Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sheffield Island Opens for the Season

The Norwalk Seaport Association has kicked off its summer season with the opening of Sheffield Island that is home to the 142-year-old Sheffield Island lighthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

From May through September, visitors can board the Seaport Association's 45-foot C.J. Toth catamaran for a cruise to the island then tour the lighthouse, observe wildlife in their natural habitat in the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, hunt for shells along the beach, dine on a picnic lunch, play on the lawns around the lighthouse or simply unwind and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them.  A special treat when visiting the island is a climb to the lighthouse tower that affords magnificent views of Long Island Sound and, on a clear day, of the New York City skyline.

A special offering by the Seaport Association is the Wednesday Sunset Harbor Cruises from 6:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m.  This relaxing sunset cruise on the Seaport's new 45-foot ferry is a spectacular way to explore the beauty of Fairfield County's  "gold coast", Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound. Advance reservations for the popular sunset cruise are strongly recommended.

A favorite  of young and old alike is the Thursday Evening Clambake at Sheffield Island Lighthouse.  Every summer, the Seaport Ferry in South Norwalk carries hundreds of hungry passengers to the historic 1868 Sheffield Island Lighthouse for this famous Thursday night outing.  A true New England dining experience, the evening allows participants to dine in the festive tented pavilion on the lighthouse lawn, with tours of the lighthouse itself included in the cost. Roundtrip cruise and dinner is either $58 or $78 per person, depending on entree. Advance registration only. To  dine in the shadow of the historic 1868 Sheffield Island Lighthouse and look out to the skyline of Manhatten is truly and unforgettable summer experience. The Clambake begins June 30, 2011 and runs through August 25, 2011.

The Seaport Association also offers a popular Bird Watching Cruise that leaves the dock at 7:30 am and returns at 10:30 am.  Birding enthusiasts will join Larry Flynn, Master Wildlife Conservationist, Division of Wildlife, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, aboard the Seaport Association's ferry, to learn about the birds that make Long Island Sound their home. The first tour for 2011 is Saturday, June 4 from 2 pm to 4 pm.  This years dates for the special birding crusies are: Sunday, June 12 and 26; Sunday July 10, Tuesday July 12, Sunday July 24, Saturday July 30, Sunday August 7 and Wednesday August 10. For reservations call 203-838-9444. 

The ferry service to Sheffield Island is Monday-Friday -- 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on weekends and holidays the ferry runs at  11 a.m.,  2 p.m. and  3:30 p.m. Round-trip ferry tickets: $22 adults $20 seniors/NSA members $12 ages 4-12; $5 ages 3 and younger.  To buy tickets call 800-838-3006 (24/7) visit the website www.seaport.org or call 203-838-2898 on the day of the ferry ride.

The ferry leaves from the Sheffield Island Lighthouse dock located at the corner of North Water Street and Washington Street in Historic South Norwalk. Parking is available adjacent to the dock and the Norwalk Maritime Center Garage. The 2011 Season begins May 28, 2011 and ends September 25, 2011. It is advised to arrive at the dock 15 minutes before departure.

The Norwalk Seaport Association was established in 1978 and stewards the Sheffield Island lighthouse, which celebrates 142 years as the jewel in Long Island Sound.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Classic Schooner Sails SoundWaters Opens this Weekend!

Anyone who has ever dreamed about gliding full sail on a classic schooner should visit SoundWaters, an environmental education organization located in Cove Island Park in Stamford. They offer regular sails on the SoundWaters, an 80-foot three-masted replica of a 19th Century sharpie schooner, which leaves from Brewer Yacht Haven Marina in Stamford.

