Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Five Days Of Foliage Day #4 – Goddard Memorial State Park (Warwick, RI)

Date Of Visit: November 1, 2017

Location: 1095 Ives Road, Warwick, RI

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free (but there are fees to use fields, gazebos and other facilities)

Parking: There are several parking areas

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some areas of the park are handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Goddard Memorial State Park

Highlights: 490 acre park with a 9 hole golf course, playing fields, beach, performance center and equestrian show area with bridle trails.  The foliage isn’t bad either.


To borrow a term coined by my northern Vermont neighbors, “stick season” is fast approaching.  Stick season is the fall and winter transition that occurs after the leaves have fallen but also before snow has settled on the trees.  This season is not just common to Vermont though.

Indicative of “stick season, I noticed many of the trees at Goddard Memorial State Park had already lost most of their leaves.  Yet, there were still some decent foliage opportunities along the shore of the beach and park.  The densely wooded Goddard has 62 deciduous (trees that have leaves that change) and 19 evergreen species (a species of tree that does not change color throughout the year).  So, there were a variety of trees to find foliage on.

Considered one of the best parks in Rhode Island, Goddard Memorial State Park’s 490 acres of land along Greenwich Cove and Greenwich Bay in Warwick, RI.

Goddard Memorial State Park has an equestrian show area and 18 miles of bridle paths for horse riders to enjoy.  While I was there I did happen upon a few riders.

I had never been to Goddard before.  I only learned about the park the day before after a quick search for the best parks in Rhode Island.  And the reviewers didn’t miss their mark.  The best part of the park may be the variety of activities and Goddard Park also has a 9 hole golf course, 11 playing fields, a canoe launch, a beach that allows swimming and a performance center.  With its pretty waterscapes, extensive hiking trails and picnic areas, Goddard is definitely a great place to take the family.

Read more view more photos about my trip to Goddard Memorial State Park here…


Beach Polo (Newport, RI)

Dates Of Event: February 25 & 26, 2017 (photos taken Feb. 25)

Location: Easton’s Beach (First Beach), 175 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI

Hours: 1:00 -2:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: Free (parking was free for this event but usually the beach charges to park at the beach)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: people on horses playing beach polo



It’s not everyday you get to see polo.  It’s even less often when you get to see it on a beach.


As part of their “Winter Carnival”, Newport Rhode Island held a polo match sponsored by the Newport International Polo Series.

Even if you don’t know the rules of the game (I don’t), it is still fun to watch the horses and players.  There was also an announcer who did the play by play and explained some of the rules during the game.

While there are some rules of the game I don’t know, the basic goal (no pun intended) is pretty basic.  Put the ball between the two orange cones.  The team in gold won 10-9 by the way.

The horses looked especially pretty with the wavy water along the beach.  Onee thing I noticed about the horses is how they will sometimes use their legs to kick the ball and help the player. Or, they are sick of the player getting all the glory and they may want to score a goal or two.

The players all seemed to really have a lot of fun but they also play hard.  And the game is not without risks.  One player had to be carted away with a leg injury after she fell off her horse.

Dogs like polo, too.  I was surprised and impressed how well the leashed dogs and horses coexisted.



The players and fans have a close connection.  At the end of the match, the players trot by on their horses and greet the fans.

Gun Totem (Providence, RI)

Date Of Visit: September 24, 2016

Location: S Main St, Providence, RI

Hours: Accessible everyday,  24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is on street parking and several parking garages in the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlight: concrete obelisk constructed with over 1,000 real guns embedded in the concrete of the structure



I found this group of photos from a visit to Providence, Rhode Island last summer.  I was originally going to post it on my Facebook page.  But, since not everyone has liked my Facebook page (you really should), I decided to post it here.  But, I do periodically post additional photos, videos and other fun stuff on my Facebook page that I don’t post on WordPress.  So, think about joining it.  OK, enough shameless self-promoting.

Built from 1,000 reclaimed guns from the Guns For Goods gun buy back program, the Gun Totem is a 12 foot obelisk made of concrete and 1,000 guns.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the totem is located across the courthouse in Providence, Rhode Island.

