Monday, July 24, 2023

Wood Creek Pond...One of Norfolk's Recreational Treasures

Wood Creek Pond is a recreational treasure located a few minutes from the center of town at 428 Ashpohtag Road just off Rte. 272. Many consider it to be one of Connecticut's hidden gems that the organizers of WIN enjoy sharing. This summer, WIN guests are invited to join expert fisherman Doug McDevitt on Saturday, August 5, from 9 to 11 a.m., and from noon to 2 p.m., and on Sunday, August 6, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Wood Creek Pond, if they want to sharpen their fly-fishing skills. He will demonstrate the art of casting and share many tips and tricks for successful fly fishing. Five lucky participants per session will "suit up" with loaned equipment courtesy of Orvis's store in Avon for an in-depth experience. This event is sure to please fish enthusiasts of all ages and levels.  For a WIN calendar of events click here.

Cast Away @ Wood Creek Pond

When visiting Wood Creek Pond, many visitors are struck by its unspoiled natural beauty. The shoreline is lined with a mixture of hardwood and evergreen trees that are punctuated with Mountain Laurel, the showy powder-pink blossom that is the State Flower which blooms in May and June. Standing on the shoreline of the pond it is so quiet. Most of the time, the only sounds you hear come from your surroundings. A turtle basks in the sun on a rock, a chipmunk darts among the thickets near the shoreline, a majestic Great Blue Heron stalks fish in the shallows, and a chorus of birds serenade you, this is nature at its best. 

Beautiful any time of year

Wood Creek Pond is also considered to be a birding hot spot where more than 103 species have been observed including Bald Eagles, Broad-winged Hawks, and Red -Tail Hawks. There are common sightings of Red-winged Blackbirds, American Redstart, Yellow Warblers, Canada Geese, Mallards, Barn Swallows, Black-throated Green Warblers, Cedar Waxwing, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Common Merganser, among many others. How amazing is that! The most rewarding thing about birding at Wood Creek Pond is that you never know what might fly by --- so, it is always best to get your camera ready!

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife

In addition to fishing, another favorite pastime is canoeing and kayaking because Wood Creek is small enough to explore in a couple of hours and diverse enough to be interesting. The water is clean and cold, and so clear that most of the time you can see right down to the bottom and watch as fish frolic - think of it as an all-natural aquarium! Paddling is a good way to get up close to see things that you wouldn't see otherwise on the distant shoreline. You may catch a glimpse of a muskrat or beavers "literally" busy constructing their dams. There are vast patches of water lilies and old tree stumps that rise out of the shallow water that add dimension and interest to this beautiful natural setting.

A golden carpet of waterlilies 

For fishermen, Wood Creek Pond is paradise. Its cold spring water is teaming with Large Mouth Bass, Brown Bullheads, Yellow Perch, Chain Pickerel, and Blue Gills. There is some shoreline fly-fishing, but canoeing is the best way to explore this pond. Much of it is quite shallow although there is a deep channel between the island once you clear the boat launch area. For information on fishing licenses including one-day fishing licenses click here 

Nurtured by Nature in Norfolk

Wood Creek Pond offers something special every season. During the spring watch nature renew with ephemeral flowers and the first green leaves of the season. Summer is bountiful and ideal for bird watching, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Autumn is simply spectacular with the fall colors reflected in the pond's clear waters. Winter snow frosts the landscape and the ice on the pond make it perfect for ice fishing and skating. Whatever season you choose, you will feel nurtured by nature in Norfolk.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Celebrate Summer @ WIN (Weekend in Norfolk) August 4, 5, and 6


Town-wide festivals are more important than ever these days they keep old traditions from disappearing and create new ones that become treasured memories. Best of all, festivals, like Weekend In Norfolk (WIN), taking place on Friday, August 4, Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6, bring people together from near and far to celebrate everything Norfolk has to offer, and more. This exciting town-wide event is easy on the pocketbook because most events are free, conveniently located, and a delight to explore at your own pace. 

