Building Along the Lower Connecticut

Welcome to the lower Connecticut River valley! This last section of the river, just before and as it reaches the Atlantic Ocean, is a scenic and grandiflora tour de force that rivals any along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Birders, naturalists, and the first American Impressionist painters—anyone in love with nature and her bounty—have for centuries known about and continue to find wonder in and draw inspiration from this greenest of green deviants from the generally-overpopulated coastline.

Foraging for a Spring Treat

They’re delicious and free for the picking! Before the oaks and maples leaf out in early spring, tasty fiddleheads are pushing through the bronze leaf litter in moist woodlands throughout New England.

Tales of a Connecticut River Ferryman’s Son

I put my hand out in front of me like I’m offering to shake and say: “How do you do, sir. I’m called JJ, just like my father, and his father, and his father before him. We’re all ferrymen here in Old Saybrook, and we’re all called JJ.”

The Falls

A poem by David Leff, an award-winning essayist, poet, and former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

What’s for Dinner?

Pekin Duck and Peking Duck are wildly different! Peking Duck is the cooking preparation and presentation of a duck dish originated in Peking (Beijing), China, during the Imperial era and is still popular today.

What’s for Dinner?

Quail is an upland gamebird, which, according to Wikipedia is an American term that refers to “non-waterfowl birds hunted with pointing breeds, flushing spaniels, and retrievers.” However, if you’re not “game” for dashing through field and wood and pulling shot out of your prey, thankfully there are many choices today from your local gourmet shop or butcher.

A Solitude of Space

Three miles from the Connecticut River, we stood in a circle under a tree in the garden of Emily Dickinson’s home, reading poems, passing a book around, no more than two or three feet from each other. The 1813 Amherst home built for her grandparents stood proudly in the sunshine, and the voices of another tour group filtered out.

What’s for Dinner?

There are so many opportunities today to enjoy fish from around the world but indigenous trout have always been a North American favorite.


Just a mile from the river, North of Brattleboro in the tiny village of Dummerston, a bungalow-style house perches on a hillside. With views across to Mount Monadnock, this magnificent home called “Naulakha” was built by Rudyard Kipling after he married Vermont heiress Caroline Balestier. When Kipling wasn’t playing tennis with Arthur Conan Doyle, he wrote The Jungle Book (in which the short story about the courageous mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, appears) and Captains Courageous here.


A Kipling classic.

About the Seasonal Ecology Mural

In 2016, the Connecticut River Museum commissioned renowned wildlife artist Mike DiGiorgio to create a painting that would bring to life the tidal marshes of the lower Connecticut River. The painting
was photographed by award-winning photographer Jody Dole and enlarged to a mural that is 81 ¼” L x 76” H and installed as a permanent exhibit at the Museum.

Name Gourmand

A poem by GRAY JACOBIK, a
widely-published,nationally-recognized American poet.

What’s for Dinner?

Well, if it’s May or June, it’s fresh shad! Indigenous to the East Coast from Newfoundland to Florida, American shad migrate from the salty Atlantic to fresh river waters to spawn. Its Latin name, Alosa Sapidissima, translates to “most savory shad” or “delicious herring,” which indeed it is. Shad’s unique flavor is both an acquired and sought after taste.