Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rambling round Rye

I am finally managing a blog post of sorts, my body arrived back from the USA two weeks ago but my mind has only just joined it! I thought I'd start with a post about Rye as this is the small New Hampshire town where my friends live. It has the advantage of being on the tiny stretch of coast which New Hampshire possesses and is both pretty and historically interesting. It was the first place in New Hampshire to be settled in by Europeans when a man called William Berry set up home at Odiorne's Point in 1623. C, like me, is keen on history and is a member of the local historical society. They have a small but interesting museum which we went to see on my first day.

The area did, of course, have people living there long before any Europeans arrived on the scene. This illustration shows members of the local Native American tribe - they are the Abenaki whose name means 'people of the dawn' in the Algonquin language.

You will need to click on the photo to be able to read this lovely description of Abenaki life before the advent of the white man, I find the final words very sad - regrettably sharing wasn't on the agenda as far as the new settlers were concerned.

These are arrow heads found in the local area, they are from various time periods and the Abenaki would have used both bows and arrows and spears to do their hunting. I was really pleased to find that the local museum had several displays about the Abenaki rather than assuming that the history of Rye only began when Europeans arrived.

This chest was owned by John Langdon Seavey who was born in 1793. It contains a blanket issued to his father,William Seavey,who was a member of Capt. J Parsons Voluntary Company of Rye during the American War of Independence.

An old handmade,wooden lobster pot - so much more aesthetically pleasing than the plastic versions used today. Lobster boats still ply their trade off the coast of New Hampshire and fresh lobster is available in pretty well every restaurant. To the amazement of my seacoast friends I don't actually like lobster all that much. It's extremely messy to eat and involves a great deal of hard work for not very much reward as far as I'm concerned :)

This is now a private house but in a former existence it was the Garland Tavern, My friend points it out every time I go and I have a feeling that it has some sort of claim to fame connected with the American War of Independence but I have absolutely no clue what and I may well have imagined it - it sounds good though doesn't it?

My friends aren't able to do much walking so each morning, with the aid of a little map of Rye, I did 2 or 3 miles around the town so that I got some of the exercise that I'm used to having. As I walked I took photographs of buildings and scenes that attracted my eye. This display was in a local garden shop and gave me pleasure every time I saw it.

The Jonathan Locke House dating back to 1838, Rye has many lovely old houses like this.

I passed this gorgeous tree every day either on foot or in the car. It was unusual in having its full Fall colour as New Hampshire is last on the list as the colour works its way down from Canada. This is my fourth attempt to catch the full display and, though it was the best I've seen up to now, I was still about 10 days too early for the full show.

These three little cuties are miniature donkeys and there are two more of them just out of sight. They have a lovely paddock attached to their stable and live a life of donkey luxury! Over the many years I've been going to Rye I've got to know many of C's friends, the donkeys belong to M and I always try and see them when I visit.

The same friends own a house at the beach and this is the view from the terrace - I never need a second invitation to spend time here.

Another tree beginning to get into its stride, the colours intensified noticeably during the time I was there.

C insisted on taking this photo of me! Every year a local church has a huge sale of gourds and pumpkins as a fundraiser. There's a stand selling homemade bread, cakes and pies too - I bought a pumpkin pie and it was very good indeed.

These are the large pumpkins which people use for general autumn decorations as well as for Halloween.

I loved this display inside the marquee - all the colours and shapes of the gourds and pumpkins really appeal to me. I wish they were available in these quantities in the UK.

Rye is still a very rural place, these fields are at the bottom of the road where C & H live and they belong to R, another of their friends who will be appearing again in a later post.

Another of the lovely New England clapboard houses - originally an old farmhouse but now done up and no longer a farm.

This is a gate made by C and H and sitting at the back of their house in the fence which marks the territory of their dog. I love it, it's so quirky and totally unique.

Finally, another thing that is unique in Rye - when I am in residence, the Union Jack flies once more on American soil!


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Well, I've been wondering if you'd gotten yourself lost…but and now I see you've been off exploring distant shores! Looks like you've had a nice stay in a lovely New England town. I'm a big fan of mixing history, nature, and culture into any trip. That's what makes travel so interesting.

Hope you got to see some good autumn color before heading home.

P.S. Loved the pumpkin-face photo.

Thimbleanna said...

Yay! You're back!!! It looks like you've had a wonderful trip -- I hope the weather co-operated. It looks like you did see some pretty color -- even if it wasn't in full bloom. Beautiful pictures -- can't wait to see more of what you discovered!

Bovey Belle said...

Good to see you back - you have been much missed.

What a wonderful place to stay - especially as you have been there before and know your way around, so have favourite places. I loved all the photos and am a teensy bit envious! I've always wanted to visit the States. Ah well, perhaps when we downsize we can have that Holiday of a Lifetime . . .

Morning's Minion said...

I will be back later to re-read this and study all the photos with great nostalgia. It is the New England countryside which is so familiar to me. I miss the lovely buildings such as you have photographed.

Piecefulafternoon said...

Glad you are back - and happy for you that you had such a grand time - and took such wonderful photos.

Hope said...

Thank you for sharing this! I'm part Abenaki, so it was especially meaningful to me.

Wanda said...

