Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Spring 2016 At Leyden Glen Farm, Update, + Photography Info

Spring is coming slowly to western Massachusetts. It is supposed to rain all week and it is much needed. We had several false starts and now it seems the trees and plants are playing it cool and not growing too fast because they are fearful of being shot down by cold temps. This year, I lost almost all my daffodils to extremely cold weather (16 degrees). All of the early ones (and evidently, I must have early daffs) bent over and failed to bloom. Luckily, I planted some later varieties on the dogs graves and they are blooming nicely. 

Here they are in front of my studio door looking so pretty with the yellow door. 

Before I go on with lots of pretty photos and the spring story, I just want to let you all know that I have put 3 new pages up on the blog to help you plan your visit to the farm if you are coming to my July and September Creative Retreats (info on classes here). You will see them at the top of this post, just below the header photo. They are Where to Stay, Where to Eat, and What To Do. If you want to come with a partner, friend or husband who isn't interested in the classes, they are more than welcome to come and sit on our porch and read, take a walk, or explore our beautiful Pioneer Valley. People are signing up - yippee! I can't wait to meet everyone and share my love of color and making. 

Okay - now on to the gorgeous colors that are happening here at the farm. (By the way, if you are interested in photography, I've added a bit about my camera lens and how I take these photos at the end of the post. When I was interviewed LIVE by Marly on her YarnThing Podcast last week, she was asking me about taking photos and how I got the shots I take. I thought some of you might be interested too so I am including some info at the end of this post). 

The first flowers to bloom in my garden are Virginia Bluebells.

Of course there are some spring bulbs and wildflowers around too. 

I ordered some species tulips last year and so far, nothing has eaten them. I love these dainty yellow flowers that close late in the day and open when the sun hits them. 

In the spring, I always check out the small little dug ponds that are on the farm for watering the sheep. I'm always on the lookout for frogs eggs and tadpoles. This year there were some eggs floating in their sacks. 

Beau and Sadie love these little ponds and spend hours splashing around in them. Can you believe how big they are getting? 

Mark and Rachel have been moving the sheep out of the winter barns to various pastures. We now have ewes in front of the farmhouse. At first they were timid and stayed close to the house. 

Now they are starting to graze. There is one small lamb with them too. 

My hens are laying like mad. 

The apple trees are going to be blooming in a week or so. Hope the cold stays away. 

Slowly, slowly, the leaves are emerging. 

Hope spring is coming to your part of the world too! 

About my camera and the lens I use for different kinds of photos: 
I invested in a Canon 5D Mark II several years ago after I decided that I was going to keep this blog going. I was looking to take better photos and I had outgrown my earlier Canon Rebel (I still have it and use it as a back up). The Canon 5D has been a great camera for me and I have no plans to upgrade. If I were to purchase it now, I would probably get this one which is similar, just improved. (affiliate links)

The Canon 5D came with a kit lens which is an EF 24-105mm f/4 lens. It is extremely versatile lens and it is what is usually on my camera all the time. It wasn't giving me exactly what I wanted in my close-up photos. 

I purchased a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens to take close-ups of flowers, bouquets, still lives and more. (Actually I purchased a cheaper version first - that had the same #s but was plastic and only $100. But it broke quickly because Phoebe the dog knocked the tripod over and it broke lickety split. I should have been smarter and purchased the $300 model instead of the $100 model. Lesson learned.) That is the lens that I used for most of the close-ups shown in this post. 

By setting the aperture at 1.4, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.2, I get the blurred backgrounds that I so love. I first focus on the part of the photo I want to be in focus and then move my camera (holding the clicker halfway down) to frame the picture. I am still in awe of the photos this camera will take. Sometimes I use a tripod, depending on how much time I have and the amount of light. 


Auntie Shan said...

It's been a coolish Spring here. No more than 50 on a good day, with belowfreezing temps at night. As hardy as they are, the dozen or so Crocuses have come and gone already. Tulip & Daff leaves are up, but no flowers yet. However, the Lilac leaves are just starting...


LannieK said...

Beautiful photos ~ Beautiful time of the year! Thanks for sharing them. Your area is way ahead of here in the forest. The daffodils kinda got squished by a spring snow, which has just melted away. The Johnny Jump Ups are just starting to bloom, wildflowers shoukd follow :-) Yea! Spring!!!

Anonymous said...

Everything is so lovely! And speaking of lovely, i just the article about you in the Knit and Crochet Today newsletter. Great! i watch faithfully every Saturday morning. Love to see your segments and have admired those blouses you wear. I should have known you made them all yourself!


Spiffypaws said...

I think your dogs have a wonderful life!

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