Saturday, June 30, 2007


red, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It's July, it's high summer, and the Theme Day is RED. Every color looks brighter, more saturated, at this time of year, especially just before sunset. This photo is of the ladders on the dock at the beach, Mudge Pond.

Something like 95!!! Daily photobloggers from all around the world are participating today. (Note that "today" is very different if you're in Sydney Australia or Honolulu Hawai'i, so as you travel around, be aware that today may be tomorrow or yesterday when you are looking for the July 1 photo. (I always post a little early and leave it up for a while into the 2nd, to make sure anyone looking will find my post!)

Shanghai, China - Mumbai, India - New York City (NY), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Hamburg, Germany - Stayton (OR), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Hyde, UK - Oslo, Norway - Brookville (OH), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Joplin (MO), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Selma (AL), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Seattle (WA), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Evry, France - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Grenoble, France - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Hilo (HI), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - La Antigua, Guatemala - Brisbane (QLD), Australia - Singapore, Singapore - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hong Kong, China - Sequim (WA), USA - Paderborn, Germany - Saarbrücken, Germany - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Tenerife, Spain - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Sydney, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Mainz, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - North Bay (ON), Canada - Jakarta, Indonesia - Montréal (QC), Canada - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Baziège, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - New York (NY), USA - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Sharon (CT), USA - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Villigen, Switzerland - Chicago (IL), USA - Torquay, UK - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Paris, France - Seoul, Korea - Manila, Philippines - Milano, Italy - Austin (TX), USA - Chennai, India - Madrid, Spain - Seoul, South Korea - Wailea (HI), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada - Ajaccio, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Budapest, Hungary

Not quite the Fourth

I know that a slideshow is NOT within the "rules" of the Daily Photo Family! But I thought some of them were beautiful - fireworks look something like jellyfish when seen this way - and the effect is fun. Don't worry, I won't do this often!
This is the annual Fireworks show at Lime Rock race track, which we watched Friday night from the Housatonic Valley Regional High School bleachers, about a mile away. There is a long and possibly funny story behind this tradition.
Before we had kids, my husband and I were fans of the TV show, the X-Files. Certain phrases became catch-phrases with us - one in particular, "drive west fast" referred to an episide in which Mulder had to keep driving west at 50 miles an hour -- if he slowed down, his passenger's head would explode. Or something like that. The memory of the episide faded, but the phrase stuck, especially when our babies were little and we found that driving in a car would soothe them. So whenever elder daughter got fussy, we'd mutter, drive west fast, and strap her into the carseat.
The summer she was 3 1/2, and her little sister was a few months old, we all got the idea to go to the fireworks. Her heart was set on it, and since we hadn't been, we had no idea of the sonic effects of full-strength fireworks in a bowl-shaped race track. After an hour of milling around, eating ice cream, buying those light-up bracelets, and slapping mosquitoes, the first firecracker went off - and she panicked, like nothing I've ever seen. She was screaming, crying, shaking - Fred grabbed her, I got the baby and we RAN for the parking lot as fast as we could, leaving all our stuff behind. After we were safely in the car, Fred went back to gather up the stuff. She was still crying hard, begging him to return. When he finally got back in the car, she said, through tears, "DRIVE WEST FAST, DADDY!"

Which he did.

We haven't been back to Lime Rock since - five years later we still watch from the safety and quiet of the high school. The ice cream truck comes, and so do the mosquitoes. But I bet I'd get better photos if I went to the track!

PS fitting that so many of the fireworks are red. Tomorrow is Daily Photo Theme Day and the theme is RED - so come back soon!

Friday, June 29, 2007

History stone

kirby stone, originally uploaded by jahansell.

This stone, inscribed by Ed Kirby in (I assume!) 1950, is in the little cabin in the woods at Miles Sanctuary. I don't think I'd ever been inside before, but my girls tried the door and it was unlocked. It has a desk, a bed, and maybe a hearth, nothing more - oh and this little table. Ed is the town historian, and knows more about the sanctuary (and everything else in town) than just about anyone - if he sees this (JN, can you help?) perhaps he'll share the story behind it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


branch mouth, originally uploaded by jahansell.

A composition of branch, water, and sky.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fields of ferns

ferns, originally uploaded by jahansell.

On a hot humid sticky day, doesn't this look cool and welcoming? I think they're sensitive cinnamon ferns, [thanks Fred for the correction] growing in the woods at Miles Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon. If this is indeed what they are, the CT Botanical Association Website adds:

This is Connecticut's largest fern. Its fiddleheads are food for ruffed grouse, and hummingbirds sometimes use the fuzz on young fronds to line their nests.

• Family: Osmundaceae
• Habitat: swamps, streambanks, shores
• Height: 2-5 feet
• Location of spores: separate fertile fronds are cinnamon-colored, narrow and erect
• Stipe (leaf stalk): round and slightly grooved; at first covered with cinnamon-colored hairs, later smooth and green
• Growth pattern: symmetric clump
• Persistence: deciduous

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


beaverchewed, originally uploaded by jahansell.

