Sometimes I get impatient with the Berkshires. A beautiful area, and I love the mountains, but the cultural features seem inaccessible. For a photographer, at least. The mansions and cultural venues are hidden away out of sight, and you can get in legal trouble for publishing photos of them. Sometimes I go to the Berkshires with a list of shots, and come home feeling like I didn't get what I came for.
This week I found myself missing the country. Needed to walk in grass and see some wildflowers. There are several wet meadows in the Berkshires, and this one is usually good around August 1st. It's in Tyringham, in a narrow valley that catches the sunlight late and holds the ground fog when everything else is dry. It has become one of my favorite places. The Hop Brook Wildlife Management Area. I've seen deer and many bunnies, and this week it was full of songbirds. A very nice way to start the morning.
Actually, the Berkshires have a good variety of natural subjects - running rivers, old-growth forests, glacial lakes, meadows and marshes, and even a limestone cobble that sprouts wildflowers and ferns in spring. There are state parks that are wild. Great places for a kayak. And if you ride a bike, there are roads by farms and pastures and country homes. There are quaint villages and ice cream stands and swimming holes to explore.
Me? I keep coming back to Hop Brook.