Saturday, May 23, 2015

Springtime in the Yard

It is quite pretty out there! The blooms are giving me some good practice with the camera and macros.

I love the details on the stems of the weeping cherry tree.
The azalea are incredibly colorful!
We are waiting for 1 batch of lilies to open. This purple patch are the only ones we have.
Bleeding hearts galore!
The white lilacs are as fragrant as can be.
I believe this is a type of azalea too.
The Japanese maple is full of color.
Fluffy rhododedron balls!
Our stone wall coverings. Very lush! These ivy leaves are massive.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are enjoying nature this season too. ~Val

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Swamp Walk

I have been looking around online at area places to visit that neither Jim nor I have been to. That is how I discovered the Swamp Walk on the Danvers/Wenham line in MA!

It is a loop off a rail trail.
This is a place where people come for bike rides, walks and jogs. This particular rail trail also meets up with the one in the town we live in. One can go for miles and miles!

It was a little walk to get to the swamp walk and when we did I was slightly disappointed!
This is the beginning of the walk. It is totally broken at that last board you can see!

Anyway, we continued walking down the rail trail since this is a loop.
The other end was ok!
We did approach more structural issues. This was completed only a couple of years ago so it is sad to see it falling apart so quickly.
Jim was feeling confident to walk that plank! I on the other hand was not, especially with a new camera around my neck.
The walk was really beautiful. The Canadian geese love it here. I'm not sure why the camera made the water look incredibly blue!
We don't know what caused the damage but it could have something to do with beavers by the look of these trees!
We had a peaceful walk listening to the birds singing and enjoying the change of season. Back at the car was a gorgeous tree to appreciate.
I have been out a few times with the new camera and realized there was a defect in the lens leaving a spot on the photos. 

The spot here is in the lower right corner! Luckily the store exchanged it for me with no problem so I now have a perfect camera to use going forward! 

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the swamp walk! Have a beautiful week. ~Val

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Vintage Jewelry

I received more jewelry that had been my grandmother's. The last batch didn't have much I would wear. It turns out grandpa had a stash of the good stuff!
I will be keeping these sweet necklaces for personal wear and enjoyment. The chains have seen better days but I can change that!
I got the idea from a fellow blogger about using a shadow box to display family pieces that aren't going to be worn. Eventually I will do this and include the initialed pieces.
I have a number of Scottish pieces already but received these clip on earrings too which will also end up in that shadow box. They are all sterling with amazing patina! That is the thistle on the right which is the Emblem of Scotland. Yes, those are bagpipes on the left.
I will be keeping this Edwardian feeling costume pearl necklace for my personal wear!
There were a couple of great costume jewelry sets that will be looking for a new home via eBay for someone to cherish.

I will also keep this sterling cuff. Most likely it is a genuine vintage Navajo bracelet. It is a bent mess but will still look great on!
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are enjoying Spring! It finally feels amazing in Massachusetts! ~Val

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Glen Magna Farms

Glen Magna Farms is on the same land as Endicott Park in Danvers, Massachusetts. 
This mansion and its gardens are used for weddings and other gatherings.
Built in the late 1800s, it is full of architectural beauty.
The gardens were still dead when I was there but the summer wedding photos on their website while everything is in bloom are stunning!
The grounds are full of nooks and crannies for amazing photo shoots.
The morbid part of my soul sort of enjoys these dead gardens. This one is a rose garden.
My favorite statue was this one. This dude has quite the expression on his face.
There are a couple of really cool twisted trees.
Columns are always beautiful.
 This is a summer house between 2 gardens.
Of course there is a gazebo. What would a wedding site be without one?
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Glen Magna Farms. It reminds me quite a bit of the Stevens-Coolidge Place in the town I grew up in.

I plan on visiting again during the summer to enjoy its blooms!

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful week ahead. ~Val

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Endicott Park With A New Camera

I got a new toy! This is the Sony Alpha 5000. It comes with a 16-50mm lens and if desired, I could purchase another lens for added depth. Until now, I have only had a point and shoot so this is a big, intimidating deal for me!
So I've been playing around with stills only to get my bearings.

Endicott Park
Endicott Park is in Danvers, Massachusetts. It is a great family place with a huge playground for the kids and barn animals for them to check out. 

I went off the beaten path to soak up some nature. My visit was towards the end of April and was my first viewing of flowers this year!
There is a bit of swampiness here too.
It was a beautiful day of reflections in the water. The camera does a great job picking up colors in nature as I see them (usually a problem with the point and shoot).
I only explored a fraction of the 165 acres.
There are stunning trees here.
Below is an old weeping beech tree.
I must go back in the summer when everything is showing life!
It was my first sighting of crocuses!
This pony was quite far from me and the photo was taken with the lens completely zoomed in. Not bad.
Same goes for this bird.
With my old point and shoot, these type of photos did not come out to great!

How great is this tunnel carved from a tree? If I was a kid, I would have been all over this even though it looks like splinter city!
I'll be back next week with part II which is a beautiful historical mansion and gardens (although dead at the time) on site where weddings and other events are held. 

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week ahead! ~Val