Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I was going through some old photos on my computer and I realized yeah I really do love October. I have to agree with Lucy.  I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers because October is one of my favorite months.

I love to go on a short walk or a long daytrip with my camera in tow. I always find something interesting to photograph. It could be a new feline friend that I've made...

Or a leaf strewn walkway. Leaves are a favorite subject to photograph. After years of living in the same area, I know which trees are going to turn first and which ones will be the most brilliant.

Is there anything more quintessentially Fall than pumpkins?  Especially pumpkins and wagons. 

I admit to spying on other people's Fall decor. It's fun to see how the front doors are accessorized.

And in October we find the last of the Farmer's Markets. It's great to walk around the markets when the temps are nice and cool.

And I love, love, love to go into the courtyard of the Boston Public Library and look at the witches hats.

These are some downright fashionable witches hats. Much care has been taken to create them.

And then of course at the end of October, there's fright night or Halloween. I am always afraid of those things that go bump in the night at the condo!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Magic, pure magic out there in New England

Ok, I stole the title of this post. Anita of Castles Crowns and Cottages commented on my Hamilton Coaches post and she coined the phrase about pure magic. Anita's words are always pure poetry and so are the images she chooses. You need to visit her blog after reading this post. I think pure magic describes Autumn in New England perfectly. I have always felt it is magical here and especially in Autumn.

The photo above was taken at my favorite store, Nesting on Main in Concord. Yes, Nesting is heaven but Heaven right here describes my home state and it's surrounds. All the stores, like Nesting, are decked out in their Autumn finery inside and out. I just love all the vibrant colors.

At Zuzu's Cafe in Wakefield yellow leaves were everywhere on the outdoor patio. Inside it was nice and cozy.

Butternut squash apple soup, a staple of my diet this season. Pure magic! And who can resist the best grilled cheese in town? Half a sandwich and the soup is plenty enough for lunch.

You can find some of the best foliage in cemeteries in Autumn. This one was in Concord.

And this one was in Wakefield. This is close to my home so I go here often. It's by the lake which makes it especially nice.

This Wakefield cemetery had been moved from the town green to this section of land by the church and the lake. I am not sure why but I am always drawn to cemeteries in Autumn.

I was photographing this structure when an older man with long white hair and a straw hat approached me. He asked about my camera and what I was shooting. I didn't want to tell him that I was also using Instagram on my phone because I thought he would think I was cheating.

I asked about this stone structure. He said it was a very old burial crypt. The family, he said, had planted grass on top of it so as to disguise it. The left side door had been pried open a bit so there is a large piece of stone blocking the entrance. I thought the building was interesting and I tried to give it a romantic feel in my shot.

It's hard to imagine that some of these graves are from the sixteen and seventeen hundreds. They have certainly withstood some harsh Winters but their carvings remain in fairly good shape.

Amazingly, very few graves were broken. I think I only saw one completely cracked in half. The crunching of the leaves made spooky sound effects as the sun started to set.

The man in the straw hat said he had photographed the cemetery and the lake many times and he showed me where the light hits the trees at the end of the day.

And there was more magic going on in Concord. Drummer, the abused horse who was rescued by a nice Concord family, was having a great time in the Autumn sunshine. I am so happy to see him again. Last time I drove by his corral he was not there. But he's back and he has a friend. Good for him.

He has some nice scenery to look at all day. I guess he can take refuge in that building in the distance.

And speaking of horses, I don't think I shared this photo of these two beauties in Hamilton. Another shot with my phone.

After all that travel this weekend I stopped by a favorite coffee shop, Jitters Cafe, for an Autumnal favorite. No ones does a cinnamon mocha better than Jitters in Melrose.

Entering my driveway I see I have some raking ahead of me but it can wait.

I still have some magic to photograph.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jolie Tea Company, Hamilton

The day we saw the coaches, we decided to explore downtown Hamilton. We ate at the Black Cow Restaurant and then we went to the tea shop next door.

Jolie Tea Company is a lovely shop located at 26 Bay Road in Hamilton. The exterior was inviting and when we entered the store we were given a free tea sample. As you can see, there were many varieties of tea to purchase.

I almost opted for the Autumn Cranberry but decided to stick with my fave, Earl Grey. I also bought a canister of Lavender Earl Grey for a friend.

The store was well merchandised, neat and clean, and very easy to navigate. Books in one area, tea canisters in another, etc.