Award winning artist Boris Bally created the monument in 2001.  The concrete was chipped away to reveal the guns giving the guns a fossilized look.  Or, as Bailey is quoted and saying:

“All aboriginal cultures, including this country’s own native American culture, build totemic structures to serve as venerated symbols of a clan or family… It will act as a monolithic, metallic warning and ‘mojo’ to ward off evil and violence so prevalent in today’s society. A crew of volunteer ‘archaeologists’ aided me in carefully chipping away areas of the concrete skin to reveal the ‘fossilized’ handguns beneath.”


Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary (Tiverton, RI)

Date Of Visit: December 14, 2016

Location: Seapowet Ave, Tiverton, RI (about an hour south of Boston and about 30 minutes  southeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free but donations are appreciated

Hours: Trails are open dawn until dusk

Parking: There is a lot which can accomodate about 5-10 cars


Trail Difficulty/Size: 50 acres of easy but narrow trails, I couldn’t find a description of the trail lengths but it can’t be more than 4 or 5 miles total

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: No, Audubon sanctuaries are not pet friendly

Highlights:easy trails, blinds to hide behind bird watch, wildlife, streams and bodies of water, birds, scenic

Web Site: Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary

Trail Map: Emilie Ruecker Trail Map

As a preface, I am trying to post about as many of my trips from earlier this year before the end of the year.  So, I may be posting pretty much every day until the new year and into the beginning of the new year to catch up and start fresh in 2017.  Lucky you… ( :


Tucked away just over the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border is a serene little trail with lots of surprises.

One of the cutest surprises are these blinds that you can hide behind to photograph or observe birds.


The trails at Emilie Ruecker are easy enough to navigate and they are mostly loops so it is easy to stay on the trail. There are also maps displayed throughout the sanctuary.  The trails can be narrow in some areas.  Also, if you go on the red trails, it’s easy to go off track.  Just keep looking for the color coded trees to stay on track.

One of the cool things are the openings along the trails that allow you to get closer to the water so you can view the ducks and other birds.

You’ll also find the occasional bench to rest at.


Although there is lots of wildlife at the sanctuary, the highlight for me was the beautiful scenic views.

If you look closely, you may see the outline of a deer just behind the branch of this tree.  Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t focus in time to get a better photo.


Much like this deer, the birds at Emilie Ruecker were hard to photograph.

The birds in the water proved more easy to photograph.

These birds were very easy to photograph, as long as I kept my distance.  They were hanging out on the other side of the road across from the sanctuary on some farm land.

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Water Fire (Providence, RI)

Date Of Event: September 24, 2016 (next and last Water Fire of the year is Nov. 5)

Location: Memorial Blvd, Providence, RI

Time Of Event: First lighting is a little after sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking lots and garages in the area.  Off street parking is limited during the event

Dog Friendly: Yes

Web Site: Water Fire


Originally an award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans in 1994, Water Fire has become a staple of the Providence entertainment scene.  Initially, the Water Fire display was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence.  There were 11 braziers, or hot coal baskets, that were lit at the first Water Fire.  There are now over 80 in the three rivers of downtown Providence.

It was another warm summer day when we arrived.  Summer’s last gasp.  And there was plenty of outdoor pre-Water Fire entertainment.

The first braziers are lit right after sunset (around 7 pm when I went).  People on boats, some in the fashion of gondolas, float by during the festival and music is played during the event.

It was a cool evening.  But the warmth of the fires kept us warm.

This man kept going by and throwing flowers to various people.  I didn’t get one.


Of course, Providence looks beautiful with or without the water Fire lighting.

It was also Chinese Culture Night.  Steeple Street had booths with information and games about Chinese culture.

The next Water Fire is scheduled for Nov. 5 (bundle up if you go).  It will be your last chance to attend the event this year asit is the last Water Fire event of the year.  They usually start up again in the spring of each year, usually in March.

Dogs are allowed at the Water Fire event.

