Friday, February 16, 2018

See Majestic Eagles Swoop, Glide, Dip, and Dive At Annual Eagle Watch In the Litchfield Hills

An outdoor buffet in winter may not sound tempting to most of us, but to our national bird, the regal American bald eagle, it is a rare treat. When fishing grounds in their homes further north freeze over, these graceful birds make an annual journey to the Shepaug Dam on the Housatonic River in Southbury, in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills.

They favor this spot because the turbulent waters of the dam not only prevent freezing, but push fish to the surface, easy pickings for eagles who can swoop down and feast on their favorite dish. Thrilling to see in full flight, the majestic bald eagle can measure 34 to 43 inches in length with a wingspan of six to seven and a half feet.
Their flight speed is between 36 to 44 miles per hour. Everyone is invited to view these fascinating winter guests at the Eagle Observation Area near the Shepaug Housatonic Hydroelectric Station. An organized eagle watch takes place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March 12.
Admission is free but since space is limited reservations are required; group and individual reservations are accepted. In addition to eagle viewing,the CT Audubon will host a birds of Prey show on Saturdays throughout the viewing season. This year for the first time reservations can be made on-line 
The shelter, maintained by FirstLight Power Resources, is located 1000 feet from the river, affording safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point. High powered telescopes are set up on tripods for visitors. Knowledgeable Audubon volunteers are on hand to assist in spotting and answer questions about the birds.

The volunteers maintain a helpful website,, with information about eagles and recent visitor statistics. Reservations can be made on this site. Nearly 148,000 people have visited the observation area since it was opened to the public in 1986. On an average day in past years, six or seven eagles were sighted, but lucky viewers on the best days in the past have spotted as many as 15 to 21 eagles in action. Chances are best on cold clear days when the surfaces of most other rivers and ponds have frozen. Visitors are advised to dress warmly in layers and to allow plenty of time to wait for the eagle action to begin. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Patriotic Posters and Programs @ Bruce Museum

The variety of approaches that government agencies used to encourage widespread participation in the war effort was impressive, from the allure of artist Howard Chandler Christy’s young woman who, in a 1917 poster, seductively proclaimed, “I Want You for the Navy,” to the inquisitional tone of a war loan poster of the next year: “Are you 100% American? Prove it! Buy U.S. Government Bonds.”

Other posters combine image and text in ingenious, surprising, and sometimes disturbing combinations. In one of the iconic wartime posters from 1918, artist Joseph Pennell powerfully imagined a partially destroyed Statute of Liberty and New York City aflame in the background, with the plea, “That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth / Buy Liberty Bonds / Fourth Liberty Loan.”

This show represents a hallmark of the Bruce -- to develop creative ways to showcase our collection in meaningful exhibitions that link artistic works with human history on a global and local scale,” says Kirsten Reinhardt, museum registrar. “These posters were displayed all over the country, including in Greenwich, and the power of their message remains strong today.” 

Once hailed as “the War to End All Wars,” World War I was one of the largest and deadliest conflicts in human history. Over 70 million personnel were mobilized, and more than 9 million military combatants and 7 million civilians died during the four and a half years of conflict, much of it spent in the grueling stalemate of trench warfare.

After long pursuing a policy of non-intervention, the United States entered the war on April 6, 1917. Responding to patriotic appeals and passage of the Selective Service Act, four million Americans served in uniform during the Great War, including, for the first time, thousands of women. In all, 116,516 U.S. soldiers gave their lives in combat, and an additional 200,000 were wounded, a casualty rate far greater than in World War II. According to "Greenwich, An Illustrated History," 30 young men from Greenwich were either killed in action or died from their wounds.

Patriotic Persuasion: American Posters of the First World War is organized by Elizabeth D. Smith, Zvi Grunberg Resident Fellow 2017-18, in consultation with Ken Silver, Adjunct Curator at the Bruce Museum and author of Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-garde and the First World War, 1914-1925. The exhibition is generously supported by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Related Programs:

Film: The Great War, March 21 & 28
Drawing on unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, the PBS documentary The Great War tells the story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The two-part series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers,” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. It is a story of heroism and sacrifice that would ultimately claim 15 million lives and profoundly change the world forever.
March 21, 10:30 – 11:30 am. The Great War: Part I (2018) PBS (60 minutes)
March 28, 10:30 – 11:30 am. The Great War: Part II (2018) PBS (60 minutes)
Advance reservations required at Free for Bruce members,  $10 for non-members (includes Museum admission).

