Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cold light

Another from my walk down Low Road, across to Williams Road, and back down Calkinstown. (Maxx points out that I was wrong about the location of yesterday's "hand" tree - it is on Calkinstown, not Main Street. Sorry, Maxx) We finally got some real snow this morning - so later today or tonight I can start posting some pictures that look a little different!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nothing to offer

She didn't seem to mind the cold, though she probably would have liked it if I'd brought a treat with me - what was I thinking? I say "she" though I don't know for sure - her large belly does suggest that a foal is on the way. Speaking of horses, I was sad to learn that Barbaro's fight for life ended today.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Giant hand

Doesn't this look like a giant hand? Fantastical ideas are floating through my head since I saw the most amazing movie, "Pan's Labyrinth," last night. (It's actually the Labyrinth of the Faun, in Spanish.) It's violent, sad - devastating, in fact - and incredibly beautiful.
By the way this tree is on North Main Street in front of the school.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Late afternoon on Great Elm

Last post from this visit to Great Elm - the color of the red house and shed (I guess) were even richer in the late afternoon light.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Great Elm again

Evidently I missed the most important sights on Great Elm so I have to go back, after the cold snap breaks. But I liked this line of hay bales.

Today is my daughter's 8th birthday - Happy Birthday Abbey!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Field of flags

No, it's not Christo, it's CL&P, the local utility, marking its underground lines up on Great Elm. Did I mention how cold it is here? If you don't believe me, click here!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Flash frozen

The title of this post has nothing to do with the image, which is of a brick wall, lit up by the setting sun, up on Great Elm (thanks, Jack, for telling me about it!) No, I was the one frozen - the windchill here is dipping into the negative 20's tonight and was well on its way there at 4:30 this afternoon.

Guess what? Connecticut Magazine has asked to use one of my photos in their "best of the small towns" issue!

And by the way, this is my 300th post!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Took this out the window at 40 miles per hour. It represents life here right now - going by so fast everything's in a blur. I might have the chance to take some nice new shots, of new locations, tomorrow - Great Elm, here I come!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Indian Lake is frozen over at last - I haven't seen skater, or ice fishing, but it seems pretty solid. It's been cold here for over a week, and getting colder still. But still not much snow - we had a dusting last night. It was lovely as it was coming down in the evening hours, but it didn't amount to much.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow chairs

The snow has mostly gone - not melted but just frozen so hard it imploded! But a few days ago it was still decorating the chairs and pots and bushes.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A touch of snow

It's bitterly cold here today with high winds. Yesterday it was quiet and we got a touch of snow - the most we've had all season.

Friday, January 19, 2007

One more spectacular Victorian

Thanks to Town Historian An Linden, I took another trip to Amenia to take a picture of this beautiful house. Here's what she told me about it: It is in what they call the "Tuscan villa" style with a tower. The building belongs to Darlene Reimer, who restored it from a pathetic state. It is white now, probably not the color it was originally...but it is wonderful inside...Her architctural office is on the first floor, a real estate agent on the second. You will see that it is very much the size of our contemporary houses...not a mansion. There is lots of history to go with each one of the homes you show...the one important fact about all of them is that they were built after the NY Central Harlem Valley Railroad came through in 1850. There were some going industries in Amenia including iron and condensed milk (Borden in Wassaic) accounting for the size and detail on the houses.

They were not "mansions", just homes of successful business people of the 19th century. By Victorian standards, these are not large houses. Some of them (the three you show in the photos) are painted historic colors of the period...chosen to hide the train smoke and dirt from the iron industry, and chosen to satisfy the victorian love of ostentation.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Puddles of sky

I never do this - but just for today I'm posting two pictures of this scene - there was something magical to me about my daughters' fascination with the sky reflected in the puddles, and the possibility of disrupting that reflection by walking through it or throwing stones. (Now, by the way, it's much colder - all the puddles are frozen solid! These pictures are from a week ago when it was still 50 degrees outside. This morning it was 3!)

Here are a bunch more!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dr. Pepper Tree

If you enjoyed my little tour of the Victorian houses of Amenia, please read the comment section from yesterday's post. The town historian of Amenia, Ann Linden, sent me the most wonderful email about that house in particular, and all the Victorians generally in town. She pointed out where I was mistaken (the rooms are NOT small and dark!) and gave a wonderful history of who they belonged to and how they came to be there. Thank you, Ann!

As for today's photo - how did it get there? And why? I don't know, but it's kind of pretty!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wintry hues

From the large scale of the last few days to the very small - these are dead hosta leaves in my garden. They look like seaweed, or pasta, or something deep and dank...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just one more

Victorian house. This one is perhaps the most fantastic of all. I'll add that I"ve never been inside any of them, so don't know if they're nearly as grand - many Victorians were chopped up into smaller spaces, or had dark small rooms to begin with.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Victorian era, part 2

Here's another of the amazing Victorian mansions in Amenia. This one now houses several businesses, including, I think, the Harlem Valley Times.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Leaving Sharon Mountain for another part of town - I had the chance to take photos of some of the fantastic Victorian houses on Rte 22 in Amenia (the town due West of us, just over the NY state line). They seem to be lovingly maintained, and I appreciate the reminder of our area's early days. I never get tired of old houses - one that I particularly covet at least from the outside, has gone up for sale. Anyone have a third of a million dollars to spare?

