Monday, March 31, 2008


kent, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Sharon, as you know by now, doesn't have much of a business district. We have lots (read: about a dozen) of little shops, but nothing that would draw tourists and weekenders to walk around town. Now even the pizza shop is closing and up for sale, leaving us with a grand total of zero restaurants. Would somebody PLEASE come open up a nice coffee shop/breakfast and lunch place?
Meanwhile, an excellent alternative is Kent. It's about 20 minutes south, and has dozens of wonderful bakeries, bookstores, shops of all kinds - I'd have to guess close to 100 retail establishments of one kind or another. Kent has its share of celebrities too, by the way - Lynne Redgrave and Patti Lupone both live here!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sharon Daily Photo Turns Two

Up Jumps Springtime, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Two years ago today (and again, one year ago today) I published this photo. There is so much about it that is quintessentially Sharon. The architectural detail of the post, the slightly faded paint, the care the owner, a neighbor of mine, took to create a display for the pleasure of others. Spring is taking its sweet time this year - it's been cold this week, very cold. But the johnny jump-ups, violas and pansies are beginning to show up in pots and window-boxes, the first outward sign of the tremendous energy that is about to be unleashed over the next few months. We're all just waiting for the warm sun to infuse us with the unstoppable urge to get out int eh gardens, sink our hands into the earth, see what survived the cold hard winter and what needs to be planted anew. Many of us have privately started already, with seeds starting in basements and on windowsills - our marigolds and leeks and tomatoes reaching upward, tilting to the light.

Thanks to all who have visited this blog in the last year or two - I don't know what the coming year will bring for Sharon Daily Photo but I'm looking forward to sharing the trip with you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kent Falls

kent falls vert, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Somehow I have driven back and forth to Kent at least a dozen times, maybe two dozen, and have never seen Kent Falls before, despite the fact that it's perfectly visible from the road. (Kent is the next town southeast of Sharon.) I spent the morning in Kent, as I was moderating a panel at the Kent Film Festival, on women in film. I took a few photos of this very charming and bustling town, and will share another tomorrow. On the way home I was trying to keep watch for a very old-fashioned train engine (the kind that makes you want to say "choo choo" ) I'd spotted on the way down, but somehow missed it. Instead, I saw the very impressively roaring falls. It was COLD today - low- 30's F and windy - but I trekked over, climbed up and snapped a few! Then high-tailed it bafk to my car!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

1 King Hill

1 king hill, originally uploaded by jahansell.

This house just goes on and on - I'm only showing about half of it! The property, which from the street appears quite large, is adjacent to the cemetery, so it's a bit spooky, or peaceful, according to your taste!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Expressive house

expressive, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I'm not sure if it's a barn, an old church, a little house or just a shed! It's opposite the house I posted yesterday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


smoke, originally uploaded by jahansell.

This is off West Woods, near Boland road, just after sunset.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Little brown bat

lbbat2, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I found this little fellow, lifeless, in my garden yesterday. I think it's a Little Brown Bat - he (or she) was about 3 inches long. There is a big bat die-off around here for unknown reasons - this bat didn't have the white fungus around its nose that is the common characteristic of those that are dying off. It seems that they are coming out of their caves too early, before there are any bugs around to eat. (They eat 50% of their weight every night in insects!) I opened its wings and was entranced by how delicate yet strong they are - they are two filmy layers of nearly transparent membrane. I put a few more pictures from different angles on my flickr site - you can see its feet, and the strange claw that grows from the elbow on the front leg.

After photographing it my daughter and I gave it a nice burial - right next to Ursula the cat!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Icicle adventure

ice adventure, originally uploaded by jahansell.

A trip down the rail trail on bikes today didn't last too long - it was too cold. (We might have made it farther but my companion insists on wearing socks that don't cover her ankles - she was cold after only a mile. And indeed, you can see from this photo that it's not very warm around here these days! By the way, we saw a very odd sight on our trip, but don't click if you're easily disturbed!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Worlds Collide

we three, originally uploaded by jahansell.

By which I mean, the virtual world and the real world. For those of you that don't know about the City Daily Photo Portal it's the place to see ALL the daily blogs, join the forums, and learn all about the wonderful community I've been so lucky to be a part of. All of us city photobloggers around the world are beholden to two people I've known only as Igor and Demosthenes (unlike me, many of the photobloggers conceal their identities), who build the portal and maintain it. Well, now I know them a little better - they came to visit today, to see my show.

