Monday, March 31, 2014

Journey to a Magical Cloud Forest at Oliver Wolcott Library & White Flower Farm

The Oliver Wolcott Library on 160 South Street in Litchfield is hosting the photographs of Sue Kennedy through April 25 in the Gallery of this lovely library.

Twenty years ago Sue Kennedy was in Texas working on a Kinesiology and Adapted Physical Education PhD. If anyone had told her that photographing and raising orchids was what she would be doing today, she wouldn't have believed them. She is here to share her journey, and hopes you will smile, find joy, and most of all, peace from these images of her quiet and powerful children of the Magical Cloud Forest.

Sue's father was a pediatrician in the Torrington/Litchfield area, but he always had a second great passion...orchids. Before medical school he earned a PhD in Botany from Cornell and dreamed of discovering and naming a new orchid. 

After retiring from medicine and armed with a U.S. Department of Agriculture permit, he and his wife took many collecting excursions including the Amazon, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Plants were brought home, potted or mounted, and treasured in his "quiet place," the greenhouse he had built.

When her father passed away and her mother became ill, Sue was forced with a dilemma - let the orchids die, sell them off or give it a go. She dove in and never looked back. With each blossom she began to see and photograph the unique character of each plant. She shared her images with friends and would see their eyes light up with a kind of childish wonder, peace and joy. Sue continues to capture how light is reflected and penetrates; how it enlightens; how each bloom is a fascination.

After visiting the Library, stop by White Flower Farm to look at the fabulous selection of plants to be found there. White Flower Farm is located on Rte. 63, 167 Litchfield Rd. a few miles south of the center of Litchfield.  Visitors to White Flower Farm will offers a wide array of plants for sale.  The shop at White Flower Farm opens in April.  Visitors may also explore several beautiful display gardens that are adjacent to the shop. A special deal only available at the Farm is to earn one Pettingill Dollar for every $10 spent on plants and accessories.  Bonus dollars can be redeemed from July 1 - August 31 -- gift certificates are not included in this offer. For more information about White Flower Farm visit

For more information on programs at the Oliver Wolcott Library call 860-567-8030 or visit For information about the Litchfield Hills visit

Friday, March 28, 2014

Quilt Discovery Day In Kent

The Kent Historical Society will host quilt expert Sue Reich of Washington for an entire day of quilt evaluations Sunday, April 6 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Kent Town Hall.

Quilt Discovery Day” will allow registrants an opportunity to find out how much a family heirloom quilt might be worth and what time period it dates back to.

The cost is $15 for each quilt evaluation. This will be a verbal assessment with a form in which the quilt owner can write down the information. Those interested in viewing can sit in the audience and watch the quilts reviewed for an all-day ticket of $5.  KHS members at the $100 Patron level and above may have one free evaluation and one free all-day guest pass.

A digital photograph of each appraised quilt will also be taken and provided to the owner.

During the lunch break, quilter Veralyn Davee of Kent will give a brief demonstration on quilt-making.

A special presentation at 1:30 p.m. will focus on Tips for Care and Use to learn about the preservation, storage, care and suggested ways to display or hang a quilt. Admission is included in the all-day ticket to the event.

Reich is an author and lecturer on quilt history and has been a quiltmaker since childhood. She lectures widely on many aspects of quilt history, and is a certified American Quilt Society quilt appraiser. She co-authored “Quilts and Quiltmakers Covering Connecticut” and authored “Quilting News of Yesteryear: One Thousand Pieces and Counting,” as well as “Quilting News of Yesteryear: Crazy as a Bed-Quilt.”

Reservations and a deposit are required for quilt evaluations. Use our online form at to pay with PayPal or please send a check to payable to the Kent Historical Society at PO Box 651, Kent, CT 06757. 

For more info, email or call 860-927-4587. Register early as there may be a limit to the number of quilt appraisals that can be accommodated for each person.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Colonial Revival Songs at the Litchfield Historical Society

In anticipation of the Litchfield Historical Society's upcoming exhibition on the Colonial Revival, musician Rick Spencer will be at the Litchfield History Museum on Sunday, March 30 at 3:00 pm to present a specially created program of songs from this fascinating period in U.S. history.

