Black White & Brown » Where we stop and smell the roses for you


With a bevy of animals, hiking trails, and places to picnic, Brooksvale Park is the spot for families and young children in Hamden, CT. The first time I went there I was in grade school and you’d be hard pressed to find another Hamdenite who couldn’t say the same.

Interestingly enough, while the park is known for its school programs and summer camp activities, the fun doesn’t stop when school’s out or camp’s over. Around this time of year, you can sign up for wreath-making, candle-making and even maple sugaring. In the warmer months, you can play baseball, visit the Wildlife Garden or simply swing on the swings. For the purposes of our visit, we made a loop–beginning at the barn, stopping by the pond and then hiking our way across through the woods–it was the perfect way to burn off some of those holiday calories.

As always, beautiful places like this couldn’t exist without support from the town and its visitors, so if you find you love Brooksvale as much as I do, I encourage you to contribute in any way you can. To plan your visit, check out their website at

To view more photos from our trip, please visit:

  • Amy - Beautiful autumn scenes! I especially like the picture of the water reflections by the mossy walkway, and of course the picture of the miniature horse – well done!ReplyCancel

Emile Refuge off the path beach



Emile Refuge right trees in focus


The holidays are coming and some would argue that Thanksgiving is the busiest, most family-packed one of them all. Need a break from the chaos or simply want to stretch your legs? The Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge in Tiverton, Rhode Island, is a great place to relax and walk off some of those turkey calories. It’s quiet, the terrain is flat enough for almost anyone to enjoy, and your glimpses of the Sakonnet River will quite literally draw you off the beaten path.

If you’re an avid birdwatcher then you definitely want to make the trip. According to the refuge’s website, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Glossy Ibis frequent the marsh, and Jack’s Island, a peninsula that extends into the Sakonnet River, is home to breeding Ospreys. One of the best ways to spot them is by taking the Blue trail where they have a makeshift fence that you can hide behind and sneak a peak (note the fence with the “window” in one of the images above).

To plan your trip and view a copy of the Emilie Ruecker trail map, we encourage you to visit their website. They’re open year round so if you don’t make it over the holidays, there’s never a bad time to go. Stay safe this season and we hope you like it!

  • Amy - I love this latest collection – especially the “fence with the window” and the wooden foot bridge through the marsh. I will definitely plan a visit!ReplyCancel

  • Black White & Brown - Thank you so much! It’s a wonderful spot!ReplyCancel

Hungry yet? We are. This month we visited Old Stone Orchard in Little Compton, Rhode Island. A nice little farm that draws families August through November, Old Stone offers not only a wide variety of apples but pumpkins, gourds and eggplant too. Parking is easy and just steps away from the orchard itself.

In addition to pick-your-own, they also have a well stocked fruit and vegetable stand so running in is quick and easy for anyone who is on the go. Hours at the orchard are Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. You can also find out more information at their Facebook page.

Now, in case you leave feeling inspired (and you just might), we’re including a family favorite recipe, courtesy of Betty Crocker. We hope you like it!

Fresh Apple Pie


  • 1 package Betty Crocker™ pie crust mix
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (3 large)*
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • Milk (minimal)
  • Additional sugar (as needed)


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crust mix as directed for 9-Inch Two-Crust Pie, using 1/3 cup cold water–except trim overhanging edge of bottom pastry 1 inch from rim of plate.
  2. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar, the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in large bowl. Add apples; toss. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter.
  3. Roll remaining pastry; cut into 10 strips, each about 1/2 inch wide. Place 5 strips across filling in pie plate. Weave a cross-strip through by first folding back every other strip of the first 5 strips. Continue weaving, folding back alternate strips before adding each cross-strip, until lattice is complete. Trim ends. Fold trimmed edge of bottom crust over ends of strips, building up a high edge. Seal and flute. Brush lightly with milk; sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice is bubbly.


Fort Wetherill sunrise IMG_4450 Snow close-up at Fort Wethrill IMG_4463 Fort Wetherill rocks and reflection
Fort Wetherill black and white

Ah, I remember this morning…getting up at quarter to five, putting my socks on and feeling…nervous.