Oakley is a 4 month old Australian Cattledog

Raleigh is a 6 month old American Staffordshire Terrier with a special talent (see the videos below)

Below are some videos from the Water Fire event:

A dragon in the water!  Part of the Chinese Culture Night

A human on a skateboard:

wait for it….yes a dog on a skateboard…

Someone playing with fire

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Coggeshall Farm Museum (Bristol, RI)

Date Visited: June 18, 2016

Location: 1 Colt Drive, Bristol, Rhode Island (about half an hour from Providence and 1 hour from Boston, MA)  (401) 253-9062

Hours: presently open Tue-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 15 – April 15
Open Weekends, 10 am to 4 pm
Open February 16 – 21, 2016 for February vacation

April 15 – December 15
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.



Adults: $5
Seniors: $3
Children (3–12): $3
Children under 3: Free


Adults: $7
Seniors: $5
Children (3–12): $5
Children under 3: Free

You can also purchase a membership for unlimited visits, free access to special events and discounts at their gift shop.  If you plan on going more than once or twice a year and especially if you go with your family, the membership is probably the best rate:


Individual membership: $25

Couples: $35

Family: $50

Parking:  There is a space for about 4 or 5 cars across from Coggeshall Farm.  You can also park at Colt State Park, which is adjacent to the farm but you may have to pay a fee to enter the park.

Size: 48 acres

Time To Allot For Visit: About An Hour

Dog Friendly: No (except for guide dogs)

Highlights: living museum, character actors, farm animals, historic style homes

Coggeshall Farm Museum



You often find the most wonderful places in the most unexpected places.  On an otherwise nondescript trail at Colt State Park used for cycling and running, lies a farm frozen in time.

Established in 1973, the Coggeshall Museum Farm features interpreters and authentic reenactments of farm life in the year 1799.  Every last detail from the tools they use to the bedding (mostly hay) is authentic to the time it represents.

I loved the houses and workshops at Coggeshall.  The homes and interiors were definitely the highlight of the trip for me.  The rooms were modest and fairly bare (and I thought my room was small).

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Even the papers and bills in the houses are accurate to those days.  They don’t accept them as legal tender though, in case you were wondering.

Coggeshall Farm Museum also has a variety of animals.  When I came to visit there were 2 steer, 11 sheep and several chickens, turkeys and other fowl.  I also got to see some newly hatched chicks.

When I asked how long they keep the animals there I was told they usually live 6 to 8 years and then they have a “retirement plan.”  Yes, everything gets used at the farm.

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There were several character actors working during my visit.  This gentleman was cutting wood to store (it’s never too early to get ready for long, chilly winter nights).  When I asked how long it would take to cut all the wood he said, “util it is done”.  Where has that work ethic gone?


The grounds are well kept and very pretty.  They also have a large grazing area for the animals.

Then there was Moe – the resident cat and pest control manager.  He was very friendly and playful as you can see.  Believe it or not, the chipmunk he’s hunting and carrying so gently escaped only a little worse for the wear.

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Coggeshall Farm also lets the patrons partake in some tasks (such as cutting wood) as long as it is supervised and they  have many events throughout the year such as Arts On The Farm and Farm Camp.  Check their website for more details.



Colt State Park (Bristol, RI)

Date Visited: June 19, 2016

Location: Rte 114 (off Poppasquash Rd – yes that is the real name of the road – or Hope St depending which direction you’re coming from), Bristol, RI

Cost: It was free when I visited, according to the new parking fees it is $7 for residents and $14 for non residents to park at beaches in Rhode Island (lawmakers in Rhode Island recently cut the costs in half)

Parking: There are several parking areas.  But, they fill up quickly.  Arrive early to ensure you get a good spot, especially during the summer weekends.  There are also electric vehicle charging stations available for 4 hours max while enjoying the park or other facility.The EV station does not guarantee a space on full capacity days

Hours: open daily dawn to dusk.

