Summary: Runners from all over the region competed in the 6.66 mile Devil’s Dash or the 3.33 mile Creepy Clown race.
It’s that time of the year again in Salem, MA.
Devils, clowns and other scary characters came together in Salem MA last weekend to compete in the Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown race.
The race started with the Creepy Clown 3.33 mile race. The Devil’s Dash race started shortly after the clowns race began. The Devil’s Dash was a hellish 6.66 miles. Although it wasn’t required, participants were, of course, encouraged to wear a costume. And many of the runners got into the spirit of the event!
I’m still confounded how people can smile while they’re running. That, to me, is the truly creepy part of the race.
People of all ages could participate in the race. But, the little runners are always the most fun to photograph
It’s also fun to see families or groups of people running together. I was lucky to see some
The race wasn’t just for people. Pets could also participate in the race. Or, they could root on their favorite runners.
Although the race was a rimed event with standings, all of the participants were winners in my book. In fact, all of the participants walked (or ran) away with a medal for their efforts.
Date Of Event: October 2, 2021 (held annually the first weekend of October)
Location: Salem, MA (about 45 mins northeast of Boston, MA and 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)
Summary: An assortment of zombies, mad scientists and other costumed revelers roamed the streets of Salem, MA in the annual Salem Zombie Walk
The annual Salem Zombie Walk in Salem, MA, has quickly become one of the most popular events in October.
There were young zombies, which are both the creepiest and cutest for me to see!
Zombie families (one of my favorites)
A zombie dog
and whatever this lady is holding
Although the event is called the “zombie walk”, there weren’t just zombies at the event. There were werewolves and mad doctors among other spooky characters
The zombies began their walk at Salem Commons in Washington Square. They continued throughout the heart of downtown Salem, shrieking, gyrating and moaning the entire way.
It’s always nice to see familiar, friendly faces at these events. Throughout the years, I have attended and posted blogs about the past few zombie walks and I often see familiar faces there. This zombie is a regular at the yearly events and he always has a monster with him. I hope to see him and all the other zombies next year!
Summary: Coppal House Farm hosted their 7th annual Sunrise In The Sunflowers Festival
Summer, sunrises and sunflower. Who could possibly ask for more?
On August 1, he Coppal House Farm turned their farm into a sunflower paradise.
I arrived at Coppal House Farm bright and early for the “Sunrise In The Sunflowers” event which is particularly popular with photographers of all skill levels. I was surprised to see such a healthy crowd at 5:30 am. As the name of the event would suggest, the sunflowers really do pop with the rays of sun beaming on them. Initially, I was shocked to see the sunflowers were not facing the view of the sunrise. But, then it made complete sense as the sunbeams really hit the flowers and brought out their beauty. This time of day (the golden hour) is the optimal and, in my opinion, only time to photograph these flowers (except for possibly sunset).
I didn’t realize there were other types of sunflowers besides the yellow sunflowers that are so prominent.
There were also several props and decor for people to pose near for portrait shoots.
But there weren’t just sunflowers at the house farm.
There were a variety of different flowers at the farm.
There were also a few spooky trees at the event.
If you do visit Coppal House Farm don’t forget to buy a sunflower to take home or view the animals at the farm.
Location: Hampton Beach, 115 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH
Hours: The beach is accessible daily from dawn until dusk
Parking: Hampton Beach offers a variety of parking options. If you’re lucky enough to get a parking spot in the main parking area it is $2 an hour during the summer. There are also additional lots that range from 5 to 20 dollars for the day depending on when you arrive. See link for additional parking info: Parking Info
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes but dogs are not allowed on the beach during the summer
Summary: Ten artists converged upon Hampton Beach to sculpt pieces of work.
Nothing says summer like long days of sunlight, road trips and, of course, sand sculptures. And as proof of this, Hampton Beach has ushered in the season with their 21st annual sand sculpting classic.
Ten sculptors from all the world put their talents to work at the sculpting competition. But, before the contest began the competitors collaborated to build the 100 ton main sponsor site sculpture. The sculpture pays tribute to the New Hampshire Marine Memorial statue which is located at the beach, the lifeguards who help to keep the beach safe and the sea life of the area.
The competition began on Jun 17 and ended on the 19th. Two hundred tons of sand are used for the sculptures and each competitor was given a plot size of 18×18 to complete their work on.
Although I haven’t been able to attend the actual sand sculpting competition the past few years, I do make sure to visit the day after the competition to photograph the sculptures in their pristine state. Even though I arrived at sunrise, there was already a healthy crowd at the beach and it was hard to get some photos with people in the background. But by using some creative angles and with some patience I was able to get most of the photos without any beachgoers in them.
After hours of grueling work, the winners were announced June 19th.
