Vickerman Hill

As I’ve mentioned previously, trips to visit my wife’s family in upstate N.Y. are always a bit uncomfortable for me. It has nothing to do with my wife’s family—they’re good people—it’s me. I like people but have always been a private sort of person. So, while my wife spends time with her loved ones I’m usually off “adventuring” (as Joanie calls it)   ”photo-wandering” the back roads of this curious and unique part of the U.S.

These photos came from a day of roaming an area called Vickerman Hill—some of which is wild and desolate farming country. Driving around in November at that elevation (12 to 14 hundred feet)—snow flurries blowing across the worn, two lane black-top—the mood and aesthetic imparted by land and sky was a sort of New England Gothic.

However—I’m just not really a Goth sort of guy so my images that day tended to be a whimsical and detached sort of Semi-Gothic.

Rolling over miles of half-forgotten farm roads, you can’t help but wonder about the lives lived in abandoned farm houses where snow flakes blow in through broken windows and tattered curtains still flutter. Not every farm was devoid of life though. I stopped at one working farm with magnificent old barns—a lady by the name of Ellie lived there and was kind enough to let me photograph her property

After a morning of photographing lonely, weathered old barns—lost under grey snowy skies—I rolled into the little town of Richfield Springs. Upstate NY has a huge population of folks descended from Italian stock so there’s always at least one Italian restaurant, even in little burgs way back in the sticks. I found a neat little pizza place and had a great meal. I talked to a retired bridge inspector and looked at pictures of his grand kids.

Right next door to the pizza place was this antique/junk store and inside I found a number of cool objects, arrangements and still-lifes like this display of tea-cups.

Later in the afternoon—coming down off the hill, driving back to my sister-in-law’s house in the Mohawk Valley—the weather cleared, the sun came out and I found a great ‘60s rock station on the radio which I played full-blast all the way home.

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