Tag Archives: Sherwood Mill Pond

Pic Of The Day #1456

Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Zvi Cole)

Roundup: Vaccines, Zoning, Schlaet’s Point, Ospreys …

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Not every “06880” reader lives in Westport. Sarathi Roy notes: “New York or New Jersey residents can book COVID vaccine appointments in their home state or in Connecticut.”

Here is New York state information:

A few days ago, “06880” posted a comprehensive list of Connecticut vaccine options, thanks to Sarathi’s HR department. Click here for information on CVS, Walgreens, Yale New Haven Health, Stamford Health and VAMS sign-ups.

In addition to that list, Sarathi adds:

  • Check your town’s website for information and clinics available only to residents. You may be able to register in advance or receive a call for available appointments or excess doses.
  • Connecticut’s  Vaccine Assist Line (877-918-2224) operates 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm. Agents can schedule appointments at state-run clinics. If you call early and are given the chance to leave a message, you should. They accept a certain number of messages each day, then call those people back throughout the day to assist in booking appointments. Once the maximum number of calls for the day has been reached the message option is turned off.
  • You can now search additional locations, including supermarkets and local pharmacies. A great tool to see who is administering the vaccine in your area is Vaccinefinder.org. Search a zip code, make note of the providers nearby, then search for booking websites.
  • Here are a few of the more common ones:
    Rite Aid

ShopRite

Big Y

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Did you miss last night’s webinar on the many housing bills making their way through the state’s General Assembly, and their possible impact on Westport?

Planning and Zoning chair Danielle Dobin gave a comprehensive overview. Our 4 local legislators — Senators Will Haskell and Tony Hwang, and Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Stephanie Thomas — tackled the pros and cons. Viewers asked questions. It was a wide-ranging, engaging 80 minutes. (And I would say that even if I had not served as moderator.)

It’s now available to watch — or re-watch — at your leisure. Click here for the link.

Everything you wanted to know about zoning — including sewers — and more.

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One of the few positive parts of the pandemic: Many more Westporters have had time to walk.

Because we practice social distancing, we’re not always on the sidewalk. And — as Tammy Barry’s photo of Hillspoint Road at Schlaet’s Point shows — the result is some barren patches where grass once grew.

I’m sure saltwater flooding had something to do with t too.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

Here’s hoping the town can find some resources to bring this beautiful stretch of waterfront back to what it once was.

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CNN anchor (and Westport resident) Alisyn Camerota’s last day on “New Day” is today. The show was filled with many nice tributes. Yesterday, co-host John Berman started things off (click here to see).

Alisyn is not going very far — just a few hours later. She’ll anchor CNN’s weekday coverage with Victor Blackwell.

Congratulations, Alisyn, on your new gig — and the chance to sleep in a little longer. (Hat tip: Seth Schachter)

Alisyn Camerota

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Today’s osprey report comes courtesy of Chris Swan.

He wants Westporters to know that there are 3 platforms near Sherwood Island State Park.

One is in the saltmarsh behind the Nature Center, midway to the last house off Beachside Common.

The second is in the saltmarsh on the eastern shore of Sherwood Mill Pond, several hundred feet above the Compo Cove homes. It’s visible from the path on Sherwood Island’s western edge, above the fire gate to Compo Cove.

Both platforms are occupied by returning osprey pairs.

A 3rd location can be seen from the saltmarsh shore of the northeastern corner of the Mill Pond, looking west. This was erected last fall. No osprey pair has yet staked their claim.

A 4th platform is at the entrance to Burying Hill Beach, in the marsh across New Creek. Chris has watched it for 10 years, but has never seen it occupied.

He thinks it’s too low. He believes old utility poles make the best platforms — citing the ones at Fresh Market, Longshore’s E,R. Strait Marina, and Gray’s Creek.

Chris should know: He spent his professional career with Eversource.

The newest osprey platform in Sherwood Island Mill Pond. A house on Grove Point is visible behind it. (Photo/Chris Swan)

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Congressman Jim Himes holds a Facebook Live session today (Wednesday, April 7) at 3 p.m. He’ll discuss how constituents can benefit from the American Rescue Plan. Click here to watch live. To watch later, click here.