Unwind on the historic Norfolk Green

Now in its 8th year, WIN is brimming with events brought back by popular demand, like getting married or renewing your wedding vows on the Green, tours of Tiffany stained glass windows, the rugged Hike the Peaks Challenge, Art Show openings, afternoon Music @ Robertson Plaza and self-guided walking tours around Connecticut’s most beautiful Green, to name a few. New events that are sure to intrigue and amuse are added every year to complement popular mainstay events. To find out about everything, or to get the latest updates and directions, visit WIN's website, 

Fly fishing with Doug McDevitt @ Wood Creek Pond
Gone Fishing 
If you have always wanted to learn how to fly fish or want to sharpen your skills, join expert fisherman Doug McDevitt on Saturday, August 5, from 9 to 11 a.m., and from noon to 2 p.m., and on Sunday, August 6, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Wood Creek Pond, a paradise for fishing. He will demonstrate the art of casting and share many tips and tricks for successful fly-fishing. Participants are limited to five people per session; equipment will be loaned courtesy of Orvis's store in Avon. This is the ideal event for fish enthusiasts of all ages and levels. 

Music Abounds 
Music has always been a feature of Weekend in Norfolk, but this year there is even more. Friday night, August 4, from 6 to 8 p.m., singer/guitarist Katherine Winston will be playing on the Village Green as part of Norfolk's regular free Friday evening celebrations. At the famed Music Shed on the Battell-Stoeckel Estate, there are ticketed concerts starting at 8 p.m both Friday and Saturday and, as a special treat, there is a free Emerging Artists Showcase concert on Saturday, August 5, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Guests will be treated to an astounding concert in the acoustically perfect Music Shed by Fellows of the Yale School of Music. To top it all off, throughout the three-day weekend, there will be free live music every afternoon at Robertson Plaza. 

Breadmaking is fun!
Making Bread! 
Breadmaking is an ancient art that originated in Egypt. This year, Norfolk's “Ministry of Bread,” is welcoming WIN guests on Friday, August 4, from 2 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 5, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. to watch sourdough bread-making demonstrations at their commercially rated kitchen in the Romanesque Revival styled granite Battell Chapel, located on the west side of the Village Green. Guests will be given an instruction sheet and a sourdough starter kit so they can try their newly acquired bread-baking skills at home. The starter kit is free of charge, although donations for the Food Pantry are welcome. 

Get tips from professional artists

Inspired By Art 
Norfolk boasts so many talented artists and craftsmen, and two will be sharing their skills with WIN guests. Watercolor lovers will appreciate the art demonstration by Pamela Harnois at the Guilded Artisan @ 3 Station Place from 2 to 4 p.m., on Saturday, August 5. Harnois is collected for her sublime work in transparent watercolors. On Sunday, August 6, from 3 to 4 p.m., world-famous artist/illustrator Katie Atkinson will offer an impressionistic garden painting workshop in her backyard from noon to 3 p.m. There is a $10 fee for materials. 

Three floors of galleries @ CT-Asia Cultural Center

New Inca Exhibit @ Connecticut-Asia Cultural Center 
On Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., WIN attendees are invited to a new Inca Exhibit at the Connecticut-Asia Cultural Center located at 207A Westside Road. This fascinating exhibition explores the spiritual roots of the Inca and pre-Columbian cultures of Peru. Visitors will learn that similar to the Taoist culture, the Incans looked to nature as a guide for how to live in harmony and peace in this world. In addition to this exhibition, visitors are invited to tour the Center's three floors dedicated to Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Another highlight of a visit here is participating in a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony and enjoying Peruvian and Asian cuisine around lunchtime. 

Calling all Sleuths 
Come find a street full of treasures on Sunday, August 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Ashpohtag Road resident artists are putting out the welcome mats and showing a variety of artwork and crafts, joined by neighbors offering books, furnishings, plants, and lots more. You may even get lucky and catch an artist's demo, so come at 11 and plan to linger! 

Stroll through certified organic vegetable and ornamental gardens at Husky Meadows

Happy Hour on the Farm 
Norfolk’s rich agricultural history is alive and thriving. Husky Meadows a working organic farm located a few minutes from the center of town, is inviting WIN guests to take a Happy Hour Farm Walk with Farmer Brett Ellis and get the inside scoop on all that happens at the farm! Refreshments will be served. This is a ticketed event with limited space. 

A Look Back with the Norfolk Historical Society 
To delve deep into Norfolk’s cultural heritage and the families that were benefactors of the town, head to the Norfolk Historical Society to view their new exhibit, “Shedding Light: 200 Years of Art & Music in Norfolk.” This insightful exhibit explores Norfolk’s dedication to the arts that are entwined in the town’s cultural fabric today. The Society is also premiering a video on Saturday, from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. 

