Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fishing Sylvan Lake near Waterbury

Fishing Works has a number of secluded fishing spots: Sylvan Lake can be found on the Waterbury USGS quad topo map. Sylvan Lake is a lake in Litchfield County in the state of Connecticut. The latitude and longitude coordinates for this lake are 41.5987, -73.0696 and the altitude is 446 feet (136 meters).

Anyone interested in fishing Sylvan Lake should consult with local guides and resources before heading out to fish. Anglers who have fished Sylvan Lake are invited to submit reviews of the lake. Tell us when you went, what you caught, how the experience ranked overall. Thanks for your reviews, they help to make Fishing Works the best website for anglers.

Feature Type: Lake
Latitude: 41.5987
Longitude: -73.0696
Elevation: 446 ft (136 m)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day trip -- Naumkeag in Stockbridge

A short drive away in Stockbridge, Massachussetts, you can visit an architectural gem: Experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate, renowned for its elegant gardens and rare Berkshire “Cottage.” What makes Naumkeag a special place? With its gracious house, magnificent gardens, and panoramic views, Naumkeag is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age.

This architectural masterpiece is, at its heart, a family home. Joseph Choate, a leading 19th-century attorney, hired the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, & White to design the 44-room “cottage,” Naumkeag, which would serve as a summer retreat for three generations of Choates.

With its views of Monument Mountain, its stunning collection of gardens created by Joseph Choates's daughter, Miss Mabel Choate, and Fletcher Steele over 30 years, its original artwork, and its shingle-style house, Naumkeag creates an unforgettable experience for visitors. Don't miss the self-guided audio tour of the Naumkeag gardens, including the Blue Steps, a series of deep blue fountain pools, flanked by four flights of stairs and a grove of white birches. Walk through the equally beautiful Afternoon Garden, Tree Peony Terrace, Rose Garden, Evergreen Garden, and Chinese Garden to encounter the playful, inventive spirit of Miss Choate and Mr. Steele.

Bequeathed in its entirety in 1958 – from furniture to garden tools to its intact dairy barn – Naumkeag, a National Historic Landmark, provides a special link to Berkshires history. More than that, it is a place where you, like the Choates, can find beauty and rejuvenation in a lovely place…

The Blue Steps at Naumkeag, shot by Daderot, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Sampling the County's charms on two wheels

Maggie Behringer in the Litchfield County Times: In his new book, "The Moderately Lazy Biker's Guide to Litchfield County," the author, composer and frequent visitor to a friend's West Cornwall cabin has created a humorous, detailed and less physically demanding handbook for appreciating the area from the seat of a bike.

"I'm not a gear head," Mr. Sowash said. "I don't even have a spandex outfit. It's not what [biking is] about for me. I want to stop and loiter, look at the view, listen to the brook and smell the pines."

Though the Ohio native has been riding bikes since childhood, he didn't fully realize their magical potential until he received his Boy Scouts cycling merit badge. The 13-year-old found he might not have to rely on his parents to drive him around after he discovered the thrill of reaching far off places solely through the power of his own legs.

…It was his inherent love of history that brought the Midwesterner to New England. He has long been a fan of Connecticut author Odell Shepard (1884-1967), who among his many credits, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, English literature professor at Trinity College and lieutenant governor of Connecticut in the 1940s. After reading all of Shepard's published works, Mr. Sowash contacted the author's literary executive and was directed to Trinity College's Raether Library, which houses all of Shepard's papers. Hidden away in the collection, Mr. Sowash found a complete manuscript titled "The Cabin Down the Glen."

Retirement options at Geer

Geer Retirement Village: Geer is a 118-unit retirement community providing residential living apartments for Independent, Assisted Living and suites for the Memory Impaired,
is one of the most innovative retirement communities in the country. Built in the turn-of-the century shingle style with a stone fireplace in the great room entrance, it houses a variety of intergenerational activities. The Northwestern YMCA, Channel 6 Cable Television, and the Regional Community Center are located at Geer Village, making access easily available to all its residents. Many towns in the tri-state area (Millbrook, NY, Salisbury, CT and Great Barrington, MA) provide many cultural and sightseeing day trips for Geer Campus residents....

Energy audits target lost heat, and companies use technology to identify wasted dollars

Jonathan Shugarts in the Republican-American (Waterbury): If you haven't tipped off by the falling leaves and the frosty nights, winter winds are on their way to rattle your window panes. Thanks to the help of federal stimulus funds, energy companies are helping homeowners reduce bills this winter and beyond by making homes more energy efficient. For $75, a two-man team from Wesson Energy, Connecticut Light & Power, or any of seven other companies, will conduct an energy assessment of a home to determine if valuable heat is escaping.

If the home needs it, workers will caulk windows and seal doors they identify as sources of heat loss. Technicians also review water usage, test for leaking air ducts and survey appliances to check if they're wasting electricity.

In addition to the assessment, homeowners will receive up to 14 compact fluorescent light bulbs and an electrical metering device that measures the amount of energy being used by appliances. About $9 million in federal stimulus money for 2009 and 2010 allowed the state to expand the program called "Close the Gap!" and enabled any homeowner to participate.

…The technicians can test for leaks using the method. There are many culprits for heating loss, said Jack Starr, Wesson's division manager, including un-insulated attic hatches, recessed lighting fixtures that aren't air tight and venting ducts that lead to the outside of the home….

