Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rhododendron State Park, Fitzwilliam NH

Just 20 minutes away is the beautiful Rhododendron State Park, which comes alive in mid-July with fragrant rhododendron blossoms, wildflowers, and songbirds. Pack a picnic lunch and walk around the easy trail taking in the sights and sounds.

About the Park:
Rhododendron State Park is named after the 16-acre grove of Rhododendron Maximum, which is the focal point of the park. A 0.6 mile-long universally accessible trail encircles the grove allowing visitors to observe, close up, the fragrant clusters of pink blossoms as they burst into bloom in mid-July.

A wildflower trail, maintained by the Fitzwilliam Garden Club, winds through the forest adjacent to the grove. From early spring to the first frost, wildflowers bloom throughout the 2,723-acre park. The last blooms in the fall are complemented by the forest's brilliant foliage. Visitors exploring the trails are often serenaded by songbirds, which live in the grove.
The rhododendron grove, which is the largest in northern New England, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1982.

Operating Schedule
This park is always open for recreation unless closed or restricted by posting. During the off-season the park is typically not staffed and comfort stations are not available.

424 Rockwood Pond Rd
Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
Phone: 603-532-8862 (at Monadnock State Park)





Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 3, 4, 5 Events


Here is a list of some great events happening over the Fourth of July weekend.

3 Thursday 5–11pm. Block Party on Main Street, Fitchburg. Start your Fourth of July celebration, as Fitchburg celebrates its 250th anniversary, with music, dancing, antique cars, food and more — then stick around for the fireworks! DJ AlanHep2the Jive and Dance2Swing Studios will be performing at the Fitchburg Civic Day Block Party. Dancers will be in front of the Fay Club, 658 Main St. in Fitchburg. There will be many local vendors and many food choices at the Block Party. The Friends of the Fitchburg Public Library will also hold their annual Garage book sale during the Civic Days Block Party from 5 to 9 p.m. Lots of books and other items available for $1 a bag. The regular book sale room will also be open at regular prices. On the sidewalk will be bubbles and chalk art for the children. For more information, visit www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or call 978-829-1801.
3 Thursday 7pm-9pm. The Summer Concert Series at Carter Park in downtown Leominster. FREE family fun! Enjoy the sounds of local talent while relaxing under the stars. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic. Not time to pack a picnic? Visit one of the food vendors. Most importantly….bring your dancing shoes!!! Featuring The Spy Tones, Surf/Instrumental. For more information click here.
3 Thursday 10pm. Fireworks from Rollstone Hill, Fitchburg. Flying from the top of Rollstone Hill, the city’s fireworks display will be visible from many vantage points, including Main Street’s block party. For more information, visit www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or call 978-829-1801
4 Friday 10am. Fourth of July Parade on Summer Street and Main Street, Fitchburg. The city celebrates the 4th —and its 250th anniversary! — with a spectacular parade. Floats, firetrucks, bands, antique cars, clowns and so much more! For more information, visit www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or call 978-829-1801
4 Friday noon. Reading of the Declaration of Independence at First Church on Templeton Common, Routes 2A and 101, Templeton. Hear local residents and elected officials read the document that launched this nation, in a historic church set on a traditional New England common. Enjoy an ice cream social on the common after the reading.
4 Friday 7:30pm. Orange Community Band concert on the bandstand on the Bandstand in Butterfield Park, 83 East River St., Orange.
5 Saturday. The Ayer 4th of July Celebration at Pirone Park. Ayer hosts a top quality Fourth of July including a parade, Family Fun at Pirone Park followed by one of the best fireworks show in Central Mass! Fireworks start at 9:15pm.
5 Saturday 12:30pm. Independence Day celebration in Pepperell. Parade from the Town Hall to the VFW starts at 12:30pm, fireworks at dusk. Visit pepperell4thofjuly.org.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 27, 28, 29 Events