Afternoon sails from 3 to 5 p.m. on selected dates from June through August are great for families with children age 5 and up, offering the chance to help hoist the sails and raise the trawl to discover who lives underwater. This summer, afternoon sails are offered on the following dates: Sunday, May 29, Sunday, June 12, Saturday, June 25, Sunday, June 26, Sunday, July 3, Saturday, July 9, Saturday, July 16, Sunday, July 17, Saturday, July 23, Saturday, July 30, Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

Sunset Sails on selected weekends and weeknights from June through August are intended for adults, who are invited to bring dinner and their favorite beverages on baord and relax while watching the sun go down. These sails are intended for Adults, as alcohol is often brought on board. Sunset Sails are offered 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm on the following dates this season: Sunday, May 29,  Sunday, June 12, Saturday, June 25, Sunday, June 26, Tuesday, June 28, Sunday, July 3, Wednesday, July 6, Friday, July 8, Saturday, July 9, Friday, July 15, Saturday, July 16, Sunday, July 17, Wednesday, July 20, Friday, July 22, Saturday, July 2, Wednesday, July 27, Friday, July 29, Saturday, July 30, Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

On July 2 Soundwaters is offering a "Fireworks Sail", that is truely an unforgettable event that is set against the dramatic backdrop of Long Island Sound from 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm. Tickets for this very special sail are $75 per person.

Tickets for Afternoon and Sunset Sails are $30 per person and all children must be at least  five years old.  To reserve your space please call 203-406-3335 with a credit card.  Prior to the day of the sail, tickets are also available at the SoundWaters Center in Cove Island Park and can be purchased by credit card, cash or check.  Spaces on day of sail are available first come first served. Passengers can pay in person (cash or check) on the day of sail dockside (Brewers Yacht Haven Marina). Note that these spaces are not guaranteed.  For any additional questions or if you would like to make advance resevations phone  (203) 406-3335 or email hstarks@soundwaters.org.

To reach the Marina coming from the North on I-95:-Take I-95 South to Exit 7. Merge onto N State St (merge into the middle lane, the far left lane will take you back to I-95 South). Turn left on to Washington Blvd (5th Traffic Light) Washington Blvd will turn into Dyke Lane Continue on Dyke Lane. Take a right onto Batemen Way. Turn left into Brewer Yacht Haven Marina and follow the pavement to the southwest corner of the marina. The Schooner SoundWaters is located at Dock S1.

Coming from the South on I-95: -Take I-95 North to Exit 7.-Merge onto S State St-Turn right onto Washington Blvd-Washington Blvd will turn into Dyke Lane- Continue on Dyke Lane.- Take a right onto Batemen Way- Turn left into Brewer Yacht Haven Marina and follow the pavement to the southwest corner of the marina. The Schooner SoundWaters is located at Dock S1.

The gate into Brewer Yacht Haven Marina is open Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm and Saturday 8:00am - 1:00pm. If your sail is after 5:00 pm on a weekday, after 1:00 pm on Saturday, or on a Sunday, a SoundWaters staff member will be at the entrance gate into Brewers Yacht Haven Marina 30 minutes prior to the start of the sail to check in passengers and direct you to parking. You must check in at the gate 5 minutes prior to the start of the sail.

Lake Compounce Offers Discounts for Military Families Memorial Day Weekend

Lake Compounce located in Bristol Connecticut proudly offers military members and their families showing valid ID 50% off regular admission on May 28, 29 and 30, in honor of the Memorial Day holiday. Any member who shows proof of being in a military family is eligible, and all tickets must be purchased at the gate.

“We at Lake Compounce deeply appreciate what those in the military, both retired and current members, as well as their families do and sacrifice for our country.” Said Jerry Brick, the park’s General Manager. “And we would like to express our gratitude by honoring them on Memorial Day weekend.”

Regular admission is $35.99, and discounted tickets will be $17.99 each. The park will be open on May 28 and 29 from 11:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., and on May 30 from 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

About Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce is part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks and is New England's Family Theme Park as well as the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America. Straddling both Bristol and Southington, Connecticut, the park is now open for its 166th season and is the oldest continuously operating Amusement Park in the United States.

Season passes are now on sale for the 2011 season, and can be purchased for $69.99 for a limited time (Regularly $79.99). Unlimited parking passes are available to all season pass holders for $33.00. Regular admission price for the 2011 season will be $35.99. Junior admission, which is for guests under 52 inches tall, is $25.99. Senior admission, for ages 61 and up, will be $17.99. Children 3 years of age and younger are admitted free.

