Think Color – Spring Approaches! Get Out – #NewEngland #VisitMA #FLX #Boston

That black and white season of Winter is almost behind us and the riotous spring colors are almost upon up.  Where to look for color in the mean time?  Your “green-grocer” or the vegetable section of your favorite super market.  And check out your area Farmer’s Markets later in the season.  In addition to colorful peppers, plant breeders and farmers are producing carrots in rainbows of colors, and even broccoli is now available in a range of colors. Tomatoes are now in yellow, orange, yellow an even black.

Culinary And Visual Delights

Culinary And Visual Delights

And while you are in the produce section. check out the seed racks. Pots on wheels, potatoes and tomato sacks mean that nearly anybody can have home-grown.  Check out the new possibilities.

New England At-Hand and Finger Lakes At-Hand both include some of the area’s best farm markets.

Get out and get growing!

The Nature of the Finger Lakes #FLX. The animals of the forest. #FLXWinter

It is surprising there are not many more stunning nature photos such as Steve Knapp’s recent shot of migrating turkeys and white tail deer.

Photograpoher - Steve Knapp, Finger Lakes In Winter

Photographer – Steve Knapp, Finger Lakes In Winter

This was taken south of Penn Yan on Knapp Road, but it might have been seen on any of the Finger Lakes rural roads where the forest is slowly taking over old farm fields. Both turkeys and white tails are social animals moving and playing in groups.  They are common sights in the state forests and especially in the Connecticut Hill area south of Ithaca.  If you are quiet and still, there are many places where they appear in fields like magic as dusk approaches.

The iPhone/iPad app Finger Lakes At-Hand lists many of the region’s best nature areas, parks and preserves.

As much as there is beauty to behold, if you are a resident of these areas, you are only too well aware of the voracious appetite the white tails have for virtually anything green, especially in winter and how much they can, in an instant, devastate decorative plantings.  Likewise, the turkey hen’s and their growing flocks of chicks can be the scourge of gardens and tilled areas.  And while the deer scurry away, on sight of humans, the turkeys not so much.  It is ultimately a matter of sharing the planet.

Let yourself go and get out.  There is much to discover and experience.

Discover 12 4-Star rated #FLX attractions to complement your Corning Glass #CMoG visit #Corning

The Corning Museum of Glass celebrates the opening of it’s new 100,000 sq ft Contemporary Art + Design Wing this weekend March 23, 24th with FREE admission.

Flying In @ CMoG - Source: At-Hand Guides

Flying In @ CMoG – Source: At-Hand Guides

The Corning Museum of Glass is the only 5-Star rated attraction in the ultimate regional iPhone guide Finger Lakes At-Hand. But once you are in the Finger Lakes there are also a full dozen 4 Star rated attractions, each worth a detour.

Only Finger Lakes At-Hand tells you what they are and makes it a few iPhone screen touches to select, assemble and sequence an optimized personal itinerary.

Experience the next generation of travel guides with continuous real-time, around-you discovery-guidance. Never again miss the hidden gems that you were so close to.

Finger Lakes At-Hand – hundreds of discoveries and thousands of photos.

Get out and let yourself go.

Get your Finger Lakes Wines direct-shipped to Massachusetts #FLX #FLXwine

Wine lovers know that Finger Lakes wines have been steadily improving in quality over the past decade. The bad news has been that most anything you found that you loved, could not be shipped into the Massachusetts from the winery. Ugh!

But that all changed January 1st with Bill HB294.

We can apparently thank, in part, former NE Patriot Drew Bledsoe, now proprietor of Doubleback Winery in Washington State, for his formidable lobbying and tweeting efforts. #FreeTheGrapes apparently had an impact.

A few wineries such as Bully Hill and Dr Konstantin Frank have had distributors in MA, but they were the exception. Constellation Brands, and their many labels have also been available.

But the other 120+ farm wineries – not so much. And they are the fun experiences.

Thus wine tourism from New England to the Finger Lakes gets new value in 2015. Now when you discover a wine you love on your Finger Lakes trip, you can re-ordered it direct-to-you shipment from your desktop or smart phone, and continue to share and experience it.

