Hancock Through the Seasons

Here are some photographs of Hancock, a gorgeous little New England Village tucked away in Southwestern New Hampshire. I was fortunate enough to work as the Children’s Librarian there for one year, so I enjoyed Hancock through each season.

Spring:

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Flowers sprouting up around town. Budding trees in front of the Hancock Inn. Apple trees with new leaves in the orchard on Norway Hill. Irises on Main Street. Trees in bloom in front of the Hancock Town Library.  Lilac bushes in front of a colonial house.

Summer: img_6197

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Processed with Snapseed.old dublin roadElliot's GardenMy most favorite view off of Old Dublin Road. Flowers at the farmer’s market in the old circular stables. A place of sanctuary at the Harris Center. Giant bubbles from a performance I planned at the end of summer reading.  Scenes from the Tour Hancock Gardens summer garden tour. A walk down the dirt sidewalks of Main Street. Storm clouds approaching Nubanusit Lake. Walking Old Dublin Road. The Elliot’s amazing private garden.

Autumn: img_4153

hancock main streethancock autumnwillard pondHancockInnnorway hillGolden trees on Main Street. Ivy growing up an old colonial house. Norway Pond stillness. Main Street littered with leaves. A walk on an old dirt road. Kayaking on Willard Pond close to sunset. The historic Hancock Inn. The fall colors starting to appear at the apple orchard on Norway Hill.

Winter: 

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hancock winterA snow storm in February blankets an old colonial home. Lilies brighten up the winter day inside Fiddleheads Cafe. The huge tree outside of the library covered in snow. The Hancock Inn and it’s Fox tavern is a cozy place for a winter’s evening meal. Frost patterns inside the library’s windows.

No matter what season you visit Hancock, it is always going to be beautiful.

Autumn Farewell

It’s December 5th and the snow is falling softly this morning. It is really, really cold. Winter is upon us. It’s time for cozy fireside reading, tea sipping, and fuzzy blankets. I truly love this time of year. But before I dive headlong into winter, I wanted to post some shots that encapsulated my autumn season in New England. I’m happy to report that most of the items on my fall fun to-do list were completed! I Still didn’t climb Mount Monadnock though… I will have to add that to my spring fun to-do list 🙂

Processed with Snapseed.A lot of my favorite foliage shots were taken Columbus Day weekend, when the leaves are usually at their peak in New Hampshire. These lovely trees were found on the Monadnock Art Tour, which happens the second weekend of October each year. If you’ve never done the tour, which is self guided through the little villages around Mount Monadnock, put it on your calendar for next year! The foliage alone makes it worth the drive, never mind the open art studios you get to peak into.img_4304img_4291img_4243Gourds, apple orchards, and milkweed. Doesn’t get much more autumn-y than that! We picked apples this year at McCleod orchards in Milford, NH this year on a wonderfully overcast day, a bit gloomy feeling, yet still with warm undercurrents on the breeze. The apples were smaller this year, because of a frost in the spring, but we were able to get enough to make a big batch of crockpot apple butter, apple sauce, and an apple pie – yum! Apple baking day (more like weekend) is always a treat.img_4423

I also made it to a corn maze! And we found one that stayed open after dark! Making it all the more creepy-fun. We went to the 14 acre one at Elwood Orchards in Londonderry, NH. It took us over an hour to get out of, but  we made it! Another item on my fall fun to-do list was to plant bulbs, and plant I did! Daffodils, Narcissus, Crocus, Tulip, and tons of garlic! It will be exciting to see what comes up this spring after the bulbs’ long winter sleep under the soil and snow.img_4603img_4464Autumn, so brilliant and so fleeting. I like how you have to act on your autumn-y impulses (corn maze! pumpkin spice! knitting!) quickly before the season is gone. It’s the time of year that really reminds us to pause and take in the beauty that is all around. Or to gather with friends and family over a pot of soup. Or to stay in and read. To light some candles and settle in.

Farewell, autumn. You were lovely.