Friday, January 12, 2007


I hope Sharon always stays as rural as it is now. By the way, I've noticed that many, if not most, silos are blue - anyone know why?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tucked away

Or should I say, rotting away? Another house that's slowly returning to the earth, up on the mountaintop. It was well past sunset when I got to this spot. It was quiet up there, no birds, no cars, no people. Everything seemed a bit mysterious, another world, almost - I wouldn't have been surprised to see a witch or an elf or some other fairy tale creature.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sharon Mountain

There are many corners of Sharon I haven't yet explored. Max(x) has suggested I go up Jackson Corners Road; Jack invited me to come to Great Elm. I started with the former, over the weekend, driving all the back roads as the sun went down, from Jackson Road to Sharon Mountain to Surdan Mountain, with various detours, dead ends and false starts along the way. When I drove down East Street I thought I knew where I was going to end up, but I came out miles away on the opposite side of town - I was completely turned around. I'll show the photos I took as I wandered over the next few days. This barn is on Sharon Mountain.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


This barn is next to the one in yesterday's photo - Maxx was right about the location, in Amenia on Rte 343. I wonder what's under there?

Monday, January 08, 2007


Years ago, before digital photography, I took a series of photos of this barn as it was beginning its long decline. The roof was sagging, the beams were buckling, and it seemed as thought it might some day collapse. I was fascinated by the sight. It has collapsed, long since, and today I went back to shoot another round. Here are a few more of the photos I took. I wonder how old it is? I also wonder why the owners leave it - will they someday rebuild? Do they like how it looks? Do they imagine that it will disappear into the earth, to be discovered hundreds of years hence by archaologists? I'm sure one of my local readers knows the story - please share!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Graffiti Sunday

Some of the other Daily Photo blogs had a tradition for a while of posting graffiti, or street art, on Sundays. I never found any around here so didn't join in. But I did notice this tag today - it's posted on an underpass beneath the rail trail where I, my daughter, and about 10,000 other people were out this afternoon, enjoying the freakishly warm weather. It's positively disturbing, but we did have a nice bike ride.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fall sky

This picture is from a few months ago, but I just came across it again - it's kind of mind-bending!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Winter Interest

That's what they always say in home improvement magazines and gardening catalogs about plants that look nice, or at least, well, interesting, after the growing season ends. I bought a few of these hydrangeas this fall and they do look nice, especially in the late afternoon sun!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Coming home

When I reach this spot, I'm about 40 seconds from my driveway. From here you can see half the business district of Sharon (during the day, anyway) - when you turn the corner you can see the other half.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Where's winter?

There's a little ice on Beardsley pond, but it's still mostly open water. Not that the geese mind.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Last Night First Night

For years I've been hearing about the tradition of "First Night"- when a whole community comes together for an alcohol-free, family friendly New Year's Eve celebration. It started in Boston about 15 or 20 years ago, and now hundreds of towns have them. Usually, there will be an opening parade, closing fireworks, and in between events of all kids, hosted at dozens of venues - churches, schools, bank lobbies... there are dances, fun runs, magicians and jugglers, music of all kinds. You get the idea - a place to celebrate the passing of the year where you can bring your kids (and parents), avoid the wild drinking, and do it as part of something larger than yourself and your private circle of friends.

I've always wished someone would do one around here. This year I decided it had to happen, and my community center would host and organize. We got a late start so it was small, plus we found out we couldn't call it First Night without paying a steep licensing fee - way out of reach for a tiny town and organization like ours. (Hey, First Night people, maybe you could add a few more levels down near the bottom of your scale!) Despite our late start we were lucky enough to be able to book the Grumbling Gryphons children's theater group, MaTica Arts, and other fine performers, and the turnout was terrific, just what I'd hoped for. We'll do it even bigger and better next year!

Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1, 2007 - the Best Photo of the Year

The Daily Photo community chooses a theme for the first day of each month - naturally, for the first day of the year, we chose to post our Best Photo of 2006. I've been counting down my favorites all week (see below) and have asked others for their choices as well. This is my final decision (though if you asked me yesterday or tomorrow I might pick something else!)

Here's a link to some of the top runners-up.

And now, please take some time to travel the world and see the most surprising, beautiful, enlightening pictures you could ever hope to see, from DP'ers from Ausralia, where it's been New Year's for hours already, to Hawai'i, where it won't be New Year's for many hours to come, and every continent in between! (Almost - I don't think we have a DP'er in Antarctica yet!)

Porto (Portugal) -Albuquerque, NM (USA) -St. Paul, (USA) Kate -Greenville,SC (USA) -Stayton, OR (USA) -Szentes (Hungary) -Hyde (UK) -London (UK) -Dubai (UAE) -Buenos Aires (Argentina) -Shanghai (China) -Nelson (New Zealand) -Twin Cities, MN (USA) -Joplin MO (USA) -Stavanger (Norway) -Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) -Not Strictly Seattle, WA (USA) -Jakarta (Indonesia) -Auckland (New Zealand) -Sharon, CT (USA) -Evry (France) -(Aust) John -Newcastle upon Tyne (England) -Paris (France) -Bandung (Indonesia) -Brussels (Belgium) -Minneapolis MN (USA) -Aliso Viejo, CA (USA) -Seattle, WA (USA) -Budapest (Hungary) -Singapore by Zannnie (Singapore) -Tenerife (Spain) -Santa Clara, CA (USA) -Houston, TX (USA) -Sydney by Nathalie (Aust) -San Diego, CA (USA) -Vancouver, BC (Canada) -Singapore by KeropokMan (Singapore) -East Lansing, MI (USA) -Sydney by Sally (Australia) -Tucson, AZ (USA) -Nottingham (UK) -Sequim, by Norma -Hong Kong -Vantaa, Finland -Kyoto (Japan) -Tokyo (Japan) -Chattanooga -Santiago (Chile) -erlin (Germany) -Trondheim (Norway) -Delta, CO (USA) -