Monday, October 30, 2006


Another image of the frost. It's warmer today and tomorrow will be practically balmy - good news for all the little witches, goblins, fairies, superheroes, pirates, graffiti artists (my young friend Kyler) and assorted others that will be knocking at my door tomorrow evening. Are we ready? I hope we have enough candy!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pumpkins, Pies and Pirates

That was the theme of the weekend. On Saturday my daughter's school had a fundraiser - we moms baked pies galore, and many pumpkins were carved with great care. (The pirate costumes were a nod to the school's all-year study of the sea.) Today was another big event, this time at the community center where I work - we had Fall Fun Day. More pies, (my Pumpkin Chiffon won second place ... out of three!) more pumpkins, plus music, face painting (by me), and scarecrows. And yes, it did snow, but only a few flurries.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A frosty morning

It was COLD yesterday - in the 30's overnight (that's single digits Celsius) and there was frost on everything in the morning. It had burned off by mid-day and it's warmer today (windy and rainy) but it won't be long before winter is truly upon us - there is snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I know others have had snow already, but it's always a bit of a shock, especially so early in the year.

Friday, October 27, 2006

All you can eat

IMG_1600, originally uploaded by jahansell.

The American Legion is hosting a Roast Pork dinner on Saturday night...don't miss it!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lunch companions

IMG_1580, originally uploaded by jahansell.

The Salisbury Festival was a few weekends ago. The scarecrow contest is always a highlight and this fine fellow made a pleasant addition to a group of friends snacking at Scoops ice cream shop.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Back to the land

I never get tired of looking into this field - how it changes from day to day, from morning til evening. Usually it's 8:30 or 9am when I drive by this field - today it was after 5 and the sun was low. In the spring it was pale greens and yellows... in mid-summer it was filled with purple loosestrife. In August it was brilliant with yellow goldenrod. Now, you don't see the flowers, you see the textures and tones -- rust, ochre, brown. But as beautiful as ever!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You lookin' at me?

I haven't posted a cow picture in a while! Shooting this one sparked a useful conversation in the car: 7-yearo old daughter: "Mom, is that the male or the female?" Me: "I'm not sure, but I think probably the male since it has those big horns." 4.y.o., very slowly and carefully: "Mom, I have to ask you something, and I don't know if you can explain it to me or not. What does male or female mean? "

Monday, October 23, 2006

Holiday lights...

IMG_1623, originally uploaded by jahansell.

...or tiny little red peppers? Whatever they are, they're gone now - the last time I drove past this spot the tree was bare!


Not all the fields have been cut down yet. Some will be cut into corn mazes - it's another way for farmers to generate a little income and give families and children something to do.

So... the World Series is underway (for you non-US-based readers of my blog, that's baseball). I grew up in Detroit, and for most of my childhood our team, the Tigers, weren't very good, rarely in contention. I didn't much care, though I (I was an Artist!), and I dropped out of Algebra II without finishing the class. (I wonder now that I was allowed to do it!) That summer, I realized I'd made a mistake and wanted to continue, so I had to catch up by myself so I could rejoin the rest of my class. Every night, I'd sit out on the screen porch with my dad, working on my algebra and listening to the Tigers on the radio, (the legendary Ernie Harwell at the microphone) my dad keeping me company and giving me moral support. (I don't think he was much help with the math.) I completed the whole semester during the month of August, doing a few days' worth each night. (A game lasts about 2 1/2 hours-you can do a lot of math in that amount of time!)

I think maybe it was the last summer before my parents split up, so the last time he was in that house. So, I associate the Tigers with family, hard work, taking responsibility, and of course, spending time with my dad, who for my entire childhood had told me about the time the Tigers had won the World Series, back in 1967.

They did make it to the World Series once after that, in 1984, when I was in college. They won - beating, I think, the White Sox - I remember because a friend was from Chicago and rooting for the even more hapless Sox. My dad sent me a poster of Kirk Gibson making the famous series-winning home run, but it wasn't "cool" so I didn't put it up in my dorm room! Sorry, Dad! Send me another one this time when they win and I promise I'll put it up in my office!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm all for the workers...

