Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Morning Shenanigans

Hi Everyone!

It's turned out to be a beautiful weekend!  Here in CT, we have hit 50 and it's sunny so that's a big win at the moment, lol.

I spent most of yesterday editing so a break was needed.  I went to my happy place, Rockwell Park, in Bristol where I go to unwind and just do me.  Coffee and cameras in hand I made my way down by the old concession building.  It was my intention to get scenic shots and maybe sit in the sun for a few.

I get down the steps near the pond and I see a whole bunch of ducks rushing over to my side.  That had me curious because as many times as I've been here, I've never seen all the ducks in this pond.  I usually find them in the second pond farther back in the park.  I go over to the brick wall and they are all staring at me.  Of course,  I have nothing to feed them and they appear to be glaring at me as if they are wondering what the hell am I doing over there with no food? Now I feel terrible and figure I better just go on about my business and leave them alone.  Well, I start walking away and around to the other side of the pond so I can take pictures.  I see them trying to follow me and I think it's cool because there isn't a wall on the other side of the pond and they can come out and maybe I'll get some shots of them.  So now I"m on the other side and I'm shooting some of the scenery when I hear this funny, chipping sound that then turns into crunching.  I turn around and realize that half the pond is still full of ice!  They can't get over to where I am and they're trying to chip through.

Below is the shot of them I got trying to break thru, there was team effort happening.
 Now I've forgotten about the scenery and curious to see if they can get through. I sat for about a half hour on the steps and watched them try, then pull back, try again and then turn in another direction to try again.  They were quite adamant about this.

Finally, they broke thru and made their way over to me on the steps.  Same problem, no food.  I do believe I was shamed by the wildlife today, lol. They stared and stared and I felt like I could hear their thoughts.  I sincerely apologized and picked up my camera.  They went after the grass with a vengeance and I picked up my camera and had some fun with them.  They didn't even seem to mind that I was there. They played and fought amongst themselves and a couple of times even posed for me.

The Alpha, he kept watch between me and his crew.  The order he kept was amazing.  One of them started to act up and he simply strutted over over, made a sound, and all was under control again.  He wasn't even loud, it was more like a "Don't do it" warning.

Their webbed feet were eerie but cute. They are beautiful creatures and I enjoyed watching them.

A hour and a half later, I said my goodbyes and walked out out of the park with a smile on my face and my pace set for the day.

Have a great week!

Til next time,

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Fall Foliage

 The fall foliage is beautiful.  I'm loving all the earth tones, with the burnt oranges, deep reds, and golden yellows mixed with rustic browns and deep greens.  I particularly love the reflections of color in the water.

Fall signifies nature's regrowth.  The bright, fresh colors that we experienced thru spring and summer needs to replenish and start over.  There is something about seeing the leaves fall on a sunny day, with just a hint of a slight breeze.....or taking a walk and hearing the rustle of the trees and seeing the leaves decorate your path.

Living in New England with the change of seasons leaves many with mixed feelings.  I believe most people do enjoy the seasons but we most always prefer the warmer ones for the longer days and all that we can do.  In reality, when you think about it, there really isn't a perfect season because each one brings something with it that we may or may not be fond of so it's sort of fun to see what you can get out of each season, each year.  Each and every year in New England is different.

Take a look at these beautiful colors against the clear blue sky.

Golden, crisp yellow leaves that have yet to fall...

Based on this picture, can any of my Connecticut followers guess where I shot these photos?

Most often, we can find beauty in our own back yards, neighborhoods, just need to open your minds to finding it.

Til next time,

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Little League World Series Eastern Regionals 2019

Last night was the last game of the Little League Eastern Region World Series in Bristol, CT at the Giamatti Field.  Last night's champions was New Jersey and they will go on to Williamsport, PA for the World Series.

The turnout was incredible and in this age of electronics and cell phones it was fantastic to see adults and kids engaging in an event where the attention was on the game.  The age range of the players are10 to 12 years old. The show of support was wonderful and these kids played hard.  You could tell they really have a love for the sport and put in their best efforts.  This event lasted an entire week with games starting at 10am and the last being at 7pm each day for a week.  Different teams in the region played on different days and were narrowed down to the final two teams last night, New York and New Jersey.

I was impressed that ESPN was there and the whole event went like a major league baseball game. The only real difference was that it was a free event, with the exception of the concession stands.  Whole families came out with their chairs and blankets, others sat in the bleaches with their signs to show their support and encouragement.  Family and friends traveled to the games in support of their players.

