November 10, 2009.
Tuesday morning I headed back out to Bishops Orchards to finish up with the peach trees in the Orchard. (Tuesday was also my brother Chris’s birthday. Happy Birthday Chris and a big salute to you as one of America’s Veterans.)
The gate was open and I was glad because the peach trees are significantly further down the road than the apple trees. As I drove up the dirt road I came upon Michaele, ( pronounced Michele). She works at Bishops but has worked at other orchards as well. Initially, she probably was wondering what this stranger in this strange car was doing in these fields but I stopped and we chatted a bit.
She was telling me how on a clear day, at the top of the hill where we were standing, you could see the long island sound. To get here I take highway 95 and know that I am close to the water, but I didn’t realize these gently sloping hills are high enough to expose this view. It was overcast so I didn’t get to see it today. Michaele also told me that there is a great view between the two grand oak trees by the strawberry fields and that winter in the orchards is also an awesome sight. I plan on painting the main building on highway 1 next, but will have to come back to these fields. The thought hit me that perhaps after I accomplish my goal of painting at all 20 wineries on the official Connecticut Wine Trail, I just might have to go around again and paint volume II.
I set up my easel and worked on the peach trees for about 3 hours. It was a fairly warm day, lower 60’s, but as hard as it tried, the sun just didn’t break out of the clouds. The leaves on these trees are quickly falling away and will soon be bare. Since I came late in the season I was not able to capture the trees ripe with their fruit but there is a beauty to this life cycle of trees. They stand proudly in all their fading glory as if accepting the fact that their time to shine is over. They stand together, side by side, row after row, in camaraderie as sentinels embracing their mission to guard the land while old man winter slowly strips them of their leaves.
Next week, weather pending of course, I will try to finish up with my last painting of the main building and farm market at Bishops Orchards. There is a great sign in the front with a huge apple on it that should make an interesting piece.