 1,000) with a fast shutter speed (500 and higher) to capture the water as it shot up in the air and the dancers.  While I did have a flash I used it sparingly.  For one, I think the flash was frowned upon giving the fact the darkness mixed with the light from the fountains made the event so pretty.  I also think it wasn’t necessary, especially since I could use PhotoShop to bring out the colors.  I was also able to hide mistakes by utilizing the darkness ( :

Shoots like this are hard since you want to use a fast shutter speed to capture motion, yet you often want to use a slower shutter speed in low light situations.  So, I compensated with a higher than usual ISO to capture as much light as possibly.  While it varied throughout the shoot, I generally used a lower F stop (around 4.0).


“Haunted Happenings” Grand Parade (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 3, 2019 (held annually the first week of October)

Location: Downtown Salem (Congress St, Derby St, Front St, Washington St, Essex St, Salem Common)

Summary: Salem’s Chamber Of Commerce kicked off the month long “Haunted Happenings” celebration for the month of October. Scores of heroes, monsters and kids came together to celebrate and march!

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Clowns, super heroes and super villians were only a few of the characters who marched the 24th annual “Haunted Happenings” parade last Thursday night to kick off Salem’s month-long “Haunted Happenings” celebration.

The theme of this year’s parade was “The Future Is Ours” and some of the participants used futuristic props to fit into the theme of the parade.  These park rangers, for instance, had a futuristic robot ranger in the parade!

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What would a Halloween parade be without candy?

Well, since candy tossing is not permitted, some of the participants ran over to the onlookers with fistfuls of goodies.

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What always entertains me about the Haunted Happenings parade is the unexpected and spontaneous things some of the marchers will do (more on this later).

For instance, who needs feet to walk?  These kids used an unorthodox method of marching.

 

Some of the marchers chose to drive in the parade.  The parade participants arrived in a variety of vehicles, or, er, caskets,

 

Some of the more popular people in the parade weren’t the participants.  These motorcycle cops slowed down to share some high fives with their fans.

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Holy Bat caves!  Where was Robin?

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Shiver me timbers, pirates and other characters were also there.

 

The usual suspects, Jason, Michael, Pennywise and Frankenstein’s monster were all their.  It’s a wonder we all made it out unscathed!

 

But, these guys and ladies were there to protect everyone!

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Not all of the marchers were dangerous or scary, though.  Mermaids, poets and this nice gentleman who had “lotion in his basket” were also there.  Ok, maybe the last guy wasn’t so nice.

 

Of course, there also were bands, baton twirlers and flag wavers.

 

The best part of the parade is seeing how much fun the kids are having.  In fact, it had some of them jumping for joy.

 

Just to preface this photograph, I will often bend down, kneel or squat down low when I photograph subjects or events, especially little subjects, so I can be at eye level when I photograph them.  So, I was photographing the parade, minding my own business when someone tapped me on the shoulder and got down to my eye level!  It was both unexpected and hilarious!

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Not all of the great costumes were worn by the people in the parade, though.  All of these people got into the spirit of the parade!  Or, they may just regularly dress this way.  I don’t judge!

 

Funny story.  I saw this cute unidog or dogicorn while I was walking to the parade.  Well, it turns out I had actually photographed her at the parade last year as well.  Ginger the Goldendoodle is 2 years old.  I look forward to photographing you next year and for many more years to come, Ginger!

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This was her costume last year!

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This is the first time I used a dedicated flash (a flash that is not a pop up flash and not built into the camera) during night time photography.  Hard to believe since I have been doing this photography thing for a while now.  But most of my photography is done during the early morning, daytime or sunset hours.  This is something of a common misconception though.  I would later learn in my research that you can and in some instances should use a flash during daytime hours and on sunny days.  But, in the past, I was so unsure and unfamiliar with night time photography settings, I would often switch to video when I thought it got too dark to photograph images (this is what I did at last year’s Halloween parade).

I think you can see the difference a speed lite can make (I didn’t use the flash for all of my night time photographs because some subjects weer near light sources when I shot them and I did want to save as much of my battery life for my flash as they can often use a lot of power). Plus, the dark, night time feel can be a good look for photos, especially for a Halloween parade shoot.  I think you may be able to tell which photos I took with the flash and without based on the lighting in the photos.

I have learned a great deal about flash photography and the best teaching tool is experience.  Although I am still learning, one tip for a shoot like this is to never point the flash directly at your subject.  Try tilting the flash upward or at an angle, particularly when shooting outdoors.  I am using the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI and I use the ETTL (Evaluative Through-The-Lens) mode which is similar to using the Automatic setting on your camera.  The autoflash, is the mode where the camera uses information obtained through the lens (“TTL”) to calculate how much light the flash needs to emit for the appropriate brightness. The camera then automatically sets the flash output accordingly.  My next goal is to learn how to use the manual features to maximize the effect of my speed lite.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page to see additional photos I have taken  from all over New England here: Facebook page.


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.