All tickets and season passes may be purchased by visiting www.lakecompounce.com.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Workshop for Fiber Enthusiasts in Litchfield Hills

If you are thinking of taking an unusual weekend country retreat to recharge a unique workshop featuring the art of fiber preparation is being offered in the Litchfield Hills.   The workshop takes place at Sachem Farm B&B that is situated serenely overlooking Lake Waramaug, Connecticut's second largest natural lake.  Here you will learn about  sheep, knitting, spinning, and  felting along with discussions on wool processing and fiber preparation in a setting of great natural beauty.  Join Kim Goodling from VT Grand View Farm June 10-12 for a weekend workshop, taking a fleece through the stages of skirting, washing, and carding.

This workshop will explore fiber preparation, from skirting a newly shorn fleece, to carding techniques and everything in between. You will explore different breeds of sheep and how the care and health of a sheep affects wool quality. You will learn how to wash a fleece and how to use both hand cards, and a drum carder to create wonderful batts for felting or spinning.  You'll leave this workshop with the confidence to purchase and process your own fleeces.  Best of all, you don't need to know how to spin to appreciate this workshop, although by the end of the retreat .... you'll want to learn!

The Sachem Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast, overlooking Lake Waramaug provides the ideal venue for this weekend workshop. Guest rooms are elegantly decorated with fine antiques, comfortable reading chairs, and luxurious beds.  A leisurely breakfast featuring fresh eggs from the farm and local produce is included in every stay. Here you can take time to enjoy the pastures and sheep as you learn about working and living on a small fiber farm.  You may want to spend your free time knitting on the porch that overlooks majestic Lake Waramaug, take a stroll down a country lane or explore the ring road along the Lake by bike.  Nearby bucolic villages  provide endless shopping and restaurants for dining.  As an added bonus, Hopkins Vineyard is just up the street for wine tasting and vineyard walks.


Friday, June 10
Arrive at 2:00pm (Early Check-in offered, with time to relax and unwind)
Spend the afternoon knitting or spinning on the porch.
5:00pm-6:00pm Complimentary Wine Tasting featuring local wine from Hopkins Vineyard.
Dinner on your own (there are many fine area restaurants to choose from or, get take-out and eat by the lake)

Saturday, June 11
8:00am-9:00am Breakfast on the porch
9:30am-12:00pm Morning Workshop
Different Wools
-   Discuss different types of sheep wool
-   Discuss other available animal fibers, i.e. angora, llama, etc.
-   Discuss animal care and health of fleece
-   Selecting fleeces and hands-on skirting
12:00pm-1:00pm Picnic Lunch by the sheep pasture
1:00pm-3:00pm Afternoon Workshop
-    Fiber Preparation
-   Discuss methods for cleaning wool
-   Hands-on washing a fleece

Sunday, June 12
8:00am-9:00am breakfast on the porch
9:30am-12:30pm Morning Workshop
-   Hand Carding Wool and creating spinning rolags
-   Using a drum carder to blend and create fibers into wonderful
batts for spinning and felting
12:30pm-1:30pm A "working" lunch on the porch if extra time is needed for carding.
Check-out will be extended until 4 pm for those who would like to explore the area or enjoy the lake front.

Fiber Preperation Workshop Weekend Special June 10-12
Lodging cost: Friday & Saturday night, (breakfast included)
$535.00 lake view room with private bath (accommodates two, $40.00 for 1 additional person on rollaway cot) (CT state occupancy tax included)
$335.00 shared bath room (accommodates two) (CT state occupancy tax included)
Workshop fee $175.00 (lunch, afternoon tea & materials included) Accommodations and workshop availability are limited.