Fueled by sentimentality for days gone by and a romanticized view of America's earliest years, Colonial Revival composers wrote songs that expressed this feeling of nostalgia for the past. Songs like "The Days When We Were Young" (Henry Clay Work, 1863) hearkened back to simpler pre-Civil War times. "The Old Oaken Bucket" (Samuel Woodworth, 1818) and "Long, Long Ago" (Thomas Haynes Bayly, 1833) were very popular songs that remembered the past fondly and were very popular in America.
Rick Spencer worked for 20 years as a chanteyman and interpreter at Mystic Seaport, forming the internationally known sea music group Forebitter with his fellow Seaport musicians. He has performed throughout the country and the world and is known for his work as a historian and researcher in the realm of folk music. Spencer accompanies himself with several instruments, including guitar, dulcimer, concertina, and banjo.
Currently a full-time musician, Spencer has also served as the director of the Dr. Ashbel Woodward Museum in Franklin, CT, and the site administrator of the Hempstead House in New London, CT.
This program is free for members and $5 for non-members; registration is required. To register, please call the Litchfield Historical Society at (860) 567-4501 or email
The Litchfield History Museum is located at 7 South St, Litchfield, CT. For more information about this or other programs, please see this website at

Monday, March 24, 2014

CONNfection Connecticut Food and Wine Showcase at the Palace in Waterbury CT

The Waterbury Neighborhood Council will host the second annual CONNfection event, a showcase featuring Connecticut made food and wine, on Thursday, March 27, from 6p.m. – 9p.m. at the Palace Theater in Waterbury.  

Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at, or in person at the Box Office, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury.

CONNfection attendees will have the delight of sampling some of the best home grown and homemade products that Connecticut has to offer, including pasta, sausages, artisanal breads, gourmet olive oils, specialty condiments and relishes, biscotti, cookies, chocolates, cupcakes and more.  
Guests will also have the opportunity to sample a variety of beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, as well as Onyx Moonshine, the first legal moonshine to be brewed in New England. The list of vendors scheduled to appear include 1249 Restaurant, The Bites Company, Fascia’s Chocolate, The Grotto Restaurant & Mrs. G, recent “Cupcake Wars” winner Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes,  La Molisana Sausage, The Olive Oil Factory, Pasta Gallery, The Provender of New Morning Market, Saha Sauces LLC, Sweet Confections by Regina LLC, Sweet Maria's, and more. 
For information about the Litchfield Hills

Friday, March 21, 2014

Playtime at the Palace - Stamford Center for the Arts

A brand new series featuring bubbles, puppets, slapstick, and more, Playtime at the Palace will continue to delight children of all ages in March and April at Stamford’s Palace Theatre. From Puppet Playground to Story Pirates, entertainers will charm families with up-close-and-personal performances on Sunday afternoons. All shows start at 3 PM and last approximately one hour.

The Silent Slapstick (All tickets: $10) program is scheduled for March 30 and is sure to have your kids laughing themselves silly!  This program features uproarious ’20s comedy films, presented with a live pianist!  Lincoln Center’s famous silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model will present 3 short slapstick silent comedies making this an ideal opportunity to introduce youngsters to inventive visual humor.  This program will be presented in the Palace Cinema.

The  P.i.E. Puppets in Education (All tickets: $15) will perform on April 6.  This program will show your children  how to put on their very own puppet show! The Monkey Boys team will teach them how to create a show with their own stuffed animals and learn how to create puppets through simple construction techniques!  Some of these will be used in a short show at the end of the class.

Tickets may be purchased online at or charged by phone with major credit cards by calling The Palace Box Office at 203-325-4466. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Palace Theatre box office in downtown Stamford, open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The 2013-2014 season is made possible by Palace Theatre’s Season Sponsors Seaboard Properties, Inc. and the Whittingham Family.

For area information

About the Palace Theatre
The vision of the Palace Theatre is to be the regional arts center for exciting entertainment that enhances and enriches the cultural, educational, economic, and social life of the community.  The Palace strives to achieve this vision by demonstrating integrity in all work and relationships, providing service and quality in all activities, fostering and promoting diversity of thought, ideas and culture, providing stewardship for the Stamford Arts community, emphasizing outreach in our community, and offering creativity in all endeavors.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Greenwich Audubon Presents David Allen Sibley

The publication of his landmark New York Times best seller, “The Sibley Guide to Birds,” in 2000 quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. On Saturday, March 22, Sibley will stop at the Greenwich Audubon Center on 613 Riversville Road  on his tour to release “The Sibley Guide to Birds: Second Edition” published this month. The new second edition has more than 600 new paintings and 111 rare species added, new information on habitat and behavior and more tips on finding species in the field. 

