New Fair New Artists New Shots

I never seem to post anything until I’m producing a photo and art fair locally. I know I should write more, but I just haven’t gotten a handle on what my friends want to read in here. Today, I’m posting an article I wrote for my upcoming Fall Harvest Fair for the newspaper. I’ve added a more text here though. I don’t know if the newspaper will publish the story, but will link it here, if it does.

Fall Harvest Fair & Art Exhibit
Saturday, October 22
11am to 3pm
NHA Community Hall
5 Chambers St.
Needham, MA

Fall Harvest Gift Fair and Art Show

Tucked away in the brick apartment buildings off Linden Street live a number of talented artists whose wares you can rarely view. Women who ages range from 50 to 85 produce artwork in watercolor, pen & ink and photography. For the first time they come together for a Fall Harvest Fair on Sat, October 22 at 5 Chambers St. in Needham, MA. The art they produce is not available elsewhere.

Long-time resident and octogenarian Sheila Clark, creates paper cards in pen & ink; a craft taught to her by her mother. She carefully and selectively colors these whimsical cards to create miniature woodland scenes. Sheila shames us all with her folksy sense of humor, endless energy and daily walks. 

A professional musician by trade, Nancy-Lee Mauger has transformed her inability to play anymore into another art form. After immersing herself in art therapy at McLean Hospital she discovered her painting talent. She creates colorful and thought-provoking scenes and portraits on watercolor canvas. For fairs she paints one of a kind watercolor cards that cover every theme. You can customize her cards with your own message. 

When a car accident short-circuited her consulting work, Needham-native Ilene Hoffman started producing cards, calendars, magnets and fine art prints from her photography library. As a long time shooter, Ilene specializes in wildlife, landscape and nature prints. She offers many different kinds of photo products featuring the local suburban area’s birds and animals. You can order a 2017 local nature calendar, grab a copy of her children’s book, Hector the Heron or buy a custom photo shopping bag. Her photography graces many pages on this site.

Other artists joining the fair include a photographer and bead artist. Christine Chambers from Millis specializes in portraits and landscapes. She just opened up a business oriented Facebook page to advertise her services.

Janet Hirschhorn, formerly of Needham and an NHS classmate of Ilene, creates one of a kind beaded earrings. Janet works hard as an LPN and finds that creating earrings is a great way to relax and unwind. 

The Fall Harvest Fair also includes a White Elephant Table. This table  includes new and gently used household items, games, frames, Legos, costume jewelry, candles, DVDs and CDs. In addition, you may find electronics, cameras, and other uncommon items. All the exhibitors of the fair contribute to the wares showcased on this table. 

We welcome families and hope you stop by for a drink and snack and come see our work. 

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Mother Nature for Mother’s Day Photo Exhibit and Gift Fair

Mother’s Day Photo Exhibit and Gift Fair

Saturday, April 30 • Noon to 4:30 pm

5 Chambers Street, Needham, MA
(Off Linden St. across from High Rock School)

Free to attend for the whole family with refreshments and live music!

Join multiple artists to view or buy unique gifts for Mother’s and Father’s Days.


Mute Swan and Cygnets

Nature photo cards, pen & ink cards by Sheila, Janet’s  stone and bead jewelry, plus Kristen Culver, Mary Kay consultant.

Fine art nature prints include scenes from Needham’s Rosemary Lake, Owen’s Poultry Farm, Needham RTS and Reservoir, plus Natick and Dover. Photos are framed and unframed, in a variety of sizes ranging from $5.00 to $100.00. 

A poster collage and placemat of wildlife captured at the Needham RTS and a limited edition of Hector The Heron children’s book also available. A White Elephant Table offers new and gently used household items, including games, frames, Legos, jewelry boxes, costume jewelry, videos and music. Refreshments available for a small fee. Kids welcome!!

3:00 to 4:00 Live classic jazz by The Sholar & D’Amico Duo

(Mouse over photos to see musician names.) 


See bees and trees, dogs and frogs, dragonflies and blue skies,
hawks and rocks, geese and fleece, and ducks and bucks.

Please leave comment on this page to let me know you stopped in to read about my show/fair. Thank you!

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Nature’s Gems Gift Fair

See bees and trees, dogs and frogs, hawks and rocks, geese and fleece, ducks and bucks, and bugs on flowering shrubs. 