Congressman Jim Himes

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And finally … on this day in 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African-American depicted on a US postage stamp.

In November 1944, Booker T. Jones Jr. was born in Memphis. He was named after his father, Booker T. Jones Sr., a high school science teacher — who himself was named in honor of Booker T. Washington, the educator.

 

Pics Of The Day #1415

Sherwood Mill Pond: 2 boats … (Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)

… and 4 swans (John Richers)

Heather Grahame’s Worldwide Adventures: Thank You, Mill Pond!

Heather Grahame has done it all.

She captained her 1972 Staples High School field hockey team, then played at Mount Holyoke College.

During college summers she leveraged her experience as a Compo Beach lifeguard to teach swimming, water safety and first aid in rural Aleut villages. 

After graduating from the University of Oregon law school, Grahame practiced utility law in Anchorage. She placed 6th at the 1988 Olympic bicycle racing time trials. As a competitive sled dog racer, her top international finish — 6th — came at the 2000 Women’s World Championships.

In 2010 she moved to Montana. She ran her first triathlon at age 56, and found another great sport.

Not enough? Grahame also completed a full Ironman. That’s a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Not even COVID could knock out Heather Grahame. Though pools closed last spring, she did not miss a stroke. 

I should mention also that Grahame is a gifted writer. This was published recently by the Montana Masters Swimmers. “06880” reprints it, for all of us back east.

I learned to swim at the Sherwood Mill Pond, a marshy tidal basin in Westport, Connecticut. It was connected to Long Island Sound, with the water swiftly going in and out of the pond with the Sound’s high and low tides. To this day I recall being terrified of being swept to sea as the tide went out.

Sherwood Mill Pond, and the outlet to Long Island Sound. (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Later I spent many summers as a lifeguard at the town’s 3 beaches, watching from my chair for swimmers in trouble and, as the water became very warm in August, signs of sharks with their ominous fins.

Little did I know that my years of swimming and lifeguarding, and the accompanying swimming/water safety/first aid skills, would provide the foundation for years of adventures.

The first involved spending summers in small, isolated Alaskan villages along the Bering Sea. Villagers hunted and fished for subsistence – there were no Costcos, Safeways or other stores.

Summers required going out in boats in the dangerous waters of the Bering Sea or fishing from the shore for enough salmon to provide for the rest of the year. Falling into the icy waters often had deadly consequences, as there were no pools in which to learn to swim.

To address rural Alaska’s high drowning rate, for several years the state funded a program in villages in the Aleutian Chain and Bristol Bay. For 2 summers while I was in college, I lived in 4 rural Aleut and Yupik Eskimo villages to teach swimming, water safety and first aid.

I flew to Anchorage (3 1/2 hours from Seattle). Another college student and I got on a 4-seater bush plane for 3 to 6 more hours. We were finally dropped off on a gravel airstrip with a month’s worth of pilot bread, peanut butter, cornflakes and evaporated milk. We had to find a place to live and teach.

Heather Grahame (Photo courtesy of Helena Independent Record)

In each village we found a pond by the Bering Sea for the swim lessons. What quickly became clear was that water safety was the most important tool we could teach, together with the ability to tread water or swim a few strokes. If a person who fell overboard or waded too deeply had confidence to tread water or swim a few strokes while another person extended a jacket or pole, they could be rescued.

The kids loved the program. Adults sometimes wanted to learn as well. I spent hours standing in cold ponds in my old Speedo lifeguard swim suit with the equally cold Bering Sea wind whipping around me teaching floating, treading water, a few strokes of freestyle, and how to extend a pole or jacke.

Toward the end of my month in Egegik, I saw a young kid fall into a shallow pond. Before I could help, another kid extended his jacket and pulled him to safety. I have never forgotten the significance of that.

Swimming opened the doors to many other adventures. In Good News Bay I lived in the jail, except on the July 4th when a few villagers needed the cells more than I did.

In Unalaska I lived in a large barrel-like structure near a stream in which I often caught salmon, as an alternative to pilot bread and peanut butter.

The most remote village was on the island of Atka. It did not even have an airstrip. I flew from Anchorage to Unalaska, then get on a very small plane to Adak (a Navy base). I had to wait for days to take a 9-hour tugboat ride to Atka.

