You may remember that a while back I posted a link to some lovely photos of us, taken by talented photographer Melissa MacDonald
, while we were staying in the Hudson Valley. The photos were shot on a rainy late-summer afternoon at the Blithewood Mansion, now comprising a portion of the Bard College
campus on the banks of the Hudson River.
As it happens (never able to give my own camera a rest) I took a few photos myself. I mean, it isn't every day that one finds oneself in such a fanciful and painterly setting!
The Blithewood mansion was built in 1900, its grounds and stunning gardens originally designed by renowned landscape architect and horticultural journalist Andrew Jackson Downing.
Although the weather during the bulk of our trip East was magnificent (even uncharacteristically so), on this our last day in NY, it rained...slightly, and then steadily, and then torrentially, and then slightly again for the entire afternoon and evening.
Which was fine. Really it was. It seemed somehow fitting in this setting. It did nothing to decrease the delight of our photo shoot, and...well, everything is easier to swallow when one knows one will soon be en route back to the more clement climes of Colorado. Ahem.
I couldn't resist snapping this shot of QQ studiously reviewing her closeups with our portrait photographer ;)
After our photo session (during which it was raining too hard to move out from under the massive pillars of the portico) the rain let up a bit and, amid a gentle drizzle, we were able to venture into the stunning walled gardens.
Incidentally, I'm not familiar enough with the Victorian language of landscape architecture to know what you call that seating area at the far end of the garden, but if you look closely you can see the only two figures brave enough to weather the storm that day with us. They sat there so still and so discreet during our photo shoot and our inspection of the gardens that it took me some time to notice them. When I did, however, I was so inspired as to ask them for permission to snap a few photos of them myself. Remember this, because it may just turn up again in my next post ;)
Q turns into such a sprite in these settings, straight out of a storybook.
Exploring her own secret gardens.
The balconies look out onto a spectacular view of the Hudson River valley and the Catskill Mountains beyond.
Promenading with laolao.
On the way home, though the rain had closed in again, we stopped long enough to admire Frank Gehry's design for the Bard College performing arts center. It's difficult to see, in this light, the way the skin of the structure reflects the sky in all its various moods, but it's quite spectacular.