But do they have to start at 6:45am on a Saturday? It looks like they're done now - they replaced the whole roof across the street from me in two or three days. But I would have been glad if they'd let me sleep in just a little more yesterday!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Life in a small town

fox, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Every year Sharon Audubon puts on the Enchanted Forest. (I keep calling it the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, because of that old veggie cookbook, but there is no broccoli there!) It's a chance for kids to walk through the woods at night, meet animals of the forest, and learn a little about them and their habitats. Here, the "fox" asked the children to help him bury a big juicy caterpillar. The owl showed them her mouse dinner. The skunk, who was hanging out in the garbage can, asked us not to let the owl know where she was (owls eat skunks) and the bear was raiding the birdfeeder. (These are very realistic animals!) We all learned a few new facts (I never knew bears eat bees along with their honey - hey, it's protein!). Then we all had hot chocolate and a hayride. My 4-year-old, who has gone to this every year since she was a baby, told me urgently, "mom, they're really people inside! I can see their people eyes!"
It was a perfect fall day in a small town - everywhere we went - ballet class, "Kids Time," the ice cream shop, the grocery store, we saw people we knew. Our last stop before the Forest was the school, where my 7-year-old daughter has been practicing riding her 2-wheel bike. Today, at last, she got it - she is now officially off of training wheels. I don't know who is more pleased, her or me!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Into the distance

If the lake were frozen and there were skaters on it, I'd say it was a Grandma Moses painting. Or am I thinking of Winslow Homer (then it would need a fox.) Any other suggestions?

Oh, and Go Tigers!
You who spent all summer yelling about the world cup - be patient with me! It's been 22 years since the Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series. Tomorrow I'll tell a story or two about them. (It's probably a good thing for me that the Mets didn't make it too - that could have caused some marital disharmony, since my husband grew up in Queens, home of the Mets!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Autumn light

The brilliant colors won't last too much longer but I'm going to keep on showing it til it's gone!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No more pretty landscapes!

At least for today. I do feel that it's my responsibility to show you everything about life in Sharon, including the more practical side, even if it's not very pretty. I've been meaning to post a picture of the transfer station (aka the dump) for months but usually my husband goes so I haven't had a chance to take pictures there. However after my flurry of yard work and housecleaning this weekend I took the opportunity to go myself, and snap this shot (nobody seemed too happy that I had my camera out!) It's in Lakeville, but serves Sharon too. It will close sometime soon, when a site can be found for a new one, as the owner of the land, Hotchkiss school, wants it back.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Long Pond Road

I think Long Pond Road marks the border between Sharon and Lakeville, but I'm not exactly sure. (Anyone?)

I knew someone would help me out here! Indeed, as "max" has explained, this is not Sharon, but well over the border into Lakeville. Don't worry Max, though I've figured out your secret identity, I won't blow your cover! Because if you used your real first name, every single person in Sharon would instantly know who you are!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Late afternoon sun

The sun was almost down, but there was still a glow over the fields. Doesn't it seem that this scene could be from 1900 England, or 1800 Italy, or....

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The end of the storm

My mom came to visit for the weekend and we went out photographing (she is a very fine art photographer.) It was cold and a sudden storm blew up - high wind, pelting rain, and then just as quickly, it blew over. During and after we got a few good pictures. She is also handy with home improvement so we spent the rest of the weekend sanding and stripping a door, which I'll paint next week, and moving garden plants around. Exhausting but pleasant and what a sense of accomplishment at the end when everything looks so much better.