It’s amazing I actually made it back to college on time because due to repairs, the tug only made it to Atka and back 3 times. Had it not made that 3rd trip, I would have been stranded on the island for nearly a year.

Other adventures are much more recent. While they were not rugged, they are equally memorable, and made possible by my swimming skills.

I was fortunate to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2016 in Mooloolaba, Australia. The swim took place in the Pacific Ocean, with the surf pushing us to the shore at the finish. Sweet!

After the race I asked officials about what appeared to be crab pots just beyond the racecourse buoys. I knew they could not be crab pots, because the water was too warm. I learned they were the tops of shark nets, to try to keep sharks out of the swim area. I’m glad I asked after the race.

Heather Grahame in Ironman action.

I raced in the Atlantic Ocean in 2017 as part of Ironman 70.3 Maine. When my husband and I had dinner on a high pier overlooking the buoys designating the course, I was a little intimidated. They extended straight out from the beach directly into the Atlantic for what appeared to be infinity.

I got into the water a day before the race. I swam along the buoys until I could easily see the turn buoy, and realized there was no reason to be concerned.

In 2018 I raced in the International Triathlon Union’s Multisport World Championships, in a channel in Denmark off the island of Funen.

The water was a comfortable temperature. There were no surf, tide or shark risks whatsoever. Easy!

When I reached halfway in the 1.2-mile swim and dove off the turnaround platform, I decided to change how I normally race. Instead of swimming conservatively and saving my energy for the bike and/or run portions of the race, I decided to truly race, in appreciation of my Helena swimming buddies and coaches who had helped me get ready for the event (thank you, guys!).

I finished with the second fastest swim time for women in my age group, due to the confidence and fitness achieved through the Helena Ridley swimmers and coaching.

All of these experiences flowed from my early years learning to swim in the Sherwood Mill Pond in Connecticut. From those moments of swimming terror I have enjoyed years of adventure, joy, challenges and friendships, and the treasured camaraderie of the swimming community.

Heather Grahame, swimming in Montana.

Roundup: Gelato, Vaccine, Tyler Hicks, More

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What’s better than one gelato shop opening on Main Street?

Two.

Hot on the heels of news of Cold Fusion moving into the former Papaya Papyrus space next to Chase Bank in May, a sign in what was once Lucky Brand — across the street, and closer to the Post Road — announced the arrival “soon” of La Fenice.

Like its sister locations in Greenwich and Rye, it will serve gelato, crepes, pastries and coffee. Click below for a look at the Rye shop:

It’s not quite like the days when there was a frozen yogurt store on every Westport corner.

It’s better.

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First “06880” reported that St. Vincent’s was closing their Long Lots Road COVID testing facility on March 1.

Then we reported that it was remaining open.

This morning, a reader reports that his wife just phoned St. Vincent’s. She was told they are closing their Long Lots testing as of March 1.

St. Vincent’s Health Center testing will soon be in the rear mirror. (Photo/Adam Stolpen)

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It’s not just New York Times readers who appreciate Tyler Hicks’ work.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate just won 1st place in a new category — COVID-19 coverage — from Pictures of the Year International. It’s the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism program and competition in the world. This year’s awards were the 78th annual.

The honor — which follows many others, including multiple Pulitzers — is for Hicks’ photos of the pandemic’s devastation in the Amazon.

COVID in the Amazon (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

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MoCA Westport and Up|Next Teens are partnering to present a Winter Lights Festival at MoCA. It’s set for this Saturday (February 27, noon to 6 p.m.).

The Festival features a maker and crafts space in a large outdoor tent, with supplies and step-by-step instructions for families to work together to create winter-themed decorations. The decorations will be incorporated into a walk-through Light Path, to be lit at sun down. The public can view the experience through the following weekend.

Also planned: live performances by high school musicians, food from The Melt truck, and hot cocoa.

The Festival includes free entry to MoCA ’s exhibition “Hindsight is 2020,” showcasing nearly 200 high school student artists from across the region.

Click here for tickets.

