Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Have you ever noticed brief periods in the fall and spring where each season resembles the other?
This photo, for example, features fallen leaves from the year prior, but the green patches of grass indicate the pending rush of spring.
Or during a warm, balmy day in the fall, the smell of the forest makes it seem that the summer, rather than bitter winter, is looming on our doorstep.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Nearly two weeks after the April 1, 2008 fire, Pearl Street between Chestnut and Pine Streets, Manchester, New Hampshire.
Victims look to start over as offers of help pour in
By PAT GROSSMITH and DALE VINCENT
The Union Leader
updated 8:01 p.m. ET, Wed., April. 2, 2008
MANCHESTER - Fire victims poked through ashes and soot yesterday, trying to salvage what they could from Tuesday night's massive fire at their Pearl Street apartment building.
Some sneaked in early, but most waited until they were allowed to see what remained of their apartments and their belongings.
"It was trashed," said Lisa St. Laurent of the apartment she shared with her boyfriend at 94 Pearl St. The second-floor apartment was one flight up and one apartment over from where firefighters say the fire started.
Several told tales of how they escaped their apartments Tuesday with only what they were wearing and could carry.
St. Laurent, who should have been on oxygen because of lung cancer, fled in slippers, leaving her tanks and medical equipment behind.
A barefoot Erica Caron grabbed a photo album; her mother gave her own sneakers to her daughter.
Just out of the shower, 9-year-old Emilio Stavre frantically got dressed. His mother grabbed the first thing she could -- dirty laundry, it turned out -- and they fled. The boy ended up wearing his mother's boots and sweaters.
Like others interviewed, none carried rental insurance.
Crews yesterday pulled out burned items and tossed them into a large trash bin in the back of the building.
None of the apartments is habitable, even the Chestnut Street apartments, which were little touched by the fire, said Max Sink, deputy director of the city Building Department.
The building will have to be demolished or rebuilt, Sink said.
Also there yesterday was Kenneth DiBenedetto, principal of McDonough School. Several of the elementary school's students lived in the building.
He found their resilience amazing. They lost everything but were focused on school yesterday, he said. One youngster worried about a grade because his project was lost in the fire.
"I told him he'd get an A," said DiBenedetto. Another child, wearing sandals and his mother's sweatshirt, wanted DiBenedetto to tell the music teacher he wouldn't be able to go to practice.
"My violin melted," the principal recounted him saying.
Another child was concerned about missing a spelling test, he said.
DiBenedetto later bought sneakers for all the students staying in the temporary shelter at St. Joseph Regional Junior High School.
His gesture was multiplied across the city, as agencies set up a coordinated effort to deliver all kinds of help -- first month rents, security deposits, household goods, clothing money, even food -- to the victims.
Twenty-five agencies and organizations set up tent at the temporary shelter yesterday morning.
They comprise COAD -- Community Organizations Active in Disaster -- a coalition of nonprofit groups, city departments, store owners, restaurateurs and businesses brought together to provide and coordinate assistance to disaster victims.
Landlords also came by to offer apartments.
Property management agencies waived security deposits and filing fees and offered fire victims reduced rents, said Lisa Michaud, executive director of the Greater Manchester chapter of the Red Cross.
The city's welfare department also made a "sizeable contribution" to the Red Cross to help pay first month rents, she said.
The temporary shelter, which served about three-quarters of the fire victims, closed last night, after housing for everyone who needed it was found, Michaud said.
"Most everybody has a place (temporarily)," she said.
Gary Baker, 42, spent Tuesday night at the shelter with his girlfriend, Michelle Caron.
"It was just amazing to watch your whole life go up in flames," Baker said. "Everything we had is gone."
Like everyone else, they will have to start over.
"We'll just play it day by day," he said.
New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Kathryn Marchocki contributed to this article.
Published on April 2, 2008, Article 2 of 2 found.
About 100 left without home
Author: MARK HAYWARD and SCOTT BROOKS New Hampshire Union Leader
Publication: New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Page Number: A1
MANCHESTER -- Dozens of residents fled a vast apartment house on Pearl Street last night, driven by a four-alarm fire that took firefighters nearly four hours to get under control.
About 100 people lived in the 38-unit, L-shaped apartment building, which fronts both Chestnut and Pearl streets. Two nearby buildings were evacuated for precautionary reasons.
Two residents were treated for injuries, one for smoke inhalation and one for chest pains, Fire Chief James Burkush...
Click for Full Story (870 words), $2.50
HELP THE VICTIMS: How you can help
We will be taking ChipIn donations until April 30th. You can give as little or as much as you wish.
Alternatively, these options are available to you to offer relief to these families.
