Tag Archives: Westfield

Apremont Memorial Park (Westfield, MA)

Dates Of Visits: July 3, 2017, November 11, 2017

Location: 707 Southampton Rd, Westfield, MA

Hours: Open daily, 24 hours a day

Parking: There is room for about half a dozen cars at the entrance to the park

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Apremont Memorial Park

Highlights: memorial to the The

IMG_9297

Once the training site of the Massachusetts State Militia (then called Hampton Plains) some 112 years ago, Apremont Park is now the home to a memorial dedicated to the 104th U.S. Infantry.  After  World War I broke out, the site was reactivated for the 104th Infantry Regiment of the 26th Yankee Division and was renamed Camp Bartlett.

The 104th Infantry Regiment has a storied past that dates back to November 14, 1639 when it was first mustered as the Springfield Train Band.  They would go on to be incorporated as part of the Hampshire County Massachusetts Militia.  They would also serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and in the Civil War as part of the Union Army as well as many other campaigns such as the Spanish-American War and both World Wars.  The last active element of the regiment, the 1st Battalion, was deactivated in 2005 and the soldiers and lineage transferred to the 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment.  But, their legacy still remains, particularly at this memorial.

I made two visits to this park; one in July of this year and today.  I enjoy seeing the differences in the park from the different seasons.

In August 17, 1917, 13,000 troops from the National Guard organization of New England camped out for 14 weeks; then the 104th Infantry left for France to compile a record of outstanding bravery. There is a bronze plaque set in from of the monuments of the General Passage of France decorating the colors of the 104th Infantry during World War I. The park is named after a small French town of Apremont, which was defeated and saved by the 104th Infantry.

Inscribed on the memorial is:

FOR GREATEST FIGHTING SPIRIT AND SELF SACRIFICE DURING ACTION OF APRIL 10, 12 AND 13 1918.  SUFFERING FROM VERY HEAVY BOMBARDMENTS AND ATTACKED BY VERY STRONG GERMAN FORCES THE 104TH INFANTRY SUCCEEDED IN PREVENTING THEIR DANGEROUS ADVANCE, AND WITH GREATEST ENERGY RECONQUERED, AT THE POINT OF THE BAYONET , THE FEW RUINED TRENCHES WHICH HAD TO BE ABANDONED AT THE FIRST ONSET, AT THE SAME TIME MAKING PRISONERS.

Also inscribed on the memorial is the name of the infantry that was organized on the spot (the 104th Regiment Infantry) and a description of their background.

I originally photographed this monument on July 3rd.  But, after doing my research on the memorial, I noticed I had missed some interesting and important parts of the memorial.  During my original photo shoot, I missed these parts of the memorial.  I think the flowers that were once in bloom in July hid them from my view during my initial visit.  This was not the case when I came back to visit earlier today.

There are benches near the memorial for quiet reflection and markers to memorialize their efforts in World War I and World War II.  The park is also used to honor veterans on special occasions such as the Fourth of July and other special events.  I did not see any other people at the park during my visit today.

IMG_0739

There is also a memorial honoring those who served in the 104th Infantry Regiment during World War II.

IMG_0755

Another memorial lays to the left of the entrance of the park.

IMG_0761

Thank you to all the veterans of the 104th Infantry and all of the veterans who have served our country.

 


Pomeroy’s Maple Sugar House (Westfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 25, 2017

Location Pomeroy’s Sugar House, 491 Russelville Rd, Westfield, MA (about 2 hours west of Boston, MA, 20 minutes west of Springfield, MA)

Hours: Fri – Sun, 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Cost: Free tour of the maple sugar making house

Handicapped Accessible: The farm is but the restaurant might not be

Highlights: Maple sugar making, breakfast and bruch., cows and calfs

Website: Pomeroy’s Sugar House

 

DSC_0066

It’s March and that can only mean one thing.  Well two things.  Your March Madness bracket sheets are probably as marked up as a fifth grader’s book report  and it’s maple sugar house season. Since this is the peak of maple sugar season, we decided to take a trip to Pomeroy’s Sugar House.  Pomeroy’s Sugar House is a third-generation restaurant and maple sugar making house in Westfield, MA.

Because of the weather conditions during this time of the year, March is considered “Maple Sugar Making Month” in Massachusetts and many of the other states in New England.  The best conditions for collecting and producing maple sugar syrup is when the temperatures are cold at night (below freezing) and mild during the day (in the 40’s and warmer typically).  The season is supposed to last about 5 weeks.

