Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Theme Thursday=Water

This week theme for Thursday is water,
Now I could go on and on about the chemical and physical properties of water, as well as the importance of water to the makeup of our bodies. But that is not what I want to do because that is too obvious since I am a scientist. If you want the scientific info click on the underlined water above for the Wikipedia litany about water.

Instead I think I will show you some of the different sources of water I have seen during some of my travels. Click on all the pictures for more detail.

The Housatonic River runs through the town where I live. I wrote a blog about a bridge that spans the river on April 21st. This river is a great source of recreation in the State and the Western section of New England.

Housatonic River looking south from Falls Bridge at Lovers Leap State Park

Great Brook is a source of babbling tranquility on the road where I live. It is always a pleasure to walk to its location and watch it meander and flow.

A Late Winter View of Great Brook in New Milford, CT

Last year had the experience of taking a river cruise in France on the Rhone and Saone Rivers from Arles to Chalone-sur-Saone. The cruise was on the River Royale a new boat in the Uniworld fleet. After the cruise I took a high speed train ride from Lyon to Paris for a
few days stay. I am going to share with you a few of the pictures I took along the way.

Rhone River in Avignon France (click)

Pont du Gard (click)

Rhone River in Viviers France (click)

While on the Rhone we traveled through numerous Locks. Pictured above are the Locks near Viviers,

Saone River in Lyon France (click)

While in Paris we took a bus tour to the Chateau of Chantilly. Notice the moat around the Chateau.

Some of you who have been following my blogs know that Paris is my favorite city in the world. If I didn't live in the United States I would move there. So I'm ending with some pictures of Paris.

View of Paris France from the Seine River (click)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thursday Theme=Fire

Sun Setting in San Diego

Song of Nature
by Ralph Waldo Emerson (click to learn bio)

Mine are the night and morning,
The pits of air, the gulf of space,
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon,
The innumerable days.

I hid in the solar glory,
I am dumb in the pealing song,
I rest on the pitch of the torrent,
In slumber I am strong.

No numbers have counted my tallies,
No tribes my house can fill,
I sit by the shining Fount of Life,
And pour the deluge still;

And ever by delicate powers
Gathering along the centuries
From race on race the rarest flowers,
My wreath shall nothing miss.

And many a thousand summers
My apples ripened well,
And light from meliorating stars
With firmer glory fell.

I wrote the past in characters
Of rock and fire the scroll,
The building in the coral sea,
The planting of the coal.

And thefts from satellites and rings
And broken stars I drew,
And out of spent and aged things
I formed the world anew;

What time the gods kept carnival,
Tricked out in star and flower,
And in cramp elf and saurian forms
They swathed their too much power.

Time and Thought were my surveyors,
They laid their courses well,
They boiled the sea, and baked the layers
Or granite, marl, and shell.

But he, the man-child glorious,--
Where tarries he the while?
The rainbow shines his harbinger,
The sunset gleams his smile.

My boreal lights leap upward,
Forthright my planets roll,
And still the man-child is not born,
The summit of the whole.

Must time and tide forever run?
Will never my winds go sleep in the west?
Will never my wheels which whirl the sun
And satellites have rest?

Too much of donning and doffing,
Too slow the rainbow fades,
I weary of my robe of snow,
My leaves and my cascades;

I tire of globes and races,
Too long the game is played;
What without him is summer's pomp,
Or winter's frozen shade?

I travail in pain for him,
My creatures travail and wait;
His couriers come by squadrons,
He comes not to the gate.

Twice I have moulded an image,
And thrice outstretched my hand,
Made one of day, and one of night,
And one of the salt sea-sand.

One in a Judaean manger,
And one by Avon stream,
One over against the mouths of Nile,
And one in the Academe.

I moulded kings and saviours,
And bards o'er kings to rule;--
But fell the starry influence short,
The cup was never full.

Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more,
And mix the bowl again;
Seethe, fate! the ancient elements,
Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain.

Let war and trade and creeds and song
Blend, ripen race on race,
The sunburnt world a man shall breed
Of all the zones, and countless days.

