Thursday, December 31, 2015

Seven Prospect Avenue Neighbors

Back in Naples yesterday.  Before I left Hartford, I took some "full frontal" photographs of seven houses that stand next to one another on Prospect Avenue.  I like the harmony of size and quality
and yet the differences in colors and styles.  It is a pretty good looking neighborhood.

Tomorrow's post will show my pick of this blog's 2015 "photo of the year."  The following 
two days will show other favorites from 2015.  Florida pix begin on January 4.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

General Griffin Stedman

Driving through Hartford's Barry Square last week, I saw again the statue of Civil War
General Griffin Stedman.  He stands out better with the background trees bare of leaves.

Stedman was born in Hartford.  After graduating from Trinity, he became a lawyer, but enlisted when the Civil War got underway in 1861.  Stedman had an illustrious military career, leading troops from the 5th and 11th Connecticut Regiments, which saw action in many of the key battles of the war.

Stedman died at Petersburg in 1864 and was given a field promotion to General. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Some of this and Some of That

No, thank you.  Not yet.

The electrician got confused.  A different one is coming today.

I got A.  You got B?

I call this a traffic jam.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mortenson Plaza

Mortenson Plaza carries the Hartford downtown to the Connecticut River.  
I suppose the waves are intended to call to mind the flowing river.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


The First Church Congregational and the Noah Webster Memorial Library have been
neighbors on South Main Street in West Hartford for almost a century,
since the library (1917) joined its older neighbor (1882).

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Elizabeth Park

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy secured some grants that permitted it to renovate "the farmstead," consisting of historic buildings and greenhouses.  The most prominent are this lovely
turn-of-the-20th-century Lord & Burnham greenhouse and the 1875 farmhouse
that serves as the headquarters of the Elizabeth Park Conservancy.
The renovations were completed in November.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas in the West End

The owners of this house in the West End of Hartford do a great job of decorating for Christmas.
But, they have the creativity -- and the budget -- to change the decor every year.
I showed it in 2013, but compare the differences.

Merry Christmas!  For those who prefer it, happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Once Again as in Olden Days

Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Will be near to us once more.

Janet has held this Christmas party for 40 years.  I have been looking forward to it every year for 30.
Now the kids are adults.  One nine year old grandson sang a stunning "five gold rings" and 
brought the house down.  The traditional carols are sung first, then the secular Christmas songs.

I put the photo through a light "paint" filter to protect the privacy of the tenors.  And the sopranos.

Thank you, Janet.  And have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Buttoned-Down Beauty

This well maintained Tudor home on the Hartford side of Prospect Avenue looks good in all seasons.
I photographed it in its Christmas dress on a snowy day in 2012.    The Christmas decor this year is identical, a centered wreath above the central window and paired wreaths under the side windows.
Why mess with a good thing?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Colorful Houses

I am back in Connecticut until the 30th.  Even without snow, and even when houses aren't decorated,
it feels a lot more Christmas-y up here.  And, more colorful.  The top house, 
in the West End of Hartford, has a "little free library" in front.

This house is on Prospect Avenue, on the West Hartford side of the Hartford-West Hartford line.
I tried to photograph it all summer long.  It is so much easier in the winter, without the leaves.

Notice the green grass in December?  Forecasters say it will be 70 degrees
(21 degrees Celsius) on Christmas day.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Church in Georgetown

While I was up on the North Shore of Massachusetts on Friday,
I drove around some of the little towns I knew when I was a kid.

The congregational church in Georgetown caught my eye.  It was a dull day with light rain, and the image of the church was already pretty drab.  So, I went all the way and made it black and white.
To my eye, this makes the architectural details stand out while masking the blah-ness of the weather.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Ipswich

Ipswich is a small town 35 miles north of Boston.  My mother grew up there.  I still have cousins up there.  One, Doug, died earlier this week.  Doug was a star athlete at Ipswich High School.  After college, he returned to Ipswich.  For the next four decades, Doug taught in Ipswich schools, he coached several Ipswich High School teams, and he became a community leader.

Whipple House, circa 1638, Ipswich Village Green 

To honor Doug, last week every player on the boys' and girls' basketball teams in each of the eight towns in the Cape Ann League wore warm-up shirts with his name on the backs.  The league renamed the coach-of-the-year award after Doug, and Ipswich High School announced that
the basketball court will be named after him.  

At the wake for Doug last night, hundreds of mourners filled the community hall, and more stood outside in the cold waiting for up to an hour to enter the hall and pay respects to Doug's family.
I liked Doug, but, of course, I should.  He was my cousin.  But, seeing the respect and love for
him throughout Ipswich was inspirational.  Well done, Doug.  Rest in peace.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Broad Street Cottage

This 1935 "cottage" is at the end of Broad Street, overlooking Naples Beach.
The original part of the house is marked by the front porch and the white chimney.
The turret at the left side and the building to the rear are additions designed to blend in. 

