Is Your Brain Really Blue?

by admin on September 6, 2014


A  York Times best seller, the book Blue Mind is a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water…you’ll read it once and then come back to it time and again…” ~Washington Post

Marine Biologist and Author, Wallace J. Nichols PhD., chronicles the surprising science that shows how being near, in, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do.

It’s incredible to think that we can alter our brain’s positive neural pathways by increasing our exposure to happy experiences in, near or on water, but apparently it’s true. While the mind runs the show, the body isn’t left out of the discussion. Most of us could close our eyes right now and recall the sights and associated sounds of our favorite shoreline.

Nichols explores the sensory appeal of water, showing us how the sight, sound, feel, and even smell and taste of water affect us on an incredibly deep and raw level.

After 60+ years of being on and around the water myself, it’s certainly something I’ve always believed in…but it’s good to know there’s science behind it!

The book is available on Amazon here: Blue Mind.


Candlewood LakeWe have been fortunate with the weather this summer (cool nights and moderate days), which tends to minimize the occurrence of blue green algae blooms – however it’s important to be aware of the following facts.

When temperatures climb and the sun beats down, conditions are especially favorable for Connecticut lakes to produce algae blooms, some of which can be harmful to pets and humans.

What: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are most often blue-green algal (otherwise known as cyanobacteria) blooms containing toxins or other noxious chemicals, which can pose harmful health risks.  Not all algae blooms are “blue-green” (see page 2 photos), and not all blue-green algal blooms are harmful, however there is no visual way to predict the toxicity of a blue-green algal bloom without a more detailed chemical evaluation.

Several types of blue-green algae commonly occur in lakes and ponds in Connecticut.  Blue-green algae blooms can occur frequently throughout the summer season in some lakes.  Spells of hot weather and heavy rains carrying nutrients can create conditions that increase the possibility for frequent blue-green algae blooms though they are hard to predict.  Since lakes are always in motion, the wind and waves that bring a bloom to a beach are just as capable of blowing it away.  Blooms can linger for a few hours or days depending on weather conditions.

Why is this a concern? People or pets that immerse themselves in waters when a bloom is present may be exposed to toxins.  They may develop skin irritation or upper respiratory problems from exposure to HABs, gastrointestinal problems, and in extreme cases, dogs and other animals have even died after ingesting water containing these toxins by either drinking the water or cleaning their fur coats with their tongues.

Where: Severe blue-green algal blooms typically occur on lakes when nutrient loading exceeds certain levels resulting in poor water quality and looks like green paint, pea soup, or a thick green cake (see photo gallery below for examples). These blooms may produce and release toxins.  Algal blooms often result in extremely low water clarity (less than 1 foot).

What should I do if I suspect a HAB on my lake? When blooms are present, people should avoid contact with the water and they should prevent animals from swimming in or drinking the water.  Scientists do not yet know what causes some blooms to produce toxins while others do not, so the safest course of action is to avoid contact with all blue-green blooms.

What does it look like? Blue-green algae can be hard to distinguish from other types of algae. While it’s often described as looking like pea soup or spilled green paint, it can take other forms as well.


Photo of Blue Green Algae shown above.



 The  photo above is Filamentous Algae , NOT Blue Green Algae.

 What should I do if I or my pet accidently come in contact with a blue-green algae bloom?

  • Thoroughly rinse yourself and your pet(s) off.
  • If you experience any signs of symptoms post-exposure, contact your health care provider or Poison Control Center for advice.
  • Immediately contact your veterinarian if your pet shows any symptoms post-ingestion.


If you believe you, someone else or a pet are experiencing adverse health effects due to contact with, or ingestion of, lake water/algae, you should seek medical attention.

In addition, people are encouraged to call their local Public Health Agency, or Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH) (860) 509-7758. Citizens can also contact CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) at (860) 424-3020 or visit the DEEP website for more detailed information at



American Pie and Candlewood Lake

by admin on July 6, 2014

American PieHere’s the dream and I think it can be done…. let’s say you are out on the lake cruising and you decide  you want to enjoy a nice lunch, something more than the usual boat picnic food. What better place than  American Pie in Sherman, so how do you get there by boat… cruise into Sherman harbor and beg or borrow a slip by the town park (yeah yeah I know that could be a problem) once you find a spot for your boat just ask around for the location of the nature trail and now comes the adventure part, you follow the nature trail to the little shopping center where American Pie is located. We have yet to try this adventure, so if any of our readers have, do let us know. We have ventured into Sherman harbor many times and it’s just lovely. We have also enjoyed many wonderful breakfasts and lunches at American Pie, well worth a trip, just ask any of the locals.


Candlewood Lake

It was a beautiful spring day and Kevin, one of our waterfront agents was recently showing homes on Candlewood Lake and the son of his customers decided to bring along his drone, following is the video he put together after he flew his drone around all day click here to view video


Waterfront Homes….. The Mosquito Myth

by admin on February 15, 2014

The Mosquito Myth….. mosquito.jpgThis questions asked quite often: Aren’t lakes and waterfront homes in general, a breeding ground for mosquitoes? Let’s clear up some facts… There are four stages in the life cycle of a mosquito: egg, larva, and pupae must have standing water to complete their development.  The type of standing water, however, varies greatly. Some species prefer to develop in permanent water sources such as marshes, waste lagoons, and catch basins. Other species prefer the water that collects in tree holes, tires, cans, or other artificial containers.  Still others develop; in temporary pools of rainwater. The water source must be “stagnant” and protected from the wind.