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn,
My oldest force is good as new,
And the fresh rose on yonder thorn
Gives back the bending heavens in dew.

Sun Setting in San Diego

Sunset in San Diego

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Small Walk in My Town of New Milford (Part 2)

Saturday after I finished my errands around the Green, I drove a short distance to the newest State Park in our town, Lovers Leap State Park. The park had been dedicated in June 2007, but this was my first time to go there for a visit. I often ride past the park when I am leaving town. And before I retired in January of 2007 I drove past the bridge five days a week and was able to see men working on the bridge to preserve it. Many years ago this beautiful bridge had been saved from destruction after a new bridge was built. I can still remember driving over the old bridge with all it's creaking and groaning.

On Saturday I walked onto the bridge and took pictures of the Housatonic River looking south towards the Town of Bridgewater. this area of the river is also known as Lake Lillinonah. I saw a few people kayaking and others fishing on the river. Skyward I saw a few hawks soaring, but I was not able to capture their flight in a picture. Click on all pictures for detail.

Lovers Leap State Park New Milford
Lovers Leap is a walk-in park with hiking trails, scenic vistas and historic ruins. The 160 acre park is divided into three sections, each featuring a different appreciation for the park history.
Trails through the park will lead the walker through centuries of land-use history. Heading northeast from the parking lot the trail utilizes the 1895 Berlin Iron Bridge, one of five remaining in Connecticut, to cross the Housatonic River. Across the bridge the Lovers Leap Trail heads southeast 1,200 feet to the rock formation that gives the park its name. From here, tradition has it, that the Pootatuck Indian Chief Waramaug’s daughter, Princess Lillinonah, and her lover plunged to their deaths. The Chief himself died in 1735.
The view to the south overlooks a now submerged Goodyear Island named for an early fur trader from Derby who came there to trade with the established Indian Community. Industrial era ruins still exist near the water on the northwest section of the park.-----Google

Information Boards at Lovers Leap State Park

Lover's Leap Bridge
Lenticular through truss over the Housatonic River
New Milford, Connecticut
Berlin Iron Bridge Company, 1895 (click for more information)
Lover's Leap is the name given to a high cliff overlooking the Housatonic River gorge in New Milford, Connecticut. Bridges have spanned the gorge near here since the 1770s. The 173 foot long lenticular bridge at Lover's Leap was built in 1895 and is the last of the large lenticular bridges built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company. The lenticular design began to decline in popularity during the early 1890s because, while structurally efficient, it required more manual labor than other truss forms.---Google

Listing of the 13 Berlin Bridges in Connecticut:
Town Bridge, Canton
Melrose Road Bridge, East Windsor
Ashland Mill Bridge, Jewett City, Griswold
Red Bridge, Meriden
South Norwalk Railroad Bridge, Norwalk
Norwalk River Railroad Bridge, Norwalk
Boardman's Bridge, New Milford
Lovers Leap Bridge, New Milford
Glen Falls Bridge, Plainfield
Hallville Mill Bridge, Preston
Sharon Station Road Bridge, Sharon
Main Street Bridge, Stamford
Turn of River Bridge, Stamford
Talcottville Main Street Bridge, Vernon
Washington Avenue Bridge, Waterbury
Sheffield Street Bridge, Waterbury
Minortown Road Bridge, Woodbury

Falls Bridge at Lovers Leap State Park

Housatonic River View South from Falls Bridge

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Small Walk in My Town of New Milford

Saturday was a beautiful warm and sunny day. While I had to do a few errands downtown around the Green, I took the opportunity to take some pictures. Here is a little history that was written in 1935 about our beautiful and historical town. Some things have changed of course with time, like Canterbury School is now coeducational. Click on all the pictures for more detail.