Time To Allot For Visit: This can vary depending on what you’re doing there (kayaking, running, cycling, barbecuing, etc.)  If you’re just going for a walk or jog an hour to two hours should be enough time.  I spent three hours there but I was stopping a lot to take photos

Size of Park: 464 acres

Highlights: scenic waterscape, various wildlife, walking/running/biking trails, fields and picnic areas, beach, bridge and pretty architecture and well kept trails


Named after Samuel P. Colt who owned the property in the early 1900’s where he built his home the Casino, Colt State Park has been considered the “gem of Rhode Island.”  With its pretty views, teeming wildlife and peaceful setting it lives up to its name.

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The park is surrounded by water for people to launch their boats, kayaks and other types or watercraft.


One of the best things about Colt State Park is the abundant wildlife.  There are birds aplenty.




Red Winged Blackbird


American Black Crow


Mallard Duck





There are many other animals at the park like this chipmunk


I even saw lions at the park


Off the beaten path, I found these top bar bee hives.  And they get nasty when you get too close and I had a bee sting to prove it!  I suppose I wouldn’t like it if someone came into my home and started taking photos either.

And, of course, there were dogs at the park.


Butch, a Lab mix, is a shelter dog from South Carolina.  His mommy wasn’t sure of his age (either 3 or 4 years old probably).


Max is a 6 year old English Lab.  He is also an AKC (American Kennel Club) dog.

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Watch Hill Lighthouse (Westerly, RI)


Date Visited: April 30, 2016

Location: Lighthouse Rd, Westerly, RI

Cost: Free

Parking: Vehicles are not allowed on Lighthouse Rd, unless you area senior citizen or if you have a physical impairment which may prevent you from walking or biking or running down.

The jewel of Westerly, Rhode island, Watch Hill Lighthouse is a stone’s throw away from Napatree Conservation Point.  The walk down Lighthouse Rd is about half a mile and the views are worth the walk.  Watch Hill is a swanky village in the town of Westerly that offers views of the southern most coast of the state (besides Block Island).

To get a sense of just how beautiful the area is, this is the view from someone’s driveway.  Not a bad view to wake up to every morning.

There are more stunning views as you walk down the road.

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There is also a “cliff walk” along the road which is basically a walkway along the sidewalk which allows you to walk on a “cliff” type access way next to the road.  Besides being a fun way to travel, the cliff walk also offers some beautiful views.

Since it is somewhat isolated and not too active this time of the year, birds tend to congregate at Watch Hill.  I found a few Double Crested Cormorants.

Watch Hill Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in Rhode Island (Beavertail Light is the oldest lighthouse in RI).  Originally built in 1808, Watch Hill Lighthouse has been destroyed or damaged by various storms over the years.  The current lighthouse that stands there was built in 1856.  It was automated in 1986 and it is still active today.


The best part of my trip to Watch Hill was watching the waves from the rocks.  It is considered one of the more beautiful and romantic of Rhode Island (sans Newport).  In fact, just before I arrived there I had missed a man proposing to a woman at the location.  When I got there they were drinking champagne and cuddling as they watched the waves.

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Cute little Louis (pronounced Louie) is a 3 year old toy poodle.  I love how the wind blew his fur and ears back but he still wanted to see the lighthouse!


Below are two videos of the waves at Watch Hill to give a better sense of the power of the waves there (and this was just on a regular day)

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Napatree Point Conservation Area (Westerly, RI)


Date Visited: April 30, 2016

Location: Fort Rd, Westerly, RI

Parking: Parking was a breeze in the early morning hours in April.  I found off street parking with a 3 hour limit.  There were several parking spaces available.  This will change when the weather begins to warm up (at this rate, sometime  in mid-August).  One thing I found interesting and somewhat vexing is that according to signs, the parking lot next to Napatree is not supposed to be used for going to the beach.  I assume the parking is meant for shoppers and people patronizing the restaurants in the area.  For an area that has limited parking this seems highly unusual.  If you go in the summer, be aware parking will be very limited.

First, I’d like to thank everyone for reading and being so supportive as I post my 100th blog post.   One hundred posts in just under one year.   What better place to write about than Napatree!

