Upper Bantam Preserve – Medicine Rock Trail

If you are feeling like an interesting and short walk this weekend check out the Upper Bantam Preserve overseen by the Litchfield Land Trust. The Medicine Rock Trail is located in Litchfield on the west side of route 202, 1.6 miles north of the center of Litchfield. The trailhead parking is about 1000 feet south of the Town Farm Road intersection with route 202. This trail is 1.6 miles.

The trail follows a 500-foot access path that includes bog bridging and leads to a kiosk with a trail map. The yellow trail marks an old woods road and heads west to the Bantam River. From the kiosk, the red-blazed, north loop of Medicine Rock trail is located 280 feet on the right. This 0.4-mile trail loop heads north and then west as it descends to the river where it passes the terminus of the yellow trail. The Upper Bantam River Preserve is
an excellent example of a diverse mixed New England forest. The mature forest contains a wide variety of tree species including oak, birch, hickory, hemlock, beech, and maple. The trail along the river passes through an enchanting mature hemlock grove. The 0.8-mile southern loop follows the Bantam River south for less than a half-mile and then ascends the hill and reconnects with the yellow trail.

As you walk there is a lot to see. Look for scattered outcroppings of white quartzite which inspired the trail name. White quartzite was considered
a special gift to native Americans who believed that it held healing powers. White quartzite was also used extensively in forming arrowheads and tools.

After your walk, you might want to pop into The Dutch Epicure on Rte. 202 that is celebrating 50 years this year! They are known regionwide for their European style pastries, breads, cookies and cakes made on the premises, German meats and sausages, Dutch and European cheeses, various fine teas, jams, chocolates from all over Europe, and of course Dutch food and Dutch groceries.

Oystering in Norwalk, Connecticut @ Norwalk Historical Society

Join the Norwalk Historical Society on Thursday, March 4th @ 5:30 pm and author Bill Whitbeck about his new book on Oystering in Norwalk via Zoom. This illustrated talk will highlight photographs from Mr. Whitbeck’s book as well as rarely-seen images from his personal collection. Join us as we explore a brief history of oystering in and around Norwalk and learn of Mr. Whitbeck’s reminiscences about growing up in East Norwalk and his love of oystering his relationship with the Bloom family and stories about his old photography business that was housed in the Radel oyster building. Learn how his waterfront studio allowed him to photograph every aspect of oyster and clam harvesting in the waters surrounding the Norwalk Islands.

Q & A will follow the lecture. This is a Free event however registration is required. Once registered, the Zoom link will be included at the bottom of your confirmation email under Additional Details. Zoom link will also be emailed to you 24 hours and 1 hour before the event. You can also access the Zoom link in this event’s Online Event Page on Eventbrite. Support the Norwalk Historical Society’s community programming with a suggested donation of $5.00. Donate Today. The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

About Bill Whitbeck’s new book, Oystering in Norwalk, Connecticut
A photographic collection that includes over 100 historical maritime photographs of oystering in Norwalk, Connecticut. Bill Whitbeck took the photos during the time he had his photography business in the old Radel oyster house in South Norwalk. Anyone who is interested in maritime history and nautical photographs will enjoy this book! The book can be purchased locally at Copps Island Oysters in Norwalk, CT: http://www.coppsislandoysters.com/ or online through blurb.com: https://www.blurb.com/b/10472959-oystering-in-norwalk-connecticut

About Bill Whitbeck
‘Oyster Bill’ Whitbeck is a Seattle-based photographer and writer. Originally from Norwalk, Connecticut, he became interested in shellfish farming while operating a photography studio in an old oyster house on Long Island Sound. It was during the 1970s and early 1980s that he photographed every aspect of oystering in Connecticut. After moving to the Seattle area in 1977, he found himself becoming more and more involved with the Northwest shellfish scene, and co-authored “The Joy Of Oysters- A cookbook and guidebook for shucking, slurping, and savoring nature’s most perfect food”, which was published in 2001. In October 2017, Bill retired from Taylor Shellfish Farms as their Seattle area sales manager, where he coordinated the sales and deliveries of fresh shellfish to roughly 200 restaurants. His direct contact with the Seattle area’s best chefs and restaurateurs made for a very enjoyable job! In addition to his involvement with Seattle’s bustling food community, Bill continues living life to the fullest as a photographer, writer, and musician, having performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2006. He is also a seasoned mariner, holding a US Coast Guard 100-ton Captain’s License. Bill received a BS in Photo-Illustration and Journalism from Kent State University in Ohio.

Photo Credit: Bill Whitbeck

Winters Farmers Market and More @ Stamford Museum and Nature Center

This March the Stamford Museum and Nature Center is offering some programs to chase away the winter blues.

If you like fresh winter produce, then don’t miss the Winter’s Farmers Market taking place here every Sunday through March 31 from 10 am through 2 pm. and the entrance to the market is free. The Heckscher Farm tent will have all of your favorite maple syrup, SM&NC’s Heckscher Farm blend coffee, Arethusa products, and more. For a list of vendors click here.

