Serenely mirrored in calm water, hot-air balloons lift into New England sky

When the first annual hot-air ballloon race got under way on a recent day from the village green in Quechee, Vt., most of the colorful craft silently rose high into the sky and disappeared over the hills beyond. A few, however, lingered long enough to glide over the nearly Connecticut River as if to admire their own brillant reflections in the unruffled stream.

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