So much free stuff for kids @ WIN

Just for For Kids 
WIN organizers love children and always make sure that this event is family-friendly. With that in mind, they have put together a series of free events that are fun and educational at the same time. 

The fun starts on Friday, August 4 with a friendly game of Bocce, the traditional Italian sport that has become so popular. The bocce court behind the old railroad station (10 Station Place) will be open all day for play. Equipment is supplied, and the court will be open throughout WIN weekend. 

Meet the amazing Snowflake Man @ Win
On Saturday, August 5, kids will be intrigued and delighted as they watch an award-winning puppet show, “The Snowflake Man,” performed by PuppetKabob at the Norfolk Library at 11 a.m. Creative storytelling, intricately designed Czech-style marionettes, and a striking pop-up book of watercolor scenery take children on a journey to the 1920s. For kids that like science, head to the Norfolk Hub, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday to try out “Magical Microscopes.” For a change of pace, your next stop is “Kid's Day” at the Farmers Market taking place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Events include a scavenger hunt, corn hole toss, face painting, a cooking demo and sampling, giant bubbles, an ice cream truck, candy jar guess, a zucchini classic car show, and of course prizes, prizes, prizes! 

Learn how to play the ancient game of bocce
On Saturday afternoon, at the Norfolk Volunteer Fire Departments' open house from 1 to 3 p.m., kids can enjoy a ceremonial wet-down of Norfolk’s new fire tanker!, then cross the street to Meadowbrook for “Blueberry Betty,” and music from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Finally, at dusk, everyone's invited to go star-gazing at Great Mountain Forest to learn about the constellations and other lore. Norfolk has one of the state's darkest night skies, so a look through a telescope is a real thrill. 

On Sunday, August 6, if your children love music, don’t miss the free concert, put together especially for the budding musician in your household at the Music Shed from 1:30 to 2 p.m. After the concert, kids are invited to an ice cream social from 2 to 3 p.m. and, later in the afternoon, they will be entertained by world-renowned trainer/behaviorist Bill Berloni, and some of his trained dogs @ the Music Shed. 

Now in its eighth year, the all-volunteer WIN Committee organizes two town-wide events annually: the Summer WIN and the Winter WIN. Norfolk’s town officials, the Economic Development Commission, and many local organizations, institutions, and individuals support these two town-wide festivals in order to welcome people from near and far to this lovely town in the Litchfield Hills. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Bocce Ball - Play an Ancient Game @ WIN

Bocce's origins can be traced back to 5200 B.C. with ancient Egyptian artwork that depicts boys playing a game that resembles bocce. As bocce's popularity grew, it spread through Asia Minor and was adopted by the Greeks and passed on to the Roman Empire.  Bocce can be played by anyone, young and old alike, and because of its ease and versatility, it spread throughout the world. Bocce has even made it to Norfolk, Connecticut! At this summer's Weekend in Norfolk, visitors can try their hand at this ancient game at Norfolk's Bocce Court located at 10 Station Place. The court will be open all three days of WIN, August 4, 5, and 6, and equipment will be supplied at no cost. The ball is in your court, so to speak, so don't miss this fun-filled opportunity to play this time-treasured game!

Family Fun @ WIN's Bocce Court!

Fun Facts About Bocce
Bocce (pronounced baa-chee) is the third most popular sport in the world, after soccer and golf.  Notable bocce players include astronomer Galileo, DaVinci, Queen Victoria, and George Washington, who built a bocce court at Mount Vernon.

The name bocce is thought to derive from the Italian word for bowl. In the beginning, bocce was played using rounded rocks, the oldest rocks were found in Turkey dating to 9000 B.C. Today, bocce is played with composite or metal balls that resemble croquet balls but are larger and heavier.

Bocce is extremely popular in Italy, and was played so often that in 1319, Bocce Ball was actually forbidden to people of lower nobility because it took too much time away from training for war! Even the Catholic Church, in Italy, officially prohibited any clergy from playing bocce declaring it a gambling vice.  Yet, the popularity of the game grew and flourished, and by 1519, it became a public game enjoyed by everyone.

Ruggero Focardi, 1882, Gioco delle Bocce

Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italy's George Washington, was an Italian general, politician, and nationalist who was also an excellent bocce player! He helped to unify Italy in the 1860s and is responsible for the way bocce is played today. 