The process begins usually during the beginning of the month of March when the temperatures begin to warm during the days.  The freeze and thaw process alters the pressure in the trees and gets the sap flowing so it can be collected.  Holes are cut into the maple trees with drills and spigots jut out from the trees.  Buckets are then propped up against the trees to collect the sugar   During their growing season, the maple trees create starch.  As the temperature increases, enzymes in the tree transform the starch into sugar during the Spring thaw.  The trees then absorb water through their roots which mixes with the sap and voila you have the makings of a tasty treat that is  considered a emblematic of New England.

Some of the more modernized maple sugar plants use tubing rather buckets to collect the sap.  But,many of the sugar houses still use buckets.  It gives it a more traditional look and it also shows visitors just how the process works step by step.  Each tree can usually yield between 10 to 14 gallons of sap per bucket with some trees having 2 or 3 buckets attached to them.

Even after the sap is collected the process is not complete yet.  Not even close.  Sap is 97.5 % water and only 2.5% sugar.  So it needs to be boiled down to get to the tasty goodness to makw syrup.  Through a long and somewhat arduous process, the sap is processed and turned into syrup with the help of these machines.

The truck below is one of the trucks Pomeroy’s uses to transport their sap from trees at other locations.

Fun fact (unless you’re one of those making the maple sugar): it takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup.

Fun fact number two: the Native Americans introduced the process of making maple syrup to the European settlers.  It was all downhill from there.

The demand for these sugary treats is high.  In fact, the restaurant ran out of maple syrup during our visit.  But, the friendly staff at the sugar house were busy preparing more for later that day.  If you get the chance to go today, the staff at Pomeroy’s said they would have more by 5 p.m.  Or, stop by another day!

There is also a farm in back of Pomeroy’s Sugar House.  The cows were in their pens.

A baby calf was hiding in his or her hut but the calf eventually got out to say hi.

Please connect with me on the following social media networks:

Facebook

Twitter (@waynefitz12)

 

 


Feeding Time At Stanley Park (Westfield, MA)

dsc_0663

Date Of Visit: December 28, 2016

Location: 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA (about 2 hours west of Boston, MA and about 20 minutes west of Springfield, MA)

Cost: Free

Hours: Presently open everyday 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m. (hours change depending upon the season)

Parking: There are a few different parking areas.  The main parking lot on Western Ave has room for about 200 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: The playground area, fields and picnic areas are but the trails and many of the walkways are not.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: hiking trails, birds, wildlife, pond, flower garden, statues

Often considered the jewel of Westfield, Massachusetts, Stanley Parkis one of the prettiest parks in Western Massachusetts and it looks even more picturesque after a snowfall.

dsc_0698

Due to the recent cold spell and snow, the pond and much of the vegetation at Stanley Park had been iced over so they were eager to get some food.  As a disclaimer, most parks do not encourage you to feed birds.  But, if you do, there are certain foods you should never feed to ducks.  Bread is the biggest no-no on most list.  These are some better foods to feed to birds.

At any rate, visitors like to feed the birds at Stanley Park and that gave me an usually good chance to photograph some beautiful ducks.

There were so many birds congregating at the pond waiting for a nibble of food.

Luckily, one of the visitors at the park, Jim, brought some food for the hungry birds.

 

Jim’s dog took the birds in stride.

I have photographed Stanley Park before and, since it is very close to my mom’s house, I always try to make a visit out there as often as I can.So, you may sees posts about this park from time to time.

Stanley Park, or Stanley as it is more commonly known as, is a popular spot for dogs like Sansa is a 5 month old Siberian Husky.

dsc_0655

Below is a video of feeding time at Stanley Park:

Please connect with me on Facebook: Facebook

 


Forever Young Cruisers (Westfield, MA)

Date Of Event: July 30, 2016

Location: Zuber’s Ice Cream And Deli, 98 Southwick Rd, Westfield, MA

Hours: Saturdays, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m (until October 1)

Cost: Free (but make sure to stop in at Zuber’s for a cone or treat)

Parking: There are about 15-20 parking spots

Time To Allot For Visit: About 30 minutes to an hour

Dog Friendly: Yes

Fun For One: Yes

Highlights: Really cool antique cars, located in the parking lot of an ice cream shop/deli (Zuber’s)

Lowlights: Not a lot of cars

DSC_0610

Summer means road trips, long days at the beach and car shows.  Yes, car shows.  Muscle cars and other hot rods are a staple of any summer road trip.

