This Weekend @ Jones Family Farm in Shelton

Jones Family Farm Winery in Shelton has planned a weekend of summer fun for wine and music lovers. The weekend kicks off on Friday, August 14 with the music of Seth Adam who will be performing at the Hones Winery Courtyard. The seating starts at 4:30 pm and the music starts at 4:45 and runs through 6:45 p.m. leaving plenty of time to catch dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Jones Farm is also running a special summer wine special. For the month of August, enjoy a glass of Sunshine White or Pure Rosé for only $6. Also, mix and match any combination of 3 bottles of our Sunshine White and Pure Rosé, and receive 25% off. Perfect for picnics or poolside. Pair with all your favorite summer fare.

To book your table, visit the farms online reservation system on their website.
Click on the BOOK NOW bar for Winery and all farm reservations. Please remember, Jones Farm is an outdoor venue. Limited indoor seating also available within their spacious, well-ventilated tasting room.

Their Online Wine Store is another a great way to place an order for pick up. The Summer Bottle Special is available online as well.

Virtual Weekend in Norfolk July 31, August 1 and 2

For the past four years, the bucolic village of Norfolk, Connecticut has welcomed visitors to a town-wide festival where all the events are free. Rather than totally canceling the event because of the pandemic more than 25 businesses, organizations, and individuals have come together to welcome folks from near and far to a Virtual Weekend in Norfolk​ on July 31, August 1, and August 2. This year all events will be online, some will be live, and others will be On-Demand allowing viewers to watch them from home at their convenience. Best of all, every event is free of charge.

A special Virtual Weekend in Norfolk website​ has been set up that lists live and On-Demand events by category. The length of each video and description is included to make planning your viewing time easy. On-Demand events begin at 12:01 a.m., July 31, and run through August 2. Five live events are also scheduled.

The “White House” in Norfolk, CT

On-Demand Event Highlights

Natural foods and herbs have been used medicinally for centuries. If you want to learn more about how to prepare healthy food don’t miss the 39-minute video by Wendy Roberts from Norfolk’s Mountain View Green Retreat​ on how to prepare a variety of food from Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, Chocolates with coconut oil, good for HDL cholesterol levels, a virgin Pina Colada, Nut Cheese made with heart-healthy raw cashews, and fresh-pressed juice to supercharge your health. These fun and instructive videos guide viewers in a step-by-step presentation with recipes included.

Viewers are invited to take a 20-minute virtual walking tour of the delightful village of Norfolk. Highlights of this tour include the classic village green, an extraordinary fountain, and interesting architectural buildings, and homes. The highlight is a tour of Battell Chapel’s​ Stained Glass windows designed by D. Maitland Armstrong and Louis Comfort Tiffany. An in-depth view of the techniques used that make these windows special and a discussion on the restoration process of these historic gems makes this video riveting.

One of the most interesting ways to understand the history and cultural heritage of a town is to visit a graveyard. The backstory told on the gravestones helps to define the character and tradition that gives people a sense of place. Don’t miss the chance to dive into Norfolk’s history with Historian William Hosley​, former curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, and the former Director of the Connecticut Landmarks Society. Hosley’s fascinating 12-minute video visits Norfolk’s Center Cemetery established in 1757. Every stone here tells a story from first settlers dating back to the 1770s and war heroes, to children, ministers, and politicians. A highlight is the story of Jupiter Morris. No rural town has the depth and richness of African American history as Norfolk; this video explains why.

If you have always wondered what it was like to live on a farm with goats, chickens, and pigs, then plan to spend a few minutes to see what life is like on Lost Ruby Farm​ in Norfolk, makers of some of the best goat cheese you will ever taste. Join owners Adair Mali and Antonio Guindon as they share their life on the farm and the love they have for their animals, and their commitment to fresh healthy food.

If architecture is of interest don’t miss the four-minute architectural glimpse of four of Norfolk’s most historic homes with Tom Mc Gowan. Highlighted homes include The Joseph Battell House circa 1799 known locally as “The White House,” Knolly Brook circa 1875 that offers a mélange of architectural styles, Beechwood Cottage, 1895 that looks like it should be in the English Cotswolds, and the Victorian style Tea Cozy Cottage, circa 1898. Another video details the story of the Victorian-styled Norfolk Library​ that was designed in the 19th century’s Golden Age of architecture and compares it to different libraries throughout the U.S. designed in a similar style.

Kids are not forgotten at this year’s Virtual Win. They can tune in any time over the course of this three-day weekend to watch a fun, 18-minute video with artist and printmaker, Susan Rood. Kids and adults are guided through the process of printmaking using paper, paint, leaves, and found material. This video encourages imaginations to run wild with artistic creations!

Live Events

Virtual Weekend in Norfolk also features five live streaming videos including a Puppet Show​ called Lisa the Wise on Friday, July 31, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. that is perfect for kids and family fun. On Saturday, August 1 there are two different concerts by The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Emerging Artist Showcase​ at 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. For art lovers don’t miss Saturday’s watercolor workshop with artist Pamela Harnois​ from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday, August 2, the final live virtual workshop from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. is with renowned artist and metal sculptor, Karen Rossi​; participants will learn how to make metal flowers with soda cans! Visit the website​ to register for a live event. After registration, a Zoom link will be sent about 30 minutes before the event streams live.