John Noble and his daughter Sarah

New Milford, Connecticut
From The Connecticut Guide, 1935

New Milford, where we cross from Fairfield to Litchfield County, was a swarm sent out by the parent hive of Milford. A land company was organized at Milford, which bought from the Indians and sold rights to take up land. The first white settlement began in 1707, when John Noble arrived from Westfield, Mass., with his 8-year old daughter Sarah. New Milforrd was granted town privileges in 1712. Roger Sherman lived here during his early manhood. The town consists of a beautiful hill country, and on the west the Housatonic has cut a deep valley through the limestone. Lime making is an important industry, and tobacco is grown in the river valley.
Entering the town from the south, U. S. 7, which here follows Still River, makes an attractive drive. The first road to the west after crossing the line is worth taking for the view of Candlewood Lake. The village of New Milford, an industrial and trading center, was built up by the Housatonic R. R. and the cigar making which flourished after the Civil War. Present industries consist of tobacco packing, hatters' fur, and a bleachery and dye works.
The older section of the village is built along a narrow Green. Starting at the lower end, where R. 25 comes in, we pass on the right the Canfield House, built in 1793. A little above this is the Town Hall, with a bronze tablet marking this as the Roger Sherman home site. Sherman, who later was to become famous as co-author of the Declaration of Independence and our other great national documents, came to New Milford in 1743, where he worked as shoemaker, county surveyor, merchant and lawyer, until he removed to New Haven in 1761.

Town Hall of New Milford

The Public Library stands at the end of the next block.

Continuing north, we pass the Congregational Church, built in 1833, with its fine Greek Revival portico and "Christopber Wren" spire.

The W. Taylor House of 1784, at the end of the street, was built on good Colonial lines. Facing the Green at the north end is the Lincoln Bust by Paul Morris, the gift of the late Edward Marsh.

Canterbury School, a Roman Catholic preparatory school for boys, established in 1915, will be found a block above this on Aspetuck Ave. An earlier school of note was the Adelphic Institute. On the west side of the upper Green, the second building as we go south is the New Milford Historical Society, with portraits by Ralph Earle and other interesting exhibits, (open Mon., Tues., Fri., and Sat., 2:30-5:00.) Below this is the Senator Boardman House, another fine Colonial mansion, built about 1793.

Other pictures taken on the Green

Bandstand and Tank on the southend of the Green

Commemoration to Men Serving in the Civil War and WWI

My days adventure also took to a new State Park here in New Milford, I will tell you more about in my next post.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Theme Thursday=Earth

Planet Earth from Space

On Sunday we were all informed the theme this week is EARTH. Now I don't know about everyone else here in the United States, but I had to get my taxes completed before April 15th. That would have been doable and I would have had more than enough time to dedicate to this week's blog challenge. But a time constraint for me had developed, when one of my daughters asked me to ride with her from Connecticut to Virginia. Because she had to attend the inspection of a house her family is planning to buy. They are moving back to Virginia after her husband's twenty years of service in the Air Force. So I pondered what could I possibly say about earth. I decided to take some pictures of our travels over a minute piece of the earth as we drove from Connecticut to Virginia and back to Connecticut.

Flowering Tree in Maryland at a rest stop.

Washington Monument taken from a moving car in the rain.

As close as we could get to the White House in the car.

Riding home on the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

Rest stop on the Garden State Parkway.

An attempt at trying to make a communications pole to look like a tree in New Jersey.

Driving on the Tappan Zee Bridge.

I just like the exit sign in New York State. Does it remind you of places in some writings?

Still driving and riding on the highway. It took about eleven hours to drive to Virginia, because the traffic was horrible. It took about eight hours to drive back to my house in Connecticut.

Finally back in my town with it's quaint New England Green, red building is the Town Hall.

St John Episcopal Church on the Green

First Congregational Church on the Green

Now I have taken you on a journey of the minute area of the Earth I have traveled in the past few days. We were traveling Monday through Wednesday. The weather in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC area was cold and rainy. It was so nice to be back home here in Connecticut were the temperature was warmer and sunny today. For the flower lovers I am ending with a picture of a Camellia that I saw through a window at a rest stop. I wasn't able to get near it to experience it's fragrance.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Theme Thursday=Egg

