Sunday, October 07, 2007
Snapshots of New England Part 1
I'm not going to give a blow by blow account of my holiday in New England but just try and give a general flavour of this lovely area of the US. I've been going there now for over 25 years and in fact my daughter,now aged 27, took her first steps in my friends' house. It's an area I love and feel very much at home in. Above is a typical New England church, in this case Rye Congregational Church. These white churches with their pointed steeples are everywhere in New England.
This house is in a coastal town called New Castle and I photographed it because it has a widow's walk perched on top of the roof. Mariner's wives would watch for the return of their husband's ships from these vantage points. The sea took the lives of many sailors and the widows would then keep a look out in the vain hope that their man would eventually return against all the odds - hence the name of widow's walk.
I'm always surprised when Americans say they have no real history or old buildings, this is not the case at all, America has a fascinating history and many interesting old buildings one of which is in the above photograph. If you click on it you will be able to read the date on the front. 1676 sounds pretty old to me! The area around Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which included New Castle and Rye, was originally settled in the early 1620s and this would have been one of the earliest homes. It's a private home and of course will have been altered and maybe added to over the years but the basic house is still there.
It needs to be remembered also that American history didn't begin with the colonists, the Native American peoples were there for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years before the settlers turned up and I'm pretty sure that there is archaeological evidence for their cultures too.
Looking down on the town of Portsmouth,NH with the inevitable white church spire visible. This is a tidal inlet but I can't remember exactly where we were!
I love visiting the local Farmers Market when I'm staying with C, if only I could have bought a selection of these wonderful gourds and brought them home! I never seem to see anything like this in the UK.
Almost every house has pots of chrysanthemums standing outside -they are so beautiful and smell wonderful too, I'm afraid I always cringe when I hear or see them called 'mums, such an ugly word for these lovely flowers.
I would have bought this wreath too if I could have got it home:)
The historic area of Strawberry Bank in Portsmouth is well worth a visit,it is a whole historic neighbourhood that has been preserved and almost all the buildings are on their original foundations. Many are open and are furnished to show different periods of history and different levels of society.My own favourites were the WW2 store and the Shapiro house which is presented as the 20th century home of a Russian-Jewish family.
There are interesting period gardens with some of the houses as well including a great Victory garden with the WW2 store though for some reason I don't seem to have taken a photo of that one.
All the flowers that were still blooming attracted a lot of insects. I really like this particular photo.
I'm fairly sure that this is a Monarch butterfly, we don't get them in UK so I'm by no means certain.
Among the things for children were little fairy houses all around the gardens, some of them were really pretty and I'm thinking of making one in my own garden at some point.
A lot of the fairy houses were quite hard to spot and some were more elaborate than others but this was the one I liked best. Time for me to climb the little wooden stairs now so I'll do the second part tomorrow.