Skug: Snakes in the Eastern Woodlands – New Exhibit @ Institute for American Indian Studies

Native people have adapted to their changing environment over the course of thousands of years. Adaptation involves the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next, for Native people, this is done through oral tradition and symbols. Among the most important symbols is the snake, which had different meanings to different communities and, different meanings throughout the centuries. The Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington Connecticut has just opened a new exhibition called Skug: Snakes in the Eastern Woodlands that highlights the perception of snakes in the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial world.

Prior to colonization, Native people used stories to inform each other about the surrounding environment, including the animals present in that environment. These stories and symbols, about animals like the snake, have very practical applications. An example of this is the game known as “snow snake.” This winter sport is still widely practiced by many Native communities and is usually played in teams that compete to see who can throw the wooden “snake” the farthest in a long track of snow.

During colonial times, American settlers were impressed and fearful of snakes, particularly, rattlesnakes. They first heard about rattlesnakes from indigenous people. Rattlesnakes were something settlers had never encountered before and they considered them ferocious. Consequentially, colonists adopted the rattlesnake as a symbolic identity that differentiated early colonists in America from people they left behind in continental Europe. The imagery of snakes, in general, continued to change and evolve over time and the colonial portion of this exhibition highlights examples of how, when, and why this occurred.

One of the highlights of the exhibit details the historic account of the Schaghticoke Rattlesnake Club in South Kent, Connecticut that dates back to the late 19th century. Every June, club members would head up Schaghticoke Mountain in knee-high boots armed with two-pronged eight-foot sticks to capture snakes. The majority of the club members were newspapermen from as far as New York City. The adventures of these rattlesnake hunts by the Schaghticoke Rattlesnake Club detailed in this exhibit offer a fascinating glimpse into the Native adaptations to colonialism and detribalization in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut has opened the Indoor Museum where this new exhibit can be seen. The Outdoor grounds have trails, a replicated outdoor Algonkian Village, a three sisters garden, and an archaeological pavilion. The Museum and Grounds are open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m. The Museum and Staff follow strict safety protocols. For more information on the safety policy implemented please click here.

STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN! BIRDWATCHERS CAN STRIKE GOLD I

You don’t have to be a birdwatcher to love the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, but those who enjoy spotting beautiful birds will find treasure in this beautiful corner of Northwest Connecticut. The region offers a variety of colorful summer terrain–open fields, woods, lakes and ponds, riverbanks, and wetlands–a boon to both winged visitors and the footed friends who come to admire them against a backdrop of flaming foliage.

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Here are some of the most scenic spots to stop, look, and listen to the sweet songs of the birds:

White Memorial Foundation & Conservation Center, Rte. 202, Litchfield. 860-567-0857. The State’s largest reserve has great waterfowl viewing on Bantam Lake, a favorite for migrant ducks and geese, as well as abundant varieties of land birds. Last fall saw waves of warblers, as well as bluebirds, robins, blackbirds, and sparrows passing through on their migration south. Rarer species such as the Philadelphia Vireo, White-winged Crossbill, Hooded Warblers, and Evening Grosbeaks were also sighted.

The Sharon Audubon Center, Rte. 4, Sharon, 860-364-0520. Some 179 bird species from great blue herons to tiny wrens have been seen on this 800-acre property where eleven miles of trails are open daily dawn to dusk.

Railroad Ramble Nature Trail, maintained by the Salisbury Land Trust is an easy one-mile walk along an old railroad bed between Lakeville and Salisbury. This walk has been carefully preserved in its natural state by the Land Trust and is rich in plant and birdlife. One of the best spots for bird watchers is the pond where many varieties of eastern songbirds, as well as waterfowl, can be seen. More than 90 varieties of birds have been spotted along the trail. To reach the trail from Lakeville, take Route 44 north, turn right to the end of Walton Street and look for the trailhead on the left. The other end of the trail is at Salmon Kill Road just behind the village in Salisbury.

Twin Lakes, Salisbury, bounded by Twin Lakes Rd. and Taconic Rd, Between the Lakes Rd. runs between them and can be reached from Route 44 east of town. Here you will find great waterfowl viewing including many varieties of ducks from mergansers and ringnecks to ruddy ducks, canvasbacks, buffleheads, and horned grebes.

Kent River Road, a dirt road on the west side of the Housatonic River, is a good site to see a variety of winged beauties. On a good day, vireos, flycatchers, or swallows can be spotted as well as a host of waterfowl. At the end of the road is a trail leading from the parking area where the yellow-throated warbler is often found. The River Road is off Skiff Mountain Road, 1/2 mile north of Route 341, and 3/4 mile from the traffic light in Kent at the intersection of Route 7 and 341.

