Tag Archives: New England

sunny day at castle in the clouds

Had to Travel North to Find Pumpkins and Fall Air

pumpkins for sale at roadside farm
Pumpkins at Tenney Farms, Antrim, New Hampshire

I hadn’t been back to my old home town in New Hampshire in over a year, but recently I took a trip to New England.

I expected to see some nice fall foliage, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. Probably because of the unusual heat and humidity that Hurricane Maria dragged up from the south. At least the air was crisp and clear by the time I arrived and I certainly enjoyed that. Sleeping with the window open at night – ahhhh, heaven.

My daughter and I took a trip to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and visited Castle in the Clouds. The weather was incredibly perfect. It was a Monday, so there were very few visitors, which was also wonderful.

I’ll share a few photos here, and if you are ever in New Hampshire and it’s beautiful weather, I suggest you visit this place.

We began our visit with lunch at the horse stables turned restaurant, and what a view the horses used to have!  You can see the old stables and the new seating area at the restaurant in my image below.

horse stable restaurant
Horse Stables Turned into a Restaurant

Inside seating includes tables within the old stalls.

My daughter and I chose to eat outdoors because the weather was so beautiful, and the view was fabulous.
Our sandwiches were yummy and we brought a cooler where we saved the leftovers in the car after eating.  Then we climbed aboard a trolley car for the short ride up to the Castle.

lunch food sandwich
A delicious lunch of sandwiches, chips and onion rings (and a glass of wine) to start our tour.

We took a short trolley ride up to the Castle and then did a self-guided tour through the mansion.

view from the Castle in the Clouds
Road up to the Castle
sunny day at castle in the clouds
The mansion museum front yard

Lo and behold, I found a hydrangea plant on the grounds! I believe it might have been a Limelight hydrangea but I am not absolutely sure. The flowers look elongated and the flowers are creamy white. It was nice to see a flowering hydrangea. I miss the ones I used to grow.

hydrangea shrub with white flowers
Limelight ? Hydrangea

This is only one thing we did while I stayed in the north for a week. We also ate ice cream at a roadside stand (I had raspberry chocolate chip) and we took a walk, and a boat ride on the river. I also got to meet my daughter’s new cat who has unique coloring.  Isn’t she pretty?

cat

The best part of my trip, besides seeing my daughter, was the breathing that wonderful Fall air. It was a relaxing time and was nice to get away.  I dislike flying, but it was worth it to spend time in an area I love.

My short experience with Fall was nice. It will never be true Fall here in Florida. Temps are still in the 90’s and even what they call Fall here is really not.

I will be getting my raised garden bed ready for planting soon, as soon as it cools off.

Read more about Castle in the Clouds at their website.

view of mountains and lake from Castle in the clouds
What a View!
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sea plane fall foliage lake

Sea Plane at the Lake, Fall Photography

I took this photo of a little yellow sea plane one day as I walked along the road where I lived. The water was so flat and smooth and the plane was surrounded by color. I couldn’t resist taking this photo many years ago.

The plane was usually docked at a lake house until winter when it was taken someplace else.  The owner would taxi down the short tributary which led to a small lake.   He used the lake to take off and land.  Occasionally the kids and I would be at the beach on the lake when he came in for a landing.

sea plane fall foliage lake
Sea Plane in Autumn

When I began to work at Zazzle, I used this photo to make a postcard to sell.  Recently it sold to someone in France. It always amazes me to know that something I made, or a photo I took, or drawing I did, could be purchased by anyone in the world.

The sale caused me to revisit this item, which I had pretty much forgotten about. Then I had the idea to share it here.

So, I thought, why not share more Autumn photography? Just because I live in boring Florida doesn’t mean I can’t go back to a time when I had these views for a month, or more, every year.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This big tree stood in front of a house at the entrance to my small neighborhood.  Each day in Fall I’d watch it turn more and more red.  It was stunning.

fall leaves
Red Tree in the Neighborhood

New Hampshire has a lot of pristine lakes. Some are large – Lake Sunapee is a favorite –  and many others are small. Leaf color usually begins alongside water. I was lucky to live just up the road from a small lake and I walked to it on every nice day. Fall at the lake offers wonderful scenes with brightly colored foliage as the main focus.

orange maple leaves at edge of lake
Brightly colored maple tree at the edge of a New Hampshire lake

All seasons offer their own opportunities for photographers in New England. In Spring I photographed the early blooming flowers, like the Lenton Rose.

