Perhaps the most special of all the New Hampshire small towns is Harrisville. Situated in the Monadnock Region of the state (which is special in general), it is a lovely old mill town right on a lake. It has a yarn shop which is quite fancy and esteemed, and a general store that makes some of the best food ever. Seriously. Most of the old mill buildings are converted to artist’s studios (sometimes they are open to the public). Harrisville doesn’t have to be a little place you stop to on the way to somewhere- you can make it a destination. Bring a kayak for the lake, take a poke around the yarn store (there’s a lot more in there besides yarn) and have an excellent meal at the store. Just a little stroll around town admiring the quaint houses is fun too.
I like going to Harrisville in any season and (of course) my favorite thing is having lunch at the store. I mean, look at this food! They always have a variety of fresh creative salads available, their decaf iced coffee is the tastiest ever, and the desserts just scrumptious (I will be forever craving that strawberry rhubarb pie!)
Kayaking in Harrisville Pond is delightful. The Public Library is that little brick building right on the edge of the water! If you look closely, you might see a beaver swim on by 🙂
I love going to Harrisville. Any season or time, it is always a joy to go there.
One July morning, our little white converted camper van packed and loaded, Ethan and I headed to the Portland, Maine seaport and eagerly sat in line to board the CAT ferry. Before we knew it we were speeding along at a nice clip, over waves waves waves listening to a wonderful musical duo play Celtic tunes on electric bagpipes and fiddles. We were heading to the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, across the Maritimes of the Atlantic between New England and Canada. Nova Scotia is a very “human-sized” place as I like to think of it- it’s easy to get to places, there aren’t huge distances between attractions (such as in the American West) and it isn’t an exhausting place to visit (it was actually the most relaxing trip I’ve ever taken). There are no real hazards or safety concerns to worry about, very low crime, mild weather, well-maintained roads, and very friendly locals. Scroll way down to the bottom if you’d like some practical tips. But now, enjoy some of my favorite photographs as I outline our 6 day itinerary in Nova Scotia~
Day One ~ Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
The CAT high speed ferry leaves out of Portland, Maine. Bring some reading material as you will be sitting in your car in the boarding queue for quite some time. After boarding the ferry, run to the front so you can get a seat facing forward! I am NOT prone to motion sickness, yet felt pretty queasy during the 5-6 hour crossing because we got a seat that faced sideways. Although it was beautiful to watch the ocean passing by (keep your eyes open for whales- I saw 2!), I felt much better when we finally snagged a vacated table that faced straight ahead. Maybe it was just an extra wavy-day. At any rate, I should have taken Dramamine. The on-board entertainment and food was excellent on the ferry, and cut 11 hours (!!) off of our driving time from New Hampshire.
We arrived in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and after waiting to offload and go through customs and immigration (don’t forget your passport!) it was around midnight. We found a campground just outside of Yarmouth to stay at, Camper’s Haven. It was inexpensive, but very loud – I had trouble sleeping – it seemed people were up partying late into the night (to be fair we did arrive on the eve of a Canadian summer holiday – so that could be what contributed to the atmosphere) We just needed somewhere to park the van legally and sleep. We woke early the next day and set off, eager to see what this new country had in store.
Day Two ~ Yarmouth to Lunenburg
Day 2 Highlight: The Ovens
Naturally formed sea caves that you can climb down into!? Yes please! This hiking and walking park was gorgeous, and if I remember correctly cost us about $35 USD for admission and overnight camping permit. Set on the ocean with dramatic cliffs and beautiful evergreen trees, rocky beaches, peaceful ponds, and friendly farm animals, The Ovens is truly a place to see!
One tip for The Ovens is, while Ethan & I generally don’t plan ahead, if you know for a fact you want to camp here, make a reservation well in advance so you can get a campsite right beside the water! As you will see in one of the photos below, there is a tent perched very close to the ocean. Of course all the sites like that were booked when we rolled up the day of, but if you are able to book in advance, try to snag a beach side site!
Day 2 Highlight: Lunenburg
Lunenburg was a beautiful seaside town filled with quaint shops, art galleries and eateries. The buildings closest to the water were painted a brilliant red, and, along with all of the other colorful buildings, made for quite a colorful place. The docks alongside the town look across a small bay and out towards fields and pastures beyond. Really quite picturesque. There were old ships moored at the docks and when we visited, we were able to board one for free which was very fun and nautical.
If you want further adventure and sights, down the road from Lunenburg is Mahone Bay – another gorgeous and quaint little town which is worth going to. We only just drove to it to look, but I would have liked to explore further. (next time!)