Turns out Igor is an old friend of Eric of Paris Daily Photo and founder of the whole city photoblog family. His son is Demosthenes, and together they created the portal completely from scratch. They, along with Igor's wife and another son (a third son was not with them) spent a lovely couple of hours visiting today (I won't say from as I think they like to keep themselves a bit mysterious). We truly enjoyed getting to know them and we hope to return the visit soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

easter lillies

easter lillies
There aren't too many flowers out yet - just some snowdrops - but indoors, the Easter lillies are lovely! And the scent is delicious! Sorry I've been MIA this week but I have back posted a bit to make up for it! (Scroll down...)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Tomorrow is the first day of spring. It can't come soon enough for me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Colorful eggs

easter eggs
They're not really eggs - they're lemons, and beets, and potatoes...creative, isn't it?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Maple syrup season

pan of sap, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It's sugaring time here in northwestern Connecticut. Last year was a bad year for the maple tappers, but this year apparently it's going quite well. Sharon Audubon had their Maple festival today, and while I didn't go myself, I sent my deputy photographers (aka my daughters) and they did a fantastic job. A photo essay of their day is here.

Friday, March 14, 2008


abandoned, originally uploaded by jahansell.

After a week looking at the bleak abandoned farms along East Ancram Road, I'm ready for something bright, sunny, and cheerful, aren't you? Wouldn't you like to go to Grenoble, France?? or Wailea, Hawaii?? Or how about Austin Texas, where apparently they have Mountain Laurels that look completely different from ours!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ice face

ice face, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I didn't notice when I took the picture that it looked kind of like a face, but my daughter saw it as soon as I downloaded it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

narowiticknow husnkatjankshank brook

I'm pretty sure that's what the sign says!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deer in the Woods

deer in the woods, originally uploaded by jahansell.

An interruption in the tour of Ancramdale. I went out for a jog last night and saw, on Low Road, this deer, not fifteen feet away. It had a strange feature, which you can't see from this angle: its tongue was hanging out of the side of its mouth. I don't know if it was doing it on purpose or if it sick or injured in some way - it was quite a strange sight. It watched me as I tiptoed closer and closer, but eventually bounded away with another, larger deer that I assumed was its mother.

Monday, March 10, 2008


hulk, originally uploaded by jahansell.

It was dry today, for the first time in what feels like weeks. Cold, but sunny. Spring is in the air.

This barn is on East Ancram Road, all boarded up and dead-looking.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Flooded fields

It looks like the rains have finally stopped, but it is drenched around here - it was the wettest February on record, I think, and March so far has shapped up even wetter. Yesterday was unbelievable - torrential rains, high winds - it felt like a hurricane. But today it's calm and sunny (though cold.) I took a drive to Ancramdale, up East Ancram road. Though I think of Sharon as "the country" Ancramdale is really remote and rural, or seems so - it feels VERY far away from everywhere else, thought it's only a few miles over the mountain. (Everyone always says "over the mountain" as if you're just supposed to know WHICH mountain they mean! In this case, it's over Winchell Mountain from Millerton. And by the way, our mountains are nice, but they're pretty small compared to mountains in other states, and I'm not even talking about the Rockies. The Poconos in Pennsylvania are quite a bit more dramatic than our Taconics, Litchfield Hills and even Berkshires. Sorry but it's true!)

Anyway, East Ancram Road was a strange combination of abandoned and derelict farms and poor run-down shacks, alongside tony horse farms and grand estates. I wonder: do the newcomers who have established these fine esapes for themselves have any concern for the poverty of their neighbors, or do they just look at their homes as eyesores and wish them away? I'll show a few of these sights in the days to come.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

twin oaks field via satellite

twin oaks field via satellite, originally uploaded by jahansell.

Just when I thought I'd shown every possible view of the Twin Oaks field, I thought of another one! Last time I looked at Google satellite view of Sharon, it was very rough - they didn't have as fine-grained resolution for this area as many others. But now it's all there (though my house is so shaded by trees you can't see it.) I always wonder how often these are updated - this is green and summery looking (and clearly taken in mid-day, based on the narrow shadows cast by the trees, which you could see if you went to the closest-range view.) To get this view, go to google maps and type in "Dug Road, Sharon CT 06069" and you can look around!

Friday, March 07, 2008

The beginning

the beginning, originally uploaded by jahansell.