From the Union Leader
Thursday, Apr. 3, 2008
Here's how you can help the Pearl Street fire victims:
- Cash donations can be made to the Union Leader Charitable Fund, through April 30, online at www.UnionLeader.com/fire or by mail to Union Leader Charitable Fund Inc., Attention: Fire Victims, 100 William Loeb Drive, P.O. Box 9555, Manchester 03108-9555. Contributions will be turned over to the Salvation Army Manchester Corps for distribution to the fire victims, according to that organization's normal application and assistance procedures.
- A Red Sox opening day sports memorabilia auction at the Wild Rover, 21 Kosciuszko St., starting at noon today will raise funds for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The silent auction, sponsored by the Rover, AutoFair and New England Picture Co., will run until the game ends, about 5 p.m. The sponsors will match the auction proceeds.
- A benefit concert for the fire victims will be held Thursday at Milly’s Tavern, 500 N. Commercial St. in the Millyard. Cover is $5 and features four bands: MegaBeast, T.H.F., Mother’s Virus and Isolation Sequence.
- The Salvation Army is asking people to donate Wal-Mart gift cards, which can be dropped off or mailed to the Salvation Army, 121 Cedar St., Manchester 03101. The organization is also taking the names of people who want to donate furniture and appliances in good condition.
- The Red Cross is accepting cash donations only, which can be made online at www.redcrossmanchester.org or mailed to American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, 1800 Elm St., Manchester 03104. The relief fund assists victims of this fire and other disasters.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
it was pretty much overcast with scattered showers the whole time I was out today. But the sun decided to make a most brief appearance so I could take this picture - most accommodating. Odd that it decided to say "hello" when i came across the Summer Solstice stone - it was almost like it was saying "Hey, Amber.. stay tuned... I'm almost there".
The site's history is muddled partly because of the activities of William Goodwin, who became convinced that his Mystery Hill was proof that Irish monks (the Culdees) had lived there long before Christopher Columbus, a concept he sought to publicize. He moved many of the stones around from their former positions to better support his idea, thus obliterating a good deal of the archaeological record. The site's current owners, the private company America's Stonehenge Foundation, say his activities are "one of the reasons the enigma of Mystery Hill is so deep".
Proponents of a pre-Columbian, yet non-Native American, origin for the site argue that some stones are encased in trees that may have sprouted before the arrival of the first colonists, claim that there are similarities between the ruins and Phoenician architecture, and say that marks on some stones resemble some ancient writing systems of the Old World. The late Barry Fell, a marine biologist from Harvard University and amateur epigrapher, claimed that inscriptions at the site represented markings in Ogham, Phoenician and Iberian scripts (also referred to as Iberian-Punic). He detailed his claims in his book America B.C.
Artifacts found on the site lead many archaeologists to the conclusion that the stones were actually assembled for a variety of reasons by local farmers in the 18th and 19th centuries. For example, a much-discussed "sacrificial stone" which contains grooves that some say channeled blood closely resembles "lye-leaching stones" found on many old farms that were used to extract lye from wood ashes, the first step in the manufacture of soap.
Carbon dating of charcoal pits at the site provided dates from 2000 BC to 173 BC, when the area was populated by ancestors of current Native Americans. In archaeological chronology, this places indigenous use of the site into either the Late Archaic or the Early Woodland time periods.
In 1982, David Stewart-Smith, director of restoration at Mystery Hill, conducted an excavation of a megalith found in situ in a stone quarry to the north of the main site. His research team, under the supervision of the New Hampshire state archaeologist, excavated the quarry site, discovering hundreds of chips and flakes from the stone. Both the state archaeologist and Dr. Stewart-Smith concurred that this was evidence of indigenous tool manufacture, consistent with Native American lithic techniques, although no date could be ascertained.
It is possible that in its original form the site may have been one of the ceremonial stone landscapes described by USET, United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc., in their resolution on sacred landscapes.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Here I am at this beautiful stone staircase in the woods of New Hampshire in a park called Madame Sherri's Forest.
Beginning in the late 1920's, Madame Antoinette Sherri summered in Chesterfield, New Hampshire for thirty years. Her lifestyle was unlike anything the local residents of Brattleboro had seen before, and she soon became and exotic and mysterious figure in the region.
Madame Sherri first came to Chesterfield during the prohibition era to visit her friend Jack Henderson, a Broadway actor who summered and partied in the region. Andre passed away in 1924, however Madame Sherri had become quite fond of Chesterfield. Soon after she bought a farm on the Gulf Road with the intent of building a summer home.