Petting Zoo at Ashburnham Downtown Days 2013

Below is a list of some wonderful events happening this weekend in our area, including Ashburnham Downtown Days on Saturday, June 28 at Winchester Park. 
27-29 Friday–Sunday. Longsjo Classic bicycle race. Visit www.longsjo.com for up-to-date details.
27-29 Friday 7pm-10pm, Saturday & Sunday Noon-7pm. Downtown Gardner becomes home to the 1st Annual Up Town Roots music Festival. This all ages weekend long event will feature award winning musical acts from all over New England. For more information, visit www.uptownrootsfest.com.
27 Friday 11am. Civic Day Luncheon and Young American Scholarship. Senior Center, Wallace Ave. Fitchburg. For more information, visit www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or call 978-829-1801
27 Friday 5pm-8:30pm. Longsjo Twilight Criterium Leominster. Four Races. A time-honored, classic American cycling event, the Longsjo is a community celebration of cycling, fitness, and health. Established in 1960 in memory of 2-time Olympian Art Longsjo, the event commemorates the life and achievements of a remarkable athlete and person who left his mark on the Fitchburg community and generations of cycling fans. More than 700 racers are expected to compete on the roads and streets that are icon of American cycling. Thousands of spectators and race fans are once again expected to line the courses and attend the race expo each day. Racers, families, and spectators will throng to the place where racers have gone on to Olympian, World Championship and Tour de France fame. For more information, visit www.longsjo.com.
27 Friday 7:30pm. Orange Community Band concert on the bandstand on the Bandstand in Butterfield Park, 83 East River St., Orange.
27 Friday 8pm. The Outlaws at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. The Outlaws return with new music, new focus and an uncompromising new mission: It’s about a band of brothers bound together by history, harmony and the road. 
28 –Saturday, Downtown Days in Ashburnham. Downtown Days in Ashburnham, this Saturday, all day events at Winchester Park and behind the Town Hall, Library (don't forget the Book Sale)
28-29 Saturday 8am–5pm & Sunday 8am–1pm. Yankee Engine-uity steam engine show at the Orange Airport, 80 Airport St., Orange. See scores of antique engines, tractors, cars and trucks. Don’t miss the tractor parade or the kiddie tractor pull! The 37th annual event also includes a gas engine raffle, petting zoo, a flea market, live musical entertainment Saturday evening, and more! Visit www.cmsgma.com for details.
28-29 Saturday-Sunday 2pm-dusk. Hubbardston Ham Radio Field Day. The Mohawk Amateur Radio Club will be holding Field Day at the Malone Road Conservation Area on Saturday, June 28, and Sunday, June 29. This is the climax of the week long “Amateur Radio Week.” Amateur radio operators or "hams" across the US and Canada will be trying to contact as many other stations as possible in this contest that serves as an emergency communications exercise. The public is welcome to visit during daylight hours from 2 p.m. Saturday through 2 p.m. Sunday
28 Saturday 10am. The North Country Quad Series Presents The Lake Dennison 5K. A refreshing shaded trail run to kick off the summer! This run is a fast, flat course to get you in the mood for trail running and taking in the beauty of the State Forests in our very own backyard. Click here for more information.
28 Saturday 10am-11am. Native Tree Walk at Tower Hill. Included with Admission. Free for members. Learn to identify native trees with Tower Hill Education Director, Ann Marie Pilch. For more information, visit www.towerhillbg.org.
28 Saturday noon-6pm. Strawberry Festival at Clearview Farm 4 Kendall Hill Road, Sterling. Free admission. Fresh strawberries, live music performed by The Friendly Folk Duo, craft beer, wood fired pizza, games for the kids, fun for the whole family! Call (978) 422-0442 or visit www.facebook.com/events/485980318201515 for more information.
28 Saturday 1pm-5pm. Leominster' Summer Stroll. Downtown Leominster. Rain date June 29th. Parade staring at 1:00, classic car show, sand sculpture, pony rides, misting tent, music, remote race car track, food, dancing, face painting and more!
