Monday, October 31, 2022

A Fun Home


A house on 109th Avenue North is guarded by tall toy-like statues.  

Saturday, October 29, 2022

A Month After Hurricane Ian's Visit

I drove the Naples streets closest to the Gulf of Mexico and beaches.  A month after the storm, debris is still piled up, waiting for FEMA or the city or the county or private contractors to pick it up.  It seems that the worst storm damage was done to the oldest, single-story, modest homes on sites that had not been filled to raise the elevations.   

Few of those small older homes will be repaired.  Investors will buy them for the value of their lots.  They will bring in fill to raise the level and will build big new houses to be sold to wealthy retirees.

Naples already had a serious problem with scarce affordable housing for teachers, police and fire fighters, and other service workers.  Ian made this problem even worse.   

Friday, October 28, 2022

Fifth Avenue South

This is Naples' leading shopping and dining street.   Looked at wide angle, it doesn't look much different than usual a month after Hurricane Ian ravaged Southwest Florida.  Except that shoppers were few.  And except that about half of the stores are closed for repairs.

Workers were scraping off the old tiles in the outside dining area of this restaurant before laying new tiles.

Watermarks two thirds of the way up this fountain indicate how far the sea water rose.

I stopped in at Aldo Castillo Gallery, which looks fresh and spotless.  I was told that they moved the art out before the storm, so they didn't lose any.  But, the storm water rose above your knees inside the gallery, so the floor was replaced and the walls were rebuilt from the studs, all in about three weeks.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


 This summer my five year old granddaughter informed me that a plant that grows on another plant without hurting it is an epiphyte.  I think I learned that when I was about 40.

This is a resurrection fern on a palm.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Green Heron

Back in Florida, a green heron stood on a submerged log and looked around.

Monday, October 24, 2022

A Swan Couple

 I found this forgotten photo from a week ago.  

A swan couple in Connecticut, with the water turned fiery orange by the foliage reflections.  

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Swamp? Forest?

There is a [swamp? forest?] behind my Connecticut house.  

I flew back to Naples yesterday for the season.  It will probably take a day or two to get reacquainted with Florida.  There will be returns to Connecticut around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

My Naples house and community were very lucky.  Lots of water in the streets and the lakes, but the water didn't enter our house or our neighbors'.  Communities nearby were not as lucky.  Properties on the barrier island (Barefoot Beach) that protects our community were slammed.

Unlike these "normal" fall scenes in New England, there will be evidence of devastation in Southwest Florida.  I need to decide whether to show it or to look for more "normal" venues.  The decisions will combine ethical, aesthetic and reality concerns.  I haven't yet decided what to do.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Autumn on a Country Road

This is the road I live on in Ridgefield.  There is a "Scenic Road" sign, which means "This road was built before the town had standards for road width, shoulders, striping, etc.  You're on your own.  Good luck!"

There has been great color in Connecticut this fall.

 Flying back to Florida today.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Titicus River and Reservoir

The Titicus Reservoir is just across the New York state line in North Salem.  It is one of many reservoirs in Westchester County that supply New York City with water.  It has been doing that since 1893.

Titicus Reservoir is fed on the east by the Titicus River in Ridgefield, Connecticut. This is from a bridge across the Titicus River just east of the place where the river joins the reservoir.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Route 116 connects Ridgefield, Connecticut, and North Salem, New York.  I drive along it with some regularity.  As I enter New York state, I usually admire a barn beside the road.  Last time, I did a double take.  The doors were open and two naked female manikins looked out.

What would you do?  Me, too.  I stopped the car, turned around, and went back to photograph the scene. 

I learned that Max Tucci lives in a house behind the barn.  His grandfather owned and operated Delmonico's fabled restaurant in New York City for 60 years.  Max has written a newly released book about the restaurant and his family's history with it.  He was waiting for a moving van to take the manikins and the boxes of books beside them to a store in the City for a display about the book.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

North Salem Arts & Food Festival

 On Saturday there was a charming small festival near the railroad station in the Croton Falls hamlet in North Salem, New York.  There were booths for artists and crafters, farms and food service businesses (generally organic) and nonprofit organizations serving northern Westchester County.

John is the executive director of the North Salem Open Land Foundation.  They are working to combat the pressure for development by persuading owners of farms and forests and other land to donate preserves or grant conservation easements on their properties so the land can be open into perpetuity.

Mike, Linda and Julia are two out of four generations of the family that owns and operates Salinger's Orchard in Brewster, New York.  I can vouch for their cider, cider donuts and apples.

My sister had a recent birthday.  We never get each other presents on time.  She is a quilter and likes crafts of all kinds.  Bracken is a potter.  In addition to her own production, she manages a pottery workshop and store down the road from the site of the fair.  I thought my sister would like this hand made pitcher to display flowers or -- shockingly enough -- even to hold and pour stuff.

Kate is a theater and film director as well as a chef, graphic artist, crafter and Creative Director of SPACE at Ryder Farm.  The farm is a 175 acre farm with roots back before 1800.  On the one hand, Ryder Farm is a working organic farm.  On the other hand, through SPACE the farm offers a community where 50 playwrights, actors, dancers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers live on the farm for one to five weeks and enjoy absolute creative freedom.

Adam is the farm manager at Ryder Farm.

Gina developed The Board Beauty a year ago to sell hand crafted artisanal food boards.  She comes from an Italian family that has worked with foods for generations.

On the way to and from the festival, I walked past a storefront for The North Salem Post.  The door was open, so I walked in and said hello to Sarah.  She moved to North Salem five years ago with her husband and three kids.  Her day job is journalist for an online publication, but on the side she puts out the Post as a a hyperlocal digital news publication serving the community of North Salem and surrounding towns. 

Monday, October 17, 2022

West Hartford Mural

Local artist Corey Pane painted a vintage postcard-style "Greetings from West Hartford Conn." mural last month.  It is on the side of a building in West Hartford Center, passed regularly by people using the parking lot behind the building.

Linked to Monday Mural.

Restaurants in the center are still doing a big business in outdoor dining.  Treva is a terrific restaurant with primarily Italian food.  I love the subtle support for Ukraine with the sunflowers and yellow/blue barriers.

Down the road a bit, three restaurants anchored by Max's Oyster Bar share colorful barriers, also in yellow and blue, with pretty flower boxes.  For a little longer.

Sunday, October 16, 2022


 When we go pumpkin picking . . .

. . . we bring our own pumpkin with us. . . 

. . . and go to Warrup's Farm in Redding for a hay ride, cider, pumpkins and apples.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Danbury State Fair

 The Danbury State Fair was a big deal for more that a century, but by 1981 it had run its course.  The land had become more valuable than the fair.  The owner sold the property as the site for a huge regional shopping mall, the Danbury Fair Mall.

A couple who live in Ridgebury, the northern part of Ridgefield closest to the site of the old fair, are collectors.  And maybe fanatics.  They have stuffed Danbury State Fair memorabilia into every corner of their garage.  It is open for viewing in October every year.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Haunted House

 Ghosts are flying in and out of the windows at a house on Ridgefield's Main Street.

The owners of this house festooned it with American flag and Pride banners this summer.

What do they have planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Thursday, October 13, 2022


 I was standing in line behind Joe, when someone asked him how long it takes to braid his hair.  

"Three hours" is the answer, and his mother re-does it every six weeks.

Joe has a degree in social work and is working on his masters.  He is a social worker working with teens, sometimes working with schools, sometimes with community groups.  One of the great things about a career in social work is that it can lead to working with all different kinds of people.