Sheep & Wool Festival

We went on up to Tunbridge, Vermont last weekend for the annual Sheep & Wool Festival. Nestled in a lovely green valley in the quaint village of Tunbridge, the festival is a fiber lovers’ paradise. Ethan and I were most interested in the sheepdog demonstration and the sheep shearing and we arrived in time to see both. We took a very long, meandering route up north, through the White Mountains of New Hampshire first and then cut over on route 302 to Vermont. Taking the long way was worth it. The fall foliage is beautiful up north, and driving through all of the small New Hampshire and Vermont towns was glorious. We especially loved the little town of Sugar Hill, New Hampshire where the following photo was taken. Sugar Hill definitely deserves further exploration. I will be going back up there again, and will surely do a more in-depth post on the area.
Processed with Snapseed.But anyways, back to the sheep and wool festival! I will admit, I was slightly disappointed in the festival. That being said, I think a large part of that feeling is due to the fact I am not  much of a knitter anymore. I realized last year that I had to give up a few hobbies or else I would never be able to focus on anything or accomplish anything. So, I still knit Ethan his one hat a year come November, but that is pretty much it. I’ve given up my aspirations of knitting sweaters and other complicated things that I never could wrap my mind around anyways (reading patterns, nope! haha) But the festival was still enjoyable and we had a good wander around for a couple hours, and that was really all the time it took to see everything and watch the two demonstrations- herding and shearing, which were interesting and worth seeing..
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The goat barn was fun to go through, there were so many different varieties. I also liked seeing all of the various vendors. The handmade tapestries were among my favorite things. The flowers around the barns were beautiful as well.

The sheep and wool festival is held at the beginning of October every year. I would go again simply to enjoy the foliage on the drive up there. And next time I may have to pick up some of this gorgeous yarn… Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.

An Autumn Fun To-Do List

It could be because my husband and I lived in a warm climate during this past winter making this my 8th straight month of warm weather, or it could be because we have had the hottest, driest summer on record, or it could be just because I love the changing seasons; but I am really excited for fall. The foliage is already starting to change, and though people are saying we won’t have the same brilliant color display we had last autumn, fall in New England is still such a special time of year.
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As I was contemplating the delightful change of season the other day it occurred to me that I ought to make an “Autumn Fun” to-do list. Because doesn’t Autumn just seem like the most fleeting season? Hopefully a to-do list will allow me to make the most of fall before it slips right by me. So without further ado, here is my…

Autumn Fun To-Do List:

  1. Go apple picking! That also entails the subsequent Apple related cooking and baking. This year I hope to make a lot of apple butter and apple sauce, and have someone show me (again) how to can it safely so I can enjoy those treats year round.
  2. A corn maze would be fun. I know there is a huge maze in Sterling, Massachusetts. I also did a really fun one in Lee, New Hampshire many years ago. There is a small one at Washburn’s Windy Hill Orchard in Greenville, New Hampshire that is also a lot of fun. I’m not sure why wandering around lost for an hour in a field is so enjoyable, but alas it is. Especially at night when it is creepy.
  3. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte. Preferably on a rainy day so I can take a walk after, admiring the colors while wearing wellies and using an umbrella. Yes I know this is rather specific, and with the current weather trend we may never get rain again. However, now that it is on the list, it is more likely to happen. That is just how it goes with to-do lists. Even if the rain doesn’t come (which I sincerely hope it does and not just for reason of providing an atmospheric setting to enjoy a fall beverage), I will still get the pumpkin latte. One cannot resist the fall flavors.
  4. Go to a fair or festival. At least one. I’m very bummed to be missing the Common Ground Fair in Maine this weekend (for the third year in a row! something always comes up!) but I am hoping to get to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. You can be sure I will post about it if I get there.
  5. Take a hike, or maybe a few hikes. The crisp fall air is perfect for a hike, and the foliage just adds to the already stunning views. I especially would like to climb Mount Monadnock. My one and only hiking experience with this beloved mountain was not a positive one. I was separated from my group and spent an hour wandering down, not sure if I was on a trail or not, fearing I was lost for good, envisioning headlines declaring my death by bear attack or exposure. Yes, yes, I survived, and perhaps I am being a tad dramatic. Anyways, I would like to give the mountain another go.
  6. Plant bulbs. It never fails that the fall goes by, winter passes, and the spring flowers start emerging. And there I am kicking myself again that I forgot to plant bulbs in the fall. That’s not going to happen again! This spring, I will have daffodils and tulips coming up, I assure you. I also must remember to plant garlic, lots of it! I want braids and braids of it come spring time.

So, there you have it. This is what I hope to be doing in my time off this autumn. What is on your autumn fun to-do list?

some cooking

It’s a blustery day out there today! The changing weather of autumn – crisp days, cold nights – is making me want to be in the kitchen more and more. I would not refer to myself as a “cook”. But I am slowly finding my feet in the kitchen since getting married. I want to be domestically capable, I want to make yummy treats and excellent meals. The pictures below are two of the “yummy treats” I’ve tried this October. The first was found on Pinterest- I love the recipe ideas there! The mini pumpkin pie recipe originally came from the website “Make and Takes” – and they came out quite yummy! The pizza was my own concoction. I just buy the organic pre-made crust and top it with whatever I like 🙂 This time I tried thinly sliced pear (I forget what kind now!), ham, goat cheese, and a balsamic glaze. Yum.
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