Holiday Coyote

Holiday Coyote

Please join me for a relaxing afternoon and view my new wildlife and nature photography from disappearing locales, such as Owen’s Poultry Farm, Rosemary Lake and the Needham RTS. See autumn splendor on the Charles River and the South Natick Dam, plus green and blue herons, coyote, egrets, squirrels, dragon flies and common birds you barely notice displaying awesome plumage. (Sample shots below.)

When: Saturday, November 21

Location: 5 Chambers St., Needham MA 
(Across from the High Rock School off Linden St.) 

Time: 12 to 4:30 PM

Kristen Culver from Mary Kay will showcase gift baskets. Also on hand will be Sheila Clark cards and household goods, games, vinyl, DVDs, and some gently used items from Ross Donald. 

Items to purchase include  limited editions of my 2016 Nature Calendar and Hector The Heron children’s book, 5 x 7 cards, fine art prints in many sizes (framed and unframed), magnets and placemats.

Please remember, you can always order custom cards and prints for your office walls, clients and friends!

A comment on this page would be most welcome to let me know you stopped in to see my shots! Thank you!

Click a circle below to see full image.



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Aged Rosemary Resident Rescued from Drain Pipe

Update 5/11/15: Received email that the captions incorrectly identified the attending policeman. It was Office Palmer, not Officer Kelleher. Article and captions corrected! Turtle health update at the end of article.

Officer Carrying Turtle

On Monday, May 4th, I witnessed the tail end of a rescue from a drainpipe at Rosemary Lake. A resident had reported that a turtle was stuck in a pipe on the side of the lake. Due to the annual lake draining and the turtle posing as a plug, the Needham Public Works Department was alerted along with the local police and animal control.

When I got there, the 45-pound Common Snapping Turtle had been extricated from the pipe by Police Office Palmer and three DPW workers. Animal Control Officer Danielle Landry told me it had been there at least 24 hours, but she couldn’t ascertain its condition. While they thought the turtle was still breathing, no one could be certain, until it moved ever so slightly. Officer Palmer, with limited past experience with turtles, did his best to assess the creature’s condition and made sure it had no obvious wounds.

(I could not help with the turtle, so I thought it best I document the rescue with my trusty Nikon camera and Sigma lens. There seems to be one small facial wound, as can be seen in the third picture, but other health issues plagued the poor turtle from being stuck in the pipe for so many hours.)

Note to Readers: Please click on the photos to see a larger version and please click the link in the last paragraph to help support the medical care for this rescued reptile! 

Rescued Snapping Turtle

Officer Palmer Offers Comfort to Rescued Snapping Turtle

Checking Turtle for Wounds

Officer Palmer Checks the Turtle for Wounds

On his way home, a good neighbor stopped to help and provided the town staff with a ladder to aid in the rescue. Kiko Bracker and his daughter Story also conveyed the massive snapping turtle to the hospital. (A short video, presumably taken by Story Bracker, appears in the Gallery on the donation site, linked below.) Bracker isn’t just your typical nice guy, he also happens to be the Co-Director of Emergency & Critical Care at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Alas, turtles are not his specialty, so he could not determine the turtle’s condition either.

Is the Turtle Breathing?

Is the Turtle Breathing?

After wrestling the turtle through the fence around the lake, Officer Palmer and Dr. Bracker moved the weighty Snapping Turtle to Bracker’s car trunk. Bracker insisted he personally transport the ailing animal to the hospital to be seen by wildlife specialists at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton, MA.

Moving Turtle Under Fence

Wrestling Rescued Snapper Through Fence

Turtle Seems Pleased with Rescue

Turtle Seems Pleased with Rescue

Checking for Pulse

Officers Palmer and Landry Check for Pulse

Ready for Transport

Snapping Turtle Ready for Transport to Hospital

Later that night, after the trip to the hospital, Dr. Bracker said that the turtle was alive, but had a slow heart rate and that the Tufts Wildlife Clinic would keep it overnight for observation and treatment. The Snapping Turtle’s condition was listed as “guarded” and they are doing their best to save its life. It was put on a ventilator overnight, but was breathing on its own when I called Tuesday afternoon.

