Tag Archives: photos

Christmas By Candlelight 2022 (Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA)

Date Of Event: December 17, 2022

Location: Old Sturbridge Village, 29 Stallion Hill Road, Sturbridge, MA

Hours: Held annually, November 25, 26, 27, and December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30. Christmas by Candlelight runs from 2:00 – 8:00 pm.

Cost: $32 for adults and $16 for youth (4-17)

Parking: Free ample parking is available on site

Summary Houses are decorated in traditional style while period style actors bake, make ornaments, play musical instruments of the day and tell stories of days of yore.

Website: https://www.osv.org/event/christmas-by-candlelight-2022/

Have you ever wondered how some of the earlier settlers of New England celebrated the holidays? Then Old Sturbridge Village has just the thing for you.

Luckily, you can see see an accurate display of how New Englanders celebrated Christmas during the 1830s, 1850s and 1870s (except for bonuses like having indoor plumbing and electricity in homes and other modern day comforts) at their Christmas By Candlelight event. One of the biggest attractions is the Center Meeting House, especially during the evening.

The Center Meeting house was used for meetings, elections and sermons. During my visit they were playing music at the Meeting House.

Many other homes were also decorated for the event.

Everything from the furniture and the way the curtains were hung was true to that era, Even the character actors were dressed in clothing of that time.

This worker at Sturbridge was making stockings

As the light was waning and I didn’t want to use a flash in this environment, even though it would have helped bring out some of the features of the people and the settings, I used a prime lens with a low aperture so I could photograph in the low light conditions.

There were also people making decorations, knitting hats and baking holiday treats

There were also musicians performing traditional holiday music

As the sun set on Sturbridge Village, I was able to capture

In case you got cold, there were open fires for people to warm up

Sturbridge Village also showcased acres of lights and decorations

But not all of the lights were on trees and houses. Visitors also wore festive lights to get in the spirit of the event!

Each year Sturbridge Village holds a gingerbread home contest. They have showcased some incredible works in the past and this year was no different. It was a nice way to end the visit


22nd Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic (Hampton, NH)

Date Of Event: June 19, 2022

Location: Hampton Beach, 169 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH

Cost: Free

Parking: Metered parking is available at Hampton Beach. Since this is a popular event, parking is also available at various lots usually for $20 for the day during this event, although prices fluctuate based on the time of day and parking availability

For more parking information see below

https://www.hahttps://www.hamptonbeach.com/directions-parkingmptonbeach.com/directions-parking

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Websites:

https://hamptonbeach.org/events/sand-sculpture-event/

https://hamptonbeach.org/events/sand-sculpture-event/contestants/s:

Summary: Sand sculptors from all over the globe competed for the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting grand prize

It may seem strange to talk to about sand sculptures and the beach during October. But, what better way to feel warm and cozy during these colder days than looking back to this annual summer event.

The theme for this year’s sand sculpture event, which began in 2000 was “The Greatest Show On Earth.” All of the competitors contributed to sculpting the main sculptures for this theme.

I made two visits to the beach to view the sand sculptures which may explain the difference in light and shade in the photos.

I am posting the photos in the order they were located on the beach abd including info about each sculpture whenever background details were available..

“Transition” – Rusty Croft (Carmel, CA)

4th Place

As is evident by the gravestone like sculpture, this sculpture is a tribute to a loved one who has “transitioned.” This sculpture placed 4th in the competition. As I was photographing these works of art I found it

“Primal” – Chris Guinto (Captain Cook, HI)

Chris, originally from Florida but currently residing in Hawaii, is no stranger to the competition or to winning awards. He won the Sculptor’s Choice Award in 2021.

He described his dinosaur skeleton (or as he called it “spineasaurus”) coming to life. As you will see as a common feature of these sculptures, the attention to detail is incredible.

“I Am Life” – Melineige Beauregard (Hawaii)

1st Prize and People’s Choice

Melineige, who won the competition in 2017, repeated her standard of excellence with “I Am Life” bringing home first place.