Friday, October 13, 2006

On the field

IMG_1626, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It's football season. (It's also still baseball season, but I don't go into that just yet... I'll just say that I am from Detroit, originally. For my visitors who are not from the US - I'll explain soon - perhaps, say, Sunday!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


A few weeks ago I posted this shot of what I think is a field of soybeans. The beans are gone now, only the stubble remains.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Leaving town

I'm not going far, just to work - this is what I saw yesterday morning, just as I crossed over from Sharon to Millerton.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Early risers

Twice a week for the last five or six weeks, I've gotten up and out extra-early, and gone the two blocks to Helen's fitness studio, where fitness fanatics take the 7:45 am spinning class. I took this just at the end when everyone was winding down - that's why everyone looks so relaxed. We'd gone hard and fast for 45 minutes and worked up quite a sweat.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Powerful even in death

This tree has been struck by lightning - most of it is horizontal now. (See it here.) But it's still impressive! (This is another from my day walking around Miles Sanctuary.)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

For Lisi in Hong Kong

This shot reminded me of one Lisi of HongKongDailyPhoto posted a few weeks ago, of buddhist prayer lanterns. (Lisi correct me if I've described them wrong!) This is taken inside a sukkah, a house made for the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, which started yesterday. The walls are made of cornstalks, and the roof is open to the sky. It's decorated by the children with paper cutouts of fruits and vegetables, and of course, paper chains. One is supposed to eat and even sleep in the sukkah for the duration of the holiday, to reconnect spiritually and physically with the land that gives us our food and shelter.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Paley's Farm Market

IMG_1364, originally uploaded by jahansell.

One of my favorite spots to stop for fresh produce, gourmet items like fresh mozzarella cheese and bread, as well as plants, flowers, garden supplies and more. They're closing for the season soon - their end-of-season sale started this weekend. I hope I haven't missed all the good stuff (I haven't gotten there yet since the sale started.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

My work here is almost done

(says the tractor.) The corn, mostly, has been harvested, the tomatoes are finished. The fields are turning brown, to remain that way for six months or more. But the light is still warm, the sky still blue - it's not winter yet!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fall color

Another photo from the Miles Wildlife Sanctuary - in general the fall color seems dull to me so far this year, maybe because it was a wet spring and summer. But "peak" isn't for another week or two - maybe the hillsides will light up. Meanwhile, I found some beautiful reds and yellows at Miles.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tribute to Bob

For the last year, Bob, from Barcelona, has posted one remarkable photo after another. He's a master of light and darkness, a master of the ground level closeup, and the color red. His shots are almost always of urban subjects (he does live in Barcelona!) but I've learned a lot from him that I've tried to use in my nature photography. Bob has ended his blog (temporarily, I hope) and this is my way of saying thank you and farewell! This picture was taken at the Miles Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the National Audubon Society, on West Cornwall Road.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shades of grey

I've photographed here before - in different light, at a different time of day, it is full of color - blue, lavendar, green, as in this shot from a July evening. But on this foggy morning I might as well have have been shooting in black and white - or silver. And yes, Mudge Pond is also called "Silver Lake."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Celebrate Sharon

This is part of the Grange's display at Celebrate Sharon Day. It was an inspiring afternoon - I found out just how many organizations we have in our small town that are working to help people locally, regionally and around the world. I want to get involved in all of them!

All my pictures from the day can be seen here.
(If you want to see them as a slideshow, click here!)
I visited with the Boy Scouts, the Stove Doctors, the town Democrats and Republicans, the Women's Club, the Grange, the Lion's Club, Foundation for Community Health, Sharon Health Care Center and Sharon Hospital,the Fire Department, The Green Association, the Housing Trust, Habitat for Humanity, the Methodists, Congregationalists, and Cong. Beth David; the Green Preservation Association, Folk Legacy records and Firelight sculpture studios, the school and the library, Women's Support Services, the Chore Service the new Community Center, the Resource Recovery Authority... all this in a town of under 3,000 people! (If I left someone out, I apologize!)

Misty morning

When I went out the other day looking for the moose, I didn't find it. From all reports it seems to have been moving north a few miles every day - for all I know it's up in Williamstown by now! But it was a gorgeous morning - very foggy at first, but the fog lifted quickly as the sun came out.