Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Footsteps into the Past: Sandy Toes and Classic Cars by the Sea

I've been spending more time at Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT, this spring than I usually do. I met some friends there one day, and another day I took a peek at the British by the Sea (Connecticut MG Club) classic car event. Both days had sparkling sunshine with a cool ocean breeze.

British by the Sea at Harkness State Park in Waterford

The gardens are blooming with the late spring flower varieties, and every day and week are different. I happened to get there when the wisteria was just finishing blooming.

A walk down on the beach ignited the creativity in me. I took some slipper limpet shells and embellished some footprints I found. Too bad the "mermaid's toenails" shells I often find are not appropriately shaped for this project!

Slipper limpet shells make nice "toes"

I was really excited to find a piece of blue sea glass, even though it was pretty small.

The tide was low enough that this cluster of mussels and seaweed made for a nice photo compositon:

There are enough rocks down on that beach so you can find some treasures or use them as subjects for photography.

The water is still cold, but very clean, clear and inviting:

Up at the gardens, I saw the most georgeous salmon-colored poppies.

Lovely poppies!

The serenity of the east garden:

Flaming pink azaleas in full bloom!

I am not much of a classic car afficionado, but it was still fun to see others who are passionate about their vintage beauties.

I met one couple who had a silver Jaguar that they'd kept for 20 years, after buying it from someone (disinterested in the car) who had kept it in storage for 18 years. Some other vehicles were more "modern," like this 1986 Lotus. Move over, Crockett and Tubbs!

Another MG model:

No matter if people go to enjoy the cars or other events, or the beach, picnic area, gardens or the view of the sea, Harkness is the most diverse southeastern Connecticut state park to enjoy this summer!

Have fun in the sun!
And check out my Harkness video:

~ Cheryl

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roses and Rocks

I love late May and the beginning of June because that's when the Rosa rugosa, or beach roses, start blooming by the oceanside!

Rosa rugosa blooms in sandy dunes by the oceanside.

I got a whiff of the lovely fragrance of these flowers when I had an evening walk at my favorite local beach this past week. A few of both the pink and white roses were blooming, and I never tire of photographing them.

It's a good thing I went when I did, because in typical New England fashion, this week it's freezing cold again and rainy. (But we really need the rain!) The sun has been so warm that people sunbathe and go in the water, even when the temperatures are still chilly.

I like this time of year because the water is very clean and inviting...but only the brave souls go in!

Somebody made some dome-shaped castles in the sand:

Waves crash onto the sand in the early evening light:

At the west end of the beach there is a rose-lined path up to a rocky point of land. Makes for great scenery:

Roses line the path up to the rocky outcropping

Fishermen and kids who dare to play in the water near the rocks like to come to this end of the beach.

It's mesmerizing to watch the water slosh around the rocks out here:

Reflections on the smooth sand, so soft your feet sink in.

It's amazing how deserted the beach is even on the nicest evenings. I wonder where everybody is? Perhaps they only like coming on weekends.

I had to stop again on the path back to the parking lot to take some parting shots of my pink- and white-petaled friends.

My favorite view of Alewife Cove is the same landscape this rose witnesses every day of its life:

I'm not a fisherwoman, but I've learned that alewife is a species of herring.
Perhaps in a couple of weeks there will be many more roses in bloom. I'll let you know!

To learn more about coastal parks and beaches in southeastern Connecticut, find my 150-page full-color PDF eGuide at!

Happy beach season!

~ Cheryl