Thursday, July 31, 2008

Theme day preview

metal fountain, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Tomorrow's theme is metal - this was my runner-up. It's a gorgeous work of art, currently part of an exhibition in the garden of the Sharon Historical Society. Tomorrow's photos isn't actually nearly as pretty - but interesting in its own way!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rainforest on Low Road

Rainforest on Low Road, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Not quite the biodiversity of Costa Rica, but it feels just as green and dense as the forests of Monteverde!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Disappearing house

ladderhouse, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I love it when I come across houses that seem to be vanishing into the woods, perhaps overtaken by the greenery. I wonder why someone left a ladder there - I'd worry for the safety of anyone climbing up on that roof!

I have been honored with a blogging award!

It's called the Arte y Pico award, and Ruth from There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town gave it to me. I think Ruth is amazing - she lives in a developing country where she teaches 8th graders, reads an extraordinary number of books and writes about them, and keeps a most interesting beautifully written blog. I'm supposed to pass this award on to 5 people and if she hadn't already given it to me, I'd surely give it back to her!

I have not visitied many blogs lately - my schedule being what it is, it's hard enough to keep up with my own. But my computer has something terribly wrong with it, so that using the web is an intensely frustrating experience. I hope I'll get it resolved one of these days! Meanwhile, I'll be thinking about who to pass this honor along to!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Red Barn

redbarn, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Continuing the red theme from yesterday. This time of year, the red barns look especially beautiful surrounded by so much green.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Garden Gate

gardendoor2, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It's been rainy lately - lots of turbulent thunderstorms, drenching downpours, and then in between, a day or two of sun. Today is gloomy, though - and humid. Everything is green, lush, buggy - a typical late July in Connecticut. (I'll never forget my first isit here, 11 summers ago - the clouds of gnats around my head prompted our hostess to teach us the "Connecticut wave."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On your mark

on your mark, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Ready to join the swim team?

Monday, July 21, 2008


wildflowers, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Cornflowers and Queen Anne's Lace - with a cornfield beyond. Hot hazy humid day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


roadside, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Coleman Station Road (or, as it seems to say on Google Maps, Sheffield Road.) We biked from Sharon to Millerton and back - a 2 hour ride at our poky pace - via Sharon Statoin Road to the Rail Trail, and back on Coleman Station Road. All went well til I hit Hospital Hill Road, slowed down on the long steep uphill, swerved to get a bit of momentum, skidded out and hit the pavement, wrists and knees first. I am going to get a wrist x-ray tomorrow! And I'm done with the road bike - back to my mountain bike. Who needs speed when you can have comfort and stability?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Twilight at mudge pond

twilight at mudge pond, originally uploaded by jahansell.

A more peaceful spot you'll not find in Sharon!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer treats

summer treats, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It's high summer, and I think we're going through 2 quarts of blueberries a day right now - bought either from Paley's, or Trotta's, or a fruit stand over near Rhinebeck. And s'mores over the grill - it's not quite a campfire but the s' mores taste almost as good! I love eating outside at the beach - fewer dishes to do, the kitchen doesn't heat up (and today, when it's going to be 95 degrees and humid, that's a help) and you always run into someone you know and can share your burgers or berries with them.

I've been musing on the nature of small businesses - both the shops and the services -- lately. They are essential to a town, even one as small as ours, and they keep us going, make it possible to live here. If your sink won't run, or your car breaks down, you need someone to call. Almost every experience I've had with the small businesses in Sharon and environs over the last ten years has been positive - people take pride in their work, do their utmost to deliver quality product and services to please the customer, bend over backwards to make it right if there's a problem, and charge fairly - a living wage for themselves, certainly, but within reason.

But every once and a while a mutter goes around among ones' acquaintances about someone who doesn't live up to that standard - perhaps an employee with a chip on their shoulder, who seems to delight in making ones' experience more difficult, or perhaps a shop owner or service person who takes advantage of someone's vulnerability, or who cuts corners. (Or so it seems from the customer's point of view, because of course there's two sides to every story!) And people love to talk, don't they - they love to complain to anyone who will listen. So it's a risk I take whenever I mention a business - that someone who feels aggrieved will use the comment section to broadcast their discontent in a public forum.

So is that a good thing or a bad thing? Of course one very rarely sees business owners doing the same thing (though maybe they do in private): that is, complaining about that annoying customer who always changes her mind after the work is half-done, who keeps running back to get one more thing, who brings her screaming children into the shop and lets them wreak havoc... turnabout may be fair play, but business owners couldn't do that or they'd lose their livelihood!

On the other hand, it could be useful for a business person to find out what perceptions are out there in the community about them - it might assist them in improving in some area or other, hopefully with the result of increasing their business.

After all, business is about two things: a fair exchange of product or service for money (or barter, as I've happily begun to find out) and, equally important, a relationship. It doesn' t matter if Sam Walton is a nice guy - you're going to shop at your neighborhood Wal-Mart anyway. But in Sharon, CT, or anywhere similar, the smile and greeting by name and "how's your mom doing, I heard she was ill?" you get from the shop owner builds unbreakable loyalty and it's what makes life here so pleasant.

