All posts by Sonja Hakala

I have been a professional writer since 1987. I've written for newspapers, magazines, worked in the book publishing industry, and published novels and non-fiction books. In addition, I've guided numerous authors through the process of independent publishing, and offer workshops in that same vein. I'm the founder of the Parkinson's Comfort Project and over the course of six years, we gathered and gave away over 500 handmade quilts to people with Parkinson's disease.

Visiting the Vermont Quilt Festival

Starlight by Mara Novak and Kathy Beltz
Starlight by Mara Novak and Kathy Beltz

The Carding Academy of Traditional Arts hosted a bus trip to visit the always wonderful Vermont Quilt Festival in Essex Junction this past weekend.
Pam Druhen barn
Pam Druhen barn

Everyone came home Saturday exhausted and exhilarated by the color and sheer genius of the creators who are celebrated in the oldest running quilt show in New England.

Here’s a tiny sampling of what we saw.

Square Dance by Elizabeth Bauman
Square Dance by Elizabeth Bauman

The Path Is Reopened

The Carding Campgrounds were badly damaged by Hurricane Irene. Nearly three years later, the worst destruction has been cleared away, and the damage to individual houses repaired.
Beginning of path for web

But the walking trails, covered by two feet or more of silt washed down by the Corvus River, had remained closed because there hasn’t been time to reopen them.

Until now. Last weekend, a troupe of workers with mowers and clippers reopened the main trail through to Royal Buchanen Road as well as some of the feeder trails.

We all marveled at the way some of the ancient plants—horse tail, fiddlehead ferns, and willow—have flourished. While invasives such as the dreaded Japanese knotweed and stinging nettle have spread.

But the paths are reopened. Hooray.

Hummer of the Summer

The woodworking teacher at the Carding Academy of Traditional Arts, J.C. Davis, is also a photographer and something of a bird watcher when he gets the chance.
Hummer of summer for web

He spent a recent afternoon shooting high speed pictures of hummingbirds around a feeder. Even at 1/400 of a second, their wings are a blur.

This little guy is getting ready to imbibe.