Live Events @ Virtual Weekend in Norfolk July 31, August 1, and 2

No holds barred! Virtual fun for all is the watchword in Norfolk, Conn., this coming July 31, August 1, and 2 during the town’s fifth annual three-day, town-wide Weekend in Norfolk Festival that will be held all online this year.

Everyone’s invited to view live streaming and online demand events starting July 31 with family and friends. Viewers will enjoy more than 20 events that Norfolk’s organizations, businesses, and individuals have put together to share the resilience, art, music, food, and natural beauty of this delightful community located in the heart of the Litchfield Hills.

Live streaming events are a highlight of this year’s Virtual Weekend in Norfolk. It is easy to sign up for a live event by visiting the website and registering. After registration, which is quick and simple a Zoom link will be sent to you about 30 minutes before the event streams live. Best of all, every event is free of charge!

The first live event on July 31 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. is a Puppet Show called Lisa the Wise that is sure to delight young and old alike. This colorful Russian folktale is told with imaginative shadow puppets and features a brave young girl, witches, enchanted dolls, and even dancing houses! This story has a contemporary twist sure to entertain and is recommended for children ages four and older. Expect lots of laughter and fun while watching these amazing puppets that will take you on an adventure without leaving home

On the second virtual day of Weekend in Norfolk, Saturday, August 1 is perfect for art and music lovers.

The day kicks off with a very special concert from the highly acclaimed and internationally known Norfolk Chamber Music Festival from 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon. The program is the rebroadcast of an Emerging Artist Showcase concert that features the works of Klughart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn for winds and strings. If you miss the live stream of this event, no worries, the event will be available via the Weekend In Norfolk website on-demand section on Sunday, August 2.

If you have always wanted to be a watercolor painter or if you have wondered how to improve your technique, don’t miss the loose watercolor painting demonstration by Pamela Harnois, a visual artist specializing in transparent watercolor from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. This is your chance to learn from an award-winning artist – free. Classically trained in watercolor, Pamela’s work has appeared nationally in art shows and in various publications. She has spent the last decade documenting woodland landscapes and wildflowers from across the country from Connecticut to California.

Saturday concludes with a final concert from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. making it a perfect prelude to cocktail hour and dinner. This rebroadcast of the Emerging Artist Showcase features the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann for piano ensembles. If you miss this live stream broadcast, you can see it on-demand on Sunday, August 2, at 10 a.m.

On Sunday, August 2, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. get ready to have some fun at the final live streaming event that features nationally renowned artist and metal sculptor, Karen Rossi. Limited to 12 adults this fascinating workshop will teach you how to make upcycled metal flowers from something as simple as aluminum soda cans! Have fun drilling, punching and riveting these whimsical flower creations together and decorating them with mixed media to create stunning three- dimensional flowers! No experience is needed and this event is free.

In addition, to live events, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 31, Weekend in Norfolk offers a series of on-demand events that can be watched any time of day or night! On-demand events are conveniently organized on the website by category making it easy to pick and choose what you want to watch. Here you will find everything from art studio tours and nature hikes to kids’ craft workshops and a demonstration of ways to prepare healthy food.

Trails of the Norwalk River Valley and Vicinity

The Norwalk River Watershed Association has launched “Trails of the Norwalk River Valley and Vicinity,” which includes hiking trail maps of the entire watershed region, including Norwalk, Wilton, Ridgefield, Weston and Redding.

Both the map and David Park’s “Kayaking In and Around the Norwalk Islands” book are available through the NRWA website at http://norwalkriver.org/. Proceeds from each purchase go toward funding NRWA efforts to protect the Norwalk River watershed.

The map is available in paper for $5 and in water-resistant outdoor quality for $8 (100% of proceeds support NRWA). The book is available for $10 (40% of proceeds go to NRWA).

The maps were produced by NRWA and printed with funds from a grant from Norwalk outdoor gear and apparel store Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). The map charts existing and proposed trails from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk north to Danbury throughout the watershed and surrounding vicinity.

Kayaking in and around the Norwalk Islands by NRWA board member and kayak enthusiast, David Park, is packed with superb information on kayaking the Norwalk area.

The Norwalk Islands, located one mile off shore, include islands open to the public for camping and exploring, a few being part of the Stewart McKinney Wildlife Refuge. The guidebook, complete with color photos, includes information on three local rivers, complete descriptions of all the islands including local wildlife, history, and points of interest such as the Historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse and other Norwalk lighthouses as well as other useful tidbits such as where to launch, coastal and off-shore paddling information, and safety guidelines.

For information on free programs, research, volunteer opportunities, and membership, contact http://www.norwalkriver.org.

About the Norwalk Watershed Association

The Norwalk River Watershed Association, incorporated in 1996, is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to improve the water quality and aesthetic value of the 40,000-acre Norwalk River watershed; to encourage recreational use of the existing trails and open space; and to promote research, education, cooperation, and action on the part of the stakeholders in the seven watershed towns in CT (Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston, and Norwalk) and NY (Lewisboro).