If I can't get a picture of a beaver, at least I can show you their handiwork (toothiwork?) Beavers have an astounding impact on the landscape, creating flooding and causing water levels to rise dramatically on ponds and lakes. I went to a talk recently about the planned extension to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, and "beaver activity" was one of the main obstacles in several places - the railbed was completely flooded in large sections.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mountain Laurel

mountain laurel, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is the state flower of Connecticut. A few facts:

• Family: Heath (Ericaceae)
• Habitat: rocky woods
• Height: 5-15 feet
• Flower size: 3/4 to 1 inch across
• Flower color: pale pink
• Flowering time: May to July
• Origin: native

They are in full bloom right now at Miles Wildlife Sanctuary and all around the state! As a further point of interest, deer generally don't eat them.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Late afternoon at Miles Wildlife Sanctuary

silhouette, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It has been too long since we visited the Audubon sanctuary where we used to live. When we got there, my 5 year old daughter said, "What's this place?" She was born here, and we moved away when she was just over a year old. Her big sister remembered it well, having been 4 1/2 at the time. We walked the trail around the pond, and I marveled at all the changes in the last few years. I will always feel attached to this place - as my daughter pointed out, it's a mansion! and the 1200 acres of forest and swamp are a magical place - I had a moment of wishing we still loved lived here [thanks, Nathalie, for pointing out that Freudian error!] , now that the kids are old enough to really fill it with their imaginations and learn from the nature around them.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

what's left at the end of the day

what's left, originally uploaded by jahansell.

after all the children have gone home and the sun has fallen below the horizon...

Friday, June 22, 2007

windows x 2

windows, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Another shot from the other night, behind the pizza shop. Weathered wood, old clouded glass, flaking paint - kinda beautiful, isn't it?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

sky window

A quick trip for pizza. Parking the car, saw this building way behind the shop. Liz the pizza lady was nice to us, though I'm not supposed to tell anyone. I was still scared to ask her to let me take a picture for the blog. I'm going to have to get over that!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

swallow at sunset

swallow, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I'd have been happier if I could have gotten in closer on the swallow, but I like the sky on its own!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Evening swans

evening swans, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I wonder if one stays on guard all night, or if eventually they both go to sleep?

Monday, June 18, 2007

What's for dinner?

lobber, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Not my dinner - I stole the photo, but not the lobster, from someone else's feast!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Quiet evening

It may be quiet here now, but camp starts Monday - the Little Rascals are coming. The town recreation program provides low-cost child care for working families, and the kids love it - they play, swim, play, swim... the counselors are teens from town, and everyone has a fine time.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Fishing, originally uploaded by jahansell.

A peaceful morning on Silver Lake.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

rose and clematis

rose and clematis, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Last year, the first one of this blog, I posted lots of flowers, showing the passing of the seasons. This year I haven't, as much (I missed the tulips, and the peonies are all but gone), but the roses and clematis growing up my front door beg to be shown off. Most of my flowers don't seem to want to bloom this year, perhaps because I moved them all last fall. No lilacs, only one peony, and no iris, yet anyway. But the roses are happy - they got to stay put! By the way, i think I over photoshopped this one - it was very sunny, and thus very contrasty, and I tried to lift the shadows in the rose and bring down the blown-out highlights in the clematis. It looks pretty fake now!

grasses, revised

grasses revised, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Just for fun, I took the photo below and worked on it in Photoshop - which do you like better? I'll upload a real new photo for today a little later on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


grasses, originally uploaded by jahansell.

If I took the time to Photoshop it, I'd take out those little branches at the top right corner, and maybe the one at the bottom right too - not sure. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Turtle Crossing

Turtle Xing
I don't know who puts these signs up and takes them down again (all the Mud Season signs are long gone!) but it's a good idea - not just snappers but painted turtles are crossing in droves. The snappers aren't as slow as they look, but they are MEAN. I tried to shoo one along and at first it started scooting across, then it stopped, sort of raised up on its legs, and then turned on me as if to attack. I fled back to the car and took a few more photos out the window - from a safe distance. It's blurry - maybe he scared me so much my hand was shaking!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Morris Men

Six or eight groups of Morris Dancers from all over the northeast (Binghamton, Boston, NYC, and more) converge on NW Connecticut every June - each troupe performs all day at various venues, then they all converge in Falls Village (CT's smallest town, way smaller than Sharon, and a VERY cool artsy place!! I'd live there if I didn't already live here) for a big show and friendly competition, complete with passing the hat for beer money, just as Morris dancers have been doing since at least the 1400's. It was pouring rain, on and off, all evening, so they were all drenched, I'm sure, but it didn't quench their spirit! Lots more pics at my Picasa Web Album.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hidden sun

Hidden sun, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Some reflections from Mudge Pond. Yesterday I went to the Morris Dancer performance and today we're going to the circus (both in neighboring towns) so I'll have some more lively images for you shortly!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Author! Autthor!

