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On October 20, 2012 I visited Keene’s Pumpkin Festival in Southern New Hampshire for the first time.  I got there at about 2:00 p.m. so that I could take some daylight photos, and I stayed until about 8:00 p.m. so I could also take some night photos.

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The Highlight of the Event was the large tower or pyramid stacked to the skies with hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins!

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The Pumpkin Festival in Keene is about 20 years old, and is a favorite activity once a year throughout New England.

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The crowds were friendly; the food was great; and the atmosphere was perfect as Halloween approached.  I hope to go again next year!

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Should you wish to view more of my Pumpkin Festival photos, please visit my facebook photography site at

http://www.facebook.com/mitchell.r.grosky.photography

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© Mitchell R. Grosky and Mitchell R. Grosky Photography Blog 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including all photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Recently, my wife and I spent a couple of nights in Providence, Rhode Island, and we were able to see their famous WaterFire program conducted on average about every other weekend from May 26 to October 6. It is an awesome spectacle as nearly 80 mini-bonfires are lit on the city’s three rivers, to the accompaniment of beautiful music, dancing, and crowds of enthusiastic spectators. Image

Food and drink are readily available for purchase, and crowds are enthusiastic and also well-mannered. The program points out that “WaterFire was created by Barnaby Evans in 1994 as an art installation to revitalize the urban landscape of Providence and has now become one of Rhode Islands most popular tourist attractions.”

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They often have dance lessons, concerts, mimes, and other sorts of entertainment. It was really a great time, and I got some really interesting photos, some of which I will post here, and others will be posted on my various photography websites.

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Should you wish to visit WaterFire yourself, there are still four more performance: August 18, September 15, September 29, and October 6. Waterfire.org is the website. It’s a terrific evening—and the WaterFire itself and many other activities associated with it are FREE!

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Should you wish to view more of my WaterFire photos, please visit my facebook photography site at

http://www.facebook.com/mitchell.r.grosky.photography

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© Mitchell R. Grosky and Mitchell R. Grosky Photography Blog 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including all photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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The Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock

This past December, my wife, son, and I visited New York City for a wonderful mini-vacation of three days and two nights.  Although I was born in New York and have gone back for many a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, and funeral over these past many years, this was the first time I had gone back as a tourist.  We visited Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bronx Zoo.  Not bad for just three days!  Late one night on the Brooklyn Bridge–near midnight, as I recall–I crossed paths with a friendly young jogger on  the Brooklyn Bridge.   When I mentioned being a native New Yorker who was visiting after a long absence, his quick but warm reply was, “What took you so long?”

Nikon D90, iso 400, 52mm focal length, 1/2 sec., f4.2, matrix metering, 1/3 stop underexposed

© Mitchell R. Grosky and Mitchell R. Grosky Photography Blog 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including all photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

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A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 7 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 42 posts. There were 8 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 14mb.

The busiest day of the year was November 12th with 592 views. The most popular post that day was Arches National Park’s Double Arch.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were search.aol.com, en.wordpress.com, maggiescamera.wordpress.com, obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for boston skyline, arches national park, boston, little rock arkansas, and new hampshire.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Arches National Park’s Double Arch October 2008
6 comments

2

Boston Skyline 2 January 2009
10 comments

3

Boston Skyline from the Charles February 2010
6 comments

4

Little Rock, Arkansas Sunset February 2009
8 comments

5

Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains November 2008
4 comments

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The Quabbin Reservoir--New Salem Overlook

Once (and for about 200 years) there were four lovely, small towns in North-Central Massachusetts.  There nearly 3000 people lived, farmed, built small industries, attended school, worshiped in church, celebrated births and graduations and grieved over losing loved ones.  In Dana, Greenwich, Prescott, and Enfield, families built their homes and lives together.

All of this came to an end in April, 1938 when the four towns were sacrificed–dismantled, torn apart, and flooded–in order to create the Quabbin Reservoir.  This huge reservoir provides drinking water to the city of Boston and 40 other cities and towns in the Greater Boston region (among them are Arlington, Belmont,  Brookline, Chelsea, Clinton, Everett, Framingham, Lexington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Newton, Norwood, Quincy, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Waltham, Watertown, and Winthrop.  It also provides water for Chicopee, Lynnfield Water District, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, Southborough, South Hadley, Weston, and Wilbraham).

