I drove past the Colchester Green this morning on my way to the grocery store. I was amazed to see what had sprung up apparently overnight!…All sorts of scare crows using pumpkins as the underlying motif. They were created by local convalescent homes, school clubs, local realtors and merchants, the Senior Center and other town departments. I’ve attached just a few of the images. From the top down they were titled by their creators as follows: Paula’s Faerie Garden, Bates Motel, The Tooth Fairy, Webby, Slam Pumpkin, The Headless Horseman and lastly an FYI of what else is happening in town. There’s a parade for the kids tonight with donuts and cider as well as a contest to pick the best display. Lots of fun for all and there certainly are lots of talented people here in town.
Picture this if you will, we’re at the Waldo Homestead in Scotland Connecticut to attend the 2013 Highland Festival. There is a skeleton dressed in his kilt, bagpipers, men in kilts, ladies in plaids, poles, hay bales and stones being hurled into the air, bands marching, Celtic goods of all description for sale, clan tents and food trucks with all manner of Scottish comfort foods scattered across the grounds. There’s storytelling, music and face painting for the kids. Highland cattle, sheepdogs and goats entertained us all. Who could ask for anything more?
If only the sun had listened to the weather forecast this morning, we would have had bright sunshine instead of the heavy overcast and occasionally stiff breeze blowing the falling leaves around. The cool weather didn’t deter the Scots and Scots wannabes though, I’ve been to several of the festivals at the Waldo Homestead but this seemed to me to be the largest crowd I’ve seen.
Even after being home for a few hours the skirl of the bagpipes is still in my head. I’m not complaining, I love that music.
I sat in on some of the music for the kids, then found a seat to enjoy “Runa”, an energetic group of 5 playing Celtic music and dancing. I stayed in my seat to enjoy a performance by Charlie Zahm. I’d written about him back in June when he performed down in Mystic. He also sang the “Star Spangled Banner” unaccompanied and the way it is intended to be sung during the opening ceremonies. He has a truly amazing voice, personality and stage presence. Music he writes comes from his heart and the other music he performs draws everyone present into the rhythm of the song.
I’ve attached several images that I took at the Festival to give you some sense of the event. And yes, that’s me with Charlie Zahm before the opening ceremonies began.
If you’ve read my previous posts you know that I attended the CeltFest in Estes Park CO. I think it’s difficult to compare the two. The CT festival is held in a much more intimate setting that could almost pass for Scotland UK whereas the Estes Park Fest is a 4 day event situated on the fairgrounds there. It was lacking the atmosphere of CT but I’m very glad I was there to see it.
And the New England Patriots just won today’s game with absolutely no time to spare. Go Pats!!!
A few of you may know that I’m working on a photo project for the Colchester Senior Center. On a recent trip up Rte. 85 to Hebron I started to wonder about the Zagray Farm. I could see a magnificent barn from the road and a few outbuildings so this seemed like a viable option to include in the project.
When I got back home I “googled” Zagray Farm and pored over their website eventually contacting the president of the QVEA or Quinebaug Valley Engineers Assoc. Inc. He kindly agreed to meet me last Wednesday at the site so I could view the property. Little did I know the site is actually approximately two HUNDRED acres in size. I saw an absolutely amazing collection of 1800’s and 1900’s machinery as well as living and working conditions unique to the time. I did take a number of photographs on a beautiful autumn day here in Connecticut. Some were for myself and a number are to be considered for the Center project. I’ve attached several to give you an idea of the scope of this farm museum.
I also learned that this past Saturday and Sunday the museum, virtually all 200 acres of it are open to the public with live demonstrations of many of the pieces scheduled and an absolutely huge setup of tents and tables with all manner of tools, equipment and other miscellaneous items for sale. As an example: I purchased a “Lodge” cast iron skillet from a delightful lady for $4.
And did I mention the food? At my meeting with the president, it was strongly suggested that I return during the weekend to see the festivities but to also sample their breakfast sandwiches. Yes, the sandwich was DEELISH and a bargain at $3.50 as well! I arrived shortly after 9:00am thinking there might be a few early risers there! I was sadly mistaken, according to the parking attendant, aficionados had been pouring in since around 6:00am! and there were hundreds of cars, trucks, vans, campers and trucks pulling huge flatbed trailers. The threat of rain certainly didn’t deter these rugged individuals on Saturday and I bet there were crowds again on Sunday in the rain.
I will be sending a check to the association to be enrolled as a member of the QVEC!
Who knew that an employee of many financial institutions over the years could, by writing a check for $20 become a member of an engineers association!