For the last four days, I've taken a vacation from photography while my daughter posted her photos of Sharon. OK, she's only 5, so I posted them for her. They were all taken last Sunday morning, when she and I woke up early (she, because she wasn't feeling well and couldn't sleep, I because she wasn't feeling well so I couldn't sleep!) We tiptoed out, she still in her nightgown (I got dressed) and spent a pleasant hour shooting around town. Both of these photos are of her on that morning.

blue eyes


And this next one is her, later that afternoon, doing what she loves best!

My dancer

Friday, June 08, 2007

Through the eyes of a child #4

Our lovely Mudge Pond, as photographed on a misty morning, by my daughter. Tomorrow I'll show you the intrepid photographer herself, and then I guess my vacation is over and I'll get back to work! (Unless my 8 year old wants to take a turn!)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Through the eyes of a child #3

She has an eye for interesting shots, doesn't she? This old (but very cool!) car seems to have a large plank (wrong word) of plywood on top - to protect it from the rain, perhaps?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Through the eyes of a child #2

I mentioned yesterday that often my daughter's perspectives were tilted, seemingly at random, when she took photos. But this one is interesting - she carefully lined up the fence at the bottom of the frame - much more important, really, than the horizon line! This shot is on Mitchelltown Road, just a quarter mile from the main road.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Through the eyes of a child #1

Through the eyes of a child #1, originally uploaded by jahansell.

On Sunday morning, my five year old daughter woke up before anyone else. She'd come down with a case of strep throat the day before (yes, the day of my triathlon and her sister's ballet concert, for anyone that's keeping score!) and had made her way into my bed around dawn. She couldn't breathe comfortably through her nose so was dozing fitfully, keeping me awake too. I decided to get up and tiptoe downstairs, thinking I'd slip out for a bit of early morning picture taking, but she wanted to come too. So I handed her my little Canon point and shoot, showed her how to zoom, and off we went - she still in her nightgown and little pink slippers. We visited Mudge Pond, drove around downtown, and took a few turns I'd never tried before. Her pictures don't always stick to traditional rules (like keeping the horizon line horizontal!) but they always show something worth looking at, like this shot of a little pond full of tufts and lily pads. The bullfrogs and red-winged blackbirds here were deafening! I think I'll post a few more of her photos in the next few days.

Monday, June 04, 2007


whoozzat, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Sorry to have interrupted you ladies! I know I've posted a lot of picture of cows... but we have a lot of cows here! I have some nice pictures from yesterday's early morning photo expedition - some taken by me, some by my 5 year old (hers are as good as mine, if sometimes a bit tilted!) coming in the next few days!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Right of Way

right of way
If it's late spring, it must be time for the snapping turtle to cross the road. Last year I held a little contest - the person with the best answer to "why did the turtle cross the road?" won a postcard from Sharon. I have fewer visitors who comment this year, perhaps because I never go blog hopping, but if anyone wants to play again, I'll play too! So send me your captions for this photo (forget the intro, any caption will do)! (The winner last year, from Buzzgirl, was "so get a manicure.")

By the way, to give you an idea of size - look at this one from last year, which had a man's feet in the shot for scale. This guy here probably is a bit smaller, I'd say a foot across the shell.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

misty morning farm

misty morning farm, originally uploaded by jahansell.

On my way to the Pawling Triathlon, I stopped to take a quick photo of this lovely misty scene. For more on why I'm not posting more today, click here!

Friday, June 01, 2007

View out my window

View out my window, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Wow, is it theme day again already? I'm a bit late posting, but here we go - the view out my window! It looks like I live in the woods, but that's just the back yard - I actually live right on Main Street, no more than 30 feet from the road! This time of year, with the windows open, it's hard to get used to the noise of cars and trucks passing early in the morning.

This month, a new record of 85 daily photo blogs are participating in the theme day. Depending on time zones, there is always a variation in when their post goes up. Check out the views outside the bedroom windows all around the world:

Seattle (WA), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Toruń, Poland - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Madison (WI), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Omaha (NE), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stockholm, Sweden - Grenoble, France - Lubbock (TX), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Hyde, UK - Joplin (MO), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Kansas City (MO), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Manila, Philippines - Sydney, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - London, UK - Chandler (AZ), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Singapore, Singapore - Hamburg, Germany - Sydney, Australia - Tenerife, Spain - Moscow, Russia - Lyon, France - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Evry, France - Hayle, UK - Mumbai, India - Kitakami, Japan - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - La Antigua, Guatemala - Paderborn, Germany - San Diego (CA), USA - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Madrid, Spain - Lyon, France - Selma (AL), USA - Shanghai, China - Baziège, France - Cologne (NRW), Germany - North Bay (ON), Canada - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Stayton (OR), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Hong Kong, China - Trier, Germany - Joensuu, Finland - Paris, France - Greenville (SC), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Cork, Ireland - Bastia, France - Vancouver, Canada - Brookville (OH), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Mainz, Germany - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Torino, Italy - Montréal (QC), Canada