Travel to: Fort Hardy Park

I enjoy taking my son to different parks and playgrounds at various locations. We like to adventure and see new places. One park that he enjoys is one we visit often, Fort Hardy Park. It has a playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and not to mention various events throughout the year that are held by the town of Schuylerville. It’s a quaint and peaceful park for any family to enjoy.

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Although, it wasn’t always a beautiful, serene atmosphere. In fact, it is the very site where the British surrendered to the Americans after the Battle of Saratoga.

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British General John Burgoyne attacked the American troops on October 7, 1777. Although he hailed a minor victory weeks prior to this attack, he was over confident in his depleted troops and was forced to retreat. The British suffered 600 casualties whereas the Americans lost 150. Ten days later, the British General surrendered to Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold, the Generals who led the Americans during the battle. This became a major turning point in the Revolutionary War and was the deciding factor for the French government’s alliance.

It’s amazing the history that scatters the globe. Where good men have died, children can now play. Where troops marched along the river to prepare for battle, people now gather to watch parades go by.  Where forces invaded and tried to overtake us, we now live peacefully side by side as neighbors.

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It’s a little late for Veteran’s Day and a little early for Thanksgiving but this post ties into both. So many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that I can live freely with my family and I am eternally grateful.

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Are there any parks you visit that have a bit of history? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for checking in this week!

Until next time,

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”  ~John F. Kennedy

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sources: History.com , HistoryPlace.com

 

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Free Spirit Anniversary!

ATA3I am excited to say that this week marks my one year anniversary from when I started my blog! I am very proud of my consistency and tenacity to keep up with it! It’s thrilling that I can share my work of all kinds with anyone who cares to take a gander. My drawings, photography, writing, paintings, all of it in one giant collection. It feels like the “Chronicles of Free Spirit Meg”. It keeps me focused and keeps me working even when I’m in a slump. This blog has helped me really see things, to pay attention to details even more so than I already did. There is always more to learn and because of that reason I feel like my blog will live on forever. Or at least until I die or blogging is replaced with the next big best thing!

I won’t lie, it has been a struggle. It takes so much time and effort to edit the photos, write your entry, proof-read, put the pictures together, link it to all your media sites, tags and finally get the thing scheduled to post. That’s just the blog. That doesn’t include actually doing the sketches and fine art and going to the actual events and taking the pictures. Phew!

But in keeping this blog, all my hard work is laid out before me. It’s neatly tucked in a digital filing cabinet for me to share with everyone in the world! That, my friend, is a pretty cool feeling. It’s the proof of my blood, sweat, and tears!

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I would like to do a little recap on this past year and share everything I have accomplished but before I do, I want to say THANK YOU! Thank YOU! The reader, the viewer, the friend, the free spirit, whoever YOU are, thank you! I love all of my readers and your support goes a long way! Thank you for all the views, comments, and followers. It encourages me to keep chugging and pursue the free spirit lifestyle! I hope my blog continues to do the same for you!

Share your opinion below in the comments! What is your favorite part about my blog? What is your least favorite part? Any tips that can help me grow are always welcome!

Until next time,

“Great men are not born great, they grow great.”

Travel to: The Hyde Collection

Thanks to a dear friend, I had the opportunity to check out a wonderful art museum located in Glens Falls, NY. The Hyde Collection was dedicated to the community in 1952 by Charlotte Pruyn Hyde. She was born into wealth, her father being the sole owner to the paper manufacturing company, Finch, Pruyn & Company. Charlotte married a young law student, Louis Hyde, who was convinced by her father to join the family business and eventually become vice president of the paper mill. The family, to include Charlotte’s two sisters, commissioned an architect to create three houses on adjoined properties for them to reside and overlook the Hudson River. These buildings now encompass the Hyde Collection.

Over the next few decades they collected works from their favorite dealers in New York and from frequent summer trips to Europe.

The museum is broken down into three sections. One of which being an educational wing for art classes, seminars, and other related events.

The Hyde Gallery, you can guess, is where the art shows are held. The current show is “Transforming the Hyde: The Feibes and Schmitt Gift. There is also an exhibition going on until December displaying the works of artists from the Mohawk Hudson region. There was many great pieces that took my breath away. There were also many works that made my lip curl. I definitely recommend having a look for yourself and seeing what you like…but no cameras!

The Hyde House is set in a home environment with bookshelves, antique furniture, priceless art hanging from the walls, tapestries, busts, statues, a grand piano…I mean, it just keeps going. This place was gorgeous. There was a great room with a high glass ceiling. Even the architecture was historical art. It was fantastically overwhelming. Luckily, I was able to take pictures here although I only had my phone available.