This storage shack doesn't look well insulated. Shot by יעקב, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

Events for kids

The local blog Rural Intelligence boasts some detailed coverage of upcoming events for children: Though she adored them, even wrote some good ones herself, Edith Wharton’s susceptibility to the power of the printed word was such that she refused to sleep in a room where there was a book containing a ghost story. This week The Mount, whose Friday night Ghost Tours have been so popular throughout this season (there have been unexplained taps on the shoulder, as well as the faint aroma of flowers and cigar smoke) is honoring Halloween with Ghostly Walks and Frightful Talks. Visitors are encouraged to wear costumes....

The Mount, home of Edith Wharton, in Lenox, Massachusetts. View from the walled garden. Photo: David Dashiell, 2006. Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New animal hospital in Litchfield

Litchfield County Times from October 15: Dr. Ferris Gorra, founder of Aspetuck Animal Hospital in Marble Dale, announced he has opened a new animal clinic next to Tail Waggers of Litchfield, at 568B Torrington Road in Litchfield.

Patients can be seen from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesday and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. The new clinic will offer routine checkups, vaccinations and routine care for small animals, such as dentistry, lab testing, one-day surgeries and out-patient procedures. Toll Gate Animal Clinic will also offer alternative methods of care, including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to its patients. Through a unique affiliation, additional services such as orthopedic surgery and procedures with multi-day hospitalization requirements will be referred or transferred to Aspetuck Animal Hospital in the Marble Dale section of Washington….

First National Bank of Litchfield to be acquired by Danbury lender

Marc Silvestrini in the Republican-American (Waterbury): Union Savings Bank of Danbury on Monday announced a definitive agreement to acquire First Litchfield Financial Corp., parent of The First National Bank of Litchfield. First Litchfield shareholders will receive $15 in cash per share, giving the deal an overall value of $35 million, Union Savings Bank officials said.

First Litchfield shares, which are traded on the over-the-counter "bulletin board" under the symbol FLFL OB, closed Friday at $5.80 per share before skyrocketing to $13.55 by the close of Monday's session on Wall Street. Before Monday, the stock had closed above $9.99 only once in the past 13 months, when it rallied to close at $10.83 on Jan. 15.

The First National Bank of Litchfield is a publicly traded national bank with assets of $520 million and nine retail branches: two in Torrington and single branches in Canton, Goshen, Litchfield, Marbledale, New Milford, Roxbury and Washington Depot. The company, which also has a full-service trust department in Litchfield, employs the full-time equivalent of about 120 people….

Electric cars in Lime Rock

Lime Rock Park: On Friday, October 30, one of the more interesting inter-scholastic competitions you’ll ever see comes to Lime Rock Park. It’s called the Connecticut Electrathon Challenge. Each year, high school and college students design and build electric racers, then head to the autocross course at Lime Rock to see which team can complete the most laps in precisely one hour.

Champions are recognized in five different divisions, and in the most recent race here at Lime Rock (May 15), the Old Lyme High School team no. 5 was the overall winner, completing 114 laps (close to 25 miles) on one charge of their battery pack. The cars are ingeniously designed single-driver machines. Some are three-wheelers, some are four, but they’re all aerodynamic in the extreme, and look very cool.

Lime Rock fans are welcome to come watch the Connecticut Electrathon Challenge races, held on the upper autocross course Friday, October 30, beginning around 8:00 in the morning. Pick out your favorite school and cheer them on to an “electric green” victory!....

Local author: Philip Roth's "Indignation"

From Amazon, via Publishers Weekly: Roth's brilliant and disconcerting new novel plumbs the depths of the early Cold War–era male libido, burdened as it is with sexual myths and a consciousness overloaded with vivid images of impending death, either by the bomb or in Korea. At least this is the way things appear to narrator Marcus Messner, the 19-year-old son of a Newark kosher butcher. Perhaps because Marcus's dad saw his two brothers' only sons die in WWII, he becomes an overprotective paranoid when Marcus turns 18, prompting Marcus to flee to Winesburg College in Ohio….

Monday, October 26, 2009

A good time for preserving land

Local resident Rinker Buck in the Hartford Courant: …[For] one group of patient Nutmeggers — land conservationists — this year has been so productive that it could well be called The Green Recession.

Last week, environmentalists and citizen groups in Madison were elated when the nonprofit Trust for Public Land announced that it had secured a $9.7 million deal to rescue the 42-acre Madison Landing site....But Madison Landing was just the latest in a trend that conservationists are calling "green-lining." A stalled housing market and tight bank credit is forcing many high-end developers to scuttle glitzy golf courses and McMansion projects. Often, the only way developers can unload their prime real estate is through conservation sales to nonprofits and towns....

A marketing photo of the Yale Farm, one of the properties mentioned in the article. Image from an online ad

Architects' showcase in Roxbury

Jack Corragio in the Litchfield County Times writes about an interesting architectural showcase by Charles Haver and Stewart Skolnick in Roxbury: … For example, the show will exhibit a 7,200-square-foot, barn-styled home the architects did in Kent. The blueprint hangs next to a twilight photo of the massive red house, and the juxtaposition is notable if for nothing else, the striking similarity.

But, in fact, there is something else. As big as that home is, the bulk of it is really just one big room, an open space separated by particularly tall cabinetry. The built-in cabinets act as functional partitions between the kitchen and the living room or dining room, while the overall open design reveals the country-fashioned wood-and-post support beams.

Built to suit, the open floor plan isn't the only distinguishing element of this home. Noting that the property has 50 acres the owner wanted to wholly admire at any given whim, the associates cleverly installed a standard barn feature with a unique new purpose….

This image shows a Litchfield county residence designed by these architects -- from their website