Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another Bloomfield Farmhouse

This farmhouse in northern Bloomfield has a typical New England form, although the stone surface is quite unusual for central Connecticut.   It is a pretty nice example.  The sign on the side reads "Zelah Case 1835."  The photo is from November 2012.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farmhouse Gingerbread

This is a farmhouse in Bloomfield, a town directly northwest of Hartford.  It was probably built in the 1840s, when the squarish Italianate style was popular.  The frilly gingerbread porch was probably added later in the Victorian age.

The house would benefit from some attention.  The photographs are from the fall of 2012.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ben and Jerry's Graveyard

In late August I was in northern Vermont and visited the Ben and Jerry's factory.  Americans recognize Ben and Jerry's as one of the first mass market makers of fancy ice creams.  They have an offbeat, irreverent, hippy-style reputation, which is hilarious when you consider that they have been owned for a dozen years by the massive international conglomerate, Unilever.

Anyways, Ben and Jerry's has a graveyard for discontinued ice cream flavors.  Unless this post gets kicked out for violating their rules, it is posted to Taphophile Tragics, a meme about cemeteries.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

Tulips and flowering shrubs and GREEN!  It is spring!

No, it isn't.  I lied.

But, inside the Connecticut Convention Center this past weekend it felt like spring.  Blogger friend Sue attended the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show and loaned me this photo.  Many other photos from the show are on her Idyll Haven blog.  (Thanks, Sue.)

You are going to have to wait for another month up north before spring really comes.  Be patient.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fuller Brush (Again)

Above is a postcard showing the original location of the Fuller Brush Company -- discussed yesterday -- on Main Street in the north end of Hartford.  And, below is the building today.  Some nonprofit community groups occupy the space now.  The only conspicuous changes that I can see are that the big windows in the tower are covered and the windows have been modernized.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fuller Brush

In a past era, Fuller Brush salesmen were well known for knocking on doors throughout America to sell brushes, brooms, cleaning implements and supplies.  For much of its hundred year history, the Fuller Brush Company was located in Hartford or East Hartford.  Since the 1970s, it has been based in Kansas.

This display is in the Old State House.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sunrise Again

This Florida scene yesterday at sunrise is not as dramatic as it was in December.  But, it is still pretty.

Like reflections?  Click here.

I was getting bombed by spam, so I changed the comment settings a week ago so that no one can post anonymous comments.  No spam in a week!  And, I have not noticed any differences in how many comments are made, nor from whom.  Why did it take me so long to learn that I can and should shut off anonymous comments?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Other Stored Treasures

Elizabeth showed me the many paintings in the Connecticut Historical Society's collection that are stored while not on display.  The top photo shows two different paintings of Governor Jonathan Trumbull and his wife, Faith.  Trumbull was Connecticut's first governor.  He served from 1769 - 1784, beginning when Connecticut was a colony and ending when it was a state. 
One of his sons -- John Trumbull -- became a leading American painter in the late 18th century.  He painted the top painting of his mother and father.  Another son -- Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. -- became Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, a U. S. Senator and eventually the Governor of Connecticut from 1797 until his death in 1809.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prudence Punderson

Prudence Punderson was a young woman in Preston, Connecticut, around 1780.  She embroidered this picture showing herself as a baby, as a young woman and in death.  It is one of the earliest pieces to include an African American woman as part of a wealthy family's domestic scene.  The Connecticut Historical Society staff member who showed it to me said with pride that this is exceptionally fine sewing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Corpse Preserver

In the Victorian era, a deceased family member was displayed in the home while the family received visitors.  This corpse preserver would be filled with ice to preserve the body until burial.  Hinged lids permitted viewers to see the departed's face and body.

Elizabeth Abbe is showing us how the corpse preserver works.  She is the Connecticut Historical Society's director of public outreach.  When Elizabeth saw me wandering through the CHS halls with my camera, she invited me to see the treasures kept in the Society's storage area.

If you have an interest in cemeteries and other similar ghoulish topics, check in at Taphophile Tragics.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Flag from Ford's Theater

On the day President and Mrs. Lincoln were going to attend a performance at Ford's Theater, the theater's manager borrowed flags to decorate the President's box.  He borrowed this one from the United States Treasury.  Some accounts indicate that the flag was in President Lincoln's way, so he was holding it when he was shot.  Other accounts indicate that John Wilkes Booth tripped on this flag or another borrowed flag and broke his leg as he escaped.

