Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Veronica's Garden


 Veronica's Garden is a small booth along a busy road in Ridgefield.  It is open seasonally to sell locally grown vegetables.

Bella works there this summer.  She is in high school in Cross River, across the state line in New York.

"Let's have some teeth!"  (Always works, and an iPhone is less intimidating than a DSLR for teens.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail



Another visitor to the pollinator garden.


The front pollinator garden has many weeds, but the bees and butterflies don't care, so neither do I.

Monday, July 22, 2024

Men in Black

Albert Bender lived and worked in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  He became a believer in Unidentified Flying Objects and created an organization to study and report on UFOs.  In July 1953 Bender was visited by three Men in Black, aliens from another world, who told him to stop all UFO work, which he did. 

Brad Noble is a Bridgeport artist who painted a Men in Black mural about Bender's visit from the three aliens as part of a Bridgeport mural project.  The mural is just a couple of blocks from where Bender's home stood before it was demolished for an interstate highway project.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

St. Joseph Catholic Church


This church sits high on a hillside above the main street in Winsted, Connecticut.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Civil War Monument

 

Coe Memorial Park is a well groomed triangular park in the center of Torrington, Connecticut.

A statue honoring Civil War soldiers is at the point where the park joins the historic district.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Grandma

 The kind of place my grandmother would have lived.


If she could have afforded it.  Which she couldn't.

(For those who don't like photos to be put through art programs.)

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Robin


I think of robins as springtime birds, but they are here all summer, too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Ira Joe Fisher

 Ridgefield's poet laureate, Ira Joe Fisher, sits at a table in a downtown coffee shop and writes poetry.

Ira Joe is an Emmy-winning broadcaster, actor, poet, and teacher. He currently teaches poetry and creative writing at local colleges.  He calls poetry "the universal language that touches all hearts."

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Maloney Funeral Home

 

This Winsted building is one of the most photographed in Connecticut.  I had some free time yesterday morning, so I drove past it.  It looks like the funeral home is no longer in business and like the building is not occupied.  The building is not in great shape, but it still photographs well.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Broad Street Steps

 These steps in Bridgeport, Connecticut, were painted in 2017 by artist Liz Squillace and volunteers.  They represent a DNA sequence.  The artist says they represent the City of Bridgeport and our shared humanity.  

She chose most of the colors by working with colors nearby — blue for the sky, green for the trees, yellow for the flowers, black for the handrails. “On a clear day when the sky is that really bright blue, the blue on the stairs looks like it flows right into the sky,” Squillace said.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Saint Thomas Episcopal Church


 I passed this church building in Bethel last week and had to stop.  This building replaced an earlier white frame church from 1835.  The current church was constructed in 1910 from coarse stone gathered from stone walls of farms in the area.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Doughboy

 The town of Bethel has a small triangular park near the center of its downtown.  It once had an impressive fountain donated to the town in 1881 by the great showman, P.T.Barnum, who was born in Bethel.  But the fountain deteriorated and was torn down in 1923.

A Bethel civic group raised funds to replace the fountain with a statue honoring men who fought in World War 1.  The 1928 statue is the work of the sculptor Ornest Moore Viauesney who decided to portray not a general leading troops but an "everyman" soldier -- a doughboy -- in an unknown battle.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Tarrywile Mansion

Tarrywile Mansion was built for Dr. William Wile in 1897.  The name is a play on the phrase "tarry for a while."  Dr. Wile served in the Civil War, fought at Gettysburg, and accompanied General Sherman in his March to the Sea.  Dr. Wile was Danbury's first medical examiner and a benefactor of Danbury Hospital. 


Mrs. Wile fell down the stairs ten years later and was badly injured, so Dr. and Mrs. Wile sold the house and gardens to C.D. Parks, who developed a process useful in hatmaking.  (Danbury is known as the Hat City and even today the high school's sports teams are called the Danbury Hatters.)


