Saturday, July 31, 2021

Animals on Pillars

A grand, angry lion on Silver Spring Road in Ridgefield. 

A stylized lion standing with a crest on a road I can't remember in Redding.

A black metal horse head on a pier on High Ridge Avenue in Ridgefield.

And a concrete horse head looks out on Ridgefield's North Salem Road.

A dog on the same forgotten road in Redding.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Butterflies and Bees

Monarch butterflies on echinacea (coneflower)

  This Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly, with rich iridescent blue on her tail, is a female.

Male swallowtails don't have the blue tails. 

This black swallowtail butterfly with iridescent blue on her tail is a "dimorphic" female variety.

A bumble bee coated with pollen visits an echinacea (coneflower).

Hummingbird moths.


A bumble bee on the left and a honey bee on the right.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Compassionate Ridgefield

 These signs have sprouted all over town.  The website says "Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges, and various physical characteristics."  There must be a child in town suffering from this condition. 

A couple of years ago there was a similar outbreak of signs (and a gofundme campaign) supporting a pre-teenage Ridgefield girl with an inoperable brain tumor.  Regrettably she didn't make it, but the outpouring of visual and financial support for her made an impression on me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Bailey's Backyard


Bailey's Backyard is a casual restaurant with nice outdoor space, just one block off Main Street.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021


 An IBM alum, Ken now recruits healthcare executives and professionals.  He has two amazing adult sons, the best wife in the world and -- you guessed it! -- a refreshingly upbeat attitude.  Ken often works at a table outside Starbucks while Carrie works her charms on passers-by.  Ken drives the same red Tesla that I drive.  In a future career, he could do Tesla commercials.

Ken and his wife are from southern California and intend to return when they retire.  Meanwhile, he is a one-man Chamber of Commerce for the virtues of Ridgefield.  (Are you detecting a theme?)  They lived here for five years in the early 2000s and came back for their second stint four years ago.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Kindness Mural . . .

A couple of years ago, some ugly graffiti was found around Ridgefield, including at the high school.  The Ridgefield Youth Commission looked for a way to respond.  

They hired local artists Joann and Bruce Hunter to design a mural for the side of the youth barn.  In March 2018 hundreds of volunteers placed quarter-inch porcelain tiles on the barn.  The message:  kindness, inclusion, tolerance.  An abstract design, no words.  For each viewer to interpret.

Monday Mural.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Family Time

Now at bat in Ballard Park:  Mom.
(Not mine or anyone I know.  Just a nice scene I came upon.)

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Silver Springs Road

 Silver Springs Road is a pretty one, passing a golf club and running past some historic houses as well as some quite grand new ones.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Danbury Airport

 I stood atop a hill above the end of Danbury airport's runway while a small jet took off.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

1740 Scott House

 Like the Keeler family in yesterday's post, the prolific Scott family occupied several houses in the northern part of Ridgefield in the 18th century, close to the line of march of the British soldiers.

This is the 1740 Hezekiah Scott house, significantly expanded and modernized 15 years ago.   This Scott was a weaver, distiller and sawmill operator.  This part of town is called Scotland, reflecting the presence of many Scotts.  Across the street are the Barlow Mountain and Scotland elementary schools.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

1765 Keeler House

Keeler was one of the common names in 18th century Ridgefield.  Last month I showed Keeler Tavern, a structure from 1713 that played a role in the American War for Independence as the British soldiers came down through Ridgefield from Danbury on their way to the Long Island Sound.

This is the 1765 Josiah Keeler house, a few miles further north.  There were skirmishes here, too, as the outnumbered patriot militia engaged the British troops.  In the early 20th century, the house served as the town's almshouse.  These days it has been nicely renovated.  It is for sale.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Red Houses

 Why red?  It was common in colonial days, a mixture of red ochre, milk products and perhaps linseed oil.   It is still popular today, on a wide range of houses, from true antique colonials to newish houses.

A simple older (but not antique) red farmhouse.

Maybe a red house from the turn of the 20th century?

This might not be a red house.  More like an outbuilding, perhaps used as a studio?

Red so dark it is almost brown.

Kind of an old red house.

I suspect this red house has an 18th century house underneath its later additions.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Mark Twain Memorial Library

 Samuel Clemens (the author Mark Twain) lived his last two years in Stormfield, an Italian villa built for him in 1908 in Redding, a town on Ridgefield's eastern border.  He died there in April 1910. 

(Stormfield was listed for sale two weeks ago for nearly $5 million, but it is on a large property and down a long driveway, so I was not able to photograph it.) 

Two months after Twain died, his daughter Clara donated Twain's personal library in Stormfield to the directors of a library to be built in Redding.  In 1911 the Mark Twain Memorial Library was opened. 

 A year later Andrew Carnegie endowed it with a fund sufficient to support it.

I support renewable energy, but I'm not excited about solar panels on the roof of a historic building.

Many Twain sayings are written high on the library's walls.  

At the end of the reading room:  "When in doubt, tell the truth."

"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."

Sunday, July 18, 2021


 This area is heavily wooded.  Major storms inevitably take down old trees.  In turn they trees take down power lines.  Many houses here have standby generators to protect against power outages.

A generator is not especially beautiful.  One artistic homeowner built a stylish cage to give it some class.

Saturday, July 17, 2021


When did it become a thing to decorate rotting tree stumps?

Friday, July 16, 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Kurt Waldheim

 Kurt Waldheim was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981.  He wanted a country getaway and found it in a house he rented down the street from my new Ridgefield home.  After his term at the U.N., Waldheim returned to Austria and was elected President in 1986. 

 Before the election and throughout his term, Waldheim was accused of participating in Nazi war crimes when he served as an Army officer in World War II.  An Austrian investigation concluded that Waldheim had not personally participated in war crimes, but an American investigation concluded that he had.  Waldheim was banned from re-entering the United States.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Colorful Victorian Houses

 I like well-painted multi-colored Victorian-era houses.

This one is just steps away from Ridgefield's main street.  Very, very convenient and walkable.  And it became available for new buyers on Monday.  I looked at the photos online.  The interior has been nicely modernized and there is a lovely patio behind the house, with an outside kitchen.  Love it.

This house is also close to Ridgefield's downtown, but it is on a busy street and I imagine the traffic and noise are headaches.  I'm not a fan of the fake shutters and the window air conditioners.

This house is across the New York state line in South Salem.  
All three of these houses have big, open porches, another thing that I like.

And this drool-worthy Italianate house on Ridgefield's Main Street  is above and set back enough from the street that I imagine the traffic noise isn't bad.  I like the open porch on one side and the enclosed porch on the other side.  It has not been on the market in the time I have been looking at Ridgefield properties, but at an earlier time of my life I would have been keeping an eye on it.