28 Saturday 1pm-7pm. Nashua River Brewers Festival at Riverfront Park, off Route 12, downtown Fitchburg. Dozens of the finest local and regional brewers will be serving great craft beers under a bigtop tent. Live music performed all day. (This is a 21+ event). Visit www.beersforgood.com.
28 Saturday 7pm-10pm. Enjoy a fine meal, cocktails and hot jazz on the outdoor garden patio! Outdoor space limited. Reserve early! Bull Run Restaurant Rt. 2A, Shirley, MA 978-425-4311. Dinner menu & full bar - No Cover - Reservations required. Visit www.bullrunrestaurant.com for more information.
28 Saturday 8pm. Al Kooper at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. Occidental Gypsy will be in the Ballroom.
29 Sunday 9am-5pm. Longsjo Classic Downtown Criterium. Upper Common Main St. Fitchburg. Eight Races. A time-honored, classic American cycling event, the Longsjo is a community celebration of cycling, fitness, and health. Established in 1960 in memory of 2-time Olympian Art Longsjo, the event commemorates the life and achievements of a remarkable athlete and person who left his mark on the Fitchburg community and generations of cycling fans. More than 700 racers are expected to compete on the roads and streets that are icon of American cycling. Thousands of spectators and race fans are once again expected to line the courses and attend the race expo each day. Racers, families, and spectators will throng to the place where racers have gone on to Olympian, World Championship and Tour de France fame. For more information, visit www.longsjo.com.
29 Sunday 10am-4pm. Finnish Summer Festival (“Kesajuhla”) at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg. Admission $2. Children's games; horseshoes; Sally Cragin speaks about Moomintroll, the most popular children's books in Finland thanks to a grant from the Finlandia Foundation; Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year Suzanne Jurva; festival artist Patricia Ide; Finnish Folk Dancers; music by Oivan Ilo; Raivaaja Bookstore. Food for sale: chicken barbecue, hot dogs, Arctic berry sundaes; Finnish coffee bread, beverages. Special guest speaker Suzanne Jurva: Finlandia Foundation National proudly presents the documentary "Yoopera!" and its filmmakers, Suzanne Jurva and Erin Smith, as its Lecturer of the Year program for 2014. "Yoopera!" looks at the making of the opera "Rockland", a Finnish and American collaboration about a tragic 1906 mining incident in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the companion "Story Line" family history project. Visit www.saima-park.org or call 978 582-7717.
29 Sunday 11am–2pm. Doll Carriage and Bicycle Parade at Riverfront Park, off Route 12, Fitchburg. Kids are invited to decorate their vehicles for this pre-4th of July parade. Activities, games and a jump-house for the kids. For more information, visit www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or call 978-829-1801.
29 Sunday 1pm-3pm. Rollstone Studios presents 5th Annual Summer Salon: An exhibit of regional work with a variety of media. 633 Main Street, Fitchburg MA. Call 978.348.ART1 for more information.
29 Sunday 2pm-4pm. Artist-in-Residence Richard Kattman will give a formal presentation and demonstration at Fruitlands on abstract painting. Free with museum admission. For more information, visit www.fruitlands.org.
29 Sunday 3pm–6pm. Civic Days Chicken BBQ at River Front Park in downtown Fitchburg. Enjoy chicken, hamburgers and hotdogs, and listen to the Fitchburg Military Band playing patriotic tunes. Celebrate an Old Fashioned BBQ and help support Fitchburg Civic Days. For more information, visit www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or call 978-829-1801
29 Sunday 6pm. Annual Amazing Duck Race at Riverfront Park, Route 12 off Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Cheer your rubber ducky on to victory on the Nashua River! Single duck is $5 and a flock is 5/$20. Prizes: 1st place, $1,000; 2nd, $500’ 3rd, $250; 4th, four Red Sox tickets; and more. Get duck forms at www.fitchburgcivicdays.net or the day of the event.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rose Garden


"A Rose is perfect in every moment of its existence"
                         ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My father grew beautiful roses right up until he passed away 4 years ago at the age of 89. He would put out fresh roses every day for passersby to take for free.