In 1985 the City purchased the mansion from the Charles D. Parks estate with 535 acres of meadows, forests, mountains, lakes, and ponds as well as 19 buildings.  The mansion is used as a community center for the City, providing a space for public and private events of all kinds.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Colabella Fine Art Gallery

 Colabella Fine Art Gallery is showing works by the New York street artist HEKTAD and UK-born artist David Hollier.  Many of HEKTAD's works include colorful heart shapes with LOVE messages.  Hollier creates images of well known people, using their famous words in the form of painted and typed text.


These are three by Hollier.  Taylor Swift (created in words from "Lover"), Keith Haring (typed on a vintage custom painted typewriter with words from a Haring journal) and Charlie Chaplin (created from the final speech in "The Great Dictator").



A little closer.


And this Marilyn Monroe painting is a collaboration between Hollier and HEKTAD, with the image created by Holllier's painting of words and HEKTAD's colorful background and hearts.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Gerri Lewis

Gerri Lewis wrote The Last Word, a cozy murder mystery.  The story is told from the perspective of Winter Snow, a young obituary writer.  Lewis set the book in the "Hallmark worthy" town of Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she was brought up and has lived and worked for decades.


A mutual friend of Gerri's and mine in Florida told me about the book, so I bought it at Ridgefield's Books on the Common when I returned in May.  (Didn't seem right for me to buy it on Amazon, but if you live somewhere else, go ahead.)  Gerri recently gave a talk about the process of writing, publishing and marketing one's first book.  


The talk persuaded me that I don't want to try writing a book.  But it was fun reading The Last Word and seeing the characters moving around a town I have come to know since moving here a few years ago.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

CHIRP

 Concert Happenings in Ridgefield Parks (CHIRP) presents popular outdoor concerts in Ballard Park every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer.

Twice a week, hundreds come to the park to listen to music, have a picnic, enjoy the beautiful park, and visit with friends and neighbors.

At a recent concert, the New York-based roots band Nemeth Mountain performed.  They describe their work as blurring the lines between Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz and Blues.  They were terrific.

The band is led by the husband and wife team of Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff.


Monday, July 8, 2024

Back in Connecticut

 We returned from the week in New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.

While away, the four house finch eggs in the wreath on the front door hatched.  Mama visits regularly.  I put a pillowcase over the glass so that activities in the hallway don't disturb them.  It is fun watching the finch family grow, but I admit that I would like to get the use of my front door back. 

Meanwhile, the house wren chicks in my red birdhouse fledged while I was away.  Now I sometimes see either a fledgeling or mama make a return visit to the house.  Must be nostalgia.

The bees are having a ball in my pollinator garden.

I still have not seen any monarch butterflies yet.  Yesterday I thought I saw one bouncing from one bee balm (monarda) bloom to another.  But, it seemed too small and had four big dots.  So, I looked it up and found that my visitor is an American painted lady butterfly.

And something -- probably deer -- has been feasting on my plants, including this hydrangea I planted last year.  It looks like there will still be some bloom.  My approach is to plant enough that there are some for them, some for me.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Grand Granddaughters



 The nine year old was the only kid to participate in, and finish, the ironman triathlon.  Swimming 400 yards, kayaking a quarter mile and finishing with a two mile run.  Her mom also competed and finished.  Her dad swam and kayaked, then accompanied her on the run.


At the evening talent show, the nine year old brought the house down rapping the opening song of "Hamilton."  (Her seven year old sister sang Woody Guthrie's version of "This Land is Your Land," but grandpa was busy making a video of the performance and forgot to capture a still photo . . . bad grandpa.)



The seven year old was the first kid this year to complete the mile-and-a-half shoreline swim, 
with mom providing company and encouragement.

Congratulations, girls.  Proud grandpa.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Fourth of July Parade

Getting the balloons,  flags, buntings, and red, white and blue crepe paper.

 

Getting a flag taped to her bike.


And they're off!




They have been playing in the parade longer than anyone can remember.



If you had been here every Fourth of July for 50 years, you could be the grand marshall, too.




Many of the camp staff are international, but on the Fourth of July, they are enthusiastic Americans, too.