For workshop registration and reservation requests:  Phone (860)-868-0359  Email:  info@thesachemfarmhouse.com  http://www.thesachemfarmhouse.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Woodbury Auction's 2nd Anniversary Antique and Fine Art Auction

Woodbury Auction's 2nd Anniversary Antique and Fine Art Auction has been scheduled for May 21, 2011 at 11 am. This auction will be  in the heart of historic Woodbury, at 670 Main Street South – Sherman Village.

Thomas Schwenke commented that "this space in a centrally located and highly visible location allows us to get the auction set up much more efficiently and also provides maximum exposure for the auction, all to the benefit of our consignors and buyers. Attendees will find ample parking in the commercial mall also occupied by Ovens of France, a charming French bakery, and Zee Burger, the newest culinary offering by noted Woodbury chef Carole Peck.

A beautiful mid-spring ride to Woodbury, called by many the "Antiques Capital" of Connecticut, and situated on the "Connecticut Antiques Trail", will bring attendees to Woodbury Auction LLC's anniversary event, featuring American and European furniture, country Americana, folk art, and decorative and fine art. Premier items in the sale include a pair of Joseph H. Sharp watercolors, a rare New Jersey silvered dial tall clock by Aaron Lane, a stunning Continental crystal chandelier, and a Pennsylvania walnut Queen Anne dressing table descended in the family of William Pinckney, Maryland statesman.

Also offered in this anniversary sale, Woodbury Auction's sixth sale since inception in May of 2009, will be furniture, paintings, country Americana, folk art, porcelain, vintage toys and general collectibles from estates and consignors in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island. Absentee, phone and online bidding (through Live Auctioneers) will be available. Preview will be held from May 18th through the morning of the sale.

"Woodbury Auction is an auction house with well-qualified dealer experts in service to appreciators of not only fine arts and antiques, but of the art of the auction itself," noted Mr. Schwenke, founder of the enterprise. "Connecticut is really at the heart of America's historic property preservation and antiquities interest. Being located on the "Connecticut Antiques Trail", we have real time visitors and clients from all over the country. And since our auctions are also conducted live on the internet we offer the opportunity for fine pieces to change hands on a world wide selling platform."

As owner and proprietor of Thomas Schwenke, Inc. Antiques, one of Woodbury's largest shops, Schwenke is widely regarded as one of the country's top antiques experts having over four decades of experience in the antiques business and boasting a broad established network of dealers, appraisers and collectors.

New Canaan Nature Center Art Exhibit The Little Things by Melissa Kircher

A exhibit of original paintings and photography by Melissa Kircher will be on display at the New Canaan Nature Center through June 14.  The exhibit, entitled "The Little Things," is a series of floral and nature inspired photographs that combine elements of color, light, and texture, both man-made and natural.  Kiircher says "I find the often overlooked aspects of nature appealing, taking joy in spotting a hidden flower, leaf, or an unusual scene.  These works are about discovering the beauty in little things."

The photographs have all been processed with different fine art elements to create unique and truly original works of art.  Melissa Kircher attended Gordon College in Massachusetts where she studied drawing, printmaking, graphic design, and sculpture. She earned a BFA in Visual Arts with a concentration in sculpture. Melissa is currently a self employed artist in the fields of painting, photography, photo-processing, graphic design and freelance writing. Her home and studio is in Norwalk, Connecticut and her work has been displayed in various Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York City locations. Melissa's artwork can be seen on her web-site: www.melissakircher.com.

For more information please call 966-9577.  A portion of proceeds from the sale of the artwork will benefit the New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature. The Nature Center's grounds, which include a Birds of Prey exhibit and gardens, are open from dawn to dusk daily. The Visitor's Center and Discovery Room are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Feast Of Colorful Quilts Awaits In Norwalk, Connecticut

Those who love the homespun beauty of quilts have a feast in store, as seven local arts and cultural institutions join in a unique collaboration to form the Norwalk Quilt Trail, a series of exhibits from May through mid-November in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

The Quilt Trail spotlights 100 quilts made and collected in Norwalk. Together, the colorful quilts tell the story of the life and the changing fortunes of this area, from the early 1800s to the maritime era in the mid-1850s to 1900s machine age to the present.