After the confusion of President Lincoln's assassination died down, the flag was returned to the Treasury.  It was used in displays and ceremonies in the following decades before being sent to storage, where it was forgotten.  Years later a Treasury employee sent the flag to a Connecticut collector of Civil War relics.  It made its way to the Connecticut Historical Society where it was forgotten for a second time before being re-identified in 1998.

Even though it has undergone extensive restoration, it is very frail, so it is kept in the CHS temperature and humidity-controlled storage room if it is not on display.  An article with more information about the flag and its historic role is here.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aloha, Ben

The Connecticut Historical Society has a room devoted to displays that will appeal to children.  The history books say that Benjamin Franklin had a sense of humor.  Ben might have had a good giggle about this one.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thomas Hart Benton

Back to Connecticut.

Thomas Hart Benton painted during the Depression.  Though schooled in France and acquainted with modern art trends, Benton rejected them in favor of a brightly painted style honoring ordinary Americans engaged in the everyday activities of life.

This mural -- The Arts of Life in America -- was commissioned by New York's Whitney Museum to fit a parlor in the museum.  In the 1950s, the Whitney decided that it wanted to devoted the space to modernist art by painters like Jackson Pollock, so the New Britain Museum of American Art acquired it for $500 and has shown the mural in its own room ever since.

I showed part of this mural before.  One of the things I loved when I saw it again in December was the pair of benches that, to me, enhanced the setting.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Four Ibis

Or Ibises.  Or Ibices.  Or Ibi.

These guys were scooting into the water looking for small fish, then retreating when the waves came in, then scooting out again, then retreating . . .

Like reflections?  Click here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Sweet Valentine!

You have seen Fort Myers' legendary confectioner, Norman Love, before.  Here are some Valentine treats.  Six weeks ago, National Geographic named Norman Love as #5 on its list of The 10 Best Chocolatiers in the World.  Any dissenters?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Three Faces

Yup, I do still take an occasional photo of people I meet down here, although I haven't posted any of them before.  Bob is in his mid 80s.  Every day at 3 p.m. he drives to Naples' main street, where he meets with a bunch of people he has met at a friendly coffee shop.

Tricia is holding Diva.  She was at the Red Dress Race.  Is she attractive?  I didn't notice . . .

And, Gary works at the cash register in the historic Smallwood Store on Chokoloskee Island outside Everglades City.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's a Small World After All

You thought The Great Snowstorm of 2013 only affected New York, Hartford, Boston and Portland?  The world is so small today that the ripples reached Florida.  Canceled flights kept some lobster red New Englanders down here scrambling for places to stay and prevented the next round of pale-faced visitors from getting their expensive new sunburns.

There is certainly a serious side to a big storm like this one.  Close friends in eastern Massachusetts had a 40 foot tree come down in the middle of the night, crunching two cars.  One of the limbs came through the wall of the bedroom where they were sleeping.  They are OK and insurance will take care of most of the financial damage, but it was frightening and a reminder of Mother Nature's power.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Guest Photograph: Silas Robbins House

Blogger friend Sue from Idyll Haven managed to get out of her house on Sunday for a short drive around Wethersfield.  Roads have been plowed, but the snow banks are narrowing the road beds and making driving treacherous.

Sue took a photo of the Silas Robbins House, a marvelous bed and breakfast that I featured in August 2012, including the photo below.  Check out how high on the fence the snow sits, and notice that they have a LOT more snow to remove before the driveway, sidewalk and front walkway are open. Thanks again, Sue.  (Sue's most recent post tells an amusing story of dealing with the storm and has lots of photos.)

I will show some interior photos of Silas Robbins House in a while.


Don't you love the echo of this statue in the nearby illustration?

In a New Britain Museum of American Art exhibition of illustrations, Lyman Anderson's 1940 painting of We Were Two Comrades Again and Happy was conveniently placed near Solon Borglum's 1901 statue One in a Thousand.

I wish the photo of the sculpture was clearer, but I took multiple photographs and tried different settings (all without flash, which is not permitted at NBMAA) and they were all very dark.  My limited skill couldn't deal with the high contrast between the light wall, the dark statue and light that was in the wrong place.

