Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween Tradition: Turnip Carving

Mr. Hunter has been a guest at a number of turnip carving parties over the years.  Originally, jack o'lanterns (in Ireland and Scotland) were carved out of turnips rather than pumpkins, and one of Mr. Hunter's coworkers decided that our department needed to revive the turnip tradition for our Halloween celebrations.

I never managed to carve a turnip into a replica of Mr. Hunter, but Mr. Hunter always made an appearance at these events.  After all, he enjoys the company of other carved items.

Michelle won a prize for her turnip, whose face was inspired
by the judge for the trial for which she had recently served as a juror.

Here comes the judge again, this time sans wig and with a candlelight glow.

Karen's prize-winning turnip featured a dragon design.

Karen had also carved some lotus petals
 onto the bottom of her dragon turnip.

One of the friendliest turnips we've ever met.

Happy Halloween!

October 2005

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mr. Hunter's Friend, the Farm Cat

As we walked at Hildene Farm, this enthusiastic black and white cat came bounding over to us.  I set Mr. Hunter down so that they could get better acquainted, and the kitty reached out to give Mr. Hunter a handshake (or perhaps a pawshake) of sorts.

The cat--and a fly--say hello to Mr. Hunter.

Eager to say hello!

The cat reaches out to Mr. Hunter.  Such an honor!

Hildene Farm
Manchester, Vermont
September 2012

Hildene Farm

Mr. Hunter got a peek at the workings of Hildene Farm.  Located on the grounds of the old Robert Todd Lincoln estate, the farm is home to Nubian goats, guard llamas, and some friendly farm cats.

Suppertime for the Nubian goats.

Guard llamas at Hildene Farm.

You know how you forget that your camera is set to take video?  It happened here, which is how I came to capture this snippet of Mr. Hunter, the Hildene Farm landscape, and a little bit of goats bleating.

September New England sky.

Hildene Farm
Manchester, Vermont
September 2012

About Hildene Farm Signature Cheese -

Lincoln's Hildene

In Manchester, we stopped at Hildene, which was the Vermont summer home of Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln.  We arrived too late in the afternoon to tour the estate.  There also seemed to be some tempting walking trails on the grounds, so we intend to return someday when we have time for a bit of hiking.

Mr. Hunter and Hildene.

About Lincoln's "Hildene"

Manchester, Vermont
September 2012

Official site for Hildene -

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Enchanting Belgian Draft Horses

At Taylor Farm, we sampled some gouda cheese, said hello to cats and chickens, and then spent a few wondrous minutes in the presence of some beautiful Belgian draft horses.  I especially marveled at their sturdy legs.

Taylor Farm
Londonderry, Vermont
September 2012

Official site for the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America -

Creatures at Taylor Farm

At Taylor Farm, we were greeted by a friendly calico cat on the farm store's front stoop.  The cat even wanted to meet Mr. Hunter.

A bunch of chickens scooted about near the woodpile, including these notable roly-poly hens.

Two necks.

And we also made the acquaintance of a group of sturdy Belgian draft horses.  More on the draft horses in the next post...

Taylor Farm
Londonderry, Vermont
September 2012

Welcome to Taylor Farm

You know the proverbial needle in a haystack?  
Maybe you'd like to try to find Mr. Hunter in this woodpile...

"Here I am!"

Mr. Hunter and family found this woodpile as they wandered the grounds of Taylor Farm, a dairy farm located on Route 11 in Londonderry, Vermont.

Maple Meadow cage free eggs and Bob White quail eggs.

Mr. Hunter and some grade A gold maple syrup at Taylor Farm.

Taylor Farm
Londonderry, Vermont
September 2012

Official site for Taylor Farm -

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ocarina at the Village Green Gallery

The Village Green Gallery is just a few steps north of the Vermont Country Store.  The last time Mr. Hunter's family stopped in Weston, we found some lovely and memorable Christmas ornaments there.  

The ornaments, made by an artist named Mary Stone, are clay whistles sculpted in the shapes of different birds like snowy owls and wrens.  We had to visit Village Green again to see if there were any more bird ornaments to tempt us.  

Of course there were!  And not only bird ornaments, but also some charming ocarina sculptures of elephants, rhinos, bears, penguins, and foxes.  We headed on our way after adopting a fox ocarina, a penguin ornament, and a kingfisher ornament.

I didn't dare to put the real Mr. Hunter into the display, so Flat Mr. Hunter had to make a quick (and shadowy) appearance.

Here's Flat Mr. Hunter with a bowlful of bird ornaments by Mary Stone.
Here's a profile of Stone from the Village Green Gallery.

The story of the Village Green Gallery, which was founded
by Japanese photographer Nobushi Fuji'i.

The Village Green Gallery
Weston, Vermont
September 2012

Official site for the The Village Green Gallery -
Official site for Mary Stone Clay Whistles -

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Scream

Mr. Hunter keeps calm even as an inflatable version of Munch's The Scream gets a little worked up.  If you're in New York sometime between now and late April, you have a chance to see a pastel version of "The Scream" that's just gone on display at MOMA.

November 2004

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Vermont Cheese Trail

Mr. Hunter and family spent a day driving around southern Vermont, and we realized that there might be some good cheeses to be found along the way.  Turns out there's even a Vermont Cheese Trail, although many of the dairy farms and cheesemakers were located further north in the state.  

But in addition to sampling cheese at the Vermont Country Store, we managed to visit two dairy farms: Taylor Farm in Londonderry, makers of Gouda cheese and home to some wondrous Beglian draft horses, and Hildene Farm, which is located on the grounds of Hildene, the Vermont summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln.

Mr. Hunter appreciated the name of this brand of cheese: Hunter.

You can sample a big variety of cheese at the Vermont Country Store.

We spotted some Hildene Farm cheese among the many cheeses
at the Vermont Country Store.

Vermont Cheesemakers map.
You can find this map online, too.

On the porch of the Vermont Country Store,
Mr. Hunter climbed onto a tall stack
 of wheels of Cabot cheddar cheese.

Mr. Hunter considers the selection of goat cheeses at Hildene Farm.

A sign across the road from Taylor Farm.

The Vermont Country Store
Taylor Farm
Hildene Farm
Weston, Londonderry, and Manchester, Vermont
September 2012

Vermont Cheese Trail Map from the Vermont Cheese Council -