I moved to Whitingham, Vermont full-time in 2014, close to the Massachusetts border–a striking contrast to the city of New York where I had lived for 34 years. Instead of towering skyscrapers there were gentle tree covered mountains; instead of the teeming streets of Manhattan there were beautiful verdant pastures, and instead of the constant noise of honking horns and rumbling trucks there was the intense quiet—almost too quiet! With camera in hand I went to discover my new home full time.
By scanning the Internet, I discovered the Dorset Playhouse, about 50 miles away, which presents professional summer theater. The picture of the Playhouse was taken at dusk, just before a performance. Then one day, while driving through Williamsville, I was surprised to see mummers performing in the street. It was improvisatory theater on a preexisting plot. The photo shows a player literally jumping in the air.
In the neighboring town of West Dover is Mount Snow, famous for its ski slopes. I was told that skiing was not the only activity, that events were held year-round as you can see in the photo of the downhill bike race.
In New York, Canada Geese were considered a nuisance but in Vermont, with its wide expanse of green meadows and nearby ponds, they are a welcome sight. From spring through the summer I watched enthusiastically as parents brought up their rapidly maturing goslings and marveled how disciplined they were with the young ones. The photo of the geese was taken early in the morning through the mists.
Vermont cherishes its covered bridges not only as tourist attractions but for their practicality, especially during the winter snows. The photo here is of the Townshend dam bridge which is no longer in use.
A large number of charming dirt roads wind through the Vermont woods. Often, early in the morning as the sun was rising, I would go exploring wondering where each would lead me. One of my favorite rides was on Boyd Hill Road in Wilmington, where it is not uncommon to see turkeys slowly strutting across the road. There are three Boyd Hill Road photos on this website: one of the fall colors, one of a horse in the meadow, and one with my favorite view of Haystack Mountain. I stopped by the white farm house seen in the photo to photography Haystack when I saw a lady come out of the house. I told her that it must be wonderful to live here and see this view every day. “Yes,” she said. “My mother just retired and moved to this house. It’s not for sale!” Fortunately, this was a friendly remark and we parted as friends. I keep coming back just to see this lovely view.
Every year, Wilmington has its Farmers Fair. Here produce is judged and animal husbandry is on display including a demonstration of sheep shearing. But what I like to watch is the horse pull. A sled is loaded with increasing numbers of cement blocks and the farmers with their teams of horses vie for prizes to see which team can pull the furthest with one pull. At the end, the winning horse is tested by a veterinarian to certify it is not doped. I was cheerfully granted permission to stand by the track to take my photos. But before I went, I noticed two horses nuzzling each other. I call it “Love at first bite.” This made a charming photo. The second shows men straining to help their horses excel.
In the fall, many put on their hunting clothes and go looking for deer. One day, I stopped by Sonny Brown’s home in East Dover and was confronted with four deer hanging outside his barn. Later, an even more surprising sight came in to view while driving down a steep hill toward the center of Wilmington. It was a ghoulish display. By the entrance to a barn were assembled the strangest creatures I had ever seen; all expertly created for Halloween. I wish I could show you all of them.
Vermont offers many places for hikers to hike. I wished to explore one that was not too far from where I lived. I drove to Jamaica State Park. The trail follows the West River and, once a year, Trans Canada releases water from its dam. As soon as the date is known, knowledgeable boaters from all over New England flock to the river to experience white water boating. Unbeknownst to me, the day I was there was the day. Boats were being hauled by hand along the trail to the headwaters of the event. Camera ready as always, I was able to get many photos of small craft navigating the swiftly running river. The photo here shows two men challenging the current.
As in my home state of New York, Vermont is an apple growing area. My favorite orchard is along the Connecticut River just north of Putney: Harlows Sugar House. You can pick your own or watch as tractors drive bins full of new apples down the lanes. There is also a cider machine where the apples are pressed to make cider. The chaff is saved to put out in the winter for the deer.
It was a short drive to Wards Cove, a swimming and boating area managed by Trans Canada on Harriman Reservoir. You can also picnic or just relax or, as a group of young men and women did, stretch a line taught between two trees and see how good you are at balancing on a rope. The young man in the photo was amazingly agile.
It is impossible to show all the wonders of Vermont in one website but one final photo appealed to me. It was of the sun shining between the clouds filtering through the snow covered evergreens. An enchanting sight.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at my photographs as much as I have enjoyed taking the pictures. Recently I inaugurated an occasional exhibit of my work which is open to the public. Each exhibit is arranged around a different theme.