This was my first year attending this event and I went to three games, one morning game and two night games.  I enjoyed them for my own reasons which I'll share.  The weather was perfect, especially last night since the humidity had gone away and there was a cool evening breeze.  The atmosphere was beautiful, to see so many people out having a good time and showing good sportmanship for the players.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement.  I didn't hear any shouting for any mistakes that were made and no fights amongst the players at all.  I commend the players for playing 2 hour games and not giving up.  They kept smiles on their faces and had a great time.  What really fascinated me were the different sizes of the kids.  Some of the kids looked much older than 12 in stature but it didn't seem to intimidate the smaller kids at all, very impressive.  I did hear some comments from spectators such as "oh, wow, look at the size of that kid", which was entertaining because these kids didn't miss a beat and didn't seem to care.  Bottom line was, no matter what their size they were at least 12 and played as such.  Size was not a factor.  To me, that right there is a lesson itself that should be carried throughout their lives.

 A few scenes from last night's game:

 New Jersey is going to the World Series and I congratulation them!  But I also congratulate all the players because they were all champions out there this week.  I am happy that I had the opportunity to partake in this experience, which is new to me, and I hope to see many of them again next year. :)

Til next time,

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Pequabuck Tunnel

Hi Everyone!

I'm starting the season off with my trip to the Pequabuck Tunnel aka Terryville Tunnel and the Mile Long Tunnel located in Plymouth.  I heard about the tunnel last summer while visiting Horseshoe Falls which isn't too far away.  It took awhile to find this tunnel because it's just one of those things that is right under your nose if you look hard enough.  Every video I watched didn't specify a location.  I didn't video this trip but I did take pictures.

The tunnel is still operational and is located just off Tunnel Road in Plymouth.  The tunnel was completed in 1910 and the year is marked at the top of the entrance.   Freight trains running between New Britain and Waterbury still use it.   It's not easy to find, and you may find yourself driving in circles until you do find it.  There is a small clearing on Tunnel Road that will take you to a trail which leads down to it.  There are many stories about the tunnel being haunted.  Would I go down there at night? Not likely, but during the daylight hours is fine.   Please note that if you aren't a hiker, or used to physical exertion, this is not the trip for you because the trail takes you to the top of a very steep hill that you have to get down.  You are able to see the tracks from here.  Climbing down is a bit tricky because you are going down on find dirt or sand.  If you take your time, you will get to the bottom which takes about 5-7 minutes.  I also recommend going with another person.

Here is the entrance, as you can see, you can look directly through and see the other side.  It's only about 3/4 of a mile in length.  If you look close enough you'll see the 1910 engraved at the very top.

On this particular day, it was very sunny and warm.  As soon as we hit the bottom, we could feel the coolness of the air.  Immediately to your left is the tunnel.  The cool air you feel is coming directly from the tunnel which is very much welcomed after coming down the steep slope.  I expected to have to walk a ways to the entrance and there it was, right there.  It was a bit eerie, as it appears to be a dark tunnel out of nowhere.

You can definitely smell its age.  It's not a bad smell but definitely has that vintage smell to it mixed with the fact that it's also a bit damp and has been decaying over time, it reminded me of an old basement.  We went inside and walked a ways down.   If you visit, tread carefully because there are pieces from the top coming down as well as water running in that is causing puddles and the sidewalls to crumble . It is by all means a fascinating find, sitting down there like some sort of hidden secret.  There are also little cutouts on either side of the walls in the even the train comes through you can duck in one.  I'd say there was one every 10 to 15 feet.  Due to the condition of the tunnel, maybe one person could fit in them because of the decaying walls.

Here is one of the decent dugouts I was able to get a shot of.  Most have sliding mud coming out of them which would make it difficult to slip into.  Each spot were you see a mound of dirt, is where a dugout is or was.

Below, we are in the tunnel looking out to where we entered.  You can see the crumbling that is happening inside.  I'm pretty sure at some point, it's going to be in need of some major repairs.

The tunnel is definitely a cool place to check out.  It's away from everything and so quiet.  Inside, I absolutely felt like I had stepped into another time with the construction and scent.  If you have a chance, check it out for yourself!

Til next time,

Saturday, May 4, 2019

My Photographer's Block

Hey Everyone!

What is Photographer's Block?  It's pretty much the same as Writer's Block, lol.  It happens to many of us from time to time.  I'm currently getting coming out of one of my blocks and wanted to share what has helped me.

Believe it or not, what has really been beneficial was for me to step back, put the camera down, and look and listen.  When I say look and listen, I mean relax and take time for yourself.  For me, it was reading books, watching movies (huge Hallmark fan), people watching and just kind of getting myself out there when I can but without the camera.  You're probably wondering why wouldn't I take the camera?  When my mind is blocked, taking the camera with me without having the motivation and inspiration makes me feel forced and then when I shoot I hate everything I shot.