Guests will have a chance to meet the artist and learn more about birds and birding during an evening reception, a book signing, a woodcock walk, and the feature presentation by Sibley. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. with an artist reception and book signing. Then at 6:45 p.m., Audubon senior naturalist and recent national award winner Ted Gilman and David Sibley will lead a short walk to search for these woodland sandpiper relatives known for their unique aerial performances and crepuscular calls. The walk outdoors at Audubon Greenwich is a short distance and fairly handicap accessible.  Following the walk, there will be a presentation by Sibley in the Audubon’s Oppenheimer Gallery. The current exhibit is featuring J.J. Audubon’s raptor prints but will soon be changed to songbirds for the warmer months ahead.
$20/person. RSVP required to (for walk and/or talk) or call Jeff at 203-869-5272 x239. For questions about the venue, please contact Jeff Cordulackdirectly at 203-613-8813. SPECIAL EVENT WEBSITE:  This event is generously sponsored by Elm Street Books in New Canaan The book signing is free and copies will be available for purchase.

The author began seriously watching and drawing birds in 1969, at age seven. Since 1980 he has traveled throughout the North American continent studying the natural world, both on his own and as a leader of bird-watching tours. This intensive travel and study culminated in “The Sibley Guide to Birds,” followed by “The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior,” “Sibley’s Birding Basics,” “The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America” and “The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America.” He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Winemaker's Tasting, Wine Pairings and More at Haight Brown Vineyard in Litchfield

Haight Brown Vineyard located on Chestnut Hill Rd. in the heart of Litchfield is offering three classes in late March that are a perfect pick up for this early spring season.

On March 29 for example, Haight-Brown Vineyard is hosting a Winemaker's Tasting from noon to 1:30 p.m. in their Vine Room.  This "Exclusive Winemaker's Tasting" will be hosted by Jacques van der Vyver, the Vineyard's new winemaker. He will be pairing the vineyards's wines with sweet and savory food items. Jacques will share his knowledge on the taste, smell and ultimately the enjoyment of HBV's delicious wine. It's a chance to meet and spend time with Jacques and have an opportunity to learn about Haight Vineyard wines and ask all those questions you always wanted to ask! Cost: $25.00. To register

Also on March 29 and March 30 there will be a wine, cheese and chocolate pairing class at 1 p.m. HBV wines will be pared with a variety of cheese and chocolate and there will even be a HBV glass to take home!  This session is $35 by advance reservation to the Vineyard at

Looking ahead, on May 16 HBV is  hosting a presentation on the health benefits of Resveratol with Michelle J. Pouliot N.D. is a naturopathic physician specializing in women's health and integrative cardiovascular medicine. This presentation will focus on the naturopathic philosophy that our first medicine should be our food. The health benefits of flavonoids, which are the bright pigments of red, blue, purple and yellow in fruits and vegetables, and a non - flavonoid found in red wine, resveratrol, will be discussed. This is inspiring information about the healing power of nature. Event is $25 and is from 7 – 9:00 p.m. and includes a glass of HBV wine. To register:

For more information about Litchfield Hills,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chase away the Ides of March with a cozy stay in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County

So the weather outside is frightful?  Who cares, when you are snug and warm in a wonderful country inn.  Whether your idea of romance is an intimate inn or a posh hotel, a wood-burning fireplace or a spa catering to couples, Western Connecticut offers a host of luxurious and romantic getaways in the rustic Litchfield Hills and in maritime Fairfield County, guaranteed to chase away winter blues.

Rock Hall, a 23-acre estate in Colebrook in the Litchfield Hills, is a classic 1912 manor house designed by master architect Addison Mizner. The handsome inn is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Four of the five spacious corner guest rooms offer serene views of gardens, meadows, or forest and four have wood-burning fireplaces. In room fireside massage services are a popular winter feature. Weatherproof indoor options also include a Billiard Room with an authentic 1926 vintage Brunswick "Arcade" table, a Game Room with ping-pong, football and a vintage pinball machine, a well-equipped Fitness Room, and a Movie Screening Room, complete with complementary candy. When the weather cooperates, guests can borrow snowshoes for forays on trails in the snow-covered landscape, and sign up for a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride.