Day 3 ~ The Ovens to Blomidon Provincial Park
Instead of going on to Halifax from The Ovens/Lunenburg area we drove due north on route 10 towards Middleton. (Halifax is probably great – but, as my husband is not a fan of cities, we tend to avoid them). Once we reached Middleton, instead of getting on Route 1 we took Route 221 as I read on Trip Advisor that this route had more traditional Nova Scotian scenery. Since Route 221 runs parallel to Route 1, we didn’t worry about getting off our course and it was a beautiful route, filled with rolling old farmland and pastures, and dotted with pretty houses and neat old barns. We took it for a ways, then meandered back to Route 1 on towards Wolfville and the Tangled Garden.
Day 3 Highlight: Tangled Garden
Sigh. The Tangled Garden. I wish I could transport myself back there. Flowers, herbal infused honey and vinegar for sale, a sweet little garden cafe… I’ll let the photos speak for it~ this may be my favorite place we visited on the whole trip! (I’m a garden lover!)
Day 3 Highlight: Cape Split Hike
North of Wolfville is a peninsula called Cape Split that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean’s Bay of Fundy. There is a hiking trail that runs the whole length of the peninsula and ends with spectacular views of the bay. It is not a difficult hike by any means, no real steep or technical parts, it is just long – so bring food and plenty of water. There is really no where in the area to purchase these things either, so plan ahead! The long and winding woodland trail is really worth it for the stunning views at the end.
Before your Trip Practical Tips:
The price of the CAT ferry jumps up and down quite a lot from day to day it seems, so when booking, play around with the departure dates before you purchase, if you have the flexibility to do so, to secure the best price.
Change your money to Canadian currency before you get there. I didn’t find Nova Scotia to be an overly tourist-ey place, so money changing kiosks were nowhere to be found, especially when arriving so late at night from the ferry. We were so thankful we thought to get the money beforehand, so we didn’t even have to worry about it. Many places do accept other currencies but you get the best prices if you pay in Canadian currency.
Don’t forget your passport!
Well those were the first 3 days of our little Nova Scotian adventure. Stay tuned for the rest of the trip! Keep adventuring, Callie 🙂
Did summer go by fast or what? (And this post is really really late!! Because fall flew by as well!) I think it’s because we didn’t have much of a spring time transition this year. All of a sudden, it was summer. Though it feels like it slipped away so quickly, looking back on the photos and memories, we really lived in many beautiful summer moments this year. More and more I am trying to inhabit the present, to really SEE what is around me, to notice the small details, and the big connections between everyone and everything. Here are a few of my favorite summer moments captured~
Elysian Hills Tree Farm ~ Dummerston, Vermont
Sunset in the Harbor ~ Newport, Rhode Island
Tomatoes at Moulton’s Farm ~ Meredith, New Hampshire x Sunset ~ Center Harbor, New Hampshire
The more one gardens, the more one learns; And the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows. ~Vita Sackville West
Was there ever a place more magical? A place I felt happier? This place made me giddy with delight and wonder. Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by beauty. Situated in County Kent, Sissinghurst Castle garden is the beautiful creation of Vita Sackville West who lived there starting in 1930. For an excellent history and historic photographs of this extraordinary place, see the National Trust’s article here. For now, enjoy the photographs I took while visiting Sissinghurst on 29 April 2017. We hopped off the plane in Gatwick London, met up with dear friends, and sped on down to Sissinghurst where we were immediately immersed in stunning scenery and gorgeous gardens. I felt that no matter what happened on the rest of my trip to England, I would have had a successful trip because the time at Sissinghurst was just beautiful. Enjoy the photos, my friends~
From the top~
Gorgeous flowering quince in front of a cottage
The White Garden
Tulips in bloom in front of the tower
The Purple Garden
Collage: Roses at the entryway, trees on the grounds, tulips bordering brick
Collage: A fern tunnel with statue at the end, flower pots
Blooming boughs in front of a cottage
White Narcissus filled field
Collage: My friends Sam and Kassie 🙂
Collage: Wisteria and roses, hide and seek in the hedges
Collage: View of the towers, pink magnolia blooming
Collage: the sun peaking out, me in front of the sunset garden’s cottage
The Sunset Garden with towers behind
The view from the towers
An old ivy covered tree on the grounds
A view of distant pastures
Collage: beautiful white blooms, afternoon cream tea
The stunning gardens from above
The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before. ~Vita Sackville West
Ah winter. Quiet, rest, hibernation. Those “activities” are generally my over-arching winter goals. Yes, I miss outdoors time and flowers and long hours of light and warm air. But the calming nature of winter, the spare beauty, and the indoor coziness just about make up for it. This particular winter was quite restful for me, as I had to have surgery at the end of January. So I was able to rest and rejuvenate more than usual. I did manage to get out and about a little bit. Here are my favorite shots from this winter.
