Once Upon an Island

It was a lazy summer afternoon in the mid-1950s when Ernest Feske dumped a load of bricks into the Connecticut River.
He and his wife, the Broadway actor Bettina Cerf, were wet and embarrassed, but otherwise OK, as was their boat.

The Pied Piper of Land Conservation

Connecticut, among other places, would not be the same without the vision and determination of Richard Hale Goodwin, the late Connecticut
College professor of botany and one of the nation’s pioneering preservationists.

In Memoriam: A Maple for David K. Leff

At the end of summer, just as leaves began to tinge with gold, fifty people gathered on the banks of the Farmington River to plant a native red maple in memory of David K. Leff.

Thornton W. Burgess

Thornton W. Burgess, who was born nine years after the Civil War and died in 1965, was well ahead of his time.

Searching for Sol LeWitt

The author walks in front of a Sol LeWitte wall drawing #1105 “Colored bands of arcs from four corners.” Below: Barolo’s Chapel in La Morra, Italy (exterior and interior). Image Credit: Jack KeaneBy Eric D. Lehman Many years ago, after attending a play at the Goodspeed Opera House, my wife, Amy, and I walked into Chester’s River Tavern. We were …

Connecticut Waters

To those fond of the aqueous parts of the Constitution State, Connecticut Waters is a deep treat for the eyes and mind.

Last of the Legendary Watermen

Oliver LaPlace was born on the Connecticut River, almost. The family homestead in Lyme backed up to its eastern shore. They had to keep a close watch on young Ollie, especially during the spring freshet. He was drawn to the water something fierce.

Among the Birds

I still remember the first time I was handed a copy of Roger Tory Peterson’s A Field Guide to the Birds and my orientation as an incidental bird observer shifted to intentional bird identifier. I was 12 years old.

River Heroes

The car bumps over the railroad tracks and along a marsh to the end of the road. A few men in white outfits wave you over a small metal drawbridge and onto the historic 1949 Chester-Hadlyme Ferry. With a lurch, the 100-ton ferry leaves the west bank, chugging across the gently lapping waters of the Connecticut River.

River Heroes

There are dozens of people like the Delaneys up and down the Connecticut River valley, creating small nodes of preservation and compassion. Each one can make a difference, but together they can create a better world for us all.

Etched by the Outdoors

At 85 years, Chet Reneson of Lyme, Connecticut, who has for decades perched on the pinnacle of sporting art, is still on his game with more commissions than he can handle. Those in the know about his paintings of hunting, fishing, and nature included in the genre of wildlife art would say it is because of his talent, but Reneson, who has lived most of his life in the Connecticut River’s estuary country, cites an additional reason. “Most of the other top sporting art painters are dead,” he says.

Cleaning up the Connecticut River Junk

Following a recent major storm, a 500-gallon propane tank floated down the Connecticut River and mushed into the sand just north of Calves Island in Old Lyme, Connecticut. It arrived at high tide and was stuck there for some days. People who ventured near departed quickly after getting a whiff of the propane gas leaking from the tank. A police boat approached the itinerant
tank and backed off. An inflatable fireboat came, sniffed, and also backed off. Finally, experts in handling such matters snared the tank and hauled it away.

The Shad Spirit

Early on an April morning, a cold mist lies over the Connecticut River. When the sun breaks through and the mist rises, there is shimmering on the water. Regularly, for a brief moment, the modern melds into the timeless and across the expanse of marshes and blue water you see the silver flash and hear the blare of a diesel horn from the Old Lyme Draw every time an Amtrak train speeds along the old truss railroad bridge.