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I brought a small sketchbook with me as well so I could sketch some of my favorite pieces. I could not pass up sketching an original Picasso. I could literally get close enough to touch my nose to it. It was called, “The Boy With the Blue Vase”. You can learn so much from concentrating on the details of a master’s work. I also came across a Greek statue from 4th century B.C. called “Mourning Woman”. The head and one of the arms had broken off. I feel like it added even more to the emotion of the piece. The figure clutched a piece of cloth in the hand that was left, perhaps the remaining piece of whom or what she lost. She was draped down to the toe in a heavy blanket-like material. The sorrow literally hung from her. It was a very moving piece.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Hyde Collection. It really made for a great day for my artist self. I also discovered that it is free to the public the second Sunday of every month. I have a feeling I’m going to be sketching there more often.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into the Hyde House. Have you been to an art museum or exhibit recently? Which place is your favorite to go to? Share your story below in the comments! Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“Look beyond the paint. Let us try to open our minds to a new idea.”

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Go With the Flow!

I took my son and his friend to the park about a week ago, bringing my trusty camera to occupy myself. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue and the clouds casually drifted by. They were wispy and delicate. They eventually created a scene that stretched across the atmosphere.

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I instantly saw a women, arms stretched out, as if she were leaping into the air. The cloud beneath looked like water splashing; perhaps she was leaping into the raging water. Taunting the waves to carry her away, not fearing the rapids that may shove and toss her.

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It’s a wild ride but instead of fighting the currents, she jumps in with open arms. A free spirit. The waters, whether rough or calm, do not change who she is. She will always dive in and let them carry her to her next destination.

Sometimes life can be tranquil and easy going. We can drift down the river without effort. There are other times though, when the waters get rough. It tosses and crashes and splashes us all around. Do not fight it, do not fear it. Let it carry you, regardless of how treacherous it looks. No matter how fast it takes you. Keep going with the flow and you will have the power to erode any obstacle in your path. Perhaps this was my spirit guide encouraging me to jump into the rapids and let them carry me to where I am suppose to be.

I loved creating an image from what I saw in the clouds. I have been wanting to do something like this for a long time and I finally decided to do it. The instant tale that popped into my head when I saw these clouds was worth sharing. I hoped you enjoyed it!

What do you see in the clouds? Have you seen any cool formations lately? Share a comment or photo below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

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It also reminded me of a scene in “The Little Mermaid“. 😛

Beauty Comes and Goes

It had rained a bit over the weekend. I was on my way home about an hour before sunset. The rain stopped and the last of the daylight glistened across the sky. As I turned on to the final road before home, I noticed about six or seven cars pulled over to the side. I was confused about the roadside get together and drove past them. Then I realized what they were doing. On the horizon was a vibrant rainbow, a small chunk peeking through the clouds.

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_mg_3219I drove further up the road from the other spectators and got a look at the rainbow through an old cemetery nearby, one of which I have photographed before. The rainbow seemed to appear from behind one of the headstones (perhaps a message from beyond the grave). It was difficult to make out the name on the stone so I will have to do some digging and figure out whose it is. At the time, I was trying to get as many pictures as I could before the sun disappeared, taking the rainbow with it. I scrambled with my camera, attaching the lens and getting the proper filter on in a flash. I snapped the image of the headstone and climbed up the hill to get a landscape shot. I got about six pictures and once again, my inability to charge my battery after every use had gotten the best of me. My camera died. D@mn! At least I am lucky enough to live in the age of smartphones. I snapped the remaining images with my phone.

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As the sun was setting, the rainbow grew and grew right before my eyes. It started as a small piece behind a cloud and grew into a giant arch across the sky. I also happened to get a shot that revealed a second rainbow. It was amazing to witness and was over as quickly as it began. Lucky me, I was there to get some pictures.

Were you somewhere over the rainbow? Possibly one of the other spectators on the side of the road? Leave a comment below and share your story. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“She’s like a rainbow coming, colors in the air.”

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In the distance, the Saratoga Monument

Related post: If You Want A Rainbow

Horsin’ Around

I had the opportunity to hang out with the horses at a friend’s farm the other day. The foals were being weaned the day after so I wanted to get pictures of them with their dams before they were separated.

They are all thoroughbreds and they are one of the most intelligent and curious breeds you will come across. The foals were following me everywhere and we even chased each other around the tree a few times. They were a pleasure to spend time with and I’m glad I got a few cute pictures of them, that is, when they weren’t shoving their muzzle into my camera lens! You just got to love a child’s spirit!