In 1896, the first Bocce Olympiad was held in Athens, Greece and the game has been part of the international sports scene ever since with leagues and clubs forming throughout Europe. Bocce is now part of the World Corporate Games and, in 1991 it became part of the Special Olympics. With millions of people around the world playing bocce as a competitive sport, bocce was included in the Olympic Games in 1996.

Bocce, one of the oldest lawn games in the world, was brought to America by Italian immigrants at the turn of the last century. Soon U.S. leagues were formed throughout the country. Bocce wasn't enjoyed just by men, the oldest women's bocce league was formed in 1944 in Minnesota! It has also evolved into a popular tournament sport offering large cash awards for its winners.  As of 2023, the United States Bocce Federation estimates that there are more than 1,300,000 players in the United States.

Norfolk's Classic Bocce Court - Fun for All

How to Play Bocce
There maybe be two to four to eight players on each bocce team. Traditionally, before a game starts, both teams have a coin toss to determine the first choice of ball color, which team gets to go first, and who will throw the target ball, which must cross the middle of the court. Bocce is played on a flat surface and requires one target ball called the pallina, and eight larger balls made of hard resin weighing about two pounds. A regulation court is 91 feet long, with two teams facing each other at each end. The object of the game is to toss the ball and get it closest to the small target ball until all eight balls are thrown. At that point, a player scores a point for every ball thrown closer to the pallino.  Balls that hit the back wall are "morte," or dead, and balls of equal distance cancel each other out. The team or player that reaches the agreed-upon number of points wins the game.

Many fans of bocce, young and old alike, enjoy the social mood of the game. There are even health benefits to playing this low-impact game! Playing bocce ball improves coordination and provides a light cardio workout while having loads of fun. 

For a complete calendar of events taking place @ WIN visit

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Learn the Art of Fly Tying @ Weekend in Norfolk

Fly fishing is a popular activity enjoyed by millions of Americans each year. It is considered to be an almost meditative activity. Spending time in nature has a calming effect on the mind and fly-fishing provides people with a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, giving them the chance to reflect and unwind.

Norfolk is a fly-fishing paradise that boasts streams and ponds that offer fly-fishermen a rich and diverse angling experience. Although Norfolk offers year-round fly fishing action in most lakes and ponds, the fly fishing season for rivers and streams runs from the third Saturday in April through the end of February. 

To fly-fishing at Campbell Falls State Park, take a woodland path to the base of the falls. Here anglers will find a deep pool perfect for fly-fishing. If you prefer to fly fish at a pond, head to Wood Creek Pond where you can fish for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, spotted bass, pumpkinseed, and black crappie. Another spot in Norfolk is the Blackberry River which is stocked by the State of Connecticut with 9,200 trout annually. For access points to the river click here.

Fly-fishing is angling with the use of a fly reel, fly line, fly rod, and leader. A fly is an artificial lure made with hair, feathers, tinsel, or thread and is used to imitate mayflies, stoneflies, or caddisflies in order to attract fish. Many consider fly-tying an art form because a fly tyer does his or her best to imitate the look, flutter, wiggle, color, and silhouette of a bug in order to present unwary fish with a delectable treat. 

At this year's Winter Weekend in Norfolk, join master fisherman and fly- tyer, Doug McDeavitt to learn the skills or sharpen your skills of making flys. This free fly-tying workshop is on Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, February 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fly fishing enthusiasts will learn about different flies and watch tying demonstrations. McDeavitt will offer tips on where to go for the best fly-fishing experience and trade fish tales with participants. This is the ideal event for fish enthusiasts of all ages and levels. It is sure to get you ready for the spring fishing season that begins in April.

For more information on other events happening at Winter WIN click here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Winter Weekend in Norfolk - February 25 & 26 - Will Cure Your Cabin Fever!

For the past six years, Winter Weekend in Norfolk has warmed the hearts of locals and visitors alike by offering revelry as a respite from long, arduous winter days. This year, Winter WIN is taking place on  Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26. It is just the ticket to fight off those winter blues with a series of town-wide events held both indoors and outdoors. So bundle up and head to Norfolk and get ready to embark on a series of fun and educational winter events that are sure to please the whole family. Best of all, every event has been carefully planned by a team of dedicated volunteers, and most are free of charge. 

New This Winter

There is nothing more exciting than the premiere of a new show. On Saturday, the Norfolk Library is hosting the world premieres of two, one-act plays, "Let's Play" and "Barren" by two local playwrights, followed by additional performances on Sunday. Both plays will be performed on February 25 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on February 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. These performances are perfect for pre-teens and up.