Oops.  This was a previously scheduled post that I pulled for a storm post, and then posted by mistake. Too late to pull back, so I will leave it out here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Guest Photograph: Nemo Visits Idyll Haven

Fellow Connecticut blogger Sue, from Idyll Haven, took time out of a long day clearing snow to record the scene.  Here is her patio, featuring 23 inches of snow atop her outdoor dining table and chairs.

Sue spent Saturday clearing her driveway, walkways to the side and front doors, and paths on this patio for her dog to frolic.  And, she had to shovel snow away from her outdoor grill and hot tub, and clear snow from the fire hydrant in front of her house.

Sue reports that the snow on her front walkway was up to her waist.  She had to break through four foot mounds where the town's snow plows had piled snow at the start of the front walkway.

For those who are not familiar with New England architecture, this photograph of Sue's garage shows the advantage of our steeply pitched roofs in shedding heavy snowfalls.  Sue, thanks for lending me this photograph.  I hope your muscles are all recovered from Saturday's workout.

I was in Florida playing golf, but I was thinking about my friends in New England . . .

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Place Holder

The blizzard -- named Nemo -- has hit Hartford.  The Governor declared a state of emergency and prohibited all nonessential travel on the highways.  Through late Friday night, when this post was scheduled for posting today, some Connecticut towns were already reporting more than a foot of snow.   Cape Cod (to the east of us) had wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour, and the Connecticut utilities were projecting that about one third of their customers would lose power.  

I am hoping to get some storm photos from a guest photographer to share with you.  Until then, I will let the storm be represented by this photo of Elizabeth Park after an early season snowfall.  It looks a lot different from the same scene in November, shown below.  By the end of Saturday, only the tops of the fence posts will be visible.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Mucky Duck

The Mucky Duck is a popular restaurant on Captiva, an island just beyond the island of Sanibel, Florida.  The food at the Mucky Duck is good, but the setting might be even better, especially at sunset.  I think Susie still wears her old Mucky Duck tee shirt.

The Hartford Courant has a headline, "Potentially Historic Blizzard to hit Connecticut on Friday." Hartford is expecting up to two feet of snow today.  One forecasting service predicts snows up to three feet.  Good luck, folks.

This image is linked to James' website, Weekend Reflections, and to Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Horses

These three horses stand on a sloping lawn beside the West Hartford town hall, just above Blue Back Square.  The sculptor is Karen Peterson.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Zelnick Pavilion

After I went to Wesleyan University in Middletown for a day in September, I got distracted by other things and neglected to post any photographs.  By now, they look very dated, with leafy trees and coeds in shorts and sunny blue skies.  But, this photo of the Zelnick Pavilion is more or less typical of how it would look today.  The Zelnick Pavilion is a 2003 glass atrium that connects Memorial Chapel to Patricelli Theater.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Capitol Tour Guide

The tourguide who showed my group the Connecticut State Capitol's Senate chamber said her name is Miss Informed.  I don't think so.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Charter Oak Chair

Here is something else I didn't have space to include on earlier tours of the Connecticut State Capitol.

The center chair on the dais of the Senate chamber was made from the wood of the charter oak tree, which fell down in 1857.  The top of each post has an acorn springing from oak leaves, while the posts and arms are entwined with branches of oak with leaves and acorns. An eagle is at the back center.  The state coat of arms is in the shield on the back.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Red Dress Dash II

Some guys also participated in the Red Dress Dash.  Good for them!  Before you ask, yes, I would have run, too, but I was taking pictures.  And I left my red dress at home.

The man on the right was wearing size 13 platform shoes with five inch heels.  You can get anything on the internet.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Red Dress Dash I

The Red Dress Dash was held last night in Naples, Florida, as part of the American Heart Association's national campaign, Go Red For Women.  Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women?

The Naples event was held on Fifth Avenue, the heart of shopping and dining in Naples.  The Calendar Girls entertained.  The event culminated in a dash down the street.  One of the photographers inadvertently led the race.  Where was his red dress?

Friday, February 1, 2013


In Hartford, umbrellas mean Travelers, a big insurance company and a big employer.  At Bradley International Airport,  passengers walk to the gates past a gauntlet of red umbrellas projected onto the passageway.  Each big red umbrella is made up of hundreds of small umbrellas.  When the beam is interrupted, the umbrellas dance.

Click here to see more interpretations of the "umbrella" theme by City Daily Photo bloggers.