Egg and Dart Architecture

Egg-and-dart is an ornamental device often carved in wood, stone, or plaster quarter-round ovolo mouldings, consisting of an egg-shaped object alternating with an element shaped like an arrow, anchor or dart. Egg-and-dart enrichment of the ovolo molding of the Ionic capital is found in Ancient Greek architecture at the Erechtheion and was used by the Romans. This design motif has been common in the classical architecture of Europe since the Renaissance.---- Wikipedia
Egg and Dart
From Meyer’s Ornament

Some of you might know that I love to travel. My traveling started when I was a child and I didn’t even have to leave home. As a child and to this day I am an avid reader. Through reading I have traveled to many places in the world. When I was in grade school one of my favorite subjects was Geography. While I was in college I took an Art Appreciation class during the summer in the early 1980s. In that class I learned about many types of architecture. That is where I learned about Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian groups along with egg and dart decoration.

A little over twenty years ago I started flying around the world to see and experience the places I had read about. This year I will be going to Egypt. Besides reading I also like to take pictures, lots and lots and lots of pictures. I am so glad we now have digital. The subjects I tend to photograph are flowers, pavements, doors, and architecture. So I went through some of the many pictures I had taken in 2007 and 2008 while I was in Europe. In these four pictures egg and dart is present in the often decorative architecture. Click on the pictures for more detail.

At the Vatican in Italy
egg and dart in the upper right corner

Door Archway in Arles, France
Double row of egg and dart above the main figures

The chateau of Chantilly, France

Doorway in Paris, France

Monday, April 6, 2009



by William Wordsworth

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

It is a cold rainy day here in Connecticut and there is a forecast of possible snow. the site of daffodils blooming brighten up my day and make me believe in the joys of Spring.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Floral Wreath

A few weeks ago I was reading the blog of Whole Latte Life, she had been out for an early spring walk and taken a picture of a floral wreath on a door. The thought came to me I always hang up a Christmas wreath why not hang a floral wreath on my front door. So I decided that I could put together one myself. Last Saturday was beautiful sunny day, so I drove to a craft store in a nearby town. There I bought three garlands of silk flowers, one wreath frame, one red butterfly and some gardening wire. Here you see my first endeavor at creating a wreath. It is not as elaborate as the one in Joanne's blog, but I like it. Reflected in the picture is the still starkly bare branches of the trees.

Today I looked outside and saw one of the many beds of daffodils were in bloom, but right now they are being weighed by rain. I'll take a picture of them in the next few days.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday Theme=Ten

How Do We Look At the Number Ten?

  • We see the number ten as perfection.
  • When a baby is born the first thing the new parents do is count the number of fingers and toes, we’re looking for ten of each.
  • When we go bowling there are ten pins to knock down to get a strike.
  • When we are asked to evaluate something it is generally 1=totally dissatisfied and 10=extremely satisfied.
  • Biblically we were taught the Ten Commandments and to tithe (1/10) part of our income. There are numerous incidents of the number ten in the Bible. More info click here
  • There are ten pennies in a dime, ten dimes in a dollar and ten ten dollars in one hundred dollars.


1 = One
2 = Two
3 = Three
4 = Four
5 = Five
6 = Six
7 = Seven
8 = Eight
9 = Nine
10 = Ten


I = 1
II = 2
III = 3
IV = 4
V = 5
VI = 6
VII = 7
VIII = 8
IX = 9
X = 10


Alpha = 1
Beta = 2
Gamma = 3
Delta = 4
Epsilon = 5
Stigma * = 6 *
Zeta = 7
Theta = 9
Iota = 10


Aleph = 1
Beth = 2
Gimel = 3
Daleth = 4
He = 5
Vau = 6
Zayin = 7
Chet = 8
Teth = 9
Yod = 10

Here is a cute nursery rhyme.

Ten Fingers
(A fingerplay)

I have ten fingers hold up both hands, fingers spread
And they all belong to me, point to self
I can make them do things-
Would you like to see?

I can shut them up tight make fists
I can open them wide open hands
I can put them together place palms together
I can make them all hide put hands behind back

I can make them jump high hands over head
I can make them jump low touch floor
I can fold them up quietly fold hands in lap
And hold them just so.

Aah! The number ten might be the number of perfection, but number seven is the number of completion. Happy 10th week of Thursday Theme to everyone.