Sessions Woods is calling all runners!

If you enjoy walking and running on beautiful nature trails then join the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) for the 3rd. Annual Run for the Woods on Saturday, September 19 at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area located on Rte. 69 about three miles south of Rte. 4 in Burlington Connecticut.

courtesy Miranda Linsky
courtesy Miranda Linsky

CFPA advocates for people that love the outdoors with the support of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have organized a 10K Trail Race that begins at 8:30 a.m., a 5K Trail Race at 9 a.m. and a 5K walk at 9:00 a.m. at Sessons Woods.

Participants will walk or jog on beautifully maintained trails and will pass by wetlands, meadows, and a beaver pond. Lucky participants may even catch a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse or a majestic broad-winged hawk.

Registration fees are $25 for the 5K run or walk, and $35 for the 10k run. On the day of the race registration increases by $5. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the race. If you can’t join in the events, and love the outdoors, you might consider making a general donation to CFPA or dedicating it to one of the runners or walkers. All donations go to the protection of Connecticut forests and trails. For more information, registration, and pledging guidelines visit http://www.ctwoodlands.org/run-for-the-woods

This year CFPA’s Run for the Woods has joined the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series. The races, which are run primarily on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails (BBHT), are organized and directed by a variety of running enthusiasts and clubs across the state. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) is grateful for their cooperation and support in making this series possible. The goals of the series are to promote and create greater awareness of trail running on the BBHT System, attract more runners to Connecticut trail running races, strengthen the running community, raise awareness for CFPA’s trail maintenance efforts and enhance the experience for the runners who already support our races through series points and recognition. To learn more about the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series, please visit www.ctwoodlands.org/TrailRunning.

About Sessions Woods

The biggest threat facing CT’s wildlife is the loss of habitat. Since more than 90% of land in CT is privately owned, the Wildlife Division established the Sessions Woods Management Area to begin to meet the needs of the State’s wildlife.

Sessions Woods is more than a tract of natural land set aside for wildlife, it also introduces visitors to wildlife and natural resources management through a variety of educational programs, demonstration sites, displays and self-guided hiking trails.

When you walk the trails here, you experience more than just the benefits of a healthy hike in the fresh outdoor air. Along the sides of the Beaver Pond Trail, Forest Meadow Trail and in the Backyard Habitat Demonstration Area you will find demonstrations of wildlife and habitat management practices.

About CFPA

The CFPA is Connecticut’s first nonprofit conservation organization that was established back in 1895 and is best known for maintaining the 825-mile Blue Blaze hiking system. Their mission is to protect forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut’s rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.

CFPA envisions Connecticut as a place of scenic beauty whose cities, suburbs, and villages are linked by a network of parks, forests, and trails easily accessible for all people to challenge the body and refresh the spirit. They picture a state where clean water, timber, farm fresh foods, and other products of the land make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural well being.

A Trio of Performances at the Gary the Olivia Theatre in Bethlehem

On the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in the quite town of Bethlehem Connecticut the Clay and Wattles Theatre Company has planned two exciting performances this summer at the Gary the Oliva Theatre located on 249 Flanders Road.

The first show is “The Trip to the Bountiful that will take place from June 12 through June 21 with Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

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The Trip to Bountiful” finds a perfect home here, on the grounds of the working farm run by the Benedictine nuns at the Abbey. The roofed, open air theater was built with the vision of former actress and now Benedictine Nun, Mother Dolores Hart, and the generous support of Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal, and has a rich history. The June 12 opening night performance of “The Trip to Bountiful” at The Gary-The Olivia Theater will include a reception during intermission featuring local wines and cheeses.

The musical for the 2015 season is the Tony Award winning “Man of La Mancha.” It is the unforgettable story of the “mad” knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. It will play from August 1-16 at The Gary-The Olivia Theater, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm.

A third performance, a Concert/Fundraiser for Clay & Wattles Theater company at The Gary-The Olivia Theater entitled “From Rags To Riches” will take place on Saturday, September 19 from 3-6 pm with special guest artists performing scenes, songs and dances from your favorite American Musicals and a dramatic reading from Mother Dolores Hart. The concert will be followed by a wine, cheese and chocolate reception with a meet and greet the performers.
The new season offers subscriptions for groups and individuals, and special rates for seniors. For ticket information and more details on the Clay & Wattles Theater company’s 2015 season, visit www.thegarytheolivia.com, or call 203-273-5669, or email info@thegarytheolivia.com.

Catch the BIG ONE at the Riverton Fishing Derby on the Farmington River

April 11, the official opening of the fishing season in the Nutmeg State is the day when fly-fishing aficionados from near and far flock to the Annual Riverton Fishing Derby in the Riverton section of Barkhamsted, located in the beautiful Litchfield Hills.