May 2008. A dream fulfilled: a trip to Paris with my best friend! Here are my favorite photos from our arrival day. I will periodically share subsequent days of the trip as I finish editing them. I took the photographs 10 years ago and am just now getting around to editing them! haha! I’m a major photo procrastinator. But I’m glad I waited in a way, as I can delete photos more easily and edit in a nostalgic style, which suits Paris. You must forgive the slightly grainy photo quality as these were taken with my first little 5 megapixel camera. Enjoy~
My first siting of the Arc D’triumph in our taxi from the airport.
The gorgeous architecture of the buildings (I was in awe) and the sights and smells of the open air food market near our hotel.
The Eiffel Tower! We went right up it- fantastic views!
Locals playing some bocce ball in the park near the tower.
The street view of Napoleon’s gold dome burial spot.
Wandering the streets in a light rain.
Enjoying a creme brûlée for dessert.
The tower lit up at night from our hotel room’s balcony.
Looking back on these, I appreciate all the more what a beautiful city Paris is. I’m so thankful I was able to see it with my own eyes. I would love to visit again someday, along with the french countryside. More to come….
ten years of photography near and far by Callista Faucher
This body of work examines the interesting juxtaposition between the exhilaration of exploring new places and the comfort of finding beauty in the familiar surroundings of home. Travel has always called to me; yet, at the same time, home time draws me too. Wander and explore, or put down roots? A perennial question, and a question I’m so thankful that I have the circumstances to ask. I’m eternally grateful for the trips I’ve taken, along with the beauty of my home that has made these images possible. Whether near or far, I try to keep in mind the quote by Walt Whitman from which the name of this show was taken: happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour. Photography helps me to do just that: to be happy in the present moment. This is good. Dreamer by nature, idealistic almost to a fault: I am often thinking about the next thing. The click of the shutter however, grounds me in the here and now. Photography helps me to really see what is in front of me and to derive happiness from the beauty inherent in all of the ordinary and extraordinary places in which we live out life’s moments.
Along with exploring happiness and presence in different places, this show is also a story of my growth as a photographer. In the making of these images, I’ve never been laden with bulky equipment, nor do I rely on hefty zoom lenses, tripods, or image stabilization. I don’t use a flash. I’ve always enjoyed physically moving to get a shot, at times being on my hands and knees, sneaking up on a shot, or making myself look crazy to get an angle. When I first started shooting, I used a Fugifilm Finepix digital camera. At just 5 megapixels, it was a pretty lousy camera, yet I was so happy to have it, and I took some shots that I am still fond of today. At the time, I was a fan of really editing my photos: I loved a cross-processed look, deep sepia tones, sharp contrasts: making things look a bit larger than life. Some of those shots are included in this show, because it wouldn’t be an honest portrayal of my artistic growth if I left them out. I eventually saved up my pennies (literally) and bought a Nikon D5000 DSLR in 2009. It’s wide angle lens helped to develop my love for sweeping landscapes. These days, I like a more subdued look and gravitate towards calming scenes with minimal editing.
I’ve always known I wanted to “make art” and “be an artist”, yet I never considered myself one. I was quite narrow minded and grew up imagining that to “be an artist” one had to be wealthy and connected; I thought of it as some sort of out-of-my-reach privilege. But really, I was just getting in my own way: months would pass and I would create little. I was paralyzed by indecision; having too many ideas but never acting on any. I made excuses. I was busy, always busy. All the while though, the creativity and inspiration were building inside of me. At times, I felt as though I would burst. It always made me sad and overwhelmed that I hadn’t created anything. And yet, going through this body of work, putting this show together, I realize now that I’ve been creating all along: these photos are my art. These places captured have made me an artist. All the times I was moved to click that shutter, I was creating. Little bits of beauty, pure happiness, moments captured: these were and are my inspiration and motivation. I’ve been unknowingly making these images for 10 years now and I’m so happy I finally got out of my own way to display them for you. I hope you enjoy my work, and I thank you sincerely for your interest in it.
Time is suspended in this place: in all the places you and I have been.
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.
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.
My 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.
Golden 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.
A 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.