For our 30th wedding anniversary this year Paul picked out 14 roses that he knew my father grew (and that we loved) and we started a new rose garden together. We also received roses as gifts from loved ones. So, this is the beginning of a new tradition in our family, and a continuation of the amazing legacy my father left behind. Not all of our roses are in bloom right now, but here are some that are. We can't wait to share them with you.


Golden Celebration

Angel Face
Elizabeth Taylor

Tropicana
Fragrant Plum
Mr. Lincoln
Joseph's Coat

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1-8 Events


This Week in Central Massachusetts


Check out the local Calendar of Events for many exciting and interesting events happening this week, June 1-8.  For events happening later on in the month visit appleseed.org.

1 Sunday 10am-5pm. The United Native American Cultural Center is hosting its 18th Annual Native American Powwow this weekend. Groton’s Lorena Novak, Secretary of the group, writes in a press release that this year’s celebration is dedicated to “Celebrating Freedom & Honoring our Military. Grand entry ceremony at noon. Festival highlights are traditional drumming, traditional dancing, a wide variety of good food, and fun raffles. Children’s games and art activities are always popular. The powwow also features a variety of native American arts & crafts vendors selling their wares. The powwow takes place at the UNACC offices, 29 Antietam Street, Devens, MA. For more information, call (978) 772-1306 or Novak at (978) 448-5574.
1 Sunday 2pm. New Players Theater Guild presents Cosi Fan Tutti (or How I Met Your Mother). A delightful comedy featuring Mozart's beautiful music. For more information, visit www.nptg.org.
1 Sunday 2pm-4:30pm. Sogetsu Ikebana - Especially for Beginners at Tower Hill. Member: $40., Non-member: $55. Sogetsu Ikebana is an internationally recognized school of Japanese flower arranging known for creative self expression. Kaye provides the flowers for each class and will have supplies and equipment for purchase. For more information, visit www.towerhillbg.org.
1 Sunday 4pm. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St., Ashburnham Pianist Dmitry Rachmanov will play works by Alexander Scriabin on a period grand piano selected from the Frederick Historical Piano Collection.. Admission $10; students and children free. Visit www.frederickcollection.org.
1 Sunday 6:30pm. Swing Dance and Lessons at the Leominster Elks, 134 N. Main St., Leominster, with Reminisce Doo Wop Group. Dance2Swing presents beginning group lessons at 6:30 and a swing Dance at 7:30 Admission, $14. For information, visit www.dance2swing.com or call 978-263-7220.
3 Tuesday 11:30am-noon. Story Time Tuesdays at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Included with Admission. Free for members. Enjoy a story in the conservatory, or outside if the weather is nice! For all ages with parent of caregiver. For more information, visit www.towerhillbg.org.
3 Tuesday 7pm. Experience the birth of the American Revolution and the new American nation through the eyes of the foremost printer of that generation. Isaiah Thomas – Patriot Printer will be presented at the Leominster Public Library, 30 West St. Professional actor Neil Gustafson will portray the Boston-born printer (1749-1831). Free. (978) 534-7522, Ext. 3.
4 Wednesday 5pm-9pm. Tower Hill presents Tea tasting with Jan's Teapot. Free with regular admission. Custom blended loose tea - all natural with no preservatives. Creative tea related accessories. Will have delicious tea blends to sample! For more information, visit www.towerhillbg.org.
4 Wednesday 6pm-8pm. Tower Hill presents Jon Weinberg and Dave Coleman - Twilight at Twigs Cafe. Free with regular admission. Jon Weinberg and Dave Coleman - Hammered Dulcimer and Guitar performing together in the acoustic string band Allemande North. They play a variety of traditional and contemporary music from the New England, Southern, French Canadian, Celtic, and Scottish traditions and perform throughout New England at contra and square dances, festivals, concerts and other public and private events. For more information, visit www.towerhillbg.org.
5-9 Thursday-Monday. Winchendon’s 250th Anniversary Committee is sponsoring The Moving Wall visit to Winchendon to honor all veterans as well as those veterans, families and friends of those who died or are missing in Vietnam, especially those who may not have the opportunity to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. For more information, visit www.townofwinchendon.com.
5 Thursday 5:45pm-7:45pm. Parent Cafe Series- health & Safety Workshop w/a focus on summer. Email strengthfam@gmail.com for more information.