The winning sculpture “Empty” was sculpted by Abe Waterman of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Abe said he came up with the idea for this sculpture about a year and a half ago after his separation from his wife.
Second place was awarded to Melineige Beauregard of Montreal, Canada for “Rebirth Of Phoenix.” Melineige won the first place award last year.
Karen Fralich of Toronto Canada snagged third place with he sculpture, “Poker Face.”
And fourth place was awarded to Thomas Koet of Satellite Beach, Florida, for his sculpture, “Multiple Piercings.” Thomas also won the “People’s Choice Award” for his 2020 sculpture.
Chris Guinto of Key West, Florida, won the “Sculptor’s Choice Award” for his “Continuum” sculpture.
I don’t envy the judges who had to decide on the winning sculptures. They were all so well done.
The remaining sculptures are, in no particular order,
“Behind Every Successful Man There is a Strong Woman” by John Gowdy of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Pulled” by Carl D. Jara from Lyndhurst, Ohio
“Once Bitten” by Greg Grady of Derry, New Hampshire.
“Laugh” by Dan Belcher of Saint Louis, Missouri.
“Miss You, My Friend” by Justin Gordon of Groveland, Massachusetts. For some reason this one touched a chord with me.
Wally and the Plymouth Rock assurance mascot were also part of the sand sculpture celebration.
There was also a sand sculpture dedicated to retired police officer Jack Donaldson who passed away earlier this year from cancer. Jack worked both as a teacher and as a part time officer for 50 years.
The sand sculptures are lit up at night and they are removed after a week or two. So they may no longer be there. At least not until next year!
Every year, daffodils become the centerpiece of the gardens at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden as well as the rest of New England,. And this year was no different. According to their website, the peak time of the daffodils is the 3rs week of April until the first week of May. So, I chose the last week of April to visit.
Unfortunately, it was raining during my visit. The rain did let up a bit during my visit. But it did rain during my entire visit. And the rain did make for some pretty photo opportunities with the droplets on the flowers.
Ironically, it wasn’t the daffodils that stood out the most. It was the tulips that really caught my eye.
The decor of the gardens at Tower Hill Help to accentuate the beauty of the flowers.
Unfortunately, I could not stay long due to the rain and the difficulty taking photos while I tried to keep my camera dry. But I did my best to capture the beauty there as best I could. But daffodils will be there again next year and so will i!
Summary: Built in 1810, Old Scituate Light is the 11th lighthouse lit in Massachusetts. The lighthouse is on the registry of historic landmarks in Massachusetts and is reportedly open for tours during certain periods of time during the year (see link above for more info). A rock jetty and rocky beachhead is a popular spot for sunrise watchers and tourists. The lighthouse has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s.
New England has no shortage of lighthouses and breath taking views of seascapes. In fact, due to the plethora of beautiful destinations along the water, some destinations seem to get overlooked. Old Lighthouse in Scituate, MA, is one of these overlooked destinations.
Built in 1810 for $4,000, Old Scituate Light played an important, but little known, role in the War Of 1812. After observing two British barges approaching the Scituate harbor, Abigail and Rebecca Bates, the daughters of the original keeper of the lighthouse (Simeon Bates) hid among a cluster of cedar trees which were once prominent in the area and played their fife and drum in an attempt to ward off the would be attackers. The two girls created such a loud din the barges were said to have retreated fearing an army was preparing for their attack. Their efforts are said to have saved Scituate from being sacked as there was, in reality, no standing army ready for a British attack. The girls went on to become known as the “American Army of Two.”
The 25 foot lighthouse (70 feet above sea level) has a natural/emplaced foundation. The light is a replicated lantern and the keeper does stay in the attached home. A bell, perhaps more for decor than function, stands outside the housekeeper’s residence. The lighthouse keeper is a teacher at nearby Marshfield High School.
There is also a memorial dedicated to the grounding of the Etrusco and the rescue efforts from that accident. On March 16, 1956, the ship came aground at Cedar Point during the St. Patrick’s Day Blizzard (it is New England after all). After the grounding of the freighter, five Scituate residents (all members of Scituate’s Civil Defense Communications Team) sprang into action and, despite blizzard conditions, kept in communication with the Coast Guard, providing key details and information to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard would eventually rescue all 30 men from the grounded ship.
The surrounding grounds of the lighthouse provide for great photo opportunities.
The highlight of the lighthouse and the surrounding area is the beautiful views it offers which are especially spectacular during sunrise and sunset
As I was about to pack up and head to my next destination, I noticed this group of painted rocks with hopeful messages. Many of them seemed to have a special personal meaning. But, I think we call can derive some inspiration from their messages.
Location: corners of Taylor and Hedges Ave, Westfield, MA
Summary: Massachusetts based artists Shannon Chiba and Sarah Kinne honors the heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic with a mural in Westfield, MA that incorporates many of the places and things the area is known for.
Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. The “Heroes Are Everywhere” in Westfield, MA, pays tribute to the different heroes in our midst. And, especially if you’re from the area, you may notice many little tributes to the city.
The mural, which is painted on both sides of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Tunnel, includes paintings of doctors,
And everyone else lending a helping hand to others during these difficult times regardless of their age or size.
If you look closely, you may see such fixtures of western MA such as a black bear, the Whip City Whip Museum (the prominent brick building in the painting), the Great River bridges, the Westfield River and other staples of life in western MA such as blooming flowers and a birdhouse. The roof of the tunnel shows 4 F-15 jets buzzing by which is a common sight for anyone living near the Westfield based Barnes Air National Guard Base.
The tunnel where the mural is painted, which was painted in 2020 by Massachusetts based artists Shannon Chiba and Sarah Kinne, is part of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail which is a popular spot for cyclists, hikers and joggers.
Hopefully, as time passes on, there will not be a need for murals like this.
Location: Boston Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave, Boston, MA
Hours: Open to the public 24 hours a day until March 30
Summary: nearly 2,000 pink flamingos have been set up at the Boston Seaport Common until March 30
Flamingos have invaded Boston.
Over 1,900 flamingos (some of them a little tipsy) have been planted at the Boston Seaport as a way to brighten up the area and make people smile. This fly by night installation, which is the work of Massachusetts-based developer WS Development, won’t last long though. The birds are expected to stay at their location at the Seaport Common through Tuesday, March 30. Then, they are migrating to the Street Chestnut Hill (MA) and Market Street Lynfield (MA) from April 1-12.
Contrary to popular opinion, these flamingos are not new to the area. In fact, these flamingos have a long history in MA. Don Featherstone designed the first flamingos for Leominster based Union Products in 1957.
They won’t be here for long! So make sure to flock to the Seaport before they fly away!
New England is known for its stormy weather. But, there was a very different kind of storm at Tower Hill gardens. Yarnstorming, often referred to as “graffiti knitting” or “yarn bombing” is an art form that uses knitted and crocheted yarn as art instead of paint or water colors.
More than 25 works of art and over 2,000 pom poms were draped upon benches, trees, statues and poles around the garden.
I was able to use my 35 mm lens for these photos and I really like the way the colors popped and the crispness of the shots from the lens. It’s technically not a prime lens since it is an 18-35 mm (1.8). But it’s much easier to lug around than a telephoto.
Some of these artistic displays have signs next to the displays. These signs had bar codes you could scan with your cellphone to get more information about the display and the artist who made the display.
Spring was in the air and in the yarn at Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Yarnstorm event.
Forty artists contributed to the artistic Yarnstorm exhibit at Tower Hill. The designs ranged from the colorful
to the creative
There were also some famous people along the trails.
This display, made in honor of the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, included her answer to “when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?”
Some of my favorite exhibits were along the stairwell near the edge of the gardens.
But it’s hard to choose just one from the colorful garden.
The knitted art isn’t just on the trails outside of the botanic garden. Castor and Pullox were also dressed up for the event.
Just a friendly reminder that if you do go don’t forget to wear your hat and gloves. Because you never know what the weather will be like in New England!
Location: Olde Mystick Village, 27 Coogan Boulevard, Stonington, CT
Summary: Ice sculptures, ice scultpors and costumed visitors converged on the grounds of Olde Mystick Village
Don’t let the rising temperatures fool you. Winter is still very much in swing in New England. To celebrate the waning days of the winter season, Olde Mystick Village held its Ice In The Village festival. The event included over a dozen ice sculptures, two ice sculpting demonstrations and a there were even few characters straight out of Disney.
Mystic Village is known for its plethora of specialty shops and eateries. But the highlight last weekend were the ice sculptures that were installed around the village.
The sculptures ranged from artistic renderings of the animal kingdom
To carvings of food
But many of the sculptures were related to the businesses they were located in front of.
Some of the sculptures seemed to have a certain theme that fit in with the area and its history. Known for its seaport (the Mystic Seaport Museum is just a short distance from the village) Mystic has a rich nautical history. This anchor was a perfect symbol for the area.
This sculpture was popular with people who wanted to take their photos in the opening of the ice carving.
Perhaps the most popular part of the festival were the two ice sculpting demonstrations at the Ice In The Village event.
People were encouraged to wear their costumes and, fitting with the theme of ice and other cold things, Anna and Elsa made a surprise appearance.
Olde Mystick Village is a dog friendly venue and there were lots of dogs at the village during my visit. One of the dogs I saw there, Cocoa, a 9 year old Chocolate Lab, brought her own toy to the festival.
It is unclear whether they will hold this festival again in the upcoming years. But if they do I’ll see you there!