I attended a MS Walk in New York a few weeks back.  I was not familiar at all with where the walk was.  It was held at Glen Island Park in New York.  We get there and there is nothing but fog but entered through a beautiful entrance and were along Long Island Sound. By the time I got out of the car I was mesmerized because I couldn't really see anything but at the same time I could.  I love fog, it's mysterious and on this day it was so thick all we could see was what was right in front of us.  It turned out to be a beautiful day, I saw friends and family and really enjoyed myself.  I was out in the fresh air, walking and the sun same out!  The fog burned off and I found myself in a beautiful, scenic park. Was I kicking myself for not having a camera?  Not really, I know I can come back and I will come back.  This day was about something else.

I took one photo that day, with a phone.  Just one photo, but this one photo really did it for me.  As I was editing this photo I remembered the events from the day.  I remembered the laughter I heard and the tears of joy that I saw.  Most of all, I remember the peace that I felt within myself.  My head was clear and I left there that day rejuvenated and happy that I had participated in the event.  I was inspired by others and the place I was in.  That inspired me on so many levels.  That inspiration is what got me this one photo and this one photo inspired me to do more and has been been taking my creativity in another direction.

This is the photo I took and the last of the fog that was burning off.  Please enjoy and check back for more to come!

Til Next Time,

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dividend Falls

Hi Everyone!

We got some beautiful Fall weather this weekend!  Today was a little cooler but yesterday was perfect.  I got out to see Dividend Falls and it was beautiful!  It was probably the easiest waterfall to get to as well because you can hear the waterfall just as soon as you hit the trail and a few seconds later you start to see it through the trees.  Dividend was the site for Rocky Hill's first industrial park.  There were a few mills and factories that used to be where the falls are that dated back as far as the 1600's!  I saw some of the  remaining portions of the foundations once I got down to the bottom.  There is also a remaining staircase that borders the waterfall that you can walk on. 

Listen to the sound of the falls.....there is just something so calming about the sound of rushing water:

Here are a few pictures of falls:

The lighting that comes thru the trees in certain parts is amazing.  It's always really cool to watch the lighting change as the afternoon goes on.

This one was taken on the other side by crossing over a set of logs that are stretched across the water.  There is a railing made of some sort of rubber rope to hold on to while crossing.

If you look really close, you can see that my son has again gotten himself in the shot in the upper right hand corner.  He almost blends in so I didn't notice him until after the fact.  It appears that he is taking a picture of me taking the shot.  Believe it or not, he also climbed back up to the top and jumped across the width of the falls.  I'm still not sure how he did that as I only saw him as he was mid air.  Sorry folks, I didn't capture that because I was a scared mom on that one.  He was instructed not to do that again, lol.

I will be going back out here again because there is some history with the industrial park that I'd like to check out and share.  Hopefully, I can get back out before the weather gets too cold so stay tuned!

Til next time!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Up, Up and Away! - Plainville Balloon Festival

Hi Everyone!

If you didn't make the Plainville Balloon Festival this year, here's a look at what you missed!

It was my first time attending at such an early hour (5:30am for 6am launch). I've gone to the festival itself but missed the actual balloon launch.  Since it was so early, I figured there would be a few enthusiates, newscasters, fellow photographers......what I walked into were hundreds waiting, anticipating and very excited.  There were senior couples sitting in lawn chairs, families with children and pets, younger couples that were maybe on this outing together for the first time.  The morning couldn't have been any more perfect, not too cold but cool enough for a light sweater or sweatshirt.  Many were spread out on blankets enjoying their morning coffee.  Thankfully, my significant other, Joe was kind enough to go on this early morning venture with me complete with coffee.  He makes a great assistant :)

I caught this quite but accident but thought it was cute.  I love to see people out having a great time.  I think everyone was feeling like a kid that morning, lol.

As the sun started to rise, burners were fired up creating huge, forceful, beautiful flames. The crowd began to settle because we all knew what was to come.  The balloons were spread out, waiting to be filled and only minutes later we saw them start to rise.  Now was when we saw just how massive the balloons were.  All the hot air balloons were on display very similar to a car show.  You could walk around and visit the balloons, their operators, and look in awe at the various designs.

At last, we saw them begin to lift into the air with anywhere between 1 to 4 people inside the baskets.  Some hovered for a bit and others went higher and seemed to float in a circle to stay in the area.  Watching them was quite surreal.

This little early morning outing was definitely worthwhile and I can't wait for the next year!  Who's knows, maybe I'll even go up in one :)

Til the next adventure,