The settings for the exhibits also represent many eras, from the Rowayton Historical Society's Pinkney House (c. 1820) to the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, which opened in 2000. The full list includes the Norwalk Historical Society, the Norwalk Museum, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, and the SoNo Switch Tower Museum. Related exhibits will be presented at City Hall and local libraries. Each exhibit has a story to tell.


A Common Thread: Family History Told through Quilting at the Rowayton Historical Society illustrates how quilts chronicled family life, telling stories of family love, loss and community in embroidered, patchwork and appliqué quilts, including a signature quilt from one of Norwalk's oldest families, the Raymonds.  The influences introduced during the boom years of Norwalk's oystering and shipping trade can be seen in a nineteenth century red and white Hawaiian quilt. Two nineteenth century ribbon quilts made from hatbands, ribbons and clothing tags manufactured in the factories of Norwalk represent the changes wrought by the machine age, while yo-yo quilts from the 1930's show the mood during the period after World War I. (May 15-November 11 www.rowaytonhistoricalsociety.org or 203-831-0136).

The Norwalk Historical Society will show Collected & Cherished: Quilts made and collected in Norwalk featuring quilts made from 1850 to 1950, including log cabin designs in silk, baskets-and-wreath designs in cotton. Of special interest from Norwalk's early seafaring days is the Mariner's Compass quilt designed by a sea captain, Charles Selleck, and pieced by his wife Samantha in 1860. Six of the Society's own rare quilts have been restored, thanks to a grant from the Coby Foundation and Gail Wall. (May 14-October 10. www.norwalkhistoricalsociety.org or 203.846.0525)

The Craze of Crazy Quilts, a display of a style popular in the latter 19th century, is on view in the Music Room of the 1864 Lockwood-Mathews House (May 14-October 16; www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or 203-838-9799), while Against the Elements: Keeping Warm at the Lighthouse at the Sheffield Lighthouse displays vintage quilts from private collections along with three quilts that are permanently on display in bedrooms in the 10-room 1868 lighthouse to show what life was like for the families of 19th century light keepers. (weekends May 28-June 26,  daily June 27-September 5; www.seaport.org or 203-838-9444).

The charming Quilts Made by Norwalk Children from the 1970s to Today will be on display at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children (June 30-October 10; 203-899-0606 or steppingstonesmuseum.org) while Trains, Planes and Automobiles, featuring quilts with transportation themes showing the impact of transportation technology on American life will be at the SoNo Switch Tower Museum. The museum is housed in the original Signal Station 44, built in 1896 (May 14-October 30; http://www.westctnrhs.org or 203- 246.6958.

More information on the exhibits can be found at www.norwalkquilttrail.org. For information about other nearby events a free color guide to attractions, lodging and dining in Fairfield County, contact the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, www.visitwesternct.com.

Monday, May 9, 2011

CT's White Silo Farm--Annual Asparagus Festival May 14 & 15

This is the fourth year that this small specialty winery is holding it's popular Annual Asparagus Festival on May 14 and 15 from 12 PM - 5 PM in the bucolic village of Sherman Connecticut  just outside of Danbury.

Visitors to this festival are in for a treat as White Silo's culinary experts will be serving dishes prepared from their farm fresh asparagus, freshly picked the morning of the event.  Some of the mouth-watering choices include: truffled asparagus crostini, asparagus soup with fried asparagus shavings, and asparagus latkes, along with a few other items.   There will be  $5-6 charge per small plate.

A forte of White Silo Farm and Winery is their selection of specialty wines that include "Blackberry Sangria", Raspberry, Black Currant, Rhubarb, and Blackberry, all made with fruit grown at the farm. Throughout the season as fruit ripens, White Silo offers pick-your-own berries, asparagus and rhubarb.

To round out the festivities live music, winery and field tours, and farm museum tours will be held throughout the day.  The farm tour is especially exciting because you experience the charm of an earlier era when touring the old barn where the winery is located. The tour will also take you to visit the fermentation, bottling, and corking rooms where the classical art of wine making has been preserved. This event is perfect for a fun family spring outing. Admission to the event is free.