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The day starts before daybreak with a hearty breakfast beginning at 4 a.m. at the Riverton Fire Department on 3 Riverton Rd. in the center of town. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available at the Riverton General Store located in the center of town in a mid.-19th century building that is the hub of activity for this village. Green mountain coffee, made to order sandwiches, homemade soups, chili, salad and pastries are just some of the things offered here. For more information on Riverton General Store www.rivertongeneralstore.com.

This exciting Litchfield Hills event takes place on April 11th on the West branch of the Farmington River, a Nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” river that is known to host an abundance of rainbow, brown and brook trout. As a matter of fact, on Friday afternoon before this event, over 100 fish are purchased and released into the Farmington River adding even more incentive to catch the “big one.” The contest, complete with prizes, begins at 6 a.m. and lasts for about four hours, ending at 10 a.m. and it’s all-free; and there is no registration or fee required.

The public is always welcome to attend this event and to cheer on their favorite fisherman. Last year some 500 enthusiasts participated in the derby. An even bigger crowd is expected this year. Prizes include items donated by local merchants as well as by Orvis, and Cabela’s. The coveted grand prize is a village chair of Riverton donated by the Hitchcock Chair Company. The Hitchcock Chair Company Store is located in Riverton and stocks an excellent selection of this classic hand stenciled furniture. For information about the Hitchcock Chair Company visit www.hitchcockchair.com.

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A bit further upriver a section of the flowing waters especially stocked for the occasion, is set aside for the “Kid’ Derby”. Any tot under 16 who is able to hold a fishing pole, can join in the fun. Special prizes are awarded to kids.

To find out more about the Fishing Derby and other events in Riverton, visit http://rivertonct.com.

The easiest way of getting a fishing license is to visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s online sportsmen licensing at https://ct.outdoorcentral.net/InternetSales. Fishing licenses are also available from town clerks and this website has a complete listing of town clerks and businesses that sell fishing licenses. The website also has a weekly fishing report that runs from opening day through the end of November. The report is a summary of fresh and saltwater fishing activity in the state as reported by tackle stores around the state.

For more information on Litchfield Hills, where to stay, dine and what to see and do visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

Curator for a day in Litchfield Hills and more

February is a busy month at the Litchfield History Museum. On February 22 for example, at 3pm a lecture, The Colonial Revival as Collective Memory and Consumer has been scheduled. The lecture will be presented by Thomas Denenberg, director of the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. The development of a culture of consumption in the decades that bracketed the turn of the twentieth century created unprecedented opportunity for the dissemination of images, objects, and texts that engendered historical consciousness in the United States. Antiquarian activities, the province of social outliers, the wealthy, or the creative such as the painter Edward Lamson Henry (1841-1919), became normative behavior in the new middle-class America.

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Gathering, collecting, and sorting historical material culture, once an end unto itself in the nineteenth century, gave way to the creation of a widespread aesthetic that prized idealized “native” forms. Entrepreneurial individuals, including the minister-turned antimodern colporteur Wallace Nutting (1861-1941), employed the very modern platforms of advertising, publishing, department stores, and mail order merchandising to encourage and fulfill middle-class desires for objects and myths that answered contemporary social needs in an era of rapid economic and geographic change.

Often termed “the” Colonial Revival—an aesthetic assumed to be, monolithic, sui generis, and whole upon arrival, this illustrated lecture will look at the phenomenon as a complex and carefully constructed collective memory that matured over time. This program is free for members and $5 for non members. Register at registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

If you have ever wondered what it’s really like to be a curator at a history museum, you are invited to shadow the curator of the societies collections on February 26 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Participants will study artifacts from the Historical Society’s collections, get a behind-the-scenes peek at object storage, a hands-on experience with some of a curator’s day-to-day work, and assemble a hypothetical exhibit. Please register for this program by Tuesday, February 24. Non-members are required to pay the registration fee in advance of the event. Your registration will not be considered complete until we have received payment and the cost is $10 for members; $15 for non-members. Register at registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

For more ideas about what to do and see in Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

November Fun Naturally at White Memorial Foundation

White Memorial Foundation located just off Rte. 202 on Whites Wood Road in Litchfield has planned a fun filled November for nature lovers.

photo credit: White Memorial
photo credit: White Memorial

On November 5 take a brisk walk with Gerri Griswold then relax with a super healthy meal. The objective is to share recipes, learn how to use herbs and spices to create wonderfully delicious meals that will keep you focused on your goal and to use this beautiful property to help you become the very best you can be. As for the featured dish of the night it is a Hearty Vegetarian Chili, Mesclun Greens with Oranges, Avocado, and Toasted Almonds, and Fresh Fruit. Make sure you dress for the weather and pack a flashlight! And, don’t forget to bring your own place setting! This event starts at 6:00 P.M., at the A.B. Ceder Room, Members: $15.00 Non-members: $25.00. Limited to 20 people! Pre-registration and prepayment are required.