If it survives it will be brought back to Rosemary Lake. As of late Wednesday, Dr. Bracker wrote that “He is doing much better and is predicted to live!” The turtle is “decades old” said Dr. Bracker and is probably much older than its weight the Tufts staff estimates it is at least 70 years old. (Common Snapping Turtles can live up to 100 years.) There are a few large snapping turtles in Rosemary Lake, which I saw in the drained lake on Tuesday and Wednesday. Under normal circumstances, one should never approach or handle these reptiles, because they move surprisingly fast and can deliver a limb severing bite.

Dr. Bracker noted that Tufts provides the treatment of injured wild animals at its own expense. They estimate the cost for our male Common Snapping Turtle to be around $3000. According to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic staff, “This includes daily care under critical level, radiographs, medications (pain, antibiotics, respiratory stimulants), cultures, fluid therapy, [and] blood work.”

If you could see to help with our aged not so-Common Snapping Turtle’s treatment costs, please donate any amount you can afford. Please make donations  on a special page set up by Dr. Kiko and Story Bracker with Kara Holmquist, MSPCA Director of Advocacy, on the YouCaring site: Help cover the Needham Snapping Turtle’s veterinary care! You can also donate online through the wildlife fund on the Tufts University web site. Go to the Tuft University’s Give Now site  and choose Cummings Veterinary School and when “Select an Area” appears, choose the Wildlife Program. You can dedicate your gift to Needham’s turtle or make it a Mother’s Day gift!

The Needham staff and the Brackers deserve much credit and a generous thank you for the gentle care and handling of this delicate wildlife emergency.

New gifUpdate 5/11/15: The Tufts Wildlife Clinic told me that our turtle still has respiratory issues with a lot of gurgling sounds. He’s doing okay considering his ordeal. Dr. Bracker wrote on Saturday (5/9) that they have him in a  “huge Rubbermaid basin with some water and a towel to sit on. He was covered up for peace and quiet.  When he feet were touched he pulled them in and hissed like he meant business.”

Donations received are about 1/4 of the amount needed, so please help, if you can afford it!

Turtle Immediately After Rescue

Turtle Immediately After Rescue

Should We Give this Male Common Snapping Turtle a Name? If yes, please make a suggestion in the comments. Dr. Bracker noted on the donation site that the highest donor will get to name the turtle!

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Ilene’s Car Blizzard Tips

Let me first bestow upon everyone a very Happy New Year!

New Year Card

A healthy sized winter storm looks like it’s approaching the Boston area on Tuesday (1/27/15).  It’s always good to make sure you are safe and sound in any hazardous weather event. Below I’ve included my list for items you should keep in your car in the winter that I’ve developed over years of driving.


My shot of a blizzard on or around Jan. 26 2006. This one didn’t make any record books!

While you should make sure your car is prepped with a full tank of gas, washer fluid, good battery, jumper cables and correctly inflated tires, there are other items you should carry for safety. Always charge your phone and iOS devices before you leave. If you have to drive in a storm, over preparation, is better than under preparation.


February 2013 Snowstorm

Prep your car in the winter by carrying the following items, especially if you know you have to drive in a snowstorm:

  1. Flashlight
  2. Spare Gloves (mittens are even better)
  3. Spare Coat (You can pick one up at a used clothing store or call me if you’re local.)
  4. Spare Hat and scarf
  5. Foot and Hand warmers
  6. Sturdy ice scraper
  7. Shovel – small and strong
  8. Blanket
  9. Bottle(s) of water (don’t leave in car when you exit car for the night)
  10. Cheese or peanut butter cracker packages
  11. Rock salt, sand, or some other ice melt  (I usually carry 3 coffee cans full of it.)
  12. A spare pair of boots – it doesn’t hurt to toss them into the car
  13. Windex and paper towels
  14. Duct tape – always carry duct tape! 😉

I also keep hand wipes, ear muffs, neoprene or turtle fur face mask, and pen or pencil and paper in my car.

While other people don’t usually carry the following things, I do because one never knows. I have a good sized trunk and often stop for photo opps. As my friend Barry always says, I will fill to capacity any empty space allowed to me!

  • Mat, like you’d use for camping
  • Foam or rubber seat cushion
  • Folding chair
  • Spare tripod

Another shot taken February 2013.

 Please stay safe and warm!

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