Have you been horsin’ around with an equine friend? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“You can say anything you want about me but I’m going to have to ask you not to talk about my horse that way.”

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Head in the Clouds

Today was a beautiful, sunny day in my neck of the woods. Anothet day or two of warm weather before the chill comes. That last bit of Summer that won’t give in!

I’ve been working outside all year at a thoroughbred brood farm close to where I live. The scenery there is spectacular. I’ve shared images I’ve taken there before but there is one view in particular I want to point out.

The farm seems to sit atop it’s very own hill in order to grant it an amazing overlook of the mountains in the distance. I take a picture of this scene almost every time I’m there.

The greatest aspect is every time you look, the landscape is different than it was before. The clouds roll in and paint you a picture. The colors radiate when the sun shines in. The mood changes when fog looms over the mountains. Add an equine familiar and again, it changes the entire feel of the image.

I’m glad I get to breathe in this landscape almost everyday! I cannot wait to take pictures when the leaves start to change.

I also would like to do images for each season and then compare the four together.

I hope you enjoyed the view this week! Next week I’ll be sharing some sketchbook pages, a completed pencil piece and much more to come! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.”

Changing of the Seasons

Autumn has finally arrived. But before we gear up for hoodie weather and hot chocolate, I wanted to share some of my favorite images from Spring and Summer. I hope you got your swimming and gardening in while you could! The cool air is on it’s way!

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Great Blue Heron

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I will miss the liveliness of the warmer seasons but I welcome the fall colors, crisp air and of course….pumpkin flavored everything! What was your favorite experience during the spring and summer seasons? What do you look forward to with the coming Autumn? Leave a comment below! Thanks for checking in this week!

Until next time,

“Change is good.”

Travel to: The Palace Theater

Last week, I was finally able to visit the Palace Theater in Albany, NY. I’ve heard many people talk highly of it and I had an opportunity to check it out for myself.

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For my husband’s birthday, I got him tickets to a Rob Zombie concert. It was a great show
and we had a blast.

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The theater was amazing! It was ginormous! It was built during the depression in 1931 and was the largest theater in the city. It still has the old fashioned architecture which is a marvel to look at. There were paintings throughout the theater that were stunning as well.

I didn’t have an opportunity to photograph the outside, unfortunately. Being that it was a big name concert, professional photography gear was not permitted inside so I could only use my phone to take pictures. I’m glad I could at least get these photos though!

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I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into the Palace Theater. If you’ve never been there, I am now one of those people that highly recommends it.

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Rob Zombie put on an amazing show! Honestly, it was the best concert I’ve ever been to. What’s the best concert you’ve been to and where was it held? Share your story below in the comments!

Until next time,

“Now raise your goblet of rock. It’s a toast to those who rock!”

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Travel to: Saratoga Monument

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Atop the tallest hill in the area of Old Saratoga (Schuylerville, NY), sits the Saratoga Monument. The obelisk reaches for the clouds at a towering 155 ft! What is this monstrosity doing in a tiny town, you ask? It’s to commemorate the American victory of the Battle of Saratoga, during the Revolutionary War. This area is rich with history and the Battle of Saratoga is said to be one of the most important battles within the last 1000 years.

The monument was not built after the battle in 1777 but rather a hundred years later from 1877- 1882. A group of citizens banded together and after acquiring the plot of land, built the monument to commemorate the American victory and to teach and remind people of the American Revolution.

On each side of the monument, resides a statue honoring the generals that had a great influence on the war. Facing north is General Heratio Gates, to the west General Daniel Morgan and to the east General Philip Schuyler facing the direction of his home (another historical site I will explore and share at a later date). But wait, that was only three statues. Facing south is an empty niche recognizing the leadership of Benedict Arnold.

There is a staircase that leads all the way to the top of the tower. I have yet to check out this feature but hopefully soon I will be able to see it for myself and share my photos with you!

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I hope you enjoyed my mini tour of Saratoga Monument. There is much more to learn and see. If you are ever in the area, prepare for a history lesson!

On a side note, a few weeks ago was the Turning Point Parade to honor those who fought in the Revolutionary War. This is an annual event and another reason to visit Old Saratoga.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit of American history. Have anything to add? Leave a comment below!

Until next time,

“Aim small, miss small.”

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This isn’t how you leave your mark in history. Please don’t vandalize!

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Sources: www.revolutionaryday.com , www.nps.gov