5 Thursday 7pm-9pm. The Summer Concert Series at Carter Park in downtown Leominster. FREE family fun! Enjoy the sounds of local talent while relaxing under the stars. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic. Not time to pack a picnic? Visit one of the food vendors. Most importantly….bring your dancing shoes!!! Featuring The Golden Road Band, Country/Southern Rock/Classic Rock. For more information click here.
6 Friday 11am-2pm. Take it to the Curator at the Museum of Russian Icons. For more information, visit www.museumofrussianicons.org.
6 Friday 8pm. Jeff Pitchell & Charles Neville at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. 
6-8 Friday-Sunday. THE CIVIL WAR COMES TO HARVARD. Harvard Center will be host to a number of Civil War related activities. Visitors are welcome to participate in any or all of the scheduled events. All events are free to the public. Children welcome - hands on activities. For more information, visit www.harvardhistory.org.
7-8 Saturday & Sunday. Statewide Free Fishing Weekend is June 7- 8, 2014! Recreational anglers may fish on both fresh and salt water in Massachusetts for free (no license or permit needed) during this weekend in June. Click here for more information.
7-8 Saturday & Sunday 11am–3pm. Old Farm Days – Sheep Shearing at Davis Farmland, 145 Redstone Hill Road, Sterling. It’s time to shear those woolly coats farmers Fred and Barbara are back to shear our sheep, llamas, and alpacas. See spinning demos, learn how wool goes from the sheep’s back to your favorite sweater and make your own farm craft using real wool! Visit www.davisfarmland.com/dffa_wp or call 978-422-6666.
7 Saturday. National Trails Day - At Wachusett ReservationNational Trails Day - At Wachusett Reservation. For more information, visit www.wachusett.com.
7 Saturday 6:30am. Fruitland's Birding at Fruitlands: Nesting Birds Cost... Free. Blue-winged Warbler Carrying Food. Join ornithologist Patricia White for a walk on Fruitlands trails and discover nesting birds. The group will walk about two miles over meadows and varied terrain. Dress for the weather and the bugs! For more information, visit www.fruitlands.org.
7 Saturday 9am–3pm. Athol Congregational Church Country Fair, 1224 Chestnut St., Athol. Food, games for the kids, entertainment, theme baskets, tag sale, plants, jewelry, books and fun for all! Contact Terry Noyes, 978-249-6202.
7 Saturday noon to dusk. Annual Shirley All Town Hoe Down on the Common in Shirley Center, Route 2A. The Annual Hoe Down is a community day of family friendly events. There is a variety of music, games, craft tables, information booths, and lots of food. Admission is free and there is plenty of parking. See www.shirleyhoedown.net.
7 Saturday 2pm-4pm. Opening Reception for KALEIDOSCOPE, an exhibition that represents Sally Sargent's exploration of acrylic and mixed media. Sally’s love for art started at a young age. In a letter recently received written by her mother to her sister, she writes, “Sally is different. All she does is read and draw.” She studied art at the School of Practical Art, now Boston Institute of Art. She first approached watercolor in a class at the Fitchburg Art Museum, and went on to study watercolor, mixed media, and oils with various artists from New England to Texas. She now works in several mediums – pastels, watercolor, collage, and mixed media. She has exhibited throughout New England and Texas, and has over 80 paintings in private and corporate collections. Rollstone Studios, 633 Main Street, Fitchburg.
8 Sunday. Groton Greenway River Festival 2014 at the Petapawag boat launch on Rt. 119 in Groton. Come join in a celebration of the Nashua River. Once again Nashoba Paddler will be offering free canoeing if you'd like to explore a different part of the river. All activities are free including environmental hands-on exhibits, live music, children's yoga, children's arts & crafts, and the famous cardboard canoe race!
8 Sunday 9am–noon. Open House at the historic Old Murdock School, as part of the Winchendon 250th Anniver-sary Celebration. A continental breakfast will be served. Free admission. For more information, visit www.townofwinchendon.com
8 Sunday 1pm-2:30pm. Tower Hill's Clematis: Queen of the Climbers. Member: $15, Non-member: $25. Presenter: Cheryl Monroe. Clematis reigns supreme as one of the most versatile and beautiful plants we can grow in our New England Gardens. Come learn how to successfully grow this wonderful vine in the garden , in container plantings and even as a houseplant! Weather permitting there will be many clematis flowers on hand to inspire and delight. For more information, visit www.towerhillbg.org.
8 Sunday 1pm-3pm. First Parish Cultural Series at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church 923 Main Street, Fitchburg presents master tabla musician Shivananda Sharma.