Summer gave me the opportunity to photograph my vegetable garden and flowers growing everywhere.

red tree in fall
One tree is bright red and the other hasn’t changed color yet

Fall, of course, is a great time to get awesome photos. I didn’t have to travel far to get lots of great shots.  With different types of deciduous trees changing color at varying times,  the leaf color lasts from mid-September thru the middle of October.

Even the hydrangeas turn color in fall.   Look at the stunning array of blues and greens in this once bright blue hydrangea flower, which is drying on the stem.
View more Hydrangeas in Fall.

blue hydrangea flower in fall
Pretty colors of a fall blue hydrangea flower

And there were two big Burning Bush trees in front of the house, which become bright red in late Autumn.

burning bush
Burning Bush in Fall

Winter can also be a wonderful time to take pictures. My favorite times to get out with the camera were right after (and sometimes during) a snowstorm, when the snow was still stuck to the branches of the trees.   It’s a winter wonderland.  Once the sun begins to warm the snow, and the wind picks up, the snow comes off the trees and the opportunity for shots like this are gone.

snow covered trees right after a snowstorm
Snowstorm Loveliness

The northeastern US has been having some unusually hot weather for the end of September, but hopefully the leaves will be turning soon. I am taking a trip up there and really hope to see some nice color.

My daughter likes to go paddle-boarding so it means we will probably visit some nearby lakes.  Hopefully I will get more foliage shots to add to my collection.

Memories of April in New Hampshire

Every now and then I look back at my life in New Hampshire through the many photos I took while living there.
Since Spring is upon us (in Florida it’s hard to tell) I decided to share some April photography and memories.

yellow forsythia flowers
Forsythia

In April the forsythia begins to bloom and the bright yellow flowers are a wonderful sight after a dull and colorless winter. I had planted a forsythia bush up near the road in my front yard in New Hampshire. I thought it was far enough back from the road to survive the snow-plowing in winter, but I was wrong. This big branch was broken off so I cut it and brought it inside to enjoy the flowers.

cat drinks out of forsythia water
Skittle, being Skittle

Skittle, the cat enjoys drinking water from all sorts of places. And once she discovered the vase of water holding the branch, she just had to partake!

The Lenton Rose will be full of flowers by April. It blooms before the snow is gone. I really enjoyed this little flowering bush.

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Lenton Rose

The coreopsis is popping through the ground and so are the thick red stems of the peony. I love peonies. They remind me of my grandmother, so I had a lot of them planted in my yard in the north. I had white, red, and pink. One of the reds was more like an open flower, but I can’t recall the name of it.
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Peony

And of course the hydrangeas were coming to life. It’s always thrilling to check out the gardens in Spring. Each day more green is showing and it was always fun to watch the progress as the perennials came back to their beautiful showy state.

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Hydrangea in Spring

The first photo is my house taken about three months before I moved. I couldn’t afford to live in New England, but it’s where my heart is.
I miss it and always will.

winter snowfall snowstorm

Remembering Life in New England

winter forest photography
My Backyard – Long Ago

This winter photography recently sold in my Zazzle store as a postcard. It seems fitting as a reminder of how far I’ve come. Since I am no longer living in the northeastern U.S., and back down in the humidity of Florida, this scene makes me a bit sad.  I was born in New England, and I love it there.

I took this winter photo back in 2007, and it reminds me of great hope and huge loss. After spending 27 years in the humid, bug-infested south, I was back home in New England and loving every moment of my first winter with snow in years. I took pictures every day I think. This is a scene from my back yard after a nice storm had passed. I say “nice” because it dropped a bunch of that sparkling white stuff I had been longing to play in and witness. I wanted a white Christmas, and New Hampshire nearly always cooperated in the eleven years I lived there.  I love the change of seasons and winter is part of it.  It’s a long season, but we are all in it together, and somehow get through the worst ones.

We had moved together as a family, but ultimately I ended up alone, with a son dependent upon me to provide a decent life. I couldn’t take a little boy away from his father, no matter how much that father lacked the qualities to actually be a father. So I stuck it out until my son graduated and wanted to move away. Then it was his choice. I did my part. But it wasn’t easy getting by alone in a place known for it’s costly living expenses. By the time I left my New Hampshire home, I had moved 5 times, finally settling into a little fixer-upper for my final years there.

The beautiful snow had lost it’s charm after the hellish winter of 2014-15. And my final winter had very little drama – or snow. It was okay with me.

I’ll never live in New England again, short of winning the lottery. I have some pictures left that remind me of the great hope in my heart when I moved there. The opportunity to spend time in such a beautiful place one last time, is what I will be thankful for. And I’ll visit when I can. But I may never see such a beautiful winter scene in person again. Nor will I walk in the deep snow and enjoy the silence of snowy woods. But I did it once. And that was good.