On March 7 from 10 am to 2 pm there will be a Maple Sugar Fest! Join the staff and watch them make maple syrup from the 200 maple trees found right on the 118-acre property. There will be maple syrup treats, games, and demonstrations. Nonmembers are $20 per person and members are $10 per person.

On March 26, 27, and 28 there will be a Forest Easter Egg adventure on the Wheels in the Woods Trail. A maximum of 25 kids per session ensures a fun, safe event for all. Participants can check-in anytime within the first half-hour of their registered session. We’ll start the hunt on our trails where kids can gather eggs in the woods, then return back to the Wheels in the Woods picnic area, where we’ll get to meet some live animals!

Kids will turn in their found eggs and get to take home a craft and choose a prize from our awesome choices of stuffed animals, science kits, craft activities, and more! The program will run rain or shine (the rain plan will be e-mailed to participants if needed). Members: $20 per child; 1 free adult and Non-members: $25 per child; 1 free adult.

Explore Norfolk’s Architectural and Outdoor Attractions Before Setting Out! @ Winter Weekend in Norfolk

If you are in the mood for a Saturday or Sunday drive check out these new Winter Weekend In Norfolk Connecticut videos that will help you plan a route before setting out. Winter Weekend in Norfolk made its debut virtually last weekend and is still offering on-demand videos to stream. The videos featured are series to watch that will be helpful if you are planning an in-person drive to bucolic Norfolk. These videos will show viewers a variety of points of interest that can be explored safely in Norfolk from self-guided architectural tours to nature walks and even cross-country skiing and winter photography. There are many videos to choose from when visiting the Weekend in Norfolk website that will appeal to the entire family. For the Winter Win website https://weekendinnorfolk.org

If there were a competition for the most architecturally distinguished small U.S. town of 2,000 people or fewer, Norfolk, Conn., might win it. It is the only town of that size with landmark buildings designed by eight nationally-significant architects, all within a short walk of the town green, as well as many other distinguished buildings scattered throughout. If you want to see why architecture matters, take this virtual tour or, even better, plan on visiting Norfolk in person.

William Hosley, your tour guide, is a curator, historian, writer, and photographer. He is passionate about local history and historic preservation and has developed a deep attachment to dozens of places worth caring about. He is the former director of the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks and was a curator at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, where he organized several major exhibitions. This nine-minute video takes visitors on an in-depth tour of Norfolk’s architectural wonders that will give visitors and residents alike a new appreciation of why Norfolk looks like it does today. To take the tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mTimVL-8GE

Another historic house tour offered is that of The Alders that is one of Norfolk’s grandest estates. Built-in 1898 to a design by Ehrick Rossiter, who also designed the Yale Norfolk Music Shed and the tower on Haystack Mountain, the Alders features stunning architectural details including intricate cherry woodwork, majestic Moorish arches, 20 stained glass windows, unique tile, and wood fireplace mantels and many more period details.

Take a virtual tour of this grand estate and learn about Charles Spofford, the wealthy New Yorker who commissioned Rossiter to build the Alders and brought Gilded Age opulence to Norfolk. Spofford was the son of the country’s sixth Librarian of Congress and played a key role in the industrial revolution as a railroad magnate. He also founded companies with Thomas Edison to bring public transportation and electricity to towns and cities across the United States. To watch this video click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zoy4_RMsDu0. The Alders is located on Maple Street in Norfolk.

Norfolk is also known for its great-unspoiled natural beauty. As the “icebox” of Connecticut, there is a good chance there will still be snow in Norfolk when it has melted in other parts of the state! Norfolk has three state parks and miles of cross-country skiing trails just waiting to be explored. If cross-country skiing is in your future, this video is not to be missed.

Join local resident, Star Child’s to find out about Norfolk’s many cross-country ski trails. Cross-country skiing is a wonderful winter sport for the entire family that wants to enjoy the fresh Norfolk air. Star offers some tips on how to get the most out of cross-country skiing and shares some of the best trails in Norfolk, including the highly recommended Land trust Trails. To watch the video for an inside peek of where and how to cross-country ski in Norfolk click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g33zMLLIC-s. Best of all, there are links to maps of all the trails mentioned in this video – so hit the trail and enjoy!

The white on white textures of winter photography can be tricky. If you are looking for an evocative place to sharpen your winter photography skills watch this video then head to Norfolk, it is a paradise for photographers. Ardent Norfolk photographers, Chris Keyes and Doug McDevitte offer tips and tricks for creating good winter images as well as sharing some of their favorite places to take photos in Norfolk in this helpful video.