This is the view from the dune edge of the beach.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

It takes so little to amuse me . . .

This elephant brushes his teeth atop the car of a children's dentist.

A reindeer rides shotgun . . .

I have not yet figured out the connection between yoga and green monkeys.

People sure like to decorate for the holidays. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tommy Bahama

Though Tommy Bahama is mainly a clothing store, they also have an excellent restaurant
with a large and appealing patio.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


This fine beard belongs to John, whom I met while he was working on a demolition crew in Bonita Springs.  John proudly informed me he was born in Bonita 57 years ago.  He has never lived anywhere else.  Same as his older brother and younger sister.

Bonita Springs is a bit schizophrenic.  It can't decide if it is (or wants to be) a winter playground for wealthy folks fleeing northern winters, or Old Florida, where people like John live their lifetimes.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Holidays

In my Naples community, many residents adorn their mailboxes in December with a Santa hat.
It gives the streetscape a friendly and festive feeling. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lager Head Turtle

The turtles being painted for the current fundraising in Naples are loggerheads, a threatened turtle that has been on the endangered list since 1978.  This turtle -- Lager Head -- was painted by
Rebecca Meland.  It sits outside Bad Ass Coffee.  

Don't blame me.  I didn't name either the turtle or the cafe.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Getting Ready

I walked through Cambier Park while someone was setting up for a festive event.

Didn't stay for the event.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Ominous Sky

The skies have been abnormally cloudy lately.  On a recent walk, 
I liked the way the brooding skies reflected on a pond. 

Please visit Weekend Reflections for more photographs featuring reflections.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Victoria is a regular at my local Starbucks and the receptionist at a hair salon in the same strip mall.
She has a twin brother and a sister two years older than her who could be Victoria's twin.
The salon is moving.  Bye, Victoria.

Victoria posed next to a column at Starbucks.  I would usually crop the first photo to eliminate the stuff behind the column (like I did with the two above), but today I said, "what the heck."

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Jane Trejo must have infinite patience.  Her paintings are created with thousands of little dots.
Check out her coordinating dotted leggings!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Another artist from Saturday's outdoor art show.

Timothy Bath shows both nature photography and scenes from Naples.  The three photographs behind him are of the Naples Pier.  Some of his work is printed on glossy aluminum,
while other works are made painterly by printing them on canvas.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Also at Art in the Park on Saturday . . .

Glory Spinuzzi has been painting for three years, originally in oils but increasingly in acrylics.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Yesterday I went to Art in the Park, a small tented art show in Olde Naples.

Guy Tieman must think in circles and rectangles.  He was originally a glassmaker, but for the last year he has been painting and constructing these colorful rectangles with
colored rods inserted into rectangular pockets.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Turtles on the Town

Through February 2016, there will be fifty decorated loggerhead sea turtles all over Naples. 
This turtle was called "Under the Sea."  It was painted by local artist Nancy Job.  It is located outside the offices of a financial advisory firm that sponsored the installation.  

The turtles will be auctioned next March.  Proceeds will benefit Community Foundation of Collier County, United Arts Council of Collier County and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. 

Friday, December 4, 2015


Phoenix is one of my favorite baristas at the local Starbucks.  She always greets me
with a smile and conversation.  I am not the only customer who has noticed Phoenix' 
friendly personality.  Today is her last day at Starbucks.  Next week she starts work
as the receptionist at another Starbucks customer's accounting firm.
Good luck in your new career, Phoenix.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gingerbread House

I'm back!

The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Naples always features a huge gingerbread house for the holidays.
It represents more than one thousand man-hours of work.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Pilanesburg National Park, South Africa

Here are the last pix from a month in southern Africa.  These photographs were taken in Pilanesburg National Park, a preserve two to three hours from Johannesburg.  Most of these will be 
close-ups, with a couple of others included.

An elephant came right up to the safari vehicle.

A pied kingfisher seen at a hide on a dam (the local term for a body of water).
There were some serious lenses aimed at the birds.  My 70 - 300 mm lens was enough.

It is always fun watching giraffes going into their drinking-water stance.

Warthogs don't look any better up close than they do at a distance.

A female giraffe feasts on acacia.

Zebra are good at standing still and posing.

Three zebra grazed together on plains that had suffered a fire.  Zebra often stay close.  
It is thought that the striped patterns blend together and mislead predators into thinking
that they are seeing a single much larger animal.

This isn't a close-up, but I wanted to illustrate how plentiful impalas are in the African bush.  
So many predators feast on impalas that they are known as the "McDonalds of Africa."

I arrived back in Florida yesterday.  Today will be spent doing laundry, sorting mail and paying bills.  With any luck, I will get out to find something for tomorrow's post.
Thanks for your visits while I was away and unable
to visit other blogs.