She said the sculpture was based on the “flower of life” design that is present in all of nature and life. According to Melineige, this pattern connects us all through flowers and nature. The front side represents the “flower of life” while the back side represents the death and destruction that is also present in our lives.

“Knowledge Is Limited. Imagination Encircles The World” – John Gowdy (Italy/New Jersey)

This sculpture, based on a quote by Albert Einstein, uses symbols like books, an owl and pen and paper to show the different ways to express knowledge. Again, the attention to detail is amazing.

“Wyvern Whisperer” – Greg Grady (Derry, NH)

Governor’s Choice Award

Grady, another regular competitor and founder of the sand sculpture event, said the inspiration for the sand sculpture the Wyvern (pronounced (why-vurn) Whisperer was his son. His son asked him to make a dragon and they settled on a two legged dragon (wyverns are 2 legged dinosaurs) and he modeled the smaller figure on his son who likes to play “super hero.”

“Linked” – Bruce Phillips (San Diego, CA)

Bruce, from San Diego, CA, said his sculpture represents people and working together.

“Trolls” – Karen Fralich (Ontario, Canada)

2md Place

The meaning of this sculpture seems straight forward. Troll-like figures hug, offer treasures and act friendly to the crowned figure while they attempt to stab and mock him to his back

“Entropy” – Carl Jara (Lyndhurst, OH)

3rd Place

“Entropy”, in short a randomness or disorder in the system, certainly does show a disorder and randomness. Jara’s sculpture placed 3rd in the event.

“Let There Be Peace On Earth And Let It Begin With Me” – Justin Gordon (Groveland, MA)

“Hierarchy Of Needs” – Abe Waterman (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

Unfortunately, Abe’s sand sculpture collapsed due to weather conditions. So, a photograph of the sculpture was put in its place.

The sand sculptures are usually kept up for a week (in this case until June 26). The sculptures are also lit up for night viewing.


Breathe Life Together (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 16, 2022

Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA (1 hour and 10 mins southeast of Concord, NH and 1 hour northeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free

Parking: Metered street parking is available. There are also several parking garages in the area. Visitors can also access the mural by taking the redline or commuter rail to the South Station train stop.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/problak

Summary: A new mural, “Breathe Life Together”, adorns a building at the Dewey Square section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Boom boxes and track suits have made a come back. At least they have at the mural at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The mural, made with acrylic and aerosolized paints, the mural is meant to “honor and ask you to join the conversation about the past, present, and future of our communities in Boston, reminding us what we can do together” according to artist Rob “Problak” Gibbs.

A native of Roxbury, MA (Boston, MA), Gibbs uses graffiti to chronicle and immortalize the culture and history of the “Golden Age of hip hop.” Rob considers graffiti to be a form of hieroglyphs as well as a way to document and pay homage to underserved, underheard communities in the city.

Literally and figuratively rising from the grass, the young girl in the mural is a reminder of the past and our future.

The mural is located across from the South Station MBTA train stop on the red line. It is expected to remain there until the spring of 2023 when a new mural will be painted.


The Blue Trees (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 23, 2022

Location: Salem, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: street parking and garage parking is available near the exhibit

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: The Blue Trees, an outdoor art exhibit, is adding some color to the streets of Salem, MA

If you have been seeing blue trees in the Salem (MA) area, don’t buy new glasses or make an appointment to see your eye doctor. You’re not seeing things. The trees in Salem have turned blue. At least some of them have.

The Blue Trees exhibit is the brainchild of Konstantin Dimopoulos, a conceptual and social artist originally from Port Said, Egypt. The Blue Trees are meant to draw attention to the deforestation happening around the globe. The environmentally safe watercolor used on the trees is temporary and is harmless to the trees, surrounding environment, people, waterways and wildlife. It will be washed away with the rain and other weather conditions. There are currently 27 places to see these blue trees including Houston, Sacramento, Vancouver, Singapore, Germany, Australia and, of course, Salem.

The trees were painted in time for Earth Day of this year and I was fortunate enough to see one of the painters at work.

The trees, which are part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit, can be found by the museum on Essex St.


2021 Salem Zombie Walk (Salem, MA)

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

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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!


