A Quiet Winter

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.fullsizeoutput_28f1


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Andres Art Trails

Tucked away in Brookline, NH is a very cool place which combines two of my very favorite things: walking in nature and art. This place is called Andres Art Institute and is a network of trails throughout the woods. Interspersed along the trail, seemingly around every corner, there are sculptures which make turning each corner especially exciting.fullsizeoutput_1cad

img_7310There are trails for various ability levels, though I thought even the trails marked easy or moderate were still somewhat steep in parts. Absolutely no problem if you walk in the woods or hike a lot, but if you don’t, just prepare to get a little bit sweaty and winded. But in a good way 🙂 I have wanted to visit the art trails for a very long time, and finally got there with some friends on a Sunday afternoon. We did two trails, and saw a lot of art, but I feel we hardly scratched the surface of the place and I am eager to go back again. I’m not going to post photos of every sculpture we saw- I want them to be a surprise for you if you go- cause that really is the fun of it: anticipating what the next sculpture around the corner will be.fullsizeoutput_1c85 fullsizeoutput_1c8cfullsizeoutput_1c8eSome of the sculptures are very apparent, others, like the one pictured above blend right in to the woods. This is a great place if you want to get some fresh air, exercise, and feel cultured at the same time! haha. It really is a cool idea and I’m glad there are places like this so close to home. Also, it’s free to get in! They do accept donations of course.

fullsizeoutput_1c73fullsizeoutput_1c72I love the little snail who made his home in my favorite sculpture! So if you want a fun and different outing this summer, give this place a try! Getting there: Andres Institute of Art 106 Route 13, Brookline NH 03033. And on an unrelated note, but just around the corner from Andres is a Chinese Restaurant called New Kun Garden, and they make ice cream rolls! We were sure to get some of those 🙂 img_7309

Tropical Air in New England

When the months of March and April roll around, nearly everyone in New England (even a winter lover like me) is ready for some warm weather. It’s true we do get the occasional 70 degree day in springtime, but mostly it’s just in-between-limbo weather: not too warm to enjoy being outside and not cold enough to be snug in by a fire. This March was particularly cold. On one really raw and rainy day, almost freezing, my husband and I decided we needed some air that felt tropical, so we headed down to The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA. fullsizeoutput_15d7MagicWings2We are enormous fans of butterfly conservatories. Just sitting in the warm air watching the butterflies flit by is so calming. For our 3rd anniversary last year we chose to take a day trip to another butterfly conservatory in Massachusetts: Magic Wings in Deerfield. Both conservatories offer tropical plants, warm air, exotic birds, little quails running around (the quail are the “clean-up crew”), soothing background music, small ponds with fish, and of course, butterflies of all kinds. The photos in this post were taken from the two separate visits to the two separate locations.

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Overall, we enjoyed Magic Wings a lot more than The Butterfly Place, although, being in Deerfield, it is a much further trek from where we live. Magic Wings is much bigger then The Butterfly Place in Westford, and offers more secluded sitting spaces. It also has a wider variety of flowers; it is literally a large indoor tropical botanic garden. While both places have a pond, the pond at Magic Wings is larger and has a bridge over it, where one can perch and watch the huge, multi-colored koi fish swim. I’m not trying to downgrade The Butterfly Place, but Magic Wings is just a truly special experience that can be made into a day long adventure. When we went there last fall, Ethan and I sat under a plant covered arbor for nearly two hours, just soaking it all in.fullsizeoutput_15d4

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MagicWings16MagicWings1So if you need an escape into 80 degree air, and want to feel like you are in a tropical paradise for a couple of hours, look no farther than either one of Massachusetts’ beautiful butterfly conservatories. While Magic Wings holds a special place in our hearts, The Butterfly Place is worth a trip also. You might even have a butterfly land on you 🙂MagicWings11

new boots

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These boots are standing atop a small mountain in southwestern New Hampshire. The day was Monday and the breeze through the now-fully opened leaves was slight and made the light glisten here and there, a patchwork on the worn trail. It was one of those days where everything was beautiful, because truly, everything was. No thoughts of, ‘ugh. work,’ ‘ugh. money,’ ‘ugh. time.’ Instead just,
‘wow, everything is so very beautiful, I can hardly take it all in.’

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signs of fall

The beauty of the fall season is arriving bit by bit each day. Fall time makes me appreciate living in New England more than I already do. The light becomes more golden, the days become shorter, and we retreat inside into the cozy warmth of home a little earlier each day. Here are some of my favorite fall photos so far from this lovely season.

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the summer mantle

Each time I find something special outside, I’ll add it to our mantle. Stones from Maine, a peacock feather, a flower, a butterfly. I’ve added these things to an already full shelf of pottery found at the dump, dried roses from our engagement, and my great grandmothers framed schoolwork. All of it is mixing quite well, and makes for a lovely summer mantle.

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