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The Fairfield County Directory — the “Yellow Pages” that is dumped in driveways and by mailboxes — will be distributed between February 25 and April 13.

The Selectmen’s Office says that residents with questions or concerns regarding the distribution of the directory should e-mail RealYPResolutions@thryv.com.

You may request directories or opt-out of future phone book deliveries by clicking here or here.

Let’s hope that works better than the national Do Not Call Registry.

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A group of swans is called a “flock” or a “wedge.”

Matt Murray spotted this flock/wedge — aka “a whole lot” — yesterday, at Sherwood Mill Pond.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … Today is the 41st anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice.” The US Olympic men’s hockey team came from behind to beat the overwhelmingly favored Soviet team 4-3, at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Al Michaels memorialized the moment on ABC: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!!!!!”

That game was not, however, the final. Two days later the Americans clinched gold, with a win over Finland.

Westport connection: After a disappointing NHL career, goaltender Jim Craig worked for a marketing firm on Riverside Avenue.

Snowy Super Bowl Sunday: Sunset Edition

Longshore run (Photo/Tom Kretsch)

Library Riverwalk (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)

Slim pickings at Compo (Photo/Dina Upton)

Color from the yarn bomber, on Whitney Street (Photo/Molly Alger)

Highland Road (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

Saugatuck Shores (Photo/Betty Lou Cummings)

And then there was light! (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

Snow ends over Sherwood Mill Pond. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Bouffant on bronze girl statue near Compo Beach (Photo/Kristan Peters-Hamlin)

Burritt’s Creek (Photo/Richard Jaffe)

Beautiful sunset near Old Hill. (Photo/Anne Bernier)

In eastern Westport. (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

Tonight’s post-snow sunset over Gray’s Creek. (Photo/Clare Madden)

Northrops: New Fence Is Temporary

The fence at Sherwood Mill Pond is temporary, says Jeff Northrop Jr.

His family owns the strip of land where a fence was erected yesterday. It’s on the north side of the walking path between Old Mill and Compo Cove.

The temporary fence keeps people and pets off of the property while water quality monitoring tests are conducted.

The testing — which may take a year — will examine eutrophication, Northrop says. That occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients, which induces excessive algae growth. The process may result in oxygen depletion of the water, which harms fish and other wildlife.

“Protecting marine resources starts with sound agricultural and waste management practices,” Northrop notes.

Sherwood Mill Pond. (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Sherwood Mill Pond was in bad shape in the 1970s. It took decades of work to get it where it is today.

The fence will prevent dogs, and humans like fishermen and crabbers, from accessing the pond, which could impact the testing.

If a permanent fence is needed — for liability purposes, and/or to keep hordes of youngsters from jumping off the bridge (as they did last loudly and constantly last summer, to the annoyance of neighbors) — Northrop says it will be more aesthetically pleasing than the chain link one that’s there now.

Temporarily.

The new fence at Sherwood Mill Pond.

Pic Of The Day #1291

Sherwood Mill Pond morning (Photo/Michelle Garvey)

Pic Of The Day #1263

Oyster cages at Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Breathtaking Beach Beauty

Nearly half a year into the pandemic, it’s easy to dwell on what we miss.

The Memorial Day parade and July 4th fireworks. Large backyard barbecues. A normal school year. Life as we knew it.

But let’s not forget all that we have. Here in Westport, we are truly, bountifully blessed. We live in a loving, caring community. We have a broad array of resources to help us through.

And we have our beaches.

Staples High School senior Brandon Malin sent his drone flying over our shores. No matter how worried or down you feel, his astonishing photos will raise your spirits, and lift you high.

We don’t have a coronavirus vaccine yet. Until we do, these images are enough. (Click on or hover over to enlarge.)

Compo Beach: the cannons’ jetty.

Compo Beach: Ned Dimes Marina.

Compo Beach: Ned Dimes Marina closeup.

Compo Beach: the main beach.

Compo Beach: pavilion and concession stand.

Compo Beach: playground, pavilions and more.

Soundview Drive near Schlaet’s Point.

Schlaet’s Point toward Old Mill Beach.

Schlaet’s Point and Old Mill.

Sherwood Mill Pond.

Sherwood Mill Pond and Compo Cove.