2021 Westfield Fair (Westfield, MA)

Dates Of Event: August 20-22, 2021

Location: Westfield Fairgrounds, 137 Russellville Road, Westfield, MA

Cost:

General Admission: $8.00
Seniors: $6.00
Children under 12 FREE with a paid adult admission

$2 per car for parking

Parking: There is ample parking available on the fairgrounds

Pet Friendly: No except for service pets

Universally Accessible: Yes

Website: http://www.thewestfieldfair.com/

Summary: A fun filled family friendly event in Westfield, MA

It may seem like summer is winding down. But don’t tell that to the visitors at the Westfield Fair.

Thousands of people from the Northeast flocked to the 93rd Westfield Fair last weekend which featured a variety of fun events and activities for the entire family.

One of the more popular events at the fair is the Junior Dairy show where a group of young ranchers got to show off their cattle handling skills.

Some cattle needed more encouragement to comply.

I was impressed at how the kids managed to handle such large animals with relative ease.

Another one of the more popular attractions at the fair is the animal petting barn. For one dollar, visitors can feed the seeminlgy always hungry goats, pony and other animals.

Although the truck pull and demolition derby are popular events, the kids also get to show off their driving skills at the Kids Power Wheel Race.

There were also a variety of events and activities for children including face painting

And a beauty pageant

There was also a play area, motorized ride on toys and fun activities for the little ones.

It was good to see people having fun in such a fun, wholesome event, especially since the event had been canceled last year. But, it didn’t go off without a hitch, unfortunately.

Usually, the fair runs from Friday through Sunday. But, the festivities for Sunday were cancelled due to Hurricane Henri.


Sunrise In The Sunflowers (Coppal House Farm, Lee, NH)

Date Of Event: August 6, 2021 (the annual event is usually held the first Sunday in August)

Location: Coppal House Farm, 118 N. River Rd (rt 155) Lee, NH (about 45 mins southeast of Concord, NH, or one and a half hours northeast of Boston, MA)

Cost: The prices vary depending on when you go and your age. Prices can be found at the link below

https://www.nhsunflower.com/sunflower-festival-info

Parking There was lawn parking for about a couple hundred cars

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No this was not a dog friendly event

Website: https://www.nhcornmaze.com/

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.


Daffodils At Tower Hill (Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 25, 2021

Location: Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA (about an hour northwest of Boston, MA or 1 hour north of Providence, RI)

Hours: Open Daily, 10am–5pm (Tower Hill is closed on Thanksgiving, December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1)

Cost: (all tickets must be purchased online at their website for a specific timed entry but visitors can stay as late as they wish)

Members: FREE (must reserve ticket)
Adults: $16
Seniors (65+): $11
Youth (6-18): $6
Children 5 and under: Free (must reserve ticket)

Dogs $7 (dogs are not allowed in the Yarnstorm grounds but there are trails they are allowed on)

Parking: there are about 100 plus free parking spots

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes (dogs are not at Yarnstorm, but dogs are only allowed on the trails outside of the garden)

Summary: 40 artists knitted a variety of designs in the garden areas of Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Website: https://www.towerhillbg.org/

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!


Yarnstorm (Tower Hill Botanic Hill, Boylston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 20,2021

Location: Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA (about an hour northwest of Boston, MA or 1 hour north of Providence, RI)

Dates Of Exhibit: January 16-March 31, 2021

Hours: Open Daily, 10am–5pm (Tower Hill is closed on Thanksgiving, December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1)

Cost: (all tickets must be purchased online at their website for a specific timed entry but visitors can stay as late as they wish)

Members: FREE (must reserve ticket)
Adults: $16
Seniors (65+): $11
Youth (6-18): $6
Children 5 and under: Free (must reserve ticket)

Dogs $7 (dogs are not allowed in the Yarnstorm grounds but there are trails they are allowed on)

Parking: there are about 100 plus free parking spots

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes (dogs are not at Yarnstorm, but dogs are only allowed on the trails outside of the garden)

Summary: 40 artists knitted a variety of designs in the garden areas of Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Website: https://www.towerhillbg.org/

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!


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.