I have missed you's a little strange having you tell me about history here :) am so use to learning about England from you, not New England! Glad you enjoyed your trip and I enjoyed reading about the Native American Abenaki tribe. We have a museum of the same nature close to our small town in Ohio!

PAT said...

I enjoyed this post so much! Looking forward to more.

Our maples are just now getting to peak. They were almost there over the weekend, when I took a few photos, but I noticed Tuesday, in town, they are fabulous. I need to go tomorrow and try to get a couple of photos, before the rain knocks off all the leaves.

J has the same opinion of Lobster, as you!:-)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It looks as though you had a lovely time on our side of the pond. I'm glad. Pumpkin pie is one of the delights of the season, isn't it! Good for you for flying the Jack!

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Welcome back Rowan! Looks like you had a lovely visit. Enjoyed the post very much.

Derrick said...

Hello Rowan!

Good to see you home. You obviously had a great time. Glad you're now fully co-ordinated again. All the pumpkin pics are fun and I liked the dog's gate too!
Glad you enjoyed my Nelson post and this morning's touch of colour.

Rosie said...

Rye looks a lovely town and the museum sounds fascinating. I've enjoyed reading about your rambles around and looking at the photographs you have taken - the white houses are lovely and the pumpkins and gourds are so colourful and festive. Welcome back:)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. I missed you! To see such sights and things through your camera lens is always enjoyable and I love it that they fly the flag for you. And so they should...

Gracie said...

Like when Queen Elisabeth is home? Girl, they were spoiling you!
England or New England, it doesn't matter, you have always interesting stories to share, thanks!
Gracie at

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a fantastic time. I love all the gourds and pumpkins too. This is such a lovely time of year! ... :0)

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

I'm a little late in commenting, but Welcome Home! Funny to say while I'm over here :) You know, my brain on auto-pilot, when I saw 'Rye' in the title, I thought, 'OH! I've been there!' and was confused when I scrolled down and saw the first picture with the American flag. Huh? Oooooh, Rye, NH! haha! Since England won't let us in at the moment, we are looking at Pennsylvania. You're beautiful pics have me even more exited about the east coast and their historical importance. I loved your post and glad to see you back, safe and sound (if not a little frazzled :) ~ER~

Anonymous said...

Hi Little Pumkin,
One never has a handful of rotten tomatoes when one needs them{:)
Thanks Rowan for posting about your very interesting visit. I can see why you keep returning.

joanne May said...

Welcome home Rowan!:)
You sound like you had a great time in America...
I would love to try pumpkin pie. It sounds delicious!;)
Do you have the recipe?
If you do...Please post it up for Halloween!
Great photos of your adventures. I love the pumpkin pictures...
I find it amazing that in America they celebrate Halloween so much, (like Xmas) when there are so many Christians living there. They celebrate it more than we do!:)
Lovely to see you again.

laoi gaul~williams said...

oh rowan what a wonderful trip~and all that history to revel in~lucky you!
i found the native story wonderful but so sad too

PG said...

What a wonderful set of photos - they do like their Hallowe'en over there, don't they :) How lovely that the Union Jack comes out for you; true hospitality.

~Sheila~ said...

It seems you had a good time on this side of the pond Rowan.
I love New England and another visit there is long overdue. I'm glad you got to see some colour, and as usual you have sought out some of the local history.
I agree with you about lobster, I've always felt it was over rated, and overpriced!

Susie's country cottage said...

Hi Rowan
I just dropped by to say thank you to you for following my blog. I loved looking at the photos of your stay in America. It looks like you had a good time. They are really big on their Halloween decorations. I don't think I've ever seen so many pumpkins in one place!

ruthie said...

Dear Rowan, glad to hear that your head & body have joined forces again, i dont like that feeling at all. Great to hear about your trip. All those pumpkins amaze me, what a wonderful sight!

Granny Sue said...

I didn't know you were here in the US! It looks like you're having a lovely time, Rowan. Safe travels!

Mary said...

Hi Rowan - so glad you enjoyed another New England vacation......and saw more Fall color this year. Rye is a delightful NH seacoast town. My DH is from Manchester, NH and we often visited there when we still lived up North. We did drive through this past Summer when on a vacation trip.

Glad you're safely home again - shame you couldn't take a ton of pumpkins and gourds back with you - we have so many hanging about here awaiting a porch rail or step to liven up!

Lovely to see the Union Jack flying for your 'royal visit'!!

Pomona said...

It looks a most beautiful place - and the most amazing displays of pumpkins and squashes - absolutely stunning!

Pomona x

Hollace said...

Dear Rowan, So happy for you to have had a good visit with your Rye friends. That is how we first met on blog, I think, finding a love for Rye in common. I dream of going back to the beach to soak up the calm. Since then I see we have a common love for covered bridges and Maine. We drove through the night once tearing through the Maine forests to get to the ferry to Deer Island (we missed it) and I was so afraid of meeting a giant moose on the dashboard of the car, with all the warning signs! Fortunately we didn't encounter one at the speeds my DH was going.
I enjoy your posts very much, and enjoy the pleasure you take in discovery. Best wishes.

thesnailgarden said...

Thank you for another interesting post. I have always fancied a visit to Maine. It is always lovely to read about other people's travels. Looking forward to the next installment. Best wishes, Pj x