Photos capture Northern Lights in New Hampshire

“A solar wind current excited the earth’s magnetic field this past Saturday night, February 18, and illuminated the Northern United States with a remarkable display of Aurora Borealis,” reported Matt Noyes of NECN. Amazing time-lapse video is available for viewing via NECN’s Sky Scenes New England Photo Sharing group on Flickr.com. Ed Cave in Chocorua, New Hampshire, captured the images viewable at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecave_84/6902617185/in/pool-591401@N24/

N.H. seeks “perfect” photos of fall foliage

Do you have a favorite fall foliage photo of New Hampshire that you want to share? Tourism officials in the Granite State are holding a photo contest through October 31, 2011 and they are looking for those “perfect pictures.” Entries are already available for viewing on-line.

Winners will be chosen from each of the state’s seven tourist regions: Great North Woods, White Mountains, Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee, Lakes, Monadnock, Merrimack Valley and Seacoast.

You can read about the contest (official rules and list of prizes)  at the VisitNH website, where you can upload your images.

Go to: www.fall.visitnh.com.

Enjoy a Local, Homegrown Harvest

Muster Field sunflowers and barn

Photo by Gretchen J. Gudefin

Come to Sutton, NH and share the food and festivities of a local, homegrown harvest on Sunday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Muster Field Farm Museum!

Enjoy a hearty lunch of homemade soups, breads and baked goods while listening to the live music of fiddlers and area folk musicians. Featured musicians include The Click Horning Band from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. and The Orzechowski Family Band from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the historic Pillsbury Barn. The Buchans will provide fife and drum music throughout the day.

The farm stand offers a wonderful selection of seasonal vegetables, maple syrup and honey, as well as pickles, jams, and jellies all made locally.

Children can play traditional games, learn to make books, dip candles, and even create their own cornhusk dolls. Storytelling in the Ryder Schoolhouse will be ongoing throughout the day. Other exhibits include weaving and spinning, basket making, blacksmithing, bookbinding, and cider and ice cream making.  A great selection of books on traditional New England life will also be available, along with handcrafted wares.

Tours of the circa-1787 Matthew Harvey Homestead will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m., and will include a cooking demonstration on the open hearth.

Admission is $5 for adults; $2 for seniors; free for members.

Muster Field Farm is a nonprofit museum and working farm in North Sutton, New Hampshire. The farm, which includes many historic buildings and the Matthew Harvey Homestead, is open daily, year-round. For more information, call 603-927-4276, or visit www.musterfieldfarm.com.

Directions: Take I89 to exit 10, route 114 to North Sutton Village, and follow signs to Muster Field Farm.

Local Winery Gives Tours and Tastings

From Sunacom.com, Gayle Hedrington reports on a local winery: “All wines produced by family owned and operated Silver Mountain Winery are  sulphate-free. Owners Steve and Cindy Miner buy apples, raspberries, black cherries and honey from New England farmers and use only fresh fruit for their wines. Visitors are welcome for tours and tastings Thursday through Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sundays 11am-4pm.” Read more at Sunacom.com

His Passion is Bandstands

Dave Levine’s passion is bandstands. And after 10 years, he’s one shy of chronicling his 400th bandstand in the New England/New York area. His website is History Stands Still, The Background of Bandstands Throughout New England.HistoryStandsStill

Levine has written about the Ben Mere bandstand at Sunapee Harbor and the one in Newport and New London (NH). He’s photographed Newbury’s lakeside structure and the Broad Street Park bandstand in Claremont that was originally built in 1922 and rebuilt in 2001.

“It started as just a subject to photograph,” Levine explained. “But now it’s my passion, to see every one in New England.”

Self-employed and with little time to vacation, Levine with his wife have enjoyed taking day trips and long weekends for some 20 years. During these travels from home in Woburn, Massachusetts, Levine searches out and photographs what he calls our “secret jewels.”

Levine points out that bandstands in the country go back to Civil War times. “Now, people take these structures for granted. It’s a shame that they do not warrant more attention.”

Former Library Director Pat Hand, Sunapee, is acknowledged for providing the background about Sunapee’s bandstand (built in 1987) and Newport Library Director Andrea Thorpe and Town Building Manager Ken Dennis for information about Newport’s Economu Bandstand (built in 1986.) Both were designed and built by Nick Scalera.

Levine is trying to bring attention to bandstands and find books and other information on the topic. Writing his own book is another goal for Levine. He’d like to share the information he’s gathered over the years and explain the historic role and significance of bandstands to the country and community in which they are located.

In the meantime, Levine continues to search out bandstands and writings on the topic. For more information, contact Levine via his website or email: mrbandstand@gmail.com.