Tag Archives: Connecticut

Snowy day in New England

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Old goat house

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Mountain laurel, a native shrub to Connecticut

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Mums are still alive even in December

First snowfall – video

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Surprise snowfall this morning in Connecticut, New England, USA. Snow before Halloween is unusual in the southern half of the state. After about two hours it turned to sleet and then rain leaving only small, sheltered reminders of the winter to come.

Note: Video and still photography captured using Canon Rebel T3i. YouTube video put together using YouTube Video Editor which was a complete nightmare. Never again.

Connecticut woods in June

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Early morning sunlight reveals interesting veining on these Sassafras leaves

My Sassafras patch is thriving after removing a few saplings that were blocking sunlight. I located another Sassafras near my driveway that would benefit from clearing more saplings and a few of the larches that the previous property owners planted (that are not doing well in that location anyway).

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Poison ivy casts leaf-shaped shadows

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Beautiful birch bark that seems to have some kind of black mold

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Clustered Bellflower Campanula glomerata is a volunteer that was most likely the result of a migrating bird. I initially thought this was in the Gentian family.

The Clustered Bellflower is a food source to butterflies and other pollinators so I will let it stay.

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The only characteristic of this Clustered Bellflower that is different from images I found online is the flower stem on my plant is green while those in other photos are red.

The book New England Wildflower Society’s flora Novae Angliae : a manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England by Arthur Haines (2011) indicates that Campanula glomerata has been found in many New England states except Connecticut. I’m guessing a migrating bird dropped the seeds and they are now naturalizing.

Beautiful, edible landscape

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Late spring and early summer in Connecticut can be just as lovely as the first blooms of spring. Most flowers in my yard have yet to open as the early fake spring that occurred in March seemed to actually delay the progression of flora in this region.

I have few blueberries forming, but more blossoms and buds on flowering plants that do not bear fruit. My pear tree has some fruit as well, but certainly fewer than previous years.

I have this partial shade-loving Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) in my front yard, and this year it is completely covered in gorgeous flowers.

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Kousa Dogwood in front yard. Growing around the Kousa Dogwood are lowbush blueberry plants and Sassafras trees.

The white parts are bracts, not petals. The actual flowers emerge from the bumpy green center.

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Over the years, I removed most of the cultivars on my property, allowing the native plants to grow. But this small tree is too beautiful to destroy.

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Four white bracts are the background for the tiny flowers that will emerge before the fruit ripens into a beautiful red color.

The bumpy fruit from the Kousa Dogwood is listed as edible. I never thought to taste them. I might try to make jelly this fall.

Autumn hues

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Looking out my front door this morning, I am greeted by gorgeous autumn hues and still warm temperatures. What’s not to love about fall in Connecticut in 2015? Nothing so far.

Just outside my front door...

Just outside my front door…

Looking up the driveway

Looking up the driveway

Red maples showing the most spectacular colors right now

Red maples showing the most spectacular colors right now

I must provide at least one leaf portrait this season

I must provide at least one leaf portrait this season

Backyard trees with deep reds and oranges

Backyard trees with deep reds and oranges

Let it snow!

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It started snowing today. We had our first frost last night, so this was a surprise. It didn’t accumulate, thank goodness.

Even More Leaf Peeping – Connecticut October 17, 2015

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Leaf Peeping in Connecticut

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Machimoodus State Park in beautiful East Haddam, Connecticut provides nature lovers with seasonal opportunities to enjoy native plants and wildlife while hiking, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, and birding. Stunning views reward the hiker who makes it to the vistas overlooking the Salmon and Connecticut Rivers.

This slide show was created as a New Media Productions project.

Connecticut River – September 17, 2015

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The Connecticut River at Route 82 from Haddam across the Swing Bridge to East Haddam is a beautiful sight. I have photographed it previously, but never with mist rising from the water and an early morning sun.

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Connecticut River at Eagle Landing State Park facing east. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

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Connecticut River at Eagle Landing State Park facing east. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

Goodspeed Opera House - East Haddam, CT on the Connecticut River. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

Goodspeed Opera House – East Haddam, CT on the Connecticut River. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

Listening to spring, refreshing my soul

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Middletown, Connecticut. Spring dandelions.

Middletown, Connecticut. Spring dandelions.

I had just spent an hour scouring online news sites, scrolling through Twitter, clicking and feasting on bad news. I was discouraged. Even worse, darkness threatened to overshadow and overpower joy and light in my soul.

Suddenly, my focus shifted. It was instantaneous and, I dare say, miraculous.

Outside I could hear a bird’s beautiful, clear song to which several others replied. These birds had no idea that ISIS had just invaded another city in Iraq.

I closed my eyes for a moment, and dark reality transformed into something beautiful.

I got up from my desk, opened the nearest window so that I could hear more bird songs sung in celebration of spring, and I stopped to allow the fresh, cool air to touch my face and flood the house.

When I opened that window, I opened my soul to beams of sunlight, dandelions, wild violets and bumble bees, garlic growing in my garden, hummingbirds visiting my bleeding hearts, and the soft verdure of spring leaves that provides a cocoon of privacy not there in wintertime.

The world outside my small piece of property, my small town and my small state (and within) is in conflict, full of hatred, acting and reacting with violence.

The ability to disconnect from all the “stuff” that sucks the light from the world, and my soul, is a gift.

Today, I embraced that gift and my soul was refreshed.