Monday, April 16, 10:0011:00 am. Monday Morning Lecture. “America Calls": Mobilizing Artists during the Great War” by Robin Jaffee Frank, Ph.D. Before, during, and after World War I, American artists of all generations, aesthetic styles, regions, and political points of view developed imagery to express ideas about the imperiled world in which they lived. When the United States finally entered the ongoing conflict—marking the first time American troops were sent overseas to defend foreign soil—President Woodrow Wilson mobilized artists to design posters to support the war effort. This lecture will explore seductive and persuasive propaganda in the context of the larger response of artists (including painters and sculptors) to the “war to end all wars.”

Robin Jaffee Frank has organized exhibitions, lectured, and published widely on American visual culture from the colonial through contemporary periods. She organized World War I Beyond the Trenches at the New-York Historical Society in 2017. From 2011 to 2016, Robin was Chief Curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, where she oversaw an encyclopedic collection of 50,000 objects, and led the curatorial team through the museum’s major renovation and reinstallation. Prior to working at the Wadsworth, Robin was a curator at the Yale University Art Gallery. Advance reservations required at Free for Bruce members, $10 for non-members (includes Museum admission).

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is located in a park setting just off I-95, exit 3, at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is also a 5-minute walk from the Metro-North Greenwich Station. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with ID, and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at

Monday, February 12, 2018

Celebrate Winter in Norfolk Feb. 24-25

It’s the perfect winter celebration: outdoor sports; a restaurant crawl and a pancake breakfast; concerts and art shows; kids’ activities, tours and open houses, ice carving and much more will be featured during Norfolk’s first WINter Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, February 24 and 25. What’s even better, most of the events are free.

Event Highlights
The Norfolk volunteer fire department will sell fried dough and coffee during the ambulance squad’s ice-carving event, and will man a fire pit at Infinity Bistro for hot cocoa and S’mores. The Botelle School parent/teacher organization will serve refreshments and host kids’ games at the newly revived town ice skating rink. Cocoa will be available at the North Brook rail trail during a snowshoeing event sponsored by the Rails to Trails committee.

Revelers won’t go hungry. Norfolk Net has organized a restaurant crawl late Saturday afternoon at the town’s four restaurants and the Manor House Inn. The Immaculate Conception Church will host a free pancake breakfast on Sunday. And of course, sit-down meals will be readily available at almost any time of day.

Interested in sports? There will be plenty—skating on the town rink, cross-country skiing on one of Norfolk’s many trails, snowshoeing on the North Brook Trail (the committee has snowshoes to lend if you can’t bring your own) and sledding for all ages on the hill behind the Congregational Church on the green (bring your own sled). If you’re not into the outdoors, you can watch Olympic curling on TV and live action at a local club tournament during the Norfolk Curling Club’s open houses.

Music and art will be strongly represented. The Ryan Montbleau Band will perform at Infinity Hall Saturday night. On Sunday, Steve Dedman will be in the Bistro live, and Green River will be featured Friday night for those who arrive in Norfolk early. For classical music lovers, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival is sponsoring a performance by the Magari Quintet in the library on Saturday afternoon and offers the audience the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the music. As for art, there are shows by painters Tom Hlas and Alicia Mordenti, and work by 19th-century photographer Marie Kendall will be on display at the Norfolk Historical Society’s museum.

The library will host Magnificent Microscopes on Saturday morning, and the Norfolk Land Trust’s talk by “bear whisperer” Ben Kilham will be in the afternoon. The hands-on microscope session is intended primarily for kids, but the bear talk is for everyone.