It contains 412 billion gallons of water in an area of 38.6 square miles, but its watershed area is a full 185.9 square miles.  It is 18 miles long, and its shoreline is 118 miles, in total.    Its average depth is 51 feet, but it is 150 feet deep at its maximum depth.

In the past month, I have spent more time in the Quabbin—in parts of the Massachusetts towns of New Salem, Ware, and Belchertown–than in the previous 37 years I have lived here in Central Massachusetts.  It is a lovely area–ideal for hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities.  Yet, as I learn more about its origins,  I realize that every time I visit, just as I am enchanted by its beauty, so too am I saddened–often beyond words–by the awesome and awful sacrifice that four towns made so that Boston and 40 other communities could have pure drinking water.

Nikon D90, focal length of 32 mm, f 7.1, ISO 250, cloudy WB

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Former President Clinton Campaigns for Martha Coakley

 

As I noted below, the Senate race for the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy here in Massachusetts about as close as it can get, with the election set for Tuesday–just two days away (January 19).   It is Democrat Martha Coakley (currently Attorney General) vs. Republican Scott Brown (currently State Senator)   The tone of the campaign has gotten really heated lately with both candidates flooding the television and radio airwaves with ubiquitous commercials.  Both campaigns are airing incessant attack ads, in addition to ads supporting their own candidates..  On Friday night I went to a Rally for Martha Coakley which featured former President Bill Clinton, a supporter of Mrs. Coakley.   This race has national implications, as Scott Brown has pledged to be the 41st vote in the Senate to kill President Obama’s health care bill.  It is expected, as well, to deny the Senate the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster on all of the items on President Obama’s current and future agenda.  If the Republicans (with a possible 41 votes) are allowed to filibuster, many of Obama’s agenda items may never actually come to a vote.  For this reason, Democrats are pulling out all the stops, with a visit from former President Clinton last Friday night and a visit from President Obama himself yesterday (Sunday) in Boston.  I wish that  I could have attended that one, as well, to get photos of President Obama, but–alas–I had a very important prior commitment, and I firmly believe that commitments must be honored.  

I am posting three photos here from that rally and many more at my flickr site which can be accessed via the photos and link to the far right of this page.  

I have also just begun a NEW WordPress blog  called “This Week With Mitch Grosky.”  This blog will give me the opportunity to reflect and comment on topics ranging from politics, to daily life, to  education, to news, to sports and entertainment–and a whole lot more.   I am saving my political and editorial comments for that post which you can locate at http://thisweekwithmitchgrosky.wordpress.com.  

As for this photo, the data is the following:  Nikon D90, 18-200 VR lens, ISO 3200, focal length of 200mm/300mm, 1/200 sec, f 5.6

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This, the season of light for so many cultures–and the season in which we all pray for Peace on Earth, seems to be just the right time to post this photo of Orange’s Peace Statue.  This is actually the official peace statue of Massachusetts, designated as such by the legislature in 1998.  It is the focal point of Memorial Park in Orange.  The 12-foot bronze statue was created by Joseph Pollia in 1934 as a memorial to veterans of World War I. 

According to Allen Young’s book,  North of Quabbin, Revisited, “The Statue depicts a doughboy just returned from the war-torn fields of France.  He is seated on a stump with weariness emanating from every line of his body.”  Beside him “stands a typical American schoolboy of perhaps 10 years, who is partially embraced by the soldier’s left arm.  He appears to be listening intently to the soldier’s words with fist clenched.”   We can only imagine what the soldier is saying to the boy—what anguish he feels.

A plaque on the base bears these words:  “It Shall Not Be Again.” 

Thirteen stars honor Orange veterans who died in the war.

To all of those who read these words, let me wish you–first of all–a wonderfully warm and peaceful holiday!  Secondly, let us all join together–even as we support our country’s soldiers in war–let us all pray for a time, in the not-too-distant-future, when all men of every race, color, religion, and nationality can join hands in a time of true peace and good will.  Happy Holidays to you all and to your families and loved ones!   —-Mitch

Camera Data:  Nikon D90 –two photos combined in Photoshop Elements 6.0.  Both had a focal length of 18mm/27mm (35 equiv.)  Both were underexposed by 1/3 of a stop.  On one I spot-metered the statue (f3.5 for 1/3 sec)  and on the other I used center-weighted metering f 4,0 for 1/60 sec).

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