It was great seeing cars with the old gauges and front seat bench seating as opposed to the bucket seats we’ve all become accustomed to.  It reminded me of the old Delta 88 I used to tool around in.  I still miss that car.

Whenever I see older cars, I wonder what memories are attached to them.  How many first dates were they driven on?  How many times did different families pile in her en route to the destinations?

We attach so many memories and emotions to our cars.  They’re more than just steel and iron to us (now they are more than just plastic and aluminum).  Old cars, even if we never owned them or rode in them, bring us back to our earlier, more carefree days.  I wonder how many special memories are attached to these cars.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There were only about a dozen or so cars.  So, if you’re looking to see a wide variety of cars you might be out of luck.  But, what the event lacked in quantity it made up for in quality of cars like this 1970 Roadrunner, 440 engine.

 

One of the things I really liked was how the owners of the vehicles dressed up their vehicles and added decor and dolls from the era or that have something in common with their vehicle.  For instance, the owner of the Road Runner pictured above has a bunch of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote dolls in the backseat of his car.

DSC_0634

The owner of this AMC 1973 Javelin dressed up his car with Bettie Boop collectibles.

This Buick Series 60 went with the traditional fuzzy dice motif

I have no idea what the motif of this decor is

This race car, which the owner still races, has a Chevrolet frame.  But, it is made of mostly custom parts.

It did the Kessel Run in 7.88.  Oh, sorry that was Han Solo I was thinking of.  This car actually did a quarter mile in 7.88 (the number light up in the back side back window of the car) for a not so shabby 137 miles per hour.

This ’32 Roadster was the oldest vehicle that I could confirm at the car show.  The owner was especially proud of the license plate.

A lot of the car owners are very proud of their vehicles and they have lots and lots of stories of their experiences in their cars (driving and otherwise).  Often times, just talking to these people can be as entertaining as looking at the cars.  It gives the cars some personality when you can talk to the people who drive them and hear about their driving experiences.

As an added bonus, you can stop by Zuber’s and get a cone or sandwich after looking over the cars!

Since it opened in 2006, Zuber”s has been serving up sandwiches, ice cream and a variety of other items to people from Westfield and surrounding areas.  What makes the shop so cool is that it doesn’t just sell sandwiches and a variety of sweets.  You can get your food to go or you can eat it in their outdoor dining area.  They also sell everything from birdhouses to toys in their bargain section.  You never know what you’ll find when you visit.  And, if you’re like me and you like to collect things, you never know what you’ll end up going home with.

Similar Events In New England To Visit:

marks

Mark’s Classic Cruise Night

 

 


Hampton Ponds (Westfield, MA)

Pretty waterscapes are not regulated to the coastlines of New England.  Hampton Ponds State Park is proof of this.  A cute, expansive series of ponds that dot the Westfield area, Hampton Ponds is a popular area for swimmers, sun bathers and boaters.

DSC_0631

DSC_0630

Upon reaching Hampton ponds, I was greeted by a gaggle of geese.

DSC_0417

And this one solitary goose.

DSC_0423

Hampton Ponds has some very impressive trees.

DSC_0550  DSC_0623    DSC_0468  DSC_0413

But, it was the vivid greens and wild flowers of the ponds that stood out to me.

DSC_0429 DSC_0428 DSC_0427  DSC_0438 DSC_0445 DSC_0424    DSC_0442        DSC_0584 DSC_0583 DSC_0565   DSC_0568

DSC_0572

DSC_0571

DSC_0570

DSC_0553

DSC_0540

DSC_0554

Dragonflies also seemed to enjoy the greenery of Hampton Ponds.

DSC_0573

The water is so transparent at Hampton Ponds, you can see the fish that inhabit the waters.

DSC_0547

Birds are also plentiful at Hampton Ponds.  This swallow sort of blended into the sand on the beach head.

DSC_0618

Boaters and kayakers took advantage of the warm weather and clear waters at Hampton Ponds

DSC_0477

DSC_0470

The motorboats created pretty ripples along the glassy water.

DSC_0484

DSC_0610

Hampton Ponds doesn’t have any long walking trails.  But, it does make up for it with its pretty views.

DSC_0612   DSC_0615 DSC_0475  DSC_0522

Hampton Ponds is also a popular spot for dogs.

Hercules stopped playing so I could take his photo.

DSC_0469

Sparky happily posed for his photo.

DSC_0606

Hampton Ponds is also the perfect place to reflect

DSC_0591

or to go fishing

DSC_0580

or to just play in the water.

DSC_0598