Monday, October 14, 2013

Pioneer Valley Sketchbook: Autumn Overfloweth

This weekend, another feast of images from the gorgeousness that is Western Mass in October. First, a few appetizers from yesterday's brief trail ride:

The reservoir at Earle's Trails, off of Bay Road, Amherst

From atop Fort Hill, Amherst

St. Brigid's Cemetery, Hadley

Then, the main course: a feast of images from today's road ride:

Mount Warner, Hadley

Mount Warner Road, Hadley

South Main Street, Sunderland

In Sunderland 

Fosters Road, Montague

Crows, Smiarowski Road, Montague

A repast at the Lady Killigrew, overlooking Saw Mill River, Montague

Tobacco barn, Montague

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pioneer Valley Sketchbook: October Hadley

Pioneer Valley Sketchbook is a new feature I'll be experimenting with here on Velophoria. It's an idea I've been toying with for a couple months. In my endless peregrinations about the Valley, I experience so many sights, sounds, tastes, etc. that are emblematic of the rich community we have and its beautiful environment. They spark thoughts, and appreciation for where I live. 

The skechbook is an attempt to pass on to you some of that treasure.

Today, I took a rain ride on a moody October day. The quality of the light, the damp chill, the empty streets, took my imagination for a ride, too. I brought out Mrs. V's point-and-shoot Canon, which I've been meaning to experiment with. 'Til now, all photos on Velophoria have been taken with a cell phone camera; a decent one, but quite limited. I'm stepping it up just a notch, in hopes of sweetening the visuals here, and perhaps having some fun in my spare time with something -- anything -- other than obsessing about bicycles. I'm playing with settings and post-processing. Let me know how you like it.

These shots were all taken in Hadley (Mass.), a visually enticing town with a deep history. The town common, shown in the first photo, is the longest in the state. Wikipedia (see above link) says,
The landscape of Hadley is largely open-field farming, which was only used in the earliest New England settlements and had mostly disappeared by the 18th century; its survival in Hadley on such a large scale is unique.
You can see some of those storied fields in the third shot, below.

Enjoy fall in one of the oldest settled parts of New England.