The intimate Hidden Valley Bed & Breakfast was recently named "New England’s Best B&B on a Hill" by Yankee Magazine. The Dutch Colonial inn is located on a private estate overlooking the nature preserve for which it is named. Three guest quarters include the ground floor Red Guest Suite with private entry and a kitchenette, the Blue Master Bedroom with sweeping valley views and a private thermal spa bath, and the Green Bedroom with an additional daybed for family getaways. The third floor is a playroom for children. Hidden Valley is located in Washington, one of the most beautiful towns in the Litchfield Hills. The friendly hosts can suggest the best ways to explore the charming town and point the way to nearby spas, skiing, and carriage rides.

Guests will soon see why Candlelight Farms Inn in New Milford is a favorite site for outdoor weddings. The 1843 inn is on 600 majestic acres that include a picturesque stable where riding lessons can be arranged. Five guest rooms have newly renovated private baths and magnificent views of the farm-scape. A third-floor apartment includes a handy kitchen area. Guests gather in front of the fireplace in the parlor and in the Tap Room with an honor bar, a game table and a wide screen TV. Healthy fare is served each morning in the Breakfast Room.

In Connecticut’s Fairfield County, the Delamar offers plush hotel rooms and full service spas in two prime settings, on Greenwich harbor and in the quaint seaport town of Southport.

Southport’s elegant Delamar boasts fine furnishings, antique marble floors, and a French limestone hearth, as well as the highly rated Artisan restaurant. Both public spaces and guest rooms are hung with original art commissioned by the hotel or loaned by galleries. The hotel also offers a couples’ treatment room. When guests book a spa service, they have exclusive use of the Spa Suite, including a living room with a fireplace and a steam shower.

The Delamar Greenwich, overlooking a picturesque marina, also has a full service spa and treats guests to a continental breakfast each morning and wine and cheese receptions on weekends.  Complimentary bicycles and local shuttle service are available for exploring the town.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Make a primitive pendant at Institute for American Indian Studies

If you like jewelry and have an interest in ancient tribal jewelry, the Institute for American Indian Studies has the perfect workshop for you. On Saturday, March 29 from 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. the Insitute is running a "Stone Pendant" Workshop with primitive technologist Jeff Kalin of Cherokee descent.

It is said that pendants, charms and amulets were often found in and around grave sites. They were believed to protect the wearer from disease and other calamities. These ground, polished and carved stones were often made from slate and worn around the neck. They were often carved as effigies. The Thunderbird and various animals are some examples of effigies that were commonly sculpted.
Learning from Jeff Kalin, workshop participants will use steatite, slate and pipe stone to fashion pendants and beads. Students will learn to shape, polish, incise and drill, using stone age traditional tools and techniques. Call 860-868-0518 to reserve your space today.
Registration is required and the cost of the workshop is $60 which includes materials for non-members and $55 for members of the Institute.  The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Rd. in Washington CT. For more information visit
For area information

Friday, March 14, 2014

Celebrate Fairfield Connecticut's Musical Heritage

Fairfield’s new exhibit, Fairfield’s Rockin’ Top Ten that celebrates 10 musicians who have helped create this community’s musical legacy features rare photographs, music videos and iconic artifacts from a diverse list of artists, including: Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson, The Remains, Leonard Bernstein, David Brubeck, Jose Feliciano, Chris Frantz & Tina Weymouth, Richard Rodgers, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Keith Richards and Donna Summer. This exhibit runs through April 28, 2014.

Several interesting programs are taking place at the Fairfield Museum and History Center that compliment this program.  The first program takes place on February 9 at 3 p.m. and is titled A Friendship in Music and will feature pianist and Fairfield University professor Orin Grossman. This performance and lecture traces the influential friendship between Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, with live accompaniment of their early collaborations. Members: $5; Non-Members $10.
On February 14 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. there will be a family focus session focusing on the Genius of Love.  Participants are invited to listen to the fun music and songs of love from Fairfield’s Rockin’ Top Ten while making some cool crafts. This event is free with admission.