White Silo Farm & Winery is located on 32 Rt 37 East in Sherman, CT 06784 and can be reached at: 860 355 0271 or visit them at www.whitesilowinery.com.

Snowy Owls Now On Exhibit At Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Harry Potter fans are in for a treat this spring at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo!  The Zoo is pleased to welcome four Snowy Owls, two males and two females that were born last July at the Hannover Zoo in Germany.  The four birds are brothers and sisters.   One pair is currently on exhibit in the former Lynx exhibit, between the Amur tigers and Andean bears.  A date for the other pair to make their public debut has not yet been determined.

"A lot of folks will recognize the Snowy Owl from its Hollywood debut in the "Harry Potter" series," explained Gregg Dancho, Zoo Director.  "Harry's owl, Hedwig, served as a trusted ally to the young wizard.  Our Snowy Owls won't be delivering mail anytime soon, but we're sure they will be a hit with the public."

Like other northern species of raptors, these birds have proven to be very susceptible to West Nile Virus, resulting in their loss at a number of zoos and nature centers, as well as breeding facilities, over the last few years.  Because conservation is a core part of the Zoo's mission, efforts to locate an unrelated pair with which the birds may mate.

Weighing in around four to five pounds, the owls have an average wingspan of five and a half feet and stand about two feet tall.  While the males are primarily white, the females have gray and black barring on their chests and wings making it easier to tell them apart.  As the female birds get older, they will become whiter much like their brothers.  The average lifespan of Snowy Owls in the wild is only about 10 years, but in captivity they can live for up to 25 or more years.

About Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species.  Visitors won't want to miss our new Bald Eagle exhibit, Andean condors, Amur (Siberian) tigers, ocelots, red & maned wolves, Andean (spectacled) bear, llamas, vampire bats, 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 http://www.beardsleyzoo.org

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fairfield CT - Fairfield Museum and History Center Plans Interactive Graveyard Tour

Will Wake the Dead With an Emphasis on Civil War Anniversary

Fairfield Museum and History Center  will hold an interactive graveyard tour at Fairfield's East Cemetery, located at the end of the Old Post Road in Fairfield, Conn. from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th.  According to Museum genealogist Roderick MacKenzie, this tour is particularly important, because 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War and there are 14  Fairfield Civil War veterans buried in the East Cemetery.

"We have been particularly careful to create detailed histories of our various subjects and are involving volunteer actors who really will bring their spirits to life," MacKenzie said. The tour will include authentic portrayals of Fairfield individuals like  Major John Morehouse, lst Cavalry in the Civil War, Christopher Wells, Sr.,  lst rural mail carrier and Civil War veteran, Charles W. Thorpe, in John Morehouse's regiment in Civil War, Captain Hanford Nichols – Civil War veteran, Amelia Sturges, who married J. Pierpont Morgan; John Bunker who lived in the Sun Tavern during the middle 1800s and a War of 1812 veteran; and Revolutionary War veterans, Abel and Aron Turney, whose family lived in the area of the East cemetery.  One served on The Fence, a  Revolutionary War ship; And the other on the Alliance, another war ship.

The cemetery is also the resting place for Edwin Randolph, a slave who lived to be about 100 and worked for the Jennings family in Fairfield and enjoyed going to Long Island Sound for clamming. 

Tour participants will also learn about the history of the cemetery and about the symbols on the gravestones.

The Rain Date for the Cemetery Tour is Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m.  The cost of the tour is $7, non-members, $5 members and registration is preferred.  For more information, please contact the Museum visitors center at 203-259-1598 or visit the website at www.fairfieldhs.org.


The Fairfield Museum is located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, CT. Hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from Noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for children age 5 and under.  For more information on exhibits and upcoming programs, visit www.fairfieldhs.org or call the Fairfield Museum at 203-259-1598.  The Museum annually hosts more than 18,000 visitors.

Garden lovers discover treasures - Hartford Stay-at-home dads | Examiner.com

Garden lovers discover treasures - Hartford Stay-at-home dads | Examiner.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Show at GREGORY JAMES GALLERY in Litchfield Hills CT

The Gregory James Gallery, located at 13 Main Street on New Milford’s historic green, announces its first show of the new season. The show opens Saturday, April 30, and runs through May 29, 2011.

The public is invited to an opening reception, Saturday, April 30, 5-7 pm. The group show will feature prominent regional artists including; Joel Spector, Bill Rice, Thomas Adkins, Christopher Magadini, Alain Picard, Scott Zuckerman, Julie Hopkins, James Coe, and Frank Federico.

Joel Spector was chosen as one of 20 finalists out of 1750 entries in the 2011 International Portrait Competition hosted by the Portrait Society of America. The Woodson Art Museum has named James Coe as its 2011 Master Artist who will be honored during the Museum’s 36th annual Birds in Art exhibition this fall. Frank Federico and Christopher Magadini will be featured in one-man shows later in the year.
The gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10-5, Sunday 11-4. For more information, please call Gregory James Mullen at 860-354-3436, or visit the website: www.gregoryjamesgallery.com.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Garden Lovers Gather for Treasures, Tours At 11th Annual Trade Secrets in the Litchfield Hills

Nearly 60 vendors and garden antiques dealers from around the northeast region will be setting up their wares under the tents at the picturesque LionRock Farm for the 11th Annual Trade Secrets on Saturday, May 14th in Sharon. This much-anticipated yearly event in the Litchfield Hills offers the rare chance to find in one setting unusual garden plants and topiary from specialized growers and some of the nation’s best known small nurseries, as well as unusual accessories, furniture, statuary, fencing and garden antiques from the choicest purveyors of these wares.

The event includes the opportunity on Sunday to tour five extraordinary gardens; most of them rarely open to the public. These include the sublime Falls Village garden of John Rosselli and Trade Secrets founder, interior designer Bunny Williams, featuring the mock-coliseum pool house, heirloom apple trees in bloom, wild-flowers, a woodland pool, a birdhouse “village,” and a sea of tulips and bulbs,  
Another highlight is the private garden of author and noted garden designer Lynden Miller, who is responsible for the beloved Conservatory Garden and rejuvenated Bryant Park in New York City. Her personal garden features mixed herbaceous borders of perennials and shrubs in lovely hues, a daylily walk, a flowering meadow with mowed paths, a woodland garden, a raised herb garden and a cottage garden for unusual plants.

Hodgson Garden -- Holabird House Garden in Falls Village includes three acres of perennials, bulbs, cutting, vegetable and herb gardens planted with tiers and rustic fencing, while the Cobble Pond Garden in Sharon, a vintage Olmsted Brothers landscape designed for strolling, features clipped conifers, walled gardens bursting with bulbs and spring blossoms, an apple orchard, and viburnums and wisteria at their peak.

Judy and Patrick Murphy opened Old Farm Nursery in Lakeville in 1988 on land that had been used agriculturally for generations. Living in the old farm house (c 1800) and using the farmland and barns for their landscape business, the Murphys transformed five acres of paddocks and adjacent cornfields into garden rooms with extensive plantings that include a large kitchen and herb garden, perennial borders, a fruit tree allée, a formal boxwood-lined white garden, a woodland shade garden featuring a Japanese maple collection, and a secret garden with a swimming pool.

Proceeds from Trade Secrets go to Women’s Support Services (WSS) a regional non-profit organization celebrating its 30th year in the northwest corner of Connecticut offering free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence.

Trade Secrets includes the antique and plant sale on Saturday, May 14 at LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT, from 10am to 3pm, for $35, and the tour of five gardens on Sunday, May 15 for $70 ($60 if purchased in advance). Tickets go on sale April 1. For those who want first chance at the vendors on May 14, “early buying” tickets are available for $100, and include early admittance with continental breakfast. For more information or to purchase advance tickets phone 860-364-1080 or visit www.tradesecretsct.com.