8 Sunday 6:30pm. Swing Dance and Lessons at the Leominster Elks, 134 N. Main St., Leominster. Dance2Swing presents beginning group lessons at 6:30 and a swing Dance at 7:30 Admission, $14. Visit www.dance2swing.com or call 978-263-7220.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Banana Crumb Muffins

Banana Crumb Muffins
Unlike dense banana bread, these muffins are so delicate and light, they practically melt in your mouth.



Banana Crumb Muffins

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

3 bananas, mashed
¾ cup white sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup melted butter

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 TB. flour
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 TB. butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 12 regular muffin tins, or 6 jumbo muffin tins.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the bananas, white sugar, egg, and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture, until just blended. Spoon into prepared muffin tins.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 TB. flour, and cinnamon. Cut in 2 TB. butter until it forms a crumb mixture. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake for 20 mins. for small muffins and 25 mins. for jumbo size or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Historic Piano Concerts begin this April

1871 Streicher


The Frederick Historic Piano Collection Spring 2014 concerts begin on Sunday, April 27 and continue for the next 5 Sundays until June 1.

Schedule:

April 27 Matthew Odell, on the 1871 Streicher, music by Brahms, Seven Fantasien (Op.116), Eight Klavierstuke (Op. 76) and Sonata No. 3 (Op. 5).

May 4 - Constantine Finehouse will present a selection of polonaises, ballades and fantasies by Chopin and Schumann on the 1846 Streicher.

May 11 - Artem Belogurov performs a program titled The New England Romantics, a selection of pieces by Arthur William Foote, Arthur Whiting, John Knowles Paine, George Whitefield Chadwick, and Margaret Ruthven Lang, on an 1862 Chickering piano built in the Tremont Street factory in Boston.

May 18 - Shiela Kibbe, playing the 1839 Trondlin, and Heather Braun, violin, present the Grand Duo sonata by Franz Schubert and pieces by Robert Schumann.

May 25 - Beatrice Long in a solo recital featuring Chopin's Sonata No. 3 and a selection of Liszt transcriptions of Schubert Lieder, on the 1840 Erard.

June 1 - Dmitry Rachmanov, music by Scriabin, in recognition of the hundredth anniversary of the composer's death in April 1915, playing the 1877 Erard "Extra-grand modele de concert".

All concerts are held in the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St., Ashburnham MA on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. Admission:  $10.00 per adult. Children and students, free.
For more information visit: www.frederickcollection.org.