So I give a toast of s'mores and berries to the people who keep us all going - they sell the food and the shoes and the wine, they fix the cars and the sinks and the garden walls, their names are scribbled on lists posted on fridges all over town as the person to call when in need. You make Sharon more than just lovely landscapes - you make it a place to live for a lifetime.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Electric orange

electric orange raft, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I've spent most evenings at Mudge Pond this month - I'll show a few scenes over the next few days. As soon as the lifeguards blow their whistle to announce they're going off duty, the real fun begins - the rafts and floaties appear!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Visitor to the beach

least sandy, originally uploaded by jahansell.

This Least Sandpiper was racing up and down the edge of the water last evening, looking for tiny yummy things to eat. They're already migrating south for the winter - how's that for depressing!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Herondale Farm

Herondale, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Need a supply of grassfed, organic beef, pork and free-range chicken? Herondale Farm in Ancramdale is your source! I visited there a few days ago and got a tour of the operation - from the fuzzy baby chicks under warming lights, to the older chicks in protective pens, to the adults scrabbling around in the grass to, yes, the slaughtering room!

I am sorry this blog has been inconsistent lately. The supply chain for a daily photoblog is long and can break down anywhere along the line: one goes out and takes pictures, uploads them to the computer, looks through them to choose and photo-edit the best (trying to avoid children, pets and flowers, which make up a large portion of my daily photographic output!), loads those to Flickr, and then blogs the best one for the day. This past week was a tough one, but perhaps next week will be better!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Window-box Failures

window-box, originally uploaded by jahansell.

The seventh annual Family Arts Festival at the North East Community Center was Saturday - this band, made up of teenagers from Sharon and Canaan, rocked the house.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Girls gone stilting

girls gone stilting, originally uploaded by jahansell.

My, how tall you've grown! Thanks to Mark Alexander of Mortal Beasts and Dieties for his tireless stilting instruction at the Family Arts Festival!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wheat grass

wheat grass, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Delicious and nutritious! (OK, nutritious, anyway!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer nights

4thofjuly, originally uploaded by jahansell.

No these aren't fireflies - they're children playing with those colorful glowsticks at a 4th of July event - the real fireworks hadn't started yet but that didn't stop the kids from lighting up the night.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Giant Maze

weatherstone2, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Another picture from Weatherstone Wethersfield (thanks Terry). I imagine the Tri-Wizard tournament taking place here, don't you? The portkey is just around the corner - we just have to get past the Blast-Ended Skrewt and the Acromantula! Who wants to go first?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wethersfield, again

A few weeks ago I showed a picture of the incredible estate in Amenia, Weatherstone Wethersfield (thanks Terry).. It's gorgeous, I think I'll throw in a few more pictures from my visit there in between shots of Sharon!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Play me a song

play me a song, originally uploaded by jahansell.

At the Farmer's Market in Millerton, Tom got some help playing his guitar!

Saturday, July 05, 2008


waterlillies, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I guess they grow every summer, but are there more this year? I don't remember the pond being this filled with them!

Friday, July 04, 2008

summer wildflowers

summer wildflowers, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It must be July if the daylillies and cornflowers are blooming!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Moose!

moose, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I drove through West Cornwall today and passed this old favorite - haven't been there in years since we don't live near it anymore, but they are friendly, delicious and affordable (and I saw Paul Newman there once!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July Theme Day: "No...." signs

Sharon is a pretty friendly and easy-going town - there aren't a lot of signs forbidding things. I found a no-parking sign on the green - not too exciting! Then I realized I walk by this sign dozens of times every year (and frankly, don't pay much attention - not that I'm bringing flotation devices or planning to skinny-dip - not very often, anyway!)

What is forbidden in other cities? Visit the 172 daily photoblogs all around the world to find out!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Or, visit them one by one:
American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brantford (ON), Canada by Nancy, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, Chennai, India by Shantaram, Chesapeake (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Cincinnati, USA by Erik Laursen, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Delta (CO), USA by Bill, Duluth (MN), USA by Sun Dog Press, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Folkestone, UK by Piskie, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Gaia, Portugal by m+p, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Knoxville (TN), USA by Knoxville Girl, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Lynchburg (VA), USA by Timothy, Mainz, Germany by JB, Melbourne, Australia by John, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monroe (GA), USA by Tanya, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Munich, Germany by Troy, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, Newcastle, Australia by Julia, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Poplar Bluff (MO), USA by Tricia, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Posadas, Argentina by Lega, Pretoria, South Africa by Sam Ruth, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Reykjavik, Iceland by Vírgíll, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Norma, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Stratford, Canada by Barb, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Toulouse, France by Julia, Trujillo, Peru by Giulianna, Turin, Italy by Livio, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine,