sunday stills: Get your pumpkinhead now



We had left Maine in late September sunshine, heading for Boston on the last leg of our journey before returning to the UK. We arrived mid-afternoon after mooching around Portsmouth. The sun lasted long enough for a fine view of Jamaica Pond, and then the rain moved in. By supper time it was cold and dreary and we did not feel like walking far from our B & B. We wandered a couple of blocks up and down Centre Street, looking for somewhere to eat. Nowhere beckoned, but at least the red glow of Costello’s sports bar looked welcoming. And it was welcoming. A query about the best brew on offer very quickly led to this:


DA-DAAH! A round of applause for Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.

I have to tell you that this was a whole-body experience. The rim of the glass came coated in caramel, sugar and cinnamon, which then proceeded to dribble down the sides. And all over our hands, which then required clean-up trips to the rest-room. But never mind. The ale was delicious, and required further sampling, and more de-sticking, and finger-licking. To hell with it. Who needs supper.

I now discover that this ale was created first in 2002, and that the Shipyard Brewing Company had its beginnings in Kennebunkport Harbor ME. In 1992 entrepreneur Fred Forsley joined forces with English master brewer, Alan Pugsley and started Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brew Pub. This was the birthplace of Shipyard ales, but so popular were their English and seasonal ales, they soon had to move production to bigger premises in Portland ME.


The other thing you need to know is that Pumpkinhead Ale is strictly seasonal, and only available between August and November. So get yours now. It is described as “a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spiced flavor”. 

I’ll second that, or even third it. But just to finish off, and continue in the seasonal vein  (since autumn has definitely come to England a month early), this last photo was taken at a farm shop just outside Kennebunkport. It’s the sort of quite understandable confusion that might arise after a beer or two. Chin-chin!



copyright 2014 Tish Farrell



Sunday Stills

sunday stills: from my garden today


There’s a rainstorm brewing along Wenlock Edge, and the garden has taken on an autumnal air. All afternoon I’ve been watching this harvester ply the wheat field. At close quarters the cutting blades are of a scale more suited to the Canadian prairies than to a small Shropshire field. I feel the soil compact beneath the giant machinery, and it strikes me that industrial farming does not care much for the welfare of the earth, or ultimately for the nutritional quality of the crops produced.  I have this image of starvation in the face of plenty, and think how skewed have our rich-world values have become. But before I make everyone feel too dreary, here’s a brighter shot of my garden earlier in the summer.




Sunday Stills

Sundown in the Maasai Mara



Night comes swiftly at the equator, usually at 6 to 6.30 pm. But around 5 pm there is that perfect moment when the light is like molten honey.  This shot was only a quick snap, taken after a game drive, and as we were heading back to camp on the Mara River. Our driver-guide was intent on one last go at spotting a leopard. For our part, we were simply entranced by this scene. Even at the time it seemed as if we had stepped into an oil painting. Besides, this was the most game we’d seen in one place all afternoon. Because that is something that wild life films tend not to show you: that you can drive for hours across the African bush and not see a single animal.


There is also more going on in this scene than is immediately obvious. Behind the zebra are some wildebeest; then the giraffe between the thorns. I’m not sure what the pale animal is on the top left horizon, but from its size I’d say  it is probably an eland. Then if you look carefully  just below the right hand bough of the right hand thorn tree, you might make out a brown dog-like shape. Hyena. There will doubtless be others in the grass. Once it was thought they were only scavengers, moving in on big cats’ kills. But now they are known to be hunters too. They prey on gazelles and larger antelope. Even a lone hyena can bring down a full-grown wildebeest, and pack away 15 kilos of meat at one sitting. They have jaws like industrial meat grinders, and believe me, to come upon one at close quarters, is not recommended.


Sunday Stills: Crowd Work

copyright 2014 Tish Farrell