Winter Reveals

The snow is down to just patches along the CT side of the Long Island Sound. Eolia, the one-time mansion of the Harkness family,  and its grounds are now showing off details that can only be seen this time of year. Some, like the ceiling, aren’t fully hidden during summer but could easily be overlooked when the vibrant gardens catch your eye.
These underpinnings of the gardens and the views through the trees will soon be obliterated by the plants and trees that make the gardens and grounds of Eolia so wonderful in the warmer months. It’s been a rugged winter and budding leaves will be a welcome sight.
Harkness Memorial State Park in  Waterford, Connecticut is home to Eolia, formerly the summer mansion of the Harkness family. The park includes 230 seaside acres of sweeping lawns, with stately trees and spectacular gardens.

Dividend Pond

Exploring local sites has been a fun part of going out with the camera. I’ve lived within three miles of Dividend Pond for about 25 years and went there the first time last fall. The Town of Rocky Hill maintains a series of recently created trails around the pond and there are some archaeological ruins of the mills once powered by the water scattered around the property.

I checked in there a few days ago to see if the pond was still frozen over and if the trails were navigable. The pond and the upper end of the falls were easy to get to and offered a variety of photo ops. The lower pond is accessed down a steep slope; going down would have been easy if not pretty. I didn’t try to find out how I would get back up.

Backyard Visitors

Bird visitors have visited our back yard steadily this winter, when all of Connecticut has experienced a heavy snow cover. We have several feeders spread around the yard, with one that is expressly meant to foil the neighborhood squirrels.

Most of the birds are familiar species from other years but this is the first winter we have had a mocking bird live in our yard. He pops out of the holly bush every morning and chases the junkos and other small birds that come to the closest feeder.

Click on a photo to display a slideshow that includes image details.

Photographing individual birds has been a fun way to learn the camera’s options.

Snowstorm feeding frenzy.
Snowstorm feeding frenzy.