Do you want to know your future? It is easy to do @ WIN! Norfolk’s Wellness Center for Healing, Healing Nest is offering three-card Tarot Readings and 15-minute Reiki treatments from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. each afternoon at no charge. Tarot Cards are probably one of the most popularly used tools of divination in the world today. The Healing Nest also offers unique healing products to enhance individual and community wellness and well-being. 

Fish Tales and More @ Winter WIN
If you have always wanted to learn about fly-fishing but didn't know where to start, don't miss the fly-fishing workshop taking place on Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hub, located at 2 Station Place in the center of town, just off Rte. 44.  Local expert, Doug McDevitt conducts this informative and fun workshop, and will share tips and fish tales! Whether you are a first-time fly fisher or you’ve been fishing for quite some time, this workshop is designed to enhance your skills, review the types of appropriate gear, and teach you the art of knot-tying and fly picking.

Watch shiitake mushroom inoculation @Husky Meadow Farm

Husky Meadow Farms located on 30 Dolittle Road, a few miles from the center of town, is hosting an open house on Saturday, February 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This certified organic farm grows a wide variety of vegetables and tends antique fruit trees that are on the property. Visitors to the open house will be treated to delectable treats from the kitchen, and have a sneak peek at the guest rooms. A highlight of the visit is to see a shiitake mushroom inoculation demonstration and to meet the new farmer, Brett Ellis, who recently relocated to Norfolk from the prestigious French Laundry Restaurant where he was the head gardener. For those that want to extend this experience, Husky Meadows is also offering a special "Meet the Farmer Dinner" at 6 p.m.

In recent years, the art of knitting, a craft that has been around since the 5th century has had a resurgence, and it is now popular among people of all ages. If you love to knit, don't miss the Norfolk Knitters yarn sale on Saturday, February 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fine yarns, knitting books sure to inspire, and notions are just some of the offerings that can be found at this sale, where all proceeds go to help local charities.

The Great Outdoors

Winter is the perfect season to explore the great outdoors and there is nowhere better to do this than on Norfolk's miles of trails that are meticulously maintained by the Norfolk Land Trust. Whether you go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or simply take a stroll through the woods, there is always something to see. 

Go on a winter-tracking safari!

A highlight on Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. is to take a walk on the wild side with Great Mountain Forest staff. On this guided walk with a wildlife professional participants will learn how to detect and understand the signs wildlife leaves us along the trail. 

Skate away in Norfolk @ Winter WIN

For families, on February 25, from  4 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a roaring bonfire, a hot chocolate table, and skating at the Town Rink on 50 Mountain Road. This is the perfect activity for families...don't forget the marshmallows!

On Sunday, February 26, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a winter hiking adventure at Haystack Mountain State Park located on Rte. 272. Participants will learn to identify trees and shrubs based on their winter appearance and look for wildlife that forages for food along the trail.

For Art Lovers

For art lovers, there is an art show of beautiful landscapes and flowers in oil by Lilly Woodworth at the Hub, an art show of Caryn King's floral paintings in oil at the Norfolk Library, and an art show at the Guilded Artisan, of works by Ani Jenkins, whose wood sculptures are breathtaking.

The serene beauty of Tiffany Stained Glass Windows

Norfolk is famous for its magnificent stained glass windows. Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of the Tiffany stained glass windows at the Immaculate Conception Church and the Battell Chapel. 

The extraordinary stained glass windows by Tiffany at the Battell Chapel depict the four seasons. The center window shows a brilliant sunrise, to its left, are spring and summer, and to the right, are autumn and winter. In addition, there are three large stained glass windows designed by D. Maitland Armstrong of opalescent glass using a special layer technique that creates a great depth of field and a shimmering effect, especially on a sunny day. The Battell Chapel will be open on Saturday, February 25 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sunday, February, 26, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Immaculate Conception Church will be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and docents will be on hand to talk about these magnificent stained glass windows. Here visitors can view ten exquisite stained-glass windows designed by architect Alfredo Taylor and created by Franz Mayer & Company of Munich, Germany. At the time, this company was awarded the status of "Royal Bavarian Art Establishment by King Ludwig II and was named by Pope Leo XIII as a "Pontifical Institute of Christian Art." Today the company is managed by the fifth generation of family members and works with renowned artists around the world.