To see a full schedule of events and times, go to weekendinnorfolk.org or call 860-542-5829. For updates, follow Weekend in Norfolk on Facebook. And save the date: our annual Weekend in Norfolk is coming up August 3, 4 and 5…save the first weekend in August for three days of summer fun.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Celebrate Chinese New Year @ Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, the state's only zoo, invites families to celebrate Asian New Year on Saturday, February 17, 2018, from Noon to 3:00 p.m. This year marks the year of the Dog and the Zoo will celebrate the new Mane Wolf Cubs just born at the zoo!  To the Chinese, the dog is almost the epitome of loyalty and honesty. If a dog comes into your house it symbolizes the coming of fortune. The invincible God Erland in Chinese legend used a loyal wolfhound to help him capture monsters.

At the Beardsley Zoo Year of the Dog festivities will feature activities for the entire family including a special children's parade around the Zoo grounds, storytime, crafts, and many more fun activities. Don't miss a visit to the colorful indoor Carousel. Here you will meet some of the Zoo's  special lizard guests and be invited to partake in the festivities.  Don't miss a peek at Chaigbai the Siberian Tiger that gave birth to two rare tiger cubs in November. The tiger cubs could be out by April or May!   The snow date for this event is Feb. 24.

About Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo celebrates its 94th birthday in 2016 and is closer than you think! Connecticut's only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won't want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelots, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 8, 2018

CT Food Fest in Naugatuck

Once again this year the Naugatuck Historical Society is hosting the popular Savor CT at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club located on 110 Rubber Ave. on Feb. 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This event  features just Connecticut businesses that carefully craft a multitude of goodies from beer and wine to all manner of food from chocolate to cookies!

The event helps to support the mission of the Naugatuck Historical Society. The Society tells the stories of Naugatuck through programs, school visits, exhibits, articles and more. Currently, the museum is located at 171 Church Street in Naugatuck, and is looking forward to moving to the Tuttle House when renovations are complete.

Participants in Savor Connecticut includes four breweries, two vineyards and four distilleries.  There will also be a great variety of food, all made in Connecticut to sample including the specialties of Nardelli’s, Mr. D’s Tavern, Fascia’s Chocolates, Avery Soda, Pepperidge Farm, Hummel and much, much more.  There will be over 30 vendors featured at the event.  Guests at the event will enjoy drinks, a commemorative glass as a souvenir, food, music, and raffles from around the state. 

The snow date for this event is February 12, but only will be used in extreme weather conditions. Tickets are available at the museum on Church Street which is open 11-4pm on Saturdays or at Fine Wines and Liquors. Tickets are $15 for members of the Society or Portuguese Club when purchased in advance.  Tickets for non-members are $20 when purchased in advance.  All tickets at the door are $25.

For information on how to become a vendor, donate a raffle prize or to purchase tickets contact Wendy Murphy 203 218 5349,

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mardi Gras Party at the Carousel Museum

The New England Carousel Museum will be in full New Orleans-style celebration mode during its 28th annual Mardi Gras party on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 7:30 PM - midnight.  Come join us for an evening of fun and frolicking with great music, good food, bourbon, and beads.

The Big Easy evening features music and dancing in the magnificent museum ballroom. Along with a 50/50 raffle and live entertainment that will include face painters, temporary tattoos, balloon twisting and magic, there will be bourbon and wine tastings in the Speakeasy, beads and doubloons, and a catered dinner!  This is a BYOB event.  "This unique party brings a taste of New Orleans to Bristol." said Louise DeMars, the museum's Executive Director. Attendees are encouraged to wear an optional mask or come in full costume. Masks are available to purchase in the museum gift shop. 

The evening's festivities will culminate in the crowning of a king and queen of the ball.  Gather your friends and come kick up your heels to help us celebrate our 28th Anniversary year, while supporting the wonderful programming and events produced by the Carousel Museum for the Greater Bristol community.
Tickets are on sale at the Carousel Museum or you may order them by mail, by phone, or on-line. RSVP by Monday, February 5, 2018. The cost is $50 per person and pre-paid tables of 8 may be reserved. The event will be held at the New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Ave, Bristol, CT.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact The New England Carousel Museum at (860) 585-5411 or email