Orin Grossman
On February 23, at 2:30 p.m. there is an adult lecture called Home of the Happy Dancers: The Story of Bridgeport’s Ritz Ballroom with author Jeffrey Williams. This lecture will focus on the roaring twenties to the rockin’ sixties, when the Ritz was one of New England’s foremost dance palaces and offered a respite for people who danced their cares away. The cost of the lecture is $5 for non-members and members free.
The Fairfield Museum is located on 370 Beach Street in Fairfield. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For additional information  For area

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport at the Westport Historical Society

The Westport Historical Society located on 25 Avery Place in Westport is hosting an exhibit, Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport and "Can't Tell a Book by its Cover..." through April 26.  
This exhibition focus's on the fact that between 1925 and 1989, 13 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport-Weston produced a remarkable 695 covers for The New Yorker Magazine. Some 44 of the covers actually depict Westport scenes.

These two exhibits share the covers and the story-behind-the-story, focusing on the influence of The New Yorker's "idea man" turned Art Editor , James Geraghty, who–with wife Eva–first lived on Rayfield Rd, Westport before moving to Old Redding Rd. in Weston. Throughout the Geraghty era (1939 to 1973), often with an element of wit, The New Yorker's cover images mirrored the commuter lifestyle of his Connecticut-based artists, including Garrett Price, James Daugherty, Perry Barlow, Alice Harvey, Helen Hokinson, Edna Eicke, Arthur Getz, Reginald Massie, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Charles Saxon, Albert Hubbell, Donald Reilly and John Norment. Curator Eve Potts draws from artifacts, anecdotes and correspondence provided by the families of Geraghty and these artists, who also did innumerable drawings for the magazine.

Never, as visitors will see in "Can't Tell a Book by its Cover..." in the Mollie Donovan Gallery, was that more true than the Aug. 31, 1946 New Yorker, a single-story issue. The story? Hiroshima, by writer John Hersey, who shortly thereafter moved to Turkey Hill South (the home later sold to Andy & Martha Stewart) in Westport.

Hersey , considered the "Father of the New Journalism," not only was a member of Geraghty's local New Yorker Friday afternoon bowling team (Westport Bowling Lanes, in winter) and golf team (Longshore, in summer), he served for a period of time on the Town of Westport Board of Education.

The Westport Historical Society is open Monday - Friday 10 - 4 p.m.and Saturday 12 - 4 p.m. For more information  For information on Fairfield County

Monday, March 10, 2014

In the Dark at the Bruce Musuem

The dark is a place of mystery. Sometimes scary, always intriguing, the darkness inspires the imagination and encourages exploration.

Darkness is also a natural evolutionary selective pressure that has caused plants and animals to adapt to dark ecosystems like caves, the forest and desert at night, and underneath the ground.

In the Dark: Animal Survival Strategies, on view through April 13 at the Bruce Museum, in Greenwich on One Museum Drive invites visitors to explore different environments of darkness and the unique life forms that inhabit them through a combination of hands-on and whole-body interactives, specimens and walk-through dioramas.

Since prehistoric times, humans have sought to understand the function of darkness and have invented ways to change it. With this immersive, entertaining and family-friendly exhibition that explores four environments – fragile caves, deep soil, and the forest and desert at night – people of all ages will discover how animals adapt to living in the dark and learn how we can help preserve fragile worlds without light.

March Programs

Look & See: In the Dark!
Wednesday, March 12; 12:30 – 1:15 pm
A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through hands-on experiences, stories and more. Children will explore the exhibition and then make their own animal of the dark! $5 for members and $7 for non-members per child, per class. Parents/guardians are free. Please make reservations by calling the Museum at 203 869-0376.

Animals of the Dark Family Day
Sunday, March 30; 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Explore the exhibition to find out which animals survive best at nighttime! Make your own night-creature crafts in the workshop! At 2:00 pm and again at 4:00 pm, Live Night Creatures with animal specialist Rob Mies from the Organization for Bat Conservation, who will teach us all about some animals that live in the dark such as owls, bats and sloths. All activities are suitable for students of all abilities ages 5 years and up. Free with Museum admission.

About the Bruce Museum: Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 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  For area information