A peninsula-like shaped area, Napatree is actually a sandy spit.  It has been shaped through a process called longshore drift which is basically a process by which sediments such as clay, silt, sand and shingle are transported along the coast creating its unique shape.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at it now but Napatree used to be densely wooded.  Trees lined the area until the Great September Gale of 1815 hit the area and the trees were destroyed.  In fact, the name Napatree comes from the term nap or nape of trees.

The views from the entrance of Napatree are beautiful.  In some of the photos, you can see a brown tint to the otherwise deep blue water.  In fact, the colors seemed to change depending on where and when I took the photos.  The tides, shallowness of the water and other factors can affect the way the water looks.  I had never noticed it as distinctly as I did at Napatree.  The waves and movement of the water may have played a part as well.  Despite how calm the water seems in these photos this was not the case everywhere at Napatree.

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If you look close, you can see the Amtrak train in the distance that services the Westerly area in one of the photos.

The dunes and the sand were also very pretty.




At first glance, Napatree seems like a long stretch of beach on only one side.  But, I kept hearing noises over the dune.  At first, I brushed it off as traffic or some other noise.  Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to climb one of the dunes and check it out.  What I found was pure paradise.

The calm waves and plain waterscape were replaced with crashing waves, foamy water, beautiful homes (the homes on both sides weren’t pretty shabby actually), the Watch Hill Lighthouse and marine activity.

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When I arrived, the village was pretty desolate.  This was partly due to the early time of the morning that I arrived and partly because the vacation season hasn’t began yet.  Westerly did have a Cape Cod feel to it.  From the quaint shops, the folksy, slowed down pace, the beautiful beaches and the mansions that dot the landscape (blog to follow soon about one of those lighthouses), I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood vacations at the Cape.


In due time, these empty streets will be bustling with activity.  But, for now, it is a tourist/photographer’s dream having the area to one self!

There were several dogs at Napatree during my visit.  Dogs are allowed on the beach but only until May 2nd.  So, you’ll have to wait until next year to take Fido!



Daisy is a beautiful Golden Retriever.  What a gorgeous smile.



Caesar is an aquatic pitbull

Below are videos of the different sides of Napatree.  The first video is of the more calm waters that I saw when I first arrived.  The second video is from the other side over the dunes to the more active side of Napatree.

Annual Pawcatuck River Duck Race (Westerly, RI)

Date Of Event: April 30, 2016

Location: 37 Main St, Westerly, Rhode Island

Parking:  Parking was very limited, especially with the huge turnout.  I got there early so I was fortunate enough to snag a 3 hour parking spot near the event in the shopping area of the town.

Cost: Free

Annual Pawcatuck River Duck Race


Every year for the past 18 years, the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce partners with several businesses and community members to raise money by dumping 20,000 ducks into the Pawcatuck River (don’t worry, they’re rubber ducks) and watching them race down the river.  The event helps raise money for over 40 local schools and other non profit groups in the area.

Visitors to the duck race can buy “sponsor tickets” with a unique number of a duck for $5 a chance.  Duck shaped whistles can also purchased, much to the delight of many spectators and parents.  Vendors and a local radio station also sell items and entertain the visitors.

All 20,000 rubber ducks are dumped into the river from a bulldozer which has been filled with the toys prior to the race.

That’s a lot of ducks!

A short walk from the bridge, in Donahue Park, there are also fun stuff for kids (and even adults who feel young at heart) such as a bouncy house, face painting, balloon shaping and other activities.  There also was a classic car, a ’47 Mac, owned by the parent of Bustah (one of the dogs below).  Cool car.

There were ducks in the water and on land.

Before the race began, a duck, a real duck this time, decided to stop by and see what was going on.


Then, a family of ducks and ducklings swam by.  I feel badly for the little one lagging behind in the last photo.  I feel like that everyday.


This is the Pawcatuck River before the race.


This is the river with 20,000 ducks in it.

Even dogs came out to watch the race.


Bustah is an American Bulldog.  Beautiful markings.  I like how he is intently staring at his dad who is standing behind me to get his attention.


Reggie is a black Lab who is super friendly (but aren’t they all?)

Below is a video of the dunk dumping.  As you can tell by the audio, the crowd was getting antsy and they really got into the whole countdown.

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