On November 8, stop by Point Folly on the grounds of the Foundation anytime between 9 am and 12 pm to do some birdwatching with the new Education Director Carrie Szwed and don’t forget your binoculars to spot winter migrants and arrivals at this free event.

On November 15, get your paintbrush ready for a class with world renowned botanical artist Betsy Rogers-Knox! This is a great opportunity to learn techniques of botanical illustration from a pro. The class is for all levels of experience. All supplies are included. Ages 12 and up. 1:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., A. B. Ceder Room, Members: $35.00 Non-members: $45.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

If you give a “Hoot” then the felting workshop with Robin McCahill should be on your calendar for November 22 from 10 am – 4 pm. This is a perfect opportunity to create a handmade gift for a loved one (or to keep yourself!). Using soft wool and a special barbed felting needle, sculpt a night time owl of your choice. This one day workshop will enable you to finish your bird in time to adorn your home for the holidays. Learn some of the nocturnal habits of the famed owls while you work. All materials included! Members: $55.00, Non-members: $65.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

On November 23, there will be an afternoon Green Man Concert with with Michael McDermott and Friends Benefit Concert Supporting The White Memorial Conservation Center. he Green Man is a mysterious, eerie figure depicted mainly in medieval European stonework, believed to represent an ancient vegetation deity. It is nearly always depicted as a “foliate head,” that is, a face made of leaves and vines. Sometimes it appears as a human face peering out from leaves, other times with animal features. This joyful afternoon with ridiculously talented purveyor of joy, Michael McDermott and his band “Cead Mile Failte” Gaelic for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes”, will include music by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Irish singer / songwriter Luka Bloom, and many more. What a splendid way to spend the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving! 100% of the proceeds from this concert benefit the Conservation Center. 2:00 P.M., Carriage House, Members: $15.00 Non-members: $20.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

To finish the month, on November 29, take a walk with Gerri Griswold along the Cranberry Pond Trail and cap off the walk with a cup of hot coffee and a thick wedge of Crimson Pie swimming in a pool of thick ginger crème anglaise! Meet in the Museum. 2:00 P.M., We’ll drive over to the trail head together. FREE…Donations will be accepted to help defray the Conservation Center’s programming expenses.

For more information about White Memorial Foundation visit http://www.whitememorialcc.org. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Kent Antique Machinery Fall Festival in Litchfield Hills

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This year marks the 30th annual Fall Festival hosted by the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association, www.ctamachinery.com on 31 Kent Cornwall Rd. in Kent on September 26, 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event features special demonstrations, vendors and food along with the many permanent exhibits of the Association that includes Industrial Hall, a mining museum, a tractor hall, a narrow gage working railroad and the Cream Hill Agricultural School.

Highlights of this event include an American #1 sawmill with plenty of logs to be cut into planks. There will be demonstrations throughout the weekend of the sawmill, as well as other wood handling machinery including an antique planer, a splitter, and maybe even a drag saw.

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Another popular spot is the blacksmith’s shop headed up by Skip Kern who will be showing visitors the art of blacksmithing. In the Industrial Hall of Steam, Conrad Milster will be giving talks and live demonstrations of various antique steam engines. The Association hopes to see their Nagle-Corliss engine in operation for this show. A highlight in Industrial Hall is the Associations newest acquisition, a very early (possibly Ames) engine, on loan from the New York Hall of Science.

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Lumber Jack/Jill demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday of the Festival, featuring Shannon Strong, a well-known local fitness trainer are certain crowd pleasers. The show will feature demonstrations of handsaw and ax skills. Demonstration times will be announced at the show.

In the Industrial Hall of Steam, Conrad Milster will be giving talks and live demonstrations of the Association’s various antique steam engines. The Association hopes to see their Nagle-Corliss engine in operation for this show. Visitors will also see the Association’s newest acquisition, a very early (possibly Ames) engine, that came to them in beautiful condition, on loan from the New York Hall of Science.

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Don’t miss the Friday evening spaghetti w/meatballs and sausage. There’s a limited number of tickets available, so buy them in advance at the food pavilion. The dinner is from 5:30 to 7:00 PM and will be held at the picnic pavilion unless inclement weather forces it inside the Industrial Hall. Tickets are $10 per person. Menu includes spaghetti with meatballs and sausage, salad, Italian bread, soft drinks, coffee and dessert. All proceeds benefit the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association.

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Parking is free in the lower parking field and a free shuttle bus will bring you to the main gate.

For more information http://www.ctamachinery.com and for area information www.litchfieldhills.com