Some wonderful opportunities talked about and shown in this twelve-minute video include the Norfolk Green, Campbell Falls State Park, the Blackberry River, Haystack Mountain, Great Mountain Forest, and many others In addition to photography tips, the best things to wear in the snow and on the ice is also shared. To watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No7y5ZY3J90

About Weekend in Norfolk
Now in its sixth year, the all-volunteer WIN Committee organizes two town-wide events annually: the Summer WIN and the Winter WIN. Norfolk’s town officials, its Economic Development Commission, and a multitude of local organizations, institutions, and individuals support these two town-wide festivals.

In-Person Event @ Winter WIN – Skating Away & More! Starting Feb. 20

The charming town of Norfolk located in the heart of the Litchfield Hills organizes a town-wide weekend celebration of art, music, and nature every August and February. Although most of the events being planned this year for the Winter Win are virtual, Mother Nature permitting, the Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department is hosting an in-person event on Saturday, February 20th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Town Skating Rink.

Bring your skates and enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of Norfolk while skating on this pond that is surrounded by the beautiful Litchfield Hills. There will be a bonfire going to keep skaters warm and even s’mores for that extra energy boost! WIN organizers ask that skaters wear masks while at the event and social distance in accordance with CDC protocols. If you can’t make it on February 20th, no worries, the Fire Department maintains the rink through the winter season.

After enjoying your time on the ice, take time to explore all that Norfolk has to offer. There are fabulous hiking trails at Haystack Mountain State Park and at Dennis Hill State Park. The views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular any time of year so don’t forget your camera. Don’t miss the Norfolk Village Green that is located at the junction of Rte. 44 and Rte. 272. Surrounding the green you will see the Stoeckel Estate, home of the Yale Summer School of Music, a Federal-style Congregational Church, a Romanesque styled Church, and the shingle style Norfolk Library that was built in 1888. At the southern tip of the Green is a memorial fountain designed by architect Stamford White. The On-Demand Video featuring an Architectural Tour of Norfolk with William Hosely, a prominent Connecticut Historian, and Preservationist is a fascinating introduction to the many treasured buildings in town. Watch it before visiting Norfolk to get the lay of the land.

If in-person events aren’t on your agenda, Winter WIN has a fantastic number of Live-Streamed and On-Demand videos that will be available to view beginning Saturday, February 20th. There are so many videos to choose from in five different categories including music, art, nature, fun for kids, and more!

There is something to please every viewer on the list. Visit the studio of a costume designer and puppet maker or attend a workshop on winter photography. If you like music, there is plenty of it with everything from a classical Quartet to piano, drum, and guitar performances. If you like the great outdoors take a walk on the wild side with John Anderson or check out Norfolk’s miles of pristine cross country ski trails with Star Childs. If the winter night sky is of interest don’t miss the video with the astronomer, Mathew Moore Johnson.

If you want to try something new to eat, check out the Spanish cooking class with Martina Gago from Santiago de Compostela. Viewers will learn how to make Tortillas de Patatas, one of the signature dishes of Spanish cuisine made with eggs, potatoes, and onions. This tasty dish can be served hot or at room temperature as tapas.

Curling has a long and rich history that is thought to have originated in Scotland in the 16th century. In Norfolk curling has been alive and well since 1956. The On-Demand video shows the camaraderie among the players as well as how the club makes ice!

Animal lovers will enjoy the On- Demand videos by Lost Ruby, Husky Meadows, and Broad Field Farms because they give viewers an inside peek of what life is like on a farm in the winter!

The length of each video and a short description is included on the website. For complete information visit https://weekendinnorfolk.org. The winter weekend videos are slated to go live on February 20. In the meantime to help you pass the weary winter days, the videos from the 2020 Summer WIN are still available to watch on the website.

About Weekend in Norfolk
Now in its sixth year, the all-volunteer WIN Committee organizes two town-wide events annually: the Summer WIN and the Winter WIN. Norfolk’s town officials, the Economic Development Commission, and a multitude of local organizations, institutions, and individuals support these two town-wide festivals.

White Memorial Foundation hosts Icelandic Concert!

So many of us are longing to travel. If you have always wanted to go to Iceland then sign up for this live concert offered by White Memorial Foundation that is being streamed directly from Iceland featuring Svavar Knutur on Saturday, February 20 at 2 p.m. Members are free and non-members are $10 and link will be sent to you upon registration. Click here to register.

A native of the rugged north of Iceland, troubadour and storyteller Svavar Knútur has dedicated his life to exploring the human condition through the lens of his country’s dark and often tragic history and unique melodies and narrative style. Channeling the angst-ridden serenity of long dark winters and the insomnia of the 24 hour glaring summer sun, this eclectic musician has in recent years blossomed into a sublime singer and songwriter.

Knutur’s songs of misery and redemption deliver a healthy dose of hope in the midst of despair. A humoristic storyteller and avid diver into the murky waters of the human condition, Svavar Knútur sows and reaps a unique mixture of art and entertainment. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Svavar conjures up every emotion in you and more. He is truly one of the world’s most versatile and gifted singer/songwriters. For a sneak preview click here.