Aug 31 2011

Life as it was in Upstate New York circa 1845.

When I think of fall, I think of the Harvest Festival at The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Farmer’s Museum is a living history museum, much like Williamsburg, Virginia or Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In living history museums, the culture of another time period is faithfully represented by period interpreters who interact with visitors as they wander through period surroundings.

The Farmer’s Museum showcases our national agricultural
heritage, specifically that common to upstate New York.

The Farmer’s Museum is a part of the New York State Historical Association, NYSHA, complex located just north of Cooperstown, NY. This well appointed history of agriculture museum sits across the road from the Fenimore Art Museum, the NYSHA Library and the Cooperstown Graduate Programs. All of the visiting options at NYSHA are well worth the time and money for the delightful experiences, both intellectual and aesthetic. And, did I say, “FUN!?!” While the NYSHA library houses rich reference materials and the Fenimore Art Museum is renown for its American Folk Art and Native American Collections, the Farmer’s Museum is a hands-on experience in the farming “way back machine.”

Distinctive architecture from all over New York State
has been moved and reassembled at the Farmer’s Museum.

Agricultural technology from all aspects of a working farm in the 1840s is displayed and explained by costumed interpreters. Hard work inside and outside the home are depicted as well as the hard play of games and diversions. Merchant life, tavern life and the interweaving thread of religious devotion are readily experienced by every visitor to create a vivid image of rural living when our country was young.

Go to The Farmer’s Museum and celebrate the bounty
of the harvest on September 17 & 18th, 2011.

My two favorite visits to The Farmer’s Museum are the Harvest Festival in September and Candlelight Evening during the Christmas holidays. Look for a Sunbonnet Smart post on the Candlelight evening in December, but  focus on the Harvest Festival now, because it’s just around the corner! Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th, 2011, should find you in Cooperstown, ready to ride on a buckboard wagon, spin a hoop across the village green, enjoy old time refreshments or shop at a well stocked general store. If you like penny candy, want to play a game of checkers on a barrel or ride a carousel, then The Farmer’s Museum is for you and the Harvest Festival is a great time to enjoy it. For more information go here.

This family enjoyed their visit to The Farmer’s Museum’s
2010 Harvest Festival so much, they shared it on YouTube.

If you have ever been to Cooperstown, NY, you will remember it as a small village with one traffic light. Cooperstown is located at the base of Lake Otsego, the spring-fed mouth of the Susquehanna River. If you haven’t been to Cooperstown, then try watching the following video to take a tour of a most beautiful and engaging vacation destination:

Cooperstown was named after the family
of James Fenimore Cooper.

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Jun 06 2010

For engaging wildlife photos go to this web site.

The Red Fox is a mammal that is loved for its beauty and cunning. Fox have beautiful fur and they are very smart. They are also very graceful when they run. Fox are shy and avoid humans if possible. Just our footsteps on the ground can scare them into moving away from us when we walk near one of their hiding places.

A famous American Artist, Winslow Homer, used to paint in his studio in Maine that was out in the country near the ocean. He was able to observe many birds and animals in their natural surroundings. Here is a painting showing a fox in winter who is being chased by some crows. Winslow Homer never taught in schools or privately as he worked alone in his studio. Even without that exposure to students, he has influenced generations of American Artists. He was known for his direct observation and depiction of nature.

Winslow Homer once said, “Look at nature, work independently, and solve your own problems.” That sounds like good advice to me. If you would like to learn more about Winslow Homer, refer to the entry found here.

From Wiki-pedia: Winslow Homer. The Fox Hunt, 1893.
Oil on canvas, 96.5 × 174 cm (38 × 68½ in).
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

If you live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or if you take a trip there, you can go to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and stand in front of this painting to enjoy the effects of light and color. Does The Fox Hunt make you feel cold to look at it? I think Winslow Homer did a fine job of making anyone who looks at this painting feel like they are looking at a cold day in a northern winter in Maine.

Here is a heartwarming video about a man who saved a fox named “Cropper” that was injured in an accident:

Because this Sunbonnet Smart blogpost contains information selected from Wikipedia, this link with sharing guidelines is displayed.

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