The history of Fort Wetherill goes back to the American Revolution in the summer of 1776. Then known as Battery on Dumpling Rock, it was meant to defend Newport Harbor against the British, but instead, the British captured Battery, Jamestown and Newport all in December of that year. Following their victory, the British made various improvements to Battery and renamed it “Fort Dumpling Rock”. Then in 1779, they inexplicably destroyed the fort and voluntarily evacuated.

Not surprisingly, their sudden exit sparked rumors. Locals who had met with the British said they’d heard stories about “a big black dog” wandering the grounds and terrorizing soldiers on a daily basis. It had “big red eyes” and “never let them sleep,” they said. The story became so widespread that accounts of it have been found as far as England and even today, people still report seeing it.

Whether or not the dog ever existed, or had anything to do with the troops’ strange departure, Fort Wetherill saw much less action following the Revolutionary War. Its waterfront views became a romantic inspiration for poets and painters alike, and the grounds were mainly used for recreation and picnics until 1898. Notably, Fort Wetherill received its present day namesake in 1900, following the death of Jamestown native, Captain Alexander Macomb Wetherill, for his service in the Spanish American War.

Over the course of the twentieth century, the site was demolished to make way for modern-day warfare. In 1940, prior to the United States’ entry into World War II, it was prepared for use by the the 243rd Coastal Artillery, though these efforts proved unneeded by wars’ end. Several years passed and then in 1970, the fort was officially retired and ownership eventually transferred to Rhode Island State Parks.

To learn more about Fort Wetherill or to plan your visit (if you’re dog-friendly, that is), check out their website at:


It’s been a busy month for us at Black White & Brown. We’re moving across town, which means lots of painting, packing and wondering what on earth we used to do with our time. Then all of those paint samples got us thinking.

Did you know that Providence is known as the “Creative Capital” of the state? Not just for its famous Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) or mouthwatering culinary program at Johnson & Wales, but for all of its special events,  venues, restaurants and more. In Providence, creativity is as essential to her being as the mortar between her bricks, she just wouldn’t be the same without it.

What are some of these creative outlets, you ask. Well, here’s just a few to get your started, from night to day, clear to rainy, adult to child, you can’t go wrong with these:

  • Waterfire. There is no way we could talk about the creative culture in Providence and not mention Waterfire. A near-weekly occurrence in summer, Waterfire is exactly how it sounds: a canal-line dotted with bonfires and torches, decorated with live and ever-changing music, and complemented by local art and delicious streetfood. With so many nights and celebrations to choose from, you don’t have an excuse not to go at least once. To check out their schedule and learn more about Waterfire, please visit their website at:
  • Providence Performing Arts Center. Not a good day to be outside or just want to enjoy the arts from the comfort of a plush seat in a gorgeous theatre? Then the Providence Performing Arts Center is the place for you. For adults and kids, the Providence Performing Arts Center (also known as PPAC) offers a variety of shows year-round, from broadway to comedy, Elmo to Newsies. Hate driving in the city? PPAC is surrounded by numerous places to park and is a short walk from many of the city’s greatest restaurants. For more information about PPAC, please visit their website at:
  • Downcity. Ah, Downcity, a treasured neighborhood for artists, foodies, and the site for many of this month’s photos. Like its name suggests, Downcity is located in downtown Providence, predominantly along Westminister street. With numerous shops, restaurants, and venues, Downcity is a hub of eclectic architecture, menus and hidden gems. In an area that’s small enough that you could do it in a day and visit Waterfire or PPAC at night, plan your visit by checking out their website at:
  • Providence Children’s Museum. It’s never too early to kickstart one’s creativity and the Providence Children’s Museum is the perfect place to do it. With the goal of inspiring learning through play, the museum’s programs focus on children from ages one through eleven and feature hands-on activities for a wide range of learning styles and abilities. Once you bring your kid once, they’ll be begging to come back. To learn more and plan your visit, please visit their website at:

Now, we would be remiss if we did not emphasize that these are just a few of the hundreds of creative options available to you in the area. Whether you’d like to attend an event or be part of one, all of the city’s local art details can be found on the official the Art, Culture & Tourism website at:

  • Bill Foley - Thanks for illustrating the great architecture around Providence!ReplyCancel

    • Black White & Brown - Thank you very much, Bill! We’re so glad you liked it.ReplyCancel