Most lakes and waterfront areas in general we are referencing today would not be able to support mosquito life. Also, on any decent sized body of water, there is almost always a breeze coming off the water that helps keep mosquitoes away. You will certainly still have mosquitoes, but you will have less than your neighbor across the street whose house is tucked in the woods. Our favorite example is Candlewood Lake and the bottom line is, we have never, in 25+ years on and around the lake, been bitten by one of those pesky bugs. Pretty much the same story for Lillinonah, Zoar, Bantam etc and the shore line of Long Island Sound most always has a nice breeze, so bye, bye Mr and Mrs Mosquito.



Candlewood Lake Cottage

When the economy was exploding in the early 2000s, many of us began to dream about purchasing that vacation home on the water or securing a home in a more appropriate location for our retirement years. However, with the booming economy came skyrocketing house prices. Many of the homes we fell in love with quickly became out of reach financially. Perhaps we should take a second look at these same homes today.

With prices dropping by over 30% in some markets and with interest rates at historic lows, this may be the perfect time to do what we and our families have always dreamt of doing – buying that second home. Let’s look at the numbers.

Back in 2006 we may have seen the ‘perfect’ home but the $500,000 price tag was just out of reach. Today, we could probably get that home for $400,000 (if not less). We also would be financing it at the current mortgage rate instead of the rates available six years ago. The table below shows the difference in impact on our family’s finances:


Not every family is in the financial position to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities the current real estate market offers. But, if yours is, this may be the time for dreams to come true. To View 100’s of Connecticut Waterfront Homes Go To


frost-valley-ymca-boating-kids-42You already decided to be on the water…but which part of lake should you be on? Believe it or not, your lakefront experience can vary from one house to the other. Besides the home’s orientation, there are other factors that will impact your decision:

Coves;  Coves can be that quiet retreat you have been looking for but depending on the wind direction, coves can be a catch all for floating weeds.

Open Lake Areas;  Can provide very dramatic views but wind and faster boat movements may cause more wave action than you want for swimming and motion on your dock, you might even want or need a boat lift, to protect you boat

Depth of water;  Shallow water may not provide the recreational activities you desire.

Make-up of bottom;   Gravel, muck, sand, weeds…know the impact this will have on your lifestyle.

Dock restrictions; Check with us, the local authority or neighbors for permit requirements and restrictions.

Non-native plants; Concentrations in front of your home will impact your enjoyment.

Boat traffic patterns; Understand frequency and distance from the home.

Buying in the Winter;  Be aware of the time of year you are buying the home because lakes change tremendously throughout the year.  Your swimming area may look fine in early spring, but then by midsummer it is filled with nuisance weeds.  Be sure to talk through all this with us, the local authority, Town Offices, and/or the neighbors until you are completely satisfied.

Lake View ; Lots of folks ask for a waterfront with western view’s and they can be just beautiful but the western view can be rather hot in the summer and sometimes almost blinding from the reflection off the water, when you are out enjoying your waterfront patio or dock area.

Can You Make Changes; Can you change landscaping, can you expand the dock, can you construct a waterfront gazebo, can you add a swim float, how many watercraft can I have, can you create a sandy beach, can you expand the size of the house…. All good things to know before you buy

Lake Associations;  lake living is just wonderful and Lake Associations can add dramatically to your lake living life style with amenities like, tennis, clubhouse’s, adult and children’s social activities, beaches, marinas, pools and a general ambiance of waterfront character.



Connecticut Lakes Ice Fishing

by admin on February 10, 2014

Candlewood Ice Fishing

During the long winter months, many anglers hole up in front the fireplace or at their fly tying bench, dreaming of warm days with full stringers of trout or live wells brimming with bass.  What many of these anglers are missing out on is some of the best action of the year; ice fishing. In the winter the fish are more predictable and are hungry, seizing the opportunity to grab a well placed shiner or jig.  While the thought of fishing, “hard water,” conjures up images of swirling snow, driving winds and  frostbite, anglers can still have a very comfortable, enjoyable and productive day of fishing on many of Connecticut’ frozen lakes, such as Candlewood, Bantam or Lillinonah.

As with any sport, safety is always a priority and with a little preparation and common sense, ice fishing can be safer than driving to work.   It’s also a family friendly sport with minimal investment in equipment required and plenty of action to keep kids interested.

When ice fishing, safety should always be priority number one.  Just like any other outdoor activity ice fishing has its inherent dangers, but by using a little common sense and being prepared for an emergency, you can make any day a great day on the ice.

See entire original article and photos HERE.


Connecticut boating

Sometimes you just want a smaller and simpler entry level boat for some fun fishing and a ride around your favorite Connecticut lake and this Crestliner is a great choice to consider. Take a look at the video and you just might agree.


Lake Quassapaug…. Middlebury

by admin on December 27, 2013


If you are from outside of Connecticut, you probably don’t know about Lake Quassapaug. The 300 acre gem of a lake, started as a popular tourist destination in the early 1900’s when a trolley line and small amusement area was built to serve as a country lake summer retreat for the residents of Waterbury. Today it’s enjoyed by families from near and far. The amusement park “Quassy Amusement Park” has developed into a lovely and affordable family amusement park. The Sailing Center , Sportsmen Club and Sandy Beach Club are all well worth checking out for private membership. If you want to live on this lake, you need a some patience as typically only a few homes a year are for sale. click here for phot tour of Lake Quassapaug