The area around Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, is affluent and appealing. If you like, as I do, various flavors of American colonial style architecture floating in a rich broth – play on words intended – of manicured small town landscapes and privileged academia, you’ll enjoy a visit to Smith. Some of the buildings and homes are historic sites that were actually built during the colonial era. Others are relatively new structures, like the home pictured here, which apparently was built in the second half of the previous century.
I visited Northampton on a very gray, rainy day; travelers cannot be picky. The heavy overcast creates soft, but very saturated, colors. Working in this kind of light is challenging, and I enjoy it. I am a fan of doors and entrance ways as subjects; this image is an example.
I shot this picture as the sun broke through the clouds to bath the field and trees in weak late afternoon sunlight. The horse and pasture in yesterday’s post are just to the left of this scene. Both shots were taken from the backyard of my friend Kate’s home in Amherst. Kate chose the quiet beauty of this locale to settle in after her years in China. The welcome contrast between the tranquility of this Pioneer Valley landscape and the stress, congestion, noise and politics not of the good kind we both experienced living in Beijing could not be more stark.
This photo was taken in mid-September just as the trees in central Massachusetts were beginning to turn color. I was not able to organize my trip to arrive when the autumn colors were peaking. No complaint, just an observation. The fact is I love visiting this part of New England at any time of the year.
The Bridge of Flowers began life in 1908 as a bridge across the Deerfield River for trolleys connecting the Massachusetts towns of Shelburne Falls and Buckland. The trolleys eventually disappeared, but the bridge remained. It apparently could not be ripped down because a water main connecting the two towns was built into the structure. The bridge had become a rundown eyesore when an enterprising woman named Antoinette Burnham convinced the town to convert the structure into a flower garden in 1929. Since then the bridge has gone through restoration work and has been preserved until today it is a local tourist attraction.