They are brave and intrepid, these daffodil plants. They force their way up through soil that has hardened into a thick crust, through matted leaves and last year's weeds. They push against the snow pack so that by the time they finally outlast the winter and show themselves, they are bent and broken. But nothing stops them- they stretch and reach toward the sun - still thin and bleak now, but warmer every day. It takes forever, it seems, to get from here to warm May days with nodding blossoms, and then in a minute they're gone. But the anticipation changes my mood - the tension and tightness releases, I relax and stretch and reach toward the sun.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Won't be long now

wont be long now, originally uploaded by jahansell.

In about a month this will be a riot of yellow. The last few days have been warm, with lots of rain. The snow is nearly gone, perhaps for good. I see a few crocus tips, some bent and broken, pushing up through the heavy black mud. My yard is a marshland, the walk from car to door sloppy and treacherous. The air smells rich and minerally and the cat stands a the doorway, plotting her escape. I feel the same way.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Beginning, middle and end

It's all here, from the bud not yet opened, to the glorious frilly blossom, to the browned and dropping petals. Add your own metaphor and stir.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Little Contest

My posting yesterday, in which I mentioned "a well-known songwriter" made me think - I haven't mentioned much about our local talent -- a surprising number of actors, writers, musicians, artists and other well-known creative types make their homes here. So, a contest (and local residents can't play!) - identify the nine people represented in this collage. They all own homes in Sharon (or so I'm told - the source of information about one of them is dicey - but the rest I know for sure) and spend (or spent) significant amounts of time here. Post your list in the comments - I'll keep them private til the end of tomorrow so that nobody can steal from others. The winner gets a set of Sharon CT greeting cards!

Edited to add: I've published the comments - I had a few private emails from people that had most or all of the identifications. Marta, I didn't include Meryl Streep because she lives in Salisbury - also in our little area but not Sharon are Jane Curtin, Jill Clayburgh, Edward Herrmann, Sam Waterston, Sandra Boynton, and Laura Linney, among others. So, in order from top left
Kyra Sedgwick, Jane Kaczmarek, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick,
Campbell Scott, Bradley Whitford, Michael J. Fox,
Yancy Butler, William F. Buckley and a Jasper Johns painting.
I realize now I'd meant to include Tracy Pollan, who's married to Michael J. Fox and is an actress too.
The winner is Anonymous - but I can't send you cards because I don't know who you are!
New posting tomorrow.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Colgates of Sharon, Connecticut

rr colgate, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I went to a wonderful presentation at the Sharon Garden Club this evening. The Sharon Historical Society was given a treasure trove of photographs of the Colgate Mansion (aka Filmont), an astonishing Beaux Arts home that, along with its gardens and grounds, covered 300 acres opposite the town center. It was built in 1903 by RR Colgate (scion of the Colgate-Palmolive mogul) and his wife, Susan. Liz Gall spent the last several months cataloguing and researching the photos, and the presentation was quite lively as everyone present had information or opinions to add on everything from what kind of flowers were growing in the gardens, to what the outbuilding roof was made out of and where any given photo was taken or what it looked out onto. (It might have been nice if each person waited for everyone else to finish before sharing their own important nugget of information, I'll just say.)
I learned a lot, including some interesting information shared by the house's present owner, a well-known songwriter, who is renovating it and promises I can come take pictures there when he's done. He said that after the Colgates died, it passed through several hands (a few years after the Colgates died, the house, which cost over $3 million to build in 1904 dollars, sold for $22,000!) at one point becoming a home for shady ladies!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


waiting for, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I'm not sure how this works - he didn't seem to be holding a fishing pole, so what are the fish going to bite? And what on earth is the attraction? I can understand fishing in the summer - the beauty of nature, watching the water flow by.. but sitting out there in the cold, just...waiting? Is it all about the peace and quiet or is there some other appeal?

Today was a great day - I gave a slideshow and talk about the blog. Quite a few people came, and I think I wasn't too boring or rambly, though I did go on a bit at the end about the virtues of Picasa. (I got a gentle tap on my shoulders telling me it was time to wrap it up, which I immediately did!)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Theme Day: Street Art or Graffiti

I'm sort cheating this month as I can't really post on the chosen theme (the City DailyPhoto blog community votes every month to choose the topic). I've never really seen grafitti around Sharon - I don't know if people just don't do it, or it's cleaned up quickly, or I'm not being observant enough. But instead, I'm showing you a different kind of street art - the street paintings made at the Family Arts Festival in Millerton last summer.

As of this writing, 147 daily photo bloggers wish to bring you the street art of their city:
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, 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, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn, Jakarta Daily Photo, San Francisco, Tungelsta