Our travel guide app Finger Lakes At-Hand includes nearly every winery and wine trail in the region: Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Lake Ontario, and even the Broome County Trail. Even the newest, smallest most out-of-the-way wineries are included – those too small or too new to be part of the marketing hype organizations. All are editor-rated for your smart consideration.

While you are being a wine connoisseur, consider trying out a hard-cider or two. It is America’s fastest growing beverage. Sit down at Ithaca Beer’s vast array of taps, or sample the vodka at Finger Lakes Distilling. Drink responsibly. Look closely and you will find natural non-alcoholic root beer also available.

Finding Finger Lakes Wines You Love - Source: At-Hand Guides - at Red Tail Ridge Winery

Finding Finger Lakes Wines You Love – Source: At-Hand Guides – at Red Tail Ridge Winery

Are you remembering a long lost wine love from the past? Check with the winery. You may be able to re-connect. If your travel plans take you back to the Finger Lakes for family or reunions, or just exploring our beautiful country, add a winery stop or two to your plans.

Let yourself go.

Get Out and get #MapleSugaring in New England

Warm days and freezing nights produce New England’s peak sap flow. All those colorful sugar maples of Fall are now surging with nearly clear liquid up the trunk where the taps and plastic tubing collect a portion of it into buckets and tubs road-side for collection and processing.

New England At-Hand lists over 30 of the top maple sugar houses across, MA, CT, RI, NH and VT. If you are departing from Boston there are great places as close as Natick, MA and Mason, NH.

The International and interstate debate over Maple Sugar grading is finally settled. You will find maple syrup now being sold with multiple grade A’s by color and flavor. Grades B and C are gone!

Maple

The richest flavor is in the darkest color, but expect the lightest to be the highest priced. You, who are in the “know,” can get discounts by buying the darker, more flavorable grade. Also know the very darkest, most fragrant syrup (Processing Grade) cannot legally be sold to you as a retail buyer.

Maple syrup is also a major cash product of Eastern Canada, Upstate New York and Pennsylvania.

It takes 30-100 gallons of raw sap to concentrate with heat into a single gallon of commercial syrup. Most of the sugar houses will be in full operation for the rest of March, so let yourself go soon. It is cold, long work tapping and collecting sap and 24 hours of hot work boiling it down. You can always tell whether the boiler is in operation by the steam rising from the roof openings.

Flickr: Sebastien Barri - Commercial Evaporator

Flickr: Sebastien Barri – Commercial Evaporator

Many maple sugar houses will be running breakfast cafes with pancakes, waffles and eggs and sausages. Regional associations will be holding weekend member open-houses, especially in late March.

Flickr:  Julian Bleeker

Flickr: Julian Bleeker

Keep an eye on your local papers and news outlets for these events. Get out!

Full state directories:

Massachusetts

Vermont

New Hampshire

Connecticut

Rhode Island

Maine

Does your creativity & intellect dissipate by the time you are 50? #techboomers

Conventional wisdom holds that life past 50 is a down-hill slide into retirement.  The post-corporate, third phase of life, for some, can be an opportunity fueled by financial freedom, a peak of knowledge and skills along with a focused passion on what is loved.  At-Hand Guides are produced by a broad community of people dedicated to doing-good and making a difference while doing well too.  The core are composed of industry veterans with decades of curiously discovering and exploring.  We work in a democratically managed workers co-op structure of one vote per member on all major decisions. We use our creativity, intellect and passion producing travel guides bringing you closer to the amazing resources around you.  We want your getting out to be amazing, whether you are an experienced local or a first time visitor.

With those in the large “Boomer” generation reaching the post-corporate life phase, the opportunities for senior entrepreneurship, new work structures, and real encore careers and contributions are getting more focus.   The possibilities of  “Boomers” creating many more organizations like At-Hand Apps, and providing new opportunities, new innovations, and income and profits for their participants excites us.

We who produce At-Hand Guides and our parent organization At-Hand Apps, LLC invite you to attend the Washington Post’s Booming Tech event on May 8th at the Boston Convention Centers’s Westin Hotel.  The panel will explore the possibilities of being post-corporate, maybe over 50, and also shaping the future of tech.

 

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