Winter Arrives in the Upper Valley


Edward M. Fielding is a fine art photographer who lives in Etna, New Hampshire on the outskirts of Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College. The rural landscapes and red barns of Etna are a common theme in Fielding’s work especially after the white blanket of winter settles over the landscape, calming the scenery and minimizing the complexity of the land.

Fielding’s work can be purchase as prints, canvas, cards, pillows and more through his online gallery at www.edwardfielding.com
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The Upper Connecticut River: New Hampshire and Vermont – from Wiki

The Connecticut River rises from the Fourth Connecticut Lake, a small pond that sits 300 yards (270 m) south of the U.S. national border with Chartierville, Quebec, Canada, in the town of Pittsburg, New Hampshire, United States. Beginning at an elevation of 2,670 feet (810 m) above sea level, the Connecticut River flows through the remaining Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis – for 14-mile (23 km), all within the town of Pittsburg – and then widens as it delineates 255-mile (410 km) of the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. The Connecticut drops more than 2,480 feet (760 m) in elevation as it winds south to the border of Massachusetts, at which point it sits 190 feet (58 m) above sea level.
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The region along the river upstream and downstream from Lebanon, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont, is known locally as the “Upper Valley”. The exact definition of the region varies, but it generally is considered to extend south to Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and north to Bradford, Vermont, and Piermont, New Hampshire.

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Etna New Hampshire –

Etna, originally named “Mill Village”, is a small unincorporated community within the town of Hanover, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is located in southwestern Grafton County, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Hanover’s downtown and 2.5 mi (4.0 km) south of the village of Hanover Center, on Mink Brook. Etna has a separate ZIP code (03750) from the rest of Hanover, as well as its own fire station, church, and library.

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Commerce revolves around the Etna General Store and the Etna Post Office for the 814 residents[citation needed] and occasional visitor in what a small blue-and-white sign in a yard along the main road humorously calls “Metropolitan Downtown Etna”. The Appalachian Trail passes a mile or so north of the village before it turns northeast to cross Moose Mountain on its way to Lyme. Etna can be accessed from NH Rt. 120 via the Greensboro Road or Great Hollow Road (Etna Road, north of the Lebanon exit from Interstate 89), or from Hanover via Trescott Road (E. Wheelock Street).

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Why are classic New England barns painted red?

The image of a quaint red barn against green grass is as American as apple pie, but where does the tradition come from? Although there are many myths about their rusty hue, early-day barns were painted red out of convenience and frugality.

One belief is that barns are red so a farmer’s cows can find their way home, but if so, that’s a failed strategy cattle are colorblind to the colors red and green .

Others believe the popularity of red barns came from copying Scandinavian farmers, who painted their properties in rusty hues so that they would appear to be made of brick, a material they considered to be a sign of wealth.

I think the best reason is because the red looks great against the snow!

But barns weren’t originally red in fact, they weren’t painted at all. The early farmers that settled in New England didn’t have much extra money to spend on paint , so most of their barns remained unpainted. By the late 1700s, farmers looking to shield their barns’ wood from the elements began experimenting with ways to make their own protective paint.

A recipe consisting of skimmed milk, lime and red iron oxide created a rusty-colored mixture that became popular among farmers because it was cheap to make and lasted for years. Farmers were able to easily obtain iron oxide the compound that lends natural red clay its coppery color from soil. Linseed oil derived from flax plants was also used to seal bare wood against rotting, and it stained the wood a dark coral hue.

Farmers also noticed that painting their barns with the homemade paint kept the buildings warmer during the wintertime, since the darker color absorbs the sun’s rays more than plain, tan wood. So red paint spread in popularity due to its functionality and convenience, becoming an American tradition that continues to this day.