Sherri's entourage of beautiful young girls caught the attention of many of the gentleman in the region. Unsubstantiated rumors suggest that the castle actually served as a brothel. Her 1927 cream-colored Packard touring car and endless supply of money fascinated the local residents. It didn't take long for her foreign accent, extravagant dress, and stone castle to become the things of legend. In 1962 the castle was destroyed by fire and now all that remains are the foundation, a fireplace, and a great stone staircase (seen here).
Madame Antoinett Sherri passed away at the Maple Rest Nursing Home in Brattleboro in October of 1965. Ironically the sale of her land and castle were completed on the day of her death, causing some to speculate that she left this life in order to spend eternity guarding her castle as a spirit. Reports of strange happenings have long been reported by those who frequent the ruins. Some say that if you touch the staircase you can hear waltz music playing from within the castle.
The ruins of Madame Sherri's castle sit amidst the 488 acres of the Madame Sherri Forest in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire. This land was donated to the Society for the Preservation for New Hampshire Forests by Anne Stokes.
It's an amazing spot! A photographers dream. I will be going back.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Mike Costolo joined several of us at a recent NH Group Meetup and he brought along his large-format, film camera. The other four of us had camera's hanging off neck straps, but Mike has a shoulder strap for his.
My family calls this waterfall Kangas's Falls because Matti Kangas used to own the land and live close by. But the official name could be quite different.
Regarding meetups, members of the NH Group coordinate photography meetups throughout the year. A meetup can be as small as two people who post the location, time, and directions for a photographic opportunity.
Meetups in the last year have included sunrise locations in Milford, New Ipswich, and Wilton. Sunset meetings have been in Auburn, Portsmouth, and other locations throughout our state.
Keep an eye on the NH Group discussion threads and we hope to see you join us soon!
Monday, April 07, 2008
Can it be that leaves will soon be on the trees like this? Is that possible?
This has been the second snowiest season in 130+ years! Great news for winter sports enthusiasts! But even the most die hard of fans of snow have finally gotten their fill and are ready to press on into the next season! Soon we will all be complaining about how hot it is! ;)
Saturday, April 05, 2008
My father passed away this past Wednesday. He was only 61.
For the past 15-or-so years he has fought a disease called Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. It attacked his lungs and made it difficult for dad to breathe. It also attacked his immune system and left his body defenseless.
He somehow got an infection in his blood. Apparently, this would force the hospitalization of a healthy adult. In my dad's case, the infection quickly spread through his body and shut it down.
He had his whole family gathered around him when he went, and I know that was important to him.
But I miss him so much. This isn't fair.
My father was the most incredibly caring man. He was the greatest father on earth. I hope that I can be half the father he was.
He also provided me with an example of how to be a good husband. He and my mother were so in love.
I miss you dad.
This post is a tribute to Ben McLeod's father. Ben is a member of our NH Flickr Group's family.
Our deepest sympathies to you and your family, Ben.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
My daughter's personality is priceless. Right in the middle of a dog sledding outing on Lake Umbagog, NH, she gets off the sled and proceeds to make the most beautiful snow angels I have ever seen. Ahhh, to be a kid again...
I DO take pictures of people you know... ;)
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
This weekend was New Hampshire Maple Weekend where many of the sugar houses open their doors to visitors so that people might get a glimpse into the Maple Sugaring Industry.
From New Hampshire Maple Producers
Each year, the New Hampshire maple industry produces close to 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April.
As the frozen sap in the maple tree thaws, it begins to move and build up pressure within the tree. When the internal pressure reaches a certain point, sap will flow from any fresh wound in the tree. Freezing nights and warm sunny days create the pressure needed for a good sap Harvest.
In late February, New Hampshire maple producers tap their sugar maples by drilling a small hole in the trunk and inserting a spout. A bucket or plastic tubing is fastened to the spout and the crystal clear sap drips from the tree. It is then collected and transported to the sugar house where it is boiled down in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire. As the steam rises from the evaporator pans, the sap becomes more concentrated until it finally reaches the proper density to be classified as syrup. It is then drawn from the evaporator, filtered, graded and bottled. It takes approximately forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.
Maple syrup is made in the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada, and the maple season usually lasts 4-6 weeks. The days and length of the sap runs depend entirely on the weather.
We hope you will visit a sugar house during the maple season and learn for yourself just how this ancient tradition is carried on. New Hampshire's maple producers take great pride in the high quality of their maple products. Many sugar houses are open throughout the year, selling their pure maple delicacies. Click on our list of sugar houses for further information.
Many people in New Hampshire and greater New England currently hard at work to capitalize on the sweet sap flowing through our maple trees.
Imagine having to boil down 40 gallons of sap for 1 gallon of syrup.