There's a pretty apple orchard on River Road in Red Hook. It belongs to Migliorelli Farm. The trees are small and the many many branches reach dramatically straight up to the sky. Both of these things surprised me. Apparently it's important to keep fruit bearing trees small and tidy to get the best crop. I'm still not sure why the branches grow straight up though, instead of gracefully curving and bending like other trees. Anyway, I decided this fall to paint the orchard at harvest time. The trees were loaded with red apples, the leaves were so green; lots of color. I nearly always work from photos that I take and River Road is narrow and curved with no shoulder so where to put my car and how to get over the stone wall that separates the orchard from the road? I knew if I could get onto the orchard that I'd technically be trespassing. But the farm stand is way at the other corner and the lovely gray house is a bit farther still. And I wanted some pictures.
There's a driveway with fancy iron gates that leads to a handsome property right across the road from where I wanted to access the orchard. I have never seen anyone coming or going from this driveway so I decided to risk parking there for the shortest time possible. Flashers on, I left Maggie in the car, crossed the road, and scooted across the relatively low stone wall. I walked quickly through the high, wet grass to the trees, took pictures from different angles, all the while keeping an eye on my car and my dog in the forbidden driveway. When I got back to the car my pants were wet to the knee. I will confess. I picked one apple. It was delicious. Crisp, and tangy; a MacIntosh.
Why the pheasants? I didn't see them at the orchard but rather up the road at Bard College on another day entirely. But they fit here, as do the mourning doves in the tree tops.
This is a 10 x 10 inch (25 x 25cm) acrylic painting on board. It is listed in my Etsy shop.