I loved these tea towels but I wanted to buy a book so the tea towels will have to wait for another visit. Sweet, aren't they?

This is Kyra, the store manager. She was very professional and knowledgeable. She answered by many questions about the shop. The store has been open for three years. And I honestly don't know how this gem slipped by me.

There were some very pretty cups and teapots for purchase.  This display had a museum quality to it.

I could have purchased so many Christmas gifts at this shop. I know my friends would have loved it. Jolie Tea offers tea tastings and tea classes and I may sign up for one in the future.

Next time you visit Hamilton stop by Jolie Tea Company and say hi to Kyra and Liz. If you can't visit in person click here to visit their website.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Historic Horse Drawn Coaches of Hamilton

A friend posted on Facebook that the coaches were coming to Hamilton. I thought it might be Coach Bellichik of the Patriots so I read on. I thought it would be great to hear him speak. It turned out it was about historic horse drawn coaches that were going to visit the Myopia Hunt Club in Hamilton, Massachusetts. Even better!

I called my friend Debbi who has a love of horses and asked her to go with me. So I took a day off from work and we headed up to Hamilton.  After a quick Starbucks salted caramel mocha we headed to the Myopia Hunt Club.

I am guessing the little jaunt to Starbucks cost us some time as the coaches were nowhere to be found at the Hunt Club. I had looked online the day before and I knew the route the coaches were taking to Appleton Farms. We headed down Cutler Rd and lo and behold....

We got stuck behind the coaches and the police escort. Those flashing lights can be really annoying! Then it started to rain, hard. And the horses pooped on the road, a lot!  I thought wow what a fun day!

The coaches stopped at Appleton Farm and we were allowed to see the coaches and the horses and drivers. The drivers were friendly to us and were agreeable to photo opportunities.

At this point, I was in heaven. The setting was gorgeous. The foliage was fantastic. The horses were majestic and the coaches were spectacular. And then the downpour started.

This coachmen wanted to take a photo of me taking a photo of him. I had to constantly hide my camera beneath my coat because it was getting drenched. I can't believe the skies opened up almost the minute we got out of the car! Oh well, we would not be deterred. We were going to see each and every coach.

I especially liked the white horses. They had their raincoats on too. They took a rest while some of the drivers had a picnic.

The coaches were so regal. And shiny! You can tell they were lovingly cared for.

Everyone had their jobs. Some just stood with the horses as others were on the coaches. There was one accident. We saw an ambulance arrive and I wondered what was going on. We were told by a man who was there taking photos that one of the coachwomen had slipped on the wet step of the coach, fallen and got her foot caught in one of the coach's wheel's spokes. It was suspected she broke an ankle or leg. I hope it wasn't that serious.

As I said the setting was breathtaking. Old stone walls, dirt paths, beautiful foliage. Such photo opportunities! I think I was overstimulated.

Oh look! The Queen made a special appearance just for us. It's fun hanging out with the horsey set.

The ladies looked good even in their raincoats. I wish we could have taken a ride in the coach but we were just there to look.

With horses and coaches surrounding me, I felt as if I were back in time or perhaps even on a movie set.

Imagine how old the stone walls are. This part of the North Shore is so beautiful!

This woman agreed to pose with Ellie the horse. Funny I didn't catch her name but I remember the horse named Ellie.

My friend Debbi posed with Ellie. Debbi's mother is named Ellie so this horse was the most special to us.

You have to admit, this horse is really beautiful. All the horses were so gentle. We were allowed to touch them.

The picnic was actually a boxed lunch for the coachmen but a few of them had lunch under a tent.

This coachmen looked a little scary. He definitely could have been from another time.

Lunch on the go as it was almost time to leave. The horses had rested and everyone had eaten.

Still raining at this point and getting muddy. So glad I wore my suede shoes. They have since recovered.

These ponies are German and so adorable. What fabulous coats they have!

This border collie was safe from the rain in this old fashioned car.  Lucky dog!

We heard that the coaches would be crossing this little bridge on their way out so we staked out our spots.

The border collie was the first to arrive over the bridge. I was all set to get some awesome shots when a photographer came up to me to say I was going to be in all her shots. She said she was getting paid for this shoot and so I offered to move.

Since I moved from my spot, most of my shots ended up being too close. I like this one anyway.

The last coach left Appleton Farms, we were hungry and soaked. We had a lovely time at the coaching event and now it was time for lunch at the Black Cow.

Don't forget to come back for my next post about my trip to Concord, Massachusetts.


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